Monday, December 28, 2009

Top Tuneage of 2009

It's that time of year when everyone has their "Best Of" lists. For the past few years I have listed my favorite albums of the year, so why break tradition? Here's my list, such as it is! Remember, these are not what I would call the "best" albums, simply my favorites and most played of 2009. As you scan the entries below, you'll probably notice that this year's list didn't take a lot of thought as a lot of my favorite bands released albums this year! However, for the most part, they were all each respective artist's strongest efforts in some time. Either that or I just got really lazy this year! So, here we go (in no particular order):

U2 - No Line On The Horizon

No surprise here. I remember a conversation I had one time with my good friend Fred about U2 and what our favorite U2 album was. He summed it up nicely - "My favorite U2 album? The next one." I couldn't agree more. That being said, I really think this is U2's best album since Achtung Baby. That's not to say that Pop doesn't still have it's proper place in my heart. It totally does! What I love about No Line On The Horizon is that I didn't like it that much at first. The albums that have to grow on me are the ones that mean the most to me. This album is a perfect example of that

Highlights: Magnificent, I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight, Breathe

Dave Matthews Band - Big Whiskey And The Groogrux King

In the words of Dave Matthews himself, "If you don't like this album, you should have the person nearest you punch you in the face." After the death of founding member and saxophonist LeRoi Moore, the band found themselves not knowing how to continue (or to continue at all). This album is the soundtrack of a band learning to be a band again and learning to love each other again. DMB have publicly stated that they weren't really seeing eye to eye over the past few years. LeRoi was the one who basically said, "Let's just have fun with it." A lot of his musical contributions remain on the finished product. More than anything, this album is a tribute to the memory of LeRoi Moore. In my opinion, their best album since Before These Crowded Streets (and maybe even a little better!) And let's face it - any album with the word Whiskey in the title is A-OK with me!!!

Highlights: Why I Am, Alligator Pie, Squirm, You and Me

The Avett Brothers - I and Love and You

I and Love and The and Avett and Brothers!!! OK, that was cheesy... But honestly - I really, really love these guys! The Avetts have slowly made a name for themselves by touring for years and years and years without losing their unique style or selling out. Their perseverance is starting to pay off. They are getting the recognition they deserve in national publications, playing to larger and larger crowds, making the rounds on late night television and having music guru Rick Rubin produce this album. While I can't say this is my favorite Avett Brothers album (that honor still goes to Mignonette), this is a truly beautiful album and, according to my iPod, the most played album of the year at the Layne house! Bravo, Avetts! Bravo!

Highlights: I and Love and You, The Perfect Space, Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise

Pearl Jam - Backspacer

There's always going to be that band that you still listen to well after high school. Pearl Jam is that band for me. I will ALWAYS buy their albums and I will ALWAYS see them at least once on each tour. This album is just awesome! It's hard for me to put into words just how much I love these guys and, now that I think about it, even harder to describe this album! I guess I can sum it up like this: This album is Pearl Jam all grown up. I know that isn't a very profound statement, but so be it. Out of this entire list, I would recommend this album above all the others (yes, even U2!!)

Highlights: Amongst The Waves, Gonna See My Friend, Just Breathe

Muse - The Resistance

I have to admit, I am a fairly new fan of Muse. I had heard "Knights of Cydonia" and "Hysteria" and really liked them, but I had the pleasure of seeing them open for U2 in Atlanta and became a huge fan immediately. The only negative thing I can say about them is that they are very derivative. I've said that if Queen and Radiohead had a kid, it would be Muse. Still, that's not a bad pedigree at all! This album rocks, but I have to be in the right mood for it. Luckily, my mood has been right this year!!!

Highlights: Uprising, Resistance, MK Ultra

So there you have it. Again, these are just my favorites and I shouldn't be considered a music critic or any kind of authority at all. I just like what I like, OK? That's what's so great about music, isn't it? There's no right or wrong answer!

Do I Dare?

Saturday, November 21, 2009


This weekend I have the honor of playing with the Praise Team at St. Awesome's. It's always an honor, but this weekend is going to be particularly great. We are doing "Where The Streets Have No Name" by U2. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a HUGE U2 fan. They are, in fact, my favorite band!

Anyway, in preparation for the weekend, I have been studying The Edge's delay sound so that I can play the song right and give it the respect it deserves while giving God the praise He deserves. I ran across a video of a guy in Ireland named Gerry who has really nailed The Egde's guitar sounds. He has so many effects in his guitar rig it makes me a bit jealous. After watching his videos over and over, I finally emailed him to see if he could help me out setting up my equipment for the weekend services. He replied back to me promptly and helped me out tremendously. Turns out, he serves with his worship team, as well! Small world, right?

I am just amazed that two people half a world apart can communicate via the Internet and strike up a cyber-friendship. That is really cool to me! I can't help but recognize God at work here. I love when He shows up like this and does really cool things! It's pretty amazing to say the least! I just had to share...

By the way, if you're interested in checking out Gerry's videos, check him out on YouTube. Just search for U2john316. If you're a guitarist, you'll be impressed!

Thanks again, Gerry!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

For Chris...

...and if I'm being real honest with myself, this is for me, too!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

DHARMA Jumpsuit

For those who weren't there, here's the DHARMA costume I wore at the Halloween party last night. I "swiped" the picture from my buddy Patch (shhh.... don't tell!) It was a great time as always. Already thinking about next year!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Just a reminder... U2's show from the Rose Bowl will be broadcast LIVE tonight at 11:30 ET on YouTube. Of course I realize you'll probably be in bed and you're probably not as obsessed with U2 as I am, but if you find yourself unable to sleep, you should definitely tune in!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


OK. Not really. I can't back that up.

I just looked at the date on my last post and realized it's been almost a month since I've added any new content to the ol' blog. All I can say is I'm Sorry! I have been terribly busy (vacation, two U2 concerts a Metallica concert and a Kings of Leon concert, work work and more work, make-ups, break-ups, weddings, Keeneland, Big Blue Madness... you name it, I've done it!). It's been a taxing month to say the least!

Anyway, I never intended for the blog to be a place where I have to constantly apologize for my lack of activity, so let's just say I'll try to do better. Deal?

Now on to more important issues. A few random tidbits of coolness if you will:

-U2 live continues to amaze me. I had the good fortune to see them in Chicago and Atlanta during this tour. Simply amazing! If you're interested, their show from the Rose Bowl will be broadcast LIVE on YouTube Sunday night. No joke... U2 on YouTube! Get it?

-If the new Avett Brothers album isn't my favorite, then it at least ranks right up there with Mignonette and Four Thieves Gone...

-Modern Family could be my new favorite comedy currently airing on television. It really has an Arrested Development feel - to me, at least.

-The new Pearl Jam album ROCKS!!!

-No I haven't seen Zombieland yet. Please stop asking me. I'll get around to it, I promise!

-So far at Keeneland during this meet, I've only lost enough money to pay ONE jockey's salary!

-Welcome to basketball in Kentucky, Coach Cal! I don't think you knew we were THIS crazy!

-Congrats to good friends Faith and Lewie on their recent marriage!

-Speaking of good friends, I am overwhelmingly blessed with the best on earth! Be it family friends, high school friends, college friends, work friends, church friends or just "around town friends", you guys are awesome!

-I'm really excited about Halloween this year. Now let's just hope I don't have another hernia attack like last year...

-Have I mentioned that Chicago is the coolest city on the face of the planet?

-I'm sick of Jon and Kate, Octomom and Balloon Boy...

-No I haven't read Dan Brown's new book yet. Please stop asking me. I'll get around to it, I promise!

That's all for now. I know I still need to do a concert recap of U2, Metallica and Kings of Leon. Please stop asking me. I'll get around to it, I promise!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I feel like I just went to church with 65,000 people in Chicago!

(Translation: I just got back to the room after the U2 concert!)

Full re-cap of the weekend's festivities coming next week. I have some great pictures to share!

Now I'm going to sleep...


Did I Tell You What I'm Doing Tonight?


Friday, September 4, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

R.I.P. Les Paul

Les Paul, who invented the solid-body electric guitar later weilded by a legion of rock giants, died Thursday of complications from pneumonia. He was 94.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Heroes Footage

OK. I'll be the first to admit that Heroes was a bit of a disappointment last year, but this preview gives me hope. It actually looks pretty freakin' sweet! Check it out...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Mysteries Of The Universe???

Upcoming episodes:


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

ABC Is Going To Auction LOST Props in May 2010!!!

Looks like the Harley will have to wait... Here's the official press release (Thanks for the heads-up Cher!!):

Calabasas, CA, July 21, 2009— Fans of the hit television show LOST will be getting a sneak preview. No, they can’t see it on TV, but they CAN see it at Comic Con!

ABC is pleased to announce the “LOST” Auction will take place after the series finale in May 2010. “In celebration of our fans around the world, Profiles in History has been selected to auction a selection of original props, set pieces, costumes and collectors’ artifacts from the entire series in order to give our fans a chance to own a piece of one of the greatest, most iconic shows in history. A first look at some of these items will take place at this year’s San Diego Comic Con.”

Profiles in History, the world’s largest Hollywood memorabilia auctioneer, will host this four-day sneak preview at booth #315 at the San Diego Comic Con July 23-26, and conduct this historic auction in May 2010. Kate’s toy plane, Hurley’s winning lottery ticket, Locke’s hunting knife, Sawyer’s letter, Charlie’s guitar, Mr. Eko’s club as well as other key props, costumes and set pieces from the first five seasons of LOST will be on display at Comic Con.

Profiles in History President, Joseph Maddalena: “Profiles in History is thrilled to be holding the LOST Auction. LOST is one of the most iconic TV shows ever created, and we are working in conjunction with ABC to offer fans from around the world an opportunity to own a memento of this amazing show. This is a once in a lifetime auction event that will celebrate one of the most beloved shows in television history.”

For more information about Profiles in History and to download complete catalogs from previous auctions, please visit

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Pearl Jam Single "The Fixer" Out Today

You can hear the new single at the band's official site. I think it has kind of an '80's feel with hints of The Police in there, but I've only heard it once. Check it out at and you be the judge.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Yessir!!! We Get Another Hour of LOST Next Season!

The final season, which was originally scheduled for 17 hours, will now run a total of 18 hours! Read more on the matter here:

Official Electronic Press Kit From The First Night Of The U2 Tour

Watch it while you can. I'm sure they'll take it down soon...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The U2 Tour Started Today

Here are a few pictures from opening night in Barcelona. Yes, that's a huge stage... 16-stories high in fact! I can't wait to see this. September 12 and October 6 can't get here fast enough!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Highly Recommended Summertime Viewing

So I'm a little late to the party with this one... For years I've heard from several people just how awesome this show is, so I finally caved... and I'm glad I did! It reminds me A LOT of my old high school...
This is simply good television. You don't have to be a genius to enjoy it. And let's face it, we all need something to hold us over until LOST returns, right?
Go to your local video store or add it to your Netflix queue... you won't regret it.

Yeah I'm Excited!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

I Really REALLY Want To Hear This Tomorrow Night

Tomorrow night, a group of friends and I are going to Kentucky Theatre to see The Avett Brothers. I've been looking forward to this show for months. It took me a long time to pin down my favorite Avett Brothers song (because there are so many to choose from!!), but I think I've finally decided on "Talk On Indolence". Here's the video. Check it out!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dave Matthews Band - Live in Cincinnati

Last night, my buddy Clay and I drove up to Riverbend Music Center to see Dave Matthews Band for the umpteenth time. What a show!!!! Here's the setlist:

Shake Me Like a Monkey
Funny The Way It Is
Stay Or Leave
Dive In
The Stone
Anyone Seen The Bridge
Too Much (Fake)
Ants Marching
Lying In the Hands of God
Why I Am
Lie In Our Graves
So Damn Lucky
Jimi Thing
You and Me
Grey Street

Alligator Pie

Stay Or Leave!! The Stone!! Lie In Our Graves!! So Damn Lucky!! HALLOWEEN!!!!!!! I really don't think I could have asked for more surprises...
Next up on the concert agenda is Goose Creek Symphony at The Dame Friday night followed by The Avett Brothers at Kentucky Theatre next Tuesday. As always, stay tuned!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Guess Who's Coming to Rupp Arena...

Happy DMB Week!

"If you don't like this album, you should ask the person nearest you to punch you in the face." -David J. Matthews

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Kings Of Leon - Live In Cincinnati

Simply put, Kings Of Leon are everything you could want from a rock band and a Kings Of Leon concert is everything you could want from a rock concert. Here's the setlist from last night:

Taper Jean Girl
My Party
Be Somebody
Molly's Chambers
4 Kicks
Sex on Fire
The Bucket
On Call
Cold Desert
Use Somebody
Slow Night, So Long
Knocked Up
Black Thumbnail

Friday, May 8, 2009

This. Was. Awesome.

What I've Been Listening To Lately

I can't seem to get enough of these guys. They are definitely one of my new favorites. I can't believe it took me so long to hear them. This is actually their second full-length album (they also have two EPs).
If you're in the mood for something new, you should check out Manchester Orchestra. I plan to grab their earlier tunes very soon!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dave Matthews Band - Live in Nashville

Yesterday my buddy Charley and I drove to Nashville to see Dave Matthews Band. It was a great weekend all around - from the drive down I-65 listening to random music to the perfect weather to the concert itself. The whole weekend was a real blast and a much-needed break from work and life in general.

As for the show, what can I say? Simply put, it was probably the best DMB show I've seen in five years. Here's the setlist:

Grey Street
Last Stop (Tease)
Seek Up
Burning Down The House
Why I Am
Anyone Seen The Bridge
Too Much (Tease)
Ants Marching
You Might Die Trying
Crash Into Me
Corn Bread
Funny The Way It Is
Jimi Thing
Two Step
Blue Water
All Along The Watchtower

As you can see, they played a good mix of really old and really new (and yet-to-be-released) songs. It was a great time as always.

One down... many many many more shows to go. Kings of Leon in Cincinnati is the next show on the list this summer... I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

U2? In Chicago? On A Saturday Night? OK, I'll Go!!!

Just got tickets!!!! I'm so excited!!! I've never been to Chicago and to see U2 outdoors on a Saturday night in the Windy City is going to be awesome!

Now I just need to find someone to go with me...

Monday, March 16, 2009

HIGHLY Recommended Viewing

This is basically Simon Pegg and the rest of the Shaun of the Dead crew in a BBC series from 1999 and 2001. Do yourself a favor and watch it.

You're welcome!

Weekend Re-Cap

After a quick pit stop by Bar Louie to wish Patch and The Colonel a happy birthday, it was off to O'Neill's Irish Pub to meet up with a group of friends and see my favorite '80's cover band, Long Duk Dong. Yes, they're back together! (Ed. note - Actually, this depends on which band member you ask). It was a great time and the band sounded as good as ever. I really hope they stick with it. Lexington is much quieter when they're not around.

After sleeping in really late (say 1:00 p.m.), I lounged around on the couch all day and watched basketball. I finally managed to pull myself up off the couch for a shower and made my way to the 5:30 service at St. Awesome's. Then it was off to Applebee's to meet another group of friends and then (you guessed it) back to O'Neill's for Long Duk Dong - Night Two. Only this time there was a line around the corner and once we got in, we couldn't move. It was packed. It was hot. It was miserable. I don't know what the capacity is at O'Neill's, but I would bet the farm that there were at least 500 people crammed in there. It was ridiculous. So after hearing five songs or so, me and the boys decided to leave. This really sucked, but I'd seen LDD the night before, so I feel like I really didn't miss much.

Because I attended the Saturday service and had no obligations at church last weekend, I got to sleep in again. It was wonderful! At some point late Sunday morning/early Sunday afternoon I took a shower and drove up to the parents' for lunch. Mom watched LOST all day and I answered her questions (all 1,000,000,000 of them!). I can't believe she's stuck with this crazy show. I'm proud of her!

If You're Not Watching Kings on NBC... don't know what you're missing. Best new show of the season, by far. Give it a try!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Masterpiece In The Making

Update... Finally!

My "sister" brought it to my attention that it's been nearly a month since I've updated the blog, so Cher, this is for you! Here's what I've been up to...

-I paid my truck off and bought a new television. LOST looks excellent in glorious Hi Def.

-Got tickets for Dave Matthews Band in Nashville and Kings of Leon in Cincinnati.

-Played a lot of guitar at church. Between Lexington and Georgetown, I think I've had two weekends off since Christmas. I'm not complaining. I love doing it.

-While watching The Oscars, I realized I hadn't seen any of the Best Picture nominees... Still haven't.

-I started going to the gym again. No, seriously...

-Got the new U2 album. I think it's the best thing they've done since Achtung Baby

-Decided not to go to Bonnaroo this year. Not really excited about this year's lineup...

-The new Dave Matthews Band album is called Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King. I'm not really sure what that means, but I like it.

-I'm letting my hair grow out again... time for a change.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

LOST Is Destroying My Life

This morning I had a dream. I dreamed I was in The Hatch. Apparently I didn't push the button in time, so the alarm started going off and those weird red and black hieroglyphics came up on the countdown clock. I was freaking out, running for cover. I was breathless. "What have I done?" I thought. "How could I let this happen?"

Luckily this was only a dream. The alarm I heard was only my alarm clock telling me it's time to get ready for work. I was still freaking out a bit, still breathless. My heart was pounding. I was sweating. I was in that not-quite-awake-yet-but-no-longer-asleep state of mind. When I came to fully understand what was going on, I couldn't help but laugh at myself!

LOST is finally starting to take its toll on my mind. I'm just waiting for my consciousness to start jumping around from one moment in time to another. Any day now I'll probably start suffering headaches and nosebleeds. Maybe I should start looking for my "constant"...

For those of you reading this post who don't watch LOST, this isn't the least bit funny. If you do watch LOST, I hope you got a little chuckle from it!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys?

In a few months I am going to be debt-free (well, except for a mortgage payment but you get the idea). I was discussing this with one of my friends the other day and he asked what I was going to do with all the extra cash I will have each month. While I know I'll be responsible with any extra cash I'll have, there are a few "toys" I've been wanting.

Many of you know I play guitar. I try to play several different styles and, thus, there have been many guitarist over the years that have influenced my playing - James Hetfield, Dave Matthews, Warren Haynes and David Gilmour are just a few. Each of these guitarists are absolutely tremendous at what they do and they have a sound that is unique to each of them. Hetfield is the greatest metal rhythm guitarist there is. When you hear that Hetfield "crunch", you know it's him. Dave Matthews, on the other hand, took the acoustic guitar to places few could even imagine let alone replicate. Warren Haynes can not only play southern rock and blues riffs that command you to listen for hours at a time, he has the voice to match. Finally, David Gilmour is the guy that plays a solo and you immediately say to yourself, "Man, that's exactly what I would have done - if I could do it!" All these guys have shaped my performance and understanding of the instrument.

Yet one guy, in my opinion, stands out even more than these guys. He is Dave Evans, aka The Edge. He can play rock, blues, gospel, jazz, country, etc. and make them all his own. Plus, he plays in what I would call a very "minimalist" fashion. He is the epidome of the "less is more" school of guitar playing. Since 1980, no one hears an echo or delay effect and not think, if only for a brief second, that it just has to be The Edge playing that!

With all that being said, I weighed all my options and decided that if there was one guitarist's rig that I would like to replicate, it would be The Edge's since he has such a tremendous overall sound. So after a little research, I found a list of equipment I'll need in order to achieve this sound. Looks like I'll have to keep on wanting!!!!

'67 Rickenbacker 330-12
'66 Telecaster
'62 Epiphone Casino
'63 Gretch Country Gentlemen
'65 Gibson SG
'75 Gibson Les Paul w/custom bridge pickup
'73 Fender Stratocaster w/ custom-installed bridge pickup
'76 Gibson Explorer
'61 Gibson ES-335TD
Gibson "Pete Townshend" J-200
Two custom Line 6 Variax acoustic guitars

Effect Pedals

Floor Effects:
Volume controller
Original Digitech WH-1 Whammy Dunlop Wah
Boss TU-2 Tuner
Skrydstrup SC-1 system foot controller

Rack Effects:
Eventide Ultra-Harmonizer
Two Lexicon PCM Processors
Four 2290 T.C. Electronic Delays
Two Line 6 Pod Pros
Two AMS S-DMX digital delay/sampler
Two Korg SDD30000 delays
Two Korg A3 multi-effects
Two Line 6 rackmounted version DM4 distortion modelers(custom made)
Rocktron DVC dynamic volume controller

Stomp boxes(on rack):
Lovetone Meatball envelope filter
Lovetone Doppelganger phaser/vibrato
Original EHX Big Muff
Original Amped Scrambler
Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer
Boss GE-7
Boss CS-2 Compression/Sustainer
Boss PW-2 Power Driver
Boss FA-1 FET amp/ preamp booster
Skrydstrup Bufferooster boost
Sobbat Drive Breaker

Two early sixties Vox AC30TB(main and backup)
Custom Vox AC30TB head with Vox 2x12 cab
1956 Fender Deluxe Tweed w/ Vox Vintage speaker
Customized Fender Blues Jr.
Early seventies Vox AC30TB

So, if any of you reading this have recently won the lottery and feel the need to contribute to my dream of one day obtaining these "toys", please feel free to give me a call!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Coming March 3

Wanna hear U2's new single "Get On Your Boots"?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Winter... What's The Point???

I'm just going to come right out with it: I HATE WINTER!!!!!

It's cold. It snows. It gets dark early. You can't keep your vehicle clean no matter how hard you try. When the snow melts, guess what? It gets muddy! And filthy! And nasty! And dirty! Any kind of outdoor activity is impossible unless you like building snowmen or skiing/snowboarding. I hate that my power/heating bill TRIPLES in the wintertime. I hate wearing three layers of clothing and never being comfortable.

Winter SUCKS!!!

Do I have to say it again? Okay: I HATE WINTER!!!!!

Basically, you could put me to bed on November 1 and wake me up on April 1 and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't miss much (hey, I can DVR the UK and Steelers games and watch them when I wake up).


I realize that God has a plan for everything and a reason why we need winter. Apparently, the snow cleanses the earth and the cold kills a lot of germs and disease and other general "funk" that otherwise would run rampant and destroy much of God's glorious creation (and probably the people living in it, as well).

I'm more of a spring and summer guy. I love going to outdoor concerts, baseball games and auto races. I love going to Keeneland and Churchill Downs. I love hanging out on the patio with a bunch of friends having drinks and talking about everything and nothing at all. I love grilling out. I love playing cornhole. I love wearing shorts and t-shirts and being comfortable.

Now before you start leaving comments about what an ungrateful jerk I am, let me put your minds at ease. I know how lucky I am. I haven't forgotten everything I've been blessed with. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back and a job that allows me to pay the power bill even when it triples. At least I have the extra layers to wear even when I'm uncomfortable. There are many among us that don't have homes or heat or clothing. Just take one trip to the Men's Hope Center or a homeless shelter and you will see just how truly blessed you really are. I get it. I really do. But it doesn't change the fact that winter, in my humble opinion, simply sucks!

I guess I should stop ranting and start appreciating God's blessings more. However, one day when I meet Him, I'm sure one of my questions will be, "Winter. Why?"

I guess there are some good things about winter. Not only are there Steelers and UK games, but there are also some pretty great TV shows to watch (LOST, anyone?).

I guess being cooped up inside has its advantages, after all! But I still hate winter...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Global warming is like the earth having a hot flash." -Amie

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009