Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Glide Review - Bob Dylan Live 11-23-10, Terminal 5, NYC

Got a new review up on Glide.

Read it right c'here!!!

It is of Bob Dylan's live set from Terminal 5 last Tuesday night, and I love the picture Shane and Eric used...CHEECH!

Seems Dylan comes to NYC every Nov/Dec and I will be there every year until he decides to hang it up.  This years show and the ever changing song arraignments were very reminiscent of last years show and successful tour and as no one has left the band why should it change?  The main difference was obviously the venue and I loved seeing Bob in Terminal 5 as opposed to the United Palace.  I could walk there and it was cool seeing him in a club were people had to stand.

The singalong during "Just Like A Woman" was simply crazy and the fact that the version was so good made this an amazing moment for me seeing the legend.  The night was a ton of fun as I got to see it with some of my closest friends from a prime bar spot.  His band was on and alive, Dylan had energy and the setlist was more then you can ask for...a hell of a night.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Dead - RTBE Personal Favorites Edition: 8-16-91 Shoreline, CA

So I wanted to wrap up the year, and possibly the whole Monday Dead series, with a comprehensive "Best of" series of posts, but I realized quite a while back that this would be impossible.  Besides getting me more into this band then I have been in years, the Monday postings have made me realize just how amazing this group is and how many special nights remain out there for even committed (Commit-able?) fans (myself included) to still unearth with glorious results.   

So what I am going to do is post a month's worth of shows that mean something special to me; we will call it Rock The Body Electric Personal Favorites Edition.  They are the nights in the bands history I reach for the most and have a special chamber reserved in me old grizzled heart for one reason or another.  I was at none of these shows, so it is only the recordings that matter to me, not the vibe or weather, but more likely who gave me the tape (yes tapes) and/or when I heard it and where.  I think all the shows presented this month are great for various reasons and I will try to touch on them all, feel free to comment with your personal favorites.  The last Monday in December I will try to post a list of the "must have" shows from each era so newer fans can at least have a solid foundation and Dead Heads can yell at me for leaving classics off of it....anyway, why not start at the beginning?

My first tape... 8-16-1991 Shoreline Amphitheater,
Click that link or Stream the show right C'here: 

You are always going to remember your first...tape, and it is pretty glorious show at that, not one of the "classics" by most peoples judgment, yet 8-16-91 cooks and got me into this band proper. So sometime in the spring of my freshman year in college a friend thought I might dig on this tape...Until then I had never listened to the Dead, I grew up on Metal/Hardcore-Punk and Hip-Hop, with splashes of noise rock, Jimi, Industrial, Primus, oddball pop and a whole heaping of Irish Folk (Thanks Pops).  After chatting with Mattie B one night over cold beverages and explaining my range of musical tastes, he (wisely) thought I would dig on the Dead, and this was the first tape he gave to me out of his vast collection.  I still can remember the cover with it's green/purple/white swirls and the black ink on the jacket, but what I remember even more was hearing those loose ass bass strums first kick in from Phil on the opening "Jack Straw".
The strings sound so loose when he comes in you think they are going to flap off...I can't find this anywhere today, but at the time I did some research and I think he was trying out some new green bass, and then ditched it post song, either way I was hooked by something unique and kept on going.  Not sure if there is any correlation, but to this day I would say "Jack Straw" is still one of my top 5 tunes from the fellas.  This first set is surprisingly energetic, at the time had I been given a "classic" recording of the band that was slower paced I doubt it would have stuck, but the "Bertha" from this opening night in the August Shoreline run has speed and grace, thanks predominately to the majestic piano runs of Bruce Hornsby.
Listening now it is easy to hear the piano player inspiring the fellas to take different angles while attacking older classics like "Bertha", Garcia particularly, but when I first heard it I was impressed by the interplay and the crescendos plain and simple.  Bruce's impact on the Band was huge and kept them active, I often wondered what would have happened to the group as a whole and Garcia personally had he joined the group full time?

"It's All Over Now" which can sometimes fell like a throw away, is shining here with the grand piano taking the center stage and urging the group to follow.  This rendition of "Desolation Row" was pretty eye opening as I was not yet a Dylan fan (shocking!) and had never heard the song, while it wasn't monumental in it's playing it is the Bobby version I have always liked best, and got me curious about that Zimemrman kid...
Photo from Minkin is the next night of this stand in 91.
The electric runs of "Desolation Row" stood out as did all the words and references, but the freakiness of the next song was just as important.  The uber rare first set "Dark Star" shone on this hot day for the first time since 11-15-1971 and they tell me that is over 1,307 shows...wow.  The cosmic wandering here was shocking to those in attendance and my ears when I first heard it, I can't say for certain, but it was tracks like this that really got me listening and appreciating free jazz going forward.  The trippy misplaced guitar of Bobby blaring into the sweet and melodious Bruce/Jerry interplay over the funky strut that the drummers drop add up to a succulent treat.  This version was an event for both the band and myself...don't they always play this song in the first set?!?!  The fluttering exit directly into the rocking "Promised Land" rev's things back up and shows the range of the band, especially to a neophyte...and that was just set 1.

My tape at the time had the highlight of the second set on the end of side B, I am talking about the amazing opening run of "Scarlett Begonias>Victim Or The Crime>Fire On The Mountain".  I can't be certain (well I can ask him but not sure if he would remember) but I think Matt gave me this tape/show in particular because of this run and specifically "Victim Or The Crime", before we get to that though we get a short, upbeat version of "Scarlett" that still has some odd guitar riffs emanating from Weir and powerful vocals from Garcia.  Then while everyone was expecting the reggae sunshine of "Fire On The Mountain" the Dead throw a dark and deadly curve ball with "Victim Or The Crime" which Hornsby eases the band into.  Easily the eeriest song in the Dead's catalog (and one fans either love or hate) the dark tones stand in stark contrast to the positive vibes surrounding it, but I think that is why it succeeds so winningly and one of the reasons I started to really dig the band.  I understood while listening to this for the first time that it wasn't all hippy-dippy love and there was deeper meaning there, the fact that they could address it that openly was exciting and more akin to what I was used to.      
I loved the call back to "Darkstar" (I know the lyric is Dark side, but I swear he says Dark Star here) and the other worldliness of the track instantly thinking a good metal/hardcore cover could be made of this one.  It still remains my favorite version of this song.  The twist back to the upbeat comes out with the wah wah of Jerry and plucky rhythm of "Fire On the Mountain", saving the wandering brains of tripping fans on that night.   Piano features heavily again as Bruce bangs and smiles on the ivories.  A kaleidoscope of partying sounds makes up this punchy tune tonight while heads get bobbing...hey was that a bizarre bass run from Phil around 9 minutes or something else entirely?!?  
After that came a tape switch and while the upbeat keyboard based "Trucking" isn't particularly memorable or exciting it did give me a glimpse into one of the groups signature numbers and the epic nature of certain lyrics.  What I did find fascinating was the "Drums>Space" I am not sure why but I can still remember sitting in my dorm room overlooking Washington Sq Park on a sunshine filled spring day and hearing this combo, I was fascinated by it, much like the "Dark Star".  That a band could noodle and experiment like that was eye opening, I confess I am often bored with "Drums>Space" and will skip it most shows for some reason this one got me from the start.  Listening back to it today the Drum section is nothing really special until maybe the end couple of minutes and the Space has it's freaky moments, but the word that keeps coming to mind is overindulgent...I know I wasn't high back in freshman year, but my mind must have been somewhere else entirely.

Anyway...umm when they come back into the out of nowhere "Playing In the Band Reprise" that is still really triumphant and a neat twist.  No idea where this came from, but it is a blast of music before my first experience of a Jerry ballad with "Standing on the Moon".  Quite affecting this version like later all later day ballads have the rasp I love while I feel Jerry makes this song his personal own...the back porch line allows me to picture him just lounging and I like that.  "Good Loving" (with "LaBamba" intro Tease) and  "US Blues" are fine but didn't do much to impress me then or now, however all in all I was hooked by this fine show...

More great shows flowed out from all directions and from all the eras of the Dead's playing, but as I said in the beginning, you always remember your first, What was yours?          

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Funday - Black Friday Edition

Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving festivities, mine were excellent and tasty as always, but while you digest you can use some insanity.  Hence this Black Friday edition of Friday Funday, and I don't think this could be, to quote a genius, "None More Black"...

But I don' want to get sidetracked by the Tap, I got more metal to feast on...Since today officially begins the holiday season what better way to do that then combine Slayer and Xmas Lights?

How awesome is that?!?!

Thanks to Glen for sending me the link, and thanks to the crazy Lacycute20 for creating this masterpiece.  Enjoy the Blackness....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Album Review - Magnetic Island Out At Sea

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:
Magnetic Island
Out At Sea EP

**and1/2 out of *****

The trio from Brooklyn inject shoe-gaze drone with dreamy vocals on their first EP release, Out At Sea.  The primarily instrumental “End In A Bender” has a studio jam feel with it’s rumbling tom’s and building tension released over simple drifting vocal moans.  “Summer Phase” is the catchiest tune here with its layered vocals and slide guitar.  Overall these song seeds contain enticing moments of interplay from the trio that could hopefully blossom in the future.


Not much of a review here, but not much to really go on.  This 5 song EP includes two versions of the same song, really making it a 4 song effort.  I have to say that I wouldn't have reviewed it at all but I do enjoy the sound and think that this group of players could do something inspiring going forward.  The sound reminds me of early Smashing Pumpkins but the tracks feel little more then sketches, except for the centerpiece of "Summer Phase" which is the most appealing track to this listeners ear. 

They have a good link over here at bandcamp that will let you get downloads and even cooler, cassettes from them; this makes them the first band I have seen go back to the dead format.  I still have a bunch of cassettes and just last week received a Cassette to MP3 converter I gotta mess with soon, so needless to say I am happy to see some kids putting those spinners back out in the market.

I hope to keep an eye out and catch Magnetic Island live, it seems like they may have a rotating cast of players which should make for a diverse live experience, something I always love.  Here is a bit of them playing at "Hello Tawian Rocks" Concert in NYC and should give you a taste of what they do:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Grateful Dead - 12-15-1971 Ann Arbor, MI

In the course of Dead era's, lineup changes and sound systems there are always those favorites and those that seem to slip through the cracks.  1971 was a transitional year for the group having them move from their acid days in 69 to their spread out 70 before the highest heights of 1972.  Th main reason why was the diminishing of Pigpen's role (and health) and the influx of Keith Godchaux.
 Today's show for me always seems like the passing of the torch from the bands first keyboard player to their second, today's show is 12-15-1971, Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor Michigan.
Click that link or listen right c'here:

The quality of this recording is insanely good, another A+ from Charlie Miller.  It is perfect and when you think again back to 71 it is really amazing we have shows of this quality to listen too from so long ago...a lasting memory of a great band.  Certain nights individual members may dominate recordings or mixes from the live nights; this night belongs to the newest member as Keith and the piano is front and center making for a fun twist on the groups songbook.  If anything Godchaux became too sedated in his later years playing with the band, not here, he is a rookie looking to impress and he passed the test.  After the trippy offerings of Tom Constanten's playing the straight ahead baby grand of Keith would spring the band far and cosmic in their sound and song writing or twist on a soulful dime.

Onto the show...some fun tuning and chatter and then the night really rolls out.  A pumping "Bertha" that lets you hear just how active Keith is going to be on the ivories this night, and the energy keeps on flowing with a smoking "Me and Bobby McGee".  During this perfect cover version, it sounds like Bob Weir is singing in your left ear and Keith is twinkling the piano into your right...a fantastic version of this classic song.

Pig Pen makes his first entrance into the fray followed by the funky leads of Garcia on "Mr. Charlie". The "China Cat Sunflower" is gorgeous, perfect for the loud piano to duel with Jerry's leads and even contains some bombs from Phil that knock out the ear wax.

There are so many songs in the first set I am not going to talk about them all, but they are all worth a listen.  Some cool bits though...a passionate/almost crying version of "It Hurts Me Too" which shows Pigpen's vocals were vital to the group and on the flip side; how fun is it to hear Pigpen sing "Run Run Rudolph"?
How about that tight and really interesting "Playing In The Band" that hints at the cosmic venues they would take this song to over 1972 and beyond.  A "Brokedown Palace" just dropped in a first set?  Yes Please!

Really little fault can be found through out the 18 song first set, when Garica says, "What? You want the piano louder?" it is turned up to 11.  An energetic rollicking good time that finds the band cruising through Ann Arbor...and the second set only gets better if you believe that...
"Darkstar" like everything else about the band was in transition and to hear Billy, being the lone drummer again, is great as he tightens up as the band cuts loose.  There is a journey attached to this song, like most versions that just soars in it's beauty, the band strolls through their jazzy struts and allows things to just waft along until 6:20 in and things get scary.  Things start coalescing around the 9 minute mark and building to the familiar guitar line from Garcia, signaling that the first verse is near.  The creepiness returns around 14 minutes in before some soothing runs on the fretboard ease the brain.

The Star drips as it expires leading into "Deal" which on paper looks weird but fits right into the playing; a bold choice from the fellas, and Jerry twists up some vocals, but in the end I think it works.  Some brief tuning leads into Sugar Magnolia that is flying from the jumpoff and has Bobby Weir in fine vocal form over the rolling piano and thumping bass.  Garcia simply wails and one could easily mistake this for a set ender, but up next is a monster "Turn On Your Lovelight" that gets started at warp speed via Billy Kreutzmann's drums.
Then Pigpen takes front and center stage riffing with the audience as Jerry and Keith trade licks behind him.  This is no ordinary "Lovelight" it is Ron McKernan's tribute to Muddy Waters, there are stories told and classic Muddy tracks dipped into above the frantic playing.  "King Bee" is the first to get a little airing after a story about a bus-stop girl gets dropped.  The blues keeps blooming as Pigpen takes on the old Muddy classic "Mannish Boy":
Waters would be proud as Ron McKernan was a blues man through and through.  The next song that Pigpen presents from the blues legend is "Still a Fool (Two Trains Running)" and the band follows admirably before they all fall back into the "Lovelight" that launched this fun tribute to one of the best bluesman in this country's history.

When Pigpen died the Dead lost more then their keyboardist, they lost a vital piece of who they were as a band.  While he was never the greatest organist, he was a total bluesman with feeling; guiding the group through their infancy and providing them a spring board from which to launch from.  While Keith may have been the better player, the group would be forever altered from here on out and would miss Pigpens front-man presence the rest of their days...but that is for another moment.... 

Woof that was a megashow that produced some insane playing and really highlighted the magic of all the band members of the time working to their strengths.  For any fan of Keith this show is a must, he is high in the mix, active and spot on inspiring and following eager to impress his new bandmates with his playing.

A winning show that belongs to Godchaux....well played sir:

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Funday - Crazy Heart and some tunes

Had a chance to catch Crazy Heart last night on DVD, one thing that I have lost over life is the time/desire to check out movies in the theater.  I see so many live shows and have other commitments that some things just need to get pushed to the back of the line and going to the movies has been one of those.  Friends told me I would love Crazy Heart when it came out, I thought about seeing it, then forgot, then picked it up the other day and watched it last night.
While it was far from a great movie, I loved the southwestern scenery, the acting and the songs. T-Bone Burnett, Ryan Bingham and the late Stephen Bruton were responsible for the best songs in the film, and they were country gold, standing on their own even without the great Jeff Bridges or Colin Farrell singing them.

I wanted to share a couple of them here:
Jeff, Elvis and T-Bone Live from T-Bone's Speaking Clock Revue in NYC (which I passed on seeing...stupidly)

Here's Ryan Bingham singing the main song from the movie called "The Weary Kind" which he wrote and won an Academy Award for:

Here is a cool video about the origins about this song which really dictates the film:
I've had Bingham's newest release on my hard drive for a few months, hope to review it here soon.

And here is a pretty cool clip that a fan took when Bridges and Farrell came out during a Toby Keith concert to record scenes for the film...a neat look into the shooting of the film:
Never thought I would post anything that had to do with Toby Keith on this site...weird...

One of the things I thought right away when I was watching this flick was that they better have paid Townes Van Zandt a bit of scratch for his life story.  While it was far from exact it was a pretty close follow, and then his song "If I Needed You" popped up in the Air Balloon scene.  This intro and story about where the song comes from is even better:
Crazy Heart was a good watch, Townes life story is an amazing watch, check it out right here for free from Snagfilms when you got some time:
Watch more free documentaries

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Glide Review - The Black Crowes Live 11-5-10 Best Buy Theater, NYC

Got a new review up on the old Glide.

Read it Right C'Here!!!

It is of the 11-5-10 Friday Night Black Crowes show at the Best Buy Theater in Times Sq NYC.

First of all I had no idea Best Buy bought the naming rights from Nokia for the old movie theater in Times Sq that has been converted into a concert hall, kind of twisted me up...as did the show.

This was a contender for concert of the year in my book.
(Update:  Scroll to the bottom for links to free rare live recordings from the band)

 That is kind of surprising, while I do like the Crowes, and loved their last album, I am not a major fan (a bunch of songs I needed to look up titles for post show) so when I walked out into times square buzzing I was shocked.  The boys laid it all out there and I am dying to grab a copy of the night to see if really was that epic or all the magic was in the live "had to be there" moments.

Either way, the cover choices were perfect for the group, even "Fearless" from Pink Floyd, which I would not have thought this group of players could pull off.  I know it is a different band, but check out Blue Floyd's version of the tune, that is the vein in which the Corwes covered it...and look ex-Crowe Audley Freed is in the mix:

Their early acoustic working of "No Expectations" from the Rolling Stones was the first time the full band covered this tune, but Chris has been singing it for a bit. 
 Download a great crystal clear version here!
Thanks Don for that tune, I know it is one of your favorites. 

Luther Dickinson was a force of nature and makes me want to try to play slide guitar...While the group goes on break I am def going to give North Mississippi All-Stars another whirl, becuase I was underwhelmed the few times I caught them in the past, but Luther's playing alone is worth a ticket.

Gotta love the "Norwegian Wood" Tease in there...

There were a few original rarities on this night according to Crowebase, the biggest one being "Title Song", tonight's airing was only the 50th time during the bands extensive touring career that they played it live.  It was an emotional rendetion and a joy to here as it is Fatone's favorite tune and he was all smiles.

Amazingly, 2 songs later I got the one song I was hoping and wishing for, my favorite jam of theirs; "Sometimes Salvation".  I think early in his career Chris may have tried too hard to be "authentic" on certain tracks, but this one he nails so perfectly it gets me every time and live was no exception as the crowd exploded when it wailed out.

A perfect encore with 2 fantastic covers of The Band and Little Feat were cherry's on the cupcake of rock and roll this night.  The whole show brought smiles and tons of sing-a-longs from a devoted crowd of older biker looking peeps.  With the devoted fan-base and creative peak they seem to be hitting it is sickening that they are "taking a hiatus".  This kind of magic  doesn't come along too often and it would be a shame if/when they return things weren't the same. Here's hoping they are back, in tact, and on the road again soon. 

After I posted this, I found a great collection of rare live Black Crowe recordings that I wanted to share titled Tall As Can Be.  Click here for Vol 1 and here for Vol 2, thanks to thefrontloader for making these available.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Glide Interview - No Redeeming Social Value

Got a full length interview up on Glide.

Go and read it right c'here because it will make your frickin' day...

It is with Dean Miller from No Redeeming Social Value...and they kick major arse.

The best thing connected with not writing about music as a full time job is I pretty much get to deal with things I really like or are uber shitty so that I can rip them apart.  Things like this interview are with the first part of that sentence...NRSV is the best hardcore band out there, and as I stated, "The only band that truly matters these days". 

The old bastards have been doing it up proper forever and deserve all the praise and publicity that they can get, so I was more then happy to chat with Dean for the interview. 
For full disclosure I am friends with the band and have been a fan for a long time.  I have known Glen since I came to NYC ages ago and he actually drove me to my first NYHC show (Setback at Castle Heights).  I was already well versed in the hardcore/punk scene and loved a lot of the NYC bands having gone to tons of shows in the Albany area, but I had never been to a show in the city.  That night was super underwhelming, but Glen was the perfect person to enter the scene through and there have been countless great shows and fuzzy nights since.
 The new album is really great, you can grab it here, def worth your hard earned pesos. 
 Here are a couple of videos and songs to pump you up...Thanks to Dean for being a good sport and doing the interview. 

Now quit reading this and go hard-core your lousy ass off.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Dead 2-23-1993 Oakland, CA

This Monday we are picking a a show from a year we haven't touched upon yet here at Rock The Body Electric...1993.  Not the best of years from the fellas as the end was pretty near, but that doesn't mean there aren't any high points, and this is one...
 Mardi Gras 2-23-1993 in Oakland California.  Click that link or listen right c'here:

This recording is spot on, if a bit sterile, but it sounds straight from the Soundboard.  The bass sound is pretty loose and piano is pretty high in the mix as well, with Vince Welnick twinkling the ivories very admirably on this night.    The first set is pretty standard 90's style Dead, not much energy but lucid excursions.  They were never in a hurry to do much of anything towards the end, but "Loser" benefits from this slow pacing.  "Way To Go Home" and "Stuck Inside A Mobile..." are skippable, but the first does hold one little treasure, the bands first ever performance of "Broken Arrow".   It is fun to hear Phil sing this Robbie Robertson song, the Dead pulled this one out quite a bit in it's last few years, and I am a sucker for it.  One of my favorite Phil and Friends shows has a fun version of it, and the Dead even played it when they sung through Albany a month after today's show:

"Johnny B Goode" ends the set on a high note, letting Jerry shred a bit before the band breaks, returning with the Mardi Gras tradition of Drums into "Iko Iko". 

The first part of the second set is a bit weak in my opinion, I could do without "Corrina" and this Lazy River Road is average at best, but things really start to come together when the band dips into "Playing In The Band".  The drums and the digeridoo come out with Ornette Coleman and Graham Wiggins, and here is what set this show apart. 

The Godfather of Free Jazz and the the Dead seem like a perfect fit, but Ornette Coleman only played with the group twice in 1993, this being the first and the better of the 2 shows.  While the Dead were in obvious decline, Ornette was just starting a rebirth, he put out a bunch of albums in the 90's and started to be recognized more and more for his greatness.  While it would have been epic for them to jam at both of their peaks, this is a pretty fun excursion.  Things start off with "Space" as both prties are well accustomed to performing without a net in the sonic realms.  Garcia in particular loves this combo and gets freaky with his tone as he chases Ornette who is rolling out saxophone licks.  Garcia actually played with Ornette on his Virgin Beauty album in 88 so the two had been friends and musically connected.
As things start to coalesce with the musicians the rhythm boys want to have some fun so they start pumping the low end for "The Other One" which leads to some fireworks.    The scrambling to start the song moves the band in multiple directions with squawks from the sax branching out this is not your ordinary "Other One" with it's building peaks that soar higher and higher; a uniquely excellent version of this song.  "Stella Blue" manages to sound revolutionary and triumphant, the tune is expertly adjusted to by Coleman, ideally a mix that downplayed Vince a bit and amped Coleman would be ideal, but this is what we have.  The "Lovelight" is simply one of the best post-Pigpen versions that is out there.  The encore of "Brokedown Palace" is dynamite and just dominates with Coleman's blowing presence. 

You can download the Ornette section, which makes this show special, right c'here.  Happy Grateful Dead Monday with a saxophone twist...here's some Ornette for the road, "Dancing In Your Head":

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Glide Review - Kelley Stoltz - To Dreamers

Hey there people's, got a new review up on Glide.

Read it right c'here!

It is a of Kelley Stoltz new album To Dreamers.

This is a fun piece of garage pop that goes down smooth like Yoo-hoo

It also doesn't leave much of an impression, unlike Yoo-hoo which has been known to leave a slightly metallica aftertaste...that's just plain weird.

There is nothing really standoutish about To Dreamers, the garage rock I  lean towards is the more ramshackle kind (Reigning Sound being one example) and this oen goes for the smoother sound like Brendon Benson's solo stuff.

It isn't bad by any stretch; there is legit song crafting going on, chops, and a clear love of his early White Rock and Roll idols.  It is a pleasant listen, but it plays more as a homage to those early crooners then a new creation that used them as an influence.  The high tech recording makes things glide on by easily like floating on a river, but albums like this usually need a single to grab the ear, and more importantly bring the listener back...I just don't hear one. 

Feel free to tell me I am wrong....here are some samples of his tracks.
"I Remember You Were Wild"
"I Don't Get That"
The punkish "Fire Escape":


Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Grateful Dead 12-7-1968 Bellarmine College Louisville, KY

This was a great weekend for me on many levels, caught an amazing concert and got to hang out with old good friends on Friday.  Also had a magical day by all accounts on Saturday with more friends and a bunch of horses.  So since this years Breeders Cup was so good to me, I figured why not look for some Kentucky magic from the fellas today, and I found a goodie.
Today's show is December 7th 1968 from Bellarmine College, in Louisville KY.  Click that link or stream the full show right c'here:

Not quite sure what made the fellas stop by Bellarmine College, now Bellarmine University, but Knight's Hall was jumping back in 68 with a great night of tunes from the California kids.  The band had played the recently closed Spectrum in Philly a couple of nights before and were heading back west when they dipped into Louisville to treat the kiddies.  The night is captured with grade A sound for 1968...at this point should we expect anything less from Charlie Miller?!?  If there is a complaint it is that there are a couple of cuts in the songs, but as I have mentioned before we shouldn't complain about what we don't have and just enjoy what we do...and what we have is a group cooking.

Want to start off a show with a bang?  Here you go..."Darkstar".  Not as massive as they would eventually become but mellowed and cosmic for 68, showing talent and restraint to go along with the trippiness before it drips into the blasting of "St. Stephen".  While a week ago I posted the last Stephen played and talked about it's merits, this one has all the energy that the last version lacked complete with William Tell's kick out.  The first cut of the night hurts a bit as the band is fired up and jamming out of Stephen into the 11 when the tapes gave out and I am sure the music kept soaring.
 Who know who soared pretty dam high?  Zenyatta.  I will admit I never gave this Philly a ton of respect as she was very obviously a West Coast horse that loved to run on a synthetic track, a combo that never inspires much love/respect in my eyes, but after these last 2 Breeders Cup Classic races I have to say she was a pretty special horse.  I still think the majority of hype surrounding her was just that, man made hype, but the way she closes is rarely seen in horse racing, for those who missed the race, give it a peep and see just how far back she comes from:

Only to lose by a nose to Blame.  Had the race been one more furlong she would have been an amazing 20-0 for a career.  As it is she will be regarded as one of the greatest horses in this new modern era of racing, and deservedly so.  It was a race that will be remembered for a long time, and it was so exciting that my crew hadn't even realized we had hit our second trifecta in as many races.  When they replayed the race we noticed that Doug's pick Fly Down swooped into third giving us the big money hit...as I said I did well and I had Blame to upset Zenyatta and managed to come away golden on that front too.  Don insisted we put the big lady in our triple and he was right to do so, it is not every day you hit back to back group picks, but when it is Breeders cup it makes it even more special.  Nice work fellas...and we should also give props to Dangerous Midge, Champ Pegasus and Bekhabad who came in 1-2-3 for us in The Breeders Cup Turf the race before...good looking fellas way to bring home the Kentucky green backs.     

Back to the Kentucky tunes...After the cut and some tech problems, we get a louder Dead for our worries and the group gets spooky with it's always killer rendition of "Death Don't Have No Mercy".  The energy keeps rambling as the group plows into an adventurous version of "That's It For The Other One".   While the intro Cryptical section isn't here, Phil's thundering bass line and the fantastic feedback sustains from Jerry and Bobby are dynamite.  The drums bang all around the gym as the group really lets loose here.  The "Cryptical Reprise" pops up early, but it doesn't signal the end of this great jam, the group then dips back into "The Other One" and are off racing again, a really great version of this old song pairing; I wished they weaved them together like this more often.  The ending of the tune just gets weird with everyone doing their own thing yet still managing to keep it together...the Dead at their best.  
The oddness keeps flowing into the long jammed out "New Potato Caboose" which is conducted admirably by Phil, and escapes out into the black holes of space.  A rollicking journey that just screams 68 Dead and should be taken by all with open ears.  The band then breaks and the volume drops noticeably in our recording when it comes back for the once and only live version known of "Rosemary".  Here is the original recording of the tune that never again saw the hot lights of the stage:

A shame as it has a really distorted vibe and probably would have sounded great dropped in the middle of some of the groups longer excursions. Another extreme rarity was laid out next with "He Was A Friend Of Mine" which I discussed a few weeks back, this is a tight version that unfortunately ends is cut off right in the chorus but this tune foreshadows the groups upcoming move to harmonies in the studio.

Pigpen gets in the mix next with the ballad work of the pain soaked, "It Hurts Me Too".   Garcia's guitar has a rich tone here and cuts deep working with Pig's vocals and harmonica dissecting the tune right down to the bone.  Post song you can check out the free wheeling feeling the band was putting out on this night with Jerry going so far as to start taking requests, he mentions they can't do "Alligator" but they can do "Morning Dew".
The Dew crashes to life and the band wiggles upwards towards the massive crescendos that the tune calls for.  Garcia strums for all he is worth as Phil again bumps the bass just behind him, this is a great early version of this classic from the fellas.  The group ends the night with a quick version of "And We Bid You Goodnight" before Garcia states:
 "You've just been victimized by the Grateful Dead!" 
Indeed Kentucky, and thanks for the love this weekend.           

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Funday - Live Music Discussion with Mike

Hey all, had a interesting discussion with a good friend of mine, Mike, who I have blogged about before, concerning live music in it's current state, and I thought it would be fun to post and grab some peoples ideas on the topic.
Baseball not a live show...def my choice.
Little background, Mike and I have been going to shows together for over a decade now.  We've seen numerous bands all over the country from Vegas to New Orleans, from Florida to Albany and safe to say we've had a rock solid time at most.  Sure there have been some let downs, but there have also been magical moments neither of us will forget.  So when I had an extra ticket for tonight's Black Crowes show I offered it to Mike and it sparked this exchange....

Rock The Body Electric:
 I am pumped for the Crowes tonight...really surprised none of you guys want to come.

 Its more that I don't think I ever really want to see live music anymore,
 barring a Wilco show here and there.

And not to get too esoteric but I think our world live music experience
 as a whole is in need of a serious overhaul. All the music sounds like
 shit, even the "good" sounding stuff sounds like shit still considering
 advancements in technology. And video can be integrated much better in
 larger venues. I think you can make a graph on the increase in ticket
 prices over the last 25 years, the increase in audio/video technology,
 and the ratio in which that's been passed onto the concert goer and show
 how screwed all of are really getting here. And that's not to mention the
 venue side which doesn't allow you to do anything you used to be able to
 do (drink/smoke/do drugs) and forces you to stand there in a room with
 little comfort and drink watered down drinks out of a Dixie cup.

 You could be right about everything you said but as a counterpoint; I
 don't think I believe in god, but I am pretty sure I have seen him/her at
 some live shows lately.

No doubt. But the parallel may be similar to that of the people who prey in
basement chapels vs the Catholics with the big beautiful churches with
stained glass and giant pipe organs. You still find god either way, but one
makes it a little easier to get your family dressed up and drive across
town and wait for god to show up.

Agreed.   The moment of glory can be found anywhere which is why I still go to as many as I can.

Bowling alley's, dirty bars, the Garden.

I love the Crowes lineup and sound now...can't miss this one if it is the last time this lineup tours.

Of course, no doubt.

By the way you would see The Raconteurs for any amount of money...don't forget them.

Right. Them too, of course. If they ever toured.

I do think that the rise of the ticket cost has certainly not been consistent with the overall concert going experience you get.  Hard to say things are that much better now then they were 10 years ago, let alone 30 when the crowd at the Last Waltz bitched that ticket prices were too high, and they were served full turkey dinners before one of the best nights in rock and roll history!!

But I digress, Corporations, parking, security, insurance, taxes, fees, have blown up ticket prices insanely.   Even bands that are notoriously kind to their fans seem to have huge ticket prices today and it does seem hard to justify.  Getting a free copy of the show (digital or CD) afterward seems to be a sweet compromise, but shows that do that charge even more...so it doesn't really add up.

I am not sure, the live music experience is the reason I love music.  It still irks me that bands I like can't pull off the magic live, Hold Steady were a recent example.  Cd's, LP's, Downloads are all well and good, but I look for those frozen holy moments that make everything just stop in my brain allowing me to say "Wow", thankfully that keeps happening at all sorts of shows and a lot where I would never expect it...see the recent Screaming Females set I took in.

The nice thing currently is, I don't care how much that costs....but sure, cheaper would be better, at least then I could tip my bartenders more.

But this isn't an argument for lower ticket prices, this is a plea for a quality sonic and/or visual experience that follows a similar trajectory as the ticket price.  How can I sit at home and have an experience that's worlds away from where it was 20 years ago, but not receive that same privilege in the live arena? Current music culture prevents the artist from making as high of a percentage on ticket sales and has basically given the listener the same quality that was available to us in the 70s. 

U2 seems to be the best (that I know of) in the rock genre to at least attempt it, but to me it's not such a beautiful day.

From what looks like the last row of the old Giants Stadium.

I know what you mean but to me visuals are just a nice added bonus that I could care less about.  Sure when you get a lights guy like Kuroda for Phish it adds to the live experience, but so few bands have that.  The last band whose visuals really impressed me was Dr. Dog, before that was probably the 40 foot high flamethrowers at The Rolling Stones show I saw back in 05.   If the sound sucks though then it is worthless, thankfully that hasn't happened to me in a very long time as I usually hunker down in the back or near the soundboard and care less about getting up front...then again I am getting old.  Thankfully most NYC clubs/big venue's sound systems are top notch.

Guess we should see U2 next tour, huh?  Would be the first time for me...OK done, but you get the tickets.

All NYC live sound still sucks and the ones that don't aren't made for rock, and I'll stand behind that claim. The Edge annoys me, especially after watching It Might Get Loud.

Think of the possibilities. 

I was talking about this with Jen Cole, who was at the time repping B&W speakers, who make a $40k home speaker. I was asking why cant they have like a 250k rig in a venue like, lets say the old CBGB (which opens another can of worms, I know) and blow the $hit out of people's minds? There's no venue that lets say Robb Report or Pro Sound Mag or any of this geek mags stand up and say, "You wanna hear what today's speaker/PA technology sounds like? Go to XXX venue" It's pathetic. And according to her the high end speaker companies would love a showpiece, they just cant justify having a whole venue just to show their products, they're not in the business, they just make monitors. 

I wont even get into the fact that movie lovers get to see 3D surround sound, but us lowly music guys still have to listen in stereo. Imagine a venue that mixed a show like it was mixed as though you were standing in the middle of the band, the possibilities are endless. But, again, I wont even get into that. One thing at a time.

 Thoughts?  Add to the conversation?  Feel free to pipe up in the comments...and enjoy your Friday.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Glide Review - Fishbone - Live 10-22-10 Le Poisson Rouge, NYC

Hey all, another day another review up on Glide

Read it right c'here!!!!

It is of the great Fishbone who I caught live with some friends during CMJ a couple weeks back.  I have loved Fishbone for as long as I can remember, I have worn out tapes, bar tended countless late nights to their tunes and turned on a bunch of friends to their crazy sound. 

On this night the playing/sound/venue was all you could ask for but the bands pacing made me raise a few eyebrows with odd song selection.  Had their set been 2 hours or so they might have been able to overcome the pacing, and the set probably would have benefited from it, but as it was presented on the 22nd of October, the condensed version was all over the place.  It certainly showed the talent level of this band...they can play anything and do it proper, but the stoner intro songs and the reggae middle breaks just made it hard for the Friday night crowd who were clearly there to get down to the fast joints and stir up the pit.  I love it when I get to see me some fun time party pits with crowd surfers and exuberant youth...ahh who am I kidding most of the crowd were old as hell, reliving their Lollapalooza youth and hoping not to throw out their backs.  

Chatting with some friends we found out the group screened their upcoming documentary "Everyday Sunshine" pre show and that the band has currently been in a reflective mood.
I remember reading an interview with Les Claypool right after he first dipped his toes into the "Jamband" scene, and he specifically mentioned that Fishbone should get back together and tour because the kids would go apeshit for them.  He mentioned talking to Norwood about it, but the farthest that seemed to go was getting him to play on "D's Dinner" from Claypool's underrated, Purple Onion album.     

I agree with Colonel Claypool, Fishbone has it all and the kiddies would love them.  I love them and found myself saying why aren't these dudes playing stadiums?!?  One of mi amigo's in attendance who has seen them a bunch pointed out that this was one of their better shows and in the past they have been known to blow it live, so that in itself may be a major reason, but I am waiting to check out the documentary for final judgment.

Anyway, for those who don't know the band, best to go right back to the beginning and start with the groups first release the excellent self titled EP.  That is six songs of Boosh wrapped up in an energetic package.  It is true that not all of their albums are must owns, they got a few clunkers in the mix, but if you are looking for more go to Truth and Soul next for some insane funk/punk/metal/ska power.  Those two disks always get me pumped and make me smile.  Here's hoping they swing through NYC again soon...can't get enough "Bonin' In The Boneyard"....