Friday, December 19, 2014

Full Show Friday: Mumford & Sons 2012 iTunes Festival

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...Mumford & Sons!
A few beefy years ago our friend recommended this group to us. Not bad, but not really our cup of English bluegrass tea. Either way we wanted to showcase some acoustic action this week as the last few Full Show Friday's shows have been funk filled and noise rock prone. With that in mind we kick it back to Mumford & Sons.
The full setlist is below but songs we dug from this set in 2012 were "Little Lion Man", "Roll Away Your Stone" and "Dust Bowl Dance". Enjoy:

1:54 Lover's Eyes
7:53 Little Lion Man
12:57 White Blank Page
18:02 Not With Haste
22:58 Below My Feet
29:00 Timshel
32:47 Roll Away Your Stone
38:00 Lover of the Light
44:56 Thistle & Weeds
51:05 Ghosts That We Knew
58:42 Awake My Soul
1:03:45 Whispers in the Dark
1:08:50 Dust Bowl Dance
1:15:40 Where are you Now?
1:20:40 I Will Wait
1:25:43 The Cave

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Album Review: Thurston Moore- The Best Day

Thurston Moore
The Best Day
*** out of *****
With a self titled release and a picture of his mother on the cover it would be easy to guess that Thurston Moore would be continuing with his acoustic based introspective solo project work on The Best Day, but here instead he offers a Sonic Youth-light effort that affirms he can still make glorious noise, but doesn't showcase anything new from the legend.

Bringing back into the fold drummer Steve Shelley and adding James Sedwarda and Debbie Googe in the Lee Ranaldo and Kim Gordon roles respectively, Moore has assembled a unit that sounds a lot like his famous one. The music itself on The Best Day plays like copyrighted SY action if not as abrasive and right off the bat the group gets exploratory.
Opener "Speak To The Wild" roles out easily and builds with distinct guitars and a steady beat for over eight plus minutes. "Forevemore" ups the game in the same vein going for almost twelve minutes through different soundscapes of experimental post punk rock. These are the two longest running tracks on the disk and set the tone that the group is not afraid to free up and improvise. They also happen to be the most satisfying overall efforts as the interplay works well.  

After those two run their course the band becomes tighter with the punky "Detonation" and "Vocabularies" before expanding again for the closing combo of the excellent seven minute instrumental "Grace Lake" and "Germs Burn". Musically there is not much different from the later day Sonic Youth it is just the lyrics and vocals that can begin to get stale.

While Sedwards is a great guitar foil and Googe brings her rhythmic noise pedigree from My Bloody Valentine not having Ranaldo and Gordon to vocally change the script can lead to Moore overload. While his vocals have never been his strong point, his lyrics have been very poetic and here nothing really sticks or hits home. The strongest lyrics seem to be regarding mixtape making love on "Tape" as Moore sounds more honest here then repeating "I Want To Love You Forevermore" over and over again.

With Chelsea Light Moving's excellent one off release Moore felt invigorated, aggressive and still expanding his musical and lyrical horizons. Here it sounds like he went back to a safe musical place and one he has visited so often it seems a touch derivative. While longtime fans (present company included) will find solace in the familiar clashing guitars, The Best Day isn't the freshest, something he mentioned his famous band was lacking...not much has changed solo.   
We love Thurston, but this one didn't really speak to us as some of his recent past releases have, even though there isn't much wrong with it, it made us just reach for a SY album.

Anyway, support the artist here, buy the album here and peep some video below:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Spin's Phish Songs List: A Round Table Discussion

So there was this a few months ago and it was painful to read. RtBE decided to poll our friends who collectively have been to over 3,912 Phish shows to see their thoughts on the topic.  Here is the discussion that took place:

Album Review: Candi Staton- Life Happens

Candi Staton
Life Happens
***and1/2 out of *****
Not everyone gets out of volatile relationships so it is with great joy Candi Staton came out of her "hell on earth" marriage to former MLB player Otis Nixon not only in one piece, but creatively inspired enough to release her come back album Life Happens

There is a sense of joy that is tempered by a clear feeling of relief on the 14 tracks on the disk. The blues and soul are also present as Life Happens marks the triumphant return pairing of Staton and Muscle Shoals legend Rick Hall. That classic Muscle Shoals sound is flowing through the disks opening and clearly best track here "I Ain't Easy To Love".

Singing with Jason Isbell and John Paul White, Staton tackles a tune written by Angela Hacker and James Leblanc, performing with that classic slippery soul backing instrumentation. The end result is a dynamic offering that changes singers POV's over a grooving beat and easy organ. Staton's voice is passionate and when paired with the fellas accentuated even more distinctly for her powerful blues and soul; a real show stopper tune.

Her relationship with Nixon gets a direct account on almost all of the tunes including "Beware She's After Your Man" as Staton offers some sage advice for future relationships over a funky bass line. "Treat Me Like A Secret" and "My Hearts On Empty" both keeping the funky soul moving as Staton gets her pipes blaring showing off her vocal and lyrical chops having written both of these successful tracks.  

Things aren't perfect, the production at times can become too easy listening such as the background on "Where Were You When You Knew" and "Commitment" sounds closer to that 80's cheese sound then it should; a more traditional gospel instrumentation would better suit the subject matter.

Staton sounds invigorated and matches perfectly with her players like on "Close To You" and the mix of funk/soul/disco on "Three Minutes To A Relapse" which is a powerful testament. The resilience of Staton is inspiring and a track like "Even The Bad Times Are Good" is a great number that matches that 70's Muscle Shoals with Staton's vocals effortlessly, hopefully her personal life stays as positive and powerful as Life Happens.    
Great disk. Support the artist here, buy the album here and peep some video below:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Year In Review 2014- Top Ten Albums Part 2 (10-6)

Here is Part 2 of RtBE's Top Ten Albums of 2014.  (Part 1 was here if you missed it) We are continuing our Year In Review for 2014 and lots of goodies still to come...
In the instance that RtBE have reviewed the album either on the site or somewhere else we will link to that review, just click on the Band name and title to get there. RtBE worked with the Glide Team to give input on the their Top 20 so expect some overlap. 

Again the focus here is on full albums, not singles, but full releases you can slap on and listen to the full way through. We know these are a dying breed, but it still is the way we consume music, no shuffle or singles for us. We will also remove ourselves from the rankings but we wouldn't mind if you gave it a listen.

After the jump you will see our list for numbers 10-6, this year seemed to be top heavy with a few really amazing releases and then a sizable gap. These are all excellent and worth your hard earned money and hard drive space, so without further ado Click that read more link.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dylan Cover #168 Craig Finn "Sweetheart Like You"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Craig Finn playing "Sweetheart Like You" 
In the beginning of this year we mentioned of a new collection of Dylan covers that we were very excited about. It has taken us some time but for the month of December we will focus on 5 songs from Bob Dylan In the 80's Vol 1. Put on your Members Only jacket and enjoy.  
Thoughts on Original:
All of the songs on Infidels  stuck around to long in the Bards brain (which we talked about before). While "Jokerman" overwhelms as a rambling waterfall of a song the first time you hear it, "Sweetheart Like You" is clear evidence of that fact that things were left to simmer on the stove longer then needed. It is a mix of condescension, sexy, sexist, insecure and scattered. In fact those things make for an amazing Dylan tune, but in this case I don't feel it really adds up to a classic or much of a very good song at all.    

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Craig Finn? Never heard of him...actually for anyone who reads this regularly you know we are enamored with Finn and think he is one of the top three lyricists in rock and roll today; and yes that includes the man who this series is about. We love Finn, he speaks to us both literally and figuratively. Even when we can't dig on the new album we love his lyrics.
Thoughts on Cover:
What was said up there about what makes this song feel a bit odd in Dylan's hands is exactly what makes this a perfect choice for Finn to cover. He nails the awkward, questioning, insecure vibe and makes it more charming and palatable. They way he guys back to the hat line in the finale? Brilliant. It all means nothing or everything in that moment. The music is rock solid as well, making this one of the better covers on the collection.   

Friday, December 12, 2014

Full Show Friday: Nirvana 4/10/90 Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, MI

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.. Nirvana! 
This Full Show Friday is going to toss it back to a little band from the Pacific Northwest that didn't do much except, you know, change the course of popular music exponentially. Nirvana is up today and this show from 1990 is a great one. Compiled for Youtube, the video puts you right on the stage and the sound is better then could possibly be hoped for. Kurt's bass in particular is bumping for this full set, keeping things rock solid amongst the noise.

This is before the band hit it big and they are on their Bleach tour. You can hear and see some magic on this small stage as the band was yet to hit it big and still (relatively) happy and hungry. Digging through the set for some highlights; we love the opening "School" slamming with aggression, two of our favorite covers from the band "Love Buzz" and "Molly's Lips" as well as a mega "Spank Thru" a powerful "Negative Creep" hits hard as well. There is something engaging about the Bleach album and today's live show is a great example of that era in Nirvana's career.