Thursday, May 23, 2019

Live Review: The Hold Steady @ The White Eagle, Jersey City 5/16/19

The Hold Steady 
Live @ The White Eagle 
Jersey City, NJ 5/16/19

Beginning a spring time mini Northeast Weekend run, the Hold Steady kicked things off at The White Eagle in Jersey City New Jersey to a sold out house for a Thursday night show.

Opening things was John K Samson, frontman from The Weakerthans who did a solo acoustic set of some of that bands tunes and a few newer solo numbers mixed in. Samson stated he was amazed he gets paid to play and see one of his favorite bands in the world it was clear Samson new the crowd and was at ease throughout (Craig Finn later told a great story of playing Samson's hometown of Winnipeg and meeting him years ago).

His set started with "One Great City!" he proclaimed how much he hated his hometown and sang with confidence on tunes like "Reconstruction Site", "Pamphleteer" and "Plea From a Cat Named Virtute", before ending his set on a high note with the title track from his solo album Winter Wheat

The Hold Steady came out and kicked started their long set of tunes with "Hornets! Hornets!" as the bands meaty riffs and full band swell with piano and thundering low end got the small club bouncing up and down while singing along.

The three guitars were mixed a bit oddly as the sound took a few tunes to settle in but things leveled off nicely. Having recently caught the band in London this setlist was a bit more up and down and the band wasn't as locked in during this nights set, but the fans were singing strongly throughout to tunes like "Barfruit Blues", "Banging Camp", "Stuck Between Stations" and "Massive Nights" which received one of the best ovations on the night. 

Some individual highlights were "You Can Make You Like Him" which packed a punk rock punch as the band seemed especially locked in on the low end. The sweeping guitar solos in "Stevie Nix" were a joy as confetti flew for "First Night" and the newer "Entitlement Crew" proved it's worth among the old warhorses.

Other newer tunes like "T-Shirt Tux" and the debut of "Traditional Village" went as immediately loved but "Denver Haircut" another new tune shows lots of promise from the band. The fact that Craig Finn, Tad Kubler, Galen Polivka, Steve Selvidge, Franz Nicolay, and Bobby Drake are still crafting new tunes will playing the old favorites for fans means this periodic weekend cruising will hopefully continue as the band always deliver the happy to be alive and in the live rock moment goods. 
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Support the artists, see them live and peep some video below: 
    

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Masters: James Brown - Best Live Albums

RtBE loves listening to new music and prides itself on keeping tabs on up and coming artists but in 2019 we are also going to have a monthly spotlight on legendary artists who we really love. We are calling this series The Masters. It will focus on the best albums, live records, transcendent shows and other odd ways we appreciate the artists and their contribution to music, culture and our formation.

For May The Masters focuses on James Brown.

The Godfather himself, James Brown. He is the visionary artist who helped invent funk and hip-hop as he floated through the amazingly influential waters of time and his mind. Mr. Please Please Me is iconic and moved from The Famous Flames to Soul Brother #1 to the Godfather with ease as he aged.

He however joins the likes of Miles when RtBE is conflicted about the art and the artist. Longform collected just a few pieces on him, but it is safe to say we are confused with our love for the mans music and thoughts on his personal life. That said, we wrote about our feelings on the man when he passed away for Glide as he had a huge influence on our musical ears.  

Today we focus on his live albums, and while we ranked his studio recordings already this month, this is where he really butters the biscuits. When RtBE goes to the James Brown collection nine times out of ten it is for one of these records. That said there is always a bit of controversy with Brown, were all of these actually recorded live?  Hmmm... 

Any which way let's get to it, below we rank the top five James Brown live records. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Album Review: Czarface & Ghostface Killah - Czarface Meets Ghostface

Czarface & Ghostface Killah
Czarface Meets Ghostface
*** out of *****

The previous album from Czarface was a collaboration with MF Doom, titled Czarface Meets Metal Face and for their follow up they kept the style (even the "face") as they partner with Ghostface Killah for the unimaginatively titled Czarface Meets Ghostface.

However, the talent on the record is palpable as Czarface includes 7L & Esoteric from Boston and Inspectah Deck from NYC and by adding Shaolin running partner Ghostface to the mix the rhyme talent is exceptionable as the music lingers with ominous beats, flowing as a complete listen over it's forty minute run time.

The grimy sound from 7L links all of the tracks and obviously owes to the Wu-Tang style, but also modernizes it for 2019. After a Macho Man Randy Savage impersonator gets things started, the warbling sound thinner beats color "Face Off". "Iron Claw" is the first single from the outfit and starts a pairing of the best efforts on the record with a head bopping beat that flashes in splashes of static, full on drop outs and futuristic phasers.

Following it up is "Czarrcade '87" with deep beats and all three MC's blending seamlessly together as if they have been doing this forever. While this number finds just Esoteric and Inspectah Deck on it, the trio combine for "Super Solider Serum" which bleeps, buzzes and ends with eastern flute in exiting fashion. Skittering beats and strings color the cinematic, horror movie sounding"Listen To The Color" while "Mongolian Beef" finds Ghost taking lines from Liquid Swords and blares through bars of rhymes while the fuzz beat bounces around him. 

The dramatic sounds and overarching feeling makes for a good full listen, but there isn't a stand out must hear. The outfit is going more for thematic listening and they succeed. Kendra Morris shows up to provide a few choruses, perhaps most oddly and engagingly on "The King Heard Voices" while Esoteric at times reminds of Jay-Z and Ghostface is more relaxed, fitting in with the group than an album altering guest, the overall results are a good listen.     
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Support the artists, buy the album and peep some video below:

Monday, May 20, 2019

Dylan Cover #376 Haley Heynderickx "It Ain't Me Babe" 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 Haley Heynderickx playing "It Ain't Me, Babe"

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this song:
One of the best Dylan songs because it is universal, to the point, lyrical, smirking, self-centered and a perfect statement. Dylan has written lots of songs that can be covered well (as evident by this series) but "It Ain't Me, Babe" fits perhaps better then almost any other one into a huge variety of styles. That is because we have all been in the singers position one time or another...and it is a damn good song.

Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
This is the first time we are coming across Haley Heynderickx.

Thoughts on Cover:
The delicate live cover is a sweet tune. The true star is Heynderickx voice which is ethereal and enchanting.  Fun stuff.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Full Show Friday: James Brown Live @ The Boston Garden 1968

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...James Brown!

Our focus this month in our ongoing Masters series is James Brown.

Here we go, the Godfather of Soul where he belongs, live and on stage. This week we proudly present one of the most historic sets of his career, the Boston Garden show after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

The show begins with a comedy set from none other than Maceo Parker, before the Soul Brother #1 takes the stage. Historical, funky, amazing, Enjoy:



Thursday, May 16, 2019

Album Review: Show Me The Body - Dog Whistle

Show Me The Body
Dog Whistle
*** out of *****

Show Me The Body are a lot of things as a band, but where many "new" hardcore punk outfits strive to be like legends past, coping styles and songs note for note, this New York City based trio are trying to carve their new path, beholden to no one person place or political party.

The band (Julian Cashwan Pratt, Harlan Steed, Noah Cohen-Corbett) are firebrands who play more of a mix of sludge industrial rock with punk, hip-hop and art rock influences. Opener "Camp Orchestra" was inspired by a visit to Poland’s Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum and is a tribute to the Jewish orchestra groups formed in concentration camps during World War II. The tune opens with an instrumental around distorted bass and soothing classical guitar lines for two minutes before turning on the chugging, snarling electric guitars, and tight drums, complete with breakdowns and slam dance ready rev ups to close.   

The group is it's most typical punkish and hardcore on tracks like "Not For Love", the pummeling "Drought" and the skate rock ready "Madonna Love" which is their best in the more straight ahead style, but the band never seems to want to do things normally. The have spoken word poetry in the form of "Animal In A Dream" or "Die For the Earth to Live" which both obsess about the business of death, or the performance art of "Now I Know" dealing with oncoming plagues. Even quirky instrumentation of plunking strings slowly builds on "Arcanum" but for a band who is willing to throw everything into the mix this track ends oddly restrained. These experiments aren't all successful, and the tunes, will not be for everyone, but the young trio is certainly never dull. 

The group seems to really dig into their industrial hip-hop style the most though as "Fork and Knives" screeches and bumps with sludge beats and metallic screeches of metal on metal train tracks. Closer "Lullaby" also floats in these industrial waters while a track like "Badge Grabber" seems to combine everything the group does best. The tune slathers on screeching guitars, yelling lyrics about death and family and friends, distorted almost dance beats complete with many odd stop starts.

The group never lets the listener feel comfortable and that is the point, they are here to fuck things up and by bringing new ideas to a genre which usually just recycles it's best parts Show The Body is fresh, while still experimenting, growing and finding their sound.
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Thanks to Billy for pointing these guys out to RtBE.
Support the band, buy the album, listen on bandcamp or below and peep some video:


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Sazerwrap Part 2: The Music

The Sazerwrap has been the @RockBodyElec way of rounding up all the amazing things that happen down at our annual trip to Jazzfest in New Orleans.  We will breaking the review up into two parts, Food and Music, today is the Music.  Only 11 Months until next years festival!

It has been a few years, but RtBE is bringing back the Sazerwrap for the 50th Anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. This is our 11th straight year of catching the fest and needless to say each year is magic. The trips keep evolving as does the festival and city which hosts it. Today we will chat about the tunes we heard and shows we saw.