Friday, December 2, 2016

Full Show Friday: Section 8 Albany, NY June 5th 1994

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...Section 8!
For December RtBE is having a special focus with our Full Show Friday's. This month we will showcase live shows, that we were at and also were huge influences on our musical tastes. We will also be trying to get some outside perspectives when we can. This will be a fun and personal month for us, hope you enjoy.   

To start the month we are going back to our youth and one of the first bands that really broke us out of the MTV world of the early to mid 90's, as we focus on the Clifton Park, NY based hardcore/metal band Section 8. Today's Full Show Friday is a piece of history as it is the bands first show in the legendary QE2 in Albany from 1994. 

We were lucky enough to head down to the show with some friends as three of the band members went to our high school and were from our suburban town. This is the first time we were able to see actual friends, play in an actual clubs, with actually GREAT music. It made the idea, of bands, music, and honestly life, realer in a sense that things were palpable and possible. Looking back it was inspiring on many levels.
We recently had the pleasure of chatting with our friend and Section 8 drummer Tim Parent, his memory of the bands first show were as follows:
"I think we were all just pretty overwhelmed at the feedback and did not expect what kind of response we would get. The support was definitely amazing and unexpected for sure, but much appreciated."   
As a fan, we were hooked immediately, in fact we still have the bands first four track demo tape and old school t-shirts. When the show starts it is pretty amazing that we still know all the words and remember instantly all the great tunes the band created. This show, being the first, is pretty amazing as the band is on point right from their creation, the tracks are fully formed and exhilarating.  

The songs really opened our world to local hardcore/punk/metal scene and in retrospect Section 8 were the perfect conduit as they incorporated a lot of Black Sabbath who we already dug. We instantly got into the Albany scene via bands like Withstand and One King Down (Rob from One King Down does the intro at the show below), then moved to the Upstate NY straight edge scene with Earth Crisis and Snapcase. After enjoying that we traveled south to the New York City Hardcore scene with bands like Cro-Mags, Agnostic Front, Murphy's Law and Judge. Now as the scene ages so do we but we still love it and revisiting with great bands make it worth it.

It was a great few years discovering heavy, aggressive bands that really hit home for us, We have Section 8 themselves, Tim, Andras, Mike and Kasey to thank for opening up our ears and whole world view with their gloriously dark sounds, thanks fellows.   

Now feel free to Enjoy:

01:00 Intro
02:18 Strife
05:23 Forth to War
07:53 Torn
13:15 Words of Love
16:43 Flatline
20:12 Nightfall
24:36 No One
And as a bonus two songs of Section 8 live from their November '95 show that was a treat, crowd was insane on that night, so was Drew's t-shirt if I remember correctly.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Album Review: Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath Vol. II

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of  Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath Vol. II. The bands side project which now might be a little more famous then their day job. It is good stuff as the group re-imagines Black Sabbath with some funky horns. 

Not perfect but a cool way to check out some the original bands work, especially if you are fans of Sabbath as we are.  Support the group, buy the album and peep some video. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Album Review: Jim James- Eternally Even

Jim James
Eternally Even
***and1/2 out of *****
On Jim James first solo album, 2013's Regions of Light and Sound and God, the My Morning Jacket front-man was spiritual and positive throughout. Eternally Even continues the crooners love of skittering beats, digital-dance funk and soulful bass, but his outlook is a lot less rosy.

Clearly effected by the current state of politics, violence and race relations James tones back on his falsetto flights of fancy, getting plainspoken and direct. From the start he directly addresses things with "Hide In Plain Sight" calling out bigots via a mix of old school R&B, updated digital bleeps and feedback fuzz; the bass line here and throughout can be intoxicating.

However there is no bumping bass for the following directness as "Same Old Lie" skitters about moving from indictment of the whole system to warbling string laden, eastern tinged dance instrumental to close the last two minutes of the effort. The track shows both the pluses and minuses of James on this album; willing to go anywhere, but convoluting things in the process. Acting as a an indictment dance party it works, but the oddly engaging music to close dilutes the preceding screed.

The follow up "World In Spirit" is better but is still overcooked with its mid song digital break and chopping. Before that though James does his best Marvin Gaye (his major influence for the whole album) with topical lyrics over updated Motown grooves. That feel turns more gospel with the searching and worldly "The World's Smiling Now". Up to this point the album may be flawed but it is still a success, that changes when it hits the wall of "We Ain't Getting Any Younger Parts 1 & 2".

Part 1 is a six minute instrumental that may have been too long at six seconds, as a mid album focal point it is stunning in its blandness. Acting as place holder or intermission music Part 1 fails, but Part 2 tries to save things with a foreboding, Leonard Cohen inspired vocal delivery about creeping death. Alone it would be a fine track, if you are listening digitally feel free to skip Part 1 completely.

The old school R&B comes back to close the album. "True Nature" finds the bass bouncing things back on track (both producer Blake Mills and James himself are credited with playing bass and both should be commended for that contribution). James breathy clipped vocals return to his Marvin Gaye theme encouraging the listener to "Do whatever feels right". Sonic over-saturation still abounds but James grooves it long for "In The Moment" with wispy horns sweeping throughout. The slow crooning title track allows James to vocally shine, but his singing is clearly not his motive on this record, his theme that time is passing us by and we need to do something is the point.  

Overall this album feels more substantial then Regions of Light and Sound and God. Powerful but flawed, where it might be better to cut down on all the tricks, instrumental interludes and pro-tools studio options, and focus on his lyrics and theme. However as is, Eternally Even delivers an honest expression of disconnected anguish with a silver lining of hope for 2016.
Support the artist, buy the album, peep some video:

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Frank Zappa Vinyl Re-Issues Coming Soon

News is out that the notoriously stingy Frank Zappa vault is semi opening as five of his albums are getting a vinyl reissue.

We're Only In It For The Money,  Cruisin' with Reuben & the Jets, Lumpy Gravy, Weasels Ripped My Flesh, and the epic Joe's Garage will all be released on vinyl (more info). It is an odd mix of releases, some are classics, some are kinda boring, and it is strange that they didn't release the whole collection or do it at least by year, in order.

Our favorite Zappa releases are not on this list (well Joe's Garage is probably in our top five) but it is cool to see this movement happening. To celebrate, how about some Zappa video and tunes for your ears and eyes below:

Album Review: Phish Big Boat

Big Boat
*** out of *****

A few weeks ago we reviewed a new album from the metal giants Metallica and you may wonder what the Vermont four piece jamband legends could possible have in common with the San Francisco headbangers, but it is simply this, do either need a new album? Both bands have hugely popular back catalogs, covers and obscurities that they could play live from now until they were dead and fans would still sell out arenas all over the world to see them.

With Metallica it seems more of an industry thing to do, new record, new two year world tour, rinse and repeat, but with Phish it is something different; these guys just love playing music together. If they are not on stage feeding off the energy they are in the studio, having a goofy time writing intricate (yet still very goofy) songs. Big Boat is the most recent of these gatherings which produced a studio album and overall it is a pleasant sailing that is inconsequential.

The band continues to just do what they do, fans will find moments they like here (then LOVE live) and critics will say they are scattered, boring and long winded. Both are right.

"Friends" is a Fishman opener that is odd yet preaches to the choir in it's "Bathub Gin" like lyrics, correct Jon, we are all in this together. The crisp as hell horns are dazzling and overwhelm some otherwise humdrum "standard Phish" numbers like "Breath and Burning" and "No Men In No Man's Land". Bob Ezrin's production captures all this brass work stunningly, and while it isn't always lock step with the foursome (or the songs themselves) it is clear the players sound fantastic. Like Fuego before this, the overall production is world class, if nothing else Phish knows how to get a great the music coming out of the speakers to sound great.

The song writing is a different story. "Blaze On" falls into summer time soft reggae Jimmy Buffet land and easily flows around the ear via weed smoke and Caribbean vibes like the Phish live staple it has already started to become. The group also goes an old school R&B route with "Tide Turns" which has all the elements to work, but drags courtesy of Anastasio's vocals, if ever there was a time for a guest vocalist, this was it.

Bassist Mike Gordon puts his unique twist on things with "Waking Up Dead" that displays an odd 80's electro vibe as does the Page McConnell penned "I Always Wanted it this Way" perhaps signalling a new direction the band will travel in. "Miss You" goes simplistic, with sappy balladry and would be duller than white bread, however Trey's guitars manage to shine, pushing it towards a lesser "Velvet Sea".

The closing numbers are the albums high points, "More" moves into Trey's direct wheelhouse. Positive honest lyrics via every-man vocals in front of a rising tide of energetic music that never quite explodes (a cool rarity for the band) while closer "Petrichor" dives back into "Guyute" land for mapped out orchestrated flights of fancy. Phish is just doing what they do, either hop on board, or let the Big Boat pass you by, the band and the fans will be fine either way.
A little breezier than Fuego, but basically more of the same. Support the band, buy the album, peep some video below:

Monday, November 28, 2016

Dylan Cover #257 Casey Pearce "I Will Not Go Down Under The Ground"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is by Casey Pearce and it is a live cover of "Let Me Die In My Footsteps"

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this track:
A Dylan track that for once you don't have to wonder what he is singing about. This is Dylan's reaction to nuclear war and the cold war scare that was happening, "Let Me Die In My Footsteps" is a defiant statement against to the idea of bomb shelters and fear. A proud American song that still resonates today and an early Dylan track we go back to periodically. Also sounding a whole hell of a lot like "Long Black Veil" helps things out too. Quick side note, it was the first Dylan song we put on the morning of September 11th 2001.

Thoughts on The Cover Artist:
Can't find much about him, but Casey Pearce's youtube page has him doing a few other covers on it.
Thoughts on Cover:
Really great version of this song, taking it on straight ahead but Mr. Pearce does an excellent job, Wish we knew more about him. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Full Show Friday: MGLA @ Metal Meeting 2016

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.. MGLA

It is upon us! BLACK Friday! In a tradition we started a few years ago it is time for the most evil Black Metal ever; because really it is the perfect soundtrack if you are hitting the brutality of shopping on this day. Granted we here at RtBE are not fans of the genre (or shopping) but have researched a few bands after enjoying the documentary Until The Light Takes Us.

MGLA (I'm told that translates to Fog in English) is a Polish Black Metal Band who has been killing it since 2000. This show is from Black Easter Metal Meeting earlier this year. Start banging your head, full setlist below. Enjoy the metal or die!!!!


00:00 Mdłości I
06:21 Further Down The Nest I
12:18 Exercises In Futility I
19:28 Mdłości II
23:10 With Hearts Toward None I
28:38 Exercises In Futility II
35:34 Groza III
41:12 With Hearts Toward None VII
50:15 Exercises In Futility VI