Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Album Review: Hot Snakes - Jericho Sirens

Hot Snakes
Jericho Sirens
*** out of *****

On Hot Snakes first full length in over thirteen years the post hardcore rockers continue their unique brand of a punk rock that mixes arty flashes with punching low end work.

Jericho Sirens collection of ten short tracks runs the gamut from out and out fury to more restrained nuanced tracks. Vocally front man Rick Froberg still can scream or strain with the best of them while lyrically remains arty and aloof with more colors of sound than coherent thoughts or screeds against specific topics.

The group kicks down the down with it's most aggressive offerings right out the box. "I Need A Doctor" is a cry for help blasting forward in punk fashion while "Candid Cameras" gets angular with guitars and engaging drum work. Having two drummers is unique for any punk band and
Jason Kourkounis and Mario Rubalcaba along for the ride can inject an interesting dynamic at times.

A more direct rocker is the countdown closing "Death Camp Fantasy" which, despite it's title is the most pop punk track here. Metallic scratchy guitars and feedback color "Having Another?" while the engaging low end groove pushes "Death Doula" in ominous fashion before the closer "Death Of A Sportsman" pays tribute to one of the bands big influences, Suicide.

The groups intriguing appeal shows up in the middle of the disk with three tracks in a row. Their most aggressive offering, "Why Don't It Sink In?" gallops hard at a minute twenty before the swinging bar rock of "Six Wave Hold-Down" completely shifts gears and the marching doom laden title track closes things. Safe to say not all fans will like all three tracks, but their lies the appeal of the group; fans of interesting hard rock will find something to latch on to.

Sub Pop has released this record and plan to re-release their back catalog so a new generation of arty punk rockers can get down with Hot Snakes; Jericho Sirens is a confident return for the band.
Support the band, buy the album peep some video below:

Monday, March 19, 2018

Dylan Cover #317 Lukas Kowalski "Jokerman" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is live a cover by Lukas Kowalski playing "Jokerman"

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
The kick-start to his "back to rock and roll" album Infidels, "Jokerman" is a monster. A torrent of images, symbols, thoughts, proclamations, fears and fables; it feels like a dam was broken in Dylan's brain and all of these things just poured out. Musically it moves along but doesn't add much to the towering wordplay as the tune is dominated by the lyrics which seem almost never ending; Dylan has penned wordier tunes, but few feel as heavy as this. Flawed, but reaching for something, it is a not a great Dylan song but it is one that lets us peak into his brain a bit. For more on this tune, check out this post.

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Have never heard of Lukas Kowalski before. Not much found out about him, but he has a few other videos on his Youtube page.

Thoughts on Cover:
This is a stunning rendition of the the tune. The loops and FX work really add a lot to it, but Kowalski's vocals remind a lot of Mark Knopfler and hold up on their own as well. A pretty and confident version that once again makes this series such a joy every Monday. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wishing everyone a happy, safe and fun St. Patrick's Day from RtBE and we might as well throw in a self plug.

Here is Angels & Vagabonds Irish inspired tune, "Queens Boulevard Serenade":

The story goes; in the lead up to our first St. Paddy's Day gig we were working on some traditional Irish songs to play and our lead singer/keyboard player Don McNally realized they were basically all the same chords just re-arraigned.

So the Irish American from Woodside, NY dug into his past and crafted QBS. He brought it to the group and after a few tweaks it was ready for prime time, we actually played it only about a week after it was written. There is a little inside baseball into our process, now go celebrate by hoisting a pint....Happy St. Paddy's!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Full Show Friday: Mavis Staples @ Museum of Making Music Carlsbad, CA 2015

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...Mavis Staples!

This week we shine a light on an American legend as Mavis Staples and her band take center stage for an hour of tunes. The soulful mix of gospel rock, funk and roots rock is infectious. We caught her on this tour opening for Bob Dylan out in Queens and last year we caught her with this lineup open once again for Bob Dylan. We should also share our lover for her Jeff Tweedy produced album even rating it high in our year end review.

On this night of music covers from The Talking Heads and Parliament Funkadelic are sprinkled in with originals for this great set. Not pro shot or pro sound, but pretty damn close...Enjoy:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Album Review: Wild Child - Expectations

Wild Child
***and 1/2 out of *****

The fourth album from the Austin, TX based Wild Child is a long running, high minded pop excursion titled Expectations. Their are a lot of ideas and approaches presented here as the band expands upon their sound for their most confident release yet. 

The self described seven piece pop mini orchestra has Kelsey Wilson on violin and vocals; Alexander Beggins on ukulele and vocals; Sadie Wolfe on cello; Matt Bradshaw on keyboards, trumpet, and harmonica; Tom Myers on drums; Cody Ackors on guitar and trombone; and Tyler Osmond on bass. The players run the gamut on Expectations with stripped down direct numbers to overloaded anthems as the band lets everything plus the kitchen sink fly this go around.

The opener "Alex" is an easy rolling light funky joint that is highlighted by the duet vocals of Wilson and Beggins. Their vocal intertwining is magical when it is worked out, especially on the stripped down relationship honesty of "The One" which highlights the bands lyrical powers. "Follow Me" is another song that focuses on the craft with breathy vocals augmented by piano, well placed horns and bass notes to mellow things out.

The bands acoustic tendencies get many airings such as the light downbeat "Sinking Ship", the dramatic swells of "My Town" and the violin lead "Eggshells" which goes on a bit too long. These tracks aren't duds, but the band seems to work better when they can all contribute and elevate songs in a more upbeat fashion. "Back & Forth" breaks out the big horns for a successful soul shaker, the title track injects some rough noise rock and goes for the gusto with a huge chorus. "Break You Down" wins with hand claps, closing horn work all around a gorgeous bass line while "Think It Over" is a more restrained groove that is a hell of a jam about infidelity and cheating.

The band worked with a whose who of indie rock artists as producers: Chris Walla (formerly of Death Cab for Cutie), Matthew Logan Vasquez (Delta Spirit), Chris Boosahda (Shakey Graves), Scott McMicken (Dr. Dog), Adrian Quesada (Grupo Fantasma), and Max Frost. While all of these artists have been influences on the band (and can be heard in various tracks on Expectations) the group that they kept yearning to be compared to in these ears is another Austin outfit, Spoon. Wild Child has a more organic/acoustic vibe but their counterparts in Spoon seem to share the same passion for intricate pop numbers that are always focused on the totality of the song.

An long invested album, Expectations finds Wild Child putting it all on the line and succeeding.
A bandcamp find we were very happy to come across. Support the band, buy the album or stream it on bandcamp, and peep some video below:

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Live Review: Steve Winwood @ NJPAC 3/8/18

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of Steve Winwood's show from Newark, New Jersey's NJPAC on March 8th 2018.

The night was pretty dynamite and while we didn't take to Mr. Neto's lead guitar work that much, everything else was fantastic. If you can catch him on this tour do it, you will not be let down. High praise should also go out to NJPAC, it is a glorious venue and RtBE can not wait to catch another show there.

Support the artist, read the review and peep some video below from this and other recent shows:

Band of Horses Touring in 2018

Following on the heels of one of RtBE favorites the Arctic Monkey's announcing a tour, we have another RtBE band we dig doing the same. Band of Horses will be touring this summer and are also in the process of recording new tunes.
The full tour dates are below, and we will be catching them in the gorgeous Capital Theater on August 10th when the tour comes (close) to NYC. Fan Pre-sale is on now, on-sale to the public on Friday. To get in the mood peep some live video of the band below:

Band of Horses — 2018 Tour Dates
4/20 – Monterrey, MX – Pal Norte Festival
4/21 – Charleston, SC – High Water Festival
7/28 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom*
7/29 – Wichita, KS – Cotillion Ballroom*
7/31 – Springfield, MO – Gillioz Theatre *
8/1 – Kansas City, MO – Crossroads*
8/3 – Hinterland Festival Saint Charles, IA
8/4 – Peoria, IL – Peoria Riverfront Stage – Festival Park*
8/5 – Memphis, TN – Orpheum*
8/7 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s*
8/8 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom*
8/10 – Port Chester, NY – Capitol Theatre*
8/11 – Portsmouth, NH – Prescott Park – Free
8/12 – Providence, RI – The Strand Theatre*
8/14 – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony Summer Stage
8/15 – Richmond, VA – The National*
8/17 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz*
8/18 – Asheville, NC – Meadow @ Highland Brewing Co.*

* – w/ Bonny Doon