Friday, September 30, 2016

Full Show Friday: Minor Threat 6/23/83 The 9:30 Club Washington, DC

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...Minor Threat!
Here come one of the best hardcore punk bands of all time, Washington DC's own Minor Threat back in their heyday and hometown during the spring of 83. These young'ins were and still are the bees fucking knees. If you like hardcore punk then I am sure you already own their Complete Discography, if you are interested in this type of music that album (and today's show) is a perfect place to start checking it out. 

There is an intro with some rough quality all around, but you can skip ahead to the six minute mark to get the show started. Semi pro shot and sound for the time and scene, but totally worth watching on this fall Friday, Enjoy:
setlist:

-Stand Up
-Seeing Red
-Little Friend
-Good Guys (don't wear white)
-Screaming at a Wall
-Betray
-In My Eyes
-Out of Step
-It Follows
-Think Again
-Small Man, Big Mouth
-I Don't Wanna Hear It
-Sob Story
-Filler
-Straight Edge
-No Reason
-Stepping Stone
Bonus Track:
Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Check out nycTaper's Fall/Winter Schedule

Time to check in again over at nycTaper and peep their Fall/Winter Schedule.
For those who don't know nycTaper is a great site for live music fans. They are fantastic fellas who do a hell of a job capturing the live music scene in this amazing city. Today we are focusing on their Fall/Winter lineup and a few of these shows have already been shared on the site.

We are looking forward to hearing their Titus Andronicus recordings, Teenage Fanclub and Earthless just to name a few. Feel free to check out their list and enjoy their sweet sounds. We will post some live videos from those bands we are looking forward to below:




Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Album Review: Pixies- Head Carrier

Pixies
Head Carrier
**** out of *****
The most interesting thing about the Pixies last album, Indie Cindy was how the classic band released it in stages. When the full disk finally reached a mass audience it was a mixed bag, and safe to say, a let down to most fans. While not as awful as some would be lead to believe, it was not up to the standards of the bands pristine back catalog. With the departure of Kim Deal and the general aging of the group they seemed to have left their best efforts back in the late 80's early 90's. Then out comes, Head Carrier and it simply is an album that demands to be noticed.

While the band has clearly gone back to their strong formula, main song writer Black Francis seems to be inspired again and inspiration comes from the strangest places as Saint Denis of Paris has two songs about him on the album including the opening title track. Feedback and clean upbeat riffs engage in a tug of war as the song roles out. Not a shocking track, but the energy kicks up mightily for "Classic Masher" within 30 seconds all the positive Pixie attributes shine; powerful drums from David Lovering, shining leads from Joey Santiago, a swaggering Francis and gorgeous female backing vocals from new bassist Paz Lenchantin.

Lenchantin's vocals are everywhere and perhaps even prettier than Deal's (blapshemy perhaps, but perhaps also the truth) as the duet of "Bel Espirt" is a joy when she goes toe to toe with Francis, before taking over the lead for "All I Think About Now". This is the most interesting track here, written for Deal (by both Francis and Lenchantin) it contains an almost identical riff to "Where Is My Mind?", recalling the bands strongest work could be seen as a weak attempt at capturing their past but in context the track works with a mix restraint, defiance and a wishful future. The retro looking lyrics can clearly be only about this band, but they rise above as the track progresses and Lenchantin sings even more confidently while the group tightens into a roaring pack of wolves. She will always be compared to Deal, but here Paz has made her strong claim within the group.  

The aggression (lacking for most of Indie Cindy) gets a jolt via the scalding "Baal's Back" which finds Francis in throat ripping form and "Um Chagga Lagga" is a blast of fun energy as it rambles, cooks and motors, threatening to careen off the tracks. His softness and lyrical twists show up for the bright and wistful "Might As Well Be Gone" while their patented angular-pop touch comes out for "Tenement Song" again with Paz's great vocal support. Whatever else may be behind the scenes it is clear that Francis writes and the whole band, produces better songs when a strong female presence is in the fold.

Ending with "Plaster of Paris" and "All The Saints" Denis oddly returns to the scene but they are not the strongest track, the truth is whatever inspired the band (and especially Francis) to get back to quick quirky pop/punk is the real holy spirit as one of the best bands seems to be back in form.
_____________________________________________________________________
This one shocked us at RtBE. We had pretty much written the Pixies off post Kim Deal, but that was premature, this sounds really good. Support the band, buy the album, you can stream it at NPR for a limited time, and peep some video below:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Album Review: Beach Slang- A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of Beach Slang's newest release A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings. We think it is the best the band has done in their short career, it has all the flourishes of rock and roll that make it vital. 

We said a lot in the review, we will probably be writing about them more at years end, but for now I would like them to clean up their production, but I understand the band want to keep it more lo-fi. 

Support the group, buy the album check out the review and peep some video:

Monday, September 26, 2016

Re-Post: Dylan Cover #73 Buckwheat Zydeco "On A Night Like This"

This is a Re-post from 2/4/13 when we focused on Buckwheat Zydeco's cover of "On A Night Like This". When we were grading these covers we gave this one an A+ and it remains one of our favorite in the almost 250 that we have showcased on Mondays over the last few years. With his passing this weekend, we want to give him one more turn in our very minimal spotlight. Thanks for everything Buckwheat.

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 Buckwheat Zydeco playing "On A Night Like This"

Thoughts On Original:
There are songs that put you in certain places, certain times, recall certain memories. That is what can be so enchanting about tunes, for some reason every time "On A Night Like This" kicks off the criminally underrated Planet Waves, I think of a winter time scene.  Either outdoors or by the raging fire, whatever, this album just screams northern winters to my ears, snow filled sidewalks, crisp night air, it's all there in listening to this track. The album was recorded in November but who knows when the songs were from, all I know is that they are great, and this is one of the best on the disk.  
Cover:

Thoughts On Cover Artist:
Unlike recent cover artists we have showcased here, we are very familiar with Buckwheat Zydeco.  Even removing his NOLA connection we caught Buckwheat playing a fast paced riveting set in Albany back in the mid-90's during the vaunted, Alive At Five Series. A quick search shows that he played there last year too...how about that! Anyway we have always dug him and that Zydeco sound...   

Thoughts On Cover:
This is pure dynamite, sped up but not too fast, placed firmly in the artists wheelhouse of his own style.  The spirit is the same though as the original, upbeat, loving and jubilant. The playing on this cover is fiery goodness, adding in solo's and showboating, without deterring from the overall product. Can't do it much better... 
Grade: A+

Sunday, September 25, 2016

RIP Buckwheat Zydeco

RtBE would like to honor the passing of Zydeco legend Buckwheat Zydeco (aka Stanley Dural Jr.) who died today, he was 68. We were first introduced to Buckwheat when he played Alive At Five many years ago in Albany, NY and have enjoyed his music ever since.
Buckwheat was a true legend who embodied the spirit of Louisiana roots music in the form of the engaging Zydeco style. He was a spirit of fun, excitement and musical magic. There is a whole round up of articles on his passing, but we always loved his free wheeling, fun loving sound. Tomorrow we will re-purpose a post from a few years ago to celebrate the man and his sound.

Until then lets appreciate his magic: 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Full Show Friday: Run DMC 6/12/85 Ritz, NYC

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...Run DMC!
The Kings of Rock, there are none higher...Run DMC from when they were the best in the world, killing it at the Ritz (Webster Hall today for you young'ins) back in 1985. This is a hell of way to end the week, Adrock doing the intro and the masters of the turntables and microphones on stage.Yup, It's Like That!

Pro Shot (for MTV I think) Pro Sound, Enjoy:
 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Musical Mojo of Dr. John featuring Bruce Springsteen, Bill Kreutzmann, Allen Toussaint & More

From our friends over at Jambands we found out that the 2014 concert honoring Dr John from 2014 at the Saenger Theater in New Orleans will be released next month (October 14th).

The details are all here, but that show was a mega one that year in town. Here is the Rolling Stone review of this show as RtBE couldn't get a hot ticket.
The big surprise on the night was Springsteen, we saw him a few hours earlier play the main stage at Jazzfest our review of that trips music is here. Peep some fan video below and get the money ready for the DVD and CD release.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Album Review: Nails- You Will Never Be One Of Us

Nails
You Will Never Be One Of Us
*** and 1/2 out of *****

A pure blast of aggression and metal thrash comes flying into your earholes when you cue up You Will Never Be One Of Us from Nails. This short full length release is the first for the band on the big metal label Nuclear Blast Records (who also showcase none other than metal gods Slayer) and the group don't shy from the spotlight, they shine.

The band is a trio of power from Oxnard, California (Todd Jones – vocals, guitar, John Gianelli –bass, Taylor Young – drums) and open with the title track, setting them apart from the crowd. in a shotgun explosion of anger and screamed lyrics.

Besides the closer (which we will get to) the songs come fast and furious, never sticking around for more then a minute and a half. "Friend To All" goes back on the title separation but does so over cool as fuck fast tempo changes. Flashes of laser guitars from Jones light up "Made To Make You Fall" while the groove of the low end takes center stage for "Life Is A Death Sentence".

"Violence Is Forever" uses some screeching guitars to end, hinting at layers of noise rock under the speed/thrash/power metal surface while "Into Quietus" gives the sludge bass and double kick drums a workout. The album all speed and harshness before the band trots out closer "They Come Crawling Back", a huge metal opus that runs an astonishing (for this band) eight plus minutes. 

The track hits all of the big metal high-points, thudding drums screaming guitars, barely recognizable vocals, and in the context of the shorter more hardcore songs, it works wonders and adds a new dimension to the band. After it is done rolling out and pummeling the listener, You Will Never Be One Of Us turns out to be one of the best heavy hardcore records of the year.  
__________________________________________________________________
Hell of a release. Support the band,  buy the album, peep some video:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Album Review: Band of Horses- Why Are You OK

Band of Horses
Why Are You OK
**and1/2 out of *****

For the last few records Band of Horses has produced some Crosby Stills and Nash levels indie folk and while there is more energy present in their newest release Why Are You OK, a dull sense of boredom has also creeped onto the disk. Produced by Jason Lytle of Grandaddy who tries to spice things up with some freak-out details (conversations happening just behind songs, the odd fluttering space oddity) but the band seems to have been there and done this all before.

It opens with the combo of "Dull Times/The Moon" trying to encapsulate all of the better aspects of Band of Horses, but does it with two total different tracks, Frankenstein-ing them into one long effort. The two parts would be more interesting if the harder electric rock of The Moon was worked into Dull Times, but the band hasn't done that truly successfully for a few albums now.

Brian Bridwell still maintains one of the prettiest voices in rock and roll and he manages to pull off the same trick as late day David Byrne; singing bland lyrics, gloriously. The words could mean nothing (and often they feel like they do) but the overall sound of things is hypnotic in an easy guitar folk way and that lets the album roll by effortlessly if not memorably.

The band actually feels the most energized and fresh when they up their country twang by injecting a shuffle and some buzzing guitars. "Country Teen" is a winner, surprisingly (all though his songs where the highlight of Mirage Rock as well) sung by Tyler Ramsey. "Throw My Mess" also gets a southern injection of South Carolina stomp, showing the possibility for this band to break out more steel guitars and upbeat country numbers.  

The overly dramatic tracks go nowhere, such as "Hag" and "Barrel House" weighing down the disk. Most songs run in the four and half minute range, but because of sparse instrumentation they can feel even longer and drag. Both "Casual Party" and "Solemn Oath" try to amp up the musical energy while lyrically dealing with what sounds like the beginning and the middle of a bad break up.

Closer "Even Still" goes back to the long winded but pleasant dramatic songwriting but it is the oddball pop of "In A Drawer" that may sum up this record best. The group brings in a friend, none other than J. Masics to help sing on the chorus which is a bit maddening; if you have one of the best rock guitarists alive helping out (also one clearly not known for his vocals), how about having him play his ax and add some new life to your songs? It is these decisions that lead to an overall frustrated experience regarding Why Are You OK and while not a bad record it still comes off as a disappointment.
________________________________________________________________
We here at RtBE love BoH and have written about them, but this one wasn't our favorite. Still, support the band, buy the record and peep some video below. They also play Summer Stage for our NYC readers on Thursday and we will be there.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Dylan Cover #248 Happy Traum "Let Me Die In My Footsteps"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is by Happy Traum and it is a cover of "Let Me Die In My Footsteps"

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this track:
A Dylan track that for once you don't have to wonder what he is singing about. This is Dylan's reaction to nuclear war and the cold war scare that was happening, "Let Me Die In My Footsteps" is a defiant statement against to the idea of bomb shelters and fear. A proud American song that still resonates today and an early Dylan track we go back to periodically. Also sounding a whole hell of a lot like "Long Black Veil" helps things out too. Quick side note, it was the first Dylan song we put on the morning of September 11th 2001.
Cover:

Thoughts on The Cover Artist:
Happy Traum was a friend of Dylan's from the early days in Greenwich Village and recorded some of his songs back in the late 60's. From his wikipedia page, I am guessing that Bobby might even be singing back up on this track.
Thoughts on Cover:
A true cover, that brings back the folk roots strong on this version. Harmonies (is that Bobby himself?) and texture feel like it could have been recorded live in a coffee house. Good direct stuff. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Full Show Friday: Joan Jett & The Blackhearts Lollapalooza 2012

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...Joan Jett & the Blackhearts!
The ageless wonder Joan Jett and her Blackhearts take the stage back in 2012 for Lollapalooza in Brazil. Pro Shot and sound, but not the sweetest transfer.

Enjoy:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

New Phish Song: Horns, Nature Lyrics and It Runs 4:20...Of Course

NPR has posted the first single from Phish's upcoming new studio album Big Boat. The track is called "Breath and Burning", check it out.
Who is that metal head on the right?
Ok, a studio album from Phish holds very little appeal these days to RtBE as the band is long into their career and fans can't even decided on one classic studio album the band has produced. They are truly just fodder for live shows and opportunities for the band to gather and record which is a fun, creative, bonding, inspiring process for them.

The horns on this track surprised us though, there is a bit of a Jimmy Buffet feel to the beginning and a shiny pop ending, but that horn break is cool as hell. What are your thoughts on the track? Thoughts on Phish studio albums? Feel free to post in the comments.

Below is the Tracklist, lengths of songs and their writers from Jambase. looks like everyone is involved and like always the songs will run long.

Big Boat Tracklist

  1. Friends – 3:43 (Fishman)
  2. Breath And Burning – 4:20 (Anastasio)
  3. Home – 6:27 (McConnell)
  4. Blaze On – 4:20 (Anastasio/Marshall)
  5. Tide Turns – 4:21 (Anastasio)
  6. Things People Do – 1:55 (McConnell)
  7. Waking Up Dead – 4:15 (Gordon/Murawski)
  8. Running Out Of Time – 3:32 (Anastasio/Marshall)
  9. No Men In No Man’s Land – 5:00 (Anastasio/Marshall)
  10. Miss You – 7:02 (Anastasio)
  11. I Always Wanted It This Way – 4:29 (McConnell)
  12. More – 4:22 (Anastasio)
  13. Petrichor – 13:33 (Anastasio)
 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Album Review: Oranssi Pazuzu- Värähtelijä

Oranssi Pazuzu
Värähtelijä
*** out of *****
The Finnish groups newest release is a huge work of metal that moves in between all sorts of the that genres sub-genres. It is a behemoth, running long, pushing songs over 15 minutes with ease as the group explores both dark and deep spaces with various touches that make it exuberant at times.

Oranssi Pazuzu is a five piece, (Jun-His: the voice, close distance guitar, Moit: deep space guitar, Korjak: drums, Evill: synthesizers, organ, effects, Ontto: bass guitar) who self identify as purveyors of Black Metal / Space Rock / Psychedelic / Experimental music and that is pretty spot on.

Opening with the mega sprawling 12 minute "Saturaaito" the group works into a frenzy with clanging huge drums and laser like blasts of guitars. The growling vocals of this genre are present but don't distract too much from the journey. Some well placed wahwah guitar also adds to the charm as the group never gets too angular or aggressive over the path of their long sonic journeys.

Other winning efforts are the propulsive "Hypnotisoitu Viharukous" with its screeching explosions while "Havuluu" pounds and explores all over. The centerpiece of the whole shebang is "Vasemman käden hierarkia" a 17 and a half minute opus that digs into every facet of metal from jazzy interludes to progressive to speed. The track could be a perfect build for a horror movie climax or just late night thrashing around; the success lies in the fact that this music remains accessible even in its elongated, black metal ways.

The nuanced "Valveavaruus" closes the disks and begins with strings and soft digressions before building in cinematic style and yet never exploding with force, a neat trick of expectation averted. Admittedly these spaces explored by the band are not for everyone but fans of experimental metal will certainly find something of interesting in the outer space soaring of Oranssi Pazuzu Värähtelijä.
____________________________________________________________________
Support the band, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp and peep some video below:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Album Review: Jack White- Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
We love Jack White and have talked about him a ton on this site so we won't much more in this post. The one thing we will mention is that fans of White will not find this release all that great as they probably already have most to all of these tracks in some form.

The collection is nice and the vinyl is great so it is worth it, but we were kinda hoping for more of a Bootleg Series 1-3 sort of release of unknown songs. Just adjust expectations and this is a fine release. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Dylan Cover #247 Dawes "Lay Lady Lay" Live Acoustic

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Dawes and Paloma playing "Lay Lady Lay"
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:
Dawes is one of those bands that we have always heard great things about but have yet to give them a proper going over. This was a really cool deal though, to run a contest and sing with one of their fans for this cover, that already moves them up the cool level in the RtBE book.
Thoughts on Cover:
This may be one of our favorites in this whole series. The band Dawes ran a contest with the prize being be able to cover a song with them and this is the result. The lovely and talented Paloma fits the feels like a glove, making this a unique and excellent cover of "Lay Lady Lay".  

Friday, September 9, 2016

Full Show Friday: The Pixies 2005 Paris France

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us celebrate Full Show Friday's. These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)...This week...The Pixies!
Today we present a show from one of the best bands from the 1980's The Pixies. This set was from their triumphant 2005 tour, and while the band was great in the late 80's early 90's they were never better than they were at the beginning of their mid 2000's reunion and this show is proof.

Pro shot and sound with full setlist below. Enjoy:
Tracklist:

00:00 - Wave of Mutilation

04:20 - In Heaven

06:17 - Where Is My Mind?

10:00 - Here Comes Your Man

13:30 - La La Love You

16:09 - Nimrod's Son

18:42 - The Holiday Song

20:54 - Vamos

25:00 - Subbacultcha

27:08 - I Bleed

29:29 - Monkey Gone to Heaven

32:20 - Stormy Weather

34:50 - The Sad Punk

37:39 - Hey

41:28 - Is She Weird?

44:37 - Allison

45:52 - River Euphrates

48:45 - Head On

50:46 - Isla de Encanta

52:35 - U-Mass

56:25 - Broken Face

56:40 - Caribou

1:00:40 - Planet of Sound

1:03:52 - Alec Eiffel

1:06:32 - Gouge Away

1:09:47 - Tame

1:11:32 - Debaser

1:14:22 - Wave of Mutilation

1:17:57 - Gigantic

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Just Announced: Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings Holiday Show 12/10/16

Holiday shows will be announced fast and furious over the next few days and from Jambands we got some funky news now.
Tomorrow tickets go on-sale for Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings Holiday Show scheduled for 12/10 in Jersey City. You can grab tickets here tomorrow.

We have written a lot about Sharon and company lately so we won't go much more into it now. The band will be playing cuts from their album It's A Holiday Soul Party so lets listen to some tracks from that and just get down and funky.

Explore Jack White's Songwriting Career Via Timeline

We here at RtBE believe in almost all Jack White does so it is with great anticipation we will be checking out The Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016 on vinyl tomorrow (or whenever the postman delivers it from Nashville).
However, today you can explore the man's career via a timeline from his website. This timeline is pretty hip and gives you some background into his songwriting history, some videos and cool links. We have heard White tell the "Hotel Yorba" story before and it is a fun one.

We are currently in the process of listening to the whole album digitally for an upcoming review on Glide, but are even more excited for the record and packaging itself. White's Thirdman Records has almost single-handedly made buying records a cool thing again, it also helps that the company has the pretty good taste in music as they just recently re-released some of our favorite artists.

Peep a video preview of "Carolina Drama" from the upcoming release below and make sure you pick up your copy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Album Review: St. Paul & The Broken Bones- Sea Of Noise

St. Paul & The Broken Bones
Sea Of Noise
**** out of *****
On St. Paul & The Broken Bones first release, 2014's Half The City, the outfit proved they were a band on the rise in the retro-soul world. There are many of those same elements present on Sea Of Noise, but the band feels more refined, more experimental and more willing to leave that soul singer word they inhabit to shine even brighter and fuller.

When we reviewed Half The City, the clear parallel to draw was to The Alabama Shakes. Both bands were finding their feet behind super dynamic front men/women. It was on the power of those vocal pipes that the bands managed to break through the so called sea of noise to national attention. Both bands now have followed the same path on their second releases. On Sound & Color The Shakes channeled Prince and flights of cosmic soul, moving from their rural roots. SP&TBB have done the same sort of shift, expanding their pallet with Jazz, Funk, and Blackplotation Soundtrack grooves.

It should be stated here, both succeeded wildly. While neither would be faulted for sticking to what they do best, the step-out-of-the-norm has been a pure pleasure to hear.  

On Sea Of Noise there is a clear confidence to the bands playing, fluid and dynamic as they not only support Paul Janeway's soul singing they ebb and flow around it creating expansive soundscapes. The horns blare and the drums groove as the tracks come out. "Flow With It (You Got Me Feeling Like)" exudes that new found glory as the band clicks on all levels with congas, funk and soul. While not leaving old fans behind, but possibly pulling in new ones "Burning Rome" and "Tears In The Diamond" nail that tried and true retro soul sweet spot for the band.

Deep electric guitars pair nicely with organs and horns for the smooth flowing "Waves" while "Brain Matter" incorporates strings but also a sense of upbeat dancing, clearly recalling late 70's soul/funk. The easy rolling "Sanctify" and "Midnight on Earth" play to the outfits strengths, the former swells with the most dramatic instrumentation on the disk and that, along with Janeway's singing, pulls it off in an Al Green way.

The albums professional singing and playing are all a step above, however the lyrics don't always live up to the songs surroundings. Janeway is a confident singer but still finding his lyrical way, "I'll Be Your Woman" plays with gender roles, but comes off muddled. When the lyrics work they elevate the performance, most notably the troubled "All I Ever Wonder". It channels racial issues in classic soul dramatic ways (think a lesser version of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On") before a massive chorus wondering what side the singers on, personal yet worldly and a perfect track for this, or any time in American culture.

While the album is long and could be edited some (the "Crumbling Lights" exercises feel excessive), it is also confidently moving up the ladder of success, St. Paul & The Broken Bones are expertly navigating the Sea Of Noise.
____________________________________________________________________
Hell of a second release from this band. Support them, buy the album, peep some video:

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Album Review: Teenage Fanclub- Here

Teenage Fanclub
Here
***and1/2 out of *****

It is a testament to the Scottish rockers that they are still at it and producing shimmering songs since 1989. Going ten albums deep into their career and running strong, Teenage Fanclub are far from teenagers but they still know love, longing, loss, and redemption are the foundations of pop rock.

Having three solid songwriters in the mix certainly helps as guitarists Norman Blake and Raymond McGinley and bassist Gerard Love all contribute evenly to Here but in a cohesive pattern that feels like a full band effort.

The opening trifecta plays gloriously touching on older reference points but also remains alive in the now. "I'm In Love" is the best of the bunch with its direct honesty over earnestness; the statement is fact almost as if it is being sung to the singer alone, confirming the obvious. "Thin Air" pumps up the jangle and touches Byrds like lairs (a reoccurring motif) while "Hold On" starts in a Neil Young vibe, but takes a more rhythmic approach to matters.

"The Darkest Part Of The Night" shows the clear Roger McGuinn influence and some sweet harmonies while "Nothing More To Say" swirls electric, eclectic and mellow. "The First Sight" brings in horns successfully while "It's A Sight" keeps that mellow vibe rolling and adds some cutting electric guitar lines. If there is a detriment to the album is that nothing is hidden; this is clear direct sweet pop rock. Even the downers never get to down and lyrically these roads have been trampled over many many times.

That doesn't matter much though when the disk is this easy going. A slow roller like "With You" bleeds nicely into the end statement of "Connected To Life" which is the most dramatic of the bunch letting the soundscapes broaden. Perhaps it is just the end of summer/start of fall release date, but Here certainly hits a sweet spot of pop purity.
____________________________________________________________
Kind of surprised how much we liked this record. Nothing earth shattering just good stuff all around. Support the group, buy the album, (you can still stream it for a day or two) and peep some video:

Monday, September 5, 2016

Dylan Cover #246 The Walkabouts "Wedding Song"

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

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Not heard of The Walkabouts before but a quick Google search uncovers that they have been at this for a while. Been playing since 1984 in Seattle so check them out.
Thoughts on Cover:
Straight ahead cover without much of huge announcement of style, but with all of our wedding things happening lately we wanted to pick this one for our friends. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Full Show Friday: The Civil Wars 7/8/11 NOLA

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us celebrate Full Show Friday's. These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)...This week...The Civil Wars!
Last week we posted a review of former Civil Wars member John Paul White's most recent solo album Beulah. While RtBE were never huge Civil War fans we did expect more from JPW's album, so we decided to go back to an excellent Civil Wars show for this edition of Full Show Friday. 

Taken from 2011 in the vibrant city of New Orleans, playing the excellent club One Eyed Jacks the band do what they do best; pair acoustic tracks with dueling vocals for soothing results. 

Enjoy:

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Stream Teenage Fanclub's New Album, Here

NPR First Listen has done another service with the pre-release stream of Teenage Fanclub's newest album, Here.
We will have a full review up next week, but why take our word for it? Go and listen to it for yourself. It will not be there forever so give it a shot while you can. Here is a quick story how we got introduced to the band.

Back in the early 90's we loved metal and hip hop but rarely did anyone do it well together (Public Enemy and Anthrax are the only ones who come to mind) then came both Rage Against The Machine and the Judgement Night Soundtrack. We have talked about Rage before, but not Judgement Night. For us it was a Holy Shit! moment, we knew all of the bands except for a few (Fatal and Therapy? and the Booyah Tribe hadn't entered our realm) and owned at least one tape or CD from 16 of the 22 featured artists. These were some of our favorites and while not all the songs were zingers (we are still disappointed by the lackluster Sonic Youth Cypress Hill pairing) the combos hit the mark more than they missed.

Our favorite song from the whole bunch to this day remains Teenage Fanclub and De La Soul's fantastic "Fallin'" which took from Tom Petty and made a new product that was laid back cool. On an album of hard aggression this track stood out and still roll's to a hip aloof vibe. They were clearly enjoying themselves and it shows.


OK now it is 2016 and great to see Teenage Fanclub still putting out good albums.