Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween! St John the Divine Halloween Extravaganza

Halloween has always been high on the list of favorite holidays and I think I just found a new yearly tradition.  Last night we went up and checked out the Halloween Extravaganza at St. John the Divine on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. 

A mammoth old church that has a crypt like feel was made even spookier by turning off all of the lights and showing a screening of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, here is the full movie in case you have never seen it:

(and now I know exactly where Tim Burton got his style from)
We went one step better though with live, creepy mood setting accompaniment on the cathedral's massive pipe organ from the sensational Timothy Brumfield
Here was a clip from last year's fest to get a feel:

It was a eerie sensation being in the church and watching the movie, and afterwards things got even weirder when of all people Satan himself popped out from under the screen and started the Procession of The Ghouls:

I was amazed that you did not here one baby/child cry the whole time...I know if I was 3 or 4 at this event I would have been balling, just proves NYC kids are bad ass I guess.  Some great costumes were on display and it was a very cool event that I will have to attend again next year.  The last "Ghoul" you saw on the way out was probably my favorite, a cello playing skeleton/scarecrow combo that eased you out into the night. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Dead: 1-8-1979 Madison Sq. Garden, NYC

Going for a local show in today's addition to the Monday Dead series, as we walk down the block and back 30+ years to January 8th 1979 @ Madison Square Garden.  Click that link or listen right c'here:

This is only the second show the Dead ever played in the big arena, the first being the night before, which by all accounts was not a highlight for the band.  Just like the group their big shows seem to disappoint, then they come back the next night and knock it out of the park.  I haven't put too many AUD tapes in the Monday series, but this one is pretty special, as you can hear the energy from the get go with the crowd exploding at "Mississippi Half-Step" and they are ecstatic most of the night.  Surprisingly my other 1979 post was from the same month and is an AUD tape as well, but the playing from both shows makes it worthy of listening.

With this recording the levels do seem to fluctuate and Bobby is almost non-existent on Guitar with his slide solo in "New Minglewood" being very very low in the mix.  Other pieces work nicely like the loud highs of Jerry's guitar and Keith's Keys.  There is a definite distance here and the recording isn't perfect by any stretch, but it is listenable.  There is also an amazing set of Photos from this night on Bob Minkin's Photo Stream on Flickr.  Check out the slide show of great pictures here.

You can feel from the opening that Jerry is going to be 'on' this night, the playing and singing contain an added passion, I am not sure why but his guitar tone weeps through 'Candy Man'.  The highlights of the 1st set are the opening duo of "1/2 Step" > "Franklins Tower" which is a fun pairing, a jammed out "Friend Of The Devil" and a really pumping "It's All Over Now".   The real action come sin the second set so I will focus on that....
When no one less then the great Charlie Miller states that this is one of his favorite 2nd sets the band has ever done you kinda sit up and take notice.  "Scarlett Begonias" eases out brilliantly, with a nice tag team from Keith's Keys and Donna Jeans Vocals.  The couple would leave the band shortly, but they always made Scarlett>Fire a good listen.  Jerry was also feeling his oats on this night jamming out in various directions, he has mentioned that the Garden is "juiced" and how much he loved to play there...this is an example of why and how.  The "Fire On The Mountain" is glorious ringing out with wah-wah and a jubilant vibe with a cinematic last guitar solo that I could have listened to all day.

A rocking "Samson and Delilah" keeps the energy high as the rhythm section gets their groove on with the bouncing beat.  Then the epic nature of this set becomes apparent as "Terrapin Station" spins out the yarns of shedding light among blissful, golden guitars.  A huge version of this fan favorite has "inspiration" popping up and inspiring the New York City crowd before the tune crashes into a great disco flavored version of "Playing In The Band".  All killer, no filler in this second set as Bobby whips up the crowd into a funky groove.

After the 'Drums' take hold we thunder out we get hit with rattling bass bombs from Phil that signal "The Other One" which is energetic and upbeat before a huge "Wharf Rat" finds Jerry showing off those passionate vocals one more time on this night.  "Good Lovin'" and "US Blues" let the crowd sing along and end a terrific night of music from the boys and girl in NYC, sending those in attendance home happy.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Glide Review - CMJ Kick Off Party - Yo La Tengo, Screaming Females, DOM

Hey there y'all.

I got a brand new review up on Glide.

Read it right C'here.

It is from Tuesday Night's CMJ Kick Off Party at Brooklyn Bowl.

I posted pictures and video I took of it here.

Hell of a show.  Screaming Females and Yo La Tengo are both really great.  Been singing the praises of both all week to anyone who would listen.  I will post a couple more vid's here for you, but check both of them out if you haven't already. 

Screaming Females-
"Lights Out" from last year's CMJ
"Mothership" Live
"Electric Pilgrim"

Yo La Tengo-
Great Song and Awesome Video with Mr Show...the best sketch comedy since Python.

"Periodically Double or Triple"

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Album Review - The State Lottery - When The Night Comes Plus Free Album Download

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 after if needed but I will keep the ratings and reviews just as I originally wrote them. Enjoy:
The State Lottery
When The Night Comes
**** out of *****

Here comes a raucous rambling record from The State Lottery, which is a group comprised of friends from various bands and various locations around the country.  Members of Get Bent, The Gibbons, Thousandaires and Traffic & Weather all managed to come together from their various corners of the country to write and record When the Night Comes which combines 50's rock and roll with good time party nights and a punk break-the-chain ethos.  Horns and cymbal crashes run amok as piano keys pluck in front of walking bass lines and upbeat guitars; there is a communal sense of adventure on hyperactive display in this recording.

"Coming Alive" kick starts the heart of the album showcasing the brass balls and upbeat tempos that will play throughout the disk.  Guitars become the focal point as the energy grabs a mosh-pit fever on the pumping "Stories" while ooh's and aah's dominate the title track.  The album continues in these veins until the climatic closer, "Spring, 2008, Detroit" which scratches and claws with a drunken choir and screeching guitars.  The obvious influence here is early Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band, we are talking way back in their Dr. Zoom and The Sonic Boom days, as The State Lottery perform with a looseness in their grandiose; a ramshackle approach to big band garage rock.

That description might be a touch oxymoronic, but that is what you get here; lo-fi, big band and it is an intoxicating mix of urgent American soul music with a punk twist.  A tale like "East Jordan" combines the holy with the gutter and makes you want to jump right in the communion bowl and bath with the wine as the trumpets blare towards the heavens.  Big choruses complete with "ah's" and "yeah's" combined with urgent, shouted, lyrics add to the punk flavoring as does the bourbon soaked vocals.  A bit of a minus is the production as vocals tend to get lost at times and instruments all bleed into each other, but while the lo-fi takes away from the clarity it adds to the all-in dynamic of the album.  There is passion infused into these tracks, this group of friends are onto something and after listening to the album you will feel like you are on it too.          

This is a great album, and if you got lost with the Dr. Zoom and The Sonic Boom reference read this...

Then go grab When The Night Comes for FREE right here...actually give the group a donation they could use it, or better yet order up the LP.   This is a great listen, so support The State Lottery and enjoy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Yo La Tengo/Screaming Females Pics and (now with) Video

 Had the pleasure of attending MOG's CMJ Kickoff Party last night, and got some pics and video to share of 2 amazing rock groups.  A full review should be up on Glide tomorrow.  DOM was also on the bill, but I watched their set from the bar with one eye on the Yankees Game.   As always click on the pics because they get a whole lot bigger and better quality....

The first is one of my favorite bands currently touring (you ready Europe?) Screaming Females.  Guitar God over a bopping bass and thunderous drums?!??  hmmm sounds a lot like another band that I love.  Screaming Females have got everything I dig the most when it comes to rock and roll and I can't wait to catch them again. (hopefully Saturday).  Update: Hot off the presses Video Clips are ready:

Yo La Tengo played a set from all over the place as they are one of the hardest bands to pin down style-wise and that is a major reason why they are so loved.  Their set tonight was great loud long and showed why they are the elder statesmen of this indie scene.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Dead: 4-24-1978 Horton Field House Illinois State U

So the pure genius that I am actually recycled a show with last weeks burner from Miami 1974.  Oh well, I guess I just really like that show, and I did go to FLA twice this year so it makes a bit of stupid sense.  To make up for it though I wanted to find a gem and post it today.

Bring on the glorious 4-24-1978 concert from Horton Field House at Illinois State University.  Click that link or listen right C'here:

Unreal that I made it to the middle of October before posting a show from 1978.  Just goes to show you how many great years/tours/nights there were in the career of this amazing group of musicians.

This show has a bunch of high spots and rates as one of the best from the Dead during this phase of their career, which is saying a lot as 77-78 hold a special place in the hearts of most Dead Heads.  The show was the last before a week off for the group and they let it loose at the Horton Field House on this night.
 The full accompaniment of the Dead is on display here, and I would offer this show to all the Donna haters out there to prove she added a grand vocal dimension and forced the fellas to harmonize more then they ever had...she also covered up the warts of the vocals at times and it is on display all night here.  Donna and Keith would leave the band shortly, but tonight's show, as well as countless others, shows the heights this formation of the group could achieve.

There are a couple of copies of this night's show on the archive to check out, the great Charlie Miller himself posted 2 versions, I am going with one of his, but I wouldn't fault you for going in a different direction if you wanted, they are all fairly good recordings, I noticed the overall volume level is a bit dimmer on the other versions, and I wanted more bang in the speakers so I am using this version.  I would give the recording an A as a lot of heart and soul seemed to go into it.

A good beginning of things, but the weirdness happens about 2 songs in as the group teases, of all things, "Stayin' Alive".  Hippies doing disco...gag-able.  They actually played with the tune in various songs all that week (I hope to post more shows later) and the crazy thing is, the "Stayin' Alive" tease plays throughout all of "Big River" Johnny Cash just threw-up.  Maybe sacrilegious, but funny and the Dead are nothing if not pranksters.  Another Early highlight is "Friend of the Devil" stretched out and jammed real nice like for 10 minutes.

The mega-highlights that make this a must hear concert start to show up at the end of the first set and skid right on through to the begging of the second.  "Passenger" is a fast furious work out, before Jerry and Donna team up to create the beautifully heart wrenching "It Must Have Been The Roses".  They close out the first set with what could be argued is their top tier version of "The Music Never Stopped", this one is a jaw dropper.   Not an extended flight of fancy , just a funky-as-all-get-out burner to close out a dynamite set of tunes.  Shows that any night, any song could reach monumental peaks, as Jerry races and scrambles on guitar while the percussion crashes all around him to close out the track and set. The Dead's own taper section noted as much back in 2007 when they posted those two tracks here

After that a break was needed, but the momentum was never lost.  The group comes out flying for the opening duo of "Scarlett Begonias>Fire On The Mountain".  Again this combo on this night must pop up in "All Time Great" discussions.  I have mentioned some epic "Scarlett>Fires" on this site in the past, and this one goes toe to toe with those.  Phil slides his bass into Scarlett with ease and like all great versions of this tune the keys get a proper airing and Keith does that wonderfully.  The whole group just seems to be in complete sync to open up the playing here, building to dynamite crescendos and interacting with each other on what seems to be a higher level.  
Donna vocalizes as the group starts the journey to the Mountain and gather the kindling to start the fire with Garcia strumming away as Keith seems to be walking alone on the piano as Billy and Mickey crash around on cymbals before they all come together at the base and start to climb.   The groove gets rich and thick as the Wah Wah dominates the proceedings and the rhythm section gets into their best song.  I always have seen Fire on the Mountain as a Phil-Mickey-Billy jam more then anything else with the best versions having those three propel the others to greater melodic moments.  That takes place here as Jerry and Bobby start dueling around the 5:30 mark and just get after it with each other, this is actually some of my favorite guitar work from Bobby, and really does play like two leads, something that rarely happened with the band as Garcia often dominated.
Garcia singing "Let it burn let it burn let it burn" is icing on this glorious musical cake and then he decides to just rip into the track as Weir falls more into the rhythmic role we are used to as the band rolls on up and up into thin air.  These songs are the Dead at their peak and what you listen to the group for, excellence.

The band moves into "Good Lovin'" and while not up to the same levels it still kept the crowd grooving before they hit the next highlight song.  "Terrapin Station" was always hit or miss live, while it is an epic tale, the fellas were known to blow it on many occasions this night was not one of those as they nail it.  Jerry always is a bit iffy on the lyrics which can take away from the story, but the song is so large and encompassing it has power even when the band isn't completely together.  In this version the Inspiration break isn't as monumental as other versions but the totality of the track works wonders while it builds to a devastating ending via drum rolls and Jerry flashing some distortion.
The rest of the show is solid, if not particularly memorable, but with those high spots to end the first set and beginning the second you couldn't ask for much more.  "Not Fade Away" is fun, "Black Peter" has never been one of my favorites but this version is a good bluesy listen very emotional guitar playing.  I love Warren Zevon, and always got a kick out of the Dead covering "Werewolves of London", easily one of my favorite covers the band did.      

So enjoy this show, and I promise not to repeat it the next time I post a 1978 show.  

Friday, October 15, 2010

Glide Review - Fistful Of Mercy - As I Call You Down

Morning all, got a new review up on Glide.

Read it right C'here!

It is of the semi-super-folk group Fistful Of Mercy's first release titled, As I Call You Down.

I say Fistful Of Mercy are "semi super", because having one nationally known and loved artist (Ben Harper) the son of one the most famous pop musicians of all time (Dhani Harrison) and another more artsy artist (Joseph Arthur) doesn't really make you full on SUPER in my book of poems.

Harper has natural charm (could have something to do with looking like Lopez), but musically I never really thought he rose much above Jack Johnson, who I find bland as all fuck.  Arthur's solo outings are intriguing but that intrigue and looping guitar style is pretty much absent on this record.  Dhani hasn't done much, since a wicked tribute concert for his late great father George, but he is the one here that I am listening out for in the future.

I think it is because the two songs which jumped out at me seemed to be the ones he led, "Fathers Son" and "Things Go Round".  I could be wrong, perhaps it is a total group 3-way (EwwGross!), but those 2 sound different then the rest of the album.  There's no doubt the cats can beautifully sing their faces off...but the songs don't say jack shit and the choruses seem to go on forever's and ever's. 

In the end the album fell into a beach bum vibe that lacked energy...maybe if I was sitting in Whalers staring out into the Pacific I might have thought differently about it....but probably not.  Some vid's for you to judge... 

Live in the Studio:

Live with some guy named Eddie:

And just because the Prince solo rips so much ass, here was the first time I became aware of Dhani Harrison:

 Jesus the Purple One gives me goosebumps each time I see that performance....  


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday Dead: 6-23-1974 Jai Alai Fronton, Miami, FLA

Hey there, wanted to continue the Monday Dead theme, even if it is Tuesday. 

Spent this Columbus Day with friends living it up by taking my talents down to South Beach.  Had a hell of a good time and wanted to get some Miami love into the Dead Series here on RtBE. 
Today's show is 6-23-1974, listen to it via that link or stream it right c'here:

This is a monster of a show and a compelling listen whose quality can not be over stated.  A+ recording all around on this night and a perfect capture of the band in their "Wall Of Sound" hey day, and ranks as one of the crispest captures of the band from any era.  Just listen to Phil's perfect bass runs on the opener, "Ramble on Rose" and you will be hooked.  The vocal treatments are really top notch on all tunes as well.

My personal highlight from this one is magical, "Dark Star>Spanish Jam>U.S. Blues" segue that shows up towards the end of the show... and was included on the excellent So Many Roads Box Set
 (Here's just the "Spanish Jam")

but the group has one of their "On" nights here in Miami, even if their sound system was acting the fool all night.  Kinda neat to be the first ever Phil and Ned foray into "Seastones" which is notable if not all that enjoyable.  There is a rocking "Let It Grow" to end the first set and really beautiful melodic jam that opens set 2.  I have no idea where this Jam came from, but do yourself a favor and give it a whirl, it has a meandering quality that seems free and easy; a blissful listen that just melts into "Ship of Fools".     

This is a pretty popular Dead Show, and I don't have much time today to type, but gratefully a few other excellent blogs have posted this show and written about it, so enjoy the tunes and go here and here for some more background and pics.   

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Glide Review - No Age - Everything In Between

Hey there, I got a new review over on Glide

Read it right C'here!!!

It is of No Age's newest release Everything In Between

I confess that I had not heard No Age until now, I heard of them and they were every bloggers darling a few years ago, but I never got around to checking them out.  These things happen.

After listening to Everything In Between I will correct that error and go back to their first few releases.  These fellas got talent.

Admittedly their style is my cup of meat...injecting noise and dissonance into structured punk workouts.  Yeah that sounds like something I would like.  They have a touch of Sonic's too them which makes me happy, but they really are their own beast and a fine furry one at that.  Give some tunes a listen, I think you'll like it....

The first single, "Glitter" with a cool fan made video, can't get enough of this song:

 Their punkiest tune on the album, "Fever Dreaming"

Here's some cool live stuff from the duo:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Album Review - Neil Young - Le Noise

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 after if needed but I will keep the ratings and reviews just as I originally wrote them. Enjoy:
Neil Young 
Le Noise
** out of *****

While Neil Young's new album can technically be called a solo album in reality it is a duet with producer Daniel Lanois.  Guitars everywhere, old folkie a bit directionless and master producer twisting knobs while getting bizarre warbles, echoes, and reverb out of the proceedings.  This can't really be called a "rock" or "folk" album, but most accurately a "sound" album.  One thing is certain, you will never be able to pin Neil down, but here it seems like the concept of Le Noise is much cooler then the execution. 

The tracks are mostly sketches that seem sort of half finished; you are waiting for Crazy Horse to start their simplistic downbeat at any moment, "Angry World" and "Rumbling" would both be stompers and could burn next to his classics if those ragged garage rockers got a hold of them.  Without the Horse or any of Young's other musical friends this short offering works best on headphones as sonic experience.  Sure there are songs here but even the titan song-smith Young seems to be a bit tired with the form and lyrics, "Love and War", yup we've heard it before and he admits it.  "Peaceful Valley Boulevard" wanders in his familiar realms of native people and hardships while Lanois alternates the tone of Neils acoustic, at moments all powerful before leaving it sparse, yet at 7 minutes the tune itself isn't memorable with it's recycled and bland lyrics.

The exception is the old unreleased gem "Hitchhiker" which gets a new sonic face lift, dominating the album.  This may not be the wayward tracks finest incarnation but it certainly is interesting to hear Neil "officially" tackle this number that's been rattling around his head for almost 20 years now.  Lanois is the true star here on Le Noise, creating an engaging listen out of songs, that for the most part, are barely flushed out. Young seems to be in demo mode while Lanois is onto the mastering phase, neither on the same page but both talented enough to have created an engaging listen that won't stick around your brain or ipod too long.   


Shane reviewed Uncle Neil's new disk over at Glide and we talked about it; I think I am a bit more disappointed then he is.  This is strictly a guitar tone album, in fact without the lyrics it would probably hold up well and might even turn out better.  This production though is so ripe for Neil to rip into the solo's and simplistic epics he is known for; I feel a little let down that he didn't go for it.  I also think it is pretty obvious that he had no real lyrical path here, the inclusion of "Hitchhiker" (though I love that tune) is a blatant give away.  That's OK though when he has direction, it isn't always the best thing.  

Who knows, maybe he will work again with Lanois and get a full band behind him, or maybe not, I know one thing, you can not predict what Young will do, and that alone makes him one of my all-time favorites. Then again his worst albums are nothing a good Borscht couldn't fix...

I got no idea about that one...Here are some videos, the last one is super impressive, not sure how long it will be up for:
The making of Le Noise
A live acoustic version of "Hitchhiker":
Le Noise The Film a full 39 minutes, this is pretty amazing and watching him play makes me almost want to reconsider those stars up there:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday Dead: Before the Europe 3-23-1972

This Mondays Dead show catches the group before they launched their most famous tour, Europe 1972.  The band stationed themselves in fantastic New York City for a few weeks pre-trip to make sure things were ready for the Bozo's to bombard the old country and they figured they would play a few shows as tune up.  The group has already officially released some of these shows, but today's is on par with those official releases so you can save some bucks as your relive the pre tour jitters with the group before they high stepped it across the Atlantic. 
 Today's show is 3-23-1972, at the New York Academy of Music.  Click that link or Stream the show live here:

 It is odd that I haven't presented more 1972 here at RTBE, as it is arguably the groups finest year.  It also seems to be their most well documented year with tons of official releases, pristine tapes and recordings.  I guess I want to highlight some lesser known years and shows, but I hope to hit some classics in the upcoming winter months and that will no doubt include a fistful of '72.

What needs to be mentioned off the top is that this show is simply a perfect to listen, A+ quality all around.  Charlie Miller is a god amongst Dead Heads, and has out done himself, this has the texture and audio perfection of a official release.  You could not want more from a live show over 35 years old...ahh the magic of the Archive.

Onto the playing this night at the Academy.  Just which Academy of Music were they playing at?  This one? This One?  Well it took a bit of research, but turns out the Academy of Music, changed into the Palladium on 14th St, that use to host shows, but now just hosts NYU students. 
 A smaller venue for the boys who set up shop 7 nights in 1972 and got the kinks out before invading Europe, which would immortalized on the excellent live disk.  Tonight's first set is fucking huge and would showcase a lot of those songs that showed up on the first "set" of the live disk.  I mean you have an 18 song first set to dig into it and you should, I will just mention some spots of interest.

There are solid versions of old favorites like the opening "China>Rider" which sets a nice theme for the evening a LOUD Lesh!  There are also top notch versions of songs that would blossom in 1972, "Tennessee Jed", "Brown Eyed Women" and "Jack Straw" which is one of my favorite songs and in 1972 it was consistently performed at an apex level as it is this night.  "Mr. Charlie" fines Pigpen still giving it his all before his final days:

Other high-spots from the early going's-on's are the relaxed and stretched out "Cumberland Blues" which eases over 8 minutes and allows Phil to plop and pop on the bass with confidence and depth.  The excellent back-up vocals and crying pedal-steel guitar that Jerry employs to support Bobby in "Looks Like Rain" must be checked out.  The production and cleaning up here are evident as the pedal-steel weeps proudly then soars, a really cool twist on a pretty standard song.  A rare swinging version of "You Win Again" showcases Keith Godchaux's twinkling key work that would come to define the groups piano style for the next 8 years, letting the track play to the end allows you to hear the boys discuss the alligators in NYC's sewers; a major issue that we are all well aware of.
The first set ending foursome has some real exciting.  A tight and short (by Dead standards) "Playing In the Band" amps up the energy while "Comes A Time" showcases the balladry of Garcia along again with his closing guitar solo and Phil's well timed bass notes.  Bobby Weir takes the vocals on "Bobby McGee" and brings the thunder before a set closing cocaine fueled freight train of "Casey Jones" all winners. 
That seems like a show in and of itself, but it's just a first set.

"Truckin'" gets moving down the highway and it is a perfect synopsis of the 72 playing style.  Crisp leads from Phil, simple snare work from Billy who was once again flying solo in the drum chair, a shuffle groove on the keys and guitar leads with vocals sprinkled on top.  The adventure starts a bit later in the set, but "Truckin'" along with "Ramble on Rose" give some stability to the proceedings. 

Next comes the rare Pigpen written "Stranger (Two Souls In Communion)", one of the last contributions to the band before his death, it is a gospel tinged number that could have flourished  but never grew secure legs.  Tonight's version is heartfelt and shows that there was another songwriter in the group with McKernan, whose range was more then the Blues.  Here is a version of Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes covering the tune when he came out with Furthur, Robinson does more then do this tune justice, he elevates it to what it might have become. 

After a bizarrely placed "Mexicali Blues" comes the meat and potatoes of the show, "Dark Star".  Ahhh, 1972 and Dark Star's...a match made in heaven.  The last 1972 show I discussed has one of my all-time favorite versions of this jam vehicle, like all great jam songs they can go in vastly different directions.  Today's version doesn't reach the heights of 8/27 yet it is nothing to shake a warped brain at. 

Jerry keeps the light and airey feel during the intro with Phil's bass runs also containing a light touch before the song drifts into almost nothingness.  The band re-energizes about around the 10:30 mark playing with an increasing tempo, but dip back into a more laid back trip.  Then 13 minutes in the band plays with it's LSD laced audience and starts the FrEaaaK OOuTT!?!?! for about 2 minutes before Billy tries to restore some order on drums and launches the band into a surprisingly buoyant jam piece.  Jerry shines a light on this segment at the 17 minute mark putting a smile on all faces before returning to the "Dark Star" theme 21 and a half minutes in.

This is a great example of the Dead in a nutshell; face melting dissonance into sunshine-y omnipresent rock and roll in the span of 10 minutes and doing both with ease and flair.

Pigpen gives a breather with "Big Boss Man", but then the explosive "Not Fade Away>Going Down The Road Feeling Bad> Not Fade Away" sandwich ends a career spanning set with Bobby and Pigpen screaming at each other with aggression and probably a wee bit o' bourbon; what a closer. 

This night is a kick ass show getting the crew ready for Europe on the horizon and more immediately the Hell's Angels benefit in two nights:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Band of Horses Tosses Hat In Ring For Coolest Band Out There

So I am a little late with this one, but I just had to post the video, it really might be the raddest thing since Rad itself...

(Ok...stay focused...Jesus there is a lot of my favorite childhood movie on youtube, I will come back to this at some point I promise)

Band of Horses was already a pretty top notch group in my eyes.  They were my surprise MVP at Jazzfest, their last album has been listened to a lot this year, and Cease to Begin is pure Boosh (25 to be exact).  All that is well and crispy, but they got a whole heaping helping of "Aaaah Right On" with this trixy trick they pulled off for a lucky Norwegian couple. 

Straight from the Youtube description:
Njal proposed to Elin at the Band of Horses show in Oslo earlier this year. When the Bride and Groom heard that BoH was to play a festival in Tromso on the same day of their wedding, they contacted the band and told them their story. With all the coincidences surrounding the wedding, the band said, "What the hell" and decided to surprise the couple. The band showed up minutes after landing in Tromso to play Marry Song at their ceremony. BoH was honored to be a part of the couple's special day. Congratulations Njal and Elin!

That is pimp, here's the video to prove it.....

I can't wait...I have been planning on proposing at a Mephiskapheles show forever hopefully those cats can swing the same thing...wait...they broke up??  Well we will have to bring them back together now won't we...anywhichway Saba shall be rocked:

(if you only ever own 1 ska album in your life, please, make it this one. You can't be disappointed)

Glide Review - Laura Cortese Acoustic Project

Got a new review up on Glide. 

Read it right C'Here!!!

It is of Acoustic Project by Laura Cortese

This EP this a fine piece of acoustic fiddle work lead by Laura Cortese.  She has assembled a four-piece string group (consisting of all females) to help her out.  There are two other fiddles (Brittany Haas on 5-String and Hanneke Cassel) and a Cello (Natalie Haas). 

What I think worked best was the sampling of styles.  This isn't a classical, folk, pop, or celtic string album, but rather a combination of all of those.  Taking bits and pieces works better to show off their playing then focusing on one genre.  What I think could work even better would be fusing those styles into individual songs rather then playing one style on song then showing off another somewhere else, which is what really occurs here. 

I think when things are flushed out a bit more Miss Cortese could really catch on in the pop realm, and here is the most poppy tune from this album which is pretty damn catchy.  Nice work Laura:

If you are into acoustic tunes, especially fiddle playing give Acoustic Project a whirl.

Freaky Friday, What if it was Monday with the Dead? 1-20-1968 Eureka, CA

Well I am back in the saddle on the East Coast after a visit to left coast fraught with great peril.  I managed to survive thanks to some great friends out there, you cats know who you are.  Today I have a couple of posts to get up, out, and back on track, the first being a Dead show!

What if 6 was 9?

What if Friday was Monday (Well most people would be pissed) but I didn't want to miss a week in the Monday's Grateful Dead Series, so I am presenting this quick show either very late or super early depending on which way you look at it.

One thought...EUREKA! Today's a shorty but a goody coming from that west coast I just left (though slightly higher north) and finds the boys in the middle of their Anthem of the Sun Days.  It is 1-20-1968 Eureka Municipal Auditorium.

Click that link or listen here:

 This show was part of the the groups smoking Northwest Tour at the beginning of 1968 that really got tripped out.  Today's four songer is blazing, a really top notch recording that finds the Dead tight as the train on the tour poster.

The first song is the fantastic first ever performance of "Clementine".  It starts what seems to be the theme on this short set, jazz.  The group has a certain swing-groove to their playing that is a cosmic bebop.  The light touch of Billy and Mickey on the drums can account for some of it, but on "Clementine" the group as a whole embraces the idea.  Phil bumps his bass lines in a smoky manner, Pigpen inserts himself expertly on his organ and Jerry embraces the leads as if he was a saxophonist.  This is a high water mark for the group concerning this song, the more you hear it, the more you want to hear it, give it a go as the boys are obviously clicking before they drop right into "New Potato Caboose".

"New Potato Caboose" was never one of my favorite psychedelic voyages that the fellas made, but on this night the track packs some pop.  That could have something to do with the distinct "Other One" vibe that is being laid down about 5 minutes in until the end, especially by the rhythm section.  "Born Cross-Eyed" comes next and allows Weir to get his freaky deaky on for a few uptempo minutes but I really dig (along with the "Clementine") is what pops up next.

"Spanish Jam" has always held prime real estate in my mind, before I ever got into the Grateful Dead, I was a big jazz fan and in particular a fan of Miles Davis.  My father also loved jazz, but he was always a bigger fan of the smooth stuff as I veered more avant-garde, where we always found common ground was early Davis and particularly the theatrical Sketches of Spain.  I distinctly remember him driving me to practice through the snow and both of us just being enthralled with the mix of Gil Evans orchestration and Miles virtuosity on that album.
We were transported instantly to Pamplona and were racing with the bulls and dancing with brown eyed women.  That classic jazz masterpiece will always ring true with me, and its memories become inflamed whenever I hear the Dead dip into their structured "Spanish Jam" which is based, loosely, around "Solea" from the Evans and Davis classic.

Today's show presents the first and perhaps the greatest of these excursions, Mickey and Billy slap the snare easing in before treating it like a piece of raw hide letting it reverberate majestically while one takes up the shaker.  Phil is really in his element here, letting his jazz background take over and darkly leading things along for the whole group, Lesh is in charge while the weeping guitar leads from Jerry tear up.  There is a tension that builds and builds through out. with Pigpen even adding dynamic organ swells, the snare march continues to drive the music and Phil darkens it with his leads.

You can almost hear lovers quarreling under the moonlight.

This version is exhilarating and the only downside is that it set the bar too high because I wish the the group was more prone to dipping into this workout as they thrive in it's environment.  They tell a story without speaking and draw you in with their power, call it Jazz-Rock, call it whatever, just give it a listen.  The brief "Caution>Dark Star" is more of a tease then anything else with the tape cutting off.  "Dark Star" is nothing more then a sped up opening riff, and while it would have been glorious to have heard what they were going to drop on the crowd, up in Humboldt this night, today I am not going to complain about what we can't hear, I'll just enjoy the great tunes we got.