Thursday, April 18, 2019

Album Review: The Yawpers - Human Question

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!

It is of The Yawpers newest release, Human Question.

This is a really cool album for Rock and Roll fans. Hell, it is a cool album for anyone. The Yawpers mix up some heady ideas with some raw energy and bluesy playing. RtBE had not been familiar with this trio prior to this release but will have to dig into their back catalog.

There is a clear Replacements connection, and turns out that Tommy Stinson actually produced their last album., which makes sense. Bloodshot Records is a damn good label and this is a dman good release.

Support the artist, buy the record, read the review and peep some video below:


Kurt Vile, Dinosaur Jr. Cate Le Bon to Play Summer Stage

It is going to get loud in Central Park on July 25th as a trio of bands are taking to Summer Stage on that Thursday Night.
Kurt Vile, Dinosaur Jr. and Cate Le Bon will be playing on that night in the heart of Manhattan. Tickets go on-sale tomorrow (or today if you are fancy club member) for the show.

RtBE plans to be there as Dinosaur Jr. or one of our favorites. To get in the mood here are a few videos from the bands involved:




Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Phil & Phriends Part 3: 4/17/99

Today marks the 20th Anniversary of Phil & Phriends Show from April '99 were the first true coming together of the Grateful Dead and Phish worlds. For those of use who remember the show announcements, the importance can not be overstated, this was going to be monumental, Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell would head west to join Phil Lesh along with Steve Kimock and John Molo at The Fillmore in San Francisco. These were the hottest tickets around and even more exciting the shows outshine the immense hype.
They remain some of the best live music produced by either outfits illustrious careers and deserve a revisit on their twentieth birthday. (Part 1, Part 2)
Today we look at the mid show of the run: 4/17/99:


(Listen through archive.org or watch through the youtube link above)




If the previous night was the Phish lead party night for this outfit, the closing night was highlighted by Kimock and Molo as the band got spacey, jazz directed and worked out some of the more intricate Dead tunes in relaxed, confident and down right jaw dropping fashion.
The opening huge tune/segue fest continued for night three and if asked what is the supreme highlight of this run, I would have to pick the opening segue magic of this show as the "Dark Star">"It's Up To You" "Days Between"> "Dark Star" > "My Favorite Things" is simply glorious. The playing in and out of "Dark Star" would be another trait Lesh would take with him moving forward but on this night Kimock shines bright as his tune "It's Up To You" blends wonderfully with the Grateful Dead old jam war horse, and the most underrated song in the band's catalog "Day's Between". Always a personal favorite, this version is magical and we haven't even dipped back into "Dark Star" and the instrumental take on the Coltrane classic.

The whole thing is moved along so swimmingly by Lesh and particularly Molo as the band just seems in total command over the opening hour of music. Donna Jean rejoins the boys to help out as "Bird Song" has flashes of that Dark Star jazz flowing through it as Page lead the singing way, his vocal highlight of the run, to close out the magical set of music even though not everyone will dig Phil's backup vocals.

Here is where I will put a caveat, if you don't like Phil's style of singing these shows may not take on the legendary status they have achieved in the RtBE clubhouse. Sure there is enough music (as well as vocals from Trey and Page) but Phil is the main vocalist and his singing just fine for us, but he is clearly not for everyone.


The second set opens with "Terrapin Station" as the band goes big and while not an all-time must hear it is a respectable version (with some vocal flubs but excellent jamming roaming over twenty minutes) but the set shifts into a higher gear with "Down with Disease" acting as a rev up before the band melds back seamlessly into Dark Star's sung second verse; simply gorgeous.

The group moves into some fan favorites mid second set and while perhaps a killer "Eyes of The World" jam would have seemed a perfect fit, they went with "Friend of the Devil" and "Casey Jones" both solid if not world beating. Things are soaring again though for "Morning Dew" and the raging running of "Going Down The Road Feeling Bad"

This particular group of players seem like they could have kept it going forever, but they never played together again, and that is OK as these shows captured a truly magical coming together of musical worlds and connected generations through music, love and pure joy. RtBE makes it a habit to listen to these shows often, you should do the same.
 

The Masters: The Rolling Stones - 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 April The Masters focuses on The Rolling Stones.

Live music is the best thing out there. Being caught in the moment is religion. Palpable vibes of healing and energy are transmitted and shit...gets...real. For this month's focus, The Rolling Stones are one of the best live bands in the world, but their studio albums get more respect then any live records and with reason.

While the the group has released a bunch of live records, throughout their career they acted more as stop gaps and contract fillers then devastating/must hear shows. Moments may feel transcendent but this is a group who managed to get the most out of their premier studio work and a lot of their live albums fall into the "release so we can stave off a studio record" category.  

However, things have been changing over the last ten years as their archives have opened up and some great sets/shows/performances have been officially released to the world through the vault series and other venues. Longtime fans have had bootlegs of these for years, but now they get better quality and blessings from the band.

Below RtBE ranks their best five live albums, so let's get to it.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Phil & Phriends Part 2: 4/16/99

Today marks the 20th Anniversary of Phil & Phriends Show from April '99 which were the first true coming together of the Grateful Dead and Phish worlds. For those of use who remember the show announcements, the importance can not be overstated, this was going to be monumental, Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell would head west to join Phil Lesh along with Steve Kimock and John Molo at The Fillmore in San Francisco. These were the hottest tickets around and even more exciting the shows outshine the immense hype.
They remain some of the best live music produced by either outfits illustrious careers and deserve a revisit on their twentieth birthday. (Part 1Part 3)

Today we look at the mid show of the run: 4/16/99:

(Listen through the Internet Archives streaming below and watch the youtube clips throughout)





With the mega opening and the huge closing yet to come the middle night of this run doesn't always get the love it should, but the show is straight up fun from the opening "Help On the Way" notes to the acoustic "Ripple" encore. If anything this night feels the most Phish lead with Trey and Page singing and playing in the forefront for the majority of the set.

This is the epitome of a Friday Night show as the band and crowd are in high spirits and the matrix mix captures that joy. The huge "Help>Slip Franks" continues the trend of historic jamming to open as the trio clocks in at forty minutes and while Trey gets the vocals going for "Help", it is the "Slipknot!" section which pays the best dividends with the group interlocking and weaving as if they had been playing together their whole careers; it is a snake sifting through the underbrush with slinky grooving ease. The wrap up of "Franklin's Tower" is joyful but surprisingly Page hits a few false notes with his vocals.   

Unlike post Viola Lee from the first night there is no exhale to end the first set, the immensely apropos Phil lead vocals of  "Wish You Were Here"...Here is where I will put a caveat, if you don't like Phil's style of singing these shows may not take on the legendary status they have achieved in the RtBE clubhouse. Sure there is enough music (as well as vocals from Trey and Page) but Phil is the main vocalist and his singing just fine for us, but he is clearly not for everyone. 


You don't need singing to be moved towards tears during the instrumental Kimock led "Stella Blue" which weeps with majestic beauty; The ghost of Garcia is in those notes. "Tennessee Jed" is a blast of fun release while the players then throw down the most Phish sounding jam, and one of the individual highlights of the full run with a funk laden "Alligator" to close this set. This version was so well received fans were convinced Phish would pull it out at Big Cypress when the band rang in the millennium, but that wasn't to be.

Second set Donna Jean Godchaux joined and the fellas instantly fell into lock step with Trey leading the way on a spritely "Bertha":
  
The group segued into the twinkling sea song of "Prince Caspian" which found Molo hitting big drum fills as Phil played his relaxed style adding fluid, melodic bass lines underneath as the jam stroll out to fifteen minutes with Kimock feeling right at home in a Phish tune as he and Trey worked together to raise the tune to soaring heights. The middle of set was a Lesh spotlight as "St. Stephan" > "The Eleven" and "Unbroken Chain" all received huge shouts from the crowd.

The quintet's take on "Chalkdust Torture" is fine, with more excellent interplay with Kimock and Trey, if a bit wandering and the relaxed, "Mountains of the Moon" is a breather before the set closing double headed joyous jaunt through the beloved "Scarlet Begonias" > "Fire On the Mountain" pairing.


A "Ripple" encore wrapped up the night with excellent supporting vocals from Page and Trey. A crowd pleasing set which still brings smiles to the faces of those listening twenty years on down the road. 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Dylan Cover #371 Ani DiFranco "Most of the Time" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's artists, Ani DiFranco performing a live cover of "Most of the Time" 
This month we have a special focus on Artists who will be playing the 2019 Jazzfest in New Orleans. Today we highlight the legendary, Ani DiFranco who plays the Fais Do-Do Stage Friday, May 3rd.

Thoughts on Dylan Original
From our first cover take on this tune:
One of the best songs in Dylan's repertoire from any of his era's and also one of the most important, "Most Of The Time" proved Dylan was far from done as an artist.  Showing up on the return to form album Oh Mercy, "Most Of The Time" is a revelation with it's descending bass line and powerfully stark lyrics.  There is a palpable sense of desperation, longing,  sadness, a nervous sense of things are falling apart around me; this tune touches a nerve and makes you stand up and take notice.
Cover:

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Ani DiFranco has always been on the periphery of our musical tastes, but has never came front and center.
Thoughts on Cover:
An excellent reworking, putting the banjo front and center is a bold choice and works well. DiFranco also pays tribute to the original with the bass player working in that gorgeous line as the song progresses. DiFranco's voice is in fine form even if the audio is a bit choppy. Great cover.

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Phil & Phriends Part 1: 4/15/99

Today marks the 20th Anniversary of the first Phil & Phriends Show from April '99. These were the first true coming together of the Grateful Dead and Phish worlds. For those of use who remember the show announcements, the importance can't be overstated, this was going to be monumental, Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell would head west to join Phil Lesh along with Steve Kimock and John Molo at The Fillmore in San Francisco. These were the hottest tickets around and even more exciting the shows outshine the immense hype.

They remain some of the best live music produced by either outfits illustrious careers and deserve a revisit on their twentieth birthday. (Part 2, Part 3)

Today we look at the opener: 4/15/99 


(Listen through archive.org or watch through the youtube link above)




Sometimes things take a minute to really sink in, not this show. Phil brought out his sons Graham and Brian with Steve Kimock on guitar to sing "Hello Old Friends" before the curtain even rose to show how happy he was to be back performing after his liver transplant in 1998. There had been a smattering of other Phil and Friends shows in the past but this run cemented Phil's post Dead career by using the songs as merely a template for the music to springboard off of...and if there was ever an example of this it was the 4/15/99 opener; "Viola Lee Blues".

There are so many highlights from this three night run RtBE will probably not get to them all, but the first stinkin' song is so huge and contains so many musical paths it is cosmic that THIS run is special from the first group notes. Apparently when Phil first met with Trey and Page it was their idea to dig waaaaay back into the early days of the Dead and play tunes like this one and "Cosmic Charlie".
Whether you see them in the audio up above or are just listening, that smile at the end of the thirty four plus minute opener is shining bright. The group are completely locked in and can't contain themselves, this is music in the moment, this is generations meeting on equal turf and blowing it the fuck out.

After the firs tsong on this night it was all gravy, however it could be argued that this version propelled "Wolfman's Brother" into the top tier of Phish songs (along with it's Slip Stitch and Pass version) as it was the first song of the Vermont crews which Phil wanted to play on. Trey had previously made a tape of songs he sent to Phil pre-show. The band proved all songs were game and ended the set with what I believe was the first "calypso" inspired "Uncle John's Band" which would become a highlight in the powerful Phil Lesh Quintet during upcoming tours. 

Even listening with a critical ear twenty years removed there are only some draw backs to this run, "Cosmic Charlie" never shuffles like it wants to and should, and if one set out of the set is the weakest, the second set on this first night is it.

However, there are also glorious musical moments, such as the transitions from "Like A Rolling Stone's" killer jam seamlessly into "I Know You Rider" or the flow from the funky as hell Trey led "Shakedown Street" into a soaring version of the "The Wheel", the minor quibbles can be forgiven.

Here is where I will put a caveat, if you don't like Phil's style of singing these shows may not take on the legendary status they have achieved in the RtBE clubhouse. Sure there is enough music (as well as vocals from Trey and Page) but Phil is the main vocalist and his singing just fine for, us but he is clearly not for everyone.

The second Dylan cover of the night "Mr. Tambourine Man" wraps up the successful first night with the historic "Viola Lee Blues" opener setting the tone for the whole magical run; something special was certainly in the air.