Monday, March 29, 2010

RIP Alex Chilton

Seems I am a little late always when it comes to death, I guess it's better then being early...but Rest In Piece Alex Chilton.  There are some good recap's of his life here and here if you are interested in reading about it, they do a better job then I could as I just recently really started to get into his stuff. 

Want this show?  Click here.

Oddly I have had this Big Star Box Set called Keep an Eye on the Sky that I have been waiting to write a review about for the blog since the new year, but just hadn't gotten to it yet.  Instead I will let his songs speak for him...Feel free to download these 3 Songs of his from Big Star's  Keep an Eye on the Sky.

September Gurls

In The Street (Alternative Single Mix)  (nice cowbell!)

Great cover of Loudon Wainwright's "Motel Blues"

Here are some Youtube Clips as well.  Join that big rock band in the ever after Mr. Chilton

Rainy Monday with The Dead

I know I know...for the 2 people who read this blog, I missed last Monday's Dead Show, oh get what you pay for...Anyway, to make up for that, I am posting a monster of a night in Dead History.

Today's show is from the magical August of 1972, 8-24-1972 to be precise.  You can click that link for the archive, or you can listen right ch'ere:
This is my first post from one of the most amazing years in Dead history 1972.  For those new to the Dead, August 1972 has something special in it...each show seems epic in retrospect.  The band was firing on all cylinders, and today's show from Berkeley is a perfect example of that.  Having just gotten back from Europe (the tour which would be immortalized as the album Europe 1972) found the crew just blending magically.

I noticed a few freak out's with this recording early on but it doesn't take away from the opening trifecta of "Promised Land", "Sugaree", "Jack Straw"; in fact Keith's key's get amped for the Straw and everything starts to come into it's own on this fantastic version. "China>Rider" is tight and a money "Bird Song" (I always forget how much I love this song) and exploratory "Playing in The Band" (around the 12 minute mark it is really catchy, pre-reprise and Donna screams) move the first set forward and sets the stage for some insanity to follow.

OK, lets get right to it...The Dark Star from this show is one of my all time favorites, and I am not sure it gets enough attention due to a little old show that happens only 3 days later (will get to that show soon...what a week it would have been to follow the boys huh?).    Dark Star wanders in beautifully with some independent riffs from Jerry and some melodious bass work from Phil who is a shining example of creativity throughout these 27 minutes.  Around the 5 minute mark, things start getting a bit anxious, with the group ramping up the speed Billy is cymbal dancing all over the map and at 6 minutes Bobby's Jazzy riffs and Phil's bass line seem to be taking the song in a different direction.  At the 7 minute mark the groups still moving higher into the stratosphere, and quicker to boot.  10 minutes in and the tension eases with some mellowing out before the common "Dark Star" song structure starts to take shape and Garcia starts singing 11 minutes in; hell of an Intro.

13 minutes in and all bets are off, once the vocals are out of the way, the boys are free to get freaky.  Soundscapes whiz by, sounding like ethereal ghosts in the speakers, while the low bass lines manage to creepy things up just enough.  The scaling of inner ear canals by the guitars and the weird hoppiness of the drums is off putting yet exciting.  When Keith rolls the ivories around the 17 minute mark it perks up the ears and gives the listener something to focus on before the ominous 18 minute mark comes in and just scares the shit out of those tripping in the audience.  Things become unbearable at 20 minutes with all members wailing away in different directions, Garcia seemingly playing with 8 arms on the fret board, before sonically dripping out into emptiness.   
 Just when madness seems certain, Billy starts a rhythmic beat that everyone can get behind. The group starts a focused march to glory...yeah everyone loves this jam, but wait a second, 25 minutes in and things look like they might get weird that a cello playing?  Is Jerry off on another mind numbing mission???!  Oh Shit it's a mega "Morning Dew"!!!!  Awesomenuciousness.    

This breakdown down in "Dark Star" and then the transition into a climatic version of "Morning Dew" is what makes the Dead something special to me.  The willingness to toss off everything and explore the airwaves...granted it's not for everyone, but it is as close to a free jazz/Rock and Roll combo that is out there and it can yeild some magical results.  The rest of the set is just gravy, but what delicious gravy at that..."Sugar Magnolia" "Sing Me Back Home" encore of "Uncle Johns Band", tasty.  Anyway, give it a gander if you are feeling adventurous, and if not, I am sure you can find something more up your alley elsewhere.      

Berkeley Community Theatre, Berkeley, CA (8/24/72)

Promised Land
Jack Straw
China Cat Sunflower
I Know You Rider
Me and My Uncle
Bird Song
Beat it on Down the Line
Tennessee Jed
Playing in the Band
Casey Jones

Mississippi Half-Step
Mexicali Blues
Brown Eyed Women
Dark Star
Morning Dew
Sugar Magnolia
Sing Me Back Home
One More Saturday Night

Uncle John's Band

Friday, March 26, 2010

Album Review - Ball of Flame Shoot Fire - Jokeland

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:
Ball of Flame Shoot Fire
** out of *****

A chaotic fun-house of an album that can be distinctly unsettling, and oddly comforting at other times, Jokeland doesn’t just play in the background, it assaults you.  Flashes of Tom Waits (“Grap Strap”) and Talking Heads (“Finn McCools”) are present but the main inspiration seems to come right from the Captain Beefheart himself.  Spastic singing in all ranges, a marching band variety of instruments, found sounds, anything is fair game.  A pump organ and a screeching Sax can appear, sometimes only for a measure, before dissolving into a religious chant in the next.  At times it feels as the disk is skipping (“Doops”) and at others it feels as it is stuck to the bottom of the player with taffy (“Boats”).  The best tunes are the early ones, “DaVinci Toad” rocks and “Mugs” works real well.  Other tracks show promise but get so weighed down with nonsense lyrics (“Finn McCools”, “Bertie Hey” etc…) they distract rather then enhance the song presented and that seems to be a reoccurring problem for the group; chill out for a second fellas.     

Currently bands such as Man Man, Akron/Family and Animal Collective do things in the same exaggerated; toss-the-whole-pasta-colander-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks ethos.  The truth is most of these bands need to be experienced live for their sensory overload to be appreciated properly, on disk it can become distracting, organized and surprisingly uninteresting.  When change is constant, normality quickly becomes a needed change.  While not always successful, Ball of Flame Shoot Fire is nothing if not adventurous, and that should be applauded, but too frequently Jokeland floats into ADD snippets, not songs.   
A few more thoughts, a video and a one word review (now that I tricked you into reading that) after the jump...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Glide Review - The Megaphonic Thrift - Live

Got a new review on Glide.

Read it right c'here!

It is The Megaphonic Thrift Live in NYC.

My new flavor of the month, The Megaphonic Thrift were flat out awesome.  There isn't much more to expand on there...If you are a fan of any noise rock band (Dino Jr., Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine etc.) check them out immediately.  I have all ready reviewed their EP here and posted pictures and video of this newest show here.  It is official I dig them...hard.

Just found this great blog post with a recording of their live set at Habana Calle 6 at SXSW over on check it out for a full set feel.

Look for more coverage, maybe an interview or two coming up, and grab their stuff and see them...and if you can fly me out to Norway to cover them in their home land...don't be shy....Here are a couple of recent vid's (oops is that first one mine?!?!):

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Glide Review - Linfinity Live-

Got a new review up on Glide.

You can read it right C'here!!!

It is of Linfinity's live set from Mercury Lounge I posted pics and a video from the show last weekend

Give it a read and check out the band when they play by you.  Feel free to buy Dylan a drink, I am sure he will appreciate it. 

Here is a different Video of the band for you to check out one of their other tunes.  Grab the new album as well. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Glide Review - Surfer Blood - Astro Coast

New review of mine posted on Glide,

Surfer Blood - Astro Coast
Read it right ch'ere

 Some catchy ass tunes that these Floridians got a'wafting out of their speakers down there.  It sounds like music you may have heard before, they are by no means innovative, but that really doesn't matter because the tunes are good on their own.  The songs manage to crawl in your ears and make themselves at home.  I mentioned that Weezer would kill to have a track as good as "Floating Vibes" and I will stand by is the group doing it live:

Yuuup (said in Aisha Tyler's voice from Archer) They do look like they're 12 years old.

Ahh what the hell, some more from that session can't hurt can it?  (Thanks KEXP)  This tune is their most "Built to Spilly" IMO...and it is called "Anchorage", enjoy...

The live tunes have a bit more experimentation going on then the studio versions so do yourself a favor and Catch them live, and go buy the contrast and compare...

Megaphonic Thrift Live NYC Pics and Vid

This band is directly in my wheelhouse and I was so amped to catch them live for the first time.  Megaphonic Thrift are from Norway and contain winning combination of Shoegaze/Aggression/Noise/Art/Rock that is something to behold.  They are off to SXSW so catch them if you are out there.  A full review will get on Glide soon, for this AM here are pics and a Live Video I took (click to expand pics):

Def grab their EP A Thousand Years of Destruction and their full length when it is released in the States.    Totally worth it if you are into Sonic Youth/Dino Jr./My Bloody Valentine etc. etc.