Friday, July 30, 2010

Glide Review - The Black Keys Live on Summer Stage 7-27-10

Got a new review over there on Glide.

The Black Keys Live in Central Park.

 You can check that sum'bitch right CHERE!!

(Pictures here in case you missed them)

 It was a fun show and they are talented, but come on fellas, bring on the BASS!

Brothers is still my favorite album of the year, and there is a reason for that, The Black Keys expanded their sound to encompass a low end and keyboards....guess what?   That's a real band!

As much as I have a man crush on Jack White, I am not a huge fan of the White Stripes, in fact I drop them to 3rd on the list of best Jackie White projects, behind the Raconteurs and The Dead Weather.  Maybe my ears are bias, but my ass isn't, if you are not getting it moving then you ain't playing the good stuff...wait a second, I just re-wrote "Hips Don't Lie"

Anything to post some Shakira....

Where was I?  I just got distracted,

Oh yeah, rock bands should have a full compliment of sound, to box yourself in, or minimize what you produce is just asinine.  The amount of silly albums and groups that pop up thanks just to Garage Band is insane so when you have talent, like the Keys do, you should flourish and not limit yourself....any way long story short, I love Dan's voice, I love Pat's drumming, but I don't ever think they will be a favorite of mine live unless they switch it up.

T-Minus 5 hours until Primus....

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Willie Nelson and Levon Helm Live @ Radio City Music Hall 7-28-10, Pic's and Videos!

So the musical week of greatness keeps on strolling with a pair of American Heroes playing Radio City Music Hall last night.  Willie Nelson and The Levon Helm Band were fantastic live, both offering different takes on very American is the word I keep coming back to with these two; American.  Well, that and BOOSH!

Below are some pics along with some sneaky video and coming soon will be a review of the night...The vid's aren't perfect visually, but sound wise they certainly are worth the watch.

(Click to expand the pics for greater detail.  I also have a few more Willie Videos I will post soon)

Levon's Opener "The Shape I'm In":


Willie came out to Sing play acoustic guitar on "The Weight":
Willie Nelson Family Set:

Willie Nelson playing "Beer for My Horses":


That is all for now, but I have at least one more video of Willie's set I will post soon, possibly when the review goes up...Keep on Keepin On!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Black Keys Live in Central Park Pictures and Video

I sent the review from last nights show into Glide, so it should be up soon, but until then, how about some pictures and a video I took from The Black Keys Summer Stage Show from 7/27/2010.

I was just strolling around Central Park, and as I told Jeff and Charlette before the show, I am constantly fascinated by the CP and forget how many cool things are in there...mental note: Go there more.  (click on the pics and they magically get bigger!) 

Here is the show opener "Thickfreakness" which I caught on video:

and here are some pics I shot of the band:
OK, will talk more about this one when the review goes up...tonight it's on to another show, Willie and Levon at RCMH!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Glide Review - Delta Spirit - History From Below

Got a new review up on Glide.

Delta Spirit's newest release History From Below

Read the full the twisting fable right c'here!!!.

Delta Spirit, History Below, hhhuuummm, the most frustrating review I have written this year.  This was a tough one to really get, and I have to admit the more I listen to the album the less I dig it. 

The band is certainly trying to change their sound up a bit, but instead of going in the direction of their better tunes they seem to be just experimenting for experiments sake...and that isn't the best of paths to trot down. 

I enjoyed parts of the groups first album a ton, especially the jangling beast of a tune called "Trashcan", and was hoping the fellows would follow this path of energetic group interplay, but this album is leaner and lamer.

Friends of mine say the album grows on them and others are simply enamored with their live show, but I was disappointed when I caught them a year or so ago in Bkyln and was waiting to hear what they did with this album, needless to say I won't be waiting with nearly as much hope for their next one....

Here are a couple of tunes off this new one and my favorite song from the fellas:
"White Table"

 "Bushwick Blues" Live:

From their first album, "Thrashcan"

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday Dead The Beacon Theater 6-14-1976

When talk turns to the great years of the Grateful Dead's career for some reason 1976 gets overlooked, and I am guilty of this as well, having done this Monday Dead project for half the year so far and not posting a single show from that year. Well I am fixing my mistake by posting my favorite show from that year, June 14th 1976
You can click that link or listen right c'here:

 People can argue over favorites from different years, and 1976 has some other top contenders, such as the excellent New Years Eve show they recently released or the Boston Music Hall only a few days before this show presented today, and both of those are superb, but my money is on this show from uptown in my home city at the Beacon.

This is a peach of a SBD recording and you couldn't possibly get better quality.  By the way if you want a whole bunch of SBD's from 1976 head over here...While they only played 41 shows in 1976 it wasn't about quantity, it was about quality and today's show has it all.  A great tight first set is highlighted by an excellent "Cold Rain and Snow" opener.  I gotta admit this is one of my favorite ways for the boys to kick off a night of tunes and this version is crisp clear and satisfying.  Bobby covering Merle Haggard's "Mamma Tried" is a winner, and here is the original for comparison:

A sweet and Long "Row Jimmy" works wonders as does the short "Cassidy" which contains some really unique bass notes and runs from Phil.  Donna is also very upfront in this mix, but she does nothing to take away from the tunes and enhances them greatly with her supporting vocals. 

The unique phrasing of "Lazy Lighting > Supplication" catches me off guard all the time, and I usually dislike it, but it works well here as does "Tennessee Jed" which lopes along until Garcia's cutting solo to end the tune.  This solo has a different sort of sound and feel to it thanks to his playing of the custom made Travis Bean in 1976:

 As dozin' points out the guitar was played by Jerry for the first part of 1976 was a Travis Bean TB500 w/single-coil pickups and an FX loop.  Things stayed tightly wrapped in the first set until the huge "Playin' In The Band" that ends the set clocking in at almost 20 minutes with the fellas and chica dribbling all over the place going in separate directions, barely holding together; this is jazz rock personified.  Billy and Mickey ride the cymbals as guitar lines seem to ring out from nowhere and everywhere at once.  When they come back together around the 17 minute mark, it is almost as if they wanted to keep it spaced out and only reluctantly return before the set-break.

While the first set was good, the second set is even better, containing a few tunes that via for "best of" consideration. Starting things off in a really cool way, out pops a set opening "The Wheel", in fact I am not sure if ever opened a set any other show...will do some more research on that, but I couldn't find out, either which way it is rare, cool and a harbinger for excitement to follow.
The Rhythm Section gets a funky work out with the "Samson and Delilah" that bounces out, Phil again showing some intense dexterity on the bass.  Next comes "High Time" and this just may be the definitive performance of this majestic tune.  Pristine vocals, Donna again contributes but doesn't over power, smooth playing by Keith on keys and swelling crescendos make this a great listen and one of the best versions the band ever played.  "The Music Never Stopped" is a good work through, and there is an easy majesty to "Crazy Fingers" highlighted by the fluid jam at 7 minutes in that morphs into an almost "Spanish Jam" around the 10 minute mark before the "Drums> Dancin' In the Streets".  

Hey lookie here, someone made a Youtube Clip of "Cosmic Charlie" from this show:

The group brought this tune back into the fold briefly in 1976 so it is fun to have this version to check out, especially the nifty guitar work from Jerry, a rare tune played swimmingly.

Perhaps not as swimmingly as what comes next though, with another song suite in the running for the "best ever" label..."Help On The Way> Slipknot!>Franklins Tower".  Phil again here is propulsive as are the drummers, even sprinkling in a cowbell.  In reality this grouping of songs is what makes this show for me, sure everything else has been really great leading up to this, but with the flaring of Keith's keys, Jerry's strong leads and Phils backing you have a champion 25+ minutes of music.  "Slipknot!" in particular gets jammed out all over the place making you forget just what song you are listening too before it crashes back into its familiar riffs then motors into the glorious "Franklin's Tower" that just keeps building upon itself.  This is some great live music...alive in the moment.

The band in October 1976
The "Around and Around" and "US Blues" that end the set and make up the encore are really just icing on the cake of this fantastic show.  Give this one a listen to ease into your Monday and enjoy some of the best playing of a sometimes overlooked year.  Do you have a favorite 1976?  Feel free to let me know.   

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Funday - Pixies Casual

The fellas over at have put together another winner, Pixies Casual:
DJ Smutvillian has made a mash-up of the crews Business Casual release with beats made from Pixies tunes.  Unique, Clever and above all a really fun listen as I dig both the MC's and obviously the band

Give it a shot, hey it's free, it's Friday, what have you got to lose except your boredom?  Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Glide Review - Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot...The Son Of Chico Dusty

Got a New review over at Glide

It is a review of Big Boi's newest album Sir Lucious Left Foot: Son of Chico Dusty

Read it right C'HERE!

I haven't really been listening to a ton of hip-hop lately and I truly don't feel like I am missing all that much, at least from what I do hear when I am out and about.  I know there is good stuff going on underground, but it is always nice when an established artist can produce some quality tunes, and Big Boi has done that here.

There is nothing earth shattering on this disk, it is just constantly good and a perfect album for summer parties.  I do love the freedom of the beats which he employees and possibly more then anything else it made me want to put on some old OutKast that I haven't listened to in a very very long time.

Here are some tracks from the album and a couple of old favorites of mine...enjoy some Hip-hop on this Hot Summer Thursday.  By the way, what is your favorite OutKast Tune?

My favorite tune on the new disk is "General Patton" here is the album cut:

Another New Tune, The official video for "Follow Us"

The first single off the album, "Shutterbug"

Now to go back in time..."Rosa Parks" such a great tune that always reminds me of house parties back in 98, getting down with the crew...

And in my opinion their peak achievement to date "B.O.B"

That track is so great it is in my holy trinity of dance tunes...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jack White and the President

Big thanks to TwentyFourBit for posting this PBS clip of Jack White playing solo at the White House for Obama and Paul McCartney, check it out:

Turns out this is part of the Gershwin Prize program that will air on the 28th.  I will be catching 2 other legends that night, but will dust off the old DVR and make sure to have it ready to roll.  Only a couple of more weeks until I get to catch Jackie boy and his Dead Weather band mates in Brooklyn too...going to be a fun week of music coming up...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

(Late) Monday Dead: A show of 1st's, 8-18-1970 Fillmore West

Was traveling this weekend, (that's why Monday's Dead is showing up on Tuesday) and it got me thinking/questioning; when was the first "Truckin'" played by the fellas?

Well here's the answer:
 today's show: 8-18-1970, click that link or listen right here:

Pretty cool that the first version was acoustic set opener for these cosmic folkies.

Don't come to this show looking for great sound it is not to be, this one is more for historical signifgance then for capturing sonic moments. Any audience tape from 1970 would surely sound a bit whack-a-doo, but even with glitches and distance it is listenable for an important day in the bands history.

After the 1st ever appearance of "Truckin'" which let's us hear some excellent piano playing from Pigpen we find the band sorting out some sound issues, with Jerry proclaiming it, "A Harrowing Trip".  Next comes an almost sweet version of "Dire Wolf".  The audience feel is pervasive and can distract when ill timed hand claps come into the ears, but the vocals are top notch.  As is the still new "Friend of the Devil" and the old standby when the Dead break out the acoustics, "Dark Hollow"

This show finds the group in the middle of perhaps it's most critically successful phase of their career having shifted from their Acid Test days with the release of the folk/roots record Workingman's Dead and 1 month away from releasing their studio highlight of their career American Beauty.  What comes next is just as epic as the "Truckin'" the first airings of "Ripple", "Brokedown Palace", and "Operator", a huge treat for those in attendance who witnessed it and for us today.

I talked bout the simple perfection of "Wish You Were Here" the other day and "Ripple" is in the same rarefied air, majestically breathtaking in it's seeming simplicity and then all encompassing scope.  Gorgeous.  "Brokedown Palace" was written by lyricist Robert Hunter during the same afternoon in London that he wrote "Ripple" and is almost as stunning, must have been a great day for Hunter with his bottle of Retsina.
 This version is historic, but there are a few shuffling tape problems in the beginning of the recording taking away from it's grandeur, before an over-excited group harmonizing effort of "Ooh's and Ahh's" that end the track.  The final 1st timer that is played here finds Pigpen crooning out "Operator" that gets the crowd giggling and clapping along, this is only 1 of 4 times that the group ever played this song, rare indeed.

The band dips into a couple of more acoustic ditties, highlighted by the best pure playing of the set contained in the 10 minute's of "New Speedway Boogie", before plugging in and getting the psychedelic bus started.  

"Dancin' In the Streets" starts it off, seemingly caught in-between a freak-out and a boogie. "Next Time You Seem Me" and "Mamma Tried" give breathers to those looking to catch their mental breath before the mind warp of "Cryptical Envelopment > The Other One > Cyrptical Envelopment" combo.  "Attics Of My Life" weeps out then Pigpen takes the reigns and runs with the show.
"It's A Man's World" is burning soul from the man who drank and lived the blues in the end a touch out of step with the rest of the fellas, but claiming the stage as his own here.  It is completely different from the original James Brown classic, but that just goes to show unique renderings of great songs can all work on different levels.  There is no way James Brown would let his band wander the way The Dead do, and the Dead could only wish they played as tight as Brown's boy's who in 1970 may have been the baddest group the planet has ever seen (may have to do another post on that topic) is a version from '91 that The Godfather did:

 "Not Fade Away" is bumped and drummed getting crowd fired up with an electric "Bid You Goodnight" run through tossed in the middle for good luck, why the hell not?  The cocaine was probably flowing with "Casey Jones" bleeding into the night ending "Uncle Johns Band".

In a cool piece of Internet magic, Rolling Stone sent Michael Lydon out to cover this exact show and report on it.  If you are interested in the full review, I am posting it below.  Pretty cool that he called "Truckin'", "Juggin" as it was still so new.  Enjoy this slice of the bands history...

An Evening with the Grateful DeadMICHAEL LYDON
(RS 66, September 17, 1970)

Jerry and co. mellow out, grow up
Grateful Dead

Working man

We change and our changings change, a friend said once. It sounded true, but it seems too that through it all we stay the same. That obscure rumination takes us to, of all places, backstage at the Fillmore West, a spot that has mutely witnessed its share of changes and has gone through some of its own. Backstage used to be literally that, a few murky closets with just a few inches and a thin wall separating them from the amps. Now the car dealer on the corner has gone through his changes, and Bill Graham got extra floorspace for a dressing room as big as the lobby of a grand hotel. 
  No palms but a lot of sofas, on one of which sat Jerry Garcia as if he owned the place. Which he once had, sort of, when it was the Carousel, changed from an Irish dance hall to a mad den of psychedelic thieves who for a few months put on a series of dances the likes of which hadn't been seen since the early days of the old Fillmore.

Jerry Garcia had played over there too -- he had been a foundering member, so to speak -- but he had never owned it. Bill Graham had owned that Fillmore and now he owned this one and Jerry was working for him one more night. There was a time when Bill Graham was always on hand when the Dead were playing, but this night he was in New York on business (the next night in LA), and a second or third generation of underling, a soft-faced young man named Jerry Pompili was watching the clock and counting the heads on behalf of Fillmore Inc.
It was just past eight-thirty, showtime, and Jerry P. approached Garcia and asked if they were ready to go on.
Jerry G. was deep in one of his eyeball-to-glittering eyeball monologues, but he paused long enough for a glance around that indicated he was the only musician present and accounted for. "The other guys will be here in a minute, man," he said, "Phil's the only one who might be late."
"Well," said Pompili, "what happens if Phil is late?" allowing into his voice a hint of his hope that the Dead would find a way to start without him, to be nice for once. A hopeless hope.
"Nothing happens," said Jerry G. grinning deep within his hairy tangle, "We'll start whenever Phil arrives."
"Okay," said Pompili, shrinking like a tired balloon, and Jerry geared back up to rapping speed, instantly oblivious of the interruption.
Everything had changed, and nothing too. After over five years of extra inning play, the celebrated Fillmore (and all of rock and roll show biz) versus Grateful Dead game was still a nothing-nothing tie. For five of those years the Dead took their lumps, always scraping through but never out of trouble. In the past half year, however, their tenacity has finally begun to pay off (perseverance furthers, says the Book of Changes). The years of weathering cosmic crises have given them an unshakable musical and group foundation (and even an odd sort of financial stability) and on that they are building afresh.
Typically, their luck waited until the last possible moment to change. 1969 ended with the near disaster of Altamont. The Dead family had been crucial in its organization, and they were as responsible as anyone for the sanctioned presence of the Hells Angels. That day -- they did not even get to play in the end and do their best to save it -- was, says Jerry, "a hard, hard lesson," and while they were absorbing it in early 1970, they had an epic management crisis. Their manager, whom they had chosen because of his honesty and earnestness, was irritating some family members who did not trust his ingratiating manner. Weeks of tense encounters led to a showdown and the manager was let go. Only then did the band discover that he had been bilking them all along; by that time he had disappeared and no one had the time or heart for a suit.
Then they got busted en masse in New Orleans (their second time, the first in the fall of '67 in San Francisco). That has now turned out to be just an inconvenience of time and money, but in March they didn't know that. In the middle of all of this they had to do a record. Something complex was out of the question; Jerry and his writing partner Ron Hunter had some tunes, so they walked into Pacific High Recorders in San Francisco, and banged it out in nine days.
The result was Workingman's Dead, one of the best of the few good records released this year, their simplest production since their first LP, and their most popular release so far. "It was something," said Jerry, "all this heavy bullshit was flying all around us, so we just retreated in there and made music. Only the studio was calm. The record was the only concrete thing happening, the rest was part of that insane legal and financial figment of everybody's imagination, so I guess it came out of a place that was real to all of us. It was good old solid work. TC (pianist Tom Constanten) had just left to go his own way, and with his classical influence gone, we got back to being a rock and roll band again, not an experimental music group. Man, we had been wanting to boogie for a long time."
Workingman's Dead is just about as good a record as a record can be. Easy on the ears from the first listening, it gets mellower as it grows on you; a lot of different rhythms but one sure pulse. In it they tap the same rich emotive vein that the band has reached, and have made from it story songs with down-home feel hiding sophisticated structures, but the Dead's molding of the material is a lot more raw and driving. The Dead look at the world from the outside edge, and their song heroes are losers and hardworking men. "A friend of the devil it a friend of mine," they sing at one point, and the closest they come to "I Shall Be Released" is:
One way or another,
One way or another,
One way or another,
This darkness got to end.

That's a long way from the messianic enthusiasm of "Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion" ("See that girl barrbonn' around, she's a dancin' and a singin' she is carryin' one"; remember?), but it's won them more friends. Sales haven't been at hit proportions, but enough to make Warner Brothers friendly for the first time since they were trying to sign the band up.
"Of course we still owe Warners money," Jerry said, "but we're getting the debt down to the size where it's more like a continual advance." A family member, John McIntire, is now the manager, some old friends are watching the books, and the days when organs got repossessed five minutes before showtime have receded, at least for the present.
"We're feeling good," Jerry went on, "really laid back, a tittle older and groovier, not traveling so much, staying at home and quieting down. We used to push ourselves and get crazy behind it, but now we're all getting more done but not having to work at it so hard.
No one could say when the turn from the old Grateful Dead to the new began, but the key was opening up the band's structure. The Dead's complex personal changes are as legendary as their public ones, and they ended only when they decided that they didn't have to be just the Grateful Dead. They could also be Bobby Ace and the Cards from the Bottom, a reentry group led by Bob Weir, or Mickey Hart and the Heartbeats which a lot of golden oldie rockers. At the same time (spring 1969) Jerry got a pedal steel to fool around with and ended up commuting dawn to Palo Alto twice a week to play Nashville style in a little club. That group became the New Riders of the Purple Sage and other Dead members sat in from time to time.
All that country music got them singing, something for which they had not been noteworthy in the pass, and hours of three-part harmony rehearsals got them back to acoustic instruments. Less noise made them less wired. The small quiet groups could and did do club work, around the Bay which meant gigs without touring or equipment hassles. All that ended up with the groove that made Workingman's Dead possible and has created a unique musical experience which they call, rather formally, An Evening with the Grateful Dead.
Phil arrived, sweeping in with madman-long strides, a few minutes before nine, and the latest evening began before a happy crowd of oldtime heads. They opened with the acoustic part (there's no other name). Jerry and Bob Weir on guitars, Pigpen on piano, Phil on electric bass, and Bill Kreutzman (who alternates with Mickey Hart) on drums. The first tune was "Juggin'," an easy going autobiography of a band's life on the road, dotted with busts and bad times and long gone friends like Annie who they've heard is "living on reds, Vitamin C, and cocaine, and all you can say is 'ain't it a shame.'" It went on like that for an hour, music soothing to weary hearts and hard-driven minds because it understands that state of mind only too well. Jerry and Bob shared lead guitar and vocals, Pig doodled around when he wanted and just sat there when he didn't, and Phil and Bill just kept the beat. David Nelson of the New Riders came in about half way through on mandolin, and Jerry switched to his Fender, and it was all very sweet and funky. They ended with "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," and believe it or not, the Grateful Dead looked angelic at last.
The New Riders came on after the break -- Jerry on pedal steel, Mickey on drums, David Nelson on electric guitar, Marmaduke lead vocal and acoustic, and Dave Torbert on bass. They opened with "Sly Days on the Road" and that too set the pace for a rolling set of country rock that probably sounded a lot like the Perkins Brothers when Carl was working honky tonks around Jackson, Tennessee. Except that Carl Perkins never had a drummer as tense as Mickey Hart, and while Jerry most often was tastefully traditional on the steel, he allowed himself some short freakouts banshee-style seldom heard below the Mason-Dixon. They ended with "Honky Tonk Women" which was a gas; Keith Richards, from a film clip in the light show, watched them without cracking a smile.
Then it was time for the Grateful Dead, and everyone was on their feet moving as they began as they used to begin with "Dancing in the Streets" ("It doesn't matter who you are, as long as you are there"). After that came the lovely "Mama Tried" that the Everly Brothers had on their Roots album, and then Pigpen took it away with an all-out dramatic rendition of "It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World." Out of that into "Not Fade Away" (quite a repertory that night, huh?) and it was past one thirty; Jerry Garcia was still going strong after four hours on three instruments but the Fillmore floor had gotten to me and we wandered out with that Bo-Diddley-by-way-of-Buddy-Holly beat pounding on and on and on ("My love is bigger than a Cadillac . . .") It wasn't one of those weird nights when, acid-blitzed, they gushed out music as hypnotic energy; is was more legible and, if not as spellbinding, more open music. Very fine indeed.
Those weird nights are surely not gone forever, but the Dead are a bit more careful these days. "Altamont showed us that we don't want to lead people up that road anymore," Jerry had said before the show, "taught us to be more cautious, to realize and respect the boundaries of our power and our space." The Dead never called themselves leaders, but they were high-energy promoters of the psychedelic revolution. On one hand they know now that it's not going to come as quickly as they thought; on the other, they know it is already too big for them to direct. They are now just helpers, like the rest of us. "At last the pressure's off," Jerry said.
He is disturbed, however, about what he calls the "politico pseudo-reality that we find when we go out on tour. Dig: there's a music festival, but because there are people there, radicals say it's a political festival now, not a music festival. I don't want to take over anybody's mind, but I don't want anybody else to take over anybody's mind. If a musical experience is forcibly transferred to a political plane, it no longer has the thing that made it attractive. There is something uniquely groovy about the musical experience; it is its own beginning and end. It threatens no one."
"The San Francisco energy of a few years back has become air and spread everywhere. It was the energy of becoming free and so it became free. But the political energy, the Berkeley energy, has assumed a serpentine form, become an armed, burrowing, survival thing. It's even still on the firebrand, 'To the barricades!' trip that I thought we had been through in this century and wouldn't have to will on ourselves again.
"'Accentuate the positive' though, that's my motto," he said with a gleam in his eye, "and there are more heads every day. Heads are the only people who have ever come to see us, and it used to be that if we played some places no one would come out because there weren't any heads in the town. Today there is no place without its hippies. No place."
With that Phil had come and the band had to start juggin,' playing for the people and hoping to get them high. "We realized when we started out," Jerry had said a few minutes before, "that as a group we were an invention, as new as the first chapter of a novel. We started with nothing to lose. Then suddenly there was something, but always with the agreement that we could go back to being nothing if we wanted. So nothing that has over gone down for the group has ever been real except to the fiction which could be made unreal at any time. A lot of limes when we were at that point, we consulted the I Ching, and the change we've gotten has always said push on. So we have; there's not much else we can do until the next change."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Funday with The Judas Syndrome (Updated)

Happy Thrash Friday...

(Update: here is the brand new video from the Judas Syndrome that premiered this weekend!  Heavy as all hell!)


You can hear more here, check them out.

All the best to Phil and Crew, expect to be hearing more from these bad asses soon.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Glide Review - William Brittelle - Television Landscape

Got a new review over at Glide up today.

It is of William Brittelle's upcoming release, Television Landscape.

Read all about it Right C'here!

Go that link and read it...all done?  Good.

I wasn't joshing your chain or sweeping your crank when I said that William Brittelle is an artist to watch, this album has some intriguing stuff.  

Granted it is not going to be for everyone, but it does make a pretty cool listen, and musically I was super impressed by all the participants, and there were a lot of them.

The Long Count, So Percussion, Alarm Will Sound, NOW Ensemble, The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Mark Dancigers...all and more contributed to this album, and you can feel the expanse and vitality with which it Television Landscape was crafted. 

Some of my favorite albums of all-time are concept albums, because when all the moving parts collide the explosion is spectacular and can elevate this art-form into something other worldly.  While I enjoyed all the music presented here, I had a much harder time with the lyrics, I got no idea what Brittelle is trying to say with the album as a whole.  It doesn't mean individual songs aren't great or there isn't any linking, it is just that the "concept" of this concept album escapes me.      

Anyway this was a pretty fun album to review and listen to.  I thank Jill at 7/10 for sending the streaming link my way.

For more info, you should go here and read the "About this Project" that link also contains a video of Brittelle and crew performing "Sheena Easton" and "Dunes of Vermillion" live.  Granted these are two of my least favorite tunes off the album still it is neat to see the multi-part instrumentation live, even if I question some of the fashion sense being presented...

Speaking of fashion I hesitate to present Brittelle's official video for "Dunes of Vermillion"...I think it is laughably bad, pretty much the worst.  That may be the toughest part of reviews, just judging the album for what it is, and not judging...ummm....this:

...because this...this is a horrific video, there is no way it is tongue in fact I don't want you to be singing in the desert unles you are wearing red spangly shit  and your name is Tom Keifer...

Hot Dam, Brittelle ripped off Cinderella!  Maybe it is just a homage...maybe not.

(Love how I managed to work Cinderella into this piece!)  One more for good luck:

Ok That's enough drama and pomp.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Which One's Pink?!

So in semi surprising news I saw that David Gilmour and Roger Waters teamed up to play a short set this weekendPink Floyd was a group that I never thought would get back together.  The whole group (but Waters in particular) strike me as having ego's lager then continents. 
When they briefly played at Live 8 it could have been cool if MTV hadn't completly shat the bed with it's coverage.  Jokes can be made how that hasn't been a "Music" channel for the last 15+ years, but to cut to commercials, making money for the company, during a charity event, before Gilmour's "Comfortably Numb" guitar solo is so pathetic it is beyond words.

That said Floyd was always a band I could care less about seeing live.   

I have a few bootleg's from various points in their career, from the early Syd Barrett days

up until their last show at Earls Court, and in reality they never were a particularly engaging live band to me. 

Granted this probably because they were visual/theatrical in the live setting and I am judging more on the music.  For a band that took this much time in the studio and crafted sonic adventures, the replication live holds little in the way of surprises.  They are the pinnicale of recreating their studio efforts live as far as rock and roll goes, and to me that isn't all that interesting.  I would much rather never know whats around the corner at a live show and listen to Floyd's albums on a kick ass sound system in a funky setting.

I do own all of their albums, but I find myself only getting involved with a few of them.  Most of their early output I find lacking, especially in comparison to what The Grateful Dead were doing at the exact same time.  To me the hippies out West had a head-start on the psychedelia.  

Waters is about to tour for The Wall, and I feel that has to be in the discussion of most overrated albums of all time (certainly a discussion for another post). An album that wallows in a narcissism on par with LeBron James if you ask me, besides minimal musical highlights (Gilmour's guitar solo in Comfortably Numb being one) the bile and pettiness of the lyrics are totally off putting. 

Then again I can not deny the completeness and grandeur of Dark Side Of The Moon or the simplistic perfectness of Wish You Were HereAnimals also gets my goat'a goin', but I gotta confess I do enjoy Claypools version more...I am a sucker for that rumble.  Those 3 albums or more then most bands can dream of and are great examples of 70's psychedelic studio craftmanship.       

OK how about some videos to warp the mind:
"Set The Controls" with Uncle Frankie Z Popping Up for no reason!

"Wish You Were Here" maybe the perfect pop song.

And a pretty good video from Claypool's live covering of "Animals" I caught this tour 9 days later at Irving Plaza:

That user Deadmaker46135 has a bunch of clips from that show, and while the video isn't perfect, the sound sure is...check it out...oooh and that gets me pumped for Primus at the end of the Month!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Dead 9-15-1973 now with Horns!

After a hot weekend how about some cool rock and roll to start things off?  Going to hop right too it and blaze out the second set of the Grateful Dead's 9-15-1973 Show from Providence Civic Center,
 click that link or listen right c'here:

This is a soundboard recording and the crystal clear sound is completely intact, but there is a distance to the playing as if the audience wasn't even there...I honestly would give up a bit of the pristine sound for some cheers in the mix, that said though all the levels here are smooth.  Two of the MVP's on this night are the twinkling almost barroom piano rolling of Keith Godchaux and the crisp drumming of Bill Kreutzmann.
 Bill is especially impressive as he was in all of 1973 while his Rhythm Devil partner was on the sidelines having left the band, working the engine fell to Bill and his fluid style is impressive on this night in Providence. Hearing Keith play with this much freedom is not something always experienced with his time in the the band, it is refreshing.  

The opening trio of tunes are well played, and an emotional Jerry adds gravity to "Row Jimmy" but the reason that I picked this show starts with the loose "Truckin'" that wanders out and about half way through finds a few guests poppin' up, breaking out the horns, and blowing all over the joint.  Martin Fierro joins on Sax and Joe Ellis contributes Trumpet from here to the end of the show, and as any time the horns show up, the boys give it their all.  "Truckin'" is really all over the map, the horns are allowed to experiment and ramble, while on "Eye's of The World" there seems to have been charts and progressions worked out before hand.  Both methods work just fine as either side gets to try new things out and add flair to some of the groups most loved songs. 

It seems whenever the brass comes to the stage things get fierce, I will certainly cover a Branford show in the future, but this night was a different.  It isn't perfect, there are some gaps, but you can tell the band is trying to play "in the moment" which is vital; they moved from a straight rock and roll group to more jazz laced outfit, especially around the 9 minute mark of "Eyes" when Jerry just starts riffing with Fierro, tasty stuff.
 This second set is basically Wake of the Flood live, even the rare "Let Me Sing Your Blues Away" gets an airing allowing Keith to sing one...while this isn't the best performance, it is a funky little ditty and Jerry does a bang up job with the harmonies along with Donna.

Fierro picks up the flute for the "WRS Prelude" and it melds brilliantly with Garcia's dripping leads.  The tightness with which all the musicians push into "Let It Grow" is a bit shocking giving the looseness that precedes and shows up again in the jam section, but it is a tight ship when this beast starts revving up. Once the vocals by Bobby and Donna are completed the horns are taken for a stroll starting around the 6:20 mark with Jerry dancing around the edges at a frantic pace before the tune really winds out into free jazz.

While the chaos eases out we get a beautiful rendition of my favorite Jerry ballad, "Stella Blue", and this rendition is weepingly glorious, a version worth coming back to again and again.  The spicy trumpet pumping "Sugar Magnolia" finds Donna in a screeching mood and the party themed "One More Saturday Night" close things up on the is September Night in Providence, putting a stamp on a unique tour for the Dead.  I have heard in various places that people didn't really like this horn combo playing with the fellas, but I have very little to critique from this night's show, I thought that Fierro and Ellis added tone, mood and color as well as serving to inspire the group to branch out or get tight when it was called for.  A real winner of a show in the groups history.    

Unrelated Side Note:
Big ups to Spain, the World Cup is such a great sporting event I managed to catch the finals on the Lower West side at Brass Monkey's Block Party
 under the sun with Pete and some other 500 or so people.
 The joint was packed and we happened to be in the heart of the Spanish fans who were in a much louder mood then their Dutch rivals.  I just wanted a good game, it wasn't the best, but it was engaging and the crowd made it fun, I wish Xavier or Doug was there to translate what the Spanish ladies next to us were saying, but overall a great time. 
 Can't wait for Chelsea to start up in a couple of weeks, and next World Cup, I think it might be time to head to Brazil.