Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Editorial- At War With Competence in the Gulf

By now anyone who has read this site knows my love for New Orleans knows no bounds, and it simply breaks my heart to see that city get another kick in the nuts.  I haven't even begin to comprehend how this oil spill is going to effect/affect that town, but my friend Mr. Eben Wilson Carle has just wrote a great editorial addressing Washington's take on the situation.

Give it a read hear.

How can you not trust this guy?
Well at least until the point when he tries to get you to vote for Kevin Costner...but you get the drift.  Also stay tuned, I will be bringing this man's talents to RTBE in the very near future.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Glide Review: The Black Keys Brothers

Got another review (lots of them lately) over at Glide.

It is of the new Black Keys album Brothers.

Read it c'HERE!

The Akron, OH duo has put out a real winner with this one, and it is safe to say that this is my favorite album of the year so far, no jokin' hobo-ken.   We shall see if that stands during those cold nights of December but this disk is a peach.

In the past I have enjoyed The Black Keys, put I honestly never really loved them.  Their live shows were very underwhelming, and call me a sucker but I think good rock and roll and/or blues should have a bass contained in the fricassee.  I reviewed their newest DVD, and included Rubber Factory which I do think is a dope album in the top 30 in my decade review, but I think that Brothers is their crowning moment as a group so far, and that is really what they are here, a group, no longer a duo.  

The sounds contained on this disk make me want to buy the vinyl because it feels like a throw back soul record that contains a hard blues edge, a pinch of hip-hop beats and glimpse of a mash-up future that won't sound too overloaded.

The newly embraced keyboards and bass (as well as everything else) add extra dimensions to Auerbach and Carney's lock-step white boy blues grooves, softening the blow mostly and adding a feeling to the procedures.  In the past they would just blow through songs, now there seems to be more of a purpose.  Ok I spoke enough in this one...for now, here are some official videos from the band from this album....Go get it, you shan't be disappointed.  (Oh and these videos are pretty Boosh to'boot!)

Next Girl:

Tighten Up: I gotta find this on vinyl....

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's Monday, Let's Practice Dead....

So a bit of a curveball this Monday with our ongoing Grateful Dead Series of shows.  This unique listening experience comes from Bob Weir's Home studio during the bands rehearsals for their 1975 album, Blues for Allah.  Today's show is actually a practice from 2-28-1975 Mill Valley, CA.  Click that link or listen c'here:

There is a freedom to this season that makes it a joy to hear even with no vocals present.  The "Distorto Jam" from the group has a great feel to it as does the "Bouncey Jam" which finds Phil Lesh poping and plucking all over the place giving the track a very Meters-esque vibe.   Phil is loud and clear all practice leading the way on a lot of tracks, allowing the band to follow and create.

These first two tracks alone make this a special listen, but as the tape rolls you can feel the synapses firing as the groups flushes out different rhythmic structures and scenarios.  Some of these jams were released on the Blues for Allah remastered release, but this is the first time I was privileged to hear them.  That album sparked an early career renaissance for the band, producing one of the best live albums of all time with One From The Vault.  You can hear some of the energy that made that show so special here in these practice tapes.

The "Stronger Then Dirt" Jams benefits from Godchaux's organ playing, which is something he didn't focus on too often. I do think the second jam does seem to wander on too long without much variety, but there are worse ways to spend 11 minutes.  Jerry pulls out the riffage on the rambling jams that populate track 7, Bob also add's some really nice strums to augment the track.

The title of these tracks don't seem to accurate as I don't really hear much of "Shakedown Street" in track 8, but what I do hear is some upbeat funky goodness.  The "Showtune Jam" is some playful and the "Jungle Music Jam" again finds Phil bopping away in very George Porter Jr fashion...Here are the Meters
That is dirtyfunky.

The Dead are more shuffling then funky but it certainly comes from that same vein.  "The Music Never Stopped" takes over to close out the session.  They stay funky with this tune giving it some extra focus and guts...Bobby Weir in particular sounds great coming out of the right speaker with clean crisp strumming.  This is some great playing on a tune that not all Dead Heads enjoyed...but it is tough not to love these jams, especially the first few and last moments.  Enjoy!  

Friday, May 21, 2010

Glide Review The Dead Weather Sea Of Cowards

Got a new review up on Glide

The Dead Weather's Newest Release Sea of Cowards.

Read all about it right C'HERE!!!

My man crush on Jack White knows no bounds, and this album continues the trend. 

I have written a bunch about The Dead Weather for this site and Glide, so I don't have too much more to say...but I will try.

I dug how 70's metal the last album is and this one is a lot different, keys and electronics seem to dominate and mellow out the metal a bit, but the album still retains a nice punch.

Here are a couple of tunes to check on out...the new tunes in the arena where this band works best...LIVE:

Enjoy the goodness of this group...can't wait to see them in the Brooklyn.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Glide Review: Dr. Dog and Deer Tick Live @ Terminal 5

Got a new review posted on Glide

Dr. Dog and Deer Tick Live 5/15/10 @ Terminal 5

Read it C'Here!!!

Gotta say it was a hell of a show, both bands are excellent. Admittedly I was not completely up to date on Deer Tick who opened the show, but that is about to change as I got their excellent album Born on Flag Day the next afternoon...and can't wait for their new album...good stuff and totally worth grabbing.  The dresses and makeup made them seem a tad silly, but the songs were anything but.

I have seen Dr. Dog a ton, thanks to Eric from Glide (and the gang at Big Hassle PR) for sending me to that first show of theirs way back in Feb 06.  I have been impressed ever since, recommending them to every friend I can.  They are an excellent group, whose album Fate I loved and rated in my top 20 of the last decade...    I could go on and on..but Youtube has some great video from the I am going to post a bunch of those...Enjoy, and thanks to all the camera peeps none of who are professional, but all are enjoyable, for the sound alone.
My favorite song of the night "The Rabbit The Bat & The Reindeer"

A new one off of Shame Shame "Mirror, Mirror"

Great close up video of "Where'd All The Time Go" but sucks that is cut off:
 You can find the live version of this Architecture In Helsinki song from the show through related videos...but the sound kinda sucked and video was all over the place, so I am just posting their studio version...better then the original??!?  Discuss amongst yourself, thanks for reading:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Glide Review The National High Violet

Got a new Review up on Glide.

Check it out C'Here!

It is of The National's newest release High Violet.

This is a complex album, no easy way to review it, there is a lot going on and I seemed to write a lot about it...go ahead read it, I will be here when you get back for a bit more commentary...

Ok, I stand by everything I wrote, but this was one tough disk to give a star rating, I fluxuated with 3 and 1/2 or 4 or 16 or negative 5, it is weird but I think it comes down to this:

I respect this album more then I like this album...if that makes sense.

I wrote the review before I had the chance to read the the NY Times Magazine mega article on them, and I am glad I did.  The article goes on to give backgrounds on the group and how meticulous they are in crafting that perfect pop song by creating and destroying hundreds of hours of music during their recording process.  Well Bully for them!!  Doesn't mean jackdiddlyshit to me.  What they did manage to create was an album that is a complete work that is unsettling and isolating at times.   

My easiest comparison in my own brain is Radiohead.  Every time those Oxfordshire blokes put out a new album I seem to listen to it once or twice shrug my shoulders, admit it's good and then never listen to it again...I know this puts in me the minority as most people love them, and I can see why, they just do not speak to me.  I am getting that same vibe and feeling from The National.  I should note however I did love a track off of Boxer, which did speak directly to my earhole called "Apartment Story" (I will post it down below).

I will save the elongated Radiohead rant for another day, but The National's biggest stumbling block for me is Matt Berninger's voice and the monotone it seems to induce in the band's music at various points.  I want my music to be an adventure, I don't mind unsettling but I need it to shake me up, or make me feel!  Perhaps I am just not in that mode/mood these days. 

It comes down to the last line that I wrote about the album:
"High Violet works best as a solitary listening experience during late nights or early mornings, when fear, dreams and desires swirl and mix into one"
And that is not the way I best enjoy my that time I am usually living the Hi-life or gearing up to do it again...

Oh well, maybe I or it will change the future if I go back to High Violet, but for now I have rambled enough, here are a few tracks from it, tell me what you think about it or whatever...

And here's a tune I really dug off their last album, "Apartment Story"

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Dead Monday from way back in the day...10-22-1967

What is up y'all?  No real fan fare today, let's jump into it...This monday's Grateful Dead excursion leaps way back in time to 1967, specifically 10-22-1967  You can listen to it via that link or stream it c'here:
This gem of a show was the Grateful Dead's set on an outstanding bill put together by Bill Graham at Winterland to raise money for the marijuana defense fund back in 1967...politics and drugs aside, just peep the poster and check out the amazing lineup:

and all for $2.50!!!!  Unreal.  Not only do you Get Quicksilver Messenger Service, you get Big Brother and Janis shaking her booty and singing her face off! 
That is some lineup....ahh to have been in San Fran in the late 60's....anyway I won't get all Hunter S high water mark on you,

but this must have been a killer night and the Dead's set is a major reason why.  A quick and powerful "Morning Dew" opens up their set and it finds Jerry blasting away on riffs into the night.  From the jump off the energy is sky fricking high.  The boys motor and fire on all cylinders and you can tell it is going to be a hot set.  "The New Potato Caboose" is mega, with the group branching out and exploring their jamming jones that would make them world famous in only a few years.

I mentioned I am not the biggest PigPen fan, but on this night his organs are ramped up and roll all over the tunes, adding a bit of a church feel to the proceedings.  He was "on" this night back in '67 and takes center stage on the burning "It Hurts Me, Too".  The next 3:20 seconds are some of the coolest I have heard in a while...the band simply BLAZE'S through the classic "Cold Rain & Snow".  I have always loved this tune when the group does it, but this version is simply jump-up-and-down-goodness.  They are amped and run through the classic with more energy then they sometimes put fourth in full shows during some of the later years.  Don't skip this one.

I mentioned in another brief post on 1967 that Mickey Hart started jamming with the boys in September of that year and this is one of his first official shows with the group and you can hear the interplay with Billy that would make the Rhythm Devils a percussion institution.  Unfortunately things just seem to get cooking for the group during "Turn On Your Lovelight" when this recording cuts out, this is a bummer, but really the only one present during this set.  A super fast "Beat It On Down The Line" is ran through next and shows off Bobby's chops as a lead singer and pop music poster boy...
 I keed...I just wanted to use this pic of him from 67...he nails "Beat It..."  The group then falls into bombarding the ears with a "Cryptical Envelopment>That's It For The Other> Cryptical Envelopment" jaunt that rips through the speakers with vibrant it should because as far as I can tell, this is the first version ever played, and has some funky different lyrics that would never show up again:
1st verse:
When I woke up this morning my head was not attached
I asked my friends about it, try to find out where its at
[inaudible]...came up inside of me, blew the dust clouds all away
The heat came 'round & busted me for smiling on a cloudy day

2nd verse:

Well the heat down in jail they weren't very smart
They taught me how to read & write,they taught me the precious arts
When I was breaking out of jail I learned that right away
That they didn't need me telling them about smiling first and running _?_

This is an epic song in the Dead cannon, but like a lot of things about the group "exact facts" and "specifics" are hard to come by, in fact doesn't even have this show listed on their site...However this version is an adventure, once the unique lyrics are out of the way the group simply explodes over the last 8+ minutes, scales are climbed and slid back down, bass lines bubble over, organ fills flow and drum marches push things along.  What a movement of music, if anything it feels like it ends too soon.  For more on the tune, check out the always great annotated dead page.   
This is a hell of a show and hearkens back to a wild time in the country's history and the bands insane crazy days...I mentioned the vibrant energy...this is a show you can feel.  Enjoy.

One more time I need to congratulate The Boys in Blue...Chelsea won the double for the first time in their history!!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Sazer-Wrap of Jazzfest 2010

Prescription?  Perfect!
Trying to do a "Sazer-Wrap" up of the Jazzfest trip is next to impossible, even as I started typing this I got the perma-grin back a'glowin'.  I will try to sum it up, but I can' truly explain the glory of it all; how can you not love a town that has a protest parade regarding the new Arizona Immigration law with a full band, dancers and drinks?! For those who were there, you know...for those who haven't been all I can say is...go.  I will focus on a couple of things, and leave the rest out there to myths and legends.  My first 2 hours in town basically sums up the Voodoo Magic:
After Checking in, and having a great meal at EAT we trounced over towards The Louisiana Music Factory to see Kermit Ruffins blow his horn.

(Here's Kermit from 09 in the same spot, I couldn't get a video this year)
A block away, we saw a Rolls Royce on Decatur and who is driving? Allen Toussaint.  You can't walk five blocks in this town without bumping into a legend!   Things only got better from there....Sazerac's, Highlife's, Jager, Whiskey, those were the drinks...but the food really fueled the fire.  Again most of the thanks for eats goes to Jeff, and he found some great ones this year:

Coops had the best Jambalaya I have ever eaten, the Rabbit and Sausage was amazing, and we had a nice fancy meal at Patois uptown which saw me munching on some tasty octopus.  Mother's had been skipped the last couple of trips down, but we hit it up and it remains the perfect lunch Po'boy spot...and I have to mention the Sweet Potato Pie is the finest I ever had, but I don't claim to be an expert on pies:
 After a long day at the fairgrounds we netted some fantastic Charbroiled Oysters over at Drago's that may just be the best way to eat NOLA Oysters (well second best...):
While I was at the fairgrounds we tried a bunch of different things...The Fried Green Tomato's were probablly the best but I was super suprised by how good my Veggie Ya-Key-Mein was:
Yeah I asked the same question "What the hell is that egg doing there?" I am not sure, all I can say is that it works and is a nice spiced up option.  While all of these meals were fantastic, they pale in comparison to one...when I am now asked the question about my favorite meal/food/dinner experience of my life I have an answer...The Oyster Bacon Sandwich at Cochon's:
 This was simply a food orgasm...everything was boosh...the bacon, the oysters, the spices, the bread...everything.  I won't even mention the great cucumber salad, the eggplant and shrimp side, the Moonshine, Bourbon or Hi-Life's.  Simply exquisite.  Every year this is a MUST.

Onto the music side of things and the hits just kept on coming...
On Wed afternoon, after Kermit, the fabulous Lu Brow from Swizzle Stick Bar
 directed us to Wednesday in the Square over in Lafayette Sq to catch Marcia Ball twinkle the ivories.
 That night we cruised over to The Spotted Cat catching RTBE Favorite The Loose Marbles:

Ben and crew were in top form all weekend.
After seeing a couple (who I envy and hope to emulate someday) playing spoons and clarinet on a blacony in the French quarter
 we caught the ripping Ryan Scully on Thursday night...but I am hopefully saving something special regarding that, so stay tuned...

At the fair grounds and the fest itself we had a blast (even if we skipped Sunday because of the rain) catching Rebirth Brass Band blow it out:
 and my personal surprise of the fest, Band of Horse's making Patrick Swayze jokes and nailing every tune they played...really a great set.  (Warning: the video was not me and gets a bit dizzy, but the sound is worth listening too)

We caught some side acts and a carousel that went 60 miles an hour while a french jazz band played in the center (Wild!) and we managed to catch the headliners Pearl Jam with about 200,000+ of our closets friends
 (I have never seen that many people at the fest before...The stage is all the way up on the left, PJ brought the crowd)
PJ seemed just as excited to be there as us...and they sped their way through their set.  It was an average effort, I have seen much better outings from the boys.  "Even Flow" in particular was played so fast that Eddie couldn't even mumble out the lyrics...whatever they are; as my friend Knapp said "WhyGoHome?!WhyGoHome!?GOHOME!!!!"

While the set was rushed the, energy was certainly there Here's a highlight (and a tune I don't think I have seen them do before) filmed off the jumbotron, "Tremor Christ":
and here's a new tune that's tough to rush (Neither video by me)

Even if the wind and weather threatened to blow/wash us least the rains held off until Sunday, then they fell with a vengeance. I am pissed I missed Trombone Shorty and The Dead Weather, but we will catch them in NYC (already got DW Tickets) so I am not too worried...and for the rest of the local bands...

THERE IS ALWAYS NEXT YEAR!!! (T-minus 11 and half months...I literally can. not. wait.  Extra special love to everyone I meet, hung out with, harassed and hugged down there Love you all)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Back with the Monday Dead

Last week I was in heaven New Orleans so I couldn't post any Grateful Dead goodness...but now I am back in NYC and it is time to get up on that horse and ride...or at least listen.  Over the course of this experiment with the Dead, I just realized I have not posted one show from their youth, the 1960's...shame on me, today's sonic adventure comes from 4-21-1969 and The Ark in Boston MA.

Click that link or listen here:

This is a great recording, actually shockingly good for 1969, so turn up your speakers to 11 to get the most out of it.  

Pigpen gets things started with a fairly tame "Hard To Handle", and it is fun to hear Jerry barely make the notes that would make "Morning Dew" such a treat in later years.  Where this show really gains steam is the "Cryptical Envelopment>Other One>Cryptical Envelopment" segue, a cowbell pops up and gets banged, and Garcia runs scales like he is out of his mind...which he probably was.  "The Other One" is a peach of a listen, changing tones and flavor before it starts shuffling in a psychedelic way around the 8 minute mark, and the freaky-ness doesn't want to stop with a riff-tastic return to the "Cryptical".  Some folksy fun with "Sitting On Top Of The World" before Pigpen comes back in and dusts it down with "Alligator" 
I am not a huge Pigpen fan, he is a little too much white boy blues for me, if I want the blues I just usually take the real thing, but he has his moments.  The first part of this tune, is not one of them, it feels forced before the drums come in.  Jerry manages to resurrect the second half with a dope "And We Bid You Goodnight" run through over the marching drums of Bill Kreutzmann. Then the band plunges head long into an old time classic, "Doin' That Rag".  I caught that song when Phil and Friends did it at the Beacon back in 00 but this is a lot of fun to hear Jerry sing, and then play a great solo after his vocal duties are done.     

After that comes a very un-Dead like "Foxy Lady Jam" and I wish they had kept going with this one...wouldn't it have been a beast to see Jimi play with the boys?  How did that never happen?

My brain might have exploded if those two axemen got together trading riffs on stage, we got Duane to play with the crew and we will get to that soon, but Jimi would have been a whole 'nother ball of wax.

After that playful bit, we get a highlight of 60's Dead, "Dark Star" while some of the decades "Star's" were short tight outings, this one explores the black holes of your mind.  That note Jerry toys with starting around the 4:50 mark is straight up boosh, and leads to a whole world of sound.  This version is light and airy (with what sounds like Sleigh bells around the 13 minute mark) as opposed to some of the mind numbing "Dark Stars" to come; not to be missed.

You also gotta love the "St. Stephen" just effortless as it crashes into "The Eleven" which is a joy to hear at 12 minutes.  This second set really steps up the ju-ju with a mega "Turn On Your Lovelight" and a crushing "Viola Lee Blues", this is a monster of a song, I could say more, or you could just listen...this is the magic of this show.    

From everything I can gather, and by the times of these songs, it looks like from "Feedback" on is a filler, but what good filling it is for this audio pie crust, the "spanish Jam" in particular if you are cherry picking.  Ok, enjoy, and I hope this show makes Monday that much easier, I know it helped me. 

I need to give much love out to my Chelsea not that kind, Chelsea FC just won the Premiership yesterday which is a major accomplishment and it needs to be toasted,
 so raise a glass and sing...CareFreeeeeeee

(jesus I am in that video!)
Much love to Jack Kean, the drink slinger at Nevada's, Mike Neat and all the New York Blues, and most importantly the best football club on the planet.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Glide Review: Unnatural Helpers Cracked Love & Other Drugs

Just noticed that my recent review of Unnatural Helpers newest effort Cracked Love & Other Drugs has been posted on Glide.

You can read it right C'here!

It is a pretty cool offering from this Seattle group whose central member is Dean Whitmore.  He had some friends along to help him , and I dug the results.  Nothing mind blowing, but it strikes me like something that would have been blaring out of the burn-out kids GTO back in day...or it least it should have been instead of Journey...

Check out the brand new video from the group for the tune "She Was Your Girlfriend":

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Recovery Mode

Well I am back from the greatest city not named New York and I am still mentally recovering from it, I will post a recap soon, but the good folks over at Hidden Track had some great posts I wanted to share with you.

First, the summer season is officially upon us now that Jazzfest is 360 some-odd days away (so sad!), but with the summer comes the announcements of free/benefit out door shows, Check out this link for the full run down of the two biggest outdoor spaces, but there are a bunch of highlights...Public Enemy for Free?!?!  Thank you very much.
Also some uber exciting news that PRIMUS is back together and will be playing on the waterfront in Brooklyn with Gogol Bordello, this is a show made in Booshness! Tickets go on-sale Friday, so scoop some.  Primus was the first band that really turned my ear onto good music back in 7th grade, right after I got over Poison...who am I kidding, I never got over Poison
And finally on a bit of the lighter side, Hidden Track also mentions a post on my favorite cartoon squid family...Squidbillies...Here is the great Billy Joe Shaver doing the intro to the funniest show I know:

and here are the creators chatting about the new season... And the AMAZING Unknown Hinson doing "Pregnant Again", his original tune about 7 minutes in, totally worth it...
I am sure I will doing a a few Adult Swim based posts now that Jazzfest 2010 is done and dusted...god what a great time, I will post about it soon.