Monday, April 27, 2015

Dylan Cover #185 Ed Sheeran "Masters Of War" 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 Ed Sheeran playing "Masters of War"
Every April our Dylan Cover Series focuses on artists playing The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Ed Sheeran will headline the Gentilly Stage on Saturday May 2nd

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
Ranking as one of his most accusatory and cutting tracks is no easy measure but Dylan condemns the whole "war machine" on this classic and vital track (the "hope that you die" line is so facking cold, it is brutal). Often misrepresented as an attack on war itself (Dylan always said he wasn't a pacifist) this track calls out the government for using war-as-business (the Cold War in Particular) and business-as-war models when lives are put on the line for meaningless reasons. As alive and burning now as it was in 1962 when he wrote it.

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
This is actually the second time we are featuring Sheeran in this Dylan cover series. The first time was here and you can see what we thought about him last July, thoughts haven't changed much and unfortunately we will be missing him this year at Jazzfest. Saturday the 2nd is a busy day for us, and we need to prep for The Rough Seven late night @ Saturn Bar.

Thoughts on Cover:
A more upbeat take on the track then we are used to, but still a good version, if perhaps not as up to par as some other versions we have talked about in this series.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Full Show Friday: No Doubt Live 1997

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...No Doubt!

Every April we have a special showcase for bands who are playing this years Jazzfest in NOLA. Today we will focus on No Doubt who will be headlining the Acura Stage Friday May 1st.  

No Doubt are the big name band playing on the second Friday of the fest. This surprised us here at RtBE as we didn't think No Doubt was that big of a draw, but then were reminded Gwen Stephanie is immensely visible on The Voice.

Having never watched the show, we forgot that she is probably more popular now then ever before in her career. We honestly were never a fan of the band, having missed the boat on their big break out. GS sounds a bit too much like Geddy Lee at times for these ears and the 3rd 4th or 5th wave ska style never roped us in.

That said, this fun romp. A pro shot, pro sound show from Anaheim on their world tour for their smash Tragic Kingdom record. Keep your ears peeled for a quick Special's tribute and the show closing ska Beatles tune is a nice touch. Full setlist below. Enjoy:

00:57 Tragic kingdom
04:38 Excuse me mr
08:44 Different people
14:20 Happy Now? 
18:14 Dj's
22:19 End it on this
26:09 Just a Girl
36:01 The Climb
43:30 Total Hate
47:22 Hey You
50:47 The Imperial March
52:28 Move On
58:22 Don't Speak
1:04:07 Sunday Morning
1:21:31 Spiderwebs
1:26:45 Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Jazzfest Posters Through the Years

Thanks to my friend Allen, who forwarded this link regarding the full history of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Posters dating back to 1969. 
We love the fest and the posters are iconic but this trip back through the years to see how they evolved is pretty telling to just how massive this event has become. The 1969 Pencil drawing shows you the roots and this years 3d image proves just how far the art has progressed, not necessarily improved though.

Our personal favorites? 2007 Jerry Lee Lewis shall hang on our wall one day.

1991 has a cool vibe to it and we love the 1978 edition.
All of this fantastic art makes us more and more anxious for the festival...which starts tomorrow. Enjoy if you are there for those of us who can't make down yet, here are some tunes to get the party (mentally) started:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Album Review: Alabama Shakes- Sound & Color

Alabama Shakes
Sound & Color
**** out of *****
The Alabama Shakes first release Boys & Girls was a solid piece of southern soul and easy hip shaking rock and roll that seemed to be embraced by pretty much everyone who heard it. The title aptly described the relationships that were sung expertly about by Brittany Howard, the stand out player from the bands debut, and again the title tells the tale as Sound & Color lets the band indulge in various sonic experiments. The end result is a transitional album rather than a note for note follow up most would expect and for that fans of the band should be thankful even if it takes a few spins to settle into.    

The freakiness flies from the opening title track with unique pianos, sketchy sounds and a CeeLo Green vibe. That dreamy tranquility and musical expressiveness allows the band to switch styles, no longer are they easily pigeonholed as southern roots rock and soul.

The wah wah guitar of "Don't Wanna Fight" gets funky Prince-like groove working and that late night vibe melts into most of the tracks. "Future People" continues it and disk closer "Over My Head" mixes it in expertly like a 3am cocktail. The off kilter bass and drum combo that dominates "Gemini" shows the band reaching out and tacking on a burning/buzzing guitar outro, which while over indulgent, proves that the standard template is out the window for the group this go around.  
Howard is still the focal point as her vocals are truly special, however she is game for trying out different things as well, going more falsetto, pinching off highs or yelping oddly, her willingness to try something new is refreshing. She can still dominate a simple blues inflected number with "The Felling" and kicks off the bands first punkish outing with "The Greatest", even more punk may have made it even tighter.

For fans not ready to move on from Boys & Girls, "Miss You" is where you should start, a slow torch song that fits the bands first efforts. The best combination and perhaps a sweet-spot mix of style and substance for future tracks can be found on the most complete offering, "Gimme All Your Love". A nuanced mix of building, fluttering, and dramatic pauses/swells that transforms into a stone cold groove to close, an A+ effort.    

Not everything hits that high mark, "Dunes" feels still in the demo phase of production, and for an album with lots of variety things seem to be bogged down; a track like "Shoegaze" doesn't add much. Positively though the group sounds cohesive, confidently finding their way through their studio experiments as their sound, tastes and styles evolve, grow and find their footing only to brilliantly slip off again into the unknown.  
Great to see bands evolve, we liked the first album (would have been 8 stars on current rating system) and Sound & Color, proves the band won't sit still.

Support the band here, buy the album here, peeps some video below:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Album Review: Built To Spill- Untethered Moon

Built To Spill
Untethered Moon
**** out of *****
During the last press go around Doug Martsch, the only true member of Built To Spill, said that no one was in a hurry to hear any new BtS albums. He was right and after the underwhelming There Is No Enemy back in 2009 there didn't look like there would be another one, and that was OK. It seemed the band would tour when Martsch felt like it and play their old, fantastic, indie rock back catalog to fans.  

Now along comes Untethered Moon and maybe that unexpected nature gives it an edge, but for whatever reason the album sounds better, more alive, then anything Doug and backing players have produced since 1999's Keep It Like A Secret.

Adding a new rhythm section of Jason Albertini on bass Stephen Gere on drums could also be a reason for the born again feel but the group still revolves around Martsch's otherworldly guitar offerings, quirky timings and laid back yet yearning vocals and lyrics. 

Opening with "All Our Songs" Martsch takes his knack for writing about writing music (see the excellent "Joyride") and constructs an extremely engaging musical journey. Reflecting on his personal tunes, tons of guitar styles/pianos/rhythms become entwined in an inventive fashion. There is a crazy ending to things (an occurrence throughout the album) that builds to a driving solo. 

That songs about songs thing shows up again in another highlight track "Some Other Song" that includes great lyrics ("I still don't know/how to fall apart") in Doug's patented vocal style, directly reflecting on the bands back catalog. Production on this disk really stands out, glorious feedback, guitar runs, and deep bass match well with crisp drums; those duties were handled by Martsch and Sam Coomes of Quasi

The country vibe of "On The Way" can gain all the bands off kilter Neil Young comparisons this go round, while the snake driven guitar lines of "C.R.E.B" and the poppy drive of "Another Day" both work wonderfully.

The first released track "Living Zoo" cooks at the intro with zig-zagging six strings before a pop laden vocal that contemplates man's animalistic side. Other tracks like the pairing of the short "Horizons To Cliff" with the rising "So" work very well in the full album format.

The disk closing "When I'm Blind" ends the album on a cosmic high, driving bass and guitar soloing which made Martsch so engaging in the late 90's come home again in glorious fashion. While he is correct BtS doesn't need to make new albums, after listening to Untethered Moon fans of engaging guitar dominated indie rock will be damn glad that they did.     
This surprised us, we had written off Built To Spill, but this here is good stuff.

Support the band here, buy the album here, and peep some video below:

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dylan Cover #184 Jimmy Buffett "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35"

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 Jimmy Buffett playing "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35"

This month our Dylan Cover Series will focus on artists playing The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Jimmy Buffett will play the festival on Sunday April 26th

Thoughts on Original:
The first song on the iconic Blonde on Blonde "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" is an anthem for a do what with, is up for debate. Stoned in the head or stoned by the masses up to you to decide. Whatever your thoughts on the lyrics and meaning it can't be argued that Bob is having fun which doesn't always come across on his studio releases. The "salvation Army" style horns and marching is a hoot...once in a long while but not made for everyday consumption. Truth be told, the song is normally skipped when I am listening to the album, I like opening Blonde on Blonde better with "Pledging My Time".  


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Jimmy Buffett seems like a blast live and we still gotta catch him with Ceez before he stops touring one of these days. We are not a huge fan but can not deny his amazing lifestyle is ideal.

Thoughts on Cover:
Never one of or favorite songs but this choice of Buffett covering the tune is simply money. A perfect choice, closing a show, and adding the pumping horns and silly lyrics make for a quirky fun match. Oh and what day is this?!?! Far out man...

Friday, April 17, 2015

Full Show Friday: Wilco 4/3/13 Sydney Opera House

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...Wilco!
Every April we have a special showcase for bands who are playing this years Jazzfest in NOLA. Today we will focus on Wilco who will be headlining the Gentilly Stage Friday April 24th.  

We have seen Wilco a few times live (I am guessing 5 or 6 times at this point) and they are a solid live act. One of the first times we saw them was at Jazzfest itself and they obviously love playing the best festival in the United States.

This show is from 2013 and it showcases their set at the iconic Sydney Opera House. You can find the full setlist below.  


0:40 Less than you think
6:26 Art of almost
13:42 I am trying to break your heart
19:45 I might
23:57 Via Chicago
29:23 Spiders
35:09 Impossible Germany
37:47 start of solo
42:51 Born alone
47:01 Laminated cat
52:37 She's a jar
58:24 Say you miss me
1:02:08 Whole love
1:06:29 Box full of letters
1:09:45 Hummingbird
1:13:16 California stars
1:17:53 Forget the flowers
1:22:15 Dawned on me
1:25:55 Shot in the arm
1:33:05 Jesus, etc.
1:37:10 Hate it here
1:41:55 Heavy metal drummer
1:45:19 Walken
1:50:07 I'm the man who loves you
1:56:30 The late greats
1:58:50 end of the show (worth it imo)