Monday, January 31, 2011

Dylan Cover's *New Monday Series*

For those who read this rad blog you may have noticed a lack of Monday posts.  Last year I tried my damndest to post a Grateful Dead show every Monday to talk about and listen too...It made me write here a hell of a lot more and gave me a new respect for a group I honestly hadn't listened to all that often over the last few years.  I ended on a high note with with my personal favorite show, so I figured it may be time to move onto something else.  Before I do though, here are all the 46 shows I covered on Archive, and you can scroll back through RTBE via numerous searches or links to see my takes.  I manged to hit every year except 66, 82, 90 (surprising!), 92, 94, and 95.  Three years tied for the most shows reviewed with four: 69,72,and 73 no real surprise there.  It was great to go through all of those years and various shows and I may dip back into that project in the future, but I wanted to try out something different.  It is with great pleasure that I am going to start a new Monday feature here; Dylan Covers.
If there is one artist I can just never get enough of it is Bob Dylan, and it seems like that is the case for most people who listen to music.  Bob's team of lawyers are pretty good with not letting his music out there, but I don't believe there has been a more covered artist in the last 60 years of popular music and that is a fun thing to sift through.  I will try to stick to known acts, and will post the youtube clips of the studio and live versions we are talking about, but discussing the occasional unknown will be a lot of fun too.

The other new feature is that I hope to have a second voice give opinion on the matter, my good friend Eben (who I have talked about before) is willing to join me on this journey and express his thoughts on the cover tunes.  Eben is one of the biggest Dylan fan's I know and an avid writer who is never shy to shout out exactly how he feels...so strap in.
Is that a Spin Doctor with Us?!?.

We will get started next Monday and ease the transition with some familiar faces, and hope to continue exploring new takes on the Bard of the 60's music every Monday in 2011.  Feel free to comment critique and complain...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Library and Music Combining - Keef and Freegal Music Database

Always fun when the day job combines with the love of good tunes.  I posted a couple Fridays ago about Elvis Costello playing Bartos and I got another great video of an even cooler old rocker hanging out in SASB

The one the only Keef Richards wrote a book and chatted about it back in October, here is a cool video that gives you the overview of his talk:

Who knew one of rock's greatest rebels loved following the rules of his public library back home?!?  Here's hoping he never "drops".

Also on the library front is a new Database called Freegal that allows you to LEGALLY download copyrighted songs from Sony.  This is pretty amazing, you will need an NYPL library card and your pin number, but as it stands now you can legally download 3 songs a week from the site.  Pretty cool move from NYPL if I do say so myself, for example I just downloaded:

Miles Davis "Filles De Kilimanjaro",


Delaney & Bonnie and Friends "Comin' Home"

And Bootsy Collins "Party on Plastic"

This is awesome, tons of options, the download took two seconds and the quality is perfect....give it a whirl and grab yerself a library card if you haven't all ready.  Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Glide Interview/Feature - The Rough Seven -

Big props to Eric and Shane at Glide for posting up my interview/feature with/on (this is getting confusing) The Rough Seven.

I have been hyping them a lot in this neck of the nape and it is ALL deserved.  Great album, the fellas produced a great interview and I can not wait to catch them down in NOLA in a couple of months.  The interview is long but worth the read, especially if you know the tunes, if not go grab it now!

Thanks to Ryan, Ratty, and Rob for participating and keep up with the band on facebook.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jazzfest Announcements for 2011!

It is always an exciting day, usually happening in the depths of frigid conditions of an NYC winter, and one of the first signs that spring is on the horizon:  Jazzfest Lineup Announcements!!! For this year there is a diverse group (like always) with huge names (Bon Jovi, Jimmy Buffett) an local folk hero's (Kermit Ruffins, Sunpie Barnes).

I will be attending the second weekend this year and I get to see some personal favorites like The Rough Seven and Trombone Shorty, which gets me stoked...in fact I am starting to shake a little with excitment, I can't wait to be back right here:
 I better stop talking about it, but that first weekend in May can't get here fast enough.  Hope you can make it down. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Movie Timeout: Exit Through the Gift Shop

We here at RTBE, usually stick to what we know best, but today we are taking a Movie Timeout.  Vince over at the excellently hysterical Filmdrunk recently directed his readers to an interview with the creator of the most engaging movie (and probably the best) RTBE saw last year (and Filmdrunks movie of the year)...Exit Through the Gift Shop.
Years ago my friend Paul introduced me to Banksy who at the time was posting his art in museums:

I was fascinated by him then and shouldn't have been surprised how much I loved this documentary now.  I don't want to give too much away about the film, but will simply say, see it.  It is completely worth your time if you love graffiti, hate street art, have no idea who Banksy even is...none of that matters.  It is an amazing film that gets you to think about art/marketing/commercialism and the twisted realm everything populates at some point.   Here are 5 minutes of the film...but find the rest yourself:
Anyway, after you watch the whole thing, go read this interview with the films creator at All These Wonderful Things.  I am in the camp that the whole thing is 100% real...I don't think you can write things like that, shit just happens.  However, I have had conversations with those who disagree wholeheartedly thinking it 100% Bullshit, you be the judge.  This is a doozy of a film and worth your time, the more people I can bump into and have conversations about it the better, so hop too it.    

Monday, January 17, 2011

Murphy's Law, Two Man Advantage Live Pics and Video 1-16-11 Continental, NYC

Glen was nice enough to clue me into a semi-secret show Sunday afternoon downtown.  Turns out the Continental stopped doing concerts in 2006, but once a year they go back to their hardcore/punk roots and put on a show.  This year one of my favorite groups from the scene, Murphy's Law closed the early show as Two Man Advantage opened.  Below are a couple of grainy pics and a really nice video of one of the best Murphy Law tunes, "Crucial BBQ".  Other highlights from their set were "Ska Song>Skinhead Girl>Ska Song", "Care Bear" and "Woke Up Tied Up". 

A fine day of Punk Rock in the East Village....just like old times. 







Friday, January 14, 2011

Album Review - Corin Tucker Band 1,000 Years

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 Corin Tucker Band 
1,000 Years
*** out of *****

When Sleater-Kinney called it quits with the bombastic The Woods, rock music suffered a small setback as the group had been consistently innovative and seemingly hitting an artistic and commercial peak.  Carrie Brownstein moved onto blogging and Portlandia, Janet Weiss kept drumming with various bands including Quasi and it was reported that Corin Tucker would be having a second child and settling down for the time being.  1,000 Years marks Corin's return to the world of rock and roll, and while she herself describes it as a "middle-aged mom" album it is still pretty goddamn hip and engaging.

The caterwauling that made her the darling of the Riot Grrrl scene is put away in favor of keyboards and relaxed vibe.  Sara Lund helps out on the drums and multi-instrumentalist Seth Lorinczi help out on the sound and while they are a three piece there is very little effort to try to recreate Tuckers past glories.  In fact only the single "Doubt" (smart marketing ploy?) sounds like Sleater-Kinney tune (and a damn good one) with it's pumping drums, screeching guitars, catchy ass lyrics and familiar high pitched vocal.

The rest of the album is happy to stroll along toying with warbling reverb and distance.  The space and inventive percussion is critical to the ska tinged "Half a World Away" and sparseness enhances a desperado feeling present on "It's Always Summer" which contains violins and what could be a wooden block played 50 feet from the microphone.  "Thrift Store Coats" and "Big Goodbye" increase the energy flow, but it is obvious Tucker is holding back from the mega-peaks, happy to focus on the organs of "Handed Love" and the title track.  The opening song "1,000 Years" says it all for Tucker here, clapping drums under mellow fuzz finds Tucker singing of a changing life full of trials, mystery, and survival.  While it might not be purely biographical lines like, "My own family/didn't know me/anymore" sure make it feel that way, but the positive vibe puts 1,000 Years in perspective as a success.
   
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I love me some Sleater-Kinney and was miffed when they announced they weren't playing anytime soon after their best album The Woods was released.  I am guessing some reunion tour will be drummed up in the near future, but it has been over 5 years and Corin Tucker has no shame in her newest release 1,000 Years.  This is a great, confident, disk from an artist who is comfortable with where she fits in the industry and still has something to add to the musical conversation.

Give it a gander, here are some video's to wet your appetite:
 "1,000 Years"

"Doubt"

"Thrift Store Coats" LIVE like the build on this one-

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Glide Review - The Greenhornes - ****


Got a new review up on Glide

Read it right C'HERE!!!

It is of The Greenhornes newest release ****

Ahhh I get it garage rockers...name your title 4 stars and then it will look like you get no bad reviews...very tricky!!  I can't argue with that title though, this album is all you could want from the garage rockers from Detroit. 

Making up the rhythm section of The Raconteurs, Patrick Keller and Jack Lawrence are one of my favorite low-end combos playing today.  Teaming again with Craig Fox the band picks up right where it left off, apparently they were stockpiling their good ideas and managed to record them with Jack White producing this year. 

The tunes are dope.  The group is still straight out of the mid-60's, flaunting their Kinks/Stones love and making it sound all so easy.  As I stated the vocals leave something to be desired, and when it comes to this "style" of rocking I find myself reaching for Reigning Sound a bit more often, but that shouldn't take anything away from this disk (More of a personal opinion thing). 

Give some of the songs a listen, and then go buy it on Vinyl...It sounds great on it and I am sure it is the way these guys want you to listen to ****...
"Underestimator" One of my favorites:
"Go Tell Henry"

"Cave Drawings" Live KEXP (this sounds like a Brian Jones outtake to me)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Funday - Roast Beef and Elvis in the House

The first Friday Funday of the 2011 gives me great pleasure as I get to showcase 2 loves in my life.  I have talked with and about Mike often here on RTBE and it is with great joy that I get to push his newest venture, Roast Beef Sandwich's!

If that simple announcement doesn't excite you, read this and commence the mouth watering.
The other entry has to do with my friend and colleague Jenny who tuned me on to some behind the scenes footage of Elvis Costello playing the house that Astor, Lenox, and Tilden built.  (Technically it was physically built by Carrere and Hastings, but you probably don't care)  Enjoy and have a great weekend!





Thursday, January 6, 2011

Album Review - Warpaint The Fool

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:
 
Warpaint
The Fool
***and1/2 out of *****

The Los Angeles quartet started garnering major buzz when they released their newest single in the early fall "Undertow" off their upcoming full length titled, The Fool.  As a whole the album continues down those same slightly jumbled streets that "Undertow" hinted at which might best be described as off-kilter-dreamy-art-pop.  The mix that these woman, Emily Kokel (Vocals/Guitar) Thersea Wayman (Vocals/Guitar) Jenny Lee Lindberg (Bass/Vocals) Stella Mozgawa (Drums/Keys/Vocals), produce is engaging because it seems to never be comfortable in its own sound. 

When "Bees" is seemingly ready to fall apart, with the individuals in the group venturing out on their own, it surprisingly finishes strong by coalescing around a "Da-Da" singalong, then tacks on a programed drum ending that confuses.  It is not that these songs spasmodically jump around (ala Man Man) more likely the band had varying ideas and weren't afraid to combine them into 5 minute tunes, to varying degrees of success.

The most straightforward song is the ballad "Baby" which is presented in a siren-like vocal arraignment cutting deep with its lyrical refrain "Don't you call anybody else Baby".  The finale of "Lissie's Heart Murmur" adds a dramatic piano procedure to the group that fits swimmingly amongst the waves of lyrics and cymbals.  The vocals on The Fool act as another instrument in the mix and at times they can become a bit distracting, but the floating style and hazy production certainly seems woven into the fabric of Warpaint.  Another minus is a drum sound which flirts to closely with machine pre-programmed nonsense; a more organic/grounded sound on the kit would keep the vocals from lifting the songs a float with too much airiness.  That stated, tracks like the opener "Set Your Arms Down", the all over the map "Warpaint" and that arresting single "Undertow" do enough to hook ears, making The Fool anything but foolish.

          
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I was first turned onto Warpaint via "Elephants" back in the beginning of 2010 off of their EP Exquisite Corpse and I meant to get this review posted last month, but things happen.  It was an album that I have been listening to a bit, but I had a hard time coming up with a major conclusion on.  There are a lot of layers here to sift through and in complete honesty, while the vocals are well sung I think they are too distracting, I would rather hear the Ladies focus some more on the odd sounds and sonics that they produce.  Everyone can sing but this hazy, floating vocal tone doesn't really do it for me.  I do love the bass playing on this album and I think a different producer would get me into this more, but who knows?! 

Overall a cool listen and an album that shows tons of potential with a new group on the scene, I would love to check them out next time they cruise through town...

You can stream the full album right here and judge for yourself!

Here are some videos if you don't have time for that though:
"Undertow"


"Warpaint" Live  ( I like the drums better already...actually this REALLY makes me want to go see them now)


"Elephants"  Different drummer here...but this is older...