Thursday, April 30, 2015

Down South In New Orleans...

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

What a fantastic song from Bobby Charles and an amazing cover from The Band

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!  Get ready for one more Full Show Friday focused on the Fest tomorrow.
That song up on top says it all. Here are a few more tunes that we listen to every year to get pumped for the annual trip. Enjoy the tunes and hope to see you down there.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Album Review: Sweet Spirit- Sweet Spirit EP

Sweet Spirit
Sweet Spirit EP
*** out of *****
The Austin, TX based pop/indie rock outfit Sweet Spirit kicks out a catchy collection of tracks on this release for Nine Mile Records. The projects front duo of Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen's have crafted 4 songs that deal with love, longing and sex in very PG-13 rated terms and bubble gummy grooves. A clear sense of playfulness runs through these numbers and elevates the whole collection.  

The best track starts it off as "Let Me Be On Top" rocks and shakes with a vibrant feeling of energy passion and desire. A killer guitar line snakes through the tambourine shakes and Ellis' vocal yearning; energetic and direct in all the right places.

"I've Made Up My Mind" employs a more dramatic/story telling device that doesn't work as well in execution but the following "Baby Girl" is much more interesting. The track is a coy stealing your boyfriend number with lyrics that point out the other ladies before bluntly offering up the plan "Gotta make friends with the pretty girls/'Cause then, when their boyfriends get tired of them/They'll come to me". All this is played out around an upbeat ska-like track that worms its way into your ears and never leaves.

The acoustic "Outlaw" wraps things up as a nice little insane love ballad as Cashen and Ellis meld vocals effortlessly in a "Choo-Cha-Wah" break that is as silly as it is endearing.

A short EP (songs are all under three minutes except "Baby Doll" at three and a half) but one that stays with you via the catchiness of the players, singer, production and outfit as a whole. Sweet Spirit indeed.
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Support the band here, buy/stream the album here  or below and peep some video below:





Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Album Review: Metz II

Metz
II
***and1/2 out of *****
On the Toronto, CA based trios first album Metz slammed with heavy noise and from the replicated cover art and numeric title you probably figured correctly that more of the same is coming to assault your eardrums on II.

The cover art for both the bands albums have people who look like they are in pain, heads down slumped over; pretty accurate description the the thumping contained within. The disk opener "Acetate" blisters the speakers/headphones while "Landfill" puts that power into more of a song form and "Eyes Peeled" cooks up a storm with one of the few album guitar solos.

Booming drums and metallic groove kick off "Spit You Out" with angst and swagger acting as the closest thing to a single the band can offer and "Wait In Line" takes a verse chorus approach as well but isn't as successful. On this release it is "The Swimmer" that once again brings an industrial edge to the chaos with it's repetitive clangs in the vein of Ministry.

Even their quirky (some would say pointless) instrumentals are still here ("Zzyzx") but the group does show a bit more song oriented leanings such as the jangle of "I.O.U" which has a touch of Pixie noise pop shimmer. "Nervous System" packs a huge punch into it's two minutes run time, giving a schizophrenic power to the punk.  

It is fitting this band is on Sub Pop as their number one clear cut influence is Bleach era Nirvana, so much so it took great restraint not to mention it until now. II (like the self titled debut) could masquerade as outtakes from that famous groups pre fame era.

While Metz slightly expand on their sound with a few keyboards, and tape loops the crux of Metz force is in their searing straight ahead repetitive punk noise slamming. Kurt and company would be proud, well, before they teamed with Butch Vig I guess. 
___________________________________________________________If you liked the first one, and we did, you will dig this one.

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

Monday, April 27, 2015

Dylan Cover #185 Ed Sheeran "Masters Of War" 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 Ed Sheeran playing "Masters of War"
Every April our Dylan Cover Series focuses on artists playing The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Ed Sheeran will headline the Gentilly Stage on Saturday May 2nd

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
Ranking as one of his most accusatory and cutting tracks is no easy measure but Dylan condemns the whole "war machine" on this classic and vital track (the "hope that you die" line is so facking cold, it is brutal). Often misrepresented as an attack on war itself (Dylan always said he wasn't a pacifist) this track calls out the government for using war-as-business (the Cold War in Particular) and business-as-war models when lives are put on the line for meaningless reasons. As alive and burning now as it was in 1962 when he wrote it.
Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
This is actually the second time we are featuring Sheeran in this Dylan cover series. The first time was here and you can see what we thought about him last July, thoughts haven't changed much and unfortunately we will be missing him this year at Jazzfest. Saturday the 2nd is a busy day for us, and we need to prep for The Rough Seven late night @ Saturn Bar.

Thoughts on Cover:
A more upbeat take on the track then we are used to, but still a good version, if perhaps not as up to par as some other versions we have talked about in this series.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Full Show Friday: No Doubt Live 1997

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...No Doubt!

Every April we have a special showcase for bands who are playing this years Jazzfest in NOLA. Today we will focus on No Doubt who will be headlining the Acura Stage Friday May 1st.  

No Doubt are the big name band playing on the second Friday of the fest. This surprised us here at RtBE as we didn't think No Doubt was that big of a draw, but then were reminded Gwen Stephanie is immensely visible on The Voice.

Having never watched the show, we forgot that she is probably more popular now then ever before in her career. We honestly were never a fan of the band, having missed the boat on their big break out. GS sounds a bit too much like Geddy Lee at times for these ears and the 3rd 4th or 5th wave ska style never roped us in.

That said, this fun romp. A pro shot, pro sound show from Anaheim on their world tour for their smash Tragic Kingdom record. Keep your ears peeled for a quick Special's tribute and the show closing ska Beatles tune is a nice touch. Full setlist below. Enjoy:


00:57 Tragic kingdom
04:38 Excuse me mr
08:44 Different people
14:20 Happy Now? 
18:14 Dj's
22:19 End it on this
26:09 Just a Girl
36:01 The Climb
43:30 Total Hate
47:22 Hey You
50:47 The Imperial March
52:28 Move On
58:22 Don't Speak
1:04:07 Sunday Morning
1:21:31 Spiderwebs
1:26:45 Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Jazzfest Posters Through the Years

Thanks to my friend Allen, who forwarded this link regarding the full history of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Posters dating back to 1969. 
We love the fest and the posters are iconic but this trip back through the years to see how they evolved is pretty telling to just how massive this event has become. The 1969 Pencil drawing shows you the roots and this years 3d image proves just how far the art has progressed, not necessarily improved though.

Our personal favorites? 2007 Jerry Lee Lewis shall hang on our wall one day.

1991 has a cool vibe to it and we love the 1978 edition.
All of this fantastic art makes us more and more anxious for the festival...which starts tomorrow. Enjoy if you are there for those of us who can't make down yet, here are some tunes to get the party (mentally) started:


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Album Review: Alabama Shakes- Sound & Color

Alabama Shakes
Sound & Color
**** out of *****
The Alabama Shakes first release Boys & Girls was a solid piece of southern soul and easy hip shaking rock and roll that seemed to be embraced by pretty much everyone who heard it. The title aptly described the relationships that were sung expertly about by Brittany Howard, the stand out player from the bands debut, and again the title tells the tale as Sound & Color lets the band indulge in various sonic experiments. The end result is a transitional album rather than a note for note follow up most would expect and for that fans of the band should be thankful even if it takes a few spins to settle into.    

The freakiness flies from the opening title track with unique pianos, sketchy sounds and a CeeLo Green vibe. That dreamy tranquility and musical expressiveness allows the band to switch styles, no longer are they easily pigeonholed as southern roots rock and soul.

The wah wah guitar of "Don't Wanna Fight" gets funky Prince-like groove working and that late night vibe melts into most of the tracks. "Future People" continues it and disk closer "Over My Head" mixes it in expertly like a 3am cocktail. The off kilter bass and drum combo that dominates "Gemini" shows the band reaching out and tacking on a burning/buzzing guitar outro, which while over indulgent, proves that the standard template is out the window for the group this go around.  
     
Howard is still the focal point as her vocals are truly special, however she is game for trying out different things as well, going more falsetto, pinching off highs or yelping oddly, her willingness to try something new is refreshing. She can still dominate a simple blues inflected number with "The Felling" and kicks off the bands first punkish outing with "The Greatest", even more punk may have made it even tighter.

For fans not ready to move on from Boys & Girls, "Miss You" is where you should start, a slow torch song that fits the bands first efforts. The best combination and perhaps a sweet-spot mix of style and substance for future tracks can be found on the most complete offering, "Gimme All Your Love". A nuanced mix of building, fluttering, and dramatic pauses/swells that transforms into a stone cold groove to close, an A+ effort.    

Not everything hits that high mark, "Dunes" feels still in the demo phase of production, and for an album with lots of variety things seem to be bogged down; a track like "Shoegaze" doesn't add much. Positively though the group sounds cohesive, confidently finding their way through their studio experiments as their sound, tastes and styles evolve, grow and find their footing only to brilliantly slip off again into the unknown.  
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Great to see bands evolve, we liked the first album (would have been 8 stars on current rating system) and Sound & Color, proves the band won't sit still.

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

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Album Review: Built To Spill- Untethered Moon

Built To Spill
Untethered Moon
**** out of *****
During the last press go around Doug Martsch, the only true member of Built To Spill, said that no one was in a hurry to hear any new BtS albums. He was right and after the underwhelming There Is No Enemy back in 2009 there didn't look like there would be another one, and that was OK. It seemed the band would tour when Martsch felt like it and play their old, fantastic, indie rock back catalog to fans.  

Now along comes Untethered Moon and maybe that unexpected nature gives it an edge, but for whatever reason the album sounds better, more alive, then anything Doug and backing players have produced since 1999's Keep It Like A Secret.

Adding a new rhythm section of Jason Albertini on bass Stephen Gere on drums could also be a reason for the born again feel but the group still revolves around Martsch's otherworldly guitar offerings, quirky timings and laid back yet yearning vocals and lyrics. 

Opening with "All Our Songs" Martsch takes his knack for writing about writing music (see the excellent "Joyride") and constructs an extremely engaging musical journey. Reflecting on his personal tunes, tons of guitar styles/pianos/rhythms become entwined in an inventive fashion. There is a crazy ending to things (an occurrence throughout the album) that builds to a driving solo. 

That songs about songs thing shows up again in another highlight track "Some Other Song" that includes great lyrics ("I still don't know/how to fall apart") in Doug's patented vocal style, directly reflecting on the bands back catalog. Production on this disk really stands out, glorious feedback, guitar runs, and deep bass match well with crisp drums; those duties were handled by Martsch and Sam Coomes of Quasi

The country vibe of "On The Way" can gain all the bands off kilter Neil Young comparisons this go round, while the snake driven guitar lines of "C.R.E.B" and the poppy drive of "Another Day" both work wonderfully.

The first released track "Living Zoo" cooks at the intro with zig-zagging six strings before a pop laden vocal that contemplates man's animalistic side. Other tracks like the pairing of the short "Horizons To Cliff" with the rising "So" work very well in the full album format.

The disk closing "When I'm Blind" ends the album on a cosmic high, driving bass and guitar soloing which made Martsch so engaging in the late 90's come home again in glorious fashion. While he is correct BtS doesn't need to make new albums, after listening to Untethered Moon fans of engaging guitar dominated indie rock will be damn glad that they did.     
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This surprised us, we had written off Built To Spill, but this here is good stuff.

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

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dylan Cover #184 Jimmy Buffett "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35"

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 Buffett playing "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35"

 
This month our Dylan Cover Series will focus on artists playing The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Jimmy Buffett will play the festival on Sunday April 26th

Thoughts on Original:
The first song on the iconic Blonde on Blonde "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" is an anthem for a generation...to do what with, is up for debate. Stoned in the head or stoned by the masses up to you to decide. Whatever your thoughts on the lyrics and meaning it can't be argued that Bob is having fun which doesn't always come across on his studio releases. The "salvation Army" style horns and marching is a hoot...once in a long while but not made for everyday consumption. Truth be told, the song is normally skipped when I am listening to the album, I like opening Blonde on Blonde better with "Pledging My Time".  

Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Jimmy Buffett seems like a blast live and we still gotta catch him with Ceez before he stops touring one of these days. We are not a huge fan but can not deny his amazing lifestyle is ideal.

Thoughts on Cover:
Never one of or favorite songs but this choice of Buffett covering the tune is simply money. A perfect choice, closing a show, and adding the pumping horns and silly lyrics make for a quirky fun match. Oh and what day is this?!?! Far out man...

Friday, April 17, 2015

Full Show Friday: Wilco 4/3/13 Sydney Opera House

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...Wilco!
Every April we have a special showcase for bands who are playing this years Jazzfest in NOLA. Today we will focus on Wilco who will be headlining the Gentilly Stage Friday April 24th.  

We have seen Wilco a few times live (I am guessing 5 or 6 times at this point) and they are a solid live act. One of the first times we saw them was at Jazzfest itself and they obviously love playing the best festival in the United States.

This show is from 2013 and it showcases their set at the iconic Sydney Opera House. You can find the full setlist below.  

Enjoy:

0:40 Less than you think
6:26 Art of almost
13:42 I am trying to break your heart
19:45 I might
23:57 Via Chicago
29:23 Spiders
35:09 Impossible Germany
37:47 start of solo
42:51 Born alone
47:01 Laminated cat
52:37 She's a jar
58:24 Say you miss me
1:02:08 Whole love
1:06:29 Box full of letters
1:09:45 Hummingbird
1:13:16 California stars
1:17:53 Forget the flowers
1:22:15 Dawned on me
1:25:55 Shot in the arm
1:33:05 Jesus, etc.
1:37:10 Hate it here
1:41:55 Heavy metal drummer
1:45:19 Walken
1:50:07 I'm the man who loves you
1:56:30 The late greats
1:58:50 end of the show (worth it imo)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Record Store Day Is This Saturday

So this weekend finds Record Store Day rolling around again and you can find a full listing of all the amazing offerings here. This is a great opportunity to support record stores and enhance your vinyl collection
There are a ton of special things on that list that we would love to own and hope you can help support this great cause as well. As for some of the things that caught our eyes, that Johnny Cash concert looks sweet as does the live Sly.

The Gov't Mule covers of the Rolling Stones would be a treat to hear as the band do love their covers and how could you pass up the Stooges live vinyl?

Well maybe some people can...but we would dig that freakout noiserock

We were disappointed with Jack White's announcement yesterday, but his offering via Third Man Records of Elvis first ever recording is pretty amazing. Below is a video of music archivist Alan Stoker with White at the Country Music Hall Of Fame where they are checking out and digitizing this piece of American history:

Neat stuff for music nerds, historian's and Elvis fans alike. Maybe Jack will cover this his first show back...

Until then get out for Record Store Day this Saturday and support great music vendors.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Jack White Drops The Dreaded H Word

Well he didn't actually say "Hiatus" but that is what it is looking like via this announcement
This cheap roving acoustic show is nice and all, but will impossible to get to...you know for those of us with jobs and who actually pay to be in his vault project but I digress. He is a hard working man and deserves some time from the road to be with his kids. Also, knowing his work rate, I will set the over/under at 2 years to the day which he plays his last acoustic show as to when he announces another tour.

There will certainly be one off shows, guest appearances and tons of albums/odd releases, because the man can't sit musically still, but we will be disappointed if he keeps this promise and stays off the road for 2016, he could have probably won our Favorite Show Of The Year tag, 3 times running...

Here is some Jack White like to remember how amazing his newest few tours have been:



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Live Review: Dumpstaphunk 4/3/15 Brooklyn, NY

Hey all got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!


It is of Dumpstaphunk and openers at Brooklyn Bowl on 4/3/15. We have reviewed their albums as well as seen the band a bunch and this was one of their weaker shows if we are being honest. Disappointed that Nikki Glaspie is no longer with the group, will need to catch her new act Nth Power as she is a hell of a drummer.

Oh and Dumpsta plays Jazzfest on Saturday April 25th. We hope to catch them around town when we are down there. Read the review here and peep some video from the show below:


Monday, April 13, 2015

Dylan Cover #183 Angelique Kidjo "Lay Lady Lay"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Angelique Kidjo playing "Lay Lady Lay"
This month our Dylan Cover Series will focus on artists playing The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Angelique Kidjo will play the festival on Sunday April 26th

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we addressed a cover of this tune:
Excellent track and the first time the world heard Dylan's new singing style, which would only last for Nashville Skyline. This song is the standout track from this album, it is a classic and so simple, yet sweet and timeless. One of Dylan's best tracks, this phase was the the closest to "country" he ever got and "Lay Lady Lay" is an overall fantastic piece of music.  
Cover:
Thoughts on Cover Artist:
We have never seen Angelique Kidjo live and will unfortunately miss her this year at the fest, but dig her style. She has done a lot of different styles and works with a range of people. Def one of the more interesting artists we have featured in this series.    
Thoughts on Cover:
An quick stroll through a very pleasant cover song. Focusing basically on Kidjo's vocals the cover is easy basic and delightful. Perfect for a spring day.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Full Show Friday: Benevento/Moore Duo The Mint LA, CA 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...Marc Benevento/Stanton Moore Duo!

Every April we have a special showcase for bands who are playing this years Jazzfest in NOLA. Today we will focus on Benevento/Moore Duo who will be everywhere during Jazzfest, but particularly here.

Ok so it's true this duo isn't playing Jazzfest proper, but they will both be individually playing more then almost anyone else in town for those two weeks. Moore in particularly is listed on almost every show imaginable, it is insane.

I wanted to highlight this set and playing because the freewheeling improv is what makes the late nights at Jazzfest so much damn fun. Benevento/Moore Duo are really loose and great.

These guys will be playing at the Megalomaniacs Ball at Howling Wolf which we will be attending. This is a fun loving rollicking show that touches on old favorites in new ways, in the 7 minutes you get Pink Floyd and Elton John...hmm he is playing the festival too. 

Enjoy:


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Album Review: Pokey LaFarge- Something In The Water

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of Pokey LaFarge's latest album Something In The Water. Some great album art right there as it kinda nails the opening title tune perfectly. We reviewed excellent Americana lately for our masters over at Glide and I would say even though both got seven stars on the rating scale we like this one a bit better then WEW's.

Not saying much more as the review covers it all.

Please support the artist here, buy the album here and peep some video below
  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

NYC Summerstage Announces Lineup for 2015

Even though it is just about freezing in the Big Apple today a major sign that summer will soon be upon us arrived. SummerStage announced their full schedule:
There are one or two shows we always hit at this venue each year and expect this year will be no different with tasty treats on this list (full list for all NYC venues also below) and have seen everyone from the Beastie Boys to Phil Lesh (and Crew)to Manu Chao at the Rumsey Playfield in Central Park.



We are looking at some shows that can hopefully match those gems. Click on the Read More Tab for the full list sorted by genre.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Happy Opening Day!

I see great things in baseball.  It's our game - the American game.  It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism.  Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set.  Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us.  
~Walt Whitman

Like last year, the year before that, the year before, the year before that we wish you a Happy Opening Day!

Today should be a national holiday, plain and simple. We will be taking the afternoon off to watch as many games as we can. After a brutal Northeast winter, Baseball can not come soon enough. Here's hoping your favorite team wins, unless you're a Nats fan, let's go Mets!

Who knows, maybe it is the Cubbies year. We know the ghost of Steve Goodman is rooting for them. 

Here are some more baseball inspired tunes to start the magical day, when we are all in first place:



If that last tune is lost on you, check out the full amazing story here

Friday, April 3, 2015

Full Show Friday: John Legend Live 2013 Splash Festival

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us celebrate Full Show Friday's.  These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)...This week...John Legend!

Every April we have a special showcase for bands who are playing this years Jazzfest in NOLA. Today we will focus on John Legend who will be headlining the Congo Square Stage Saturday April 25th.  

On the new wave R&B angle comes John Legend an accomplished musician/songwriter/singer who will be rocking the Congo Square Stage to close out the first Saturday of the Best Festival in America. Now you can start to get amped with a set from his 2013 tour, this stop was the Splash Festival in Germany.

Enjoy:

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Dinosaur Jr. & Primus Tour Together This Summer

My younger self just freaked out! Two loooong time RtBE favorites are touring together this summer as Dinosaur Jr. and Primus are combining for a hell of a night of tunes.
Full listing of dates can be found here, and the tour pulls into NYC the end of July (7/30). Tickets go on-sale tomorrow for the shows and we can not wait to catch this one down on Pier 97. Talk about great guitarists and great bass, this is going to be a great night of rock and roll.

I hope is that Primus is done with that god awful Wonka nonsense for this tour and back to it's old sucking ways...If there are any crossover tunes, or Les and J help the other band out for a song or two, my brain might explode. Below is some video to get you pumped for the summer trek. See you on tour.

Primus:
     

Dinosaur Jr.:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Album Review: William Elliott Whitmore- Radium Death

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of William Elliott Whitmore's newest release Radium Death. We reviewed WEW's live show for Glide a few years ago and dug his overall style.

We are going to see him again on the 11th in Brooklyn and appreciate that his new style is a bit more open, using a full band on most of the tracks here. 

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