Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Album Review: Yo La Tengo -Fade

Yo La Tengo
***and1/2 out of *****

Relaxed. Layered. Mellow. these are the words I wrote quite a few times during my first few spins of Yo La Tengo's 13th studio album Fade. The band has always been more of a laid back version of noiserock long running compatriots Sonic Youth, but this time they have down shifted even further creating a Sunday Morning album for aging hipsters.

"I'll Be Around" adds to the simple morning sunshine feel with it's acoustic guitars and rising background.  "Two Trains" is another example of the ease this band can put forth gorgeous tracks with its languid bubbling and mixing of elegant sounds that could go on forever.  That is one change about this disk, there isn't the standard 10+ minute workout that has been a hallmark of Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew's career.  The tracks are certainly more meditative without pushing any real boundaries. 

"Ohm" opens things as the most upbeat track here with swirling background pulses before a infectious drum beat. While Vocals have never been a focus of the band, they usually pair up the sounds with the tone of voice very well, "Is It Enough" is a rare miss in that department for the group. 

"Cornelia and Jane" is a really intriguing track that melds ghostly vocals with a soothing french horn over repetitive ticking of cymbals.  A rich song that seems both delicate and solid, a neat trick. There is a bit of grooving soul splashed on "Well You Better" which keeps the band's patented genre shifting active, but there is no doubt they seemed more reigned in on Fade.    

Working with new producer John McEntire for the first time, longtime fans may have been worried, but there isn't much noticeable difference, perhaps some more orchestration and programming behind the scenes, but very little to get worked up over.  In fact the overall audial experience is incredibly pleasant, even with switching up styles there is a sonic thread that links these tracks together.   

The danger with dropping the tempo down this much is that boredom could seep in, thankfully the perfectly titled disk has enough nuances to keep the listener engaged, adding just another solid release to this fine American bands back catalog.    
Yo La Tengo may have hit their personal highpoint with me on their last release Popular Songs, so I had high hopes for this disk.  It isn't much of a let down, in fact this is exactly the sort of album that will certainly grow with repeated listens, but the mellow nature of the whole thing just doesn't knock you out. That said there are some really cool laid back things here to explore if that is your sort of thing. 

Buy the album here, Catch the band live here and peep some samples below:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Album Review: The Joy Formidable - Wolf's Law

The Joy Formidable
Wolf's Law
**** out of *****

Wolf's Law announces The Joy Formidable intention that the Welsh 3 piece are ready to be heard everywhere in 2013.  The group's second effort (after the successful The Big Roar) is packed to the gills with bombastic pop epics that just seem to keep rising to super symphonic heights.

Don't think classic power rock trio (although they can pack a punch) the group has blasted far beyond the sounds of guitar (Ritzy Bryan) bass (Rhydian Dafydd) and drums (Matt Thomas).  There are strings, electronica, acoustic guitars, synths and pianos adding to the layers of sound throughout.

Things begin via a Sci-Fi string/organ intro of "This Ladder Is Ours" before the catchy riffs and high register, pretty vocals from Bryan take over the track. Banging and soaring at the same time the band moves things brightly along the airwaves. The majority of these songs run long here as things seem to take one or two turns as they roll out adding to the overall bombastic feel of the disk, but also playing a touch long winded.

The shorter efforts work best like "Little Blimp" with its disco infused hard rock in the vein of the Arctic Monkeys around their Favourite Worst Nightmare days; this track can be slammed at high volumes in a packed dance club impressing and getting the body moving. "Bats" is another successful electro flavored punk number with a double kick up at the end that spruces things up.

An acoustic breather via "The Silent Treatment" proves the band can tone it down before their most arena ready jam "Maw Maw Song".  This beast has a massive chorus that reverberates everywhere while the verses contain a current of energy pulsing underneath before a slicing laser filled breakdown.

While it is a certain highlight the track that stuck in the brain the most is the "The Hurdle". Beginning with what sounds like footsteps in the snow the song builds up first with an acoustic guitar then the masses join in leading to a full on symphonic backing.  Things go back and fourth between tender and huge before the full on electric guitar lead explosion that closes out the exhilarating tune.   

The downside here is that things may be a touch too overdone as tracks seem to go on and on, the closing track "The Turnaround" is a good example of this, basically 2 songs in one that seems  forced.   However, the overall result of Wolf's Law finds a band extremely confident in their sound producing a texture, layered and successful full length release.  If this is the vein that pop music flows through for 2013 then things are looking fairly bright.  
These are always intriguing albums to review.  There is no doubting that Wolf's Law from The Joy Formidable is a Very Good to Great release with lots to sort through after multiple listens, that said their style isn't our favorite.  Quality needs to be recognized and appreciated though and Wolf's Law is chock full of it.  It will be interesting in 12 months time if we come back to this album when we review 2013, but as things stand it is a solid contender, our personal preferences be damned.

Buy the album here, Catch the band live here, and peep some samples below:
"This Ladder Is Ours"

"The Hurdle"


Monday, January 28, 2013

Dylan Cover #72 Stan Ridgway "Lenny Bruce"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Stan Ridgway playing "Lenny Bruce"

Thoughts on Original:
A straight ahead tune (rare for Dylan) addressing a semi contemporary in his tribute to Lenny Bruce.  Not the most meorable Dylan tune, not even the most memorable off of Shot of Love, but a tidy song.  The first line is the one I always think of when I hear Dylan impersonators do that Dylan "whine" with their voice, you know that trick. 

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
I had never heard of Stan Ridgway before, but anyone who fronts a band called Wall of Voodoo is going to get me interested so I am definitely going to check him out more.  
Thoughts on Cover:
I recently saw a documentary on Lenny Bruce titled Looking For Lenny on Netflix, so I wanted to find a cover of this tune and this one stood out.

Ridgway delivers a cover that is very suitable for the song and grows nicely as it progresses.  Incorporating violins and pianos for different verses is a nice touch, also holding off on building a crescendo shows great restraint.  Smart and solid cover of a lesser known Dylan tune.   
Grade: B

Friday, January 25, 2013

Full Show Friday: The Who- Live At The Royal Albert Hall

Happy Friday! Last year we searched the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and posted them to the site monthly.  That was all well and good but this year RtBE is upping the ante with a show every week to celebrate Full Show Friday's.  These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can. As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)...This week...The Who!

After last weeks quick burst of punk rock we got a long one for you today.  We will be seeing The Who, live by the Sea and Sand in a few weeks playing what RtBE considers the best Rock and Roll album of all time say we can't wait is an understatement.  Of course it isn't going to be life altering, 2 main parts of the group are dead and those parts are what we like the most on Quadrophenia...the bass and drum.  Anyway, that doesn't take away from this amazing video, with John Entwistle still alive and kicking...well thundering is more like it. This was a charity concert for the Teenage Cancer Trust where the Who had some friends join them, in what could be one of the last truly great live Who shows.     

Highlights are of course the Quadrophenia songs with Townshend doing "Drowned" acoustically (with a pump fake beginning), Entwistle slapping a mean solo in "5:15" and guest Eddie Vedder helping out on "I'm One"!!! I also dig this version of "Bargain", the explosive "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Gettin In Tune" a criminally underrated Who song.  Hell the whole facking show rocks!

Enjoy the Who from the Royal Albert Hall

0:00:00 - I Can't Explain
0:02:34 - Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere
0:07:14 - Pinball Wizard
0:11:13 - Relay
0:19:30 - My Wife
0:26:55 - The Kids Are Alright
0:34:36 - Bargain
0:41:30 - Magic Bus
0:51:32 - Who Are You
0:58:39 - Baba O'Riley
1:05:29 - Drowned
1:11:54 - Heart To Hang Onto
1:16:53 - So Sad About Us
1:21:14 - I'm One
1:24:31 - Behind Blue Eyes
1:28:20 - You Better Bet
1:34:12 - The Real Me
1:40:34 - 5'15
1:52:43 - Won't Get Fooled Again
2:02:24 - Substitute
2:05:48 - Let's See Action
2:11:10 - My Generation
2:16:39 - See Me Feel Me

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Update! Norton Benefit Show w/ Reigning Sound Rescheduled

Hey all, just found out the details of the Norton Records Benefit show that we had been promoting here.
It will be held at the Bell House on Friday March 22nd at 8:30 PM.  While this is all fine and dandy for the bands and the record shop (you should donate to help them out here) we will unfortunately be down in FLA that weekend and have to miss the show...Boo!

Oh well, seems like they can't give me everything, we will just have to catch RtBE favorites Reigning Sound some other time...hmm what's that you say, they are playing New Orleans in early March?!?! That is intriguing....  
"If You Can't Give Me Everything" Home For Orphans Version

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Album Review- Big Boi -Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors

Big Boi
Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors
*and1/2 out of *****

In recent interviews Big Boi has mentioned that the process for his newest album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors was the smoothest of his career. If this is the easy way, struggling to get a disk done suits him better.  

The over arching feeling here is that Antwan Andre Patton has moved out of his normal realm and is exploring the world of indie/electonica/dream pop to collaborate with in vogue hipster artists to try something different.  It isn't that the overall product is bad, even worse, it is boring. The first large scale "Dream-Hop" release, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors is a dull experiment in moody vibes and lame sounds.

Big Boi needs to shoulder most of the blame as he surrounds himself with artists he seemed to pull randomly out of Pitchfork reviews (Little Dragon, Wavves).  Vocally he never sounds all that urgent or alive on the disk; there is a sedated feeling even with his boasts like in "Mama Told Me" where he unconvincingly states "Cause I make major art/Like Beethoven, Van Gogh, or Mozart so don’t start". Perhaps in the past but not this time around, in fact starting is what is needed.

Experiments like "Raspberries" and "Tremendous Damage" are slow R&B tinged workouts that go nowhere. "Thom Petty" ends up sounding disengaged on all fronts while the programming and acoustic guitars on the disk closing "Descending" at least describes what is going on as you feel like you are floating to the bottom of a hole on a bad trip.   

His MC guests such as Killer Mike and A$AP Rocky sound more urgent then their host when they deliver their verses which is shocking as Big Boi has long reigned as one of the fiercest MC's.  While those guests work well it is all of the indie artists that dominate the disk.   

Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors plays as a showcase for Sara Barthel from Phantogram as she is the focus of 3 tracks here, singing the chorus on all of them.  She does an admirable job with her light wispy vocals, but in front of such minimalist music and lacking beats the impact is fleeting.

The best songs here would just be average to forgettable on any other Big Boi release including his last, the underrated Sir Lucious Left Foot...Son of Chico Dusty. "In The A" is a fitting if scattered anthem for his hometown with Ludacris and TI while the best indie-hop combo is "Shoes For Running" with contributions from Wavves and B.O.B. "Apple of My Eye" is the closet thing to a single while "She Hates Me" feels extremely personal and a rare moment of honesty in hip-hop which adds a new dimension to the disk but one that only sticks around for this song.         

There is a telling line in quirky chirping of the dull "CPU" where Big Boi states "We like to role play/throw on some Coldplay" perhaps General Patton should be reaching a little higher up the musical food chain next time he dips into "rock" waters.
This one hurts.  We have always liked Big Boi since Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, and gained even more respect for him recently with his first solo album trumping all of what Outkast had done since Stankonia.  If anything we probably rated Chico Dusty... too low when we officially reviewed it, we would probably add a star to that review if we wrote it today.

Vicious... however is a dull boring exercise in what I am calling Dream-Hop and lets hope this wave doesn't catch on.  Nothing here is memorable and it is doubtful much of any of it will live on in any speakers or fans hearts...then again maybe this is what the kids like these days, who knows?!?!  It is easily one of the most disappointing efforts we have heard in some time.

You can check it out for yourself though, grab the album here.  Support the artist here and peep a few samples of the better songs below:      
"Apple Of My Eye"

"Lines" makes me want to check out A$AP Rocky's new release...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Album Review- Will Johnson -Scorpion

Will Johnson
**and1/2 out of *****

That busy Texan Will Johnson (Centro-matic, Monsters of Folk) newest release is a personal, folkise effort that is noticeably morose and sparse, like the titled Scorpion skittering along the western deserts.

Whispered vocals that barely rise above the fray at all even where there is little to no backing ("Truss of Ten") are the clear signature here. Johnson's breathy approach forces the listener to strain to hear what he is singing about behind acoustic strings and some well placed unique sounds.

The instrumental "Rosanky" and the overall presentation recalls a somber Eels with less rhythm. The basic acoustic approach plays out in the title track but it is the switches away from the standard that work best.  "Bloodkin Push" is a piano driven tune that contains a weird middle noise section that sounds slowly chaotic before the tune rights itself; add an odd diversion that pays off.

"It Goes Away So Fast" also seems run of the mill until an electric guitar ripple reminds the listener of picking up out-land frequency's on a transistor radio late at night before a banjo plucks underneath. "Riding From Within" contains some acoustic angular strumming that works too. 

When Johnson stays straight ahead there isn't much to really invest in the tunes, the lyrics are so low that tracks like the disk closing "Vehicular and True", while obviously personal, are easily forgettable. The CD comes with the lyrics printed and that is a good thing as it helps the listener decipher Johnson's words.    

Keeping the listener engaged is where Scorpion stings strongest and the ever busy Johnson will no doubt be readying his next batch of tunes any minute now for us to listen to and enjoy.  
A pretty interesting disk from Will Johnson that is certainly on the downer side of things, but musically engaging at times to really capture the ear. I didn't know he drummed for Monsters of Folk, we love those guys here. Hope Will and he fellas put out some more good tunes this year.

Buy the Album Here, catch him live here, stream some more songs here and peep a few samples below:

"You Will Be Here, Mine" 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dylan Cover #71 The March on Washington, Happy MLK Day

While we are including this in our Monday Dylan series, this is a break from the Norm. 

We here at RtBE have lots of heroes and most stem from America's hard fought past.  We have talked about the godfather of this site, we will probably touch on Lincoln at some point, but the man who we celebrate today is right up there with all of them.  Martin Luther King Jr. is an American who deserves to be honored right alongside the greatest our country has ever produced. 

We are happy to dedicate this Monday to him and to help celebrate the day we will post this 10 minute clip of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and others performing songs at one of the most monumental days for democracy, the1963 March on Washington DC.

Dylan plays "When The Ship Comes In" with Baez helping out, "Only A Pawn In Their Game" solo and joins a group for "Keep Your Eyes On The Prize".

Have a great day and make sure to watch this, MLK's last prophetic public words:

It is still so incredibly moving.
The Full Speech is here:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Full Show Friday: The Ramones: It's Alive London 1977

Happy Friday! Last year we searched the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and posted them to the site monthly.  That was all well and good but this year RtBE is upping the ante with a show every week to celebrate Full Show Friday's.  These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can. As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)...This week...The Ramones!

This is a pro shot and recorded concert from the masters of punk rock, The Ramones.  Filmed in 1977 over in the UK you can almost feel the dirty punk movement pulsing with energy at its infancy.  It is a short one but a goodie.  We got a longer rocker next week so don't fret and just start boppin'.

Highlights:  The killer "Havana Affair" with its massive cheer post song, "We're A Happy Family", "Commando" any other Ramones Tune you love, the energy from this show is palpable.

Enjoy the Queen's NYC Punk Rockers live in the land of the Queen.

1- blitzkrieg Bop
2 - i want to be well
3 - Glad To See You Go
4- You're Gonna Kill That Girl
5- Commando
6 - Havana affair
7- Cretin Hop
8- Listen To My Heart
9 - I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You
10 - Pinhead
11- Do You Wanna Dance
12 - Now I Wanna Be A Good Boy
13 - now i want to sniff some glue
14 - We're A Happy Family

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Live Review- Phish 12/29/12 MSG, NYC

As we mentioned last year, Phish has been much scaled back in RtBE's life from previous decades, but after catching 3 shows in 2012 it is safe to say they sound better now then they have since they came back as version 3.0. 

Rather then a normal review I will just mention the show highlights from our vantage point and do some looking back at the end.
Jon Fishman-  Our seats for the show were perched directly behind Fishman and it gave us a new way to watch the band.  What was most surprising was how controlled Jon plays drums; there seemed to be very little wasted movement even during his most complicated songs.  Watching him play "Limb By Limb" was pure joy as the band seems to follow him on that one, while watching him slap the hell out of the cowbell on "Suzie Greenberg" was smile inducing. It was really cool not focusing on Trey or Mike like usual and made the whole show unique.

"Mound"- This was our first "Mound" ever and while not high on the list of our favorite songs it still is a good one and fun to hear. 

"Reba" Yelling- While Noah was excited to hear his favorite Phish song, the fans were just flat out pumped! The section on "Reba" when the jam started saw the crowd go ballistic, it could have been because of a massive out pouring of glowsticks, but whatever the reason it drowned out the music completely.  Have never heard that kind of cheer at a show, let alone one that was almost out of nowhere.

"AC/DC Bag" > "Rock and Roll"- The musical highlight of the night came mid way through the first set when the band took a funky AC/DC Bag and segued beautifully into their cover of The Velvet Underground's "Rock and Roll". RnR focused in on upbeat interlocking play from the band and could have (no, should have) gone on longer.   

"Sugar Shack" Beat- This seemed to be everyone's least favorite song of the night (this or the "Crowd Control" opener) but as this was the first time we had heard the tune we were impressed with the calypso groove Mike and Fish were laying down.  We've reached the point that we don't care what song the band is playing as long as they are enjoying playing it and playing it well we will be happy.

Gordon's Space Bass in "Golden Age"- This is the first time we caught the band doing their TV On The Radio cover, and while it was ok, the bass effects Gordon was laying down were really noteworthy.  Ala Bootsy Collins with the Space Bass effect, very cool, here's hoping he keeps it going.

Breakdowns in "Boogie On Reggae Woman"- In discussing the bands best covers this one seems to always jump into my mind.  I have seen it a lot at shows and it never disappoints, wouldn't mind hearing them play it at every show I ever see from here on out.  Tonight's breakdowns were really cool and unique.

Set Closing "46 Days"- One of the better new songs the band has developed in recent times, but when we had caught it in recent years it seemed to have taken the place of "Down With Disease" as a longish layered jam vehicle. Tonight found the band crush the pedal down and just rock the fuck out of this tune and it was completely satisfying; cool to see the tune hold up under different styles.     

Overall the show was solid, with the first set being consistently better as the second set never really found a groove and the encore seemed played out of order.  Better to slam "First Tube" then end with "Squirming Coil" but these are just preferences. Good, tons of fun if not mind blowing, but still an engaging night of tunes most bands would kill for.    
Brief look back (cause we could do this all day)- The band is musically amazing on any level but fans can argue shows, years, venues all day.  Before this years show we were reminiscing at Billymark's West about past tours, shows, setlists (Congrats to Noah on show #75 this night) and We realized there will always be a soft spot in our heart for version 2.0.  I am guessing that the band probably hates those years with their drug problems and other outside influences, but there were many musical highlights, at least to our ears.

While keeping a shallower pool of total songs to play they had the feeling that any tune on any night could be special.  Case in point was the amazing "Get Back On The Train" from the 2-28-03 Nassau show.

Anyway, I found myself defending 2.0 over some Highlife's so I figured I would bring it here, do you like Phish version 2.0 or 3.0 better? Feel free to discuss and as always thanks for reading. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2013 Jazzfest Acts: Annnounced Tomorrow, Predicted Tonight

Well "predicted" may be a bit strong, no research is really going into this, perhaps wish list would be a more accurate title.  The 2013 New Orleans Jazzfest will announce it's roster of artists tomorrow, which is pretty exciting as it confirms spring is just around the corner.

RtBE polled some of our Sazerwrapping Regulars who join us on our annual trip to the Big Easy to see who they would like to catch perform at the Fairgrounds this year.  Let find out what they say...

Album Review - The White Wires -WWIII

Hey all,

Got a new review up over on Glide.

Read it right c'here!!!!

It is of The White Wires album WWIII.

I had not heard of the Canadian Garage Rock trio until this album came to me via the website.  It was a an OK release that seems to be going for that one catchy song in the midst of a whole lot of other ones that sound alike. Or just the sounds of a band happy to be playing the one style of music that they dig; poppy punkish rock.

You can find out more about the band here, grab some of their past work here and peep a few samples below:
"All Night Long"

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2012 Year In Review

Hey All,

With all the hectic happenings at the end of the year things can be missed. This is just a catch up post to point out a few of our favorite things from 2012 that shouldn't go unnoticed.  On the RtBE front it was the best year for music since we started this blog back in October 2009.  There were so many strong releases, great live shows, amazing musical moments....2013 has a lot to live up too.

In case you missed it here are our Best of 2012 series of posts...

Our picks for best album art of 2012, this is the first year we started this category, but we think it will stick around.

Our picks for best live show of 2012, what an amazing year for live tunes...all of these were jaw dropping nights of tuneage.

Finally our one, two, three, part picks for best albums of 2012.  Again all of these are fantastic and worth your time and attention. 

Thanks as always for reading and the patron saint of this blog stated:

What are those of the known, but to ascend and enter the Unknown?   

Album Review Skyline Drive - Topanga Ranch Motel

Hey all.

Got a new review up on Glide.

Read it right c'here!!!

It is of Skyline Drive's first release Topanga Ranch Motel.

Turns out there a few bands by this name out there.  This one is from Topanaga, California (conveniently enough) and there leader Derrick Thomas comes from The Kansas City Chiefs 60 Watt Kid.

This is a pretty solid Americana/Folk disk.  I like the style of songwriting and playing, it isn't earth shattering and the tunes aren't amazingly memorable but it is a good listen, with some cool turns a phrase and nice pairings of sound.  

Support the band here, catch them live and peep a few samples below. 
"The Switch"

Monday, January 14, 2013

Album Review- The Scenics -Dead Man Walks Down Bayview

Hey All,

Got a new review up on Glide.

Read it Right C'here!!!

It is of The Scenics newest release Dead Man Walks Down Bayview.

Shane and the good people over at Glide usually send over only the best disks they get, hence most albums on their site are rated fairly well.  

Every now and then (love that review) though a questionable offering gets through and it is nice when I get one.  Let me re-phrase that, I never want to write a bad review of anything and amazingly most music I hear is between "OK and Good" these days which is fantastic, but reviewing average anything is never that fun.  You need to reinvent ways to say the same thing so when something stands out (in either direction) it is a nice change of pace.

So feel free to voice your opinion on the review and check out the band here and peep a sample below:
"Dark Cave"

Bob Dylan Cover #70 Buddy Miller -With God On Our Side

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Buddy Miller playing "With God On Our Side"
Thoughts on Original:
From the first cover of this song we discussed here:  Perhaps the most poignant and lasting song Dylan has written and that speaks volumes. Lyrically it is perfect, using history, the warping of religion and politics to get across the point that man will rationalize anything, even war. Only played live 30 times since it's debut at Dylan's historic Town Hall show the song has added weight and meaning when it is played.  Morality and War, Religion and Righteousness, all just words when it comes down to it, hold life inside those letters. Musically stark Dylan uses his impressive lyrics to express the confusion perfectly, should be mandatory listing in every history classroom.

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
I thought I had not heard of Buddy Miller at all, but I may have even seen him live and not known it as he has toured with Steve Earle and played with Jimmie Dale Gilmore aka Smokey from The Big Lebowski. With a little research he seems to be a country music legend, just one more artist I need to check out more.       
Thoughts on Cover:
A building take on the classic tune, that starts simple and then keeps adding musical layers as each verse progresses.  It goes for grandiose which works on one level but the slowed down pace also makes this a really long one.  While the tune can hold up to the length and production it does drag a bit which is odd.  Had you mentioned that someone did a full band version of "With God On Our Side" for 9+ minutes I would have thought I would have loved it.  While I enjoy the cover it isn't the bee's pajamas or whatever the kids say these days...
Grade B

Friday, January 11, 2013

Full Show Friday: Guns N' Roses - Live at The Ritz 1988

Happy Friday! Last year we searched the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and posted them to the site monthly.  That was all well and good but this year RtBE is upping the ante with a show every week to celebrate Full Show Friday's.  These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can. As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)...This week...Guns N' Roses!

Filmed for MTV back in the Day, this professional shot video shows why GnR's first album still ranks as one of the best debut rock albums ever.  The original lineup is all here and the band fires on all cylinders as they tear apart the Ritz...aka Webster Hall here in NYC.  Appetite for Destruction gets a full airing minus "Think About You", "Anything Goes" and "You're Crazy".  It is a testament to the band that all of these songs sound pretty fucking great listening to them today, I for one never thought these guys would have this staying power when I heard them back then, but this show cooks!

Highlights are "Mr. Brownstone" a mammoth "Paradise City", spacious "Rocket Queen" and the cool "Knocking on Heavens Door" show closer...we will have to get to that in our Monday Dylan series one day...Enjoy your weekend!     


►It's so easy (at start)
►Mr Brownstone 03:33
►Outta get me 08:03
►Sweet child 12:59
►My Michelle 19:37
►Welcome to 23:54
►Night train 30:00
►Paradise city 34:55
►Rocket queen 42:08
►Knocking on 49:11

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Update- Norton Benefit Show Postponed!

Maybe this is why we don't normally hype upcoming shows...

From The Bell House website:
Can't drown the sound but we can delay it apparently. Greg Cartwright from Reigning Sound himself posted on facebook that he has the Flu and can't make the show. This sucks, but hopefully he feels better ASAP.  They will be rescheduling the show next week (hopefully on a weekend night) so RtBE will keep you update.

Until then feel free to donate to help Norton Records Recovery Efforts and rock out with a few Norton Record Artists tunes below:
The Del-Aires "Zombie Stomp"

Rocky and The Riddlers "Flash and Crash"

T. Valentine with Daddy Long Legs Live:

Album Review- Frightened Rabbit-State Hospital EP

Frightened Rabbit
State Hospital EP
***and1/2 out of *****

Frightened Rabbit cover a lot of emotional issues on this short EP, everything from Combat Fatigue to failing marriages, actually those may not be too far apart.

The Scottish group continue in their wordy building style as lead singer Scott Hutchinson weaves tales of struggle, pain, strength and fear.  The band injects an epic feel into the title track of this EP behind a stark guitar, buzzing bass line and tapping drumsticks the group tackles domestic abuse in a heart wrenching manner. The song is heavy and the following "Boxing Night" is a bit of relief with its slow gallop which never breaks into a climax.

"Home From War" ramps up the emotions again as shell shock insomnia and a sense of isolation are at the forefront, something this band does incredibly well. "Off" revisits Hutchinson's odd fear of technology which he first discussed in "Old Old Fashioned".  The closing "Wedding Gloves" features a spoken word contribution from Aidan Moffat as the band mulls over the married life.

Musically the band sets scene's as the lyrics dominate, but with reason as these 5 tracks offer up a tasty appetizer for a full length album due later this year. As it stands with this release though Frightened Rabbit have continued their successful combination of intriguing tunes.           
When we helped out on Glides top 50 of the 2000's one of our biggest omissions was Frightened Rabbits first album (the other was leaving off Eminem), it was a stunner and made you take notice of this band.  This EP continues that trend, and gets us very excited for the new album in February.  Follow the band here, buy the EP here and peep some samples below:
"State Hospital"

"Boxing Night" Acoustic Demo

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Album Review- Amy Gore & Her Valentines -In Love

Amy Gore and her Valentines
In Love
**and1/2 out of *****

The Detroit rock and rolling of Amy Gore and her Valentines seeps out of the speakers as In Love progresses.  The band and this album came about after a one off show back in 2011 but there isn't a feel of chaos on the recording, things are manicured neat and tidy, sometimes to a detriment.

There is a preoccupation with cars (fitting for a Detroit outfit) as the openers "Drivin' Around" and "Cadillac" get their motor city on.  "Remember Me" has a very personal glam rock ballad feel adding diversity to In Love while "You Won't Lead Me On" cooks, propelled by a mega guitar solo from Jackson Smith.  

"Blackout" Jangles with a Phil Spector vibe and disk highlight, the closing buzzing of "Send Me A Postcard" seals the deal.  This is obviously a very personal album from Amy Gore and one that helps the listener identify with her and her issues. There is a pop sugar coating to her problems with lovers that makes the pill go down smooth.

Produced by Al Sutton the band struts around but the clean sounding nature takes something away from the overall product, this band cries out to be dirty rock and roll and hopefully next time out they will go that rout.  That said the songs here are tight, polished and professional.  
a solid album from Amy Gore and her Valentines. Grab In Love here, catch them live here and peep a few samples below:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Album Review- Preservation Hall Jazz Band-St Peter & 57th St

Hey All,

Got a new review up on Glide.

Read it right C'here!!!

It is of Preservation Hall Jazz Band's guest filled live album St. Peter & 57th St.

We have already reviewed the actual show, and talked about it being one of our favorites of the year

We won't say much more (go read the review) other then the disk does not capture the feeling in Carnegie Hall that night all that well.  Major songs are missing but having the night offically documented is a step in the right direction. 

Perhaps a full show DVD will emerge in the future, until support the group here, buy the album here, and peep some videos from that show below:
PHJB and My Morning Jacket "Carnival Time"

"I'll Fly Away"

Show closing "When The Saints Go Marching In"

NYPL Brant Mewborn Rolling Stone Interviews

RtBE loves it when the day job and hobbies combine and they come pretty close with Lena Deresh's blog post regarding NYPL's collection of Brant Mewborn Rolling Stone Interviews.
Turns out there is a great collection of Brant Mewborn's interviews at the Library For the Performing Arts.  Here's hoping we can get there soon and listen to some of them, as people like Tom Wolfe, Ringo Starr and Madeline Khan must be great listens.

On a side note here is a nice time capsule film that video artist Nelson Sullivan recorded while visiting Brant in his Rolling Stone office back in 1985 as Brant was leaving the publication. 
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Really neat piece of history, and glad the NYPL is involved. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Norton Record Benefit Show w/ Reigning Sound This Week!

We here at RtBE normally don't do a lot of hyping for upcoming shows unless it is something special or a worthy cause...this Friday's show at the Bell House in Brooklyn happens to be both. 

One of RtBE's favorites, Reigning Sound will be headlining a benefit for the fantastic Norton Records.  Norton was pretty beat up by Hurricane Sandy, it is an ugly picture but Dust and Grooves cover it well here
The concert is a great way to show your support as the bands are top notch. Jersey based Swingin' Neckbreakers are just as their name suggest, powerful trio punkish rock and roll. Not only is it a very worthy cause but it will be a very worthy show as Daddy Long Legs and Piggies are also on the bill.

Buy your tickets right here today, and at $15 bones how can you go wrong? If you aren't able to make it on Friday night then feel free to donate directly to Norton Records here.

Below are a couple of videos to get you in the mood.  Hope to see you Friday!
Reigning Sound-"Debris" from last years Norton Showcase

"Can't Hold On"

Swingin' Neckbreakers- "The Girl Can't Help It"

Bob Dylan Cover #69 Brevitymusic "Most Of The Time"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Brevitymusic playing "Most Of The Time"
Thoughts on Dylan Original
From our first cover take on this tune:  One of the best songs in Dylan's repertoire from any of his era's and also one of the most important, "Most Of The Time" proved Dylan was far from done as an artist.  Showing up on the return to form album Oh Mercy, "Most Of The Time" is a revelation with it's descending bass line and powerfully stark lyrics.  There is a palpable sense of desperation, longing,  sadness, a nervous sense of things are falling apart around me; this tune touches a nerve and makes you stand up and take notice. 

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
I literally know nothing of Brevitymusic other then her youtube channel.  Feel free to clue me in.
Thoughts on Cover
RtBE just thought this was a perfect little stripped down cover of an amazing song to start the new year.  All the best!
Grade: C+

Friday, January 4, 2013

Full Show Friday: The Grateful Dead 11-24-78

Last year we searched the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and posted them to the site monthly.  That was all well and good but this year RtBE is upping the ante with a show every week to celebrate Full Show Friday's (props to Hidden Track for giving us the name).  These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)...This week...The Grateful Dead!

How can we not start things off with one of RtBE's favorites? The Grateful Dead have been a part of this site since it's inception (literally our first day of posts) and the only band we would like to start this on going series with.

Today we get a show from the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey from 11-24-1978.  You can stream the show here from Internet Archives as well as watch it below.  The band is cooking from the beginning with a powerful "Jack Straw" starting things. Jerry's voice is a bit more ragged then usual but it can add to songs like on the second track "Sugaree". He was actually getting a case of laryngitis that would force the cancellation of the following nights Philly show. Maybe it was because his voice was shot that he plays a mean guitar on this night...or maybe it is just the fact that he is one of the best ever on that instrument.

Other then Garcia's vocals here and there this is a really solid show and setlist from 78 and anytime a late 70's funk fest of "Shakedown Street" gets rocking I am happy and this one is takes the listener up there. The sound is A quality and the video seems to be professionally shot, so you can enjoy the band in all it's 1978 glory.  Give it a listen and enjoy the ride..until next week...    

Set 1
Jack Straw 0:00:40
Sugaree 0:06:35
Me and My Uncle 0:19:40
Big River 0:22:43
Stagger Lee 0:29:30
Passenger 0:38:00
Candyman 0:43:30
New Minglewood Blues 0:52:30
From the Heart of Me 0:57:30
Loser 1:01:50
Promised Land 1:10:15

Set 2
I Need a Miracle 1:16:00
Good Lovin' 1:20:25
Friend of the Devil 1:27:30
Estimated Prophet 1:37:00
Shakedown Street 1:50:00
Drums 2:02:00
Ollin Arrageed* 2:10:25
Fire on the Mountain* 2:17:00
Sugar Magnolia 2:26:00
E: Johnny B. Goode 2:34:50

* w/ Hamza El Din

Video capture by Dan Sisler
Audio synchronization by Kevin Tobin
Brokedown House Production
Post production video editing by Voodoonola

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Jack White Interview and Hope

While perusing the interwebs we came across this GQ article/interview with RtBE favorite Jack White. I understand peoples preoccupation with everyone's personal life, the world is just one big high school, I just can't get behind it. Not to focus more on an artists music in these things just seems criminal to me. 
Thankfully though this piece does bring up something I have been wondering about since we were at the show.  Jack White's cut short Radio City performance. Here is the part in question:
Which brings me neatly, if a little uncomfortably, to the whole Radio City thing. I’d gone to the second night, too, the Sunday, and the difference between the two could not have been more pronounced. With The Peacocks this time, White had put on a show that crackled with energy, urgency and yes — sexual chemistry — and the crowd, perhaps cautioned by the events of the evening before, had given it all they had. (The press had indeed reported that an “angry crowd” had formed after White “abruptly” ended the Saturday show, but the news story was overshadowed by Canadian pop-moppet Justin Bieber, who threw up on stage in Arizona on the same night.)
They were certainly contrasting experiences, I say. “Ha!” laughs White. “Yeah, it was two different shows.” And why the difference? “I think the first night, the mob had decided they’re going to go watch Gone with the Wind,” he says. “In these times, it feels like a lot of people think a rock’n’roll show is the same as going to the movies, that a ticket is an emblem of entitlement. Whether they know it or not, the crowd’s in control of my show, not me. If I was playing in an old folks’ home, and I played a couple of songs from the Forties and everyone clapped, and then I put on an electric guitar and played a Jimi Hendrix song and everyone started covering their ears, now I know the next song I do should not be electric and loud. I saw that first night, just hundreds of people straight-up not clapping. So I have no idea what to pick for the next song. I have no duty to explain to them how this all works. And also I have a duty to provoke.” Curiously, the first night, as the ship was going down, White talked a lot, often admonishing the crowd with a demonic smile (“Quiet down, I’m trying to hear myself think!”).
The second night, he spoke hardly at all and didn’t smile once. “I’m glad you caught that,” he says. “I was trying to prove a point to them. People might not have understood what I was saying to them at the mic. They want to think it was anger or diva-like behaviour. It was exactly the opposite. They were the ones telling me what to do. Smiling is the exact opposite of what they want at that moment. It’s confusing and that’s exactly where I want to be. You can’t give them an easy Democrat or Republican version of everything. Life isn’t like that. Love isn’t like that. Beauty isn’t like that. I’m going to grab this Coca-Cola.”
I am not sure what he was talking about, the section I was in was going ballistic, granted I doubt he could see us from the stage as we were on the floor but way back.  I was thinking perhaps the venue was just a horrible mismatch with White's style, he needs a barroom as a bluesman, but if he is judging the crowd's reaction by the people he can see, not the ones he hears I am lost.  

His statement of "And also I have to provoke" is much more telling in my eyes.  He is an artist, and whether he likes it or not, moves like these put him in a Diva class.  He has every right to play (incredibly well) for under an hour and walk out, but fans pay hard earned money, you gotta deal with the backlash, quoting Bobby Brown isn't always a satisfying answer.  I was at both shows and loved what I heard from both, just wish I heard more the first night.

On the flipside, there is hope!  Recent news states that RtBE's pick for album of the year, Jack White's Blunderbuss was the highest (legally) selling vinyl record of the year. Ahh, it feels good when quality gets rewarded.  Jack can continue to do what he wants live, keeping things exciting for him as long as he continues to kill it some nights and put out such great music, I can overlook some of his "artist" traits.       

Here is some Jackie Boy live with the Peacocks at Fuji Rock Fest 2012, "Missing Pieces"

Live Review- Band of Horses 12-11-12 Hammerstein, NYC

Hey all,

Got a new review up on Glide.

Read it Right C'here!!!!

It is of Band of Horses epic double bill at the Hammerstein Ballroom on 12-11-12 in NYC.

We talked about this one a bit already as we had to give it special billing in our Favorite Shows of 2012 post. This is the full review though, you can see they played every song in their catalog except "Islands on the Coast" for some reason. 

If you are a fan of the band and had tickets to both shows you can simply not ask for anything more.  Intimate acoustic, loud rocking, the night had it all last way into the next morning.  Not known particularly as a great live band shows like this could really change that and hopefully open Band of Horses up to being more adventurous. 

This show was a doozy, pure Boosh, as you can tell.  Below are a few samples of videos people took. Thanks to the band for putting on a great night of music, and for Hammerstein for hosting.
"Wicked Gil" Acoustic Set


A rare treat, "I Go To The Barn Because", first time played and Bridwell struggles with it, but has the complete support of the crowd.

Here is the group's completely off the cuff take on "Simple Man", super cool:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Album Review: Yonrico Scott-Be In My World

 Yonrico Scott
Be In My World
**and1/2 out of *****

The former drummer of The Derek Trucks Band stays behind the kit but steps out on his own with his first solo offering.  Be In My World is full of jazzy rhythms, R&B workouts and positive vibes. 

Bringing along former band mates gives the album a familiar glow as Kofi Burbridge (Keys, Flute) Mike Mattison (Backing Vocals) and bassist Todd Smallie all contribute, with Saxophonist Mace Hibbard providing soulful splashes; just like The Derek Trucks Band at its Grammy winning best.  In fact the namesake of the old group shows up to play stellar slide guitar on the Hibbard penned instrumental “Hear Me Now”, which just happens to be the albums highlight track. 

Scott’s next step finds him not stretching to far from home while showing off a noticeably laid back, smoother tone.  “Confused” gets the disk off to a funky start, while “Open Spirit” has a modern Gospel vibe, complete with Scott on vibraphone.  The vocals may not be perfect from Yonrico but they are heartfelt and fit the tunes, such as on the soulful “Walk Between The Raindrops”.  He also goes full on percussion mode with the short “To The Land” incorporating Congas, Bongos, Djembe and Quica.   

The instrumentals are where all the players assembled work best and should be sort out for their heartfelt playing (“Hear Me Now, “When You Click You Clack”).  The tracks tend to blend together becoming a bit forgettable the longer the hour long Be In My World progresses and perhaps next time out Scott and company will spice it up tempo wise, but for a newly christened front man this is a productive first step.        

(This review also appears here on Glide Magazine)
I have always enjoyed the Derek Trucks Band, and it was a pleasure to check out Yonrico Scott's first effort.  Granted I probably gave it an extra half of star up there because it was a drummer moving towards frontman, and there is just a good overall vibe to the album.  Tough to be too harsh on Scott especially when a few of the tracks are really good, particularly the instrumentals. 

Support the artist here, buy the album here, and peep a few samples below:

"The Thrill Is Gone" Live