Friday, February 28, 2014

Full Show Friday: Levon Helm Band Newport Festival 2008

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...Levon Helm Band!
Ok this one may not be as mainstream popular as others this month, but we wanted to bring it home a bit. We were honored to catch the first show Levon Helm played outside of his house in decades when we caught the Levon Helm Band live. It was March 16th 2007 and Helm along with a kick ass band and guests were on fire. It was something I never thought I would see but Helm toured until his death with various stages of vocal chords and I ended up catching him a bunch.

You can watch a documentary on him here, but honestly I found it a bit depressing and think the best way to remember the man is to enjoy one of his shows. This was a joyous one from Newport Folk Festival in 2008. Levon's voice isn't perfect but he does sing a lot and honestly that is just fine, let the past be the past this band was a joy themselves. In fact it is really the first time I ever saw Larry Campbell step out and lead a band, he should do it more then just be the consummate sideman/behind the scenes band leader.    

This is the full show, but I am not sure it is in the same order from the original show. All the songs are pretty much highlights, but we enjoyed "Got Me A Woman" "Long Black Veil" "Chest Fever" and "Deep Elem Blues" particularly. Setlist and the amazing group of players at this show is below. Enjoy:

Deep Elem Blues
Ashes of Love
Anna Lee
Chest Fever
Love Played A Game
Long Black Veil
Got Me A Woman
Rag Mama Rag
Fannie Mae
The Same Thing (Cut)
The Shape I'm In
The Weight

Levon Helm - vocals, drums, mandolin
Jimmy Vivino - guitar, vocals
Larry Campbell - guitar, mandolin, fiddle
Brian Mitchell - keyboards, vocals
Amy Helm - vocals, guitar, drums
Little Sammy Davis - harmonica, vocals
Theresa Williams - vocals
Katherine Russell - vocals
Clark Gayton - trombone
Steven Bernstein - trumpet
Eric Lawrence - saxophone
Howard Johnson - tuba, saxophone
Lincoln Schluyfur - electric bass
Shawn Payton - drums
Jake Shimabukuro - ukulele
Gillian Welch - vocals
David Rawlings - guitar, vocals

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Album Review: Warpaint- Warpaint

***and1/2 out of *****
The LA quartet's second full length begins with a false start on “Intro” before diving into a swirling cauldron of nebulous light rock that floats on the edges of perception. The self titled disk plays long as the band meanders about keeping listeners at a distance but engaging just enough to make things interesting.

There is an overriding ambiance and texture to the disk that links things together and moves Warpaint into more experimental fields then 2010’s excellent The Fool. The mix between icy cool and warmth is an interesting one as the band plays with wispy singing, guitars and off kilter sounds to produce an eerie vibe while letting the warm bass and drums envelope the listener. This pairing of distant melody and reassuring rhythm is a nifty trick that this experienced band pulls off.  

“Love Is To Die” starts angular before becoming groovy as Emily Kokal delivers breathy vocals. “Biggy” runs close to six minutes building off of a main keyboard riff while “Disco//Very” lives up to it’s name. Jenny Lee Lindberg’s bass is the focal point of a lot of the music here, but really shines on “Hi”. Warpaint nail that constantly present dreamlike quality on “Go In” while “Drive” pulses along. “Teese” mixes up the instrumentation bringing in an acoustic flair before disk closer “Son” plays with some pianos.

The cover art on Warpaint has the individual members photo’s layered over each other, you can see through all, yet see nothing clearly. This aesthetic carries over to the groups songs; surreal and surrounding.
Interesting album from the ladies, we liked their first as well and are always curious when a band self-titles an album that isn't their first release.

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

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Album Review: The Soft White Sixties- Get Right

The Soft White Sixties
Get Right
*** out of *****

On the disk opening "City Lights" lead singer Octavio Genera sings "Hey, I'm just having a good time!" and that is a good summation of The Soft White Sixties first full length release Get Right; upbeat rock and roll.

Besides the party lyrics and grooving feel, "City Lights" finds fuzz guitars mixing with electro pulses and hip shaking tambourines. The other standout track is the bombarding "Don't Lie To Me" which swirls jet engine rumbles, climbing progressions, electric riffs and slamming drums. The track is reminiscent of a mid-90's U2 sound and the only downside is its brevity; a real winner.    

The disks pacing suffers by placing 2 mid-tempo singalongs, "Rubber Band" and "Treat Me" with a ballad, "Rollaway", together in the middle of the disk. The tracks themselves are fine but Get Right's flow halts. The band is at its best when they are going all out, songs like "Ain't Your Mother" get bogged down by middle of the road lyrics and no sense of urgency.

On a more positive note "Up To The Light" pushes the sexiness quotation dramatically in the vein of Arctic Monkey's newest release A.M. "Lemon Squeezer" accelerates the pace with a fantastic piano and drum build and disk closer "Tilt A Whirl" injects some modern R&B into things ending a solid album from the 4 piece from San Fransisco, excellently produced, confident and enjoyable..     
A really polished release from this SF Band. Good rock and roll.

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

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Album Review: Scott H. Biram-Nothin' But Blood

Hey all,

Got a new review up on Glide.

Read it Right C'here!!!
It is of Scott H. Biram's newest release Nothin' But Blood.

A mixed bag album from the singer/song-writer/dirty-one-man-band.

You can grab the album here, support the artist here and peep some video below:

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dylan Cover #127 The Whateverly's "Country Pie" Live

 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 Whateverly's  of "Country Pie"
Thoughts on Dylan Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
Recorded for Nashville Skyline "Country Pie" is a tasty little treat that doesn't leave you too fat after consuming it. The free-wheeling sense that accompanies it is simply charming, almost a kid song that I could see parents singing to children it has a whimsical air that elevates it up above simple throw away tune.  It was certainly a surprise to hear it live, the 2000 tour was the only time he broke it out in his career.  

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
We are not familiar with The Whateverly's but here is their website. It states they are a folk group from the pacific Northwest. Def down to listen to them play some more tunes.
Thoughts on Cover:
A really fun upbeat run through with lots of instrumentation. The recording is obviously from a fan in attendance, and the cymbals dominate the beginning of the video, but as the song progress's levels even out and things sound fine and confident. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Full Show Friday: The Black Keys Lollapalooza Brasil 2013

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...The Black Keys!

Continuing on our more popular trend this week we got a show from The Black Keys. We have seen them live a bunch and honestly always come away slightly disappointed. It boils down to the band always seemingly in a hurry with their playing. Things are sped up and never really catch a groove. That said their last two albums are fantastic and we are probably due a third one this year I would guess...

People love them though and they are one of the biggest bands in the world at this point. This show from last summer is pretty good all around, "Run Right Back" keeps a good pace and calling back to our first show this month the guys nail their Led Zep tribute on "Little Black Submarines". "Sinister Kid" is one of our favorites and "Everlasting Light" is the best song the band does live. The group still get a little anxious on "Gold On the Ceiling" "Girl is On My Mind"and a few others, but overall a good set from them.


The Black Keys - Live at Lollapalooza Brasil 2013
00:00 Howlin' For You
04:04 Next Girl
07:30 Run Right Back
11:45 Same Old Thing
14:46 Dead And Gone
18:55 Gold On The Ceiling
22:45 Thickfreakness
26:30 Girl Is On My Mind
32:06 Your Touch
35:30 Little Black Submarines
40:39 Money Maker
43:45 Strange Times
46:32 Ten Cent Pistol
52:10 Nova Baby
56:43 Sinister Kid
59:53 Everlasting Light
1:03:27 She's Long Gone
1:07:25 Tighten Up
1:11:18 Lonely Boy
1:14:51 I Got Mine

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Album Review: Beck- Morning Phase

Morning Phase
***and1/2 out of *****
Even before the music rises on Morning Phase the album art recalls Beck's most introspective release 2002's Sea Change. It is also being marketed as a companion piece to that album and instantly sets the reflective mood. In 2014 Beck is more nuanced but not much more upbeat; there is a melancholy feeling that seeps into everything here.

What can't be over stated is Beck's growing stature as a producer. The music, production, texture and layering of various instruments voices and sounds is astonishing; this is simply an amazing sounding album. While the song writing seems stuck in an icy box of loner-ism the music (provided by his long time collaborators guitarist Smokey Hormel, bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen, keyboard player Roger Joseph Manning Jr. and drummer Joey Waronker) comes alive, supported as well by layers of strings and vocals constructing a musical depth that requires repeated listens to soak it all in.

Beck has said he wanted to make a "California music album" when discussing Morning Phase. While tracks like "Blackbird Chain" resemble the country ease mixed with pop that California has been known for, there is a distance that is more reminiscent of Neil Young's On The Beach, recorded in Cali, but not always thought of when "California sound" is mentioned.

"Wave" is the albums centerpiece and built on a humming string foundation Beck repeats the phrase "Isolation" coldly over and over again in a foreboding manner. This doesn't feel like a lost soul it presents someone who has chosen to be isolated. Same can be said for "Don't Let It Go" which comes from a place of experience, yet Beck by design never seems to let the listener in as if he is already too far gone.

The first single "Blue Moon" is the most upbeat track here, along with "Heart Is A Drum" but things are still very very mellow, his first line in "Blue Moon" says it all, "I'm so tired of being low". There are flashes of drums and strums but things all over Morning Phase are sleepy and relaxed, moving too easily into distant and cold. The production and sonic sounds are stunningly gorgeous yet Beck still seems to be on the outside looking in emotionally.   
Honestly? We never dug on Sea Change and until that point, loved Beck. Morning Phase is well constructed, professional, and serves a purpose...just not sure how often we are going to go back and listen to it. The rating and stars for this one is tough, waffled between 3 and 3 and 1/2 but in the end it doesn't matter...  

That said support the artist here, buy the album here and peep some video below:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Some New Hold Steady Tunes

We are eagerly awaiting Teeth Dreams, The Hold Steady's new album due out in March.
We already pre-ordered the vinyl, and caught a hell of a show where a few new tunes were aired. While looking on youtube we came across a cool Radio Interview/Performance by 3 members of the band Craig, Tad and Steve. They chat about the new disk, playing three tunes off of it acoustically for a small studio audience. Give it a listen below.
The interview goes into reasoning behind the albums title and we gotta say we love the new songs in this style.

Looks like some people were thinking alike: "Almost Everything" hmm Craig and I on the same level, maybe he checked out "Except Everything" from The A&V EP. I can dream. You can also give this a read from Pitchfork as they were at the 2/6 show too, just with a bit better access.  

More info about the performance:
00:35 Spinners (from Teeth Dreams)
09:35 The Sweet Part of the City (from Heaven is Whenever)
14:09 The Only Thing (from Teeth Dreams)
27:02 Almost Everything (from Teeth Dreams)

Craig, Tad and Steve from The Hold Steady get interviewed about their upcoming album, Teeth Dreams, and play an acoustic set of three songs on WYEP 91.3 FM.

Also the band just released their next single "Spinners" from the album so if you want to hear it with the full band check this out:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

NYPL Exhibit: Ladies and Gentlemen...The Beatles!

We love it when the day job and the hobby comes together and they do it again in a big way with
Ladies and Gentlemen...The Beatles! a new exhibit being put on by The New York Public Library

We are very excited to check it out and hope to swing by The
Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center in the next few weeks. If you are a fan of the fab four you should check it out, even if you're not you still should. I think it is hard to comprehend what a seismic impact they had on the world...

Here is also an amazing look at how the Beatles broke into America as hugely as they did, written by Steve Greenberg. It is really exhaustive and brings up lots of cool things, like how "Beatlemania" was a play on "Lisztomania" regarding the insanity that emanated from Franz Liszt; I can see the petticoats flying now for locks of this this piano great's hair...
On a slightly different note I recently caught The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch which I never knew existed. I watched the original back in my junior high school Monty Python obsession days, but had forgotten most of it. The sequel basically just rehashes the first with more celebrity interviews. 

The surprising thing was how much I liked the "fake" songs or better put the parody's. In particular "I Must Be In Love" is fantastic, better then quite a few Beatles song I think. That said I doubt The Rutles will make the exhibit, but here is a video sample of some of the finer tunes written by Ron Nasty aka Neil Innes:

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dylan Cover #126 Sonny & Cher "All I Really Want To Do"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Sonny & Cher of the Dylan tune "All I Really Want To Do"
Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
This song made Dylan leaving the "cause" and "topical songs" behind easier for his hardcore fans to swallow, because really, how can anyone dislike this song?  Simple, playful, loving, sly..."All I Really Want To Do" has it all. Oh and he left nothing behind, in fact he opened up a world of music for the planet to experience, be inspired from, and enjoy long after he is gone.   

Thoughts on Cover Band:
Don't really have many thoughts on Sonny & Cher except that our parents always got a silly kick out of them. They seem so quintessentially early 70's it is almost cartoonish. Yet "I Got You Babe" makes everyone smile. This track was Cher's debut song for her solo career, that I did not know until today. I guess I never knew that Sonny Bono was her manager either...huh, guess I need to brush up on my Sonny and Cher knowledge. 
Thoughts on Cover:
A straight ahead run through propelled by a big production and orchestration. While not our favorite take on the tune it does motor along and we do like it better then The Byrds version. Figured this was a good one so close to Valentines day...and those are some outfits too....

Friday, February 14, 2014

Full Show Friday: Kanye West Late Orchestration Live @ Abbey Road

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...Kanye West!

Another mainstream act, lets get Yeezus...back in 2005 before he knew what a Kardashian was. While his most recent got love from us this year in a few places, his first album we always considered one of the best. It is good to see him inspired and unique. 

Kanye goes one song before starting to preach to the a self fullfilling way...well the more things change or whatever. When the songs are rolling though they the arraignments are pretty god damn cool and while Kanye was never the best MC he does a fine job here and things are unique enough to keep things flowing in every direction.

Highlights? Well the closing "Jesus Walks" is amazing, "All Falls Down" is another great one, as is the opener with West in full form on "Diamonds From Sierra" 

0:00 Diamonds From Sierra
5:58 Touch the Sky
10:06 Crack Music
12:54 Drive Slow
17:28 Through the Wire
21:16 Workout Plan
24:18 Heard 'Em Say
28:26 All Falls Down
31:58 Bring Me Down
35:28 Gone
40:00 Late
43:54 Jesus Walks

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Live Review: The Hold Steady 2/6/14 Music Hall of Williamsburg

The Hold Steady
Live 2/6/14
Music Hall of Williamsburg 
Brooklyn, NY

What the fellas from Brooklyn are calling their "Tenth Anniversary Show" was more celebration of community sound and singalongs then mega musical expression but that didn't stop the loud guitars and positive vibes from soaring on this freezing Thursday night in Brooklyn.

The band tossed out a massive set of 28 tunes organizing tracks chronologically around their releases then mixing in newer tunes from their upcoming Teeth Dreams LP. The band started out in this exact room back when the Music Hall of Williamsburg was called North 6 (and was a good deal shabbier). Craig Finn told the raucous crowd that this was maybe their 11th year as a band but they were calling it their 10th anniversary before starting the show, "The only way we know how" with "Positive Jam".

The packed house sung every single word with the front-man all night long, while Finn made a resolution to not "fake playing guitar in 2014". After a few more tunes off of the groups first release the group played their new single "I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You" which fit in perfectly with the tried and true tunes. Early highlights were "Cattle and the Creeping Things", "You Can Make Him Like You" and the new "Almost Everything" which was filmed by pro's and the crowd for a future video.

Bassist Galen Polivka was a busy man all night running up and down his fretboard with bass lines and fills while drummer Bobby Drake kept things on the rails. The dual guitar attack of Tad Kubler and Steve Selvidge adds power to the group but some of the nuance is lost without the piano, case in point is the truncated "Stevie Nix". Perhaps a touring piano player mixed with these twin six string slingers would up the dramatics even more.

The set closing trio of Stay Positive songs, "Sequestered In Memphis", "Constructive Summer", "Slapped Actress" packed a real wallop. The first of two encores was highlighted by "Stuck Between Stations" and the climatic "How A Resurrection Really Feels".

Already a fantastic show that had people losing their voices from all the singalongs saw things raise a musical level as some of the groups best songs flowed to end the night. The heartbreaking and alcohol shakes inducing "Citrus" the jump along "You're Little Hoodrat Friend" and swaying "Southtown Girls" were all heartfelt before the band closed the way it started harking back to the beginning with "Killer Parties".

The band has thrived, their amazing fanbase has survived and flourished and hopefully there are ten or so more years of Killer Parties to come.   

Some Video and Setlist Below:

Positive Jam
The Swish
I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You
Cattle and the Creeping Things
Stevie Nix
Multitude of Casualties
The Ambassador
You Can Make Him Like You
Chips Ahoy!
Same Kooks
Almost Everything
The Weekenders
Rock Problems
Sequestered in Memphis
Constructive Summer
Slapped Actress
Certain Songs
Stuck Between Stations
Massive Nights
Stay Positive
How a Resurrection Really Feels
Encore 2:
Your Little Hoodrat Friend
Southtown Girls
Killer Parties

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Album Review: DTCV- Hilarious Heaven

Hilarious Heaven
**and1/2 out of *****
The French-American post-punk rockers DTCV (pronounced Detective) have put out a large album that spans multiple genres. The trio James Greer (vocals/guitar) Guylaine Vivarat (vocals/guitar/bass/keys) Chris Dunn (drums) have a lot to say musically over their debut release even splicing obscure movie quotes in-between the tracks.

The pop jangling rocker of "I Was Where You Were" is a fun quick breeze while "Improving Ground" shows the bands Velvet Underground love in Greer's Lou Reed like vocals and slanted pop structure. "Hyperdoxxing At Dowager Inn" is brief burst of punk while "Alpha Waves in a Gelatinous Container" swimmingly eases out before jagged terrain upsets the bliss. 

Two of the better tracks take different paths, the groove factor gets amplified on "Electrostatic Inc" and a piano intro sets up "Contre Jour" as Vivarat sultry sings in French over a an increasingly pretty building rise of instrumentation.  

The groups male female leads and artistic tendencies lead to a stripped down, mellow Sonic Youth comparison, but DTCV are much more pop orientated. Their 11 minute experiment "How Not To Be" includes a few flute and sax free jazz breaks but they feel shoehorned in as opposed to fluid; things never coalesce and this outlier doesn't reach its intended soaring heights.  

That said the players are all seasoned veterans and Hilarious Heaven is nuanced and professional, the group has a lot to work with going forward.   
A cool mix of tunes. Really a pop record with flashes of noiserock.

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

Live Review: Arctic Monkeys 2/8/14 MSG, NYC

Hey All,

Got a live Review up over on Glide.

Read it Right C'here!!!
It is of the Arctic Monkey's recent show at MSG.

Pretty cool that these guys are now headlining arenas in the US. Their new album is one of the best of the year and it is great that America is catching on and selling out places like The Garden (we saw them open up there before). We were surprised at how young and female the crowd was, proof the Monkeys are doing something right with their sexy new sound.

Go read the review, you can peep some video below, but the one word we kept writing down was restraint...the band knows the new tunes are good, they never rush them and all of us in attendance are better off for it. Hell of a show.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Album Review: The Men -Campfire Songs

The Men
Campfire Songs EP
*** out of *****
When The Men recorded their excellent New Moon, the group was so inspired by the upstate New York surroundings that their cup runneth over and some of those extra tracks make an appearance on the Campfire Songs EP.  These acoustic tracks were recorded around the fire outside and they retain a woodsy flair.

It opens with an acoustic take on "I Saw Her Face" from New Moon which is just as good as the original, showing a distinct connection with Neil Young styled song writing and playing. The looseness of the strumming and interacting of musicians feels effortless shaggy and smokey, campfire music indeed. A shaker runs to the forefront on "The Seeds" also an acoustic take on a New Moon song whose melody shimmy's into the ear.

"Waterbabies" has a dissident quality, foreboding and eerie while "Turn Your Color" is a buzzing instrumental that takes a humming flair to the extreme, acoustic art rock anyone? Disk closing "Patience" is a sonic patchwork of what has come before it on the disk fusing styles sounds and tracks over Oh's and Aah's in a playful loose style. The last three tracks clearly feel like outtakes making the EP more of a fun listen then essential.

The band is confident and this release continues to expand their sound and sonic palette. Nature can have an influence on you so can singing around a campfire.
The more we hear of The Men the more we like. They play Bowery Ballroom in about 1 month, we hope to catch them then.

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

Streaming Album: Angels & Vagabonds: The A&V EP

A little over a month ago the band Angels & Vagabonds released The A&V EP, why does this matter, well I am in that band.
Last month in looking backwards, we mentioned that going forward we would be more involved in the music scene and this is that big first step. We review and chat about music all the time so it is only fair we put ours out there for others to check out as well.

Our friend Glen did a great job helping us out and thanks to Smash Studios for recording space and West West Side Music for the mastering. Thanks to Bruno _pek_ for allowing us to use his amazing picture as our cover. You can see more of his work here.

We are very excited and proud of the EP, feel free to check it out below and voice your opinions. You can follow the links to buy or share it, as always thanks for reading, now thanks for listening....

Monday, February 10, 2014

Dylan Cover #125 Eric Burdon "Gotta Serve Somebody" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a live cover by Eric Burdon of "Gotta Serve Somebody"

Thoughts on Dylan Original:
From our first take on this:
This powerful call of hellfire and brimstone rained down from the mountaintop as Dylan proclaimed his faith proudly, and this was the first song that most of the public heard confirming the fact that Bob did indeed "Go Jesus". It is point and fact with its belief and message. You gotta serve somebody...can't be simpler then that when it comes to faith can it? The original has a driving beat and a propulsion to it that sounds urgent, but not as urgent as Bob sings, reenforcing the proclamation through his powerful lyrics and leaving no man or woman on the sidelines...he brings everyone into this spiritual battle, and whatever your beliefs it is impossible not to feel Bob is committed as he runs through the verses and chorus.  


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Eric Burdon has had a great career and we get even more insight into some early problems in Germany in this clip. The lead singer for The Animals and War, Burdon has been responsible for singing such hits as "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" and "Spill The Wine". Not too shabby a resume. He is still going strong too, made obvious by this performance and his dig at Google (who sponsored the clip) at the end.

Thoughts on Cover:
Mixing a mellow Bo Diddley beat into things the group eases the tune along. Burdon mentions this was a Dylan cover he always wanted to do, because it gives the players such freedom to move. This group doesn't get to out there, in fact they play it fairly straight from the get go. Pretty video, shot out in Joshua tree, fun listen if nothing particularly memorable.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Full Show Friday: Led Zeppelin 1970 Royal Albert Hall

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...Led Zeppelin!

So last month we skewed a bit different with our Full Show Friday's and presented Jazzy January here at RtBE. Judging by the lack of page clicks that wasn't the wisest of moves...hmm, well we personally liked it, especially that killer John Zorn set. Anyways,
lets go back into the mainstream, this month only shows from artists people know and hopefully love.

Starting the month off we got Led Zeppelin. While not one of our personal favorites, they are omnipresent in the rock universe. This show catches them at an earlier time in their career specifically the touring off of Led Zeppelin II. The band would turn a bit more folksie and "Stairway-y later on, but here the set is dominated by the British electric blues sound and lots of guitar experiments from Jimmy Page.

The rawness and energy is there throughout, highlights for us are the Willie Dixon cover of "I Can't Quit You", "Communication Breakdown" and our favorite jam from the fellas (and Dixon again) "Whole Lotta Love".


Led Zeppelin - Live at the Royal Albert Hall 1970 (Full Concert)

00:27 We're Gonna Groove (James A. Bethea, Ben E. King)
03:40 I Can't Quit You Baby (Willie Dixon)
10:36 Dazed and Confused (Jimmy Page)
26:09 White Summer (Page)
38:32 What Is and What Should Never Be (Page, Robert Plant)
43:11 How Many More Times (John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Page)
1:03:28 Moby Dick (Bonham, Jones, Page)
1:18:49 Whole Lotta Love (Bonham, Dixon, Jones, Page, Plant)
1:25:13 Communication Breakdown (Bonham, Jones, Page)
1:29:29 C'mon Everybody (Jerry Capehart, Eddie Cochran)
1:32:00 Somethin' Else (Bob Cochran, Sharon Sheeley)
1:34:10 Bring It On Home (Bonham, Dixon, Jones, Page, Plant)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Album Review: Sleepy Sun -Maui Tears

Sleepy Sun
Maui Tears
**and1/2out of *****
The psychedelic rock that the San Fransisco based 5 piece Sleepy Sun delivers floats and warbles in various direction like a leaking lava lamp. The bands 4th disk Maui Tears  touches on genre staples but doesn't seem in a hurry to go anywhere or do much of any thing.

Opening with a jangling western vibe "The Lane" is spacious with reverb all around while an acoustic guitar strums in the foreground of "Words". Vocally Bret Constantino reminds of a restrained Perry Farrell, with lots of vocal effects warping the sound. Lyrics and words are hard to decipher acting more as sonic accoutrement then verses and choruses.

Some disk highlights are the dreamlike Pink Floyd-light "Outside" and the shaking/rattling "Galaxy Punk" that pushes the tempo, adding a sense of purpose to the proceedings in a positive way causing it to standout amongst the tracks. Another semi highlight is "Everywhere Waltz" that pairs screeching guitars with a sludge thunder bass, but then confusingly ends with some ill timed and oddly attempted vocal harmony that is simply out of place with everything else here.

"Slowdown" is perfectly titled as the track puts the already slow disk into neutral while "1132" toys with a tempo change but stays languid. The title track closes things starting sparse with a prominent bass-line. At the 7 minute mark amps threatens to soar, but things quickly fade back into dreamland as the disk ends.   

A lighter version of The Black Angels, Sleepy Sun has a perfect moniker and while not space travel inducing, Maui Tears will scratch that itch of mid (to slow) tempo psych-rock, floating along on fuzz-tone and dreams. 
Kinda wanted to dig this psych-rock more, but Maui Tears does what's advertised,

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

Album Review: Gina Chavez -up.rooted

Gina Chavez
**** out of *****
The gorgeous cover art welcomes up.rooted with the eyes while the sounds Gina Chavez has crafted rings gloriously in the ears. The Austin based singer/songwriter credits her multicultural family upbringing with exposing her to a variety of sounds and on the artists second album she plays with everything from bossa nova, reggaeton, soul, traditional folk and full on pop send ups.

Opening with "Save Me" Chavez instantly pulls the listener in with raving up on a jamming soul tune complete with horns that are dynamite. That opener juxtaposed with the delicate straight up love song "Will You Love" that comes later in the album, stand out as amazing tracks that travel very different paths while both sticking with the listener long after up.rooted ends.

Chavez has recently returned from doing mission work in El Salvador, working closely with girls in gang dominated Soyapango and that experience can heard in tunes like "Like An Animal" that deals with some of life's hardships for women.  An upbeat tune that experience also produced is the bouncing "Siete-D" recalling insane bus rides around town with Spanish vocals that flow.

"Maiz" is a delicate folk song accented by plucking and Chavez's glorious voice while "Gotta Get" struts around with Latino swagger. "Soy Quien Soy" is a pleading tune which could be dealing with gender-issues and nationality problems related to them over a pleading refrain while the sparse "Fire Water" drips along and "Miles de Millas" yearns and sashay's.  

The multicultural approach checks lots of PR boxes, but it is the overall tone of things on up.rooted that really hits home. Listeners may not be able to understand or identify with everything Chavez is singing about but the honesty, truth and beauty in her voice and music allows you to connect anyway; a great listen from a new artist who is sure to soar in popularity with this release.
Sometimes you need to judge books by their cover. What caught our eye was the cover art, in getting sent so many albums this stood out and the music rewarded with each listen. Def an early 2014 highlight.

Support the artist here, buy the album here, peep some video below:
"Gotta Get" Live

"Miles de Millas" Live Solo Acoustic:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Album Review: Sunn 0))) -LA REH 012

Sun 0)))
LA REH 012
**and 1/2 out of *****
The doom riff, slow metal titans Sun 0))) have a new album coming out soon so in anticipation they do what any band does, release a surprise album. While the upcoming Terrestrials finds the band pairing with the black metal group Ulver and is the true follow up to the mega Monoliths & Dimensions from 2009, this current release titled effectively enough, LA REH 012, is a rehearsal session from the band, you guessed it recorded in Los Angeles in 2012.  

For those not familiar with the duo's sound, Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson plod along with feedback and reverb that you can feel in the bottoms of your feet...while listening on headphones.  This release was designed for vinyl as the "songs" each consist of instrumental work outs with little changes over about 20 minutes each.

The first side "Last One/Valentines Day" pulses along without major wattage changes, distortions or fluctuation; it just musical groans and drones. Not the most exciting of Sun 0)))'s tracks but things become more dynamic and nuanced on the flip-side.

"Invisible/Sleeper" starts with mangled voices, layered over each other, sounding scared before one female voice takes over; you don't need to speak her language to sense the fear. The tension slowly begins to mount as note changes meld with feedback before pulsing to a stop. Things slowly start to build and faint additions (was that a far off siren) can be heard.

The sparseness and droning invites the listeners to sense and feel along with the band painting audio and physical pictures as it goes along. This music flows through the whole body, it is primal. The bandcamp page for this album suggests the following MAXIMUM VOLUME YIELDS MAXIMUM RESULTS. Amen to that.
Obviously this music isn't for everyone and even people who love it would probably have a hard time listening to it repetitively or every day, but sometimes it hits its mark, actually in Sun 0)))'s case it hits more often then it misses. You need to be patient, or insane, or both, and we are. We loved Monoliths & Dimensions a ton, this isn't on that level but it is a good reminder of their style, looking forward to Terrestrials.  

Support the band here, grab or stream the album here

Album Review: Passenger Peru -Passenger Peru

Passenger Peru
Passenger Peru
***and1/2 out of *****
This Brooklyn based duo has put together their first full length release that splashes experimental pop, chugging bass lines and off kilter tunes into the listeners ear. Multi-instrumentalist Justin Gonzales and bassist Justin Stivers Passenger Peru is intriguing and quirky. 

There are short trip-out experiments like "Tiger Lilly" (which probably sound better in an altered state) but also straight up tunes with only slight alterations like the first single "Heavy Drugs" that despite it's title rolls light and airy. "Your Hunger" open things in a bit of a darker mood that by the end recalls a heavy Tool feel via Stivers bass line.    

"Weak Numbers" builds, swelling with big drums, ohh's and distorted bass while "Memory Garden" seems to have 5 or 6 different guitar styles strumming during its opening. Both tracks stay fairly straight ahead but hint at much more beneath the surface, a neat trick. Upbeat guitars pair with bad ass bass distortion for the more ominous "Health System" and "In The Absence of Snow" grooves along with fuzz-tone and distortion before a catchy as hell guitar run, proving an early highlight.   

Disk closer "Life and Death of a Band" expands the sonic palette fully and amps the energy levels of guitars, key twitches and unidentifiable sounds all roll in, but the bass motors everything along, causing tension and angst. Gonzales and Stivers went all out to end things, even including a live bonus track and a cover tune of My Bloody Valentine's "Don't Ask Why".   

Like most outfits in this genre vocally and lyrically there is a dream feel to things with effects and layering added making voices act more as an extra instrument then a medium to get ideas across. That said unlike other outfits, the group seems to at least want you to know what words are being sung, even if they don't always make the most sense. 

Who knows if this duo will continue winding down the weird path they have cut out for themselves on this self titled release. There are some interesting avenues explored and a sense of freedom that anything can happen in the next note while still remaining in an artsy-pop framework.
We like experiential stuff here at RtBE and Passenger Peru fit that bill of sale. The album just came out.

Support the band here, buy the album here, you can stream and peep some video samples below  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Album Review: Hospitality -Trouble

**and1/2 out of *****
The newest album from Brooklyn's Hospitality is a scattered affair that has mixes of dreamy art pop, 80's electro and stripped down Merseyside beat. Trouble as a whole might feel a bit disjointed but pieces can surprise and worm into the ear.  

The trio (Amber Papini, Nathan Michel, Brian Betancourt) move around the musical dial with ease but have a hard time nailing down a specific sound. The opener "Nightingale" is an engaging track that starts off seesawing like a shanty with bending fish hook lyrics before a piano enters and things swell theatrically. "Sunship" later on the disk takes a similar path but inserts a flute into the mix.

Besides these two though things are mostly stripped down, like the back beating pop of "I Miss Your Bones" which recall's Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Right Round (Like A Record)" via Papini's vocal delivery. Her vocal sound and lyrics are pining, for untrue lovers and fleeting thoughts, singing like Feist with a restrained delivery; pretty in a controlled way.

That stripped down feel doesn't work so well on tracks like "Inauguration" or the closing "Call Me After" which both feel like sketches that went unfinished. More successful is "Going Out" which puts the rhythm central via a descending bass line and hand drums while the simple straight up pop of "It's Not Serious" is a real winner. These tracks dealing with flippant relationships both stick around longer then the more nuanced efforts and prove the band has a knack for writing catchy songs.   

The band injects lots of 80's love into things with the keyboard driven "Rockets and Jets" and "Last Words" which pulses pushing electro keys and ends with an intriguing guitar solo. This track in particular calls to mind a less musically fluid Television as the band arts it up in  interesting ways. The nebulous feel of things points to Hospitality still finding their way, and it will be interesting to see where the muse takes them.     

This was a tough one to pin down, certain things stood out as great, others fell flat. Well hit or miss ain't bad. Oh and I love NPR, but if this album feels "more leather jacket" then the reviewer needs to get out and feel some meaty rock and roll.

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

Live Review: Dr. Dog 1/25/14 Terminal 5 NYC

Hey all,

Got a new review up on Glide.

Read it Right C'here!!!
It is of Dr. Dog's recent live show at Terminal 5 in NYC.

The year isn't even a month old and we have a serious contender for our favorite live show of 2014, these guys brought it all and are at an all time high live which says something. A huge 22 song set, that never felt dull, the group had us dancing all night.

Won't say too much, we were blown away by "The Beach" with Antibalas horns helping out and we are so glad "Heart It Races" has stuck in setlists for the band, it is a great cover.

We hope to have video of the show soon but surprisingly there isn't much on youtube. We were way to busy having a blast to try to video... Here is a quick clip of "That Old Black Hole" to get a sense of things, will post more if it appears:

Monday, February 3, 2014

Dylan Cover #124 Tea Leaf Green "Positively 4th Street" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a live cover by Tea Leaf Green playing "Positively 4th Street"

Thoughts on Original:
There are two songs I go to when I think of mean, spiteful, angry, hurtful, badass Dylan and this is one of them. Young but full of piss and hate Dylan sings this tune to obviously someone he can't stand. I really don't care who it is specifically about because that rarely if ever matters in songs but Dylan rips into them here. It is a good one for any artist to use to lash out at slights (real or perceived). It has never been one of my favorites but it is hard to deny how powerful this tune is. 

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Tea Leaf Green are a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th depending on who you ask) generation jamband from San Fransisco who became popular after I had stopped listening to most of the bands on the scene so I have not caught them live and that is where they butter their biscuits. They are still going strong today with solid musicianship and a loving fan base.
Thoughts on Cover:
A really well played and nuanced live version, guitars, organ, and guest fiddler Tim Carbone all have room to breath and move around without extending the track beyond its limits. Vocally Josh Clark, sings it his own way and does a fine job, especially as the track climaxes. A fun Monday listen, if anything they make the song a bit too cheery....but then you listen to the words...