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The Crossing - December 2004 Edition

“Unos dos tres catorce!”

Still the Champion of the World by a decisive knockout.....U2!

Folks, they’ve done it again. (I’m assuming you’ve all heard it by now.) Out of the starting gate, the opening track “Vertigo” gets the heart pumping and the hairs standing on the back of your neck. Bono exhorts “It’s everything I wish I didn’t know but you give me something I can FEEL” like his life depends on it and, of course, it does. Even the second song, Miracle Drug, asks the
main question, “do you feel anything at all?” Bono is exclaiming to the world to anyone who will listen that we need to feel for our fellow humans if we are to dismantle that atomic bomb that gives the album it’s namesake. That atomic bomb might have another name: apathy. For a band this BIG and successful to still be singing about things like love and hope and feeling towards our
fellow humans is the ultimate triumph of U2. Their legacy will remain intact by Bono’s undying and enduring vision. This is an album to be reckoned with... Love and Peace or Else!!! Thanks guys!

And now, in place of the artist of the month, I thought I would write up a 2004 year-end recap.

Let’s start with albums released this year, that spanning the whole year, I listened to on average in:

Heavy Rotation (I listened to these quite a lot):

U2 - “How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb” (It’s new, but I’ve been listening to it a ton!)
BoDeans - “Resolution”
Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers - “Americano”
Marillion - “Marbles”
Fish - “Field Of Crows” 
Bill Mallonee - “Dear Life”
Kieran Kane and Kevin Welch - “You Can’t Save Everybody”

Medium Rotation (I listened to these a fair amount):

Black 47 - “New York Town”
Fates Warning - “FWX”
Buddy Miller - “Universal United House Of Prayer”
R.E.M. - “Around The Sun”
Steve Earle - “The Revolution Starts Now”
Pierce Pettis - “Great Big World”
Social Distortion - “Sex, Love and Rock ‘N Roll”
Mark Knopfler - “Shangri La”
Lucy Kaplansky - “The Red Thread”
Luka Bloom - “Before Sleep Comes”
King’s X - “Live All Over The Place”

Light Rotation (have listened to these the least because they just haven’t connected with me as much as the other albums or simply the other albums have taken up most of the time!):

Cowboy Junkies - “One Soul Now”
Concrete Blonde - “Mojave”
Wilco - “A Ghost Is Born” (I know, shock! horror!)
Patty Griffin - “Impossible Dream”
Iris DeMent - “Life Line”
Dada - “How To Be Found”
Fastball - “Keep Your Wig On”
Mutual Admiration Society - “self-titled”
Bill Janovitz w/Crown Victoria - “Fireworks On TV!”
Sonia Dada - “Test Pattern”

Artists I bought a first album from or otherwise was new to me:

Drive By Truckers
Fountains Of Wayne
Vertical Horizon
Damien Rice
Casbah Club
Hungry Mind Review
Will Hoge
Uncle Devil Show
Miles Of Wire (local band)
Julia Sets (local band)

Concerts attended:

The most crazy, totally rock ‘n roll show I saw was Velvet Revolver featuring three former members of Guns N Roses and the former singer of Stone Temple Pilots, Scott Weiland who stage dived at least three times into the audience. Followed by Metallica with a newly sober James Hetfield put on an incredible show that ranks probably tops on the five or so times I’ve seen the band. I saw Rush put on probably the best show I’ve seen them perform on the seven or so times I’ve seen them. They are really at the top of their game and firing on all cylinders. I saw Marillion do two very memorable shows in Chicago and Cincinnati this year. They are one of the all-time great underrated bands that flies under most people’s radars. I saw Bill Mallonee, I think, twice. I’ve seen Bill so many times now. I always love it when he pulls out the surprises like he did when he pulled out three in a row from Killing Floor at a show here in St. Louis. I saw both John Gorka and Pierce Pettis perform with their usual vast reserves of grace and great humor at two separate shows in St. Louis. Along with Bill Mallonee, all three are must-sees for anybody who likes to hear acoustic music performed live. Both The BoDeans and Better Than Ezra were very fun shows. I also saw a somewhat alcohol fueled, but nevertheless, good show from Jack Ingram. Saw two local bands (Miles Of Wire and Julia Sets) that could have bright futures. And was introduced to the music of Pieta Brown who I saw with Bo Ramsey open for John Gorka. She has a gorgeous voice and she’s quite pretty too. (Okay, I admit, I was totally smitten.) I also took in a Michael Roe show which was quite interesting considering I’m pretty new to his and his principal band’s (the 77’s) material. I could tell his heart is in the right place, but he’s quite off-the-wall. A very good, solid show nevertheless.

Hopes for 2005:

To see U2.
For Bill Mallonee to front a full rocking band!
For Marcus Hummon to release a new record.
For Rush to return to the studio.
For Bruce Springsteen to return to the studio.
And maybe for these bands to reform (Midnight Oil,
James, Del Amitri.)

Expected to have new albums in 2005:

The Badlees
Better Than Ezra
Buffalo Tom
Casbah Club (an album of all new originals.)
King’s X
Son Volt (newly reformed.)
Gin Blossoms
Jayhawks (maybe.)
Will Kimbrough (hopefully.)

Hope that wasn’t too boring. And now the recently released music that wasn’t mentioned in the last issue: 

Vince Varvel - “Not A Creature Was Stirring” (A local St. Louis musician; 9 holiday standards)
Band Aid 20 - “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” (Import CD single, also includes the original 1984 version.) Marillion - “Marbles On The Road” (2 DVD set filmed at the London Astoria in July 2004.)
Michael Roe and Mark Harmon - “Fun With Sound”
Linkin Park w/Jay-Z - “Collision Course” (w/DVD.)
The Drovers - “Dreamland”
Snow Patrol - “Final Straw”
Chill Faction - “Eggman On The Deuce & Other Stories” (Larry Kirwan’s, Fred Parcell’s and Thomas Hamlin’s pre-Black 47 band; recorded between 1985 and 1987.)
The Church - “El Momento Descuidado” (Import, Acoustic live album recorded October 2004; includes mix of new and old songs with 3 brand new songs and 2 new instrumentals.)
Isidore - “Isidore” (Collaboration with Steve Kilbey of The Church and Jeffrey Cain of Remy Zero.) 
Marty Willson-Piper - “Live From The Other Side”
Robert Downey Jr. - “The Futurist”
Mae - “Destination: B Sides”
Blue Rodeo - “In Stereovision” (DVD celebrating 20 years of the band.)
Zeno - “Zeno”
Iron Maiden - “Part 1: The Early Days” (2 DVD set.)
Jack Irons - “Attention Dimension” 
Fran Smith Jr. - “Man Meets Machine”
Anders Parker - “Tell It To The Dust” (Singer of Varnaline.)
Evanescence - “Anywhere But Home” (2 DVD set; Live from The Zenith in Paris.)
Eric Clapton - “Crossroads Guitar Festival” (2 DVD set; features many guitar greats.)
Elf - DVD
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban - DVD
Hero - DVD
The Terminal - DVD


Vigilantes Of Love - “Fade To Black” (Bill Mallonee, Kenny Hutson, Jake Bradley and Kevin Heuer live on the Audible Sigh tour; 2 DVD’s and 1 CD. Order yours at To be shipped mid-December.)


Radiohead - “The Most Gigantic Lying Mouth Of All Time” (DVD, available at their official site.)


The Cure - “Three Imaginary Boys” (reissue of The Cure’s very first album; 27 tracks.)
Hoodoo Gurus - “Mach Schau” 
Eric Clapton - “Sessions For Robert Johnson” (CD w/DVD.)
Bourne Supremacy - DVD


“The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King” (Platinum Series Special Extended Edition features 50 extra minutes. 4 DVD set.)
Snow Patrol - “When It’s Over We Still Have To Clear Up” (import.)
The Echoing Green - “The Winter Of Our Discontent”
Chris Rea - “Very Best Of...”
Texas - “Greatest Hits”
Collateral - DVD
I Robot - DVD
Door In The Floor - DVD
Manchurian Candidate - DVD


Tommy Bolin - “Teaser” (reissue.)
Napoleon Dynamite - DVD


MC5 - “Purity Accuracy” (6 disc boxset.)
Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgandy - DVD
Garden State - DVD

January 2005 and beyond....

Bill Mallonee - “Friendly Fire” (Bill’s latest album should be out in January or February to all who have ordered it. If you haven’t ordered, just go to:


Fountains Of Wayne - “B Sides Collection” (import.) 
Twinemen - “Sideshow” (features former members of Morphine.)
Royal Crown Revue - “Greetings From Hollywood”
Lettuce - “Live In Tokyo”


Esthero - “We R In Need Of A Revolution” (EP.)


Emm Gryner - “Songs Of Love And Death” (A collection
of Irish songs.)


Jimmy Chamberlin - “Life Begins Again” (former
Smashing Pumpkins/Zwan drummer.)


“Because Of Winn-Dixie” - (Soundtrack featuring music from Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, Finn Brothers, etc.)


Tori Amos - “The Beekeeper” 


Over The Rhine - “Born” (can’t wait for this.)

LYRIC(S) of the MONTH:

Two of ‘em...

“When you’re so ashamed that you could die. God
believes in you. And you can’t do right even
though you try. God believes in you. Blessed are the
ones who grieve, the ones who mourn, the
ones who bleed. In sorrow you sow, but in joy you’ll
reap. God believes in you.”

Pierce Pettis from the song “God Believes In You” off
the album Everything Matters.

and for Christmas:

“No banners were unfurled when God stepped into the
world held in the arms of a little girl
named Miriam.”

Pierce Pettis from the song “Miriam” off the album
Making Light Of It.

See you in 2005! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

And remember, with great power comes great responsibility. ;-)

Chris Barlow


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