Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Down South In New Orleans...

....The Prettiest Girls We've Ever Seen....

What a fantastic song from Bobby Charles!

We know April is coming to a close, but we are extending our NOLA focus into May because, well Jazzfest is not even half way done yet!    
We can't wait to go, literally giddy and that song up on top says it all. Here are a few more, and hope to see you down there. Our Jazzfest focus will continue into next week then ease on back to a wider focus on reviews etc.

Album Review: Hurray For The Riff Raff- Small Town Heroes

Hurray For The Riff Raff
Small Town Heroes
*** out of *****
The heart and soul of Hurray For The Riff Raff is Bronx born Alynda Lee Segarra who relocated to New Orleans when she was 17. Her newest release (and first for ATO Records) Small Town Heroes finds her pairing with various Crescent City players as she organically explores songs of the American South.   

"Blue Ridge Mountain" sets the tone while "Crash On The Highway" puts Segarra in a reflective mood wishing to be back at BJ's in the Bywater playing her guitar; contemplative and affecting. Segarra works better in a lighter upbeat way, when she gets serious and mournful ("Good Time Blues", "Forever Is Just A Day") her voice still maintains a hopeful tone which augments the pain in brightness. The frisky "I Know It's Wrong (But That's Alright)" easy jaunting "End Of the Line" with its fiddles and crisp drums and the rollicking piano based "No One Else" all work better.

An easy run through the "The New SF Bay Blues" drops listeners guards before the revenge tale of male domination in "The Body Electric". Pulsing with drama, strings and anger "The Body Electric" is a powerful tale, even in it's briefness it sticks around; "Delia's gone/but I'm settling the score".   

"St. Roche Blues" returns it to the soul with chimes and slow distinct electric guitar line while the title track laments past woes yearningly. Segarra and crew have crafted a solid Americana album that peculates with passion and pride. 
Hurray For The Riff Raff are playing Jazzfest, we hope to catch them.

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Album Review: DJ Blackpearl504- HAPPyMardiGrazin...

DJ Blackpearl504
HAPPyMardiGraznBagdizzHeyYamammaGavemeThaGreenLight nDA jungle
** out of *****
On the bandcamp page for DJ Blackpearl504's newest there is a musical tag of 'Gumbo' and that is pretty accurate. The finger and tongue tryingly titled HAPPyMardiGraznBagdizzHeyYamammaGavemeThaGreenLight nDA jungle is a 34 and a half minute DJ mix that Blackpearl put out for this years Mardi Gras. It however is not a slamming together of styles and songs, like the gumbo tag suggests there are lots of different ingredients here but the whole track is to be consumed by the party and digested on the dance floor.

Things pulse and build over the course of the first 10 minutes reaching a high point with a very familiar Outkast sample that keeps the pace bumping.  Around the 12:45 mark though the man in charge starts getting eerie inject warping waves to things while the beat never relents, trippy in its movement. Pharrell Williams lets everyone know he is ready to go while things kick back up around the halfway point.

A mellowing out towards the end of things with a groovy bring down courtesy of a sample from The Pharcyde, but after that ride, things need some cooling off. Sweat is sure to be flowing by this point. 
At the end of the day I will always love hearing the originals more the remixes, but this slamming together of songs and a fusing of a cohesive (if insanely fast) backing beat keeps the party rolling and rolling and rolling until the sun comes up, a NOLA tradition. 
Want to party? Want to Dance? Here you go.

Support the artist here, grab the album here or stream it below:

Album Review: The Pixies- Indie Cindy

Hey All,

Got a new review up on Glide.

Read it Right C'here!!!
It is of the Pixies newest release Indie Cindy.

We have covered most of these songs before as they come from EP 1 and EP 2 which we reviewed here, but presented as a whole it brings a slightly different listening experience. At the end of the day it is nowhere near as bad as some sites are saying, and I for one think that this fits in the bands legacy.

Honestly the last few Pixie albums weren't all time greats, I think revisionists have given too much love to Trompe Le Monde, but maybe that is just me, Indie Cindy definitely fits in with it in terms of quality. There are lots of intricate guitar layers, fine drums and songs, just maybe not as many creative freakouts as their first two albums, but they moved on from that. 

I have much more to say about the release process, but I have been struggling with that on a few fronts and hope to put more words on that topic in the future, as it is this review covers a lot of it...

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

Monday, April 28, 2014

Album Review: Joystick- You're Letting All The Fun Out

You're Letting All The Fun Out
*** out of *****
With the sky falling opener "Look Out Below" Joystick slams it's skacore sound in your ears, with dynamic changes, shoutalong choruses and punk abandon. You're Letting All The Fun Out is filled with songs like this, full of musical dexterity, tempo fluctuation, horn arraignments, blaring brass and powerful drums. 

"Bandwagon" calls out indie kids while the punk/hardcore cry of "Bury The Hatchet" cuts rough as production slams the cymbals and horns to the forefront. The bratty vocals of Paul "Duck" Tucker take their turn highlighting things on "Home By 9" and "Famous Last Words". The simple "Randy Savage is Dead" contains some glorious horn runs that would make ska bands in their heyday like The Mighty Mighty Bosstones jealous.

"March Sadness" has a killer bass line from Clay Aleman before Mickey Retzlaff's guitar fires to an ending. The three pronged horn attack of Trace Barfield (Trumpet), Josh Bourgeois (Trombone), Justin McDowell (Saxophone) lead the charge as the band hits a highpoint with the single sounding "I Wanna" managing to combine the best ska tendencies with the simple songwriting of The Ramones.

Tacking on a long band dynamics phone call to end things is a strange move to air internal politics, but coming on the heels of "Famous Last Words" it makes some sense, still not very listenable and all too familiar to any one ever in a band.    

Ska in general has been relegated to the sidelines in recent years, but albums like You're Letting All The Fun Out prove their is still fire in the horn/rock combo.
Yet another fun find this month as we focus on NOLA and use bandcamp to find lesser known acts. We are not a huge ska fan, but rarely hear it these days so it was refreshing in a sense.

Support the band here, buy the album here or below:

Dylan Cover #136 Marc Broussard & Friends "You Ain't Going Nowhere" 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 Marc Broussard & Friends playing "You Ain't Going Nowhere"

This month our Dylan Cover Series will focus on artists playing The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Marc Broussard will be playing the Acura Stage on Saturday May 3rd at 12:15pm
Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we addressed this cover:
A great song, and one that sounds so simple.  It always felt to me that these are the kind of songs Dylan has seeping out of his pores, with lines like "Tailgates and Substitutes" that anywhere else would sound foolish yet here works wonders.  The musical backing from the original Band version is loose and matched fantastically with the lyrics.  I am sure it wasn't as easy going as it sounds on the final version, but what a gem of a track.

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
We are not familiar with Broussard but it seems he comes from fantastic Louisiana Musical stock. We are hoping to catch him for the first time on Saturday before Allen Toussaint plays on the Acura Stage.      
Thoughts on Cover:
A fun romp through a whimsical tune. Granted I kind of cheated here as Marc only sings back ups but I wanted to focus on a someone new for the site and give yet another live rendition of a Dylan cover for this monthly showcase. One thing that makes the world special, live music, lets keep it rolling, see you in NOLA.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Full Show Friday: Tab Benoit Hot Licks Festival 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...Tab Benoit!
 Every April we have a special showcase for bands who are playing this years Jazzfest in NOLA. Today we will focus on Tab Benoit who will be appearing this weekend on the Acrua Stage, Sunday April 27th.  

All right, let the Cajun electric blues loose! The crawfish blues never tasted so good, as Tab and crew (who frustratingly stay off this one camera shot) get loose. While the camera work is not up to snuff the sound is fine for a fan shot video. Get the NOLA juices flowing as Tab Benoit rips into his axe, pouring out the cajun feeling and how can you not love the alligator head on his amp?

Have fun this weekend to all in attendance!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Album Review: Tim Cross & Burger- Hospital Gift Shop

Tim Cross & Burger
Hospital Gift Shop
**and1/2 out of *****
Alternative Underground hip/hop is alive and strong in New Orleans with Tim Cross and Burger's Hospital Gift Shop being just another example. The duo worked with a varying array of producers mixing tons of lyrics with dripping beats and eerie samples over the course of this 7 song bandcamp release.

The slurred chorus of vocal deep effect is the focus of the opening "Who'd Knew", which ends up being the most forgettable track here. Followed by the most memorable, "Alright" finds Cross and Burger tossing lines of rhyme that cascade easily, name checking Professor X, Pacino while cleaning out the casino over a beat that swirls around minimal echoes, ultra fast hi hats and Georgian chants. "Violet" brings vocal effects back in the mix as well as a closing sample from the title characters song from "Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory".  

A heartbeat bass line forms the foundation of "Lacoste" which could stick around longer. A 70's style disco roll supports the closing "Edward Smith", both frontmen have a lot to say and at times too much; as if they are trying to cram multiple bars where one would suffice.  

Each MC drops a solo track Burger's feel's a bit more textured before cutting up the style in the middle with a Beatles beat. Both hold their own however and prove that as a tandem they have lasting power. 
Another NOLA Hip Hop Find on Bandcamp.

Support the artist here, get the album here or below:

NYPL Blog Post: Beatlesque Bands

I have a new blog post up over at NYPL, you can click the link and check it out.
I wanted to create a blog post that tied in the Libraries excellent exhibit Ladies and Gentleman...The Beatles! with modern day rock music. I hope I did that by pointing out 5 of our favorite bands that have Beatles influences but also had their own twist.We have a lot of fun with these NYPL Posts, you can find them all here.

If you haven't checked out the exhibit yet, you really should it is pretty great. I particularly dug the handwritten set lists, usually on hotel paper, that are shown. Pretty neat to see exactly what the band was playing and how they arraigned it for their early shows. Get to LPA before May 10th to check out the exhibit for free of course.

Below we will just put some videos of the groups we talked about in the post playing a Beatles song in a live setting. Feel free to listen while you read.

Sir Paul with Nirvana:

No Beatles covers by Dr Dog on Youtube, so you get one of our fav's:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Album Review: Donovan Wolfington- Scary Stories You Tell In The Dark

Donovan Wolfington
Scary Stories You Tell In The Dark
**and1/2 out of *****
A five piece pop/punk rock band from New Orleans, Donovan Wolfington come at you with a 2 guitar, 1 keyboard attack over slapping drums and bass. The songs are in and out quickly, slamming the point and getting out before having time to become stale.

Opening with an ominous sample and textured riff "Sleeping" sets the early tone with a bang. "Quitting" plays with tempo changes and motoring and slamming into a huge ending, a highlight track here that almost makes wish they didn't "quit" on it when they did. "Alone" has a distinct early 80's new wave pop vibe with an ominous feeling warbling around the edges. The straight forward "Keef Ripper" makes the most of it shorts stay while disk closing "Hey Alex" has bigger arena rock tendencies in an early Weezer way ending things on a high.      

The short disk is a good introduction to a band that seems to be off and running with confidence and direction. Here's hoping that more is coming from Donovan Wolfington soon.
Another great find from NOLA from Bandcamp for this month. Good stuff.

Support the band here, grab the album here or stream it below: 

Live Review: The Hold Steady 4/11/14 Albany, NY

Hey all,

Got a new review up on Glide Magazine.

Read it Right C'here!!!
You can tell by the title of this post that it is a live review of The Hold Steady's recent gig at The Hollow in Albany, NY. For anyone new to the site, we love the band, though we aren't really into the new album (especially the recording/sound). This night/show was a double bonus as we got to see our family who are in the Capital District then rock with the band and some old and new friends.

A great night all around, catch the band anytime you can live as they are a pure joy in action. I can't find videos from the night of the review, so I will put a pro shot live video of the most powerful song of the night (which was a semi-surprise) "Stay Positive". Yup, we were at this show back in '11 as well:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Album Review: The Bad Penny Pleasuremakers- T'Ain't No Sin

The Bad Penny Pleasuremakers
Tain't No Sin
**and1/2 out of *****
A homage to days gone The Bad Penny Pleasuremakers are a collection of New Orleans musicians who are playing old timey tunes from the '20s and resurrecting them for swinging nights a full century later.

The group has a kitschy feel to it as songs dutifully go through their paces but never really light the world on fire. The bands cover of Nat King Cole's "Smile" is a good example hitting all the right notes, but lacking that certain charm that made the original radiate. The title track is a better excursion as Joy Patterson sings with a wink and charm.

The pumping "Down in Jungletown" focuses on Tarik Hassan's upright bass and Jimmy Vegans verbose clarinet. The breezy "Under The Moon" shows the bands take on Annette Hanshaw's tune as a washboard makes things ripple along. While the group mixes things up with "You Are My Sunshine" a normally happy tune they turn it into a dirge extending it over 8 minutes, the tempo does pick up but the foundation has been laid. It is an interesting stab at redoing a standard but one that maybe worked better in theory then practice.  

Their fast paced take on Georgia White's "Was I Drunk?" is a better fit and the, switching gender vocals are a good touch. A trip back in time, The Bad Penny Pleasuremakers, breath new life into old songs. 
A fun if not to deep jaunt through music past. Thanks to bandcamp yet again for this find.

Support the band here, grab the album here (or Stream it below) and peep some video:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dylan Cover #135 Anders Osborne "When I Paint My Masterpiece" 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 Anders Osborne playing "When I Paint My Masterpiece"

This month our Dylan Cover Series will focus on artists playing The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Anders Osborne will be playing the Acura Stage on Saturday April 26th at 2pm.
Thoughts on Original:
Emerging from the writing/recording demo sessions at Big Pink and credited to Dylan "When I Paint My Masterpiece" was first was recorded and released by The Band and associated with them as much (or more so) then with Dylan himself. A fantastic rollicking tune that trapezes through history, in a fun bouncy manor. Engaging, fun, lyrical and musical, an upbeat gem of a Dylan tune that I am sure the boys in The Band had a hand in. 

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Well we just posted a review on Anders last album and while we are not too keen on it we have always dug his style and his live show is worth catching whenever you can as he is a joy when performing. He has worked and will be working more with Phil Lesh and Friends a bit so that adds some excitement to his style.    
Thoughts on Cover:
Jammed out and flowing which fits for this track. An easy stroll but with the bite of Osborne's (and guests) guitar backed by his solid rhythm section. A really nice way to kick off this week, so close to the start of the fest. God I wish I was packing up and heading south tonight.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Full Show Friday: Stooges Brass Band Live 8-16-2013

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...Stooges Brass Band!
Every April we have a special showcase for bands who are playing this years Jazzfest in NOLA. Today we will focus on Stooges Brass Band who will be appearing on the Jazz and Heritage Stage Sunday May 4th.  

Ahh the Stooges!  We love these guys, all the brass bands are fantastic from New Orleans and each seems to bring a little bit different to the musical gumbo. The Stooges like to add a bit of Hip-Hop  and we dig on that. A fantastic group who you should check live whenever they come to your neck of the nape. We reviewed them for Glide and caught them playing in NOLA before, and both shows where much better then this one, the crowd is dead here...oh well, I guess it was a slow night in The Funky Biscuit. Can't wait to catch them again in a few Sunday's, Wish We Were There Now!!!  Anyway, Enjoy this set:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Album Review: Tuba Skinny- Pyramid Strut

Tuba Skinny
Pyramid Strut
***and1/2 out of *****
Tuba Skinny like other New Orleans buskers, started as street musicians who had a common love of old-timey jazz tunes that were just wallowing in forgotten history. Having now tightened up a bit Pyramid Strut, is the bands 3rd release, a collection of those unknown jazz gems along with some more known tunes and even a few originals.   

Let's start with the originals as they are perfect fits into Pyramid Strut. The title track is structured send up with bubbling tuba backing Shaye Cohn's forceful cornet. "Lonesome Drag" motors as Erika Lewis sings about going blind with the blues, before Jon Doyle's clarinet dances around with wild abandoned.

Lewis' take on Trixie Smith's "Freight Train Blues" drips with the blues trademark pain but spins a bit of role reversal. The vocal tracks are balanced nicely by the instrumentals, an example would be the percolating run through their version of the South Street Trio's "Cold Morning Shout" before Lewis again takes the forefront on the traditional "Hesitation Blues".
The old time jazz just keeps flowing with tracks like "Gimme Some", "Sweet Lovin' Old Soul" and "Alligator Crawl". All the songs hit that mark, without varying much, but the group loves the oldies, and with their commitment you will too. 
If you dug Ms. Lake and the L.B.H from earlier this month, jump on Tuba Skinny now! Showcasing a NOLA based old-timey act that we found on bandcamp makes us smile, wish we were doing it in the Royal St. sun with a hilife in hand....

You can grab the album here, or stream it below. Support the band here, peep some video below:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Album Review: Chad Mic- $upreme

Chad Mic
**and1/2 out of *****
New Orleans embraced hip hop early on with legends like Mannie Fresh and the city has recently produced mega stars in the genre with Lil Wayne. One thing that always seems to be a staple of NOLA Hip-Hop, energizer beats mixed with wild rhyme styles. Chad Mic's $upreme goes the other direction with smooth, laid back rhythms and unhurried rhymes.  

These aren't purple slurred jamz, rather beats that would sound proper coming out of a high end lounge or a late night blunt session. Opening with the slow rolling "Limelight" Chad Mic establishes his easy if not perfectly smooth flow. "ThecherryLounge" is an early stand out clearly rhyming about things that are close to him with lines like, "This rap ain't paying the rent though/Celebs on TMZ crashing their Enzo's". Augmented by an enchanting vibraphone, the music rolls and skitters at the edges, relaxed yet never sleepy; a disk highlight.

The follow up track "Goyard Bag" goes against the materialistic rebelling of the "ThecherryLounge" but contradiction is central to hip hop. "Higher" is an ode to his woman, fitting easily into Chad Mic's style if not elevating super high. "Real I$ Back" has some spacey swirls and electro keys while "$OULpower" lights up and rolls on chimes and distant drum beats.  

"$ummertime" looks backwards to the good old days as Chad Mic never hurries, relaxed with a strong set of produced music backing him up as he presents the chill vibes of $upreme
The first NOLA Hip hop album from bandcamp we will be showcasing this month. More underground NOLA hiphop to come.

Support the artist here, Stream the album here:

Album Review: Eat The Witch- Eat The Witch EP

Eat The Witch
Eat The Witch EP
**and1/2 out of *****
New Orleans isn't all horns and jazz, metal has long had a hold on the city starting in the late 80's with bands like Eye Hate God and Soilent Green. The slow sludge/doom rock seems to flourish in the southern heat and Eat The Witch continues that on their first release which is just one instrumental track that rolls on for over 23 minutes.   

The track is titled "The Scarlett Capsule" and it moves in and out of a lot rock terrain. Doom, Sludge, upbeat math rock all work as tempo changes and hard driving riffs are channeled throughout. Formed from ex members of New Orleans bands haarp, Spickle & Dresden. The group rises like a decaying dinosaur carcass out of the swamp stomping and trudging all over the landscape.

Around the 10 minute mark things pick up as he tempo accelerates then a series of stopping and starting is employed. The clashes become frequent before the 16th minute mark where things get lucid as sonic waves warp around a deep bass line, turning the metal groovy. The rhythmn builds and the guitars take flight leading to a crushing finale.   

"The Scarlett Capsule" would have been perfect for the creepy climax of True Detective as McConaughey and Harrelson perilously run through Carcosa. The cinematic imagery this instrumental metal journey projects is exciting, here's hoping we get more from Eat The Witch soon. 
Can't get enough of New Orleans bands on bandcamp this month with more to come. A different sort of find, this time on the metal tip. We know this isn't for everyone but we dig this stuff.

Support the band, buy the album here or stream it below:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New Black Key's Title Track Released

Well The Black Keys keep releasing new tunes. Give the title track from their new album Turn Blue a go below:

This one is a bit funkier with a soul tinge then the first one. Lots of sounds going on with this one as well as an echo effect with Dan Auerbach's vocals. We dig the bass focus post solo with the tripped out sounds to end things...playing with some funky psychedelia it seems on this disk, very intriguing.

At first blush we like "True Blue" better then the first release from this upcoming disk, "Fever" but both are indications the new release will be solid and bold.
You can pre-order the album here with a t-shirt to boot.

Album Review: Anders Osborne- Peace

Anders Osborne
** out of *****

Anders Osborne is a music lifer. He has written Grammy nominated songs for others, as well as constantly toured with a variety of acts. His last 2 albums (American Patchwork and Black Eyed Galaxy) have been explorations of thumping rock and song writing, mixing some psychedelia with introspective lyrics of personal growth. Peace stays in this same vein but things are starting to feel stale.

Musically the album stays in the Crazy Horse-Light realm with repetitive riffs and stomps as Osborne sings lyrics straight out of a journal. The title track has some potential opening things but never really goes anywhere over its almost 7 minute run time (after 45 seconds of feedback to start things). Anders has never shied away from his past struggles with addiction and sobriety and that is admirable. Those topics get a lot of play here on tracks like the "I'm Ready" and the tribal, rhythmic, saxophone laced "Windows". The best of this bunch may be "Let It Go" as gritty guitars and fuzzy six strings lead to an invigorating guitar dueling solo before an almost gospel release.

As a lyricist Anders doesn't beat around the bush, while direct and appropriate at times it feels plain spoken and flat. His tracks to his family also show up a few times with "Sarah Anne", "Dream Girl", and "My Son" while nice odes to his loved ones they never elevate much higher then that. A more encompassing personal tune is the mellow "Sentimental Times" which clicks and uses strings, adding depth.

There are a few missteps that weigh things down, first is "47" which ponders life at his age with the laughable line "But nothing happens/At 47". This just seems odd, awkward and probably would have been better off as an outtake or re-written. "Five Bullets" is well intended but ends up clunky with a hip-hop edge that struggles to find a line, however that distortion rings true.  

Anders is going to keep going (to 57, 67 etc) wailing on the guitar like a champ and his plain spoken writing will surely hit a few high notes. It is good to hear from the man that he is closer to Peace then ever but as an album things may need to be shaken up for maximum results.
See we just don't rubber stamp and love everything from NOLA. We do really love Anders having seen him a bunch and reviewed him in the past, this one just never stuck with us. That said, we are happy for him (more from him later this month too), we really hope to catch him around town during Jazzfest.  Christ, It can't come soon enough..more from Anders later this month here as well.

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

Monday, April 14, 2014

Dylan Cover #134 Hurray For The Riff Raff "Walkin' Down The Line" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan songs. Today's tune is a live cover by Hurray For The Riff Raff playing "Walkin' Down The Line"

This month our Dylan Cover Series will focus on artists playing The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Hurray For The Riff Raff play the Samsung Galaxy Stage on Friday May 2nd at 2pm 

Thoughts on Original:
This is an exciting rare one to talk about as we haven't addressed it yet. A sweet little jaunt around as the singer acts as a wander and rambler, with "heavy handed gal's" "holes in clothes" and "walking shoes". A bit of the folkise poor boy blues that young Dylan epitomized during his Greenwich Village days. Officially appearing on the fantastic Bootleg's 1-3 Series this quick jam is a real smile inducer.  

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Hurray For The Riff Raff are always playing around their home of New Orleans, yet we always seem to miss them. Hopefully this year we rectify that. The folk-blues band have been at it for a while and just maybe, later this month, you will hear more about them on this site...ooh a teaser!!  
Thoughts on Cover:
A perfect fit for the group, which sounds like they are kicking off their second set on this night. well timed harmonica, fun playing and a spruced up way to get things rolling. Crisp clear voices from Alynda Lee Segarra accent the guitar and harmonica work. Love the obscure song choice and the performance.  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Late Night Fun with Nirvana and Friends in NYC

Well this certainly seems like a hell of a show to have been at last night!
We don't really care about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but this seems like an amazing gig. and we wish we were there. RTBE Favorites like The above pictured Kim Gordon and of course guitar wizard J. Mascis would have been amazing to see in their roles.  Some messed up videos are below, but it must have been a magical night in Brooklyn.

Thanks to Ed for the tip. Have a great weekend y'all, here is some live classic Nirvana to kick it off:

Full Show Friday: Phish 6/22/97 Koblenz, Germany

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...Phish!
Every April we have a special showcase for bands who are playing this years Jazzfest in NOLA. Today we will focus on Phish who will be headlining the Acura Stage Saturday April 26th

Here's the Trey we know. Let's say it now, we messed up. We were so excited for Jazzfest that we found a good deal early on, for the second weekend of the festival, we jumped at it. The second weekend has always been our go to. An extra day, starting in May and usually the better acts. Serves us right...a few weeks later when bands were announced and Phish was going to headline the first weekend we were upset. While steadily drifting down our list of favorite acts, seeing one of our favorites in our favorites city (outside NYC) would be a rare treat.

Sadly we won't, so we will offer up this full show as some it is not any sort of makeup for us....Ok I lied...there is a makeup, after I wrote this post I found out a band we like even more then Phish, The Rough Seven are playing the second weekend! We made the right choice.

This show is from the bands 2nd European tour of 1997, specifically 6/22/97 half way through our favorite year of the bands live shows (I know I have the tape of it somewhere in the collection the feedback in "Taste" rang an alarm bell). It contains a few of my favorite "first set" type tunes with "Limb by Limb", "Stash" and "Theme From The Bottom" as well as one of my top 5 Phish tunes "Ghost". We have obviously written about Phish before, but since they are playing Jazzfest (AND WE WON'T BE THERE) I need to give them a bit more love this week.  Enjoy, and enjoy to all my Phish friends catching them in NOLA....jerks.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

New Jack White Song! Album and Tour Coming Soon

In some very unexpected but incredibly exciting news it was announced recently that RTBE's favorite Jack White will be releasing a new album and touring behind it this summer.
We are incredibly excited by this having been a Vault Subscriber for a while now, we will be getting this amazing vinyl and package when it is released. White's last solo album Blunderbuss was our record of the year in 2012 and we can not wait to see what he has in store this go around.

The first album track, the instrumental "High Ball Stepper" was released you can check it out below:

The pure sound is mega on that track, we can't wait for the full thing. We will be seeing him (hopefully multiple times) this summer. Tickets go on-sale tomorrow. Giddy is the only word to describe it. Ah what the hell some recent live tunes to wet the whistle.

NYPL Blog Post: Game Of Thrones is Back!

Hey all, got a new blog post over at the New York Public Library, Give it a Gander below:

We dig on the world of Westeros, having read all the books, watched the series and conversed with friends about it. We have mixed feelings about George R.R. Martin's writing, his storytelling is fantastic however. I won't say much more here (now on the topic). you can go over to the post and comment converse there. Will end with a few gifs:
and how about we end with  "Arya's Prayer" by Dominik Omega from Catch The Throne

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Album Review: Meschiya Lake & The Little Big Horns- Foolers' Gold

Meschiya Lake & The Little Big Horns
Foolers' Gold
****and1/2 out of *****
The frisky bold and backwards looking Meschiya Lake and The Little Big Horns sophomore effort Foolers' Gold is more of the sultry, old timey jazz that is soaked into the oak bars and stools of Storyville and now modern day Frenchman Street. The group is a showcase for Lake's vocal talents but the Little Big Horns are more then up to snuff as the group reinvents older tunes and contributes some of their own to the genre.

There is an overriding sense of female sexual empowerment on the disk as Lake tackles relationships in a variety of ways. Her interpenetration of Mabel Scott's "Catch Em Young" calls out to the ladies to get just as abusive as the men, especially the ones in her take of Billy Holiday's "My Man".  Other pro-female tales show up in "Don't Start With Me", covers of Bessie Smith's "Young Woman's Blues", Peggy Lee's "Do Right" and the groups upbeat run through of the hot Louis Prima jam "Rhythm In Me".

The sexuality hits a high point when the Little Big Horns get the percussion/tuba going for "Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down" because the devil is obviously in those hip shaking solos and grooves. While Lake focused on the holy on that tune, for the follow up take of Victoria Spivey's "Organ Grinder" Meschiya lets the passion seep and spread with no innuendo just raw primal lust; a show stopper.

The groups originals like the sweet title track and the slow, hot, wet and perfectly titled "Midnight On The Bayou" confirm the bands chops as song writings are on par with any of the classics and long lost gems they love to cover so much.

Their style is firmly in days gone by, but the sound is far from dated. The playing is no frills, yet crisp and vital. The vocals aren't overdubbed or layered and gorgeously magnificent because of it. A stirring listen for fans of jazz or any genre, Foolers' Gold is worth investing in. 
Granted not everyone may love this sound, but seriously if you are interested in great music give this a listen. We loved the group and have loved Meschiya ever since we first heard her sing. She kills it with Scully but here she is in her favorite environment with the LBH's. This is the best they have sounded outside of hazy late night sets at The Spotted Cat.

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

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Live Review: Black Sabbath Barclay's Center 3/31/14

Hey All,

Got a New Review up on Glide.

Read it Right C'here!!!
It is a review of the Black Sabbath show from last Monday Night at the Barclay's Center. Big Thanks to Eric who invited me to the gig (and who also plays guitar in this amazing band). I probably would have passed on seeing Sabbath who I really dug as a youth but hadn't followed lately, and that would have been a mistake. We mentioned going to check them out last Friday but even with revisiting some tracks we were pumped; the show kicked ass.

Very impressed with the group, going to Brooklyn on the train I mentioned to Choy that there were three songs I wanted to hear, "War Pigs", "Into The Void" and "Fairies Wear Boots" and I got all three, played excellently. The others were all great too and I was impressed with how locked in they sounded overall. Ozzy is a joke, but he did enough to hold his own with the threesome behind him. Peep some video below and start banging your head....
War Pigs:

Fairies Wear Boots:

Children Of The Grave:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Dylan Cover #133 Eric Clapton "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" 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 Clapton playing "Knockin' On Heavens Door"

This month our Dylan Cover Series will focus on artists playing The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Eric Clapton will play the festival on Sunday April 27th

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we addressed a cover of this tune:
The song that seems to have been covered by everyone/anyone, but when originally recorded it it was on one of Dylan's oddest releases yet. A straight ahead mournful number that just seems to work, it has invaded culture (possibly because of all the covers) and I would wager is one of Dylan's most widely known tunes...  

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Clapton is one of the guitar greats in rock and roll history. That said we have never been huge fans of his playing style, as it is clean and direct, technically perfect and sound. We have always veered a bit rawer when it comes to our guitar gods. Tough to argue he isn't one of the all time greats, just personal taste. If we were down the first weekend we would love to see him play a few tunes.   
Thoughts on Cover:
An easy reggae stroll through a classic that was in its infancy. The back up singers work and it obviously fits with Clapton's Marley cover of "I Shot The Sheriff". A breezy jaunt to start the week off in a mellow mood. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Full Show Friday: Trey Songz Live 1/31/13 London

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...Trey Songz!

Every April we have a special focus on bands who are playing this years Jazzfest in NOLA. Today we will focus on Trey Songz who will be appearing on the Congo Square Stage Saturday May 3rd.  
Well starting off with something outside of our wheelhouse, but something that is much more mainstream popular then what we normally focus on here at RTBE. Trey Songz is an actor/rapper/singer of the newish R&B style and it is easy as all hell to hear that the ladies love him as the screams and chants start instantly on this video.

As for highlights, I am not going to lie and say I am familiar with his songs, one of his biggest hits is "LOL Smiley Face" so I am obviously not his target audience. The Trey that I know about will be showcased later this month, but for now lets open ears to a different sound. One of the things we love about Jazzfest is the huge range of styles on stages only a few paces away from each other. When Trey is on stage we will probably be watching Springsteen, but we can't rule out walking around, and the Congo is probably our favorite stage.

As for this show, the band plays perfectly fine, smoother R&B but don't get much camera time as the star of the show is upfront. Enjoy:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Album Review: The Fleshtones- Wheel Of Talent

The Fleshtones
Wheel Of Talent
**1/2 out of *****

New York City garage rocking The Fleshtones are still putting out tunes as they enter their 5th decade as a group. The tight, 13 tracked Wheel Of Talent has some retro looking efforts that recall the groups heyday as well as goofy jingles and even an unexpected ode about Facebook.

The disk opens with the experimental “Available” that plucks orchestral strings and laments about being single; the title is actually a status update! The band mines more familiar terrain on “It Is As It Was” and “Remember The Ramones” which go back to the groups beginning and their roots in the NYC downtown punk scene, name checking and storytelling before a musical ode to the fellow Queens crew.    

“Roofarama” is silly yet alarmingly catchy as an ode to hooking up on NYC rooftops decorated with high pitched “roof” chants and a blazing wah-wah guitar. The band has a knack for worming their way into your ear, “The Right Girl”, “For A Smile” and the pumping “Hipster Heaven” all spend more time than expected bouncing around the brain. “Stranger In My House” goes overboard and the Spanish “Veo La Luz” feels clunky but the bands missteps are slight as the songs still manage to breeze past, never sticking around longer than 3 minutes.

A track like “What I’ve Done Before” mixes in a bit of theatrics and an Elvis flair while “How To Say Good Bye” brings back the strings spicing up the retro rock in enjoyable ways. Wheel Of Talent’s closing “Tear For Tear” shows this style of rock is timeless as The Fleshtones keep pumping out their catchy tunes.
Support the Band here, buy the album here, and peep some video below:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Album Review: Preservation Hall Jazz Band- That's It!

Preservation Hall Jazz Band
That's It!
**** out of *****

That's It! has a level of amazement and novelty to it before it even begins as this is the first collection of all original material ever recorded by the long running group who are now into their 50th year. Ben Jaffe, the bands musical director and tuba player, should get a lot of the credit as the group of mixed aged musicians sound alive and creative as they mess with traditional genres and new jams easily.

The title track starts things with a thick groove as the band lock in tight and gets funky behind Mark Braud's crisp trumpeting. An immediate jarring of styles occurs however as the group goes from one of their dirtiest instrumental numbers into a spiritual traditional with "Dear Lord". While a fine song it takes a few minutes to get your ears right, before a simple traditional sounding number "Come With Me" rolls out easily. In the first three songs the bands current style, past love and reference to historical events are all evident. 

"Sugar Plum" brings back the groove with a really cool drum beat from John Lastie Jr. before "Rattlin' Bones" creaks out of the graveyard. Feeling like a lost Cab Calloway track you can almost see those Disney Skeletons getting down to the number. "I Think I Love You" is a great original blues/folk tune that highlights the disk in a simplistic way in the vein of "My Only Sunshine".  

The second half of things isn't as dramatic but it does contain the weepy "August Nights" and the mix of stripped down old timey jazz with latin flair during "Yellow Moon". Two bonus live tracks round things out with "Tootie Ma Is A Big Fine Thing" rollicks along behind Clint Maedgen singing the saxophone lines.

Barring some sequencing issues this is a great disk, capturing the current lineup of the band in top notch form. While the group will always butter their biscuits in the live setting, this document should live on as a true testament to the song writing of this version of The Preservation Hall Jazz Band.   
Love Pres Hall, seen them a bunch and they played a great show we caught a few years ago. We didn't like the offical CD as much from that gig, this one is actually a bit better. Can't wait to catch them at Jazzfest again.

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

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Jazzfest Less Then a Month Away

It can't get here fast enough but JazzFest is now less then 1 month away!
So to celebrate all this month we will be focusing on the fest with Full Show Friday's of bands playing the show, maybe a Dylan Cover or two from some players as well as a ton of NOLA-Centric album reviews we've been sitting on.

There will be non NOLA shiz as well, but we can't wait til we are south,hell we may even walk there! Hit'it Buckwheat!

Hope you can join us, until then enjoy the reading...

New Live Screaming Females Album Coming!

In 1 week Don Giovanni Records will release the newest album from Screaming Females which is going to be a live LP that the band recorded over 2 nights in Chicago last year.
Live at The Hideout is the bands first live offering and if ever a currently touring punk/rock and roll group needed one the Screaming Females are it. They are a personal favorite of ours and we try to see them every time they play NYC (which thankfully is often).  We had the privilege of interviewing Marissa regarding her amazing Noun album Holy Hell which we still love.

They kill it live and in the studio, this live disk (like their last album) was engineered by Steve Albini. You can hear a killer version of our favorite tune of theirs, "Lights Out" from Live at The Hideout below...feel the magic. We can't wait to hear the whole thing, on clear vinyl no less.