Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year Everybody

Here's wishing you a happy and safe 2010 for you and yours.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Year In Review 2009 - Top 10 Albums Part 3

In retrospect this year produced some killer music and a few really great full length offerings.  Lots of established artists and virgins newbies put out valiant efforts, so like everyone and their grandmother I came up with a Top Ten List from the past 12 months.  No live albums, box-sets or re-releases were harmed, or even considered for this list, Feel free to voice your opinions vigorously.
A lot of these albums I have already reviewed for Glide or other sites, so when that is the case I will link to my full review and try to say something else about the album here, because over the course of the year feelings can/do change on things.  Oh and give the groups some love by grabbing their albums, or even better, get up off your ass and see them live when they come around.

5-1 After the Jump

Friday, December 18, 2009

Year in Review 2009 - Top 10 Albums Part 2

In retrospect this year produced some killer music and a few really great full length offerings.  Lots of established artists and virgins newbies put out valiant efforts, so like everyone and their grandmother I came up with a Top Ten List from the past 12 months.  No live albums, box-sets or re-releases were harmed, or even considered for this list, Feel free to voice your opinions vigorously.
 A lot of these albums I have already reviewed for Glide or other sites, so when that is the case I will link to my full review and try to say something else about the album here, because over the course of the year feelings can/do change on things.  Oh and give the groups some love by grabbing their albums, or even better, get up off your ass and see them live when they come around.

10-6 After the jump..

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Glide Review - The Megaphonic Thrift

New Glide Review up today.

I reviewed The Megaphonic Thrift's EP A Thousand Years of Destruction

Check it out here!

I talked about them briefly in 2009 Year in Review Top Ten Albums Part 1 post, but this group is very much my style.  These Norwegians clearly love Sonic Youth (nice taste) and are accomplished rockers who aren't afraid to get loud noisy and stretch it out.

Yup my style.  Still pissed I missed them at CMJ, will not be missing them when they come back to NYC.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Year in Review 2009- Top 10 Albums Part 1

In retrospect this year produced some killer music and a few really great full length offerings.  Lots of established artists and virgins newbies put out valiant efforts, so like everyone and their grandmother I came up with a Top Ten List from the past 12 months.  No live albums, box-sets or re-releases were harmed, or even considered for this list, Feel free to voice your opinions vigorously.
 A lot of these albums I have already reviewed for Glide or other sites, so when that is the case I will link to my full review and try to say something else about the album here, because over the course of the year feelings can/do change on things.   

(One small note, I am noticing no Hip-Hop on this list, and while over the last few years I have been much more “rock” focused, I don’t ignore the genre, but I am certainly not an expert.  Jay-Z’s new one didn’t impress and unfortunately I have not given Raekwon’s album a listen yet (my bad), and I am sure I am missing other releases…oh well, feel free to direct me to any winners)

Today we will hit on some just misses and a few disappointments, and get to the Top Ten in good time…all in good time me droogies. Read On

Monday, December 14, 2009

Glide Top 50 Albums of the 00's

Hey there ramblers, so I recently had the pleasure of working with Shane over at Glide and we came up with the list that was posted this morning.  I will be posting my personal list, but there will be a lot of crossover with this one as we spent a good amount of time on it and we both agreed on the majority of things.
So check it out Right here!!!!!
(Full List minus descriptions after the jump)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Glide Review- Pixies Live 11-24-09 NYC


Got a new review up on Glide.
It is the Pixies live at Hammerstein Ballroom NYC.
Read it here!!!
For more info pics and video, check out this post.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Pixies Live 11-24-09 Pics and Video

Caught the Pixies live at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC a few nights before Thanksgiving with Jeff, Mike and Lopez.  It was a tight show, they took the stage after a 7 minute movie at exactly 9:07 and left the stage at 10:30.  Held within that hour and half however was some tight as hell art/punk/rock.  The band is touring for the 20th anniversary of Doolittle (A top 30 all time album in my book) and played it in it's entirety.  While that was exciting, they also dipped into B-sides released off of the Singles of Doolittle, a cool twist on "we are going to play our best album in order" shows that have been going around lately (Built to Spill, Sonic Youth caught both tours and the shows were great by the way).
Here are some Pics from the show, and a video of one of their best tunes, "Hey" that I took (After the Jump). A full review will be posted on Glide today or tomorrow.  Our tickets were for the first Mezz at Hammerstein, it was my first time up there for a show after seeing about 20 on the floor.  While we couldn't see the video screens, I think I may like it better, easy in and out, your got your own bar (even if our tender was slower then a turtle riding a snail), not as jam packed as the floor, maybe I am just getting older...like this fantastic crew:


Monday, November 30, 2009

Glide Review- Bob Dylan Live 11/19/09


New Review up on Glide.

Bob Dylan Live at The United Palace 11/19/09, read it right here!

For more thoughts, pics, setlist, and videos read my older post here.



Friday, November 27, 2009

Album Review- The Black Crowes Before The Frost

This review is part of the "Over Flow" Review Series. For various reasons these past reviews were not published anywhere else. I am tagging them as "Overflow Reviews" and may add some extra information before or after if needed but will keep the ratings and reviews just as I originally wrote them. Enjoy:

The Black Crowes
Before The Frost…Until the Freeze
****an1/2

When The Black Crowes released Warpaint fans were ecstatic for a return to original form from the Southern rockers.  Ok, so with a solid album under them the old tour dogs could continue in their same tried and true vein forever right?  Well here comes Before The Frost… and it ups the ante as to just what this band is capable of going forward with new members Luther Dickinson on guitar and Adam MacDougall on keys.  Both are no longer the new guys, as they make vital contributions right from the get go.

The rollicking guitar and piano sashay of “Good Morning Captain” kicks off with lyrics sounding straight out of the 1800’s.  Chris Robinson is the consummate front-man; passionately singing the blues to lost lovers and vacant cities throughout the album, if anything his rich voice has gotten better with age.  The Crowes haven’t grown into old men yet though; their asses can still get down as is evident on the funk grooving single “I Ain’t Hiding”.  Recalling “Miss You” from The Rolling Stones, this soulful shakedown somehow manages to make disco fresh in rock and roll again, not a simple task.  The band also funks up peace-and-love-rock on “Make Glad” and gets wah-wah scratch heavy on the closing breakdown in “Been A Long Time (Waiting On Love)” which lends itself to the stage.  However this album isn’t all about late seventies funk and night club bumps. 

“Appaloosa” is a classic western lament glowing with acoustic strings and pedal steel, before the banjo laced “What Is Home” eases in like a late night jam session.  The personal pain of “Last Place That Love Lives” wraps up the album with bare bones honesty and loneliness.  Larry Campbell’s influence and recording in Levon Helms Woodstock studio before an intimate crowd infuses these tracks with a down home feel.  Old time fans not feeling the newer directions will still find some solid standard Black Crowe efforts like “Kept My Soul” and “And The Band Played On” to ease their minds. 

The countrified bonus download disk …Until the Freeze is also an extra thank you to the fans.  Stripped down simplicity on “Garden Gate” and “Roll Old Jeremiah” continue the relaxed vibe.  While the Crowes were always capable of a boogie …Until the Freeze confirms they’re just as adept at a slowed down hoedown.      

Where past efforts have linked the Crowes directly with The Allman Brothers and Face’s, Before the Frost…Until the Freeze calls to mind The Band and The Grateful Dead.  This is no longer regional rock, but pure wide open Americana; flowing over mountains and through rivers before cutting loose and shaking booty in city nightclubs.  A mature effort that never rocks as hard as their younger selves yet satisfies more.
More thoughts after the jump:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bob Dylan Live Pictures 11-19-09 United Palace, NYC


Caught Bobby Dylan Live with Kel on Thursday.  The man has consistently been inconsistent live his whole career, staggering brilliant one night and lazily sloppy (in a bad way) the next.  This was my 15th time seeing Dylan, he is one of my favorites and I feel like I can write a book on each performance, not always for the good reasons, but it was safe to say he was "On" tonight.  Full review will be posted shortly on Glide, but check out some more pics, the Setlist with details, and maybe a quick video after the jump. (Yes I kept the setlists for all 15 shows...so what?!!?)

Glide Review- Dead Weather Live 11-17-09


Dead Weather Live Full Review is up on Glide- Right here.

Nothing more to add, check out the video and pics from my last post.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Dead Weather Live Pics and Video

Here are some Pics and Video (A Full Review will be on Glide in a day or two) of The Dead Weather show from 11-17-09 @ the Music Hall of Williamsburg.  I caught the show with my friend Dan who is a big fan of the band as well, Great Night, Amazing playing and some New Tunes to boot, to boot!  Enjoy:

Dead Weather Cover of "A Child of a Few Hours Ago Is Burning To Death"

More Pictures, Set List and Video's After the Jump

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Glide Review - Elliott Brood Mountain Meadows


Hey There,

New Review over at Glide.

Elliott Brood, Mountain Meadows.

Check it here!

A few more thoughts, tunes, and a history lesson after the jump.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Album Review- Magik Markers Balf Quarry

This review is part of the "Over Flow" Review Series. For various reasons these past reviews were not published anywhere else. I am tagging them as "Overflow Reviews" and may add some extra information before or after if needed but will keep the ratings and reviews just as I originally wrote them. Enjoy:

Magik Markers
Balf Quarry
***an1/2
It began on the Magik Markers last album Boss, the duo started moving from pure noise to a bit more malleable rock song structure; noise accentuating rather then overtaking.  That trend continues on Balf Quarry with drummer Peter Nolan and guitarist/vocalist Elisa Ambrogio combining on some deceptively catchy tripped out rockers and sonic fuzz laden laments.   Their lo-fi approach to record making (the group has a slew of CD-R releases) and improv laden live shows comes across on tracks like the piano clanking “Psychosomatic”, the grinding instrumental “The Ricer Car of Dr. Clara Haber” and spastic “The Lighter Side of…Hippies”.

 Lyrically throughout MM focus on idiot’s and hurt, as if a bad break up just went down.  The screeching metal of “Jerks” testifies to this and the GTO driving, neat hair parting, homey’s in “Risperdal” don’t seem to be such great catches either. The pain seeps out in almost torch song fashion, with to much of cliché on, “State Number”, the Markers convey emotion better with offbeat racket, speed and clang.     

The dark marching bruise of “Don’t Talk in You’re Sleep” is the best straight forward song, but the disk closer is even more enchanting.  The 11 minute “Shells” begins with string induced drone and doesn’t appear to be letting up when Elisa drops a monotone vocal on top.  About 5:30 in, a subtle piano progression takes over and the singing becomes beautiful; lyrics of redemption and being born from the shadows enchant.  Yet the trip isn’t over, we are told to “Brace for the Storm” as the strings creep back, the end suffocates while Elisa becomes echoing and more ominous; this is indie rock’s siren song, dragging hipsters to their watery graves, a fantastic track on an engaging album.   
Mp3's, Videos and a few more thoughts after the jump:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Dead Weather will be playing Brooklyn

Just a quick heads up, The Dead Weather will be playing Brooklyn in a week, at the tiny Music Hall of Williamsburg, so you know this will sell out instantly.  From the Band:

November show in Brooklyn announced!
11.09.2009
The Dead Weather have just announced that they will be playing a show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY on November 17th. Tickets will be available for subscribers to The Vault, Third Man Records' online subscription service, for three days starting on Tuesday, November 10th at 12 pm EST, and available to the general public starting Friday, November 13th at 12 pm EST.

During this trip to NY the band will also be performing at the mtvU Woodie Awards so be sure to vote for them in the Best Video Woodie category HERE Tune in to see that performance on Friday, December 4th at 10 pm EST on mtvU, MTV, MTV2 and Palladia. 

More thoughts and some videos after the jump.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Glide Review- Cymbals Eat Guitars Live

Hey There

Check out my newest review up on Glide

It is right here!

Cymbals Eat Guitars/Holly Miranda/Delorean Live during CMJ.

more thoughts, music video's and rants after the jump...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Glide Review- Girls Album

Hey There-

New review over at Glide.

Check it out Girls Album

Rock and Roll.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Album Review-Michael Hurtt & his Haunted Hearts Come Back To Louisiana

This review is part of the "Over Flow" Review Series. For various reasons these past reviews were not published anywhere else. I am tagging them as "Overflow Reviews" and may add some extra information before or after if needed but will keep the ratings and reviews just as I originally wrote them. Enjoy:

Michael Hurtt and his Haunted Hearts
Come Back To Louisiana
*** and 1/2

Ah the spicy gumbo that is Nawlin’s music, constantly impressing with range and depth.   Today’s chefs adding to the flavor are Michael Hurtt and his Haunted Hearts bringing back the often forgotten country music of the town.  These troubadours pluck and strum their way through some bayou backwater hillybilly lost classics an sprinkle in country fried chicken gristle originals leaving the listener an earful of goodness.  The title song and opener comes from Rockabilly Hall of Famer Jay Chevalier and the back-porch-moonshine keeps a’flowin’ as the Haunted Hearts stroll through their original “I Dreamed By Starlight”, pick with the quickness on Ford Nix’s “Ain’t No Sign I Wouldn’t If I Could”, an amp up the friskiness on Tommy Odom’s “She Won’t Turn Over For Me”.  The electric playing craftily increases as the album progresses, culminating with the original rockabilly of “Hey Little Tornado”. 

Come Back to Louisiana would ring truest crackling over a turntable in a dusty old juke joint or echoing off a balcony somewhere in the Faubourg Marigny.  While the title of the newest bonus single “Lonely Mardi Gras” may throw you for a loop, the tune should toss revelers into finding a dance partner and strutting down St Charles Ave, shimmying and shaking their blues away.

More after the Jump...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Glide Review- Flaming Lips


Hey There,

I have a new review up on Glide.

It is of those kooky Flaming Lips newest release Embryonic

Check it out right Here!

More thoughts on the The Lips, Embryonic, 1994, and some video and tunes after the jump


Monday, October 19, 2009

The Grateful Dead are King Kong

A few weeks ago I DVR'd a documentary called I'm King Kong! The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper.  I watched it recently and became completely fascinated by Merian C. Cooper's life, you couldn't make-up a character like he supposedly was.  His most famous work was obviously King Kong:


Music, videos, Pictures of a Tye-dyed Empire State Building and connecting the mythical great ape to the Sunshine Serenader's after the jump

Friday, October 16, 2009

Glide Review- Built to Spill



Hey There,

My newest review is posted over on Glide.

It is of Built to Spill's newest release, There Is No Enemy.






Check it out here!

More thoughts and Music Clips after the jump

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New York City Never Cease's to Amaze...Underground Railroad, On My Block.

I love this city, plain and simple.   It has been my home off and on for the past 14 years (Jesus, I'm getting old) and I fell in love with it the minute I got here. Of all the traits, the amazing people, art, food, architecture, music, nightlife, the one that seems to seep into everything is the History of this town.  I can't walk more then a few blocks on a sunny day and not help but think of the millions of people who walked the same block before me.

Whitman talked about this beautifully in Leaves of Grass, particularly in the Crossing Brooklyn Ferry Section:

I too lived—Brooklyn, of ample hills, was mine;
  60
I too walk’d the streets of Manhattan Island, and bathed in the waters around it;

I too felt the curious abrupt questionings stir within me,

In the day, among crowds of people, sometimes they came upon me,

In my walks home late at night, or as I lay in my bed, they came upon me.

NYC History came up and slapped me in the face just recently.  It hit me where I live...literally...on my block this happened....


Camera phone pic taken Oct'09

Pics, Video and a whole bunch more after the jump.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Glide Review- Monsters of Folk



Hey There,

My newest review is posted over on Glide.

It is of the Monsters of Folk Self Titled release.



Check it out here!

Some more feelings on the album and a sample music clip or two after the jump.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Album Review- Angelo Diablo Self Titled

This is going to be the first review I am posting directly to Rock the Body Electric, in the Overflow Review Series. For various reasons these past reviews were not published anywhere else. I am tagging them as "Overflow Reviews" and may add some extra information before or after if needed but will keep the ratings and reviews just as I originally wrote them.



Angelo Diablo
Angelo Diablo
*** and ½ (out of 5)

The Angel, the Devil, the same. Lucifer, the fallen angel, smolders among the embers and along the fringes of this self-titled release and the holy/horror mix produces a triumphant debut. Gorgeously grotesque lyrics uttered in a Waits-fueled vocal by Nick Reis paint lurid pictures; but when paired with the euphoric guitar strumming and rising drums, a sliver of redemption is birthed and grows as the record progresses.

Both “Dead” and “What a Wonder” begin in bleakness but end with lyrical and musical pleas for the listener to embrace life. “Lullabye” and the heart felt Spanish turn in “Joaquinito” show a tender side before the dirty uncle shows up to make a pass at your kid sister with “Ice Cream” and the straight out, no fucking around of “I Wanna”.

The Devil is always present, but who among us is truly beyond redemption? Angelo Diablo occupies both worlds at the same time and so do we – which is precisely why this album works so well.

Check them out at: http://www.myspace.com/angelodiablo1 Disk available at http://www.cdbaby.com

More Info and Music After the Jump...

Newest Review Posted on Glide

Hey There,

My newest review is up on GlideMagazine.com

It is Brendan Benson's newest Solo release My Old, Familiar Friend.


Check it out here!


Some more feelings on the album and a sample music clip or two after the jump.

Friday, October 9, 2009

20th Anniversary of "The Warlock" Shows

Today marks one of the strangest shows in the glorious Grateful Dead's history. Back in 1989 the Dead were in a late career renaissance fueled by Jerry being in good healthy and vibrant contributions from their keyboardist Brent Mydland.


I have always loved Brent in the Dead, there is something so 80's about it, but somehow the whole ball of tye-dye works. His light electro-keys, his gruff howl of a voice and his really dark song writing all made a lasting impression. Fans seem divided on his contributions, but I love them, and here is one of my favorites.

Anyway back to the "The Warlock" Shows. The Dead were in rare form and decide to go back and bust out a couple of gems, even going so far to bill themselves as their original name, "The Warlocks".


I could go into why these shows were great, but why not take a gander at the glowing reviews on Dead.net while actually listening to an exactly 20 year old show in it's entirety right here courtesy of the Internet Archives:

The Grateful Dead 10/9/89 Hampton Virgina


Ahh, the Good Ole' Grateful Dead....Enjoy Yerself.

Rating System-


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When it comes to Album Reviews, I am going to stick with Glide’s Star Rating System, to go along with the writeup.  Sometimes the star ratings come easy, some other times not so much, but I think having some sort of guide to refer to is a good thing.  Basically it breaks down like this:

No Stars- Why was this made?!
1 Star- Bomb-riffic
2 Stars- Meah
3 Stars- Good
4 Stars- Great
5 Stars- Boosh!!!!!

There will be half stars tossed in there as well just to mix things up.

Some examples of past albums I rated using this system and the official breakdown of half stars etc. after the jump....

Welcome


So welcome to Rock The Body Electric, thanks for checking out my one room apartment right off a busy exit ramp of the information superhighway. Some friends and I will be using this terrain to post various thoughts and views on all aspects of life, culture and various happenings.

For now there is no set structure, but I will be focusing on mostly musical topics. I currently am a New York City based Staff Writer at http://www.glidemagazine.com and have contributed over 150 columns, reviews and interviews for various other websites and print magazines…but there is always more, and I will use this blog to post the overflow and make things a bit less formal and a bit more personal with pictures, interviews and other random ramblings. Friends (who also happen to be excellent writers) will pop up time to time to express thoughts whims and mental flings so it shall be an excursion of epic proportions, or at least a way to waste some minutes during the day.





The name of the blog is a tribute to the great Walt Whitman who was a New York City boy and a lover of all humanity, from the White House to the Out House. He was a keen observer who had a way of crafting such beautiful writing that it somehow still feels fresh over a century later. He tapped into the American Spirit and while we hope to do justice to the Good Gray Poet, just about anything we produce should be a trip.

Enjoy, Comment, Contribute, Get Fired Up, and again Welcome.


-Shawn