Thursday, January 12, 2012

Birthday Giveaway | Win Tickets to Ryan Adams at The Peabody Opera House (Presented by The Pageant)

Speakers in Code turned two on January 4th, so we've decided to make this our "birthday giveaway," because, simply put, if Ryan Adams didn't exist, this blog wouldn't exist. It's safe to say that he's one of our favorite songwriters, inspiring us all with his words and melodies, and his new album, Ashes & Fire, is one of his best. 

Adams (with opener Jason Isbell) will be playing his first solo-acoustic show in Saint Louis on January 31st at the Peabody Opera House, and while nothing may ever beat this RA performance at the Pageant in 2004, it'll probably rank right up there. So, we want you to go.

That's right, we have four tickets to giveaway to two lucky winners (a pair to each winner)!

To enter, all you have to do is the following:

Tell us your favorite Ryan Adams/Whiskeytown song and why. You can send this to us in one of three ways (please only enter once):

1. Leave it as a comment on our Facebook page.

2. Leave it as a comment on this post (please also leave your email for this entry).

3. Send an e-mail to

The contest will run through January 19th, and we'll pick two winners (based on our favorite responses) and e-mail the winners on January 20th (if you enter through FB, we'll announce your name on our FB page). Good luck!


  1. Choosing a favorite RA song is hard - partially because there's so many to choose from, and partially because there's such a range in styles.

    But, since I have to pick, I may go off-menu a bit.

    I'm going with "Hey Mrs. Lovely" from the unofficial "Destroyer" record. There's something pure in Adams's spare recording, two guitars and two vocal tracks rarely feel this pained. It's not perfect - there are coughs and other asides that'd get cut from most studio releases - but in a way, that's what makes the track so damned great.

    The song resurfaced later on "Easy Tiger" under the new name "These Girls," but it somehow seemed to lose the fragile beauty of the earlier demo. A tweaked chorus and less personal viewpoint took a potential classic and warped it to a merely great tune.

  2. Picking one song is impossible and I refuse to claim one as a favorite over another. What I will say is I have a favorite song for every mood I could be in. The song I will list here for contest purposes would be "I See Monsters". The live version is at times better than anything I could imagine, but I like to fall back on the recording from time to time.

  3. From a memory standpoint: 16 Days. I'll never forget the first time I heard the song. I was driving to the barn to see my trusty steed, Sebastian. Suddenly, lilting violin, a sweet man's voice and and amazing lyrics flowed from the radio. Our local stations had been playing predictable progressive and classic rock for far too long. This fresh sound stopped me in my tracks!I immediately phoned the station to inquire of the artist. I jotted down the name, Whiskeytown, purchased the disc that afternoon and never looked back. So enthusiastic about my new find, I played it constantly, practically grabbing strangers to listen to Strangers Almanac. This was long before the days of disc burners and iTunes. In the end, I probably purchased 20 copies to give to friends. I knew Ryan would be significant in his contribution to the music industry. I'm proud of the fact I was right. When Whiskeytown finally came to Norfolk, Va, (1998?) I was eagerly awaiting their arrival at the college bar, Friar Tucks. Incensed by the crowd's cheering of football on the bar TV, Ryan walked off the stage after three songs, never to return. We wound up drinking beer with Caitlin Cary and the rest of the band as they lamented Ryan's temper. Before leaving that night, we pulled up next to the tour bus, cranked up 16 Days and called out to Ryan, "We're your biggest fans"! I like to think he was sleeping soundly... But I do think he owes me a concert!

  4. inn town would have to be my favorite wt/ra song and it is hard to pick just one like the others have posted. that being said the harmonies are amazing and lyrically one of his more straight forward meanings make it a great song to introduce new people to his songwriting.

  5. Ryan Adams has some of the truest fans you can meet, and for good reason. Being one of those fans I have to agree that is so hard to pick just one song as he has written a song to perfectly mesh with any mood you are in, sometimes I even feel like he is singing my life back to me with beautiful music.
    If I have to pick one it will be Answering Bell, because that is the first song of his I ever heard. I came from a small town where we could get 4 country stations, 1 pop station, and a classic rock station. None of which ever played DRA or WT. It wasn't until 2004, when I moved away from home that I heard my first Ryan Adams song. I was instantly hooked, loved everything about it and have since bought and downloaded everything of his I can get my hands on, I have even bought his first poetry book and will soon acquire the second.
    Ryan Adams is a true lyrical genius and I'm so glad I did move to a place that puts real music on the radio!

  6. As any true RA fan knows, picking one song as your favorite is a near impossible task. Favorites seem to change with the seasons; so many incredible songs come to mind. It's comparison of infinities; a winding wheel of a task. One song, "Friends," while just like all those others is about "as pretty as a song could ever be," rises above some of the others. I choose it as my favorite because it speaks to who we can share all this amazing music with. Why such collaborations such as "speakers in code" exists. "Friends" embodies RA's dimensions as an artist with two equally amazing versions (the dreamy one on Cold Roses, and the sincere acoustic (for Beth). He can whimsically make a whole new version with a completely different feel as these too version display that admirably. "Friends" also contains some of those mind-blowing RA lyrics. Those ones that at first sound cliche - deceptively simple, like you've heard them before. But therein lies the genius - you realize no has ever said it just like that before. "This afternoon with you was something like a letter, the kind that someone rights but never sends" is such a lyric. In the end, while so many of his songs reveal so much about loneliness and pain, "friends" reminds us that memories of relationships transcend time, however fleeting they sometimes appear. We will always have those precious experiences, long after those relationships end ("and when you pass on, I bet you miss your friends"). Truth is so many of RA's songs repeat inside me like broken records, spinning pretty things behind my eyes, but "Friends" reminds me of who I can share them with.

  7. Had some typos up there - did it off the cuff.