"I can't tell you anything but the truth." These words, sung by Jack Johnson in his latest studio album, To The Sea, define the ethos of a man born and raised in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.You could say it was a father's solo sail from California to Hawaii that opened his son's future fate and underpinned it with a personal mythology, but it was Jack's ability to learn his own lessons from life and the sea that birthed his astonishing alchemy of music and poetry.Truth has found plenty of room to breathe in each of Jack's albums (and in all of his work, from surfing films to his nonprofit, the Kokua Hawaii Foundation), and it comes home to a deeper heart in To The Sea. Here, with his brothers in music - Adam Topol (drums), Merlo Podlewski (bass), and Zach Gill (piano and melodica) - he's on a journey to the center of himself, and to all of us.It's a transformational crossing, a wide gyre (musically and lyrically) circling home. "You and your heart shouldn't feel so far apart," he sings in the album's opener ... and then:Road signs were stolen Left here holding this flameWho stole my patienceWho stole my wayI'm lostI'm too tired to tryJack is all about closing the distance, bridging the gap between who we are and the invisible stories that have shaped us. But even while his music is about bringing things together, he always seems aware of the larger truth:You're so sweet to meIn a world that's not always fair ...We could watch it from the cloudsWe can't stop it anyhowIt's not oursIt's not ours ... and then there's the realization that all of this is transient, that this moment and this time will vanish from our lives as surely as our ancestors: I don't want you to knowLet's not go to sleep tonightIt's not that it goes too fastIt's just that it goes at allOut there in the so-called real world, some things are inevitable:These problems they breatheTheir fire is real ...Even when you're asleep They'll be here stillBreathing out or inSo the call is to dig deep, and then dig deeper:Run my dear son We've got to get to the treesAnd then keep on going all the way ...We've got to get right down to the sea"Water is the subconscious," says Jack, "and that water for me is the ocean. To get to the sea is being able to dig in and touch things that aren't on the surface. That reference - that ‘we've got to get to the sea' - is about a father leading his son to try to understand himself."Inevitably, each of us is here to follow our own path, to discover the inner myths that have unconsciously formed us and framed our journey:It said, shadows cut across the hero's faceHe falls from grace until a little bird sang‘The truth is never endingwe're just here pretendinglets all laugh so that we don't cry' ...Jack's music has a way of winning you over and bringing you back into yourself, which is to say that his music and lyrics have a universality. He's found a language that goes to the heart, borne on music that seems to bridge lost connections. If not exactly explaining, this effect at least points to his worldwide appeal and his way of bringing all sorts of people together. Jack Johnson's music is like something contagious that's also good for you.So ... there's a myth about a young man who goes to sea, and he sails alone across the greatest ocean. He sails through storms. He catches fish, he learns to navigate by the stars ... he comes to Hawaii ... and he has a son, and the son, too, goes to the sea ... again and again, following and leading ... into the present ... into the very real and unknown.I can't tell you anything but the truth.What is this place? Who am I? Why did we come here?I don't know. But I don't know that we're meant to know.- Drew Kampion, 2010
Squeeze and The English Beat at The Paramount
Fantastic, intimate, and one of the best concerts I've seen in a long time! The venue was small that allowed us to get close to the groups and the music was of course, great! I would highly go back to The Paramount for other concerns.
Squeezing The Beat
If you have a pulse and want to have one of the greatest night of your life, get and and see this bill. BOTH BANDS Absolutely Kicked ASS
Squeeze was GREAT
Squeeze was great. The sound was good and the voices of Glenn and Chris sound the same as they did when the records first came out. I have been to a few of their concerts and am never disappointed. All the hits and some of the songs from their new album were performed.
Squeeze was OK. They played most of their hits, and showed great enthusiasm. Unfortunately, instruments were WAY louder than their voices, so it was hard to make out the lyrics. At least, it was where we sat (in the balcony). Wouldn't that be part of the sound check? They also had (for lack of a better term) music videos playing on a screen behind the stage, for the whole show. Entertaining in small doses, but after a while very distracting. For $80+ per ticket, we expected more. The opening act was the English Beat. They were actually the highlight of the show. Fantastic energy and great musicianship had the crowd roaring.
Squeeze and the English Beat
The English Beat got things started with hit after hit (although I was disappointed by not having "I Confess" on the set list - I believe it to be their greatest song)...and then Squeeze lead by the amazing guitar wizardry of Glenn Tilbrook kept the party going....I loved the Easybeats cover "Friday on my mind" as well as "Harper Valley PTA" (written by the great Tom T. Hall) ....and the overall tightness of the band was just amazing...interesting twist having Chris sing lead on "Electric Trains"....would have loved to have heard something from "Play" (their most underrated collection) and the sound at NJPAC was amazing....in closing...expand on the breakdown during "Cool for Cats" (the band should seize that moment and get really funky) and why not do "Voodoo Chile" with the band ??