Friday, January 31, 2014

Full Show Friday: Bill Frisell Plays John Lennon 2012

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us 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...Bill Frisell!

It's Jazzy January here at RtBE, so get ready to kick off 2014 with some different styled shows every Friday, we are skewing into new (or more recent) jazz land this month but It's All Cool Daddy'O! The farthest back we are looking is 2009 to prove there is amazing live jazz still being performed no matter what Ken Burns says.

We close up this special series with a doozy, Bill Frisell playing John Lennon from La Villete Jazz Festival 2012

Well January has come to an end so we will finish this series and ease back into our mostly rock and roll focus with a Jazz legend's take on a rock star's catalog (we ended 2013 with The Beatles so this seems only natural). Bill Frisell reworks John Lennon's catalog into his own guitar laden jazz style here live with some friends from 2012. This is a really cool one and if you haven't known many of the songs or artists this month, things should sound (slightly) more familiar here. Fret not, next month we are back to more known Friday artists....

Setlist and players are below the video, Enjoy:

Bill Frisell - guitar
Greg Liezs - pedal-steel guitar
Tonny Scherr - bass
Kenny Wollesen - drums

1. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
2. #9 Dream
3. Come Together
4. Julia
5. Please Please Me
6. In My Life
7. Strawberry Fields Forever
8. Imagine

Thursday, January 30, 2014

New Hold Steady Tune! Teeth Dreams Due In March

Excited to share a new tune with you from RtBE favorites The Hold Steady. It is called “I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You” from their upcoming release Teeth Dreams.

It falls directly into tHS wheelhouse: killer riffs, lots of rambling lyrics and call back to older songs.

This is the album we are most excited for in 2014 and can't wait til it comes out in March.

We will be seeing the boys in Brooklyn soon and are figuring we may get one or two new ones then. Until then how about some live Hold Steady to get us going on this cold night, this is the last 3 tunes from their set in Glastonbury in 07:
"You Can Make Him Like You"

"Southtown Girls"

"Killer Parties Almost Killed Me"

Album Review: The Funky Knuckles-Meta-Musica

The Funky Knuckles
**and1/2 out of *****
The Dallas, TX based experimental/groove collective The Funky Knuckles newest disk is a mixing of jazz styles while keeping things accessible clean and as their name suggests, funky.  Meta-Musica is a ten song journey that runs long with lots of their outings passing the nine minute, the jamming "16 Bars" alone feels like three or four different tunes combined into one. 

The six piece: Wes Stephenson - bass, Caleb Sean - keys, Cedric Moore - drums, Phill Aelony - guitar, Evan Weiss - trumpet, Ben Bohorquez - sax comes at the sound in varying ways. On "Mystery Song" things  twitch with electro glitches and snare rolls before progressing to a keyboard and drum led freakout. The light drum touches and smooth trumpet lead the way on "Kyle's Dance" before electric guitars and keys close things while the bass line takes center stage for "New Leaf" pumping away in and around the other players.

The group seems very democratic with no dominant instrumentalist taking over in every song. The band ebb's and flows around different directions and styles but stays nebulous for fans to latch on to various excursions without one theme dominating things.

On the downside of things the "Rain Journey" tone and execution too close to easy listening and Spyro Gyra-y for these ears and while the albums overall length isn't really an issue with this kind of jazz, perhaps one or two tighter/more direct songs would enhance the flow of the LP, rather then just the seemingly haphazardly mixed in "Interludes". The hip hop interlude "[12]3,4 feat Cyfa Fix" seems like a logical next step for the group, supporting MC's.

That said, fans of new breed, funky jazz should dig what The Funky Knuckles have done on Meta-Musica and the album is accessible enough for newcomers to test the waters as well.
Another fun bandcamp find and a good way to close out our reviews for Jazzy Jan.

Support the band here, you can buy/stream the album here and peep some video below:
"16 Bars"

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Album Review: aivi & surasshu- The Black Box

aivi & surasshu
The Black Box
**and1/2 out of *****
It is a fun description on the groups bandcamp page that states: "Aivi is a human pianist. Surasshu is a chiptune robot. These are their musical adventures together!" Truth in advertising.

All instrumentals this combination of classical piano with digital lo-fi sounding bleeps and accoutrements makes for some fun times, like getting sucked back in with the dust to your original Nintendo Entertainment System. One can just see 8 bit characters getting down to the sounds.

Piano builds open things on the climbing "Nucleus" while Yoshihito Yano gets the cover treatment with aivi's take on his "Lonely Rolling Star (Missing You)" from the Katamari Damancy video game. Zelda: Link's Awakening also gets some love with a cover of "Mabe Village". Tracks like "Diamond Dove" however prove aivi belongs in the big leagues of video game soundtrack production with the rollicking rolls of piano and dusty digital fills.

Overall things do get repetitive towards the end and a track like "Here's How!" doesn't work with it's barroom funky stance on things but on the flip-side "Pocket Universe" addresses the world with wide eyed wonder. The album also comes equipped with a 20 page comic and as visuals are obviously part of the overall experience things combine nicely. The Black Box strikes as creative, experimental, and outside the "norm", taking qualities and talents of past jazz greats and putting them in today digital universe.  
Another new twist on the Jazz genre for Jazzy January. A cool listen, while we won't pretend we are experts on this genre things like this make us love finding new artists.

Support the artist here, grab the album here peep some video below:

Album Review: Dum Dum Girls- Too True

Hey all,

Got a new review up on Glide.

You can read it Right C'here!!
It is of the Dum Dum Girls newest release Too True.

We have liked this group in the past and rated them highly but this album is very different. Gone are the garage rock tunes and in its place is a lot of early 80's pop. We actually got this album to review from Sub Pop on Pat Benatar's birthday and the correlations were pretty striking.

We dig it, but just be warned it is different. As always support the artist, grab the disk and peep some video below: 
"Lost Boys and Girls Club"

"Coming Down"

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

NYCtaper Update for 2014

It is always good to check in on our friends over at nyctaper and see what shows they got in their sites and microphones.
For those who don't know here is a quick summation of the crew: They go around NYC getting amazing live recordings of acts, big and small and share them for free.

They posted their early 2014 list of shows that they are looking to tape and a few jump out at us. Some RtBE fav's like Yuck and North Mississippi All-Stars will be getting some love from the site as well as a bunch of bands we haven't heard but will hopefully have time to check out.

Obviously another standout on that schedule is the SXSW entry. That lends loads of options for future live recordings and I am excited to see what the boys bring back.

Looking back on last year, you should also check out their top ten shows from 2013. They seem to like bands doing other peoples music, which is interesting, but hey, so do we. The show of theirs we went back to the most was #10 on their list, Joe Russo's Almost Dead which we found as a very cool interruption of the Grateful Dead's Catalog.

Again these are all free, and while it is not as cool as being there you can stream/download the show and get a sense of the most important aspect of concerts, the music.Keep up the great work fellas.

Here is some video from the Russo Almost Dead Show to get a sense.

RIP Pete Seeger

We never like wishing artists farewell into the great unknown, but when your life was lived as richly as Pete Seeger a celebration or in Pete's case a singalong is more appropriate:

We fell in love with Pete when we saw the amazing American Masters on him called The Power of Song. A gorgeous documentary on an American treasure. The man stood up for his beliefs, the primal one being singing songs could make the world a better place. He was folk. He was the living and breathing past present and future still playing recently.  A voice of America.

I am sure other places will do him greater justice, but on a personal note, another passed American hero of ours George Carlin has amazing bit on Religion, you can watch it here:
His part at the end about worshiping the Sun and praying to Joe Pesci is classic and the first time I saw it I said I would take out Joe Pesci and put in Pete Seeger. Substitute a Banjo for a bat, but Seeger got shit done and smiled the whole time.

RIP Mr. Seeger:

Album Review: Bruce Springsteen -High Hopes

Bruce Springsteen
High Hopes
*** out of *****
Bruce Springsteen's later career albums all seem to be defined by larger themes, ever since the gospel spirituality of a reborn E-Street band via Live in New York CityThe Rising kept that sense of spiritual and physical rebirth present in the wake of September 11th, Magic had glimpses of disillusionment with war and Wrecking Ball contained songs dealing with the poor state of the economy (I got no idea what Working On A Dream was about, that's best left forgotten to these ears). However The Bosses newest release High Hopes is a different beast, a collection of cover material, unreleased originals and reworked tunes. 

Things are scattered, there is less gospel preaching and extended vamps, and even restrained singing providing a looser feel to the overall effort. Included in the linear notes to the album Springsteen hypes a major collaborator Tom Morello who filled in with the band on a recent tour and inspired Bruce, appearing on 8 of the tracks here.

With that announcement thoughts instantly move to a harder rock/twisted funk sound Morello is known for but that is not the case. Songs build and flow as Morello plays augmenter rather then guitar wizard, reminiscent to Nils Cline role upon joining Wilco, perhaps even more understated.  Not everything on the disk is a success, but Morello's input always hits its mark.

Opener, title track and first cover "High Hopes" seems to be caught between all out rave up and cutting political statement. When the full, huge sounding band complete with everything from horns to accordion to wah-wah builds up it works well but the overall energy seems to be lacking a bit. A good snapshot of the album overall, interesting glimpses but something just a touch off in the end.

On the better end of things, the slinky "Harry's Place" contains saxophone work from Clarence Clemons (the song was original an outtake from The Rising) and very nuanced guitar work from Morello. The tightness of "This Is Your Sword" and the looseness of "Frankie Fell In Love" show opposite sides to the current state of the artist and both succeed taking different paths.

The longest efforts here will be familiar to fans as "American Skin (41 Shots)" and "The Ghost of Tom Joad" both get a proper studio recording. While both have the difficulty of comparing to explosive live versions of the tunes, the studio versions are dramatic and well represented. If anything removed from the political protests "American Skin (41 Shots)" has aged better then expected.

Some of the other efforts don't work as well, "Hunter of Invisible Game" and "Just Like Fire Would" both feel oddly dull, a touch uninspired and could use some more energy. The obvious gospel outtake "Heaven's Wall", while not a horrible song, just feels completely out of place on this collection.  

Because of it's re-branded nature High Hopes contains a searching feel to it, not unlike mid-nineties Bob Dylan efforts. The musicality and freedom with which Springsteen is working with feels fresh if the tunes themselves may not. This could be a transitional disk for the man and his various bands or just a blip on the radar but aspects of it (like Morello's contributions) will hopefully flow into the next chapter of Springsteen's career. 
An interesting collection of songs, super impressed with what Tom Morello brings to the fold and a bit more interested to see what the Boss brings to Jazzfest this year.

Support the artist here, buy the album here, peep some video below:
"High Hopes"

"Ghost Of Tom Joad" Live:

Monday, January 27, 2014

Covering 80's Dylan For Charity

When it comes to Dylan Covers it seems there can never be enough. We are excited to hear an under appreciated part of his career will finally get some love as artists partake in Bob Dylan In the 80's: Volume One.
One of the things that annoys me greatly about people discussing Bob is how they always seem to tail off somewhere in the mid 70's. I think his Gospel period, 80's and 90's+ resurgence need to get more love and will going forward; this is a nice first step. That said there is a reason Dylan wasn't that successful in the 80's, songs weren't up to snuff.

This collection does contain lots of artists we like and it calls to mind our favorite show from last year. You can check out Built To Spill playing "Jokerman" and download it for free.

We like BtS and love "Jokerman" this is a great combo, granted things aren't all that wildly divergent from the original, I was kinda hoping for 16 minute triple guitar attack in their somewhere, but I will take it.  

With RtBE favorite Craig Finn from The Hold Steady also contributing "Sweetheart Like You" and other cool artists like Elvis Perkins, Deer Tick and Ivan and Alyosha digging deep into the catalog we are excited to grab this one and give it a listen. Also proceeds from the sale help the Pencils of Promise Charity.  

Until this all we had was Shitty Dylan covering the 80's glad that there is more exploration of this period.

Dylan Cover #123 Them "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by the Them of the Dylan tune "It's All Over, Now Baby Blue"

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
It is still stunning that there are songs as great as this in the Bard's catalog that we haven't even touched on in the first 100 we have talked about...wild. Baby Blue is magical all around, from the pure asshole way he sung it to Donovan to put him in his place in Don't Look Back to the heart breaking recent live versions on the never ending tour. The song has a lot of what makes Dylan who he is; mystery but a sense of understanding somehow. Dominated by the amazing lyrics the song is a hard one not to like.    

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Them are a group I never dug into. I think that will be remedied very quickly...of course you know the lead singer one Mr Van Morrison, but for some reason I have never given their albums a proper listen. Of Course "Gloria" is a dope tune, but I don't know much outside of it, so I guess I got some homework to do.
Thoughts on Cover:
A gorgeous cover of a great song. Van's voice is timeless and nails things that Dylan doesn't in the original but the haunting melody and sound the group gets behind him is what really seals the deal. Haunting and light, chimes and jangle work really well, give this one a good listen.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Full Show Friday: SMV Vitoria-Gastetz Jazz Festival 2009

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us 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...SMV!

It's Jazzy January here at RtBE, so get ready to kick off 2014 with some different styled shows every Friday, we are skewing into new (or more recent) jazz land this month but It's All Cool Daddy'O! The farthest back we are looking is 2009 to prove there is amazing live jazz still being performed no matter what Ken Burns says.

A few weeks ago we shone a spotlight on a unique as all hell guitar player. This week in our monthly series the bass players are getting the love as Marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke and Victor Wooten show off their skills as SMV. We actually reviewed this trio's studio disk back in 08 (the rating system changed it was 3 out of 5 then would be 6 out of 10 today) and now getting a chance to relive the bass love is a thrill.

The show overall is a bit too "light Jazz" for us, but we gotta give the bass players their due as all are world class, Enjoy the Pro shot, Pro sound show:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

New Dr John-Bobby Rush-Blinddog Smokin Tune "Another Murder In New Orleans"

Thanks to my friend Margent for point out this great jam from Dr John, Bobby Rush and Blinddog Smokin called "Another Murder Down In New Orleans". Listen here:

Great Great tune, timely and timeless sounding. Really fantastic playing from everyone involved. With Jazzfest on the horizon and no Dr. John, Bobby Rush or Blinddog Smokin on the bill it is nice to have this tune to warm the frigid NYC nights.

Here is another Bobby Rush tune to warm you up...Miss Lowe helps that along too...

Album Review: Gripe -In His Image

In His Image
*** out of *****
The slamming Grindcore band Gripe is calling it quits and going out with a real bang on In His Image. The Athens, Georgia based band has a collection of 18 tracks that run a mere 23 minutes as the audio assault rarely lets up. Blast beats pound the listener and guttural screams work for vocals; this is some raw, bad ass shit right here.  

The minute long "Sick F--" is a devastating whirlwind of noise and destruction while the screeching guitars and drum pounds make "Assisted Genocide" sound electric, like a lightning bolt to the forehead.  "Mind and Machine" continues the fireworks shooting out like lasers while "Devolved" slams with more of a song structure including a bass lead stomp part before a crushing conclusion. The vocals with this kind of thing is a tricky act on certain tracks ("Cotton Fever") the nonsense screams match well on others ("Botgrinder") they seem to distract. When songs are as intense as "This Land Is Nobody's Land" or "Future Pig" and they burn out after merely seconds the throat shredding is an apt addition.

The title track is blast beat-riffic with its thundering drums and warbling guitars while the real key is in the groove the band pulls out for tracks like "Force Of Habit" and "Save a Life, Kill A Cop". Eardrums will be bludgeoned and with brute force on In His Image respect The Gripe.  
Raw, that's the word that kept popping up listening to In His Image. This music obviously for everyone but if you are into the heavy give it a listen.

Support the band here, stream/download the disk here peep some video below of the bands earlier release:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Album Review: The Lucky Chops Brass Band- Lucky Chops Vol 1

The Lucky Chops Brass Band
Lucky Chops Vol 1
***1/2 out of *****
Brass Bands are one of the most consistently exciting live acts one can see but tend to become a bit dull when entering the studio, thank god The Lucky Chops Brass Band is here to kick things up with Lucky Chops Vol 1 if only for about 15 joyous minutes. The 5 Piece NYC based brass blowers mix up a range of styles to create an output that has traditional roots yet sounds awfully god damn fresh in today's fleeting music market. 

The opening "Sk-Ba" covers The Skatalites track blowing with energy propagating a "get up and dance" swag. "Longa" takes its name from Eastern styled music and that is clearly the vibe going on here, great clashing rhythms and horn runs add a spice to the sound.

The traditional "Bourbon St. Parade" acknowledges the groups spiritual center but creatively jams out over funky drum beats and sousaphone toots before solos start jamming up to a full out rave, ending things gloriously. This kind of improv/traditional combo keeps Lucky Chops sounding vital.

They give that same flash and substance to "This Little Light Of Mine" closing the all too short EP with a flourish fading out just when the dancing seems to be getting started.With a formula this rich we can only hope Vol 2 is on its way soon as more of this brassy goodness is needed.
We had the privilege of seeing this band up close and personal at a wedding we attended and were amazed. They had it all and this EP proves it, if only a sampler of their styles it is still a great edition to Jazzy January here at RtBE.

Buy it/Stream here, support the band here, peep some video below and def catch them live when you can.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

NYC Music Logo Backstory's

Big ups to our friend Glen for sending this article over to us. Props need to be given to Sue Apfelbaum and Laura Forde for putting together this great piece titled 22 Iconic Music Logos Explained.

There is a focus on NYC with all of these logos making this a really nice collection of stories. The ladies did a bunch of research with good links to other stories and creators, The Revs Cost links brought me back to the early 90's as did the Groove Collective. Man haven't even thought about those guys in years...

Anyway the article is a great read, give it a shot. You can find more from Sue here and more from Laura here.

How about one more Groove Collective tune since it is Jazzy January, good to see they are still active, may have to catch them this year:

Album Review: Talib Kweli -Gravitas

Talib Kweli
***and1/2 out of *****

2 albums in 2 years from Talib Kweli as he follows up Prisoner of Consciousness with Gravitas. On Prisoner... Kweli seemed to be rebelling against fans/media labeling him a "conscious rapper" on Gravitas he is back in his normal mode and seems even more invigorated coming at the listener with a ton of things to say piling verses on top of verses.

On "Rare Portraits" Kweli goes back through his history and the history in general of hip-hop ending on a powerful note: "From making the way for Kanye/to meetings with Mr. Harry Belafonte/All started on park benches with Dante" recalling Kweli's Black Star partner Dante Terrel Smith better known as Mos Def and their vital roll in the genre. "Inner Monologue" also has the feel of a successful elder statement assessing the scene and not exactly excited about with lines like: "Niggas don't get rich rapping, they selling clothes or liquor/My flow is sicker cause I flow with vigor/I'm no beginner, peep the whole agenda/Control my center cause I gravitate with Gravitas".

The disk starts off great with some thick musical tracks, there are layers of beats, instruments and sounds highlighted by Gary Clark Jr.'s guitar licks in "Demonology". As the disk progresses though Kweli moves to more new school beats like on the conspiracy theory shattering "The Wormhole" and musically things aren't as successful. The pairing of his elongated word flow and digital thin beats doesn't match well, same goes for the sped up tempo of "New Leaders" where Kweli has a lot to say but the dance beat jars up against his phrasing.

Guest selection on the disk is quality all around, adding a spice to the disk as Black Thought's opening verse on "Art Imitates" is a winner and Raekwon drops serious heat on disk highlight "Violations". 

A track like "State Of Grace" with hook from Abby Dobson is right in Kweli's wheelhouse, and a perfect summation of the album. Talib dissects the lack of female role models painting an amazing scene talking about a mother who "grew up loving hip hop/Now all her daughter got is "Love & Hip Hop"" ripping reality shows as easily as he rips absentee fathers. The track goes on for close to 6 minutes and this is what fans of Kweli love and others find tedious, he won't ever escape "conscious rapper" label but by continuing to put out albums like this why would he want to?            
Back in the day we never really got into Black Star, a bit to stiff and heady hip-hop for us at the time but have appreciated things Kweli and Mos Def have done since. This is pretty solid, especially the first 5 tracks all worth checking out. 

Support the artist here, buy the album here, peep some video below:

Monday, January 20, 2014

Dylan Cover #122 March on Washington, Happy MLK Day

We did this same post last year, but it is a holiday and it is a critically important one, so we are starting a tradition and doing it all again...

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 17, 2014

Full Show Friday: John Zorn Jazz in Marciac 2010

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us 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...John Zorn!

It's Jazzy January here at RtBE, so get ready to kick off 2014 with some different styled shows every Friday, we are skewing into new (or more recent) jazz land this month but It's All Cool Daddy'O! The farthest back we are looking is 2009 to prove there is amazing live jazz still being performed no matter what Ken Burns says.

This week John Zorn and crew get down from Marciac in 2010.

These are some of the best players in modern jazz today with Zorn leading things with hand signals, conducting direction and sax. Marc Ribot is a definite focal point on a the blazing electric guitar as is Jamie Saft on Piano. Cyro Baptista adds his own weirdness to the percussion while Joey Barron plays the kit.   

Top notch music all around, any fan of experimental sonic adventures will get a kick out of this show.

Enjoy some really cool tunes:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Free Dr. Dog/Saint Rich Split EP -Casual Freefall

In a pretty cool promo move for their upcoming tour, Saint Rich and RtBE Favorite Dr. Dog are releasing a split EP were the bands cover each others songs and play one of their own. The EP is called Casual Freefall
We just got the good word that this will be on Noisetrade, so instead of reviewing it and keeping it for ourselves we figured we would just immediately spread the love. 

As they have done in the past Dr. Dog nail a fellow contemporaries cover with their take on Saint Rich's "Dreams" and Saint Rich returns the favor with Dr. Dog's recent release "Rock and Roll". Check it out for yourself:

Download the album for free right here. Or right up there. Be sure to support both Saint Rich and Dr Dog, you can catch them live together in the upcoming months. Here is a quick video of Dr Dog from Noisetrade's Eastside Manor Sessions, we can't wait to catch this tour next Saturday at Terminal 5:

Looking back at 2013

Hey all, wanted to take a second to look back at the most productive year here at RtBE.

We know the end of the year is a whirlwind of things going on so we wanted to highlight some posts that may have gotten lost in the shuffle. All of our Best of 2013 can be seen following that link.

We hit up our favorite Artwork when it comes to albums here. Talked about our favorite live show here. Our Top Albums list was broken into three parts, First was here, next we start our top ten here and finally we finish it off here.

In looking back at some stats, seems our Monday and Friday posts get the least clicks (semi expected) but things aren't always as they seem. Proving the exception to the rule the most clicked on post of the year was our Full Show Friday airing of NIN Show previewing the upcoming Voodoo Fest. Hopefully people were as offended by the editing as we were.

That one beat out (narrowly) our review of The Pixies first release in forever. Thanks to WaxRamble for spreading the viral love. Google searches still bring the most people to the site (thanks!) and a big shout out to our Ukrainian readers, whose country jumped to second, in the category of "nation most visiting the site" (behind the USA). Not sure why or how, but Велике спасибі

The site has just been an outlet for us to write more and more, so thanks fo'realz for reading. You can always follow us here, hope your 2014 kicks ass all the way til '15! This is the year we go from simply critic to participant...more on that soon. Until then Uncle Neil sings it best....

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Governors Ball Music Festival Announces Acts

Festival season keeps on rolling! Yesterday we got Jazzfest, today a little closer to RtBE's home. Gov's Ball announces their lineup here.
A doozy of 2 headliners as RtBE fav's OutKast and our man crush Jack White will be headlining. We aren't too fond of the other headliner, but hell this 3 day festival is going to have to get hit for the first time by us.

Wow those 2 performances are LIVE! Going to be some great sets...and love Big Boi rocking the Dwight Gooden!

The deep acts don't nearly draw us in like the deep acts at Jazzfest, but we will happily cruise the grounds and give them a listen. Here's hoping June in NYC is some nice weather for the action.

Album Review: Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings- Give The People What They Want

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
Give The People What They Want
***and1/2 out of *****
It was a tough 2013 for Sharon Jones who had to delay this albums release after being diagnosed with cancer. The songs here were recorded and set before her health issues, so the topics that are covered are more common ones; love and money.

Jones & the Dap Kings were key to the resurrection of the "retro soul sound" and they continue their style, tight arraignments that groove along with minimal excess while showcasing bright horns, fluid bass and Jones comforting voice. "Retreat!" is the album opener (and highlight) as a sassy Jones tells a lover to get away cause she is dangerous over popping brass and great guitar fills. The 70's sorrowful soul jam of "We Get Along" turns a negative into a positive, basically keepin' on keepin' on while disc closer "Slow Down, Love" is in this relaxed vein as well.  

The percussion perks up for "You'll Be Lonely" as various drums get in on the act and the low end also highlights "Long Time, Wrong Time" with a killer bass line. "People Don't Get What They Deserve" motors along with fantastic vibraphone accentuation, the title surely hit home with Jones' recent health developments, even if the track is more focused on financial inequality. 

A track like "Now I See" seems a bit mismatched, with chimes, a screeching vocal from Jones, and heavy baritone sax, but the combo doesn't light the fire that the song seems to strive for. The smooth soul of "Making Up and Breaking Up (And Making Up and Breaking Up Over Again)" is a direct hit with its sultry backing vocals and trumpet lines.

The whole outfit seem to be in the groove and indeed Giving The People What They Want, playing the style of music they love and many appreciate. This is professional, tight, soul. 
Of course Jones health is going to be in every review but the tunes don't need much of a story to sell them.  If you like 70's R&B/soul give this a listen.

Support the band here, buy the album here and peep some video below:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014 Jazzfest Acts Announced!

The first sign of Spring is here!!! Wow, what a lineup and we get the actual days they will be playing! Here is a great video to announce the acts:

That is a great Preservation Hall tune to get us JUICED watching the exciting video. We now know we messed up and booked too soon, this first weekend looks amazing, hmmm, may have to switch flights and catch Phish in NOLA, how can we miss them?!?!

Album Review: BongCauldron -BongCauldron

**and1/2 out of *****
With a pretty craptastic name BongCauldron put fourth a strong set of sludgy stoner rock. Hailing from the UK this is the second release form the band and the 5 song self titled EP has some bad ass cover art to go along with the chaos on the disk.

Musically the band seems to weigh a ton with heavy drums and sludge guitars but manages to change up tempos multiple times on "Pissed Up" slamming the pedal down the relaxing into a heavy-as-all-hell groove. Vocals stay in the typical metal vein but actual lyrics can still be deciphered over the noise, sometimes that isn't always a good thing...the band must have been pretty stoned to start shouting at the "Tree Wizard" on the EP opener. 

"Vehemence" plays with tempos and a crushing double bass drum rolling right into a breakdown custom made for the pit but at 5:45 runs a bit long a common problem for this type of stoner fueled metal. Length comes into play again for the massive "Gimp Jig" but this feels more like a journey and stretching out helps paint that picture over bass rumbles, bends and curves, keeping things interesting.

Our issues with the bands name aside (and hey it is tough to get a good one) the metal contained here is dark, rough, grooving and slamming, perfect for long dark winter nights...or a session with your BongCauldron.
How about some Metal? Breaking up the Jazzy January a bit...Pretty solid stuff if you are into the heavy.

Support the band here, buy the album here and peep some video below:

Monday, January 13, 2014

2014 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 2014 New Orleans Jazzfest will announce it's roster of artists tomorrow, which is pretty exciting as it confirms spring is just around the corner. Like we did last year we will put together who we think will/is/should be playing the best festival in America.

This one is pretty much locked in right? Just hope it is the second weekend when we will be there. 

Arcade Fire:

Heard the rumors that AF will be headlining Jazzfest this year. RtBE's guess is that it will be on the Saturday Second weekend, which seems to always be the big indie band slot. I wouldn't mind catching their theatrical rock and roll live, but I may also catch an act on the second stage depending on the lineup...(which won't be announced til much closer too)

Band of Horses:

We fell in love for real's with BoH at Jazzfest 2010 so we always hope they make an appearance.

Arctic Monkeys:

I don't think this lads have ever played the fest and after the best album of their career it would be great to catch them down south.

The Hold Steady:

New album due pre-fest, new label, come on boys get down to Nola, would love to throw back a hi life with the crew in that town. 

Neil Young (electric):

There always has to be one old big name, he hasn't played the fest since 09...why not Uncle Neil and maybe you can throw the Horse in that pipe dream?
Really that's just a list of bands we love that are currently touring nationally. All the local bands are the real draw of the fest and acts that never leave the area, but we will give special love to one:

Rough Seven:

Gotta end with one of personal favorite NOLA acts. Here's hoping they get back on the bill...or better yet just throw down a late night get down!

We will end with, quite simply we don't care who plays.  We will love it and we will happily enjoy whoever is playing. The city has our heart, the people there are the greatest, the food/drink lives in our dreams all year and Jazzfest is the one trip we can't do without. See you, and hopefully some of those bands up there, in the racetrack and around the Quarter. 

Dylan Cover #121 Ramblin' Jack Elliott "Don't Think Twice It's Alright" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from the Ramblin' Jack Elliot and is a live cover of "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"

Thought's on Original:
From the first time we reviewed a cover of this tune:
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:
Maybe the only artist we have highlighted in this series that was a distinct influence on Dylan himself. Ramblin' Jack Elliott even refereed to Dylan as his son in concerts when he would cover Bob's songs. Much in the vein of one of our heroes Pete Seeger, Jack wasn't "country" but he loved folk so much he did more to spread it then a lot of "authentic" singers. His style is clear crisp and honest.  
Thoughts on Cover:
A nice easy cover, that Ramblin' Jack makes his own with distinct playing and flow. The playing in particular caught our ear as Jack puts in some runs that aren't in the Dylan original but work very well here. The added bonus of how and when he learned this song during the intro is a really great touch. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy Birthday Pat Benatar!

We don't often do birthday wishes here at RtBE, but we have wished some classics happy ones in the past, and today's is a good one to celebrate.

RtBE loves Pat Benatar...umm yeah...we will leave it at that. Little tidbit you probably didn't know, she is in the Long Island Music Hall of Fame...Second tidbit you probably didn't know, that there is such a place as the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.

Happy Birthday Patricia Mae Andrzejewski and keep hitting us with your best shot...Happy Friday everyone.

Full Show Friday: Charlie Hunter PDX Jazz Fest 2012

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us 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...Charlie Hunter!

It's Jazzy January here at RtBE, so get ready to kick off 2014 with some different styled shows every Friday, we are skewing into new (or more recent) jazz land this month but It's All Cool Daddy'O! The farthest back we are looking is 2009 to prove there is amazing live jazz still being performed no matter what Ken Burns says.

Second of five is Charlie Hunter from the Portland Jazz Fest in 2012

If you don't know who Charlie Hunter is, let me quote his opening paragraph from Wikipedia:
Hunter plays custom-made seven and eight-string guitars, on which he simultaneously plays basslines, rhythm guitar, and solos. Critic Sean Westergaard[2] describes Hunter's guitar technique as "mind-boggling ... he's an agile improviser with an ear for great tone, and always has excellent players alongside him in order to make great music, not to show off."
Yeah pretty on point there. Guitar fans get ready there is no one else like Mr. Hunter anywhere. We caught him a bunch of times in the late 90's when he was playing all the time in the Village. We haven't seen him lately but his style is timeless. It is pretty amazing he can play as well as he does doing rhythm and leads at the same time. Like most of the shows this month it is the overall tone and not the individual songs, so sit back, relax and enjoy:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Album Review: Driftwood -Driftwood

Hey All,

Got a New Review up On Glide.

Read it Right C'here!!!
It is of Driftwood's newest, self title release.The band is a string outfit from upstate NY, hope they are keeping warm in this arctic weather. They got some really nice chops, especially dig the vocal mix. This is their third studio release, they tour often as well.

Support the group here, buy the album here and peep some video below:
"The Sun's Going Down" (our favorite from the disk)


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Album Review: Pixies -EP 2

The Pixies
EP 2
***and1/2 out of *****
Continuing the process they started back in September The Pixies are dropping their second four song collection that people can freak out and overreact to. Lets just take a look at the songs first though.

"Blue Eyed Hexe" kicks things off with noisy power, sticking to The Pixies bread and butter but if anything adding a bit more swagger and swing to things in a commercial/mainstream sense. "Magdalena" warbles and fuzzes pleasantly with ethereal guitar lines from Joey Santiago and Frank Black who also contributes some airy vocals. The track fades out right when bands (other then the Pixies) might jam it out, but like always things are kept on a short leash.

"Greens and Blues" pairs acoustic with electric as that spacey sound returns, a fantastic song that screams out for ex-member Kim Deals backing vocals, but otherwise majestically soars. The final track "Snakes" is the longest track with a distinct bass rumble and drum slapping ending things a touch eerily.

All in all the songs are pretty good to great but the release style the band is going with makes it a touch awkward to really dig into. Perhaps after the next batch (or 2) the group will offer a combined full LP option, but as of now these songs certainly won't let down fans and show the band is still evolving and vibrant.
Really good stuff, combining it with EP 1 and you got 8 solid tracks.

Support the band here, buy the album here and peep some video below:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Thurston Moore Solo Tune Coming Soon

Quick update, our friends at Clash have the good news that Thurston Moore has a new one off single coming out. You can read about it here.
Looks like the main Sonic Man will still be focusing on Chelsea Light Moving (who we liked, a lot) and this is just a tune out of nowhere but make sure you scroll to the bottom of that article and watch the video.

Moore tells some good stories about Joey Ramone, Beck, NYC etc and plays two tracks from his last solo album which we dug, also a lot. Really worth the watch, I won't re-post it here, instead I will pump up the noise and give you some live Chelsea Light Moving from when the played recently at KEXP, Enjoy the noiserock:

Live Review: Trombone Shorty 12/13/13 Terminal 5, NYC

Hey all,

Got a New Review up on Glide.

You can read it Right C'here

We love Shorty and Orleans Avenue, our falling in love with his hometown of New Orleans coincided with his rise to main-stage attraction at Jazzfest. We will always have a soft spot in our hearts for him and will probably catch him every time he plays up here and at least once when we are south, but we wanted more on this night.

Granted we didn't like his last album but on this night he rocked well; what we were missing was not from the headliner. Having never once seen Bootsy Collins we were really disappointed when he was canceled from the bill. 

Oh well, keep funkin' it up, and stay warm during these cold months, Mardi Gras ain't too far away...Some video:

Charles Walker & The Dynamites (from another night)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Dylan Cover #120 Sofi Marshall "Shelter From The Storm"

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 Sofi Marshall playing "Shelter From the Storm"
Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this song:
An epic track, feeling simple and etched in history at the same time. Religious overtones, passionate asides all mix within the confines of the illustrious/mysterious "She" who is bringing us all in. A gorgeous song and one of my favorite odd phrases Dylan has ever recorded, "Hunted like a crocodile/Ravaged in the corn".  I have no idea what it is supposed to mean and I don't care, it is perfect.  One thing that may bring this one down a peg overall is the connection to another great song "Up To Me" which is basically the same tune...hearing one always makes me want to hear the other.      

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
I have never heard of Sofi Marshall before. You can find more youtube clips here and you can like her on facebook here
Thoughts on Cover:
A confident if understated version of the tune. The playing feels easy as does the smooth harmonica and phrasing of Sofi's vocals. the relaxed singing style fits this song (as any emotion really would I guess), one of Dylan's best songs and a pleasant start to our 2014 continuation of this on going cover series.
(I am taking out the grades this year, they don't serve much purpose and who cares what arbitrary letter value I give a cover? Listen to the track and enjoy it or don't your choice)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Full Show Friday: Joshua Redman & The Bad Plus Vitoria-Gasteiz Jazz Festival 2012

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us 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...Joshua Redman & The Bad Plus!

It's Jazzy January here at RtBE, so get ready to kick off 2014 with some different styled shows every Friday, we are skewing into new (or more recent) jazz land this month but It's All Cool Daddy'O! The farthest back we are looking is 2009 to prove there is amazing live jazz still being performed no matter what Ken Burns says.

First of five is Joshua Redman & The Bad Plus Vitoria-Gasteiz Jazz Festival 2012

I guess I somehow missed this tour, but I hadn't heard that these two acts had actually played together.  I have caught Josh Redman a few times in the past, but have yet to see The Bad Plus live. The combo is not one that would jump to mind right away though which makes this set pretty special, this is some inventive jazz especially the closer "Silence Is The Question".

Great way to kick off the month with some new styled live jazz, going to be a fun one....


01 - 2 P.M. 0:00 / 02 - Thriftstore Jewelry 15:17 / 03 - People Like You 23:27 / 04 - Big Eater 35:20 / 05 - Silence Is The Question 45:02

36th Vitoria-Gasteiz Jazz Festival - Mendizorrotza Sports Center - July 18th 2012

Joshua Redman - Tenor
Ethan Iverson - Piano
Reid Anderson - Double Bass
David King - Drums

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Album Review: Melt Yourself Down- Melt Yourself Down

Melt Yourself Down
Melt Yourself Down
*** out of *****
Melt Yourself Down is a 6 piece experimental outfit from England who use tribal grooves to sustain their blaring saxophone runs while Kushal Gaya chants in front of it all in various languages. There is a dance laden chaotic feel to the proceedings making for great party music.

There a fusion digital bleeps and moving brass dominated by saxophonists Pete Wareham and Shabaka Hutchings, at times holding the foundation or slamming in for brassy brakes. The group is a combo of lots of London based free jazz artists contributing but the end product is cohesive and not as experiential as it might seem on first glance. Things stay mostly in the Afrobeat genre as the first few songs "Fix My Life" and "Release!" feel like on elongated track in the vibe of Fela Kuti.

The band plays it pretty repetitive and with only 8 tracks it feels more like an elongated EP the a full length release. Difference's emerge with the shorter/mellower "Free Walk" which has a cool off kilter bass line from Ruth Goller and drumming from Tom Skinner, making it the most unique track here. An Egyptian tinge populates "Mouth To Mouth" as the energy picks up before the disk closes with the marching "Camel".

A good bridge for listeners who want to digitally get down in a new age but also still exposing them to the world of Afrobeat, funk and pop. A distinct party album that works to expand the ears while moving hips.   
Some interesting mix of tunes here from this collective of British Jazz musicians. Oh and get ready for a lot more Jazz come January....

Buy the album here, you can also stream it here, peep some video below:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014 All!

Welcome to the New Year, here's hoping your hangover isn't so bad you miss this pretty cool hockey game...
Anyway all the best to everyone in 2014! Let the wind always be at your back or something like that....and remember: