Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Album Review: The Grotto's-La Vie Est Belle

The Grottos
La Vie Est Belle
**and1/2 out of *****
The San Fransisco group The Grottos just posted this album to their bandcamp page and with not knowing much about the band the tunes are engaging in a lo-fi/punk/garage way. "Bathsalt Babies" opens up the La Vie Est Belle EP with a bass line that sounds close to derailing but still bubbly instantly establishing a clanking good groove.    

When the group sticks to more pop/garage rock there are better results such as on "I Don't Want To Be Your Home" featuring a great guitar tone or the clanging surf feeling during the wash out of "The Pyshic Box". The bands sound and tone is engaging but their vocals leave a lot to be desired, the obvious lo-fi price to pay, like on the 6+ minute "Howl".

When the EP moves toward punk-experimental-metal things can sound strangely muted on "Shoot a Gun" or down right skippable like with "Hand Thrasher" and its distorted to the point of not mattering vocals.

Most of the album has a sense of exploring/searching between all of these styles. The band can catch great moments such as "(Passing) Through This World" which is eerie and exciting with its piano, screaming solo and layers of talking vocals mixed in. More often though things feel like the title track itself; a combo of noise rock, tons of effects and tempo changes that never lives up to the total sum of its parts but still sounds like its heading in the right direction.
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Another random find on bandcamp. Can't get enough of the site. If you are into Garage rock but this isn't your bag stay tuned tomorrow. The Grotto's page is here. Stream the album below as well:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Dylan Cover #157 Three Bob Night "Country Pie"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Three Bob Night  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.  
Cover: 


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
We are not familiar with Three Bob Night but they seem interesting. The bass player is all over the place, wish he was turned up a bit more.
       
Thoughts on Cover:
A quick upbeat jaunt. As mentioned the bass seems to be the stand out instrument but it is a bit low in this mix. A quick easy one to start the fall.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Full Show Friday: Alicia Keys Concert Mawazaine 2014

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...Alicia Keys!
Went a bit different and main stream this week with Alicia Keys. I have actually seen her live...well I saw her sing the National Anthem before the Super Bowl if that counts...but this is the first time I am seeing her sing a full show. 

Enjoy:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bob Geldof Interview on BV

Over on Brooklyn Vegan they posted an interview with Bob Geldorf. A philanthropist rock and roller Geldof helped solidify charity concerts to worthwhile causes as something that can and should be done to help make the world a better place.
One is even happening in Central Park this weekend, but that is not what the interview is primarily about about as Geldof's band The Boomtown Rats are playing shows in Boston and NYC

It is a rambling read as Geldof pontificates on lots of things from U2 to plumbers. What is striking is his personal belief in the power of music and how it is no longer as strong communally. I concur slightly but I think he is making too small a box around "rock and roll" because all the acts he mentions are pop music, more specifically Popular music.

If music brings people together on any level it can still deliver powerful results, just in new and different forms perhaps. It is a fascinating time regarding music, the "industry" and what goes on with it is anyones guess. One thing is certain though...no one likes Mondays:
 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Live Review: Jack White Chicago Theater Chicago, IL 7/23/14

Jack White 
Chicago Theater 
Chicago, IL 
7/23/14
Wow.  If there hadn't been another life altering performance earlier this year, this would clearly be the show of the year. It might still be when all is said in done with 2014 as Jack White and crew put on an amazing performance that ran almost 3 full hours of music. I have waited so long to review it because I have nothing negative to say about it.

The beautiful thing is you can listen to the whole thing yourself and get a small sense of what it was like to be in the gorgeous Chicago Theater on this hot summer night as Jack gave musical shout outs to blues legends, country folk, guitar gods, hip-hop heroes and fans in the first row. 

His new album is top notch, his back catalog is deep and his love of all sorts of music make him a must see in the live arena. Shows can go in any direction and on this night everything clicked from the opening notes of "Highball Stepper" as Jack referencing his recent ballgame experience came out wearing a 'Kick Me' sign and his Cubs jersey. 

Clearly playful, White changed into a black t-shirt and then plunged into things not letting up until he brought a fan on stage to play "Seven Nation Army" to close the night out. There were so many high points it wouldn't do justice to single out a few but "I Cut Like A Buffalo" will go down as our favorite on the night as White dropped in lines from two A Tribe Called Quest jams a Muddy Waters track and still got angular/groovy/funky on his own for about 10 minutes.  

Amazing, superb, unreal, and the next night was fantastic too, but it was impossible to top this one. The crowd was electric as was his crack backing band including whirl wind drummer Daru Jones and fiddle player Lillie Mae Rische. 

Here are some video but do yourself a favor and get the full show as it is worth it.  Even more importantly see him live when he plays.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Album Review: Spoon- They Want My Soul

Spoon
They Want My Soul
****and1/2 out of *****
The pop tinkers from Austin TX are back again with their 8th studio release They Want My Soul, which sounds like a quintessential Spoon lyric to anyone who has enjoyed the band in the past. It is as if you can hear Britt Daniel singing that line before even unwrapping the vinyl.

That familiar sense of tight in the pocket grooves, unique sonic textures and lyrical yearning of Spoon past is immediately evident with opener "Rent I Pay". The slapping snare mix with simple riffed guitar and big bass hits makes for an excellent kick start. What is new, and pushes the whole effort into a better realm, is the production effort from Dave Fridmann. The band credits his "pushing everything to the max" deliverance as having major sonic influence on the group.

That over-driven style shows up all over. Crunching guitars that crack through speakers, cymbals that shatter in headphones and bass so thick it distorts. Even mellower offerings like "Inside Out" soothes with keyboard fills and Motown styled bass thumps before cut off beats put a jagged edge underneath the flow.

This sonic distorted producing, combined with Spoon's cerebral approach to pop song writing is a perfect match as the tracks just seem to pile up on the successful front. "Rain Taxi" motors along on a "Gimme Some Lovin'" bass riff, "Do You" puts the pop sheen on, the sing along fuzz drench of the title track, the pluck/strum dance strut of "Let Me Be Mine" and disco touched closer "New York Kiss" all feel comfortingly familiar and grandly fresh. Even the acoustic blues piano number "I Just Don't Understand" has rough instrumentation and menace lurking beneath the surface. 

The aren't many negatives on They Want My Soul being picky, the mid album "Knock Knock Knock" tries to cram so much into one song things get slightly jumbled, but still manage to feel exhilarating in the end. There isn't a "single" sounding track or anything approaching their best songs from their career highpoint so far Ga Ga Ga Ga, but that could also be a tribute to how strong overall the album is.

Spoon have been so consistently good that they may underrated, it is hard to find a bad album or even many unflattering songs. On Transference (our least favorite offering) the band mixed things up and now having paired with Fridmann the band sounds inspired, back in the groove and ready for another go around.
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Support the band here, buy the album here and peep some video below:


Monday, September 22, 2014

Dylan Cover #156 Robyn Hitchcock & John Paul Jones "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 Robyn Hitchcock & John Paul Jones playing "Tangled Up In Blue" 
Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this song in this series:
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.   
Cover:

Thoughts on Cover Artist
I don't know much about Robyn Hitchcock or The Soft Boys and my feelings on John Paul Jones are kind of meah. I mentioned feelings for his past famous band here in depth. However he is obviously not playing bass...       
Thoughts on Cover
A really cool cover. Confidently sung with power and dedication, in the moment but nuanced. JPJ does a knock out job on mandolin and Hitchcock delivers vocally and on the harmonica. A great way to kick off the week and must have been very cool to catch live in 2012.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Full Show Friday: Beck 4/28/2003 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...Beck!

This week we got a full live solo show from Beck from back in 2003. This was his theater tour supporting 2002's Sea Change. He focuses mostly on tracks from that disk playing the majority album here on this night. Our favorite track here is the one from One Foot In The Grave called "Fourteen Rivers and Fourteen Floods"and he ends it with a rollicking "Lord Only Knows" that see's him hit the harmonica, quote "Hot In Herre" and rock out proper.

Some artists you grow up with, some you grow away from. Sea Change never did it for us and marked a breaking point with him (we reviewed his newest album earlier this year and talked about this a bit). In reality maybe we grew up and just simply weren't in tune with him anymore. Our favorite disks of Beck's in order are: Stereopathic Soul Manure, Mellow Gold and One Foot In the Grave. 1994 Beck was literally where it was at.

Anyway most people disagree, so we will stop chatting and let you enjoy:
  
 
00:48 - The Golden Age
05:01 - It's All In Your Mind
08:30 - Guess I'm Doing Fine
14:22 - Lonesome Tears
19:00 - Nicotine & Gravy
24:34 - Lost Cause
28:18 - Ship In A Bottle
32:54 - Fourteen Rivers, Fourteen Floods
36:48 - Loser
44:03 - Nobody's Fault But My Own
48:53 - Lord Only Knows

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Album Review: DropkicK- The Quest For The Holy Groove EP

DropkicK
The Quest For The Holy Groove EP
** out of *****

This electronic/groove laden EP is an instrumental offering from DropkicK. A collection of beeps, twitches, samples and glitches mixed with keyboards and saxophones. The end product are 4 songs the stutter and groove along in digital funk-light fashion. 

The first track is titled "An Ode to Carl" and is the most electro-heavy of the bunch as it mixes in vocals from the youtube clips of "Llama's in Hats" as the aforementioned Carl is the much viewed digital llama. "Setting The Groove" gets the sax revved up and mixes in dynamics from electro dance tracks in the vein of Knife Party.  

"Coffee and Blues" contains a deep bass break that builds the song up from scratch midway through incorporating harmonica's, sax and electro laser flashes; our favorite track here. Closing out things "Why Hello Miss Tasty" builds around a digital keyboard riff that gets morphed multiple ways throughout the track, almost unrecognizable at times.

Overall there is a bit too much space between beats, but catchy rhythms and the saxophone keep things interesting. In the future tighter and deeper grooves (and some drums) may help DropkicK along on their quest for that elusive holy groove.
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Readers will know that electronica really isn't our bag, but we are always on the look out for new things. Randomly came across this one when searching bandcamp for funky/groove new releases. Buy/Stream it here or below:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Album Review: Dr. John- Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch

Hey all got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of the good Dr. John's newest release Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch. We have talked about Dr John a bunch on this site. We loved his last album and rated it highly in our year end round up from 2012.

To be honest we didn't have high hopes before hearing this as Dr. John has always been hit or miss when it comes to studio albums and his more "traditional" New Orleans tinged albums are fine, but not usually can't miss. We were wrong to be nervous this disk is fantastic and delving into Armstrongs catalog and updating it was a excellent choice.

Read the full review obviously and peep some video below:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dylan Cover #155 Jason Arimoto "Simple Twist of Fate"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from Jason Arimoto and is a live cover of "Simple Twist of Fate"
Thoughts on Dylan's Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this song:
Well the classics just keep coming in this series, with "Simple Twist of Fate" what a gem of a song.  Impeccable lyrics gorgeous phrasing, just a great great song that is hard not to enjoy.
Cover:

Thoughts on Cover Artist: 
First I am hearing about Jason Arimoto, but it looks like he is an accomplished Ukulele musician an string developer.
Thoughts on Cover:
This is why I love continuing this series even 155 covers deep. I am able to find amazing musicians/artists/performers interpreting Dylan's music in their own way and it literally brings joy. I was blown away by this cover, fantastic work from Mr. Arimoto as Jason strums a guitar, plucks the Uk' and sings majestically. Really top notch and worth listening to...repeatedly. Excellent cover Jason.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Full Show Friday: Ratty Scurvics and the Black Market Butchers 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...Ratty Scurvics!

We've been thinking about NOLA a bit lately so we are glad that we found this rare gem. A
Ratty Scurvics and the Black Market Butchers CD release show. Theatrical and odd, just like Ratty and crew. We reviewed a Ratty release back in 2013 but this is a different beast with it's visual (all be it dark on this video) element and amped up chaos. Also a quick side note, he plays Keys for our fav's The Rough Seven.

Enjoy The Madness:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Live Review: Reigning Sound 8/28/14 NY, NY

Hey all got a new live review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
One of our favorite bands played out favorite NYC venue the Thursday before Labor Day as Reigning Sound played the Bowery Ballroom.

The show wasn't the best we have seen them but it was a fun night on the LES. As we said last week we aren't enamored with the playing on the new album and that style stuck in the live setting. The band seems to be in a chill mode and I really think I dig them better with a bit of an edge, but either way you can really appreciate the great catalog of tunes they produce. This also got us pumped for a show Labor Day Sunday that we will be reviewing shortly on RtBE.

Read all about it on Glide and peep some video below, not of this particular show (because I can't find any) but of other live moments from RS and Naomi Shelton:


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Guitar Guys Get After it in Central Park

Axe slinging fans must have rejoiced as Gary Clark Jr. played Central Park last night. As a special treat he brought out a fast rising star to join him. Our man Brandon Niederaur joined Clark to get down and rock out.

We wrote about Brandon when we covered Shorty Fest this year as he was the clear highlight. Watch him steal the show yet again this time on Clark's own "Bright Lights"

Thanks Loren for sending this along. Niederaur is a fantastic talent, as we also know Clark's pretty damn great live as well, but keep an eye on Taz.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Album Review: Too Many Zooz- Fanimals EP

Too Many Zooz
Fanimals EP
*** out of *****
The trio known as Too Many Zooz consists of Matt Doe Leo P and King Sludge and the group specialize in a house brass sound that bumps beats and blows its way into your brain. Horns and percussion swirl repetitively and engagingly as the groups builds to funky freakouts and dance breaks.

The opening "Mouse Trap" opens things as the group gets loose with beats and riffs that would be excellent backing an MC while "Limbo" builds and builds into an ominous peak. The dance driven and cleverly named "Turtledactyl" bounces and thumps with late night get down appeal. The baritone sax, trumpet, and drum make for some delicious combo's as the group interact well.  

"Wet" starts minimalist buts takes on an eastern flair and huge deep bass rumblings about a minute into things; a juicy cut the adds a lower sonic level to the groove ending too soon. Closing out the disk is the 2 parts of "House of the Glass Red", the most experimental tracks on the disk, but still designed to make you shake and dance.

In the vein of an instrumental Morphine (if that band was in a late night club) the group pushes deep sax grooves, percussive beats and trumpet runs to the forefront and let everything else slip away.
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Another great bandcamp find.

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

Monday, September 8, 2014

Dylan Cover #154 Bad Religion- It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

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

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Have always liked Bad Religion from a bit of a distance. Loved and still love Epitaph Records and it's list of clients and releases, but never really jumped into Bad Religion's catalog all that much.
Thoughts on Cover:
Another really great cover of an amazing song. This time though the punk band goes for a driving under current with the bass and drums to move things along. The harmonies are a fantastic addition and as a whole this cover reminds anything is possible when interpreting a Dylan tune. Excellent cover. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Full Show Friday: Santana 8/18/1970

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...Santana!


Santana always gets us thinking about live outdoor summer shows, so why not put a nice closing button on 2014's summer of Full Show Friday's? This is the second time we showcased Santana in this series, but we like this show a bit better. Coming from August 1970 the quality isn't perfect, but what the hell do you want, this is classic! The original lineup doing what it did better then anyone.

The group is in fine form, two of our favorite numbers are played back to back here with "Jingo" and "Soul Sacrifice", but the whole set is great. In fact I will just put the setlist and the notes from the show underneath the video and let you get right to listening:

Enjoy:



Santana
8/18/1970
Tanglewood,
Lenox, MA

SET
01 Batuka/Se A Cabo (7:55)
02 Black Magic Woman (5:27)
03 Oye Como Va (4:30)
04 Incident At Neshabur (5:39)
05 Toussaint L'Overture (5:00)
06 Evil Ways (4:31)
07 Hope You're Feeling Better (4:37)
08 Treat (4:17)
09 Savor (2:14)
10 Jingo (9:15)
11 Soul Sacrifice (13:12)
12 Gumbo (4:50)
13 Persuasion (3:42)

unknown low gen VHS tape (Pro-shot) with SBD audio

BAND LINEUP
Carlos Santana - guitar, vocals
Gregg Rolie - keyboards, piano, lead vocals
David Brown - bass
Michael Shrieve - drums
Jose "Chepito" Areas - percussion, conga, timbales
Mike Carabello - percussion, conga, vocals
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NOTES
"Just a year after Santana played its historic Woodstock Music & Art Fair performance, the band was fast becoming one of the biggest in the world. They were about to release their second album, Abraxas, and were riding high on the heels of three hit songs from their debut album and a new Top 10 hit, a cover of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac's "Black Magic Woman."

A year earlier - in fact only a few days before the Woodstock Festival - Bill Graham staged the first of several concerts billed as "The Fillmore at Tanglewood."

Tanglewood is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the storied venue had just begun to experiment with staging contemporary concerts on their grounds. Staging a rock concert in a classical venue had yet to be done, so of course the concept of doing so excited Graham. He brought the full-scale Fillmore East production team in, including the Joshua Light Show, and booked a great lineup. This first concert featured B.B King, Jefferson Airplane and The Who, and drew the largest crowd that Tanglewood had ever seen by far.

Buoyed by the event's success, Tanglewood and Graham agreed to stage three similar dates in 1970. The last of these is this show, when Santana headlined after The Voices of East Harlem and the legendary Miles Davis had played. This historic and beautifully recorded performance features a smoking performance by Santana in the last year of their classic lineup, before a young Neal Schon joined the band."

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Album Review: Reigning Sound- Shattered

Reigning Sound
Shattered
** out of *****

Lets this get out of the way upfront, while we are utterly disappointed by this album we still love Greg Cartwright's songwriting and style, just not his (and the groups) performance on this record. Reigning Sound are going for a soul album and fall short on all fronts but primarily in desire; Cartwright and company just don't sound engaged throughout Shattered.

Cartwright's singing in particular is distant and flat. The band has successfully slowed down on each of their albums and the results have been gripping with a slow burn and vocal performance that conjured hurt and desire; on Shattered Greg's vocals just feel bored. "Falling Rain" is a good example, a fine song but when it comes to the singing there isn't any immediate feeling except a blasé attitude.

The minimalism garage rock is still intact but a touch half baked on tracks like opener "North Cakalacky Girl" and "If You Gotta Leave". The bare bones rock isn't energetic or particularly memorable. The group expands to bring in a well represented string section on "Never Coming Home" proving to be the best track on the disk along with the B3 flavored upbeat shake of "My My". Those two tracks show the old swagger and new experimentation that make this band retro cool and vitally alive.

Unfortunately on Shattered these are the outliers.  Tracks like "In My Dreams" are more the norm with it's rhyming of dreams with dreams, not moving the dial at all. Cartwright has set the bar high for this band with albums as amazing as Too Much Guitar, Time Bomb High School and Love and Curses and with a lot to live up to Shattered simply doesn't. Here's hoping some meaning and desire enter the garage the next time Cartwright and company suit up.
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Oh man this one hurts...Reigning Sound are one of our favorite bands playing today and this disk just falls flat all over. Oh well, they can't all be zingers.

Still you should support the band here, buy the disk here and peep some video of the best two jams below:
"Never Coming Home"


"My My"

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Album Review: The Magic Numbers- Alias

The Magic Numbers
Alias
** out of *****
The brother sister quartet from England who have put out some catchy pop/rock return with their fourth release Alias this summer and instead of the bright tunes they are known for things have gotten a bit gloomy this go around.  

The moody/bland 6 minute+ "Wake Up" begins this disk, with a restrained, depressed texture in the vein of less exploratory side of Pink Floyd. Animal love, piano lines and up and down guitars mix but the feeling of restraint is everywhere and stifling. This isn't a call to physically arise, it is a struggle to break out of a mental haze that the group seems stuck in for a good chunk of Alias. "You K(no)w" stays in that same downward questioning spiral with weeping guitars and breathy vocals stretching out past the 5 minute mark with some ethereal jamming to close.  

"Out On The Streets" picks up the tempo via peppering drums and ringing guitars, but there is still a gloomy cloud with the lyrical content; things aren't rosy out there. "Roy Orbison" is a mid tempo waltz that can't live up to its namesake, even with some pretty strings and harmonies while "Accidental Songs" proves to be the best track on the disk, an engaging twist on Jesus and Mary Chain fuzz pop.  

The group makes a drastic 70's era turn with two songs here that disrupt the melancholy vibe of the overall album; things don't become elevated, just disjointed. Angela Gannon takes over lead vocals for the straight out of Fleetwood Mac's back catalog "Thought I Wasn't Ready" while "E.N.D" is pure disco fluff with strings and bass groove. This weird combo may have been cute singles on their own but are completely out of place on Alias, perhaps saving them for the next EP may have been the wise move.    

A band that started out upbeat seems to have hit an emotional wall, and while the talent is still there they seem to be grasping at new things rather then playing to their indie rock pop charms; this could all be part of their growing up and a transitional album but that doesn't make for enjoyable listening. The Magic Numbers have stated in recent interviews they feel this is their best disk yet, and they have grown up, while the latter is clear it is hard to agree with the first claim.

In the bands first single from the album, "A Shot In The Dark", front-man Romeo Stodart sings "Now baby I don't know why/I feel so helpless?" and that sense of floating aimlessness is everywhere on Alias from tracking order to stylistic choices, hopefully the group latches onto something more substantial next go around. 
________________________________________________________________
We hadn't kept up with The Magic Numbers since their first release and we were disappointed with Alias. Decide for yourself though:

Support the band here, buy the album here, stream it here for a limited time, and peep some video below:


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Happy 20th Anniversary Wildflowers

There are certain albums that stick with you for reasons...a memory of a particular place, time, person. A spark of a better/worse moment in life. A reminder of that crazy person you once were. Then there are albums that stay with you that aren't particularly tied to you in any concrete form function or rationality, quite simply you just like the music.  

Wildflowers is that last kind of album for me and this November the album celebrates its 20th anniversary. Lets chat about it...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Dylan Cover #153 Jimmy Smith "Union Sundown"

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 Jimmy Smith playing "Union Sundown"
  
Thoughts on Original:
From what has become an annual tradition here and here:
Wanted to pick this one for Labor Day as it is Dylan's take on the lack of US manufacturing jobs as well as the increasing flux of capitalism in society and the death of unions.  The idea of greed taking over is nothing new, but this song seems to come from an impulsive Dylan (a lot do) and shows up on Infidel's of which Dylan has commented something along the lines of "Those songs stuck around too long".  Ideas seem to be a bit jumbled on this disk, but not on this tune, his lament at no good paying job for American workers is clear, but he isn't passing the buck.  It is all of HIS products that are foreign made, this isn't a plea for change as a younger Dylan might have done; it is a simple statement of fact...and a sad one at that.  Having grown up in a extremely pro-Labor house hold I just wanted to point this tune out and the fact that Dylan wrote it almost 30 years ago, and things have only gotten worse... Happy Labor Day....
Cover:

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
I don't know Jimmy Smith and this Underwear Session idea, hmmm, is a bit dicey, but like the taste in tunes.
Thoughts on Cover:
A sped up solo electric live cover that stays fresh rambling and still manages to keep it tight. with some frantic playing Well performed all around, Enjoy your Labor Day.