Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Funday- New Black Keys/RZA Video "Baddest Man Alive"

RtBE got hip to a new video from The Black Keys and RZA for a ditty called "The Baddest Man Alive", it is a fun ride, peep it below:

The song comes from the soundtrack to the RZA's new kung-fu movie, The Man with the Iron Fists. You can stream the whole soundtrack from the upcoming film right ch'ere!

The Keys have a knack for combining hip-hop and rock, never an easy thing to do, just look at Nu Metal... This tune is really solid as is their full foray into genre combining titled Blakroc. There were rumors a Blakroc 2 would be released, but that does not seem to be the case, but it would not be surprising to see the Keys flirt again with hip-hop since they are one of the biggest bands in the land. 

Here are two Blakroc tracks if you aren't familiar with it, have a great weekend and catch some funky kung-fu via The Man With The Iron Fists when it comes out next week.    
"Coochie" Ft. Ludacris and the one and only ODB!!!

"Ain't Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo)" Ft. Mos Def and Jim Jones

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Full Slayer Concert!!!

So now every month we will search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts posted to the channel.  They may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every way you can but especially by seeing them live...This month...SLAYER!!!!

Close to Halloween let's kick some fucking satanic metal...and who better then Slayer?!?!  This is a professionally shot, professionally sounding concert from the Big 4 tour in Sweden.  Yeah...throw up your metal fingers...this shit is raw, oh but skip to 16 minutes in to avoid all the nonsense.  Christ, look at all those Marshall's....

Here is Slayer from 7-3-2011 Ullevi:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Live Review- Primus 3D Hammerstein Ballroom NYC 10/19/12
Hey all,

Got a new review up on Glide.

You can read it right c'here!!!

It is a live review of Primus 3D at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC on last Friday night 10/19/12.

Primus have always been an RtBE favorite but it must be said I just can't get into their new stuff and more hippy direction. Getting 8 of those songs played on this night just didn't do it for me.  The album and now the band feels more like another Les Claypool side project then the band that shaped my youth.

Maybe it is just growing up, but they have really made a move towards the "jam" now and the music is solid just not as engaging as I hope it would be. I am not sure maybe it was just me as the crowd really seemed to be into it...and were uber fucking high, but that is what it is needed to be done now at a Primus show.  Don't get me wrong I had a fun time but I just think their new tunes aren't up to snuff for Primus. 

Below are some clips from the night and if you go to this link for Toasterland and scroll to the bottom of the page you can listen to the full streaming concert.  Granted for a show like this music was only about 75% with the visuals adding, but it is still pretty cool Toasterland posted this.  Pretty apropos that you can hear somebody hawking "Mushrooms and Doses" about 5:30 minutes in "American Life".     
"Hamburger Train"

"Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Album Review- Nu Sensae -Sundowning

Hey All,

Got a new review up on Glide.

You can read it right c'here!!!!

It is of Nu Sensae's most recent release Sundowning.

This punk rock/hardcore/noise trio put out one interesting album with this release.  It is the first time the group is playing as a three piece and it makes them instantly more engaging.

There are unique phrases and sounds but lots of energy and surprises, this album certainly surprised me and that is the reason I love doing these reviews; finding bands I probably would have never heard of any other way and thoroughly enjoying their efforts.  Of course reminding me of a young, aggressive Sonic Youth can only help you in my ears... 

If you like adventurous loud music give this a shot.  You can buy the album here and peep some samples below of 2 of my favorites.   
"Burnt Masks"

"Whispering Rule"

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dylan Cover #59 Mike Ness "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Mike Ness playing "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"

Thoughts on Dylan Original:
Yet another one of the mega-Dylan tunes that we haven't covered someone else covering on this site (got that covered?).  Hard to believe because this song is so iconic and flat out awesome.  Biting and yet not bitter, a toss off of the grandest proportions, "Don' Think Twice" is epic and yet so straight forwardly simple.  It easily ranks as one of the bard's best works, truly a classic.     

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Ahh Mike Ness, the man all punk rockers want to be (or be with) by the time they turn 24 or so...Having had a great career in the seminal punk rock band Social Distortion, which still plays to this day Ness got to grow up a bit when he put out his first solo record Cheating At Solitaire.  That disk showcased Ness's love of country/roots music and opened him up for a career beyond the mosh pit.     
Thoughts on Cover:
This cover was the second song off that record and is a great version of the classic tune.  Odds are Mike heard this one via Johnny Cash's classic cover version, but any-which-way he does the original justice. The sped up almost rock-a-billy tempo adds to the urgency while Ness's vocals are tough and raspy, not too much different then Dylan himself on that front. Adding a hickory flavored guitar solo to the proceedings feels effortless and keeps things humming along.  Rock solid in every aspect, different from the original and still authentic to both artists.

Grade: A-     

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Funday- The Hold Steady Covering "Scarlet Begonias"

Over the years we have come to love a few things here at RtBEThe Grateful Dead are one, The Hold Steady are 2. Combining those forces make for one happy Friday.

This comes from the Move Me Brightly party that Bob Weir threw for a legitimately dead Jerry (more on that when I can stomach it) and features not only Craig and Tad from tHS, but Mike Gordon from Phish and a slew of others.  From a personal note I have defended Donna era Dead for years, but this is pretty tough, granted Craig vocals aren't for everyone either, but I love it and think he does a bang up job here.

You like the cover?  Hate the cover?  (like many of the youtube commentators?) let me know in the comments.

Enjoy yerself, and enjoy yer weekend, I will, I am seeing Primus tonight.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Album Review- Hidden Pictures -Rainbow Records

Hidden Pictures
Rainbow Records
***out of *****

This Kansas City based outfit has crafted a sweet mix of pop hooks and lyrics that will make you smirk into a tight package they are calling Rainbow Records.  Albums like these have a distinct sense of song-craft and this one also contains a loose theme; the decline of the record business.  While possibly a depressing idea, the group can't help but make uplifting short tunes to get their point across.      

Opening with the breezy pop of "Calling Christine" Hidden Pictures manage to pack a bunch of changes into the 2:22 track.  "Evil Kangaroo" contains some cool lyrics about a broken love affair but even when singing about failed love or the upcoming lonely winter ("Say Hello To Darkuary") they can't help but sound positive.  The charm of this innocence reaches a high high point in the middle of the album with "Boyfriend A.D.D" which sounds like it was scribbled on the inside of a high school locker and the title track which is an ode to 80's icons calling out Axl Rose and NKOTB by name.

There is a New Pornographers-esque indie-pop likeness to the group possibly because of the male/female vocals of Richard Gintowt and Michelle Sanders, but the overall talent of all players involved is noticeable from the first bright note to the last. 

The disk is arraigned like an LP and the second side of things isn't as successful as the first with no real standout tracks.  "It's Just Me (and I'm Sorry)" has some on point lyrics and "You Don't Have to Do That" has some energy but the downside with this kind of song writing is that it isn't really designed to stick to the roof of your mouth; you have your fun in the time it is here and you move on smiling.      
This is a pretty, sweet, almost innocent sounding album from KC's Hidden Pictures.  You can support the group here and check out some samples below. 
"Solo Record Shop"

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Album Review- Diego's Umbrella -Proper Cowboy

Hey All,

Got a new review up on Glide

You can read it right c'here!!!

It is of Diego's Umbrella newest release Proper Cowboy.

I won't rehash what I said in the review but I do want to point out that I mention "pop" and "commercial" a few times when discussing the album.  I don't mean that in a negative way, not at all, I was just expecting something a bit different as everyone compared these guys to Gogol Bordello, which isn't really accurate IMO, at least not from Proper Cowboy.  There is a clean produced vibe to the album that makes it easily listenable, not a trait I would give to any of GB's releases.   

I think the more accessible versions of Sublime would be better as their is a distinct west coast vibe that emanates from this disk, just like it used to off of the Long Beach Bands albums.  Anyway, check it out for yourself support the artist, catch them on tour, and peep some samples below.   

Oh and one more thing, check out the art of Kelsey Brookes whose work the band used for it's album.  It is truly amazing.  So far it is running away with album art of the year.
"Thrash Mexican Budapest"

"Moneymaker" Live

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Band of Horses Special NYC Double Show! Presale Tomorrow

Thanks to Scott over at Hidden Track for letting us know that RtBE favorite Band of Horses will be playing a double bill only a few blocks from our headquarters at the Hammerstein Ballroom in December.
We have been digging on Mirage Rock (review coming soon) and can't wait to catch the boys live again...their 4 song set at Global Fest just wasn't enough. 

Pre-sale tickets for both the acoustic show and the electric show on the 11th go on-sale tomorrow so keep an eye peeled.  Here is some live acoustic BOH in the fricking mountains to get you juiced: 

That is pure Boosh!

Live Review- Corin Tucker Band 9/27/12 Mercury Lounge, NYC

Hey All,

Got a new live review up on Glide Magazine

You can read it right c'here!!!!

It is of the Corin Tucker Bands recent early show at the Mercury Lounge in NYC on Thursday Night 9/27/12.

It was a tight compact set that was powerful and to the point.  The band seems to be gelling nicely and their sound is pretty invigorating.  The dance rock vibe was intoxicating and it was easy to tell that is where the group wanted to take the sound on this night.

Feel free to give your thoughts in the comments on the review or the show.

As always support the band, catch them live and peep a few live videos from the group below:
"Summer Jams" Live 9-21-12
"No Bad News Tonight" from same show

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dylan Cover #58 Jerry Garcia Band- "Tangled Up In Blue"

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 The Jerry Garcia Band playing "Tangled Up In Blue"

Thoughts on Original:
Have we really gotten to #58 on the Dylan cover list and not touched one cover of "Tangled Up In Blue"?  Wow.  The song that never ends, the tune that might just best sum up Dylan and we waited this long.  Well it just goes to show you how many great tunes he has.  Dylan constantly toyed with this song (check out the Rolling Thunder and Real Live version's if you haven't yet) and even he knows it can't stay stagnant in one form for long, so covering it is a good bet.  Needless to say it is in the top 5 greatest songs he ever wrote if we were ranking them...hmm.   

Thoughts on Cover Artist
We have much love for Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead.  They started our Monday's series and we even showcased them in our very first Dylan cover.  However, this is the first time we are mentioning JGB proper and with reason it was always our least favorite of Jerry's wanderings.  The shows had too laid back of a vibe that could nod out at times; where as Reconstruction and his playing with Grisman feels alive the JGB shows often feel like one long groove that doesn't always find its mark.  Granted it is still better them most live groups, but if we have a choice we would normally pick up anything else Jerry is playing on.       
Thoughts on Cover
That said this cover is pretty solid.  Since Garica was such a huge fan of Dylan's, Bob's songs used to pop up in JGB setlists often.  However, JGB had structure for them.  I am not sure what year or tour this is from (Guessing around 90) but the way the JGB played the song never changed.  Jerry took on the words the best he could (this version he nails them all) as his backup singers guided the song beautifully along while Melvin Seals punctuated things on the organ.  Then there were spaces (usually 3 or so) for Garcia to solo, and that is where the highlights usually lie.

This version has it all working perfectly, perhaps it is the show closing spot (or encore) but everything glows.  The solo he goes into around the 7:10 mark is textured and worth the cost of admission alone.  I am sure Bob would love this one and what more could you want in a cover?

Grade: A 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Album Review- Dinosaur Jr. -I Bet On Sky

Hey all,

I got a new review up on Glide Magazine.

You can read it right c'here!!!

It is of all time RtBE favorite Dinosaur Jr so you should really give it a read. 

We have mentioned our love of Dino Jr. over and over again, and with reason.  I Bet On Sky continues to solidify their sound, reputation and stature as a great American Band.

As always, support this great artist by buying the album here, catch them live here and check out a few samples below.  We already posted "Watch The Corners" so we tried to find a few new ones...long live the Dinosaurs...

"Don't Pretend You Didn't Know"

"Almost Fare"

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Album Review- Birds & Batteries - Stray Light

Birds & Batteries
Stray Light
**and1/2 out of *****

There is a production sound and instrumentation that just screams neon colors, bad hair cuts and the early 80's.  Birds & Batteries new release Stray Light washes its bright pink legwarmers in that sound. 

This synth-pop Bay Area based band is the brain child of Mike Sempert who produced, wrote and arraigned all of the tracks here.  There is a sparse funkiness that lends itself to fog machines, lasers and slow-dancing-without-touching on tracks like "I Want You" and "Evolutionary Step".  In fact all of these tracks could be inspired by or used in prom scenes from John Hughes movies, or in the background in the more recent Drive

Layers of instrumentation are at work with kettle drums and chimes on "Stray Light" while "Let The Door Swing" is constructed around disco bass lines, hand clap's and electro-keys.  Sempert's voice has the disenchanted tone that works on almost a robotic level with these tunes never straining or going out of his range.  The production sound and overall theme nails its intended target, so toss on your Rayban Wayfarers and awkwardly dance the night away.
Stray Light isn't a bad album (hence the 2 and 1/2 stars) it is just that it is so specific, not unlike My Darling Clementine, but in this case I am certainly not the intended listener.  You may be though so you can support the artist here and peep some samples of the album below:
Birds & Batteries- Let The Door Swing from Birds & Batteries on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Album Review- Tame Impala -Lonerism

Tame Impala
**and 1/2 out of *****

Tame Impala are a group from Perth, Australia but truly the brain child of multi-insturmentalist Kevin Parker as he looks to create tripped out pop-rock soundscapes for the listener to get lost in.  Parker wrote and recorded much of Lonerism himself focusing on the topic of isolationism and loneliness, but that is secondary to the musical shapes he has produced which take center stage.

"Enders Toi" really puts Parkers Beatles (George Harrison in particular) tendencies smack dab in the center with it's great snare sound pushing the feedback/scratchy guitars which seem to stop and start without warning.  "Apocalypse Dream" contains engaging bass lines and synth waves.  It is pretty in its wandering, containing a wide open cosmic feel but becomes jarring with all the distinct changes and parts that don't fit together perfectly.  Tracks like "Keep On Lying" are in the same vein as if Parker is going with the kitchen sink approach, just trying everything in the span of 5+ minute tunes.

A better example of the smooth psych sound would be "Music To Walk Home By" which swirls and flows and even gets funky building to engaging climax before fading out. The album's first single "Elephant" is also focused with a dark vibe, that can simultaneously call to mind Blondie dance rock and Pink Floyd's sense of despair present in The Wall.       

Lyrics are secondary as are vocals in general mostly regulated to just being an extra sound to play with but the harmonies and textures they create get extra loving treatment on tracks like "Mind Mischief" and "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards".  With the title and track name's it is obvious what Parker is shooting for, but during the songs what he is singing about clearly takes a backseat to the nuanced production and music.   

There are a few electro-dance numbers that don't work as well ("Why Won't They Talk To Me") and odd misstep sketches ("She Just Won't Believe Me") but overall Lonerism is a dense, long listen that rewards with multiple spins as the sound continues to swirl as Parker tries to deal with his world in his way.     
Stumbled across Tame Impala a few weeks back and was intrigued with their stuff while digging their name.  I could say more but you could also just go and hear this whole album for yourself right ch'ere!  Thanks NPR!

Below are a few youtube clips, as always please support the artist and see them live when you can.  

"Apocalypse Dreams"

Friday, October 5, 2012

Global Citzen Festival Part 2: Neil Young & Crazy Horse Full Set 9/29/12

Gotta love technology.  So when we left the Global Citizen Festival for the shortened Jack White show, I had mentioned to friends that the crunchy guitars that The Black Keys were firing off made me super excited to hear what Crazy Horse and Uncle Neil would pull was a shame we would have to leave.  In fact the only person who could pull me away from Neil is Jack at this point.   

Luckily now everyone can experience the fantastic Neil Young & Crazy Horse show closing set from the Global Citizen Festival on 9/29/12.  It runs an hour sixteen so clear some time and let loose...the old men sure as shit do.  This is a fun show and makes me doubly excited to see them this fall

01. Love and Only Love
02. Powderfinger
03. Born In Ontario
04. Walk Like A Giant
05. The Needle And The Damage Done
06. Twisted Road
07. Fuckin' Up
08. Keep On Rockin' In The Free World (w/ Dave Grohl, Pat Smear, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett and Taylor Hawkins [Foo Fighters], Dan Auerbach [The Black Keys] and K'NAAN)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Global Citizen Festival 9/29/12 Central Park NYC

Global Citizen Festival
Poverty Project Concert 
Band of Horses & Black Keys
Great Lawn Central Park, NYC

One of the coolest NYC events of the year (and maybe longer) happened this past Saturday when the Global Poverty Project staged a benefit concert on the Great Lawn in Central Park.  If you haven't heard about the project please take sometime before checking this out to see what they are all about, not much of a better cause out there to support then this one

Before this show was even announced my friends and I had gone ballistic with the idea of seeing Jack White on the 29th at Radio City Music Hall, so when the GCP was announced we were hoping for an early start time so we could catch everyone.  It was not to be, so do to scheduling constraints we decided to hit the park for 2 of our favorites here at RtBE, Band of Horses and The Black Keys.   

We walked through the maze of security to get to the Great Lawn literally just as Ben Bridwell and company started up with their new single "Knock Knock".  The lawn was spacious at the time (it would fill up more as the night progressed, 60,000 was the official number) and the band seemed super excited to be playing even if they suspected the people might not have been there for them particularly.  I was and was somewhat disappointed the band only got to showcase 4 songs.  

"The Great Salt Lake" was next and splashed mega waves of sound all over the great lawn.  Bridwell then told the crowd, "We have to play our best songs even if they are sensitive" before dropping into "No One's Gonna Love You".  The band then concluded this mintiest of sets with an epic version of "The Funeral".

John Legend then took the stage and did a cover of "Imagine" before guest speakers and awards were brought out.  Olivia Wilde came out and said she was only there for one reason, to see the Black Keys.  Judging by the crowd, t-shirts and a few conversations with fellow fans I think most in attendance were there to see The Foo Fighters though.

After a few speeches and awards the Black Keys took the stage and played for over an hour, focusing mostly on their last two albums but spicing in some old tunes along the way.  The band was a four piece for most of the show as guitarist Dan Auerbach told Central Park, "Let's Get it Moving!" before launching into "Howlin' For You".  The fuzz drenched bass and crunchy guitar dominated the sound which was pretty perfect given the size and scope of the event, the camera shots from behind the band during "Next Girl" showed just what a dynamic view the performers had on this night.

"Run Right Back" was upbeat where "Same Old Thing" took on sludge rock and succeeded.  "Little Black Submarines" got the biggest reaction from the crowd as the band played the El Camino hit.  The group turned up the juice for "Money Maker" and "Strange Times"possibly sensing their set was coming to an end.  "Long Gone" showcased Auerbach's fiery riffs while "Lonely Boy" was a hip-shaking pedal fest.   The band then slimmed down to a duo for the closing "I Got Mine" which turned out to be the set highlight with a huge solo as the darkening sky lit up with lights, hand claps and electric guitar.  A powerful set from a powerful band, IMO much better then their MSG show from earlier in the year.               

Due to time constraints we walked out post Black Keys but left on a high after the phenomenal performance and knowing Jack White was in our future...little did we know that future would be only around 50 minutes....anyway, it is hard to complain at all after digesting that great musical day.  Below are clips from Band of Horses and the full set from The Black Keys

Band of Horses
"Knock Knock"

"The Funeral"

Click read more for the Full Black Keys Set From the Show!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Live Review - Dr Dog/Delta Spirit 9/20/12 NYC

Hey All,

Got a review up on Glide.

Read it Right C'here!!!

It is of the fantastic live show Dr Dog and Delta Spirit put on September 20th 2012 in the middle of Central Park. 

Both of these bands were fantastic, below we have a few videos so you can check it out.  Really too many highlights to point out, wish more people had been there to see the groups because the venue was half full at best. 

Anyway below are some videos from the fun night, enjoy:
Delta Spirit
"Empty House"

"Tear It Up"

Dr Dog
"The Beach"

"Heart It Races"

"Jackie Wants a Black Eye"

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Album Review - Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics -It's About Time

 Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics
It’s About Time
**** out of *****

Wielding that mid 60’s-70’s soul/funk sword like experts Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics cut through the pre-programmed nonsense that passes itself off as R&B in 2012. The Atlanta based band continues down the retro-soul path that Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings popularized last decade and if their debut album It’s About Time is any indication the group will quickly become stars in the genre and hopefully beyond.

 “My Dear” kicks things off with confidence, strutting out of the gate and building to a cinematic chorus recalling Marvin Gaye.  The band is happy to go up tempo when they get the snare and baritone sax pumping for “Medicine Spoon” which cooks over organs, horn pops and Ruby’s relationship deadline lyrics.  Equally adept when they slow the tempo down the band gets sultry with “The Agenda” displaying gorgeous musical arrangements and vocals.           

What stands out the most is the balanced nature of this band; this genre seems to have multiple acts with dominating frontmen/women and weak supporting bands, or whip crack musicians fronting less than engaging singers/lyricists.  Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics seem to be on equal terms all around; the vocals never override the tunes and the music never distracts from Ruby’s performance. 

It’s About Time isn’t perfect, “The Man Says” is a bit stagnant and the title track “It’s About TIme” sticks around too long without really saying all that much lyrically or musically closing things on a weaker note.  Those critiques mean little however when compared to the rest of this fantastic debut disk. “Soul Of The Earth” is an adventurous funky excursion that gets the party started before coming back to earth then soaring high again all in 5 minutes while “Looking For A Better Thing” has a light and airy Jackson 5 vibe that delights. 

“Mr. Wrong” tosses the sound back even further with its swinging 50’s feeling that makes you crave a milkshake from a counter before “Longview” plants us firmly in the present with its lounge hip-hop beats and champagne smooth red velvet feel.  Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics have simply nailed it with their debut album It’s About Time, don’t waste any time, dig in today.  

This review was originally written to be posted on Glide, but it hasn't gone up yet and after re-listening to the album this past weekend, I felt it needed to go somewhere soon or be lost amongst the weeds so we will slap it with our overflow reviews.  Last year we came across JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound and were pleased that the retro soul vibe was going on as strong as ever.  Ruby Velle and The Soulphonics even up the ante a bit with the debut release, this group has tons of potential.

Give them a peek in the videos below for a taste, grab the album here and support them live here
"My Dear"

Live from 2010

"Heartlite" an older tune: