Monday, September 24, 2018

Beastie Boy Book Release and Mini Speaking Tour Starting Next Month

Mike D and Adrock are set to release Beastie Boys Book and to celebrate they will promote the release with a Live & Direct mini speaking tour. 
Each night of Beastie Boys Book: Live & Direct will feature readings, conversations between Mike D, Adrock and a special guest moderator, Q&A sessions–all with a live score provided by Mix Master Mike and a brand new Beastie Boys exhibit, curated by Beastie Boys & Beyond the Streets in partnership with adidas Skateboarding. Sonos will provide the sound experience at each exhibit, playing a mixtape curated by Adrock and Mike D.

The run kicks off with two nights in NYC which will be sure to sell out as each ticket also gets a copy of the book. Tickets go on-sale Friday at noon for the Town Hall evening. To get in the mood, how about some tunes from Beasties... 

Bob Dylan Cover #343 Phil Shackleton "What Good Am I?" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from Phil Shackleton and is a live cover of "What Good Am I?"

Thought's on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this song:
Coming on the heels of Dylan's most powerful song in decades "What Good Am I?" can get lost on Oh Mercy, but the track is a sorrowful sweet plea. Slow and deliberate, questioning like the Louisiana night that may have inspired it. Dylan's vocal performance may not be his best but at the heart of it this is a really powerful song. Not one of his better known tracks, but a goodie all the same. Simple and slow, direct without hidden agenda's (I think...) all of which is a bit unique for Bob.


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
This is the first RtBE is hearing of Phil Shackleton, he seems to be a musical completest, recording, engineering, arraigning, scoring, etc etc.

Thoughts on Cover:
This is a very moving emotional cover from Mr. Shackleton. Played confidently and sung powerfully, this is an excellent addition to RtBE's ongoing cover series. Dylan Cover Monday's has seen two powerful live acoustic offerings these past two weeks, and RtBE will shift gears a bit for a special treat next month...stay tuned.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Full Show Friday: Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble Passaic, NJ 9/21/85

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...Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble!

Stevie Ray & Double Trouble! What a Texas Tornado! From the opening supersonic "Scuttle Buttin'" to the closing "Tin Pan Alley" this is a hell of set of electric blues music from one of the greatest electric guitar players to ever come along.  

What makes this selection even cooler was that it happened exactly 33 years to the day! This had to be one of the hottest shows in 1985. Pro-shot, Pro-Sound, full setlist below, Enjoy:

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Full Concert Recorded Live: 9/21/1985 - Capitol Theatre (Passaic, NJ)
More Stevie Ray Vaughan at Music Vault: Subscribe to Music Vault: Setlist: 0:00:00 - Scuttle Buttin' / Say What! 0:07:29 - Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up On Love 0:14:51 - Lookin' Out The Window 0:16:59 - Look At Little Sister 0:21:06 - Change It 0:25:31 - Mary Had A Little Lamb 0:30:05 - Cold Shot 0:34:54 - Couldn't Stand The Weather 0:41:41 - Guitar Change 0:42:10 - Tin Pan Alley

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Live Review: Marshall Crenshaw @ City Winery 9/18/18

Marshall Crenshaw
City Winery, NYC 

On Tuesday night Marshall Crenshaw sauntered onto stage with bassist Jared Michael Nickerson and drummer Rich Pagano to play a stripped down laid back version of the 80's pop rockers classics and newer songs to (unfortunately) a half empty City Winery.

The trio's volume was toned down to suit the supper club vibe of their surroundings as the kicked things off with a slow and languid version of the Crenshaw nugget "There She Goes Again" from his first album. The theme of the night was jazzy interpretations of the Crenshaw catalog and this fit Nickerson's roaming fingers well as his roaming bass lines lead the way during "Fantastic Planet of Love".

Crenshaw then dove into a few songs he co-wrote with various people but he made special mention of co-writer Dan Bern who helped him with lyrics on a number of tunes including the marching "Learning to Live" and the road song about "fatigue and crumbling infrastructure" "Driving and Dreaming". Both were passable but things picked up with "Better Back Off" and "What Do You Dream Off" which he mentioned was written in bed while literally watching his wife dream, not what critics thought at the time...shows you how much critics know.
"Passing Through" was next and started a lull in the set as "Move Now" wanted to rock but the setting, players and vibe never let it while "Red Wine" was a flat out dud of a tune. The shift to a cover of Buddy Holly's "Crying, Waiting, Hoping" was a welcomed move before "Cynical Girl" (semi surprisingly) received the loudest cheers of the night as it's first chords were strummed.

Pagano produced a unique drum solo which lead into an angular rendition of "Dime a Dozen Guy" playing with some spooky atmospherics that didn't particularly match up with the lyrics but was an interesting adventure on it's own. After a bass heavy straight ahead "Monday Morning Rock" and a clunker "Grab The Next Train" which never left the station, the band played a grooving  "Whenever You're On My Mind" dominated by Pagano's big kick drum. The percussion segued into a rockabilly tale that morphed into "Someday Someway" closing the exploratory set of tunes. 

The encore of "What I Didn't Want To Do" and slowed down, rhythmic take on "You're My Favorite Waste Of Time" capped off the hour and a half of tunes from the trio. Far from a greatest hits act Crenshaw is still experimenting with his sound, his stage show and performance and while things can be hit or miss the relaxed, jazz style on this evening was unique for the small crown in attendance. 
Support the artists, see them live, and peep some video from a very different lineup Crenshaw played City Winery with just a few months ago:

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Original Misfits to Play Chicago, Integrity to Play Baltimore in 2019

Two announcements from aging metal bands that are both worthy of a mention here at RtBE even though the shows won't be taking place in NYC.

First, The Original Misfits: Glenn Danzig, Jerry Only and Doyle, with help from former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo and guitarist Acey Slade announced they will be playing Chicago in the Spring of next year.

Having caught the band earlier this year RtBE can not hype their live set enough. It was a blast to catch the men doing their painted faced horror punk thing.  Fear, Venom Inc and Power Trip make for fine openers as well as tickets go on-sale this Friday.

Also in aging punk/metal/hardcore touring news, Integrity is playing two shows in Baltimore. RtBE dug the band back in the day, specifically Those Who Fear Tomorrow and Systems Overload and honestly did not know they were still around, but apparently they released new music very recently so we are down to check that out.

If you are in Maryland January 11th or 12th 2019 check out the shows, night one tickets and night two tickets can both be had still. To celebrate these two old metal/punk legends return to stages how about a few of their tracks below:

Album Review: Aaron Lee Tasjan - Karma For Cheap

Aaron Lee Tasjan
Karma For Cheap

**and1/2out of *****

Folky freak rocker Aaron Lee Tasjan has bounced around during his career playing glam rock, alt-country and more. On his newest solo record Karma For Cheap he goes retro-mainstream with a twist on classic rock offerings which would have vied for FM air time in the mid-70's.

The whole album has a shaggy, light psych-rock aura as it easily struts and rolls around the frayed edges with direct lyrics about keepin' on keepin' on. The opening three songs are all cut from the same cloth as "If Not Now When", "The Truth Is So Hard To Believe", and "The Best Is Yet To Come" are fuzzy guitar numbers with easy grooves augmented by slight enhancements like a plunking piano or doo-doo-doo backing vocals (from none other than Sheryl Crow). While all are adequate, none ever elevate above the simple structures and heard-it-all-before lyrics; the retro is much more important to Tasjan than the rock.

"Heart Slows Down" is the first full on winner as the tune recalls Tom Petty with is pulsing rhythm, swirling swelling sounds and a constant acoustic six string running in place before the best chorus on the album. Another disk highlight is the more stripped down acoustic ballad "Dream Dreamer" which is sweet and honest, working as a delicate lullaby with some odd Beatles-like touches.     

Tasjan dips back into his safe (bordering on dull) feedback enhanced pocket with the tambourine shaking "End of the Day", the marching "Set You Free" and the strutting "Crawling At Your Feet" all blending together with that smokey 70's sound. "Strange Shadows" winningly mixes up the formula combining 50's doo-wop feeling with warbling country vibes while "Songbird" ends the disk strongly.

Tasjan's vocals and playing certainly recall some of the greats in the genre such as Petty, George Harrison, and most apparently David Bowie (specifically Hunky Dory era) while the organic sound (co-produced by Jeff Trot) does well to prop up some cliche musical and lyrical passages.

Karma For Cheap's retro pop rock is pleasant in all forms but without a must hear hook, riff or lyric the album often falls into easy background tunes reminding of others that will always pack more oomph no matter the year. 
Support the artist, buy the album on bandcamp and peep some video below:

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Album Review: Earthless - Black Heaven

Black Heaven
***and1/2 out of *****

The newest studio release from the psych/stoner/metal outfit is a huge change for the power trio. For the first time in the band's career Earthless has moved from the instrumental realm to songs with  *gulp* actual vocals. Out of Black Heaven's six songs, four feature Isaiah Mitchell singing, something he hasn't done since the band covered Groundhog's "Cherry Red" back in 2007. 

Mitchell's vocals properly recall late bluesy hard rock 70's titans most instantly comparable to Black Sabbath, Deep Purple or Mountain, with not as much vocal range or firepower, but Mitchell presents himself favorably. Opener "Gifted By the Wind" is a groove statement track with nature influenced lyrics while both "End To End" and "Electric Flame" deal with post apocalyptic landscapes and the end of the human race. The lyrics for "Sudden End" are grounded in a sadder reality as Mitchell finished up his guitar parts while watch Netflix's 13 Reasons Why and the next morning Chris Cornell committed suicide, lending the song it's hefty lyrical weight.

While the singing is new and an exciting addition to Earthless's arsenal, this group is primarily about the riffs and pummeling rhythm section moving as one; thankfully that has not changed. "Electric Flame" is a monster, scrambling all over the speakers in crushing fashion. The style reigns in the group from their past wandering ways but even the brief instrumental "Volt Rush" has a propulsive energy that jumps out to the forefront.

Drummer Mario Rubalcaba and bassist Mike Eginton have a synergy as the plow ahead with sludgy riffs that never seem to drag, just listen to the kick off of the title track as huge behemoth gets moving. RtBE's personal favorites are still these blistering instrumentals but the bluesy take on heavy "Sudden End" is unique for Earthless as they dip into more conventional sounding riffs and stomps with plenty of room for Mitchell's soloing at over eight minutes. 

Earthless long, often sidetracked career has been on the fringes and Black Heaven may push them more into the metal mainstream with its compact blues rock heavy attack. While long time fans may yearn for more expansive jam based offering like the title track, this evolution of the trio is an unexpected and successful twist. 
Support the band, buy the album and peep some video below: