Thursday, March 31, 2011

Happy Opening Day!

I see great things in baseball.  It's our game - the American game.  It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism.  Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set.  Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us.  ~Walt Whitman

This year March consists of 2 Highest of  Holy's ...St. Pat's and Opening Day.
Put me in coach:
John Fogerty - Centerfield

People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball.  I'll tell you what I do.  I stare out the window and wait for spring.  ~Rogers Hornsby

It sure as hell doesn't feel like spring out there, but hopefully the Yanks will start on time vs.the Tigers and we can get CC vs. Verlander to start the best season in the world off right.  My Mets kick it off tomorrow, so I will be double dipping for the opener this year, and I can't tell if I like the split yet...will know more by Monday.

What is both surprising and delightful is that spectators are allowed, and even expected, to join in the vocal part of the game.... There is no reason why the field should not try to put the batsman off his stroke at the critical moment by neatly timed disparagements of his wife's fidelity and his mother's respectability.  
~George Bernard Shaw

So enjoy the event and a special shout out to the Rockem Sockem boys who I will be celebrating with...Ten years fellas...ain't that something?

With those who don't give a damn about baseball, I can only sympathize.  I do not resent them.  I am even willing to concede that many of them are physically clean, good to their mothers and in favor of world peace.  But while the game is on, I can't think of anything to say to them.  ~Art Hill

It breaks your heart.  It is designed to break your heart.  The game begins in spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.  ~A. Bartlett Giamatti

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Whitman and Kuralt from NYPL Blogs: Free Screening Tonight

Love it when Day job and personal likes combine, noticed a few days ago that Karen Rose-Cedar from NYPL did a fun blog post on the patron saint of RtBE, Walt Whitman.

You can read her full post here.
She ties America's Poet with Charles Kuralt who I must sadly confess I had never heard of before.  I am anxious to check this out and see if the spirit of The Good Gray Poet flows through Charlie's show. 

There will be a screening tonight of Twenty Years On The Road with Charles Kuralt at 7pm at Mid-Manhattan Library for those interested in checking out the link more.

Here is a youtube clip of Kuralt on Letterman from a few years ago:

Keeping this one short, check out more great NYPL blogs here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Glide Review - Dropkick Murphys Going Out In Style

Hey boy'o's and lasses

Got a new review up on Glide,

Read it right C'here!!!

It is of Dropkick Murphys newest release, Going Out In Style.

This is a solid album, on my personal list of American Irish Groups, Dropkicks have always been towards the middle, not the best, surely not the worst.  While they have been heavier in the past and far funnier this just may be their best overall album and one I will certainly go back to.  Pipes, Rock, Charm...the album has it all.

If you are a fan of their brand of Boston Beer scented pub rock or just want to check them out, this is a good album to grab, so pick it up.

Here are some samples:
The Fantastic Title Track, "Going Out In Style"

I love "Peg O' My Heart", and The Boss showing up is just an added bonus:
And here's the group talking about recording it, pretty cool:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dylan Cover #8 Allman Brothers Band "Blind Willie McTell"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from The Allman Brothers Band and is a live cover of "Blind Willie McTell"
Thoughts on Dylan's Original: Ahh the forgotten masterpieceThis is the song that confirms that Dylans outtakes are better then most artists best efforts.  Left off of Infidels and to this day only Dylan himself knows why, it was discovered by most via the amazing Bootleg Series 1-3.  There are few better then this haunting jaunt through East Texas, and including it on the 83 record would have solidified a mixed release.  The lyrics seem to burn into your ears as the playing is up to the task as well.  Gorgeous all over.


Thoughts on Cover Artist: The Allman's are an American institution, and since they just wrapped up their annual  Peakin' at The Beacon run I thought I would use the Monday space for their cover of "Blind Willie McTell".  I have seen the Allmans a few times and while they are enjoyable today seeing them back with their original lineup would have been heaven.  I love Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks, but having a chance to see Duane play some slide would have been magic.  They've had their ups and downs, currently enjoying an upswing so lets hope they keep riding high after this Beacon run. 

Thoughts on Cover:  While maybe not the first group that pops to mind when thinking about Dylan covers this match strikes a perfect note.  The Brothers live in the blues drenched world of rock and roll and BWMcT is just their style, backwoods blues.  While Gregg does a decent job it is really Warren who nails the vocals as he often does with cover tunes.  Getting the ache and twist out of every note he sings grandly as Derek Trucks adds his slide coloring over bongos.  While this recording isn't perfect or professional it allows to see the cover in its best state, live.  A solid version of an amazing song.

Grade: B 

Wilson's Take:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Funday - More Bowery Beef Pictures

Went to lunch a few weeks ago at Bowery Beef again and had a delicious sandwich, can't hype the spot enough, get on over there and enjoy yourself.  Tasting Table did a great write up on Bowery Beef, they were there the same time I was and I even popped up in the slide show...Here are the pics that I took and a few new links about the spot:

Nice work fellas, the food is great and so are the people, give it a shot yourself.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Glide Review - The Pogues and Titus Andronicus Live 3/15/11

Hey all, got a new review up on Glide.

Read it right c'here!

It is of The Pogues and Titus Andronicus Live at Terminal 5 in NYC on 3/15/11

That picture to the left was taken from Brooklyn Vegan's pictures from the St. Patricks Day show the bands played, and I heard from my friend Paul that Shane was in much better shape for that show, perhaps he was saving his energy for the Patty's when we saw him because he was in rough shape on the 15th.  After seeing The Pogues a couple of times now, I am pretty good with them, but will probably get the urge to go next March when they are in town.

It was my first time catching Titus live and I will certainly go back for more, they were engaging energetic and diverse.  I loved their newest album and will keep an eye out for their next headlining set so I can see some more from the group.

I have some pics and videos from the night that I will get up when I have some time to load them.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dylan Cover #7 Anthony da Costa "Boots of Spanish Leather"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from Anthony da Costa and is a live cover of "Boots of Spanish Leather

Thoughts on Dylan's Original: One of the first Dylan songs that really bowled me over.  I know on the "Times They Are a-Changin'" there are a ton of epic songs but this was the track that stayed with me the longest.  It is ghostly in it's presentation and still just as dynamic now as when he wrote it back in 1963.  My favorite show I have seen Dylan play live was back in 1999 at the RPI Fieldhouse.  The whole night was great, my favorite backing band of his since The Band, a tiny venue and a setlist that was magical.  One of the major highlights was "Boots of Spanish Leather", I need to break out that bootleg this week and re-live that great night. 


Thoughts on Cover Artist: One of the things I was looking forward to the most with this series was finding artists that I never heard of covering Dylan.  Anthony da Costa falls into that category so I can check out his cover with no knowledge whatsoever which is refreshing. 

Thoughts on Cover: This is hearfelt and direct.  It manages to be delicate and still forceful, while some of the singing can be overly dramatic, the passion is palpable.  Obviously young Mr. da Costa is a large admirer of the Bard from his style and playing; this is a worthy cover to add to this series.  While I tend to enjoy the covers that stray from the originals a bit more it is hard to argue with anything presented in the live setting here.  It does make me want to check him out when he plays NYC next. 

Grade: B+   Solid take on a great song, hard to want more after this one.

Wilson's Take:
I first saw Dylan play Boots in Syracuse shortly after the millennium. It was the finest four minutes of the show - an old man visiting an ancient longing before a smokey crowd of six thousand. Anthony da Costa does an admirable rendition. Covers like these, from the unmasked and anonymous, speak to Dylan's reach. They are a testament to his accessibility; his power as a songwriter in that he writes lyrics so bold, clear and simple that he writes himself right out of them. That is the elusive talent of the great ones - giving the art a life that's independent of the artist. Boots fits into that canon, and Anthony da Costa issues a cover that reminds us of the universality of a perfect song. Anyone can step on a Dylan song with equal authority because the work is self-contained and all-powerful - like the author.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St Patricks Day Everyone!

I am out in Vegas for the weekend (can't believe I am missing the parade in NYC), but wanted to wish everyone a Happy High Holy day...ahh who am I kidding, toast the heavens and drink one for me....Here are some tunes to pump you up...Cheers Pa'Dukes!

Enjoy All....Here's an old article of mine if you are bored.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Glide Review - Parts & Labor - Constant Future

What up all, another review up on Glide.

Read it right C'here!!!

Actually going to have a bunch of reviews up soon I think on the site, so hope you don't mind reading about music, both good and bad.  Today you get Parts & Labor newest titled Constant Future and let me just cut to the chase and say this one falls heavily on the GOOD side.  In fact it keeps getting better and better, engaging the ears mind and hips with its dense twisting keyboards and layers of sound.  I liked their last album, but this one seems to be more accessible and pops with vitality. 

Hoping to catch them live in the up coming year and see how these tunes work in that setting, but they certainly ring true in the ear buds...check it out:
"Constant Future"
"A Thousand Roads"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Glide Review - North Mississippi Allstars - Keys To The Kingdom

Hey ya'll , got a new review up on Glide.

Read it right C'here!!!

It is the newest album from the North Mississippi Allstars called Keys To The Kingdom, and it's really good.

I have liked pieces of the Allstars in the past, but this one seems to be their most complete effort.  Quality songs, heartfelt vocals and like always top notch playing.  I am not sure if Luther and Cody's time apart (in the Black Crowes and Hill Country Revue respectively) made the reunion grander or if the passing of their father Jim raised inspiration levels, but whatever the case, Keys To The Kingdom is worth checking out if you are a fan of gospel, blues, southern or jam rock.

Luther is a, if not the, premier slide guitar player on the scene now (hmm Derek Trucks may take issue) and while he shows off some skills now, unlike past albums from the group the chops take a back seat to the songs, and they hold up wonderfully.  Below are some examples, including one of my favorite songs of the year so far, "Hear The Hills", with this track the Allstars have their version of "Soulshine", a song that will stand up over their career.  Enjoy:
"Hear The Hills"

"The Meeting" (That's Mavis Staples Vocals, but she ain't on screen)

And a live piece with some funky washboard into "Back Back Train" for you and you too:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dylan Cover #6 Jim James and Calexico "Goin' to Acapulco"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from Jim James and Calexico and it is a live cover of "Goin' to Acapulco" from the I'm Not There concert at The Beacon Theater. 

Thoughts on Dylan's Original: From Dylan's best release (even if it is tough to consider it a proper album) "The Basement Tapes" which contains so many gems it is tough for one to stand out.  "Goin' to Acapulco" is a great tune and the slow version and presentation makes it great for reinterpretation.  It should also be noted that the tune did in fact help get me to Acapulco itself...just peep that banner picture up there for proof, all though we never did hit Rose's... 


Thoughts on Cover ArtistJim James has one of the better voices in Rock and Roll today, and I do admire how he tries to twist it and change it from album to album.  While lately I haven't been the biggest fan of My Morning Jacket, I have liked what he has done as a solo artist, this live stint being no exception.  I was completely unfamiliar with Calexico before this performance, so a fresh slate with them, but I like what I hear. 

Thoughts on Cover:  Wow.  knocked out of the park, complete home run.  I was at this fantastic concert (one of my favorites in recent years) and while people contend that I'm Not There was a let down, this night of performances was anything but, I would anticipate a few more of the performances from that night in the future of this series.  Some really excellent music moments were presented and this one is near the top of the list.  A fantastic recording accompanies this from a fan who just happened to capture this moment brilliantly.  While I was in the balcony for this one and could hear the horns a bit clearer, this video does a great job of placing the listener in the first row at the Beacon on this night.  James' voice is epic hitting high notes and imposing a dramatic sense of purpose that honestly wasn't present in the original.  Want a great cover performance of an all ready great tune, here you go.         

Grade - A+

Wilson's Take:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Funday - Howlin' For this to be made into a full length

The Black Keys album Brothers was my favorite from 2010 and it keeps giving in 2011.  Not just with it's joyous tunes that sound killer on vinyl but with some pretty kick arse videos....If you haven't peeped "Howlin' For You" yet, you need too...this NEEDS to be made into a full length, check it:

Holy 70's Thrill ride Batman, that is pure BOOSH!  Easily the front runner for video of the year...

I love seeing the duo create a mini movie and act poorly as Mariachi serenader's, why don't more bands do this?!?  Then again this is top quality stuff that few can pull off.  For example: 

The Flying Tomato Shaun White getting strangled with a bike chain post-coitus by the leather clad seductress and brutal assassin Tricia Helfer, what is better then that?!?!  How about Sir Todd Bridges

as the ass kicking priest who drops the best line in the mini flick, "I am pretty sure God would consider it a sin not to glorify that ass!" can't be topped right?  Well maybe it that ass in question; the uber-babe and hysterical tweeter Diora Baird
(Follow that broad she is funny and sexy)

Muscle cars, Top Hats, White Stallions, Swords, Guns, Knifed Eyes leading to Eye Patches,  Babes, Corbin F'n Bernsen and LAS TECLAS DE NEGRO.  This shit is bumpin' b, give it a go and support all involved, lets get this piece made into a full length...or I will choke a chupacabra with my bare hands!!!

Enjoy the weekend all.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Album Review - Lemuria - Pebbles

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:
*** out of *****

Ahh the alterna-pop of the mid 90's comes flowing back when Lemuria's newest release Pebbles starts playing.  The three piece from Buffalo, NY (though only 2 are pictured on the albums cover) instantly calls to mind bands like Smashing Pumpkins only with a more stripped down indie focus.  The group has it's power-pop-punk crackling with pristine production from J. Robbins and songs that flirt back and forth with boy/girl sweetness and infighting.  Relationships are at the forefront and the male female vocals play the fitting roles, but the tunes seem to work best when Sheena Ozzella takes the lead.  Her voice can sound fluttery or cutting like on the opener "Gravity" which contains some somber guitar work and some frightful singing of lines like "You're good at/breaking hearts".   

The group seems to put a lot of time into crafting these roughed up pop work outs and the songs feel longer then they actually are with squiggling changes and multiple tempo alternations.  Alex Kerns vocals on tunes like "Yellowstone Lady" border on monotone and work better as supporting as opposed to leading tracks.  Also the Kerns led "Different Girls" is mocking and ironic but just feels unneeded and spiteful, it probably should have stayed in a tour journal somewhere rather then leaving a sour taste here.  The lyrics in general seem to be lacking that extra oomph that could push these tunes over the edge. 

On the plus side the forcefully waltzing "Wise People" is the standout track with its chimes, speaker twisting guitars and robust drumming showing off what this group is capable off.  Other tracks like "Pleaser" really cook, but there's a sense they could reach even greater artistic heights with an extra guitar or horns; this seems like a smaller group who is aching for some greater accompaniment.  Either way, Pebble nails this type of alterna-pop music with a slight indie/punk edge and makes me wonder, just whatever happened to Veruca Salt?!?

I enjoy this band.  I heard them for the first time at the Don Giovanni Showcase...even though they aren't on the label, which is a bit weird.  In fact there seems to be a big deal which label they are actually on.  Bridge 9 is known these days for their hardcore output (Wow, I did not know Agnostic Front had put anything new out...guess it is time for a seven inch purchase!) and signing Lemuria is anything but Hardcore, you know what...who cares?!?  I hate it when these labels get pigeonholed, they should just put out good music.  Period. 

Anyway, I think I liked the bands live show a bit better then this album as there are a few tracks here that I skip when listening to the disk, but overall I dig the on the sound and flat out love the production from J. Robbins.  The band sounds very much alive when they turn up the volume levels...and really I think that is where they work best.  As I mentioned, would love to hear some horns pump up "Pleaser",  that would be pretty frickin' rad.  

Oh and click here to find out what happened to Veruca Salt.

Here are some videos for you to enjoy from Lemuria:
My Favorite Tune on the Disk "Wise People"

Stripped Down live version of "Chautauqua County"
And an older live tune "Mechanical"

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Glide Review - Fatback Circus - Fatback Circus

Well hello there!!!!  I got a new review up on Glide.

Read it right c'here!!!!

It is of the Austin group Fatback Circus new self titled release. 

The group seems to straddle genre's very easily but not really settle into one for very long.  This could be a good or bad thing, depending on how it's played out.  Some tunes really cooked, others seemed jumbled.  Flashes of Zappa, Raq, Primus, a bunch of alt-country slid in to the proceedings, so most people will probably dig a song or two, but might have a hard time sinking their teeth into the full album.  Humorless Ween is what I keep coming back too... 

Unlike my recent Creeping Weed review which reminded of other bands slightly, Fatback Circus seem to take a more heavy handed approach to their influences. 

Enough of my talk err...typing though, listen to some songs yourself and decide:

"Dust Bowl Blues" obviously a whole lotta Claypool love happening and I can't fault that:

 An older song not on this album, "Jessica"

Another older tune "Brain Damage"

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dylan Cover #5 Pete Townshend "Girl From The North Country"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from Pete Townshend and it is his live cover of "Girl From The North Country"
Thoughts on Dylan's Original:
A fun little number that connects Dylan with folk's past.  I heard Simon and Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair" first when I was growing up so I have always been a bit more partial to that version of this old folk tune even though Dylan changed a bunch of stuff around (obviously) with his recording that appeared on The Freewheeling Bob Dylan.  His duet with Johnny Cash that highlights Nashville Skyline is something else entirely, a major sonic effort that I love.  On an album that saw so many massive tunes come flowing out of the bard this one can be overshadowed yet his first version of this track is just a sweet folk ditty that has aged very, very well.


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Townshend is one of the greatest rock and roll artists ever...his band was epic, no one can talk about rock and roll with greater accuracy and his albums are some of my favorite of all time; safe to say he is a legend around RtBE parts.

Thoughts on Cover:
When Pete introduces the song he says it is based on a different cover of Dylan's tune and has "eerie parts"  Roy Harper's version was  bit more sped up then the original and Pete playing here at Woodstock 98 follows that route.  To be honest I wanted it to be eerie-er if that's a word.  The piano and string sounds are nice flairs, and Pete's picking on the tune gives it vibrancy, but it never really expands on the original a whole lot.  This is a simple song, this is an admirable cover, but nothing earth shattering.  I do really enjoy his singing on this one though so that pushes it up a notch getting a bit fired up towards the end. 

Grade - C+
Wilson's Take-
Over the years, "Girl From the North Country" has served Dylan's Neverending Tour well, proving to be the middle-set gem amid the croaking politics and token rockabilly of these late years. It's a haunting tune that embraces the timeless power of human sentiment - making it just as relevant in 2011 as it was in 1963.

It's easy to say "nothing will ever touch the original." But if you're going to take a classic tune for a ride down a new road, it's helps to be Pete Townshend. He injects creative flourishes into the song - adding new depth - and updates the emphasis sung over fifty-year-old stanzas. All too often on cover songs, we see an artist trying to do their "own thing," either to pay homage while avoiding a comparison with the creator, or simply to strike out on their own. Pete goes right after "Girl From the North Country" at Woodstock. He immerses himself in the original, and with an emotional depth one expects from the maestro of Quadrophenia and Who's Next, offers a rendition of the song in a way that suggests he understands it better than the guy who wrote it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Glide Review - Creeping Weeds - See Through

Hey all, got another review up on Glide.

Read it right c'here!

It is of the excellent Philly band Creeping Weeds newest release See Through

I was sent this album to review having never heard of this band and am really impressed.  I mention a bunch of other bands they remind me up on different songs, but that is far from a slight.

They make me think of the good parts of all those bands and really have put together a solid second album.  The music and the vocals pair up nicely and there is enough sonic changes that things are never boring.  I am going to try to catch them on April 2nd at The Rock Shop in Brooklyn.

A few songs for you to check out then feel free to grab the is a link to one spot to buy it.

"(Wrapped in) Gauze"  (pretty cool video for the album version of the song):

"Weekend at the Shore"  (another cool vid):

Here's an older tune live "Eternity Is A Long Time"

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Funday - Free Music - RtBE Freegal Mix # 1

Well I have reached the point in the show when it is time to give back to the readers. I have put together a mix from the fantastic Music Database Freegal and want to offer it back to anyone out there who happens to take a gander at this site.

As you can see from the above picture it is 12 songs long and adds up to over 50 minutes of music for you. Who do we have in store for you?  A mix from all over the sonic world, we got some southern spiced rock with Hill Country Revue, Patterson Hood and Delaney and Bonnie.  A lot of jazz with Miles Davis  Machito and Garage-A-Trois.   

We also sprinkle in a few legends for you with Sam Cooke and Lee Dorsey, funk it up proper with Big Boi and Bootsy before ending it with a tune off of the first CD I ever bought*  Stormtroopers Of Death

*well I bought this one by John Lee Hooker on the same day....kinda tells you my musical tastes in a nutshell

Thanks to everyone for reading and enjoy the tunes, the weekend and most importantly Enjoy Your Self!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Glide Review - Trombone Shorty & Galactic LIVE 2/26/11

Hey there boys and girls, got a new review up on Glide.

Read it right C'Here!

It is of Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave and Galactic funking it up at Terminal Five on Saturday night 2/26/11.
Dig both of these bands, and enjoyed the show with friends and family.  Oh and can't forget the High and Mighty Brass Band, they may have been the highlight of the whole show!
Check out some video below captured by the random peoples as I was too busy dancing:

Trombone Horns coming out with Galactic:

Trombone Shorty (On Trumpet) Playing the longest not...evah!!!:
 High and Mighty in the crowd: