Monday, July 21, 2014

Dylan Cover #147 Anton & Cat "Wedding Song"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a live cover by Anton & Cat playing "Wedding Song"

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this song:
Coming off the underrated Planet Waves, this song has always been tricky for us. Dylan is never this direct, this open. It is not to say he isn't honest, he very well may be here and it could be a beautiful song of caring about his wife. It even has the benefit of not explicitly naming her like in "Sara", but this is also coming from the same album where "Dirge" is featured and seems to be the flip-side to this coin in all aspects. Taking "Wedding Song" at face value makes it a lovely sweet tune, but are things ever that easy with the Bard? 

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
I am not sure who Art and Cat are, but the youtube channel belongs to Anton ten Broeke so a good guess he is the strumming half of the acoustic duo as they play this song at an art gallery opening.
Thoughts on Cover:
Well it is wedding season again, why not go back to this one? Today we have an interesting upbeat take on this cover that showcases some forceful vocals. Most covers of this tune goes sweet, but Cat here sings with almost a pissed off tone, pretty unique.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Full Show Friday: Pantera 1992

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us celebrate Full Show Friday's. These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)
This week...Pantera!
In the mood for some metal this Friday and we get a short powerful dose of it here from Pantera back in 1992 in Italy on the Monsters of Rock Tour. We weren't huge Pantera fans, they were somewhere in the middle of the pack as we were concerned regarding bands of that style in that era. For example when we caught them in Albany with Sepultura and Bio-hazard I would rank them third on that night (Sepultura far away 1) even though they headlined.

That said this is a pretty powerful performance (as was that show back at the Knick). The sound is odd but the playing is top notch. R.I.P. Dimebag. This is also the 20th Anniversary of Far Beyond Driven which is the last album of the groups we got into so we figured it was time to pay tribute. "Domination" is brutal "Rise" grooves and the last two jams "Fucking Hostile" and "Cowboys From Hell" are raw.


Mouth for War
(with Hollow outro)
This Love
Fucking Hostile
Cowboys From Hell

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Album Review: The Donkey's- Ride The Black Wave

The Donkey's
Ride The Black Wave
***and1/2 out of *****
On the first song, "Sunny Daze" off The Donkey's new album the question is posed "Should I stay in California/Should I move to France?" for a band that seems so rooted in the Southern Left Coast laid back sound you would imagine only pretension and grandiose thoughts would be following them to the south of France, thankfully there is little of either of those notions to be found on Ride The Black Wave.   

A collection of delightfully mixed up surf tracks, dream pop numbers and retro rock outings are complied to create this quirky disk. The four piece from San Diego get their "la-la-la's" out on "The Manx" just as easily as they shift gears to laid back groovy on "Nothing". The band seems to follow their own muse while it can make for a disjointed listen at times things just feel easy and never forced.

There is a lot of Pavement style song writing here and by twisting up the sounds (sitar on "Imperial Beach" steel guitar on the tiny gem "Brown Eyed Lady") the group while clearly influenced by lots of others still manages to sound fresh. Things aren't perfect, the title track tries to incorporate a lot of these styles (plus a new darker vibe) into a 3 minute song with some weak rhyming lyrics ("I've been up/I've been down/I was lost/ When I was found"), a misstep on a disk that doesn't have many.

There also are hints at something much larger behind the surface on tracks like "Blues In The Afternoon". This song while only a minute and forty four seconds hits a clear nerve positively leaving me guessing what the band could do if they stretched a tune like this out. The final track "Shines" ends things on the most radio friendly tip the band has displayed and while could work selling Volkswagen's it still manages to feel at home on this loose disk.     

Oh and going back to that first question asked in "Sunny Daze"? By the fourth song trickily titled "I Heart Alabama" we find out The Donkey's are staying in sunny Southern California, right where they belong. 
Fun disk. Support the band here, grab the album here and peep some video below:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Album Review: Trampled By Turtles- Wild Animals

Trampled By Turtles
Wild Animals
**and1/2 out of *****

The bluegrass players from Duluth, Minnesota return for their 8th release after having hit number 1 on the bluegrass chart with their last 2 studio albums (with a live disk just missing the top spot). This time the talented 5 piece reign in their soloing tendencies and craft a softer overall album upon which banjos, mandolins and violins mesh and flow.  

The title track on the disk is a melodic harmonizing jaunt that buzzes at the edges and showcases the groups focus on vocal dexterity in the vein of Fleet Foxes, a track that clearly lets you know what you are in for on the rest of the disk. The band keeps 'er easy with the swaying "Repetition" which contains echoing big vocals, the behind seems restrained and haunting on "Lucy" while "Hollow" is breezy pleasant country number.  

When folk/bluegrass/acoustic bands slow down this much a focus gets put directly on details, specifically production values, vocals and lyrics. On the first two of those Wild Animals gets high marks (behind Alan Sparhawk's production and the bands tight vocal arraignments) but on the third the results aren't as hot.

Most songs lyrically leave very little impression, while no clunkers, there are few (if any) whose refrain stick with you. On the better end of things is the Woody Guthrie sounding "Nobody Knows" and the disk closing "Winners". The flip side is "Are You Behind The Shining Star?" which is a moving melodic tune that could have soared even higher with more memorable words. This seems to be a constant issue; gorgeous musicianship and production but nothing that drives the tune home. 

Tracks like the mellow My Morning Jacket-light sounding "Silver Light", "Ghosts" with it's textural buzzing and the speedgrass number "Come Back Home" all reward with multiple listens, the last in particular shows the band hasn't completely abandoned their rollicking ways. 
Support the band here, buy the album here, see them live here and peep some video below:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Album Review: Buckethead- Pike 65 Hold Me Forever (In memory of my mom Nancy York Carroll)

Pike 65 Hold Me Forever (In memory of my mom Nancy York Carroll)
***and1/2 out of *****
The enigma that is the tall lanky KFC chicken pail wearing guitar virtuoso becomes a bit more humanized with the newest release of his massive Pike Series. The title says it all as the 28 minute instrumental offering pays homage to his mother who recently passed away.

Losing a parent is heart breaking and for someone who says almost nothing regarding his personal life with words this is obviously a deeply emotional time for the guitar giant. The album though is never depressing, it is a tour-de-force in the virtuoso's patented style as he riffs all around the sonic universe. Heavily shredding in front of layers of sounds, including multiple guitars, drums and digital insertions.

The disk plays as a straight shot through different cosmic sections, things ease from mellow to exhilarating. At the 16 minute post Buckethead's fingers are doing frantic flips all over the guitar neck. Those progressions build and soar even dip into a killer hip hop riff as the tempo stays manically upbeat for over 10 minutes until the close of the disk; this is the mega-solo of the year.  

The last time we addressed one of the Buckethead releases was when he showed us behind the mask with a cover shot on Pike 13 featuring his father. These emotional connections add more depth and humanity to the man's music which at times can feel robotic and sterile, often by the artists choice. Few have done better creating a myth and massive collection of work to go with it, here's hoping Brian Carroll gets through this trying time positively and continues to create insane guitar rock.
Support the artist here, buy the album here and peep some video below.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Dylan Cover #146 Ed Sheeran "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from Ed Sheeran and is a live cover of "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" 
Thought's on Original:
From the first time we reviewed a cover of this tune:
Yet another one of the mega-Dylan tunes that we haven't covered someone else covering on this site (got that covered?).  Hard to believe because this song is so iconic and flat out awesome.  Biting and yet not bitter, a toss off of the grandest proportions, "Don' Think Twice" is epic and yet so straight forwardly simple. It easily ranks as one of the bard's best works, truly a classic.  

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
For someone who loves music and listens to tons of new artists it is always shocking how little I know about mainstream pop music. I had never heard of Ed Sheeran until listening to this today, but apparently I am one of the few who don't know him since he is an international success. I will go back to my ignorance on the mainstream when this post is done....
Thoughts on Cover:
First thing that stood out was the delicate playing demonstrated on this cover. Sheeran does a good job lightly picking the song along before changing tempos up at the end. His singing is fine, keeping things in his own voice and still doing the song justice, a fine cover.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Full Show Friday: U2 Glastonbury 2011

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us celebrate Full Show Friday's. These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)...
This week...U2!

From 2011 the boys in U2 prove they are still one of the biggest bands in the world. We have always skirted the fringes of the band, enjoying them slightly but never seeing them live or really putting them on all that often. They were mainstream and creative enough to stay cool through lots of tumultuous musical years and the fact they are still kicking is a plus.

The setlist has all the old gems but also newer tunes we are not really fans of. Love "Mysterious Ways" "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "I Will Follow" while "One" simply put is one of the best pop/rock/whatever songs ever written. The show is pro-shot with pro sound, setlist is under the video.


00:00 - Even Better Than The Real Thing
04:00 - The Fly
08:45 - Mysterious Ways
13:20 - Until The End Of The World
18:05 - One
23:45 - Where The Streets Have No Name
29:20 - I Will Follow
33:10 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
37:35 - Stay
42:52 - Beautiful Day
49:06 - Elevation
52:57 - Get On Your Boots
56:50 - Vertigo
1:01:25 - Sunday Bloody Sunday
1:05:36 - Bad
1:11:30 - Pride In The Name Of Love
1:15:48 - With or Without you
1:21:32 - Yellow/Moment of Surrender