Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sazerwrap Part 2: Jazzfest

The Sazerwrap has been RtBE way of rounding up all the amazing things that happen down at our annual trip to Jazzfest in New Orleans.  This year we spent a week in town so we will breaking the review up into a few parts.  Only 11 Months until next years festival! 
Now we get to focus on our two days (Sunday April 29th & Saturday May 5th)  at the 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival specifically the tunes we were lucky enough to catch, and let us just say now it was pure Boosh! 

SUNDAY APRIL 29th 2012

Opening things up for us this year was the Mahogany Jazz Band.  Fronted by Brice Miller who mentioned this was the 20th year the group was playing the festival, a great milestone for some fantastic musicians.  Their version of "My Blue Heaven" was a real winner and took place right before the Ninth Ward Hunters Parade rolled by.
The Indians were dressed up this year in native gear, offset by black and yellow NY Yankee's caps...I can leave NY, but Yankee fans are everywhere.  Heading over to main stage we saw that the whole state of New Jersey had traveled south and staked out their spots for Bruce later in the day with their lawn chairs, it was already a mob scene. 

Before that though two of NOLA's finest elevated things into the sunny sky.  RtBE fav's Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue were up first as the troopers tuned up for an extra long time before bringing the Supafunkrock to the masses:

Their fiery playing via their own "Suburbia" was so massive that they broke into a "Bull's On Parade" Horn drenched instrumental cover of Rage Against The Machine.  Also giving a nod to the great Allen Toussaint the band did their soulfully smooth cover of "On Your Way Down" before vamping under the noon day sun.

Retreating from the heat found the gospel tent in full swing as Lois DeJean Gospel Diva and Friends had the masses believing in a higher power.  For an extended period of time (over 10 minutes) she only sang 1 word, and that word was Jesus!  When she finished she simply asked the crowd to rise, and as one they all did to continue praising.  It was an emotional site to behold.  Here she is under more restrained (and hopefully cooler) conditions:     
Inside the blues tent 73 year old Ironing Board Sam played his boogie-woogie piano blues while wearing an insane gold lame suit that was shining from stage. 
Classic.  On the inventive tip however Bill Summers Jazalsa combined the Latin grooves with old time jazz and threw down on the Heritage stage adding a hip-shaking spice to the gumbo.  Here is a sample of their style as they play on a TV show:

Back on the Main Stage, the legend himself Dr. John was putting on a show for the ages as his new album Locked Down seems to have inspired the artist more so then anything he has done in years.  Focusing on tracks from that album saw them stand toe to toe, if not rise higher then some of his classics.  "Ice Age" was funk under the sun with it's fantastic organs and sax's:

"St. James Infirmary" was loose before "Wild Magnolia" made you shake your tail-feather and "Revolution" continued the new song greatness.  "Right Place Wrong Time" brought back some of the old magic but the newer tunes proved that while Bruce may be Boss, Dr. John is the "Big Shot".     

Moving over to the Economy Hall stage found the Treme Brass Band playing a stunning version of "Down In The Treme" while the crowd literally 2nd lined throughout the sweltering tent.

The band wasn't 100% successful though as their slowed down version of "What A Wonderful World" kinda killed the momentum they had established.  However the group invited an excellent vocalist named Gabby to help them out, adding some youth and energy back to the event:
After catching some of the mediocre pop-gospel styling of radio personality Yolanda Adams on the Congo Stage we moseyed back over to the Blues tent where superstar in waiting Gary Clark Jr. was slaying the crowd with his powerhouse blues.  He owned the tent with his slow beats, fast frets and Hendrix-esque flairs on tracks like "Bright Lights" and falsetto singing of "Please Come Home".  Youtube user Jmzulz posted the whole set, it isn't the greatest quality sound but gives you a sense of the day, here is the opening "If You Love Me Like You Say"

By now it was time for headliner Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band to get things moving.  Unfortunately moving wasn't an option as the largest crowd this festival has seen in over a decade clogged all avenues around the groups stage, people wanted Bruce and they got almost 3 hours of him as he dipped into some Seeger Session tracks that the locals loved like "O Mary Don't You Weep"

and saved his most well known tracks for the encore. 

Although the highlight of Bruce's set for me was when the great Dr. John joined him for a cover of "Something You Got"
That is what makes NOLA Jazzfest special, unexpected collaborations between some of the worlds greatest artists.  People left this day completely satisfied and I heard many long time festival goers proclaiming this day to be one of the "best ever".   

Saturday May 5th 2012

While not possessing as many "big names" as Sunday's show, the following Saturday's was just as enjoyable.  Perhaps it was the cooler temperature or smaller crowd, but the day was a pleasant one as we spent more time with each act we caught.   
The Joe Krown Trio featuring Walter Wolfman Washington and Russell Batiste Jr. were the first act we were enthralled with in the Blues Tent.  This group got down and funky, and it must be said that guest drummer Russell Batiste Jr. was drumming his face off, slapping the skins with grooves and runs that were magical.  Here is a clip of Krown playing with just Walter and Russell from the Louisiana Music Factory from 09 to get a sample of the trios style:

Heading over the Gentilly Stage found Anders Osbourne midway through the trio's hard rock and roll set as the band ripped riffs over the big crowd from their new release Black Eye Galaxy like "Mind Of A Junkie":

The band also managed to show off their more delicate side, not intimated by the mass attendance, on tracks like "Louisiana Gold"

Longtime friend of New Orleans Steve Earle came out and exclaimed "It's taken me 25 Fucking Years to book this gig!" and went on to play a great set of old and new tunes as the crowd overflowed the Fais Do-Do Stage.  Old time rocker "Copperhead Road" got a real boost from the crowd:

But the man's best song is the tune he wrote for the town we all love, called "This City" and he even gave a bit of background which is cool:

God Damn that song still gives me goosebumps!  Even with that false start in the chorus, great set by Mr. Earle. 

The final act of the day that needed to be caught was the Warren Haynes Band who filled in for the recently departed Levon Helm.  Having seen Warren countless times over the years, in various bands and settings, I am not sure I have ever seen him play with more passion then he did during this set. 
His own tunes like "Rivers Gonna Rise and "Sick Of My Shadow" found him dueling with saxophonist Ron Holloway throughout and instead of the slick soul style he has played these tunes in previously things got more earthy and real.  While that might have been nod to the grittiness of The Band, more overt tributes were to come as this years (and most years) festival MVP Dr. John and the Dirty Dozen Brass band joined the proceedings to play "Walks on Gilded Splinters" while Warren did his damage on slide guitar amazingly, one of the musical highlights of the whole trip:

The group then got to referencing Levon directly as Dr. John played "Such A Night" and the group ended with stunning versions of "It Makes No Difference" and especially "The Weight" which the crowd sang just as loudly as Warren did. 

This was an emotional set and a perfect way to end our festival...if only it could never end. Until we hit the fairgrounds next year! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Funday "Don't Blame Shorty For That!"

RtBE favorite Trombone Shorty received a video from a young British fan that he just had to share, and when you click on it you will easily see why, this kid is adorable and sang a great tune....

The song is an obscure "B side" from a 1951 Tampa Red single. Thomas was in fact playing with a more recent recording by The Blues Flagships (Thanks to Baiba Wiggins for the info). Good to see the youngin's around the world showing respect for Troy, I would love to hear  Shorty & Orleans Avenue cover this song.  Turns out the player is Thomas Wiggins, and he has actually met and played with Shorty and the boys before, here is some video of him practicing with them:

Here he is playing on Royal and St. Ann by Jackson Square with some street musicians: 

He also did a fine job covering  the professor of cool Duke Ellington with his take of "Satin Doll":

We will keep our eye on Thomas Wiggins and his trombone skills, hopefully he sticks with it, we will also have more on Shorty when we get back to our Sazerwrap next week, until then enjoy the long weekend.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Jack White Live 5/22/12 Roseland Ballroom, NYC Review
Hey all,

Got a new review up on Glide

Peep it right C'here!!!!

It is of RtBE man crush Jack White's live show from Tuesday night at Roseland in NYC. 


Really, Wow.  We see a lot of shows every month, and this one outshines most of them dating back a few years.  Jack White is the perfect storm of talent, energy, style, showman, and all around superstar.  This night was a magical journey through his catalog of songs, showcasing just how deep it can go. 

By switching backing bands on each show he is keeping it fresh for himself, while keeping the audience in suspense as too who will play.  I am stoked we got The Peacocks to back him up as the ladies add a different twist to songs, less "rawk" more textures.  Also it needs to be mentioned again, Carla Azar was simply an amazing site/sound/discovery to behold.  Regardless of gender she is one of my favorite drummers now and I am searching back through Autolux's catalog to find more of her work. 

Quick editorial note, I originally opened my review by saying Jack White was a "damn sexy superstar" and editors changed that.  I got no problems with the switch, and none with the original, that man was sexy, I am comfortable saying it.

I talked a ton about the show in my review, so go read it!  You can also listen to the FULL SHOW below, I am not sure how long it stays up on youtube, but Jesus this is awesome...pure Boosh!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Archie Powell & The Exports - Great Ideas In Action Album Review

Hey all,

Got a new review up on Glide.

Give it a read right C'here!!!!

It is of Archie Powell & The Exports sophomore release, Great Ideas in Action.   This is one hell of a catchy rock and roll album.  One of the best things writing about music brings out is the opportunity to check out new bands, I probably would have never heard of these guys and now that I did I can't stop listening to the album. 

Really fun upbeat rock and roll here with fantastic lyrics over the top of things, this group is going places, can't wait to see them live in NYC next time they flow through.

Grab the album here, check out their tour dates, and peep a few tracks below:

"Crazy Pills"


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sazerwrap - Part 1: The Food

The Sazerwrap has been RtBE way of rounding up all the amazing things that happen down at our annual trip to Jazzfest in New Orleans.  This year we spent a week in town so we will breaking the review up into a few parts.  Only 11 Months until next years festival!
Our Favorite Sazerac in town at The Carousel Bar in The Montelone
New Orleans means a lot to a ton of people, the culture, the art, the various music scene's and yet the one thing that seems to tie it all together is the amazing food on display at every turn in town.

We had a chance to try more things then ever on our trip down south this year, here is only a sampling of the great edibles we consumed.

Jazzfest Festival Eats:  
While we will get to the music of the fairgrounds later, we need to mention the amazing food presented inside the festival grounds.  No Aramark or knock off overpriced blandness at this festival!  Local cooks, restaurant owners and growers are invited in and sell their wares for affordable prices, making the food inside almost as big of a draw as the musicians.
This was the first meal I had in town of any kind and it just happened to be on the festival on Friday in-between Trombone Shorty and Dr. John.  It is some fresh lemonade with a crawfish stuffed sausage po'boy and a crab cake.  What I love about this town is you can get the off the beaten path items, then be blown away by the simple things like this crab cake, which was the highlight of the meal.

When we went back the following weekend, we partook in Fried Green Tomato's,which were amazing, but the real winner was the Shrimp stuffed with Crab.  Well Stuffed wasn't exactly the right word as there was almost a full crab cake latched on to a huge shrimp.  Delightful.

The nights can get away from you down in The Big Easy and time is just something else to watch flow by.   However a hearty breakfast any time is vital to keep the body humming while trying to catch all that magic in your head.  2 that really stood out above and beyond this year are here:
That is the Migas breakfast from the fantastic Ruby Slipper on Magazine Street.  This place is perfect for the wake up, or hungover meal to get you going.  The Migas is a house specialty, a Tex-Mex egg scramble featuring onions, tomato's, cilantro, pepper jack cheese, tortilla chips and spicy chorizo sausage. It coated things uber-nicely.
Amping things up just a bit is a ritual for me now at Jazzfest, the Crawfish Pie and Fried Green Tomato's at EAT in the French Quarter. This is simply fantastic and a must stop for me now as everything that they serve is delicious.  Behind the pie on the other plate is what Kelly called "The Best Omellette In the World" which consists of, goat cheese and ham served with grilled French bread and mixed greens tossed with champagne vinaigrette.  A huge fruit plate finished things off as we got our vitamins.   

Speaking of staples on our excursions Cochon has become another must attend.  Being there for a full week meant a lunch there and a dinner.  Except I ordered pretty much the same things each time.
An Oyster Bacon Sandwich and a cold hi-life is pretty much heaven to this guy, and that is what I got both times.  We played with a few sides, the Fried Alligator with Chili Garlic Aioli was good, but the Crawfish Etouffee was even better.  Mac and Cheese was also a major score this time down.

Perhaps the one place we seem to spend the most time at in our travels down south is this fantastic bar located in the Loews Hotel.  Bar Chef Lu Brow has welcomed us into the joint, and now can't get us to leave!  Along with Dave behind the bar, the team there is unreal with cocktails; they make drinking even more of a religious experience.
This was concocted by Lu for a non drinker in the group...needless to say it was a success. 

The drink of choice in this town, the Gin-Gin Mules crafted at Cafe Adelaide/Swizzle.  Wow I am salivating thing of them right now.  
The restaurant is also top notch (it should be as it is linked to the one below), just check out the Crab Cobb salad or the Ham and Grilled Cheese up there!  What also should be noted is this location has the best Bloody Mary's in town.  Needed on some mornings.  Our whole crew who head south can not speak highly enough about Swizzle Stick Bar, you must try it out.  

Commanders Palace:
If you had pinned me down in April and asked me to tell you the best meal I ever had I would have said Craft in NYC a few years ago.  Everything about that meal was top notch, service, food, selection, taste, it had it all.  Ask me that same question now that I am back from New Orleans and the answer has been updated...Commanders Palace takes the bread pudding.  
I should have seen it coming when the appetizer was a combination of two of my favorite foods on the planet, Gnocchi and Crawfish.  What started off amazing just kept climbing to even greater heights as the famed Turtle Head Soup arrived with some of it's buddies.  
 Everyone mentioned that soup but a sampler was just too good to pass up, the soup of the day was a spinach, avocado, oyster trifecta that was richer then Bill Gates and the surprise winner of the group was the gumbo.  Sure Commanders Palace may be an opulent choice for a meal in New Orleans, but there is a reason, staples like Gumbo simply sing.  
Not to be out done, my main course was unbelievable in just out and out flavor.  BBQ Shrimp with an Abita glaze over the best grits in the world was mind blowing.  Every bite of the grits yielded a new surprise, corn, chorizo, smoothness, it was divine. 
Stuffed but still had to try desert and I am so thankful we did.   Kelly had the Strawberry Shortcake above and after the first bite her eyes were rolling back in her head with delight. 
I went with the house specialty bread pudding and may have never tasted a better desert ever.  This was simply magic in bowl.  While it was far from the cheapest meal we had in town, it was cheap compared to a New York City meal on the same level, so that was an added win when the bill came.  What a feast, it was so good it put me in a food coma and I had to cut my post meal viewing of Meschiya Lake and Big Horns short after only a few body was done.   
These are just some of the fantastic meals we had in town, got any others to talk about feel free to do so in the comments.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Congrats to Chelsea FC, Champions!

What a game this past Saturday, Chelsea FC beat Bayern Munich in a shoot out to win the Champions League Trophy.
After giving up a goal in the 83 minute things looked bleak, but this Chelsea squad is blessed, and RtBE's favorite Didier Drogba's explosive header tied things up in the 88th minute giving Chelsea life, and amping the excitement 10 fold. 
Peter Cech's extra time Penalty save on Robben was just as important as the Blues held on and ended up winning on Penalty kicks after the extra 30 minutes ticked off.  When Drogba sealed the final penalty to win 4-3 on penalties Legends Football Factory exploded with The New York Blues going nuts in celebration. 

Yup, it was a hell of a victory, congrats to all the players, fans, staff and supporters around the globe.  Congrats also to that Russian Owner who wanted this trophy over all the others, now he has it.  KTBFFH!

Dylan Cover #47 Legion of Mary "Tough Mama" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a live cover by Legion of Mary playing "Tough Mama"

Thoughts on Original:
One of my favorite Dylan songs off of the underrated Planet Waves disk.  "Tough Mama" has a groovy beat that The Band plays perfectly and some engaging lyrics that contain bite and humor while never going for jokes or becoming mean spirited.  One of Dylan's best and a hidden gem if people have never heard it. 

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
We have talked a lot about the Grateful Dead on our site, but not so much about spin off projects.  Legion of Mary hold a special place because of Jerry's tight friendship with Merl Saunders and the horn/flute playing of Martin Fierro who adds extra color to the mix.  A side project that cooked, unfortunately it didn't last very long. 

Thoughts on Cover:
Like most things Jerry Garcia related the magic is in the in-between sections when the band can get hairy and cut loose.  Garcia leads thing with his magical guitar tone and the band plays the music to the song about 3 times through clocking in at over 8 and half minutes.  Things aren't too wandering though as the solo's are focused on the songs theme, and Fierro in particular adds a spice withe the Sax.

One of the coolest things about this cover is when it was recorded it was still super new, just having been released the year before, it was fresh and alive for Bob, just as it was for Legion of Mary.

Grade B+  

Wilson's Take:

Janasie's Take:
"Tough Mama" is THE motha-luvin' jam - literally.  It contains the phrase "hotter than a crotch" and yet can still be taken seriously.  If that ain't song writing brilliance, what is?  Jerry and company bust out another version of this gem as the opening track on the 2005 Legion of Mary release and, wow, what an opener.  The rest of that two-disc joint pleases the ears as well, so give it a listen.  Buy stock in this cover, it bears a big stamp of approval.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Funday Champions League Final

We will be getting back to music stuff and a review of our Jazzfest trip next week, but this weekend is all about the boys in Blue, Chelsea FC.
The Champions League Final is on Saturday and we here at RtBE are adamant Chelsea Supporters.  We have written about the team before, and I am a proud member of the NY Blues, so this Saturday is going to be epic on many fronts.
Worth Every Penny
The Barcelona match was amazing, and the facebook pages that popped up are hysterical, but this is where it all comes down too, on Munich's home pitch no less.  We will be without 4 starters (at least) but their is no fear as the Boys in Blue are destined for this one, against all odds. 
Passing the torch to Ramires
It may be the last game for one of my all time favorite players Didier Drogba, and hopefully he will go out on a high note.  So enjoy the match wherever you are, I certainly will.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Album Review: No Redeeming Social Value -America's Favorite Hardcore Band EP

No Redeeming Social Value
America's Favorite Hardcore Band
*** out of *****

The irreverent punk rockers from NYC are at it again with an EP aptly titled America's Favorite Hardcore Band.  NRSV have been bringing their brand of upbeat beer soaked punk/hardcore to their fans for a while and this EP continues the trend, blasting in and out in under 9 minutes.

Opener "Superfuntime Party Girl" gets the party started with it's silly female vocals fronting the rapid fire strumming and drumming.  "Life Caught Up" gets serious for a 2 minutes behind John Franko's rumbling bass before flashing a meaty guitar solo from Kent Miller while "U R Here Because U R Drunk" mines familiar territory winningly.

The perfect match of NRSV's style is shown in the groups 2 covers of the Slumlords, their friends from Baltimore.  "Time To Drink" finds Dean Miller putting fourth a vocal that rivals Slumlord's front-man Jeff Perlin as the band slams through this cover.  The gang vocals on the closing "Drunk At The Youth Of Today Reunion" ring loud as the drumming Glen Lorieo adds a pure stomp appeal to this track.  The band continues to do what it does best: drink, rock and not give a fuck, give it a listen if you care about any of that.     
Full disclosure, RtBE are friends with NRSV, and we have talked about them a few times before.  That said it wouldn't change the fact that this EP is awesome.  The disk is worth it alone for the 2 Slumlord covers.  I was lucky enough to catch the band a few months back with Jeff from the Slumlords actually joining on vocals for a few tracks and that was a treat.  You can grab the disk here from Dead City Records, and peep some sample clips below. 

"Superfuntime Party Girl"

Here is the Slumlords original of "Time To Drink"

"Drunk At The Youth Of Today Reunion" Live in

Here is some footage from the band live in Japan 2004:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Soulfly -Enslaved Album Review

Hey All,

Got a new review up over on Gotham Rocks

Read it right C'here!!!!

It is of Soulfly's newest release Enslaved.

While my friends over at Gotham Rocks have been exposing me to new more mainstream "Hard Rock" acts, I have been a fan of Max since his earliest recordings.  Granted I never got on the Soulfly train, but early Sepultura (especially Arise) were vital in my love for thrash metal.  

I will never forget the looks on other teams faces in high school when we warmed up to "Arise" and "Dead Embryonic Cells", no idea how to react. 

While this record isn't up to those heights, it certainly brings back a level of real metal, and goes into straight death metal territory at points.  It is heavy as fuck and if you are into that sort of thing, or like me was a fan of Max back in the day give this one a listen.  You can buy it here, catch the band live here and check out some samples below:

My favorite song on the album "Plata o Plomo"

"World Scum"

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Album Review: Torche -Harmonicraft

Hey all,

Got a review up on Glide

Check it out right c'here!!!

 It is of Torche's newest release Harmonicraft

There is a lot going on in these short rock songs, making the album feel longer then it actually is.  That really isn't so much of a good thing as the proceedings drag towards the end. 

You can grab the disk here and check out tour dates of the band here.  Below are some musical samples to get a feeling of what the band does and experience them for yourself. 


"Letting Go"

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dylan Cover #46 Joe Cocker "Seven Days" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a live cover by Joe Cocker of "Seven Days"

Thoughts on Original:
A mysterious mid seventies rocker that Dylan apparently gave away to Ron Wood or Eric Clapton, I can never remember and don't have my linear notes handy, but it seemed to be a song that he recorded live during some Rolling Thunder shows, then just kinda forgot about.  Must be nice to be able to do that with a great song...The live version on The Bootleg Series 1-3 is the first place I heard this track and it is one that while amazing, doesn't always stick with you, which lends itself perfectly for a cover.  Now I need to go back and listen to Bob's version. 


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Perhaps the most famous "cover artist" there is thanks to Mr. Cocker's electric renditions of The Beatles which made him famous.  Here he decides to tackle a lesser known Dylan tune with a very game band (and gamey smelling by the looks of them).  I have always enjoyed Cocker's takes on tunes, but never really loved anything he has done, Mr. Janasie actually gave me the only album I own by Cocker, the famous Mad Dogs and Englishmen, which pretty much covers all the bases with him for me.
Thoughts on Cover:
The band really seems to be loving a chance to spread out for this one.  The bass and drums start the motor and keep it humming for the full 5 minutes as things start sparking all around.  The organ solo is sweet as is the piano call and answer piece.  This is a very musical cover, and it is surprising to see someone as recognizable as Cocker to be more of a side player then the focal point.  He has his patented spazz out moments (while looking like shit all around) but does an admirable job with the lyrics.  This time however it is the band who shine brightest.

Grade: B-

Wilson's Take:

Janasie's Take:
"Seven Days" was written in Dylan's Rolling Thunder days, maybe my favorite Bob Dylan era for live performances.  It is a good, though perhaps unremarkable tune, but I like the way it rolls along.  Mr. Cocker, in his turn, is truly hot stuff!  As videos of Joe Cocker tend to go, this one is pretty amusing.  But the band is jumpin' and Joe is as smokey and soulful as ever.  Mad Dogs and Englishmen features this Brit at his peak and is one of the finest live recordings out there, so give that a listen as well.  For you Dylan-philes, it has a great cover of "Girl from the North Country" featuring Joe and Leon Russell on vocals.  And Bobby was even in the audience to hear it.

RIP Donald "Duck" Dunn

As someone who messes around on the bass a bit myself, it was sad to learn that another Rock Icon passed away today.  Donald "Duck" Dunn was 70.

No better way to memorialize then listen to his most classic bass line, "Green Onions":

Long live the soul....

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Funday with Kina Grannis and tons of Jelly Beans

A few weeks ago we wrote about Kina Grannis and her cover of "Boots of Spanish Leather".  After that post went up it rang a mini bell, so after some more digging it turns out RtBE had indeed heard of her before.  Our friend Glen sent us a music video that blew our mind last year, but in the noise and stuttering of the internet it slipped out of our ADD head.

It is an amazing video for "In Your Arms" which is a pleasant little song (Kina seems to have a knack for these) that gets completely overshadowed by the oddest of things...Jelly Beans.  It is easily the best music video we have seen in years, peep it:

While the song is good, the video is otherworldly, you should watch the making of it right now:

Pretty unreal and not a bad song/video combo to get this Spring Friday going.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Full North Mississippi All-Star Concerts! Video!

So this is starting to become a pleasant habit.  Early this year it was the Beastie Boys, last year it was Phish, now it is the North Mississippi All-Stars.  A couple of weeks ago we posted our review of the NMAS Brooklyn Bowl show, well while looking for some video we found these two treats.  While not as professionally shot as the Beasties they are still more then listenable.
 The first is from the night before we caught them in April 2012.  Turn your sound up as the volume is low but otherwise the video is fine, you can watch the full show right there:

Part 2

The next is a better video, sound is perfect except again very low volume wise, so turn it up.  Playing a car show?  Sure why not... just looks weird to see big Chew in a tie! 

And the final show is my favorite it is a NMAS Duo show from Amoeba Records in San Fransisco

That enough low down electric blues to keep you happy?  Hope so...If not go here to the internet archives for more North Mississippi All-Stars Free Downloads.  Now that's gotta be enough!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Jack White - Blunderbuss Album Review

Jack White 
****and1/2 out of *****

The first solo release from Jack White lets us peek into his creative mind more then anything the artist has done previously, this is all Jack.  For someone who shot to fame by being self-imposed restrictive in sound and appearance it is as if White busted totally loose with this album.  There are snippets of sound or instrumentation that just flows in/out at whim; even his singing can attack a song in multiple styles as if he wasn't exactly sure which approach is best.  Their are severed limbs, dead bodies and multiple causalities along the way but within them are blindingly beautiful results.

Lets face it there are aren't any mega rockers more creative out there these days.  One example is on the track "Freedom at 21" which contains 2 separate drum beats rambling side by side, a pitter-patter to falsetto vocal pattern and a now classic White move; blending ripping guitar lines with organ so closely it is tough to tell them apart.  The first single "Love Interruption" finds White at his lyrical best, but the stark instrumentation has a demo feel to it, while the other early release "Sixteen Saltines" is the closest he comes to raw rocking blues.

At first it can be a bit shocking how little guitar is present on the album; piano is the primary instrument White works with here.  He get's very orchestral with it on the title track, groovy on "Trash Tongue Talker", cinematicly anthemic on "Weep Themselves To Sleep"  and lush on "Hypocritical Kiss" which is one of the smoothest tracks White has produced under any band name while containing his fiercest lyrics of his brilliant career.

He glorious takes on a 50's style of rockabilly with "I'm Shakin'" which is a primal pleasure, "Hip Eponymous Poor Boy" has a barroom jingle to it while "On and On and On" eerily blends a light Beatles vibe with something dark lurking just behind the scenes.  The one lone misstep is the disk closer, "Take Me With You When You Go" which shoots for climactic but ends up sounding jumbled, as if three song ideas where slammed into each other for the benefit of none.      

This is a personal, complex work that will unfold over time and takes some digging into, never more has he been connected to his spiritual father Bob Dylan then on Blunderbuss.  White is already a superstar and loves to bounce from project to project, so another solo disk may be some time down the road, but Blunderbuss only adds to his legend as the rock and roller of our 21st century.  

I have a total man crush on Jack White, but who doesn't...the dude can do it all and Blunderbuss is just more example of his greatness in the songwriting, recording and performing arenas.   Now that this is out of his system though how about a Raconteurs Reunion?!?  One can only hope. 

Grab the album here and click the videos below for preview clips.

"Love Interruption"

"Trash Tongue Talker"

"Sixteen Saltines"