Friday, August 17, 2018

Full Show Friday: Santana 8/18/70 Tanglewood Lenox, MA

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...Santana!
Some months our Full Show Friday's will focus on specific artistsyearsvenues, festivals or some combo of it all. This month we focus on summer concert standby's who always played the picturesque Saratoga Performing Arts Center over the years. 

August always makes RtBE think of upstate New York, specifically the town of Saratoga. Going to high school just a few miles from the town, we would spend many August days at the beautiful horse track and hot nights in the state park watching bands from all over. A few years back we presented shows from the venue itself This month we will highlight some bands who always seemed to roll through and we (mostly) got to see live. 

There are few bands that evoke outdoor summer sunshine fun better than Santana. Almost on this exact day 48 years ago this killer concert went down in Tanglewood. Holy Moley, this is a gem.

Santana is another one who whenever he toured seemed to play SPAC in the summer, so much so that our first time catching him was when we got a $10 ticket because he couldn't put asses in the seats anymore!

It certainly didn't effect his playing from the stage. It was early 2000's and his band mixed his Supernatural comeback (blah) with old warhorses (yeah!) so he was well worth checking out...we still have hte poster and ticket from this night framed in RtBE HQ. 

Full setlist and info regarding the show below. Pro-Shot, Pro-Sound this one is a summer highlight for sure, Enjoy:

Santana - Full Concert Recorded Live: 8/18/1970 - Tanglewood (Lenox, MA) More Santana at Music Vault: Subscribe to Music Vault: Setlist: 0:00:00 - Batuka / Se A Cabo 0:07:38 - Black Magic Woman 0:13:19 - Oye Como Va 0:17:51 - Incident At Neshabur 0:23:25 - Toussaint L'Overture 0:28:25 - Evil Ways 0:32:53 - Hope You're Feeling Better 0:37:31 - Treat 0:44:04 - Savor / Jingo 0:53:42 - Soul Sacrifice 1:06:53 - Gumbo 1:11:34 - Persuasion

Personnel: Carlos Santana - guitar, vocals Gregg Rolie - keyboards, piano, lead vocals David Brown - bass Michael Shrieve - drums Jose "Chepito" Areas - percussion, conga, timbales Mike Carabello - percussion, conga, vocals

Summary: Recorded just over a year after Santana played its historic Woodstock Music & Art Fair performance, the band was fast becoming one of the biggest in the world. They were about to release their second album, Abraxas, and were riding high on the heels of three hit songs from their debut album and a new Top 10 hit, a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Black Magic Woman."

A year earlier - in fact only a few days before the Woodstock Festival - Bill Graham staged the first of several concerts billed as "The Fillmore at Tanglewood." Tanglewood is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the storied venue had just begun to experiment with staging contemporary concerts on their grounds. Staging a rock concert in a classical venue had yet to be done, so of course the concept of doing so excited Graham. He brought the full-scale Fillmore East production team in, including the Joshua Light Show, and booked a great lineup. This first concert featured B.B King, Jefferson Airplane and The Who, and drew the largest crowd that Tanglewood had ever seen by far. 

Buoyed by the event's success, Tanglewood and Graham agreed to stage three similar dates in 1970. The last of these is this show, when Santana headlined after The Voices of East Harlem and the legendary Miles Davis had played. This historic and beautifully recorded performance features a smoking performance by Santana in the last year of their classic lineup, before a young Neal Schon joined the band. We think you'll agree it's an incredible performance by a great band in their prime.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Album Review: Beach Rats - Wasted Time EP

Beach Rats
Wasted Time EP
*** out of *****

When members of Minor Threat/Bad Religion, Lifetime and The Bouncing Souls come together to put out an EP of quick punchy punk rock it is most certainly worth a listen. The first release from Beach Rats comprised of Brian Baker, Ari Katz, Danny Windas, Pete Steinkopf and Brian Kielen, is a doozy titled Wasted Time.

The brief release manages to hit upon pop-punk, anthems, noise flourishes, heavy stomping and bouncing bass grooves all over it's brief run time. None of the efforts reach the two minute mark, but the vitality is evident. Opener "Lonely For the Night" screeches the fret boards while slamming ahead with mosh pit intensity before a grooving mid song change of pace.

The distorted bass and positively blazing guitars scream throughout "Stay All Night" as the constructed drum slams keep pace while "Sports Stink" and "Skins Brains and Dubs" cook slamming forward. Title track and disk closer "Wasted Time" uses solos and a slapping drum opening to set the tone around patented punk/whining style singing. 

The only detriment to the EP is the singing of Katz which seems intentionally low in the mix, keeping lyrics hidden for the most part. Outside of the style of vocal recording Beach Rats have the foundation of a successful outfit but as with all of these pairings enjoy what you have and always hope for more as Wasted Time on Bridge 9 Records scratches that summer punk itch.
Support the band, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:

RIP Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin has passed away, she was 76. For a well done obituary, as always, check out The NY TIMES.  When she first fell ill some NYC artists decided to turn the Franklin St Subway into a impromptu tribute to Aretha.

The site Bowery Boogie pointed this out and while the MTA will surely take all of this down ASAP (because the MTA is evil), it is a nice moment for commuters and tourists alike to take Franklin into their thoughts.

RtBE was lucky to have caught The Queen of Soul live twice, and were frustrated when she always canceled on Jazzfest, but her music will live on forever as she is a force of nature when she steps up to the microphone. As Billy Preston put it:

“She can be hiding out in her house in Detroit for years. She can go decades without taking a plane or flying off to Europe. She can cancel half her gigs and infuriate every producer and promoter in the country. She can sing all kinds of jive-ass songs that are beneath her. She can go into her diva act and turn off the world. But on any given night, when that lady sits down at the piano and gets her body and soul all over some righteous song, she’ll scare the shit out of you. And you’ll know—you’ll swear—that she’s still the best fuckin’ singer this fucked-up country has ever produced.”

Also our friends over at Brooklyn Vegan has posted about an Aretha Franklin tribute concert to take place at MSG on November 14th so RtBE will be keeping an eye on those developments as it is sure to be a star studded show.

To remember the all-time great today here are a few of RtBE's favorite songs Aretha performed and we will take a suggestion from none other than President Obama, "Here’s a tip: when you’re deejaying a party, open with ‘Rock Steady.’ :

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Album Review Skeletonwitch - Devouring Radiant Light

Devouring Radiant Light
***out of *****

The veteran Athens, Ohio based metal band Skeletonwitch's sixth full length album Devouring Radiant Light also happens to be the first with their new front man Adam Cleman's (Veil of Maya). While the shifting vocals and styles may be jarring for long time fans, the variety and energy makes for a hell of a heavy ride.

The album switches between long black metal epics and shorter more punk/thrash metal leaning tracks. The group is comfortable with either style, and the first two songs are prime examples of this. "Fen of Shadows" starts the album with sweeping grandeur, epic in scope and sound while "When Paradise Fades" blasts out directly and ends with some soaring melodic guitar solos over the fury.

"Temple of the Sun" is a monster and the highlight here with slamming drums, scorching guitars and layered vocals that pairs screams with even deeper screams. The track catapults ahead with all players (Nate "N8 Feet Under" Garnette – guitars, Scott "Scunty D." Hedrick – guitars,  Evan "Loosh" Linger – bass, Adam Clemans – vocals, Jon "The Charn" Rice – drums) clicking and melding their metal sub-genres into a propulsive winner.

Produced by Kurt Ballou the record is crisp, layers of instrumentation are separated and each sound can breath even during the most chaotic of passages. The title track amps the level of drama with a gorgeous intro before the gut wrenching screams and thunderous playing dominates while "The Vault" is another long player that winds throughout the darkened forest before galloping into the ether. "Carnarium Eternal" gets the thrash levels raised by maintaining a sick groove with blast beats before "Sacred Soil" ends the solid record on black metal note.

Experiencing lineup upheaval, Skeletonwitch has taken the change in stride, shifting their sounds and still producing a well rounded metal album on Devouring Radiant Light.   
Support the band, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peeps some video:

The Hold Steady Return to Brooklyn Bowl for Massive Nights 3

In what is becoming a fantastic tradition The Hold Steady will return to Brooklyn Bowl this fall/winter to celebrate with their fans once again for Massive Nights III.

The band will play four nights in a row November 28th through December 1st. The group will be welcoming different (excellent) openers each of the nights and mixing up their set lists so multiple nights in attendance are in order (at least for RtBE).

Last year we loved their set and even ranked it high in our year end review and this summer catching the band for the Tenth Anniversary of Stay Positive was great; RtBE can not wait to see them play Williamsburg in a few months. Tickets are on sale now for the fan club and go on sale to the general public this Friday so make sure to grab some as it is a hell of a lot of fun to see the band on their home turf.

To get in the mood here are a few videos of the band playing live, Stay Positive:

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Album Review: Jim James - Uniform Distortion

Jim James
Uniform Distortion
**** out of *****
The title of Jim James most recent solo album is a good indication of the sound contained within, as Uniform Distortion is filled with guitar/bass feedback on all of the tracks. Perhaps more accurate though is a title of the fourth song on the album, "Throwback". While James solo records of original material have found him playing with digital loops, retro-soul, and futuristic Marvin Gaye topical/political screeds, Uniformed Distortion returns him to his early My Morning Jacket era with screeching solos, rock and roll cliches, soaring songs and heavy drumming.

Recorded at Louisville, KY’s La La Land with production from Kevin Ratterman and James himself, the album vibrates in a retro confident way. Opening with two excellently swaggering fuzzed up rockers with in your face riffs, "Just a Fool" and "You Get To Rome" are the double barrel openers. Instantly engaging with gorgeous backing vocals (Dear Lemon Trees’ Leslie Stevens, Jamie Drake and Kathleen Grace) the ripping guitar runs somehow managing to both be reminiscent of Cheap Trick's best and LA's country rock scene from the 70's.

"Out of Time" appears to be treading that same path but drops into a deep groove around fiery soloing and layers of sound which call to mind "Another Brick in the Wall" Pink Floyd; James gets a ton of mileage out of a song that runs just under three minutes, just one highlight among many on the album.
The two tracks most reminiscent of James early My Morning Jacket period are "Throwback" and "No Secrets" while "All In Your Head" has a modern Phish taste, each will be huge live. Stout drumming (from Dave Givan), clean and distorted guitars, positive sounding arena ready formulas, with seize the moment lyrics, cycle through all of these tunes. His spin on the modern day cultural climate takes a back seat to his fuzz tone and guitar work on this record, but he still manages to proclaim we better get together on "No Use Waiting" and a spin on why can't we simply all be friends for "Over and Over Again".

In fact James talked about the record:
“My head feels like it is exploding with the amount of information we are forced to consume on a daily basis, and how that information is so DISTORTED there is almost no longer any tangible truth. The name of my new record is UNIFORM DISTORTION because I feel like there is this blanket distortion on society/media and the way we gather our news and important information. More and more of us are feeling lost and looking for new ways out of this distortion and back to the truth… and finding hope in places like the desert where I write this now... finding hope in the land and in the water and in old books offering new ideas and most importantly in each other and love.”
Hearing him discuss this, doesn't sound as good as his six string on the record, but it shines a light on the artist and elevates the cover art, The Illuminated Man from photographer Duane Michaels. While James grapples with too much in his head, he certainly seems happy on Uniform Distortion as he is actually laughing on at least three songs here, some of which may be laughs of exasperation, but the humor and human feeling is palpable.

There is a looseness that hasn't been present in his solo work as well, album closer "Too Good To Be True" sounds like a successful first take from the players. While James is always searching, finding sonic inspiration from his past has served him well in these modern times.
RtBE has reviewed all of Jim James solo albums of original material and while Regions of Light and Sound and God and Eternally Even both were OK-to-Good, Uniform Distortion is our favorite from James.

Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:

Monday, August 13, 2018

Dylan Cover #337 Barkin' Iron Band "What Was It You Wanted?"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Barkin' Iron Band of the Dylan tune "What Was It You Wanted?"

Thoughts On Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this song:
Oh Mercy brought Dylan back in from the creative wasteland that was his 1980's. It had an eerie sense of foreboding, helped by producer Daniel Lanois and the ghosts of New Orleans. The irritable old man in Dylan came out a bit here as well, and "What Was It You Wanted" is a good example of that, a confused searching that colors the lyrics as the protagonist just can't seem to get it right.

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Have not heard of Barkin' Iron Band before. They are an Americana group from Charlotte, North Carolina.
Thoughts on Cover:
Musically the track is spooky and rolling. The production is a bit tight and the singer has a bit of Dylan put on which we don't care for but the track moves along nicely with a well played guitar solos highlighting things.