Music On The Goe

David Goe on music

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Page 15 of 57

Band on the Rise: In The Whale

By David Goe
Friday, October 17, 2014

The self proclaimed "Kenny Powers of music," In the Whale is a Colorado based band you need to know. Playing tomorrow night (10/18) with Guttermouth at the Mesa Theater and Club, In the Whale is a no-nonsense, two-piece rock band from Denver. Guitarist and vocalist Nate Valdez and drummer Eric Riley have been together since 2011, making balls to the wall music that's got the eastern slope of Colorado all riled up.

Thanks in large part to their sweaty, shout along live sets, In the Whale have featured prominently at the Underground Music Showcase and the Westword Music Showcase. Listening to their music it's easy to see why they've grown in popularity. Taking cues from bands like the White Stripes and Queens of the Stoneage, In the Whale plays in your face, nose bleed inducing rock and roll.

Check out their music above or better yet, see them live tomorrow night.   



Father and Son Bring Emotional Heft to Tweedy’s ‘Sukierae’

By David Goe
Friday, October 3, 2014

If music is art, and art is the creative expression of emotional power, then Tweedy’s new double album “Sukierae,” is a triumph.

Nothing I’ve heard to date, or likely will hear for the remainder of 2014, can or will match the emotional resonance of Jeff Tweedy’s latest work.

“Sukierae” is uncomfortably beautiful and promises the visceral response that, sadly, most contemporary albums never come close to achieving.

The Tweedy name should be immediately familiar to even the most casual music fan. The co-founder, lead singer, and primary songwriter of Wilco, Jeff has been a mainstay in the American music scene since the early 1990s.

Taking a break from Wilco, Jeff’s latest work is a partnership with his 18-year-old drummer son, Spencer, hence the band name Tweedy. Don’t mistake Spencer’s youth for inexperience or blame nepotism for his role in the band. He’s spent the last decade (!) playing in the Chicago band The Blisters and was recently featured on Mavis Staples’ 2013 album “One True Vine.”

Spencer more than holds his own on “Sukierae” and ultimately contributes mightily to the emotional heft of the album.

Taken at face value, “Sukierae” is a nice collection of songs ranging from country psychedelic to lullaby ballads. Buried underneath, though, are the emotions of a husband and a son dealing with the most serious of subjects. Jeff’s wife, Spencer’s mother, Sue Miller, is battling lymphoma and while the prognosis is optimistic, it certainly contributes to this album’s wide-ranging mood.

Knowing the inspiration for “Sukierae” (a combination of Jeff’s wife’s nickname, Sukie Rae) and knowing it’s a father and a son working through the material together is nearly heartbreaking. Part pop album, part art therapy, this album delivers the goods. Forsaking over-produced glitz for lo-fi musings on life, love and family, “Sukierae” is a surprise on many levels.

Through his work in Uncle Tupelo and Wilco, Jeff always has been a songwriter and performer who could connect with his fans on a deep level. With his quirky sense of humor and obvious skill as a songwriter, Jeff pulls you in and makes you feel part of something much bigger.

A good entry point for “Sukierae” is the lazy ballad “Wait For Love.” The wandering guitar work and Jeff’s breathy vocal on this standout track is classic Tweedy. Everything about the track is accessible, and when Jeff delivers the line, “I still want to look in your eyes today / And wait for love,” you can’t help but think that he’s speaking directly to you.

Other standouts include “Summer Noon,” “I’ll Sing It” and “Flowering,” all feel-good tracks. With those highs, though, comes the melancholy, specifically on “Nobody Dies Anymore,” “Low Key” and “New Moon.” It’s on these songs where “Sukierae” takes off, focusing on under-explored subject matter.

Each song feels fragile, particularly “New Moon.” Each instrument seems to be at war on this 3:39 minute track, illustrating the underlying and complex feelings both Tweedys must be feeling.

No matter the subject matter, Jeff knows how to deliver a line. The connection that he and Spencer share on the record moves well past the relationship between father and son. It’s two men managing a tough situation the best way they know how: though music.

You may hear music that is more exciting, experimental or even more enjoyable this year, but “Sukierae” will transcend them all. It’s not very often that music moves you beyond simple aesthetic beauty, but this album does the trick.

Underneath Tweedy’s effortlessly constructed pop songs is a mix of complex emotion that leaves a substantial mark.


Stunt Albums Prove There’s Dying Interest in New Music

By David Goe
Friday, September 19, 2014

Big news from the music world this past week was oligarchic rock band U2 sending out some junk mail in the form of its new album “Songs of Innocence,” to over a half a billion iTunes users.

If you have an iTunes account you have the album, whether you want it or not.

“Songs of Innocence” is neither a good album nor bad album. It merely exists like the male enhancement pill emails and magic weight loss emails in your spam folder.

The quality of U2’s latest release is not as important as is the bigger issue here. The latest in a disturbing new trend of stunt album releases (see Beyonce’s surprise album release), “Songs of Innocence” proves that big music has no interest in developing new music and is perfectly happy pimping tried-and-true music from well-regarded and established performers.

Big music doesn’t care about you or what you want. It cares about risk-free investments and guaranteed sales.

Big record labels such as Interscope and distributors like Apple iTunes are content making their nut on releases such as “Songs of Innocence.” Apple reportedly budgeted $100 million to buy and promote the album from U2 and Interscope, and committed over $9 million just on promotion.

Just let that sink in for a minute. $100 million dollars for one 11-song album.

It’s a staggering sum of money and it makes you wonder, is that money well spent?

The conversation online seems to center on the question: Is U2 leading the way to a new way of doing business? To answer unequivocally, hell no.

The only reason why U2 can pull off something like this is because they are the biggest band on the planet. Same goes for other performers such as Beyonce, Jay-Z, Radiohead, Trent Reznor and others who have tried similar release stunts. The entire release of “Songs of Innocence” feels gimmicky.

Let’s call this what it is, a pricey advertising campaign for Apple products. Releasing the album in conjunction with the new iPhone and Apple watch announcements at the tech giant’s annual keynote event does more for Apple than for the music industry.

Sure, U2 makes out pretty well, but what about the rest of the music industry? Last time I checked it’s still stuck in limbo with no direction, and I don’t see this move bringing it back from the edge.

Certainly, this stunt has got people talking, but the loudest voices are overwhelmingly negative. So much so that it has prompted Apple to create a specific web page with instruction on how to remove “Songs of Innocence” from your iTunes music library.

At the end of the day you have to ask, was it worth it? Publicity wise, yes, it was a hit.

As a music fan you can’t escape this story. But the whole event leaves you wanting more. When did music become a punch line? When did it become a tabloid headline? What happened to the bands and music that spoke for generations?

What happened to bands like the 1980s version of U2?

Music is more homogeneous than ever, there’s less variety than ever, and sales are lower than ever. And what’s the industry’s solution? Force-feeding the entire world an album people didn’t necessarily want? That doesn’t seem like a winning strategy.

The business model that helped U2 become the world’s biggest band is long gone. But instead of trying to figure out how to incubate the next great band, the industry has slipped into bed with Apple to hock smart phones and wearable technology.

That should make you upset. An art form that you bleed and cry for is dying at its soul and all we have to show for it is an ad campaign and a couple megabytes of hard drive space.


Fantasy Bands - The Best Lineups So Far

By David Goe
Friday, September 12, 2014

Believe it or not, fantasy bands are still trickling in to my email inbox. So far here are the lineups (including mine for comparison). There are a lot of interesting groups here including Brian's band Stanky Hoe's, which I'm guessing smells like the dumpster behind a Las Vegas strip club. Keep sending in you fantasy bands and I'll keep posting them for everyone to tear apart. Send your lineups to

Gay Older Brother - my band
Flex - Dave Grohl $10
Bass - Paul McCartney $10
Guitar - Johnny Greenwood $6
Lead Singer - Debbie Harry $5
Drummer - ?uestlove $4

Baptism by Fire - Sent in by Doug
Guitarist - Buddy Guy - $7
Drummer - Neil Peart - $10
Bass - Tina Weymouth - $4
Flex - Angus Young - $7
Lead Singer - Roger Daltry - $7

Stanky Hoe's - Sent in by Brian
Lead Singer - Sammy Hagar $8 (vocal powerhouse, songwriter)
Guitarist - Steve Vai $7 (OK, he lost to Ralph Macchio in the movie "Crossroads", but he's practiced a lot since then, and still going strong)
Bassist - Michael Anthony Sobolewski $6 (maybe not the greatest bassist ever, but a key addition to this group)
Drummer - Topper Headon $5 (i needed a strong drummer and a hearty partier)
Flex - Gene Simmons $7 (he can market the band like no one before, and a is an excellent backup for when Michael Anthony gets too wasted)

Ellen DeGenesis Project - Sent in by Lindsey
Drummer - Phil Collins $8
Bass - Roger Waters $8
Guitar - St. Vincent $6
Lead Singer - Art Garfunkel $6
Flex - Nels Cline $6

Double Treble - Sent in by Mike
Lead Singer - Adele $9
Flex - Whitney Houston $9
Guitar - Les Paul $7
Bass - Kim Deal $6
Drummer - ?uestlove $4

Smoke Show - Sent in by Matt
Lead Singer - John Lennon $10
Flex - Willie Nelson $8
Guitar - Frank Zappa $7
Bass - Mark Hopus $3
Drummer - Stewart Copeland $7

Black and White and Black - Sent in by Trent
Lead Singer - Roy Orbison $9
Guitar - Jack White $7
Flex - Johnny Cash $7
Bass - Alex James $5
Drummer - Ginger Baker $7

Adult Onesie - Sent in by Keith
Drummer - Carter Beauford $8
Guitar - Jerry Garcia $8
Lead Singer - Sly Stone $5
Bass - Phil Lynott $7
Flex - David Bowie $7

Dregs of Society - Sent in by Taylor 
Lead Singer - Iggy Pop $5
Guitar - J Mascis $6
Bass - Lemmy $8
Drummer - Chad Smith $7
Flex - Tom Morello $9

Michael Michael John John James - Sent in by Charlie
Lead Singer - Michael Jackson $10
Drummer - Michael Shrieve $6
Bass - John Deacon $5
Guitar - John Frusciante $6
Flex - James Jamerson $8



Create Your Fantasy Band

By David Goe
Thursday, September 4, 2014

The premise is simple. If you could pick five artists, dead or alive, to form the ultimate band, who would they be, and what would the band be called?

Rule 1. You need to roster a band member at the following positions: lead signer, guitarist, bassist, drummer. You also have a flex position, which you can fill with anyone. 

Rule 2.  In each position, band members cost anywhere between $1 and $10 and you only have $35 to spend on the entire fantasy band. Obviously $10 band members are the cream of the crop so it would be impossible to field a band of Mick Jaggar, Duane Allman, Flea, John Bonham, and John Lennon. Just like in real fantasy football, winning managers draft wisely.

Obviously the following list is incomplete. If you want to add someone to your fantasy band not on this list then do it. Assign them a fair price and justify it. Have fun!

Lead Singers

  • John Lennon $10
  • Mick Jaggar $10
  • Aretha Franklin $10
  • Freddie Mercury $10
  • Robert Plant $10
  • Michael Jackson $10
  • Otis Redding $10
  • Sam Cooke $10
  • Bob Dylan $9
  • Marvin Gaye $9
  • Elvis Presley $9
  • Roy Orbison $9
  • Ray Charles $9
  • Adele $9
  • Stevie Wonder $9
  • Jim Morrison $9
  • Al Green $9
  • Janis Jopelin $9
  • Chris Cornell $9
  • James Brown $9
  • Whitney Houston $9
  • Little Richard $8
  • Morrissey $8
  • Elton John $8
  • Smokey Robinson $8
  • Jeff Buckley $8
  • Ozzy Osborne $8
  • Tina Turner $8
  • Steven Tyler $8
  • Bono $8
  • Kurt Cobain $8
  • Stevie Nicks $8
  • Axl Rose $8
  • Bruce Springsteen $8
  • Neil Young $8
  • Hank Williams $7
  • Eddie Vedder $7
  • Roger Daltrey $7
  • Gwen Stefani $7
  • David Bowie $7
  • Johnny Cash $7
  • Brian Wilson $7
  • Pat Benatar $6
  • Art Garfunkel $6
  • Steve Perry $6
  • Christina Aguiler $6
  • Levon Helm $6
  • Tom Waits $5
  • Sly Stone $5
  • Iggy Pop $5
  • James Mercer $5
  • Debbie Harry $5
  • Thom Yorke $5
  • Mary J. Blige $5
  • Dion $5
  • Buddy Holly $5
  • Bjork $4
  • James Taylor $4


  • Jimi Hendrix $10
  • Jimmy Page $10
  • Eric Clapton $10
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan $10
  • Eddie Van Halen $9
  • Jeff Beck $9
  • Prince $9
  • Tom Morello $9
  • David Gilmour $9
  • George Harrison $9
  • Duane Allman $9
  • Jerry Garcia $8
  • Carlos Santana $8
  • Randy Rhoads $8
  • Brian May $8
  • Keith Richards $8
  • Mark Knopfler $8
  • Robbie Robertson $8
  • Derek Trucks $8
  • Willie Nelson $8
  • Angus Young $7
  • Billy Gibbons $7
  • The Edge $7
  • Lindsey Buckingham $7
  • Thurston Moore $7
  • Bonnie Raitt $7
  • Kirt Hammett $7
  • Les Paul $7
  • Chuck Berry $7
  • Dimebag Darrell $7
  • Slash $7
  • Buddy Guy $7
  • Jack White $7
  • Dick Dale $7
  • Joe Perry $7
  • Frank Zappa $7
  • St. Vincent $6
  • Joe Walsh $6
  • Dan Auerbach $6
  • Nels Cline $6
  • Johnny Marr $6
  • Peter Buck $6
  • Carl Perkins $6
  • J Mascis $6
  • Paul Simon $6
  • Pete Townshend $6
  • John Frusciante $6
  • Johnny Greenwood $6
  • Johnny Ramone $6
  • Joni Mitchell $5


  • Paul McCartney $10
  • John Paul Jones $10
  • John Entwistle $9
  • Flea $9
  • Les Claypool $9
  • Bootsy Collins $9
  • James Jamerson $8
  • Lemmy $8
  • Leland Sklar $8
  • Roger Waters $8
  • Gene Simmons $7
  • Andy Rourke $7
  • Phil Lynott $7
  • Chris Wolstenhole $7
  • Alex James $6
  • Kim Deal $6
  • Krist Noveselic $6
  • John Deacon $5
  • Chris Squire $5
  • Tina Weymouth $4
  • Mike Watt $4
  • Mark Hoppus $3


  • John Bonham $10
  • Neil Peart $10
  • Dave Grohl $10
  • Keith Moon $9
  • Ringo Starr $8
  • Buddy Rich $8
  • Phil Collins $8
  • Carter Beauford $8
  • Ginger Baker $7
  • Stewart Copeland $7
  • Chad Smith $7
  • Lars Ulrich $6
  • Bill Ward $6
  • Michael Shrieve $6
  • Topper Headon $5
  • Robo $4
  • ?ueslove $4
  • Meg White $3
  • Cindy Blackman $3
Page 15 of 57


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