After the first weekend of the playoffs I'm 2-2.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Tennessee Titans
I saw Steve Earle and Allison Moorer in 2008 in support of Steve's fine Washington Square Serenade. The leadoff song on that CD was Tennessee Blues, a sequel of somewhat to 1986's Guitar Town. The song is about Steve leaving Nashville for New York with his red head by his side: "Sunset in my mirror, pedal on the floor; Bound for New York City and I won`t be back no more; Won`t be back no more, boys won`t see me around; Goodbye guitar town" and "Blue dog on my floorboard, redhead by my side; Cross the mighty Hudson river to the New York City side; Redhead by my side, boys sweetest thing I`ve found; Goodbye guitar town".
[Steve Earle - Tennessee Blues]
The Baltimore/Tennessee matchup, two defensive jugernauts, reminds me of a movie title - The Clash of the Titans. Speaking of The Clash, in 2003 Bruce Springsteen, Little Steven Van Zandt, Elvis Costello and Dave Grohl played tribute to one of the great bands of all times.
[Springsteen, Van Zandt, Costello, Grohl - London Calling (Grammys)]
My Pick: Baltimore Ravens over Tennessee Titans 14-10
Arizona Cardinals vs Carolina Panthers
One of the many highlights from last years The Racounteurs great release Consolers of the Lonely was Carolina Drama. Aptly titled, this tale is about a divorced mother and her two sons and ... well you figure it out.
[The Raconteurs - Carolina Drama (live at Coachella)]
Wilco has been a band that with each new release seems to - if not raise the bar, at least maintain a level that few others have been able to reach. They followed up 2002's landmark Yankee Hotel Foxtrot with the solid CD called A Ghost is Born. It's companion online released EP featured a song called Panthers.
Wilco is expected to release their 9th studio CD this year. As usuall Jeff Tweedy is talking of taking the band in a different direction. This year is alreay shaping up to be a great year musically.
My Pick: Carolina Panthers over Arizona Cardinals 30-17
San Diego Chargers vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Bruce Springsteen, after somewhat of a dull decade away from the E Street Band in the 1990's began the great comeback this decade with 1998's release of Tracks. A sprawling 4 CD set of unreleased music from the all three decades of Bruce. It was inspiring to hear new Bruce tunes from the early years as well as some absolute gems from later periods. After this release Bruce and the band reunited for the great Reunion Tour or as I called it at the time- The Glory Days Tour. It was great to see Little Steven Van Zandt back in the fold and on stage not only with his old pals, but also with fellow guitarist (who replaced Lil' Steven) Nils Lofgren. This tour clicked and the band delivered night after night after night. Listen to the CD or watch the DVD Live in New York for living proof.
One of the fine tracks from Tracks was A Good Man is Hard To Find (Pittsburgh). This was an outtake from 1982 and Born in the USA sessions. I saw Walter Egan in 1978 open for Kansas (I think). At the time Egen was in support of his album Not Shy which was produce by Lindsey Buckingham and Richard Dashut. His hit single Magnet and Steel was on the charts at the time making it up to #8.
My pick: Pittsbugh Steelers over San Diego Chargers 28-20
New York Giants vs Philadelphia Eagles
After a couple of sub-par releases, U2 bounced back strong with 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind. The CD included great songs like Beautiful Day, Kite, Walk On, Elevation, In a Little While and this gem New York.
[U2 - New York (live in Boston)]
The made for TV band The Monkees produced some pretty darn good pop music in their day. The Monkees were the creation of Don Kirshner; backed by some fine studio muscians; armed with some great tunes written the likes of Neil Diamond, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, Harry Nilsson, Barry Mann, and Gerry Goffin and Carole King; and a natural chemistry created from the mix of 2 musicians (Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork) and 2 show biz types (Davie Jones and Mickey Dolenz). There run was short lived, 1966 thru the end of the 60's, but many great tunes were made. The b-side to Take The Last Train To Clarksville was a Goffin-King song called Take a Giant Step.
My Pick: New York Giants over Philadelphia Eagles 28-21