Viva la Vinyl: Ryan Adams’ Rescue Blues 7"….

Posted by Payton | Posted in ryan adams spotlight, viva la vinyl | Posted on 07-30-2009

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In 2004, Ryan Adams started up his own small record label, Pax Americana, in order to release demo recordings of some of his tunes that Lost Highway didn’t deem worthy. He only released 3 sets – The Rescue Blues [EP], California [EP], and If I Am A Stranger [Single] – all on 7-inch vinyl. Just yesterday, I won an auction for the Stranger Single, completing my PAX-AM collection.

However, word on the street is that this label may soon be resurrected. Apparently, Ryan’s art-guy (as seen alongside Ryan in his more recent YouTube vids) twittered about (re)designing “@ryanad_ms vinyl label art” and also posted the above pic.

If you check out Ryan’s website, there’s a suspicious message that may just corroborate this intel. Decide for yourself, but in the meantime, enjoy these vinyl rips of The Rescue Blues [EP].

A: The Rescue Blues (vinyl rip)
B: Come Pick Me Up (vinyl rip)
C: Enemy Blanks (vinyl rip)
D: Tell Me How You Want Me To Feel (vinyl rip)

These original 4-track versions are definitely demo-quality, but well worth the listen. Come Pick Me Up is especially interesting, recorded at a slower pace, much like his live version. Enemy Blanks (aka Enemy Fire) gets re-structured in this set, beginning with the chorus. Rescue Blues and the unreleased Tell Me are both gritty, heavy-electric takes that showcase Ryan’s original intent for his songs.

If you’ve been keeping up with my Ryan Adams Spotlight, you may have noticed I’ve been at a standstill in the chronological album reviews. Waiting on deck is Love Is Hell – quite the review-task, if you ask me. That album definitely requires the right mood/mindset to listen to, much less review. But stay patient, I’ll get to it. After LIH, Ryan joined up with The Cardinals, and in one year, put out 3 of his most amazing albums. To help bridge this gap, I’ve created a Ryan Adams (solo) Mixtape of his best unreleased tunes. I’ve spent a lot of time adding/removing tunes, deciding on a track-order, and cropping them to fit as many as possible. It may just be the next best thing to the elusive unreleased box-set, so keep an eye out for it.

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Viva La Vinyl: Ryan Adams Set

Posted by Payton | Posted in ryan adams spotlight, viva la vinyl | Posted on 04-15-2009

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Thanks to the power of eBay, I recently completed my Ryan Adams full-album collection on Vinyl.
Love Is Hell was the final missing piece; I won an auction for it a week or two ago. I coughed up a pretty penny, but it was worth it for completion’s sake. Love Is Hell was the only Lost Highway Adams album that didn’t see a vinyl reissue a couple years ago. I don’t know the exact reason for this, but Ryan may have made the decision himself to keep things interesting. When his label offered this reissue,, a great source for records, put together a Ryan Adams vinyl package – Gold, Demolition, R N R, Cold Roses, 29, JCN – for a mere $75. Sweet deal.

I ordered the newest releases as they came out, save for Follow The Lights. I was about to pick one up at Cactus Music last month until I found this:

The Cardinals’ Everybody Knows [EP] was a UK-only release. The 12″ is essentially Follow The Lights, but with ‘Everybody Knows’ from ET leading off, thus pushing each track back one spot. I figured why not pay a little more for that extra track and get the bonus of having a far more rare disc.

Sometime last year, Bloodshot Records got with the picture and reissued Heartbreaker on a 12″ gatefold double vinyl. I only learned of this while browsing the site with the intention of purchasing Midnight At The Movies earlier this year. So I snagged Ryan’s debut LP about a month before the elusive LIH 10″ gatefold showed up on eBay.

As you probably know, Love Is Hell was originally issued as two EPs – parts 1 & 2 – in late 2003. The collections were later combined and released as a double 10″ containing 15 tracks. Five months later, the album was released in CD form and an alternate version of ‘Anybody Wanna Take Me Home’ was added. The extra track, clocking in at nearly a full minute longer than the original form, was a strange addition, but being one of the softer tracks on Rock N Roll, it does feel in place here.

In my ongoing Ryan Adams spotlight, I try to approach each album/session with open mind and ears. We all know the best way to get the feel of an album is to hear it in its intented form – high fidelity analog. So the aquisition of this last disc comes at a perfect time as Love Is Hell is next in line. Until then, I’ll wet your ears with that mysterious extended track added to the LIH CD.

Anybody Wanna Take Me Home (extended version)

My quest will continue for as many 7″ Vinyl Singles as I can get my hands on. I already own this Whiskeytown EP and the bonus 7″ from Cardinology. En route via eBay is the ‘Hey Parker It’s Christmas’ 7″ and the ‘Wonderwall’ 7″ single.

If anyone wants to begin a collection of their own, check out this eBay auction for a great start. You get:

  • Demolition
  • Cold Roses
  • Jacksonville City Nights
  • Easy Tiger (orange vinyl)
  • Cardinology (with 7″ single)
  • Hey Parker It’s Christmas 7″ Single

With under 4 days left, the bidding is only up to $10.49!!!

Ryan Adams: The Swedish Sessions….

Posted by Payton | Posted in album review, ryan adams spotlight | Posted on 02-08-2009

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Oh, how I love the internet. If you spend enough time just trolling around, little nuggets of gold can be found. I was under the impression that I had collected, reviewed, and posted all of the studio sessions that helped form Ryan Adams’ Demolition, but if you look back at that post, you’ll see that one song, ‘You Will Always Be The Same’ was not credited with a session of birth. That tune was originally recorded in October of 2001 during what would the final studio session needed to complete Demolition.

Ryan took some time during an overseas tour to stop in at Nord Studio AB in Stockholm, Sweden and lay down yet another album’s worth of tracks. The Swedish Sessions rival 48 Hours as the best unreleased album in his repertoire. Hell, this one may even go twelve rounds with Heartbreaker. The Swedish Sessions are in fact very reminiscent of that solo debut. When Ryan is plaintive and full acoustic, it’s downright heartbreaking. But somehow, he can mix in a screaming harmonica fueled jam in the middle and it just works.

The two lead-off tracks were unfortunately the only survivors from the session. ‘For Beth’ was later renamed ‘Friends’ and became the final track on Cold Roses. ‘Dear Anne’, a song dedicated to Anne Frank, is an obvious standout with Ryan’s classic vulnerable yet so emotive soft vocals.

Track 4 busts in the room with a slick groove and even a great joke thrown in the lyrics: “Why’d the boat get drunk? Pier Pressure.” Ryan also offers up one of his best attempts at a true blues number with both takes of ‘Madeline.’ The rising pressure in the song never seems to fully escape, but you gotta give him credit for staying true to the style and not overcooking it.

‘Oh, Charles’, a prison letter ballad drags you right into the dark cell with the narrator. Offering a glint of hope and beginning the ascent back up in the album is ‘Come Monday’ that leads into a slightly humorous ‘Not In Love’ showcasing expert fingerpicking. ‘Friendly Fire’ shows Ryan building to the melodic perfection that was Cold Roses. The Swedish Sessions ends with an acoustic groove as good as ‘Choked Up’ or ‘Monday Night.’

1. You Will Always Be The Same buy Demolition
2. For Beth (aka Friends)
3. Dear Anne
4. Poor Jimmy
5. Madeline I
6. Madeline II
7. Oh, Charles
8. Come Monday
9. Not In Love
10. Friendly Fire
11. Fool For You

Swedish Session ZIP

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New Old Stuff in ‘09….

Posted by Payton | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 12-29-2008

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The other day i got a request for a re-post of a song that showed up on my Ode to the Vinyl Record. Instead of just re-linking the Ryan Adams’ If I Am A Stranger vinyl rip from an old 7-inch, i thought i’d make a post with some interesting news. Thanks to Christmas, i now have a new toy to help supply my faithful readers with some extra musical goodness in 2009:

Not only is that a badass new record player with great sound, fast playback, and an iPod dock, but it has a USB cable that allows for easy ripping of that Vinyl sound. So many of those Vinyl-only tracks i possess will be making their way to the digital world and onto the pages of This Mornin’ I Am Born Again. This comes just in time for the part of my Ryan Adams Spotlight fast approaching that will now include many Side D’s full of great bonus tracks.

Ryan Adams – If I Am A Stranger (Vinyl Rip)

Also, another re-post request came in for my Surviving Ike Mixtape. Get it while you can.


Townes Van Zandt – Colorado Bound

In other news, i’ll be heading North bright and early tomorrow morning for a New Year’s Ski Trip. Steamboat, CO is the final destination, and in terms of driving, that’s just about as far as i’m willing to go. The laptop will be making the trip, so i’ll try to get a post or two up.

Ryan Adams: Demoltion

Posted by Payton | Posted in album review, ryan adams spotlight | Posted on 11-15-2008

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After unloading some bad news regarding Cardinologyand the extended discussion that followed – i’m glad to move on with my Ryan Adams Spotlight. This edition features what is probably the most underrated Ryan Adams album.

If you’ve been keeping up here, you know that Demolition was the result of numerous studio sessions that took place both before and after the recording of Gold. Lost Highway wasn’t hip to the idea of releasing a 4-disc set, so some decision making was in order. You could say they took a wrecking ball to those collections and what came out of the rubble were the 13 tracks that make up his third solo album.

1. Nuclear ~ Pinkheart 2
2. Hallelujah ~ 48 Hours
3. You Will Always Be The Same
4. Desire ~ 48 Hours
5. Cry On Demand ~ Suicide Handbook
6. Starting To Hurt ~ Pinkheart 1
7. She Wants To Play Hearts ~ Suicide Handbook
8. Tennessee Sucks ~ Pinkheart 1
9. Dear Chicago ~ Suicide Handbook

10. Gimme A Sign ~ Pinkheart 1
11. Tomorrow
~ Pinkheart 2
12. Chin Up, Cheer Up ~ 48 Hours

13. Jesus (Don’t Touch My Baby) ~ Pinkheart 2

For coming from so many different studios, engineers, and session players, the album really does have a cohesive feel. But that doesn’t mean the songs are too similar… actually just the opposite. Demolition offers quite of variety of Ryan’s sounds. It’s one of Ryan’s more low-key, mellow records without being too sappy or introspective. Most of the songs are a jaded look back at failed relationships (i know, what else is new?). But compared to much of his recent work on the subject, the songs from Demolition offer a fresh, unique outlook on love-gone. In an interview with Uncut Magazine, Ryan described many of the stories behind the tunes. Check out some snippets on

A majority of the tracks lack a definite chorus, helping to give the album its cohesiveness. Rather than a collection of singles – which is probably what Lost Highway thought they were getting – Demolition reads like a snapshot of the things Ryan was going through at this point in his life. He was living in Hollywood during the time he wrote most of these songs, and the women in his life at that time inspired a lot of them.

Nuclear, the album’s single, leads off on somewhat of a weak note. The first verse could be thought to encapsulate Ryan’s feelings on the processes that produced the album – “In a flash of pure destruction, no one wins,” but it was written months prior and, according to Ryan, the song is about meeting someone for the first time. With wailing harmonicas, Hallelujah and Desire are highlights, carrying over a style present on Gold.

Along with Nuclear, Gimme a Sign and Starting To Hurt are the liveliest songs in the collection. Elecritc guitars, reverb, and spiteful lyrics show Ryan’s transition into the sound that would characterize his next venture. Ryan learned of a woman jumping off a building and upon seeing said building, wrote Starting To Hurt. It’s an interesting, slightly optimistic, interpretation of the events of that day.

You Will Always Be The Same, Cry On Demand, She Wants to Play Hearts, and Tomorrow exhibit Ryan’s ever-present singer/songwriter style with sparse arrangements allowing his words to ring out. An expansion on Saturday Night, Tennessee Sucks is a bluesy little tune about “Tennessee really sucking,” and he and his band finding the most accessible ways to deal with it.

Chin Up, Cheer Up is the least meshing song on the record, but interestingly, it’s one of my favorites. A mildly bluegrass feel with up-tempo picking, the song is a rare occurance of a hopeful Ryan Adams writing lyrics to fit the music. Ryan says “it’s about covering elephants in tin-foil for no good reason,” but is evidence of him simply enjoying what he’s doing.

Jesus… again shows Ryan’s habit of finishing an album with a slow ballad. Another tune about learning his ‘friend’ is sick, Ryan says he kicked The Pinkhearts out of the studio to reflect. What resulted was a boring song filled with synthesizers and a drum machine. Young Winds would have worked much better.


The Japanese/UK releases of Demolition came with a bonus side of 4 songs. New York, New York and To Be Young were recorded live in Amsterdam, while the other 2 tracks are highlights from the aforesaid sessions. Each of these two tracks was also released on the singles for Nuclear – one with the CD and one with the 7 inch.

Song For Keith

Buy Demolition

Check out the rest of my Ryan Adams Spotlight

Ryan Adams: Halloween…..

Posted by Payton | Posted in ryan adams spotlight | Posted on 10-30-2008

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i’m gonna jump a little out of order here in my Ryan Adams Spotlight – for date relevance’s sake and to offer up a little treat for Halloween.

The last solo project Ryan did before his last solo project 29 (ET… whatever, the cardinals played) was this Halloween Promo EP.

Released in July of 2004, the sampler includes some great tracks that show Ryan’s progression from the introspective self-medication of Love Is Hell into the type of sound The Cardinals would soon be creating.

1. Halloween

Halloween was also included as a bonus track on the UK Release of Love Is Hell, Vol. 1 in late ‘03. As a throwback to Gold-era Ryan, and completely disparate from most of Love Is Hell, the song offers up a positive tone as Ryan sings “it’s okay, man, she’s got friends. Cause we are here to help you sing your song.” This hopeful little tune is perfectly augmented with a chipper, high-end piano run throughout.

2. Closer When She Goes

Simple lyrically and musically, Closer When She Goes seems as much like a filler song here as it did a month before on the This Is It Single. This one didn’t make an album for a reason – failed relationship regurgitation.

3. Funeral Marching

Because the title track is deceptive in its intentions, Ryan completes the promo with a rockin’ fatalistic tune.

“Oh, what’s the use in trying?
Thick as thieves and packs of lies
Marching to the palaces of night.

All my life I’ve looked for something.
All my seas are drops of rain
Drunk as sailors drinking from your hand.

Now, you’re swingin’ like a funeral march in June.
And it’s way past July.”

Ryan Adams: Pinkheart Sessions (2)

Posted by Payton | Posted in album review, ryan adams spotlight | Posted on 10-03-2008

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Here’s the second of the two Pinkheart Sessions.

This time The Pinkhearts were: Ryan Adams, Billy Mercer, Brad Rice, & Brad Pemberton. The session took place in July of 2001 at Javelina Studios in Nashville and was produced by Dave Domanich. The tracks here that also appeared on the first session are slightly more produced – with things like saxes added. This session saw the completion of the tracks that would make up Demolition. But like the first, much of it is wild and very unfocused – it seems Ryan and Brad Rice may have had a few solo battles.

Highlights: A narrative of any given Saturday on the town with the Pinkhearts – Saturday Night, and a very groovy tribute to a man who simply cannot be killed by conventional weapons – Song For Keith.

1. Blowin’ The Coup (instrumental)
2. Blue and Shy
3. Ca
ndy Doll
4. Down At The Movies
5. Fuck It … I Broke Your Cat
6. Gimme A Sign
7. Interstellar Collider
8. Jesus (Don’t Touch My Baby)
9. Mega-Su
perior Gold
10. My Baby’s Going Home (aka Tomorrow)
11. Nuclear
12. On My Way (instrumental)
13. I Took Your Puppies To A Race Car Track
14. Saturday Night
15. Song For Keith
16. Starting To Hurt
17. Tennessee Sucks

“It’s hard to have a fight in a tent. How do you show your anger?
You can’t slap the flap…
What do you do, zipper it up really quick?”

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Ryan Adams: 48 Hours

Posted by Payton | Posted in album review, ryan adams spotlight | Posted on 09-29-2008

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In June of 2001, just after finishing Gold, Ryan hooked back up with multi-instrumentalist/producer Ethan Johns to create the most cohesive of his ‘unreleased’ albums.

With the help of said Ethan Johns, as well as Chris Stills, Julianna Raye, Greg Leitz, and Sheldon Gomberg, this session is a veritable greatest-hits of his post-Gold solo work. Walls sounds like an early precursor to the sound of Jacksonville City Nights. A live staple of his solo shows, Like The Twilight (aka Drunk and Fucked Up) makes its unofficial appearance on this collection – simply gorgeous. The painful Blue was released as the b-side on the Nuclear single in September of 2002.

48 Hours was the second step in creating the songs that would become Demolition. Hallelujah, Desire, and Chin Up, Cheer Up – arguably the best few tracks from that release – were recorded during this session in Hollywood, CA. i will do some sort of review for that album after i post the last of the unreleased sessions – The Second Pinkheart – very soon.

48 Hours
1. Hallelujah
2. Walls
3. Desire
4. Angelina
5. Like The Twilight
6. Chin Up, Cheer Up
7. Born Yesterday
8. Blue
9. One For The Rose
10. Karina (false start)
11. Karina
12. Little Moon


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Where Have You Gone, David Ryan?

Posted by Payton | Posted in Uncategorized, ryan adams spotlight | Posted on 08-21-2008

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get back to work…

Throughout this whole artist spotlight thing, i haven’t mentioned anything about what Ryan is presently up to. That’s mainly because since Follow The Lights dropped in October of ‘07, nothing else has surfaced. That is, if you don’t count the off-the-wall videos and ramblings posted to his retired, then resurrected blog, Foggy. There have been rumors, though. Among them:

  • The Cardinals III/IV is the tentative name for the next full band album. Ryan said in January that the vocal/writing duties will be split between him and Neal Casal – very interesting.
  • he has a solo project entitled Magik that is supposedly rooted in soul (as of April).
  • NME reported in July that Ryan signed a book deal to release a collection of his prose. The article also stated that he was to have some of his art displayed at a showcase.

Judging from his track-record and fondness for the outlandish, these rumors are most likely not true. But one confirmed story is that, beginning next week, Ryan and The Cardinals (now composed of Neal, Chris Feinstein, Jon Graboff, and Brad Pemberton) will accompany Oasis for a short tour:

8/26/08: Seattle, WA – WaMu Theater
8/27/08: Vancouver, BC – GM Place
8/29/08: Edmonton, AB – Rexall Place
8/30/08: Calgary, AB – Pengrowth Saddledome
9/01/08: Winnipeg, MB – MTS Center

9/04/08: Ottawa, ON – Scotiabank Palace
9/05/08: Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
9/09/08: London, ON – John LaBatt Center

And then there’s that story that was vomited up from the bowels of Courtney Love.
Ryan’s response.

For most folks, a year with no new material is standard, but Ryan has set the bar so high that it’s hard to overlook. We’ll try not to hold it against you, Ryan.

that either.

check out the new ryan adams dot com
attempt to make some sense out of foggy – the cardinal cave

Ryan Adams – My Blog Foggy
Neal Casal – Delaware Station

Ryan Adams: The Suicide Handbook….

Posted by Payton | Posted in album review, ryan adams spotlight | Posted on 08-21-2008

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The next catch-up installment of the Ryan Adams Spotlight (as i posted my Gold Edition much too soon and skipped the many unreleased pearls) comes in a mostly acoustic, double-disc set of stunning ballads. Recorded in January of 2001 in Nashville, The Suicide Handbook is sprinkled with songs that will make subsequent albums, but the genius of these versions comes in the subtle nuances he uses to differentiate them between the album cuts. Off Broadway makes an early appearance here (officially released later on Easy Tiger) in a stripped-down, gorgeous version with slightly altered phrasing in the chorus. In my opinion, the Suicide version is far superior. Much of Gold was first showcased on this session, as well as a few from Demolition. This version of Firecracker features a re-arranged first verse, and the cut of Answering Bell is gloriously groovy. The set is capped off with Dear Chicago – in which Ryan callously mentions that he’s “been thinkin’ some of suicide.”
As the title might imply, this is Ryan at his sadbastardest (i like to make up words). The material toes the line between whiny and sheer beauty – most fall quite easily on the side of the latter. Another blatant demonstration of his prolificacy, The Suicide Handbook consists largely of songs that were ultimately scrapped. The songs that appear on this set only are lyrical and melodic wonders. Check out some of my favorites while you download the whole thing:

Disc 1

1 Wild Flowers
2 Perfect And True

3 Tell It To My Heart

4 She Wants To Play Hearts
5 Pretenders
6 Famous Eyes
7 Touch Feel And Lose
8 Firecracker
9 La Cienega Just Smiled
10 For No One

Disc 2
1 You Don’t Know Me
2 Bow To The Sad Lady (Mara Lisa)
3 Off Broadway
4 Cracks In A Photograph
5 I’m Waiting
6 Cry On Demand
7 Miss Sunflower
8 Just Saying Hi (Answering Bell)
9 My California Love
10 Idiots Rule The World
11 Dear Chicago


Check out the rest of my Ryan Adams Spotlight:
Took Me Long Enough: Whiskeytown
Exile on Franklin Street
The Destroyer Sessions
Whiskeytown: The Missing Bridge
The Pinkheart sessions (1)
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