Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Album Review: Esperanza Spalding- Emily’s D+Evolution

Esperanza Spalding
Emily's D+Evolution
***and1/2 out of *****

There is a lot happening on Esperanza Spalding's followup to her breakthrough Radio Music Society. Her fifth album is titled Emily's D+Evolution an ode to her middle name and muse,; it is a scattered musical and lyrical affair that is searching, yet engaging all the same.

The talented bassist, cellist, singer/songwriter flirts and melds lots of genre's all in wave of sound and experimentation on this disk singing through her alter ego. The songs/singing can be jarring but the artist seems to be following a powerful muse throughout.

The opener "Good Lava" has metallic guitar flashes paired with stuttering drum parts, a clear indication this isn't going to be your standard album. Spalding's voice is layered all over with some dexterous singing and tons of Oh's and Ah's for backing support. Pop comes more to the forefront on the honest "Unconditional Love" and the acoustic based "Noble Nobles". Her lyrics and singing are dizzying at times "Ebony and Ivy" bombards the listener from the start while "One" lets Esperanza's falsetto shine over a huge chorus.

The artists jazz roots bleed through noticeably on "Judas" and "Elevate or Operate" that can remind of Wayne Shorter and legends, but in a modern pop context. This phrasing and combination can still be awkward at times, but the interesting blend grows with listens. That transitional or searching feeling can be seen on a track like "Funk The Fear" which tries to blend P-Funk power with her style and never comes off as a polished project, but is fun in its trying.  

While Emily's D+Evolution doesn't have a stand out track that sticks with you it does enjoy some experiments that are opposite ends of the spectrum and show this unique artists range. "Rest In Pleasure" is a postcoital exploratory number that breaths with sexy confidence while a cover from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory closes the disk in anything but standard fashion as Spalding's piano based climax is powerful.

Far from a finished product, Spalding is an artist who ranges all over and listeners are better off because of it.
Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Hold Steady To Celebrate 10 Year Anniversary of Boys and Girls in America

One of the best rock and roll albums released this millennium turns 10 years old this year and The Hold Steady have just announced they will be celebrating Boys and Girls in America's decade of existence this December at Brooklyn Bowl.
When we worked with Shane over at Glide for the best albums from 2000-2010 we ranked Boys and Girls in America at #2 on our list. If for some reason you have yet to hear this album please go buy it.

The album mixes great guitar riffs, piano fills, sing along chorus and touching verses that run the gamut and manage to consistently amaze. Stone cold classic and we can not wait to celebrate it live again as we were lucky enough to see the band play on that original tour at Terminal 5.

Here is all the ticket info. The band will also be playing Riot Fest. Below are some of the tracks from Boys and Girls in America.  

Live Review: Dinosaur Jr. and Screaming Females 7/12/16 Brooklyn, NY

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
Two RtBE Personal Favorites played a surprise free gig last week at Brooklyn's House of Vans and it was a fun, if short set, that was long on great guitar rock.

We said it all in the review, so give it a read and grab the new Dino Jr album that's out in a few weeks, it is solid. A review of that will be up on  Glide Soon.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Dylan Cover #240 The Nice "Country Pie" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a live cover by The Nice of "Country Pie"

Thoughts on Dylan Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
Recorded for Nashville Skyline "Country Pie" is a tasty little treat that doesn't leave you too fat after consuming it. The free-wheeling sense that accompanies it is simply charming, almost a kid song that I could see parents singing to children it has a whimsical air that elevates it up above simple throw away tune. It was certainly a surprise to hear it live, the 2000 tour was the only time he broke it out in his career.  

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Have never heard of The Nice until now. Will have to check out the band more as Emerson is a killer keyboardist. They also did a few other Dylan covers so look for them showing back up in this series.
Thoughts on Cover:
A fantastic free wheeling cover of a simple song, the band certainly made it their own, and did a great job with this live version. Def a worthy entry to this series.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Full Show Friday: Marvin Gaye Live Paris 1976

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...Marvin Gaye!

This hot summer Full Show Friday focuses on the sexy grooves of Marvin Gaye from Paris in 1976. A short show, but a doozy as the singer is in fine form throughout. This is an excellent sounding show, video is a bit lesser but it doesn't matter much. Enjoy:

Thursday, July 14, 2016

New Mudcrutch Video for "I Forgive It All": Sean Penn Directs, Anthony Hopkins Acts.

A few months ago we reviewed Mudcrutch's second album, "cleverly" titled Mudcrutch 2. We missed them live when they played Webster Hall but we heard from good sources that the show was solid all around. Now some more Mudcrutch news as they have a new video out for "I Forgive It All".

Not just any youtube clip though, they have partnered with Sean Penn to direct and Anthony Hopkins to act in this black and white release which you can see on the bands Facebook page:

It is a good fit for a mellow song. Enjoy it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Album Review: Aaron Neville- Apache

Aaron Neville
**** out of *****
The last few releases from Aaron Neville focus on genres he has loved throughout his life. Soul was the focus for 2006's Bring It On Home, gospel for 2010's I Know I've Been Changed and doo-wop for 2013's My True Story. All were areas Neville has lived in during his life as a singer and all were easily mined for the fantastic voiced crooner. However, few fans expected him to come out in 2016 with an album of his own material, let alone one containing songs anywhere near as good as Apache turns out to be; simply put this is a late career highlight that is on par with any of his previous releases.

"Be Your Man" kicks off the disk like a funky blaxploitation soundtrack, rolling out with scratchy guitars, liquid bass and horn blasts all cutting deep while Neville croons gloriously on top with vigor and power. The track makes a statement and the rest of the disk follows. Other greasy numbers include the Curtis Mayfield inspired "Make Your Momma Cry" and the crunchy hard funk of "Ain't Gonna Judge You" the gets down in style. The Daptone Horns deliver the goods on all of those and also add flavor to the waltzing "All Of The Above" which delicately balances Neville's falsetto with a southern march style.

Neville has always loved to let his voice lead and the ballads here give him that opportunity. "Heaven" works delicately with an organ for support, "I Wanna Love You" breaks it down into the simplest of slow dance terms while "Sarah Ann" is a doo-wop inspired number directed to his wife. From interviews Neville has mentioned another ballad, "Orchid In The Storm" was also for his wife but that tracks light grooves come dangerously close to the cheesiness he can sometimes fall into.
The focal point of the album is "Stompin' Ground" a personal ode to the city that crafted who Neville is as an artist and more importantly a person, New Orleans. With direct shout out's to players from his past over a Crescent City beat Neville recalls the characters of days gone by and a sound that still moves any listeners with ears and hips. A touching and personal ode, but one that is instantly recognizable to anyone who has been to the gem of a town.
Back in 2012 a young popular producer (and rocker) Dan Auerbach got some of the best songs and performances out of Dr John for Locked Down. That album ranks as the one of the top three the artist has ever done. A direct parallel can be drawn to producer and contributor Eric Krasno for getting the best quality out of an aging Neville on Apache. The closing "Fragile World" even recalls Dr John's spoken word style and fear he expressed on Locked Down, linking things even more vividly while also including lyrics from Marvin Gaye to bring the soul world in line as well. 

Krasno deserves lots of credit as do all the players and while Aaron Neville has always been respected by an older set of fans, hopefully Apache will open him up to a new generation of listeners.
Super impressed by this album, Krasno has given Neville some grit and that adds a depth to the artists catalog that had been lacking in all of his solo releases. A real winner, support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below: