Thursday, July 31, 2014

Primus and The Chocolate Factory Tour

In what can only be described as pure Boosh news, the best Primus lineup (that's with Herb on Drums...sorry Jay Lane) are doing a pretty unique tour this time around.
While we are normally in NOLA come this time of year, we will be north and hope to catch the show in one of the 2 New York settings. Pre-Sale tickets for NYC go on sale in just a few minutes over here. Try the password SOCIAL.Going to be a night of pure imagination....

The band is alo putting out a disk based on this concept in October.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Two Young Girls Own Slayer

Thanks to Glen for Fwd'ing this amazing video, something fun for your Humpday evening and musically amazing to boot. What is more metal then a 10 year old girl and her little sister completely destroying Slayer's "War Ensemble": 

Answer, nothing.
I had a conversation with a friend about Rocksmith, and I wonder if any of the guitar playing would be retained outside of the game, but that is just being a jerk when it comes Audrey and Crazy Kate. Who really cares about hypothetical when who you can watch the playing and screaming of these girls. Super great.

Album Review: Dead Fingers- Big Black Dog

Dead Fingers
Big Black Dog
***and1/2 out of *****

The trio from Birmingham, AL have released their sophomore effort titled Big Black Dog containing a quirky mix of shuffling lo-fi country and pop ditties. While Alan Rousser holds things down on drums and percussion the band is a showcase for Kate Taylor and Taylor Hollingsworth to duet on every track as the couple (both professionally and personally) sing and play for each other.

Opening with the title track the group lets you know what you are in for as it straddles genre's sounds and definition's. That oddness on this particular track doesn't elevate it much but it lets the listener know this isn't going to be your normal pop duet disk. "Shoom Doom Babba Labba" takes a 50's girl group style and adds the modern worries of American life, while "Feet Back On The Ground" is a winning mix of grooving twang and dance breaks; songs that morph this easily show the true freedom the players are working with.    

"Twisted" is another one on the positive side, playing with a simple upbeat snare march while various instrumentation peek in on the proceedings before a restrained version of a early Meat Puppets guitar flies in for a solo. That southern fried weirdness sticks around with some wah-wah work from Hollingsworth on "Holy Water" which duels with spirits while Kate takes center stage on "Pomp & Circumstance". Vocally the voices are night and day, with Kate shining on almost every level while Hollingsworth takes on a more Ry Cooder sound with his singing; both axeman are acquired tastes and better guitar players first and foremost.   

The duo credits recently having their first child as to having them re-evaluate themselves as a group in all forms. Like a lot of other male/female groups there is no true lead but unlike those acts there isn't a reliance on sap or back and fourth boy/girl troubles. The group seems to be going after something more elusive and a bit trickier, while they don't always grasp it Dead Fingers make a valiant effort and Big Black Dog is an engaging listen because of this.
Support the band here, buy the disk here, stream the disk here for a limited time and peep some video below:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Album Review: Jenny Lewis- The Voyager

Jenny Lewis
The Voyager
**** out of *****

On her first solo disk in 6 years Jenny Lewis teamed up with producer Ryan Adams because of how much she dug his Pax Am Studio and the tons of gear that could be played with, but this isn't a disk that hides much. Musically it displays a crisp, clear, powerful pop-rock sound with direct guitars, keys, bass and strings while Lewis' vocals are bright her lyrics are not as shiny.

The opener finds Lewis with collaborator/boyfriend Jonathan Rice as "Head Underwater" showcases a spacey cool sound. "You Can't Outrun 'Em" gets its Fleetwood Mac groove on as "The New You" harkens back to September 11th 2001 as the beginning of the end of a relationship peppered with some excellently specific lyrics over a fantastic snare sound; this song could get sappy or even worse in lesser hands.    

While the matching of upbeat well produced tunes don't always jive with Lewis' questioning/deep wordplay the combo still manages pop workouts that get better and better as you let the broken relationship tales sink in. In the end the disk sounds like a deeper lyrical version of a Tom Petty album, that is if Petty wrote effecting songs as a mid-thirties woman reflecting on life.   

Missed/upcoming marriages, no children and ending of odd vacations all get lyrical airings but never fall into cheesy even as things stay mainstream. The best combos instantly hit home as on the gloriously soulful "She's Not Me" that feels aching, while the title track hits the outer-space lands as Lewis trips into the cosmos with violins and soaring drama.

Perhaps the best of the bunch though is "Just One Of The Guys" as Lewis teams with Beck for some easy country rollicking over deep bass, jangling guitars and drum. The lush sounding track tackles middle age opposite sex friendship and the struggles that come with it from the female point of view.

While Lewis nails lots of lyrics on The Voyager with direct lyrical pinpoints (even in this song) she leaves the end aloof with the phrase, "I'm not gonna break for you/I'm not gonna pray for you/I'm not gonna pay for you/That's not what ladies do". I will personally never truly know what they do, but if Lewis keeps making tracks like that I will keep listening to find out. 
Support the artist here, buy the album here and peep some video below:

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dylan Cover #148 Torresi Maffei Liberti Rockestra "Maggie's Farm"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from the Torresi Maffei Liberti Rockestra and is a live cover of "Maggie's Farm"
Thought's on Original:
From the first time we reviewed a cover of this tune:
"Maggie's Farm" is classic Dylan, everyone thinks they know what it's about and they are sure they are right, but they all think different things.  I will confess I like the sped up Electric version from Newport Folk Festival that caused the end of popular folk music (in theory) and really solidified Dylan's pop music career.  It is a great tune and really flows in lots of forms... 

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Like a lot of artists in this series we are not familiar with Torresi Maffei Liberti Rockestra but they are cooking...
Thoughts on Cover:
We love covers like this when the band makes the original their own. Turning this into a grooving blues number is a great idea and it is excuted live winningly, cheers!!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Full Show Friday: The Avett Brothers 3-22-14

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 Avett Brothers!
We reviewed some poppy bluegrass last week, so lets into a full live show from one of the biggest bands on that scene these days The Avett Brothers. This is from this years Springfest and is a fan shot video, no professional sound, but not entirely bad either. While we couldn't get into this bands last disk, their live show is always fun, so enjoy on this hot summer day, it is almost like you are in the crowd.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Live Review: Murphy's Law, Yuppicide, JennCity 7/19/14 NYC

Hey all, got a new review up on Glide. Read It Right C'here!!!!
It is of a Rocks Off Boat Cruise with NYHC Legends Murphy's Law, Yuppicide and new comer JennCity.  To be honest it is one of my favorite recent reviews, punk rock and NYHC is bigger then three chords and a cloud of dust; this show epitomized that. Hell of a show and an even better party. This pic comes from the after party, hanging with Jimmy and Murphy's Law crew on the LES.
Loved Murphy's forever, one of the first NYHC bands we got into. Love Yuppicide as well, thanks to Jesse for hooking it up, we reviewed their album here in case you missed it. Thanks also to Glen for telling us about the show...Hardcore Lives...
Random live videos of the bands:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Album Review: Ringworm- Hammer of the Witch

Hammer of the Witch
**** out of *****
The longtime Cleveland, OH hardcore band Ringworm have just put out their first release for Relapse Records titled Hammer of the Witch (their six full length release overall) and this shit slams hard. Beautifully recorded and produced the energized group crunches through 13 aggressive numbers, showcasing slashing six strings and a pummeling double bass drum attack.

Tracks are quick but still cover loads of terrain; things never drag and nothing feels repetitive which is a trick in itself when dealing with this field. The band seems to be at peak level for the entirety of the disk. Things can be melodic as in "Pyshcic Vampires" with its fast tempo and sing-along ready chorus or the band can go straight up raw like on the direct "I Recommend Amputation".

The title track is speed metal with breakdowns sprinkled lightly in, a great mix of fast-tempo/groove while "King Of Blood" goes creepy lyrically but the dueling guitar runs are mystical as the track scampers up and down the fret board. "Leave Your Skin At The Door" begins with a sludge driven bass intro before things explode all over in multiple directions including two searingly fast guitar solos.

The group rises above paint by number hardcore acts with intricate songwriting but never trade power for cock-rock showmanship. Sure the music is brutal as all hell, but there are glorious moments contained with-in leaving these elder statesmen of metal/hardcore with one of the most successful heavy albums to come out so far in 2014. 
I haven't thought about Ringworm in over 20 years if not 25. I had The Promise on cassette and I am pretty sure that is it. That doesn't matter though, this disk kicks real ass.

Support the band here, buy the disk here, stream it here, peep some video below:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Live Review: Phish Randall's Island NYC 7/11/14

7/11/14 Randall's Island, NYC

The Jamband Gods from Vermont played one of their many adopted home towns Friday during their 2014 summer tour. The group staged a rare outdoor multi-night run within the Big Apple's limits. Phish are older, wiser and seem to be actually touring behind their new album playing a few songs off it in high leverage set spots each night.  That said, the band will never change, you either catch or you Phish.

The grounds on Randall's island themselves were excellent for the show as the lush grass held up and no mud puddles were to be seen, what was interesting though was the lack of a festival vibe from the band. For a group who know how to throw a 'fest better then anyone this seemed weak, few interesting exhibits and a noticeable lack of vending, just ask anyone who waited 45 minutes for a beer.  

It is all about the music though and these days a sober Trey and energized band seem to love to play together. Rarely do you get the sense that any song could be a catalyst for adventure (see Phish 2.0) as in the past but these days the group consistently play well. The first set showcased this and was the more successful of the two offered on the night.

The opening "Moma Dance" seemed to sum up the current state of Phish, excellently played but when something special might have evolved right off the bat the group cut things out and dove into "Kill Devil Falls". A reggae tinged "Ya Mar" grooved but the real showcase for the group on this night came next with an excellent "Bathtub Gin" that saw the band climax, then space out as they do almost better then anyone; a must listen for any current future or past fan of the band.

"555" got a funky airing showcasing the first song off of Fuego nicely via Page and Mike's interplay, while Trey took Mike's spot to duel with Page on the old classic "Rift". "Rift" started a run of shorter songs that leaned towards more of the bands pop influences in the best way the group can via "Sample In A Jar" and the new "Waiting All Night" before "Stash" closed things out.   

The second set began with "Steam" before going into that sections best offering a funk filled "Down With Disease" that had the audience woo'ing during breaks. The group played their version of "Golden Age" which TV on the Radio played on the same island (different stage) only a few weeks before at Governors Ball. After a personaly exciting if not monumental "Limb by Limb" the band entered their newest jam monster turf with "Fuego".

While fans on tour have raved about this song from the SPAC and Mann versions tonight's playing seemed OK, but rarely extra ordinary for the band. "David Bowie" showed up next and with a hard curfew at 11 the group seemed a bit rushed, closing with "Cavern" and a "Character Zero" encore. While timing may have been an issue in the second set the group seemed to be enjoying themselves and prepping for 2 more shows to come. 
Seen Phish more then any band in our life and while we are down to 1 or 2 shows a year at this point it is always fun to catch up with old friends (musically with the band, and literally with faces in the crowd). We know we could write a ton more about it, but we think that review says enough for now, feel free to voice your opinion in the comments.

Support the band here, see them live here and peep some audio from NYC Taper and video below:

 "Ya Mar"

And Video of the Gin if you want to see it:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Dylan Cover #147 Anton & Cat "Wedding Song"

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 Anton & Cat playing "Wedding Song"

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this song:
Coming off the underrated Planet Waves, this song has always been tricky for us. Dylan is never this direct, this open. It is not to say he isn't honest, he very well may be here and it could be a beautiful song of caring about his wife. It even has the benefit of not explicitly naming her like in "Sara", but this is also coming from the same album where "Dirge" is featured and seems to be the flip-side to this coin in all aspects. Taking "Wedding Song" at face value makes it a lovely sweet tune, but are things ever that easy with the Bard? 

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
I am not sure who Art and Cat are, but the youtube channel belongs to Anton ten Broeke so a good guess he is the strumming half of the acoustic duo as they play this song at an art gallery opening.
Thoughts on Cover:
Well it is wedding season again, why not go back to this one? Today we have an interesting upbeat take on this cover that showcases some forceful vocals. Most covers of this tune goes sweet, but Cat here sings with almost a pissed off tone, pretty unique.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Full Show Friday: Pantera 1992

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...Pantera!
In the mood for some metal this Friday and we get a short powerful dose of it here from Pantera back in 1992 in Italy on the Monsters of Rock Tour. We weren't huge Pantera fans, they were somewhere in the middle of the pack as we were concerned regarding bands of that style in that era. For example when we caught them in Albany with Sepultura and Bio-hazard I would rank them third on that night (Sepultura far away 1) even though they headlined.

That said this is a pretty powerful performance (as was that show back at the Knick). The sound is odd but the playing is top notch. R.I.P. Dimebag. This is also the 20th Anniversary of Far Beyond Driven which is the last album of the groups we got into so we figured it was time to pay tribute. "Domination" is brutal "Rise" grooves and the last two jams "Fucking Hostile" and "Cowboys From Hell" are raw.


Mouth for War
(with Hollow outro)
This Love
Fucking Hostile
Cowboys From Hell

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Album Review: The Donkey's- Ride The Black Wave

The Donkey's
Ride The Black Wave
***and1/2 out of *****
On the first song, "Sunny Daze" off The Donkey's new album the question is posed "Should I stay in California/Should I move to France?" for a band that seems so rooted in the Southern Left Coast laid back sound you would imagine only pretension and grandiose thoughts would be following them to the south of France, thankfully there is little of either of those notions to be found on Ride The Black Wave.   

A collection of delightfully mixed up surf tracks, dream pop numbers and retro rock outings are complied to create this quirky disk. The four piece from San Diego get their "la-la-la's" out on "The Manx" just as easily as they shift gears to laid back groovy on "Nothing". The band seems to follow their own muse while it can make for a disjointed listen at times things just feel easy and never forced.

There is a lot of Pavement style song writing here and by twisting up the sounds (sitar on "Imperial Beach" steel guitar on the tiny gem "Brown Eyed Lady") the group while clearly influenced by lots of others still manages to sound fresh. Things aren't perfect, the title track tries to incorporate a lot of these styles (plus a new darker vibe) into a 3 minute song with some weak rhyming lyrics ("I've been up/I've been down/I was lost/ When I was found"), a misstep on a disk that doesn't have many.

There also are hints at something much larger behind the surface on tracks like "Blues In The Afternoon". This song while only a minute and forty four seconds hits a clear nerve positively leaving me guessing what the band could do if they stretched a tune like this out. The final track "Shines" ends things on the most radio friendly tip the band has displayed and while could work selling Volkswagen's it still manages to feel at home on this loose disk.     

Oh and going back to that first question asked in "Sunny Daze"? By the fourth song trickily titled "I Heart Alabama" we find out The Donkey's are staying in sunny Southern California, right where they belong. 
Fun disk. Support the band here, grab the album here and peep some video below:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Album Review: Trampled By Turtles- Wild Animals

Trampled By Turtles
Wild Animals
**and1/2 out of *****

The bluegrass players from Duluth, Minnesota return for their 8th release after having hit number 1 on the bluegrass chart with their last 2 studio albums (with a live disk just missing the top spot). This time the talented 5 piece reign in their soloing tendencies and craft a softer overall album upon which banjos, mandolins and violins mesh and flow.  

The title track on the disk is a melodic harmonizing jaunt that buzzes at the edges and showcases the groups focus on vocal dexterity in the vein of Fleet Foxes, a track that clearly lets you know what you are in for on the rest of the disk. The band keeps 'er easy with the swaying "Repetition" which contains echoing big vocals, the behind seems restrained and haunting on "Lucy" while "Hollow" is breezy pleasant country number.  

When folk/bluegrass/acoustic bands slow down this much a focus gets put directly on details, specifically production values, vocals and lyrics. On the first two of those Wild Animals gets high marks (behind Alan Sparhawk's production and the bands tight vocal arraignments) but on the third the results aren't as hot.

Most songs lyrically leave very little impression, while no clunkers, there are few (if any) whose refrain stick with you. On the better end of things is the Woody Guthrie sounding "Nobody Knows" and the disk closing "Winners". The flip side is "Are You Behind The Shining Star?" which is a moving melodic tune that could have soared even higher with more memorable words. This seems to be a constant issue; gorgeous musicianship and production but nothing that drives the tune home. 

Tracks like the mellow My Morning Jacket-light sounding "Silver Light", "Ghosts" with it's textural buzzing and the speedgrass number "Come Back Home" all reward with multiple listens, the last in particular shows the band hasn't completely abandoned their rollicking ways. 
Support the band here, buy the album here, see them live here and peep some video below:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Album Review: Buckethead- Pike 65 Hold Me Forever (In memory of my mom Nancy York Carroll)

Pike 65 Hold Me Forever (In memory of my mom Nancy York Carroll)
***and1/2 out of *****
The enigma that is the tall lanky KFC chicken pail wearing guitar virtuoso becomes a bit more humanized with the newest release of his massive Pike Series. The title says it all as the 28 minute instrumental offering pays homage to his mother who recently passed away.

Losing a parent is heart breaking and for someone who says almost nothing regarding his personal life with words this is obviously a deeply emotional time for the guitar giant. The album though is never depressing, it is a tour-de-force in the virtuoso's patented style as he riffs all around the sonic universe. Heavily shredding in front of layers of sounds, including multiple guitars, drums and digital insertions.

The disk plays as a straight shot through different cosmic sections, things ease from mellow to exhilarating. At the 16 minute post Buckethead's fingers are doing frantic flips all over the guitar neck. Those progressions build and soar even dip into a killer hip hop riff as the tempo stays manically upbeat for over 10 minutes until the close of the disk; this is the mega-solo of the year.  

The last time we addressed one of the Buckethead releases was when he showed us behind the mask with a cover shot on Pike 13 featuring his father. These emotional connections add more depth and humanity to the man's music which at times can feel robotic and sterile, often by the artists choice. Few have done better creating a myth and massive collection of work to go with it, here's hoping Brian Carroll gets through this trying time positively and continues to create insane guitar rock.
Support the artist here, buy the album here and peep some video below.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Dylan Cover #146 Ed Sheeran "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from Ed Sheeran 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:
For someone who loves music and listens to tons of new artists it is always shocking how little I know about mainstream pop music. I had never heard of Ed Sheeran until listening to this today, but apparently I am one of the few who don't know him since he is an international success. I will go back to my ignorance on the mainstream when this post is done....
Thoughts on Cover:
First thing that stood out was the delicate playing demonstrated on this cover. Sheeran does a good job lightly picking the song along before changing tempos up at the end. His singing is fine, keeping things in his own voice and still doing the song justice, a fine cover.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Full Show Friday: U2 Glastonbury 2011

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...U2!

From 2011 the boys in U2 prove they are still one of the biggest bands in the world. We have always skirted the fringes of the band, enjoying them slightly but never seeing them live or really putting them on all that often. They were mainstream and creative enough to stay cool through lots of tumultuous musical years and the fact they are still kicking is a plus.

The setlist has all the old gems but also newer tunes we are not really fans of. Love "Mysterious Ways" "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "I Will Follow" while "One" simply put is one of the best pop/rock/whatever songs ever written. The show is pro-shot with pro sound, setlist is under the video.


00:00 - Even Better Than The Real Thing
04:00 - The Fly
08:45 - Mysterious Ways
13:20 - Until The End Of The World
18:05 - One
23:45 - Where The Streets Have No Name
29:20 - I Will Follow
33:10 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
37:35 - Stay
42:52 - Beautiful Day
49:06 - Elevation
52:57 - Get On Your Boots
56:50 - Vertigo
1:01:25 - Sunday Bloody Sunday
1:05:36 - Bad
1:11:30 - Pride In The Name Of Love
1:15:48 - With or Without you
1:21:32 - Yellow/Moment of Surrender

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Album Review: Beach Slang- Beach Slang

Beach Slang
Beach Slang
***and1/2 out of *****
A collection of 4 late 90's pop fueled rock and roll songs find Beach Slang's first self titled EP a collection of days/genre's gone by; a refreshing kick in the ear amongst new-wave nonsense. "Filthy Luck" starts things off with buzz-bin worthy riffs, and chant along lyrics in the vein of Japandroids. The Philadelphia trio keep it rolling with "Kids" via a drum intro that injects the energy.

"Get Lost" pulls back the over driven sick strings a touch to get the groove going before kicking up and sounding much bigger then the songs 2:58 would seem. "Punk or Lust" asks the perfect teenage question and James Snyder's lyrics are constant selling point on the EP as they are delivered by a voice that seems to be wise enough to know about all the "dirty fun" he sings about.   

Custom made for summer road-trips Beach Slang remind us that "the kids are still alright/their just too high to fight". This album helps elevate them with its soaring melodies, great raspy vocals/lyrics and upbeat rhythms.
Another great bandcamp find.

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

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Album Review: Yuck- Southern Skies EP

Southern Skies EP
** out of *****
The English throwback noise/pop/rockers newest Southern Skies EP is a collection of dreamy tunes that float around the ether and swirl easily in and out of consciousness. The band dealt with the departure of their front man Daniel Blumberg on last years Glow and Behold by having guitar man Max Bloom taking over vocals. The shift is noticeable and their is more of easy going sense to things as the band takes out some of their early aggression.

 Opening up with "Athena" the band eases out with slightly fuzzy acoustic track that touches on the band more poppy side as does the quick follow up "Set In Motion". For a band that has been to play with some artistic angularity these two songs fit snugly into a dream-pop classification.

The tempo gets shifted up for "Another One" which pumps with drums and a shimmering guitar line all ahead of fuzzy vocals and distorted heavy bass presence. It peters out before really whirling into the stratosphere but it is a clear reminder of Yuck's strengths.

Things cool down with a choppy start to the breathy piano laced closing title track. While not entirely satisfying or sticky in substance/staying power the EP does a good job of showcasing Yuck's songwriting softer side with a focus on clear vocals and lyrics over fuzz tone and pedal trickery; a move that seems to be the new way Yuck will operate for better or worse.    
We dug their first a lot, completely missed their second and their lineup change and like this EP but don't love their new style.

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

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Album Review: Oh Honey- With LoveEP

Oh Honey
With Love EP
**and1/2 out of *****
The pop/rock duo of Mitchy Collins and Danielle Bouchard work in summery tones on their first EP With Love. The songs hinge on the duo's vocal interplay over dancey beats and acoustic guitars as the male/female fronts whisper sweet nothings about growing old and still loving each other.   

The first track focuses on this feeling with "I Love You Will Still Sound The Same" an upbeat number that is complete with triplet's of "oh-oh-oh's" and positive energy. "Be Okay" has a more bass and drum driven sound but that smiling vibe still shines through as it also does on EP closer "Get It Right" that compares love with a hangover; even in heartbreak they look on the bright-side.  

With Love is a collection of crafted polished (if too formulaic) music that would be totally at home in a car commercial, a backyard teenage pool party or late night sleep over sing-a-longs. Oh Honey are firmly planted in teeny bopper pop rock for a twitter generation.  
Support the band here, buy the album here and peep some video below:

New Levon Helm Ramble Record Out Now

We love Levon Helm, he was one our favorites and we still get great joy hearing him. Our friend Ed just clued us in to this new release from Levon and crew, The Levon Helm Band -The Midnight Ramble Sessions Volume 3 which collects some of his better, more recent performances. 
You can go grab a copy of the vinyl here. Helm's voice was hit or miss in the later years but his friends more then made up for it and with the likes of Allen Toussaint and Chris Robinson helping out we are in good hands. You can stream the groups playing of "The Same Thing" from their valentines day ramble back in '09.

and "God Don't Ever Change" from a month before in '09 sung by Jimmy Vivino
 Here is also some video of Helm and company doing The Band's classic "The Weight" even if his voice was shot, his drumming was still fantastic....and gotta love Blue Lou Marini blowing that sax...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Dylan Cover #145 Indigo Girls "Tangled Up In Blue"

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

Thoughts on Cover Artist
Never really listened to much of the Indigo Girls, but have always liked what little we have heard. We know that they opened for the Dead a few times and also had a few hit songs in the late 80's.    
Thoughts on Cover:
Hot damn this is a good'en!! The live full band sounds dynamic as the group builds to full instrumentation with violins, guitars and a huge meaty bass driven tempo change that amps this version up to a whole new level mid way through the proceedings. This is really one of the best covers that we have showcased in the this series. Shocked and sad that this is the first time we are hearing it, but it certainly won't be the last.   

Friday, July 4, 2014

Full Show Friday: The Grateful Dead 10/12/89

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 Grateful Dead!
Happy 4th of July! While our country is far from perfect (this article is a great read), it is still the best out there so let's celebrate. A few summers ago we talked about Great American Bands and our vote regarding the question is who we are showcasing today. We obviously have talked about The Grateful Dead a lot on RtBE and probably will do so more in the future so we will keep it short today.

We go back to voodoonola for our GD videos and the date of 10-12-89 and we head to Jersey for a show that night in the Brendan Byrne Arena. We get some of our favorite first set songs here with Brent's "Blow Away" an opening "Sugaree" a Dylan Cover, hell this is one perfect first set on paper and in the ear drums. Turns out this video is actually missing the true opener of "Hell In A Bucket" but still will call it a Full Show....(Can listen to that here)

Second set isn't as consistently great but cooking "Cumberland Blues" the rumbling "Other One" and upbeat closer of "Sugar Magnolia" before the gorgeous encore of "Brokedown Palace". This was the 2nd show of a 5 show run in Jersey where the band was playing excellently, 1989 is an underrated year. Just a mega show from the boys, enjoy it on this great day. 

Set 1
Blow Away
Tennessee Jed
Queen Jane Approximately
Bird Song
Jack Straw

Set 2
Hey Pocky Way
Cumberland Blues
Looks Like Rain
He's Gone
The Other One
Wharf Rat
Sugar Magnolia

E: Brokedown Palace 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Album Review: Arc & Stones- As You Were

Arc & Stones
As You Were
**and1/2 out of *****

The Nashville based four-piece Arc & Stones recently released As You Were, the sophomore EP from this hard rock band. The group seems to yearn for days gone by as the 6 tracks would all be at home on alt-rock radio.

“Control” begins things with catchy sing-a-long’s to get the crowd screaming before the first single “Walkin’ In” proclaims the group arena ready via big riffs and bombastic drums. The band pushes a new genre button with their mainstream-retro rock; most acts use the fuzzed up sound to harken back to the garage based 50’s and 60’s, Arc & Stones look more towards the big glam/alt acts of the 80’s and 90’s.      

An unique organ intro starts off “Sweet & Vicious” before things go in the heavy stomp direction, more of that organ and less of the flexing guitars would benefit the track. “Too Late” starts off swaggering but sticks around too long at four plus minutes without changing up enough to excite. 

The final song on the EP “Caught On Fire” tells the overriding tale of things as lead singer Dan Pellarin soars the line “How is every singer out of tune?” in a wail that takes charge. Pellarin plays the role of dominant vocal frontman not normally seen in today’s indie band’s; if some throwback hard rocking is desired, just look to the Arc & Stones. 
Support the band here, buy the album here and peep some video below:

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Album Review: St. Paul & The Broken Bones- Half The City

St. Paul & The Broken Bones
Half The City
***and1/2 out of *****
A new entry into the Retro-Soul movement is the Birmingham, Alabama based sextet St. Paul & The Broken Bones. Like others before them the group harkens back to the sound of Stax Records-Muscle Shoals recording artists from the early 60's going for smooth sounds and grooves that recall vinyl spinning days while injecting their our brand of gospel to the mix.

The music contained on Half The City is solid in this regard but what brought the band to national attention wasn't their sound, but their look and sound of their front-man. When the record spins you can hear a band that is fluid if not drum tight, but the voice of its lead singer leaps off of the record as Paul Janeway's vocals rival any singer in this genre, especially on their first release, from any era of soul music. Seriously.

The interesting thing is that voice is coming from someone who looks like a mix of Craig Finn from The Hold Steady and the last kid drafted for kickball in grade school. Janeway's vocals are the obvious draw and it makes clear that band will have commercial/I-gotta-see-this appeal. The producer behind this disk also draws parallels as Ben Tanner from the Alabama Shakes helps out, he being from another group with a dominate singer (in their case Brittany Howard) who dabble near this genre.

The songs on Half The City are secondary to Janeway's pipes but a few hit home like opener "I'm Torn Up" with it's creeping horns, easy guitar and tale of love lost. It encompasses what the group does best, slow, simmering songs are their strength; for example "Broken Bones & Pocket Change" works better then the up beat "Sugar Dyed".

When the band tries to pick up the pace things can get a bit clunky, a track like "Call Me" seems to be still trying to find the footing between the soaring singing and upbeat instruments, but the slow climaxing jams that focus around the singing are impossible to deny. The album climaxes with closer "It's Midnight" which oozes its brass charm over B3 organ fills, delicately ending the groups first disk with a gospel/soul buttoning.

Janeway was planning on becoming a preacher until he found more secular music in his late teens, he mentions his debt to the church and staying away from secular music at a young age. With pipes like his this will be just he first step in the St. Paul & The Broken Bones journey.
Support the band here, buy the album here and peep some video below:
"I'm Torn Up"

"Call Me"

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Album Review: Mastodon- Once More 'Round The Sun

Once More 'Round The Sun
***and1/2 out of *****
One of the few metal bands who have remained both commercially and critically successful over the last decade Mastodon comes back at listeners with Once More 'Round The Sun, another disk sure to continue their winning trend while not quite reaching their own established lofty heights. 

The most accesible disk the band has released Once More 'Round The Sound feels a close kinship with 2011's The Hunter. There is a lot of straight ahead rocking with melodic choruses, thundering low end and six string flights of tonal riffage but there is experimentation lurking under the surface. While it is polished, powerful, professional and nuanced it also lacks some oomph that seemed to be present on its predecessor (and all of their previous disks).    

"Tread Lightly" opens things by mixing acoustic strings with a sense of scale as the spaceiness swirls but never envelopes completely while "The Motherlode" puts the focus on Brann Dailor as he smacks the kit with fury in front of the loose strings on Troy Sanders bass. The first single "High Road" is traveled next via a chugging tempo that slams gorgeously into a melodic chorus, a great combo of the bands styles where as "Chimes At Midnight" fades out right when things are getting interesting.

The title track is an exception on the disk and perhaps because of this a real highlight. The only song under 3 minutes it finds Ozzy Osbourne-like vocals bouncing over a speedy progression all in front of some trippy effects. There are warbling guitars, a bizarre shift in tempo and a feeling of real peril; a fantastic feat reached in a tight wound number.   

The group goes almost ballad style (well for a heavy as hell metal band) on "Asleep In The Deep" but come raging back to life via vocal shifts and guest gang shouts from The Coathangers on "Aunt Lisa", one of the most aggressive tracks that manages to mix up a disk upon which the tunes can surprisingly feel very much alike after a few spins.

This could be the issue with the lack of real energy here. Mastodon has packed lots of sounds and musicianship into this disk distilling their more prog rock leanings (see 2009's Crack The Skye) into a more malleable mainstream metal accepted form. Not as raw as past efforts (which is expected) the group still pushes boundaries but the overall feel can come across a bit sterile while traveling Once More 'Round The Sun.  
This isn't a bad disk by any stretch (notice the stars) but it didn't personally speak to us like past Mastodon disks have.  That said it certainly feels like the type of disk that gets better with repeat listens.

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