Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016...

2016 has come to an end, we had a whole screed written regarding music and our society, but nothing (and RtBE means nothing) can summarize the previous calendar year than this one picture. 
 

Enough said...on to 2017.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Full Show Friday: Phish 12/31/99 Big Cypress, FLA

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

For December RtBE is having a special focus with our Full Show Friday's. This month we will showcase live shows, that we were at and also were huge influences on our musical tastes. We will also be trying to get some outside perspectives when we can. This will be a fun and personal month for us, hope you enjoy. 

We are finishing up this week with the mother of all shows. We gathered a great group of friends and loved ones to head down to Florida for the show that ended the millennium in the swamps. Phish put on a mega weekend of music, we have said this before but we will say this again....

Out of every live show we have ever seen, this one takes the top spot. 

Today we are just showcasing the midnight set, but hot damn is this a doozy, the band played from midnight til 7:45 in the morning...straight. Just when you thought it might fall apart, it soared. The band was in the best form of their career and they knew it.

We thought they may cover a full album, we thought they may pay tribute to The Grateful Dead, but all they did was play beautiful tunes in their fashion. This is also our peak involvement with the band. We had done a few shows on the Winter Tour, a week on the Summer Tour and basically caught every show we could after getting into the band in '96 and '97.

The band went loooooong and it was classic, the highlights are numerous. "The Twist">"Prince Caspian">"Rock & Roll" trio was a blast, we were stoked for the mid-set "Albuquerque", the "Drowned"> "After Midnight Reprise" was a huge blast. The peak may have just been "Piper">"Free" two of our favorite songs that are just played at the peak of the band and crowds power...huge.  

We could probably write a book about this show, but for now the music will do the talking....Enjoy:


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Album Review: The Rolling Stones- Blue & Lonesome

The Rolling Stones
Blue & Lonesome
***and1/2 out of *****
In somewhat of a surprise move the legendary Rolling Stones decided to record and release their first studio album in over 11 years. Not surprisingly, it is a cover album where the band revisits their first true love, American Blues. The disk was recorded in just under three days and for the biggest band in the world to toss off a cover album has a fresh feel to end 2016 even if the songs date back to the 1940's and earlier.

Everyone from Willie Dixon to Little Walter to Buddy Johnson gets covered here as Johnson's "Just Your Fool" kicks off the disk as the band quickly rolls through the track with ease. For this disk Mick Jagger wanted to focus on his singing and his harmonica playing and the latter is on fantastically on display right from the beginning. Jagger's harmonica playing is the main highlight of this album when he digs into it and blows strong, Keith Richards has stated in the past that he thinks Mick is one of the best players of the instrument ever and Blue & Lonesome is exhibit A in defense of that statement.  

On the flip side his singing is average here, nothing that approaches past flights of vocal fireworks, but there is nothing to be ashamed of either. The disk does suffer when that powerful harmonica stays away, Howlin' Wolf's "Commit a Crime" starts off as standard fair without any of the fire of the original before Jagger blows in the middle of the track.

The title track from Memphis Slim has a deep bite while "All Of Your Love" provides a slow burn to the disk as well as some fine piano work. The group gets some guitar help from Eric Clapton as he joins on "I Can't Quit You Baby" and busts out some slide playing for "Everybody Knows About My Good Thing". There is a shambling sense of adventure on tracks like "I Gotta Go" and "Ride'em On Down" but for the most part the band stays in the mid-slow tempo blues groove for songs like "Hoo Doo Blues" "Little Rain" and "Hate To See You Go"

The tracks are short, except for the closing number and the band treats them reverently. The band is not trying to do anything unique here and so the album has a sense of lightness to it, but if there is any band out their that can and should do a toss off cover album The Rolling Stones are it.

The band successfully returns to its roots and can hold its head high by shouting out their ideals while doing them justice. It is a fine record that long time fans will enjoy, connoisseurs of the blues will also get a kick out of it if you fall into either of these two categories check it out.  
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A solid album that isn't necessary but still a fun listen, extra full star up there for Jagger's harmonica work. Support the band, buy the album, peep some video:


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Album Review: Zao - The Well-Intentioned Virus

Zao
The Well-Intentioned Virus
***and1/2 out of *****

 The first full length in seven years from the five piece metalcore band from West Virginia comes back hard as the group seems to be reinvigorated as 2016 ends. The group, formally a "Christian" band have evolved into more "open minded artists" but still deal with spiritually in differently forms lyrically on the banging disk.

The scalding opener "The Weeping Vessel" is over four and half minutes of aggressive riffs, screams and propulsive percussion. It is a clear testament to the bands fans that they are back, the current group as constituted are Dan Weyandt – vocals Scott Mellinger – guitar, vocals Russ Cogdell – guitar Martin Lunn – bass, vocals Jeff Gretz – drums. The band has been through many lineup changes in their long career (they started in 1993) and sound as strong here as ever.

"Jinba Ittai" plays with tempos that go from warp speed to head banging groove with ease before a break down mid song energizes things even more. The bombastic title track is a blast of fury while "Broken Pact Blues" shows more range. Lyrically the song deals with Weyandt's brother breaking a suicide pact, while musically there is a mid-song slow-down, giving the lyrics a chance to be understood and the band to reflect on deeper feelings.

That slowing down comes back for the beginning of "Apocalypse" which ranges wildly around different soundscapes over its long run time. The same grandiose is incorporated into the disk closer "I Leave You In Peace" but this time it works better, there is more a flow and dynamic to the tempo changes and explosions of power.  

Other outings present the aggression directly, the dynamic "Xenophobe" (first released as a single last year) is a standout of this style; sounding metallic, fluid and challenging all at once. It is a track like this that makes any metal fan happy to have The Well-Intentioned Virus as a holiday gift in 2016.
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An interesting metal release, support the band, buy the album or stream it on bandcamp or below as well as some video:

Monday, December 26, 2016

Dylan Cover #261 Vaughn Ahrens "Shelter From The Storm"

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 Vaughn Ahrens doing his version of "Shelter From The Storm"

 
Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we talked about a cover of this tune:
An epic track, feeling simple and etched in history at the same time. Religious overtones, passionate asides all mix within the confines of the illustrious/mysterious "She" who is bringing us all in. A gorgeous song and one of my favorite odd phrases Dylan has ever recorded, "Hunted like a crocodile/Ravaged in the corn". I have no idea what it is supposed to mean and I don't care, it is perfect. One thing that may bring this one down a peg overall is the connection to another great song "Up To Me" which is basically the same tune...hearing one always makes me want to hear the other.
Cover:

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Vaughn Ahrens is an Australian folk singer who we are just finding out about. You can see his FB page or follow him on Instagram.
Thoughts on Cover:
This is an excellent cover and the one we wanted to end the year on. It was recorded and posted earlier this year and it is a unique interpretation of the classic Dylan track. It reminds us of Keller Williams or any of the other one man band folk artists who were big a few years back. While he cuts out a few verses he still manages to put his own stamp on the number and that is something we always love in this series, so we are ending on a pretty high note for our Dylan Covers, see you next year and thanks as always for reading and listening to these.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Full Show Friday: No Redeeming Social Value 1997 Queens, NY

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 Redeeming Social Value!

For December RtBE is having a special focus with our Full Show Friday's. This month we will showcase live shows, that we were at and also were huge influences on our musical tastes. We will also be trying to get some outside perspectives when we can. This will be a fun and personal month for us, hope you enjoy. 


Here we go with NYHC. After moving to NYC we became great friends with a few people in the hardcore scene, namely Mr. Glen Lorieo. Glen took us to many amazing shows, and a band we rarely missed play live was NRSV, No Redeeming Social Value, who quickly became one of our favorite groups in any genre or era. 

These punks from Queens had a great sense of humor, kick ass riffs and heavy as hell low end which combined for the perfect melange of sonic happiness to these ears. The energy let off was a joy and the live experience was always a blast. One show in particular took place out in deepest darkest Castle Heights. The band was opening for Shutdown and did one of the coolest things we have ever seen an opening band do...they covered Shutdown's best song before they themselves could play it on stage. 

Mike Dean Kent Scott and Pete ran through an energetic set of their songs as well and drunkenly the crowd ate it up. This skinny bald head included. This is one of the videos in this series where yours truly is directly visible throughout. Ahh twenty pounds lighter and no hair..those were the days. Glen was there as well, unfortunately not on camera, but he one upped us by actually becoming the drummer for NRSV, keeping this band rocking to the present day. 

The set below is awesome, here comes the madness straight from 1997, Enjoy:

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Year In Review 2016 - Top 10 Albums Part 3

Another great year is finishing up for @RockBodElec and we wouldn't be a proper music site if we didn't end the year with a "Best Of" list, so RtBE Presents the Best of 2016 Top Ten Albums numbers 5-1:

In the instance that RtBE has reviewed the album either on the site or somewhere else we will link to that review and just give a quick summation, just click on the name and title and you can read our full opinion. RtBE worked with the Glide Team to give input on the their Top 20 so you can expect some overlap if you already have seen that list.

Again the focus here is on full albums, not singles, but full releases you can slap on and listen all the way through. We know these are a dying breed, but it still is the way we consume music, no shuffle or singles for us.

Today we start our top ten, in retrospect it was a year with a lot of good albums but few great ones, sorta like 2011 which overall was the weakest year of releases since we started this site. This year just may beat that one when it comes to just OK albums as opposed to all-time greats, time will tell. Click that Read More button to get started with numbers 5-1 today. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Album Review: Neil Young- Peace Trail

Neil Young
Peace Trail
*** out of *****
Uncle Neil will always keep you guessing, having spent most of 2015 and 16 playing with the less than engaging Promise of The Real, he now delivers a solo based, off the cuff "primarily acoustic album" recorded over 4 days this summer at Rick Rubin's studios. Peace Trail is a bizarre mix of what makes Neil so fascinating and frustrating, a true muse who never stops.

The title track is world weary, an engaging mix of electric guitars, folksie strums, percussion that sounds mixed right in front of your face. The musical MVP throughout the disk though are NY's distorted harmonicas that dive bomb in with metallic screeches, livening up what otherwise would be dull adventures. "Can't Stop Workin'" is not a metaphor, it is directly addressing exactly what he does, continuly moving down that road. Here bassist Paul Bushnell and drummer Jim Keltner join him down the path, his main lyric:
"I can't stop workin' cause I like to work when nothin' else is going on/ It's bad for the body but it's good for the soul/might even keep you breathin' when you lose control"
is not just a refrain, it is his ethos.

There is a tossed off feeling to lyrics and Young's mood but that is balanced nicely by Keltner's drums which take up a jazz feeling as if the trio only ran through these songs in one or two takes (which probably was the case) and Keltner was just trying things out as he went only to have them become final takes. Bushnell is more in the pocket and feels coolly aloof as Young devolves into odd political rambles ("Indian Givers" and "My Pledge").

That political unrest is at the root of all of these tracks, but like most Neil numbers the vagueness in't very subtle (or all that effective). "Show Me" builds slowly and a touch eerily but peters out, there is a jaunty "Texas Rangers" and the up and down roll of the xenophobic "Terrorist Suicide Hang Gliders". A mix of environmental anger and immigration water the roots of "John Oaks" and the closing "My New Robot" is a odd screed about the technical world with robotic verses, Amazon.com references and password checks.

Young can swing wildly and this album feels like the pendulum is back on the upswing somehow, it is not as haunting as On The Beach by any stretchbut for a 71 year old it still has a vein of off-kilter-ness that leaves you odd, reminiscent of that classic disk.

Not vital by any stretch and a touch derivative to Young's catalog, yet Peace Trail is also strangely hopeful in the context of Young's career. Sure, his next album could be a dud, but for someone who did not care at all about his last few releases, Peace Trail feels much more potent.
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Neil Young...never know what you are gonna get! Support him, buy the album, peep some video below:

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Craig Finn on Late Night with Seth Meyers All This Week

All this holiday week Craig Finn will be sitting in with the house band, The 8G Band, on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
We are not a huge fans of late night TV but we will be DVR'ing these shows to see Finn with the fellas. Feel free to do the same. Below is a video of Finn playing a few solo tunes:



Year in Review 2016- Top 10 Albums Part 2

Another great year is finishing up for @RockBodElec and we wouldn't be a proper music site if we didn't end the year with a "Best Of" list, so RtBE Presents the Best of 2016 Top Ten Albums numbers 10-6:

In the instance that RtBE has reviewed the album either on the site or somewhere else we will link to that review and just give a quick summation, just click on the name and title and you can read our full opinion. RtBE worked with the Glide Team to give input on their Top 20 so you can expect some overlap if you already have seen that list.

Again the focus here is on full albums, not singles, but full releases you can slap on and listen all the way through. We know these are a dying breed, but it still is the way we consume music, no shuffle or singles for us.

Today we start our top ten, in retrospect it was a year with a lot of good albums but few great ones, sorta like 2011 which overall was the weakest year of releases since we started this site. This year just may beat that one when it comes to just OK albums as opposed to all-time greats, time will tell. Click that Read More button to get started with #10-6 today. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Dylan Cover #260 Marshall Crenshaw "My Back Pages"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Marshall Crenshaw of "My Back Pages"

Thoughts on Dylan Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this song:
The original has taken upon itself a cultural importance, and the chorus has simply become iconic. I doubt Dylan intended such, but it toes the line of out and out protest and illustrative questions. He puts down everyone from evangelists to girls, but the language snakes and flows so magically that it doesn't seem as harsh as "Positively 4th St" or "Ballad in Plain D". The sense of exhaling desperation or at least the realization that age confuses things even more seems to be what I take from this tune after each listen, but things can change...or can they?

Cover
:
Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Here is an artist that falls into that category of someone we have always enjoyed from afar but have never really dug too deep into their work. Our good friend Tom who has a great ear for songs is a huge fan, so we should devote some time to him...perhaps that will be a resolution in the new year. Lord knows we need to make a lot

Thoughts on Cover:
This is a almost as much of a nod to The Byrds version as the Bards version of the tune. Honestly this one plays it pretty close to the chest and doesn't do a whole hell of a lot different than the original (and the Byrds version). With 30 seconds left though Crenshaw pulls out a trippy guitar solo that is worth hearing. Not an all-time great cover but very solid for the holiday season. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Full Show Friday: Rage Against The Machine 8/17/96 Roseland Ballroom 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...Rage Against The Machine!
For December RtBE is having a special focus with our Full Show Friday's. This month we will showcase live shows, that we were at and also were huge influences on our musical tastes. We will also be trying to get some outside perspectives when we can. This will be a fun and personal month for us, hope you enjoy.   

It was an extremely hot summer night in the big city on August 17th in the year 1996. We had just finished our Freshman year at NYU and had finished our summer job when this killer show was rolling into town. With a huge posse of friends together, we got tickets and we got excited...RATM had just released their second album and were on tour for Evil Empire.

It was the bands high-point, they could tour on older favorites while promoting excellent songs. Having never seen them before we were very pumped to check them out having been a fan of Zack de la Rocha since his Inside Out days (Check out No Spiritual Surrender now!) and were curious how the band would be live.

Before they took the stage Public Enemy was playing over the PA and our circle of people (numbering about 12 or 16) were getting juiced up on the GA floor. There was discussion that once the band came out we would create our own mini pit on the right side of the stage. That sounded great until....
      
The first notes of "Killing In The Name Of" and I was off like a bandit. The whole corwd was pulsating, there wasn't a pit, the whole front half of Roseland from the far left to tright became utter chaos and it was fucking great. Aggression was every where but there was also actual concern for those who fell down or were hurt; I have been in large scale brutal pits (Pantera comes to mind) and at times there are people just looking for fights, not this time. 

The band fed off of it and played a dynamite set, they sounded invigorated and de la Rocha's pipes were spot on. Screams andwails were on point so were his rhymes and the bands riffing, we were active all night (and pop up crowd surfering in that video) probably losing a few pounds through pure sweat. Walking out post show my shirt was soaked and a size bigger from being grabbed and pulled, and reengaging with our crew was fantastic. One of that Crew shares his thoughts, here is Ed with his memory of the night.

I remember we all met at Pluck U before the show and devoured all of the free food Guzman was giving us. This ended up causing Eisenberg to take a massive shit in the bathroom at Roseland and there were no doors and the water was turned off in the sinks so everyone would have to pay for bottled water. I kept running and kicking John while he was on the toilet. Good times 
I can only compare the atmosphere of Roseland pre-show as to being in a prison yard before a riot When they opened up with "killing in the name of", it was pure emotion, violence, rage and mayhem. It was awesome. Closest thing to a riot you will get at a concert when the first notes hit. 
Not sure you remember the guy who had a girl on a leash or rope and he would throw her in the pit and then would pull her out by the rope after she got demolished. Weird shit and I remember not even paying attention to the show to watch this moron do this.
I remember my brother picking a guy off the ground by the neck because he caught the guy trying to cheap shot people. We were kind of an intimidating group looking back on it. 10 pretty large dudes in one POSSE! Yeah buddy 
In all seriousness, I will always remember how I felt leaving that show. I knew I had just seen one of the best shows of my life. Rage was the perfect band at the perfect time in my life. Just going back now and listening to their albums straight through, it still blows my fucking mind. It was great seeing Prophets of rage, but without Zack, it was mostly a cover band. I think Zack was one of the greatest front men ever. That guy just brought it every fucking time. Fucking 90's man!!

Returning to the village to eat and booze it put a perfect cap on the night....man this was a good one and thank Ceez for sending me this and actually inspiring this whole month of Full Show Friday's.
  
Enjoy:

Rage Against The Machine - (live) Roseland New York City,Ny 8.17.96
Killing In The Name
Bulls On Parade
Vietnow
Without A Face
Tire Me
Fistful Of Steel
Know Your Enemy
Revolver
Bullet In The Head
People Of The Sun
Bombtrack
Down Rodeo
Freedom
Township Rebellion

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Year In Review 2016- Favorite Live Show

The live show is a slippery thing. There are lots of variables at play, most having little to do with the performance itself. Does the venue have enough bathrooms? Is it going to rain? What day of the week is it on? Did I have a shitty day at work before hand? Did tickets cost waaay too much? All of this effects one's opinion of a live show before the band even tunes up and with reason, but when the stars align, there is no place RtBE would rather be than in the moment of magic occurring spontaneously from the stage.
Live Music Has No Equal!
Taken By The Fantastic Megan Donohue
While we can't see every show that is out there, we try our hardest to see as many as we can here at RtBE. Sure there are a few left in the calendar year, but for now, here is a listing of of the best concerts we were fortunate enough to have seen in 2016. Also because who doesn't love arbitrary rankings, one show at the bottom took the top prize as RtBE's 2016 Favorite Live Show. To continue our Best of 2016 just click that Read More button and get started

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Album Review: Matthew Logan Vasquez- Solicitor Returns

Matthew Logan Vasquez
Solicitor Returns
*** out of *****
The first solo album from Matthew Logan Vasquez lets him cut loose and turn up some fuzz guitar while still working in his pop rock vein; rather then going introverted and solo he gets his friends and buys new pedals for his ax.

With his main outfit Delta Spirit on hiatus, Vasquez works up a strut and stutter that dips into Neil Young Crazy Horse-ville as well as visits to Meat Puppet land and beyond. The freedom can be a bit scattered but you get the sense that Vasquez has a wide range of musical loves and can not wait to express them all.

Opening with a title track that is simply building hum (and closing with almost the same thing in larger more dramatic fashion) the album is short but still travels wide vistas. "Maria" is a good encapsulation of it all with acoustic guitars holding down the chords while fuzz electric noise skirts the edges. Pretty vocals mix with mid range lyrics that contain spiritual and western flairs.

"Personal" is dance ready and would have fit perfectly into Delta Spirits sets while "I Bet It All" strips things down to focus on the vocals which are in fine form; Vasquez can move you from enraged to weeping from stanza to stanza. "Black East River" is a country ballad with electric accents while "Stand Up" feels like the same thing but substitutes piano work for country folk while unfortunately feeling drawn out and too thin at four and a half minutes.

A real snarling workout is the punk "Everything I Do" which wails with intensity on the six strings and delivery. His kiss off to the best city in the world sounds weary on "New York", honest but not much more and it again runs long at five and half minutes, even with the great fuzz tone on guitar.

While there isn't a standout must hear musical moment MLV has none the less produced a record worth checking out even if you were unaware of his previous bands. Solicitor Returns bodes well for any more solo ventures he delivers.
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We've had a few records sitting around we never got around to reviewing so expect a few more before the year is out like CEG and MLV. Support the artist, buy the album, peeps some video below:


Album Review: Cymbals Eat Guitars- Pretty Years

Cymbals Eat Guitars
Pretty Years
**and1/2 out of *****
The Staten Island based Cymbals Eat Guitars have put out some dense, noisy, emotional rock and roll in the past with their most recent LOSE being their best feisty twist on guitar based noise. That album had a dark grief attached to it as the band lost a close friend when writing it. Now a few years later Pretty Years comes out and the title is pretty apt as the band has moved into more pop friendly realms while retaining touches of what made them an interesting to begin with.

The second song "Have A Heart" is an electro-flourished dance tune that might seem out of place with the bands more dense material, but under the surface, scratches and glitches run deep. "Wish" brings in a bit of groove and funk to the mix over raspy vocals/desperate lyrics while "Close" continues this late night dance floor vibe.

The sparse then swelling "Dancing Days" falls in-between genres and feels lost while "4th of July, Philadelphia (Sandy)" is much better, fuzzy and chugging to a huge build that proves to be a highlight on the album. "Beam" brings back the distortion and punk slamming with intensity before "Well" brings back the 80's disco flourishes that the band is focusing on this disk.

Production is elegant and John Congleton and the sweeping sounds synths should be commended and could bring in new listeners. Also on past Cymbals Eat Guitar albums the vocals of front-man John D'Agostino have been crushed behind layers of sound, not so here, his anxiety riddled lyrics are front and center over dance tracks that don't always mesh.

Pretty Years is clearly a transitional album that is shooting for a wide audience and may be pandering just a touch to the masses. It is a move from what made the band must hear for fans of a dying breed of engaging guitar rock noise towards more pop based indie rock.  
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This is a solid album and a different step for a band we dig. This is not a step we personally enjoy, the pop/synth line isn't really for us, just a matter of taste. Support the band, buy the album and peep some video below:

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Year in Review 2016- Top 10 Albums Part 1 (The Just Misses & Let Downs)

Another great year is finishing up for @RockBodElec and we wouldn't be a proper music site if we didn't end the year with a "Best Of" list, so RtBE Presents the Best of 2016 Top Ten Albums: The Just Misses & Let Downs:
In the instance that RtBE has reviewed the album either on the site or somewhere else we will link to that review and just give a quick summation, just click on the name and title and you can read it. RtBE worked with the Glide Team to give input on the their Top 20 so expect some overlap.

Again the focus here is on full albums, not singles, but full releases you can slap on and listen all the way through. We know these are a dying breed, but it still is the way we consume music, no shuffle or singles for us.

Today we are going to focus on the "Just Misses" of our top 10 and unfortunately the "Let Downs" released this year. Obviously these are just our personal preferences, feel free to voice your opinion in the comments. Expect installment 2 (#10-6) soon, but for now click on the jump:

Monday, December 12, 2016

Dylan Cover #259 Groovestone "Quinn The Eskimo" 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 Groovestone playing "Quinn The Eskimo"
Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
Not officially released until 1970's audience and critic defying Self-Portrait "Quinn The Eskimo" first found life with Manfred Mann, before a lot of the world heard Dylan sing it himself. It had been on The Basement Tapes though and lots of bootleggers, underground fans and admiring fellow artists got to bask it its rollicking glory. A fun old ride that makes everyone from children to adults smile. A favorite purely because it is one of the plain funnest songs in Dylan's catalog one of my personal highlights regarding the song has nothing to do with the playing, it has to do with what Dylan himself wrote about it in Chronicles:
"On the way back to the house I passed the local movie theater on Prytania Street, where The Mighty Quinn was showing. Years earlier, I had written a song called 'The Mighty Quinn' which was a hit in England, and I wondered what the movie was about. Eventually, I'd sneak off and go there to see it. It was a mystery, suspense, Jamaican thriller with Denzel Washington as the Mighty Xavier Quinn a detective who solves crimes. Funny, that's just the way I imagined him when I wrote the song 'The Mighty Quinn,' Denzel Washington."
Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
I have never heard of Groovestone and there seem to be a few of them on the interwebs.
Thoughts on Cover:
A fun slow grooving live take that is a sweet twist on the more rollicking versions we have heard. The fade out is sweet and the band seems like they could keep have gone on in this vein for a while. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Full Show Friday: Beastie Boys Nassau Coliseum 5-11-95

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...Beastie Boys!

For December RtBE is having a special focus with our Full Show Friday's. This month we will showcase live shows, that we were at and also were huge influences on our musical tastes. We will also be trying to get some outside perspectives when we can. This will be a fun and personal month for us, hope you enjoy.   

So it is only the second week of this series and we are already cheating technically. We were not at this nights show in Long Island, we were at the show a few weeks later at Madison Square Garden on the same tour. In doing this month's focus on shows that personally meant something to us, this had to be included because our Beastie Boy experience at the Garden was our first introduction of our next life phase, New York City. 

We were just recently enrolled in NYU and were finishing up our senior year of high school about to enter the city full time when we came down with some friends and attended the concert. This was a preview, and it was a rollicking joy to behold. The Beasties themselves were a huge influence on our fashion, musical tastes and overall style. The Garden show was a trip and our trip was just beginning...  

So while we are cheating a bit, you can and still should, enjoy:



Setlist:
 1. Stand Together
 2. Sure Shot
 3. Time to Get Ill
 4. Shake Your Rump
 5. Pass the Mic
 6. Alright Hear This
 7. The New Style
 8. The Maestro
 9. Tough Guy
 10. Beastie Boys
 11. Sabrosa
 12. In 3's
 13. Bobo on the Corner
 14. The Biz vs. the Nuge
 15. Time for Livin'
 16. Flute Loop
 17. Car Thief
 18. The Sounds of Science
 19. Posse in Effect
 20. Do It
 21. Hold It Now, Hit It!
 22. Skills to Pay the Bills
 23. Root Down
 24. Rhymin' and Stealin'
 25. Gratitude
 26. Lighten Up
 27. Son of Neckbone
 28. What's Really Going On
 29. Egg Raid on Mojo
 30. Heart Attack Man
 31. 5-Piece Chicken Dinner
 32. So What'cha Want
 33. Slow and Low
 34. Sabotage

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Run The Jewels 3 Coming January 2017, New Song Released

January 2017 is shaping up to be a good month for releases. As we already chatted about the Japandroids finally come back with their follow up to the fantastic Celebration Rock and now Run The Jewels will return with their third offering following up on 2014's excellent RTJ2.
Brooklyn Vegan has collected a few of their releases and track details from the upcoming album. We loved the last disk and ranked it high on our year end list, so we have high hopes for the third installment from the duo. Below are a few of the new tracks from the upcoming release.

Live Review: The Hold Steady 12/2/16 Brooklyn Bowl

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
One of our personal favorites, The Hold Steady threw a tenth birthday party for their best album, Boys and Girls in America and it was a god damn blast. We have seen them a bunch and all their shows aren't like this one, a pure joy from pillar to post. The mood needs to be right, the band tight and loose, the crowd ecstatic, all those boxes were checked off on Friday night.

Thanks to our friend Whitey for hooking it up, Brooklyn Bowl is a hell of a venue and we didn't even get a chance to eat the amazing deviled eggs and oysters...here's hoping tHS are back for good now. This was a hell of a night of purely joyful rock and roll.

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

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Year In Review 2016- Best Album Art

We kick off our Year in Review section of 2016 with a favorite feature in the Best of... area, Album Art. Like in years past we will be choosing our Best Albums of the Year, a few we were underwhelmed with and our favorite show. Today we are starting out by judging books (records) by their covers (vinyl sleeves, jackets, digital pics, etc). We are going to support the creative minds behind the Best Album Art Work of 2016.
The biggest gripe RtBE has with digital music is not the quality (that has been massively improved) nor the disposal nature of it (still a problem, but whatever), it is the lack of amazing album covers and art work.

Sure there may be great artists out there but seeing it on a screen, in iTunes or elsewhere is nothing compared to holding an LP cover or even a CD booklet with pages of lyrics, pictures etc. Thankfully the rise of vinyl is helping this dilemma but it is still not enough. The hours we spent staring, actually holding, examining tons of covers while listening to music can not be adequately recorded, it added new dimensions to the sounds. You were connected to album in a more physical way, things were deeper, more evocative...Anyways...
Let's get right to it. We will talk about a few like, and link to the review of the release (if there is one) then celebrate a winner who wins absolutely nothing but internet praise.

2016 was NOT the best year for album art, don't believe me? Go click through what Fuse picked for the best covers for the first half of the year...yeah, they ALL suck. 

Honorable Mentions (In Alphabetical Order):

Autolux- Pussy's Dead
We had slightly higher hopes for the music contained on the actual album of Autolux most recent release, but we do love that cover art. Artistic, simple, trippy, it checks off a lot of boxes on or list.

Brujeria- Pocho Aztlan
 We recently reviewed the Mexican American metal thumpers, but didn't mention much about the album art. It is pretty great. Combines, new and old, gods and demons. Pretty solid, metal is usually good for one or two in this category.

Drive-By Truckers- American Band
This one was interesting because the Drive-By Truckers are known for using artists Wes Freeds work for the cover of almost every one of their albums. They are entwined, sometimes influencing each other in lyrics or design. On this album the band are clearly making a statement and they moved away from the art of Freed to use a picture from Danny Clinch one of the best rock and roll photographers ever. The cover of a flag on what looks like a cross is a statement in itself and the music matches perfectly, combining for a great cover.    

Sleigh Bells- Jessica Rabbit
Another one like Autolux, simple artsy, odd, but still pretty engaging. It was another album we weren't very fond of overall but that doesn't take away from the album art. 


Winner:

Sturgill Simpson- A Sailors Guide To Earth
In a week year of album art on covers this one was easy to pick out as the best we saw. It has a mid-70's van art feel to it, as if something bigger is lurking on the edges. Something bigger is certainly lurking at the bottom as a huge sea monster is ready to swell. Speaking of swelling, the seas are doing just that around the ship and the cloudy sky. It is a really cool throwback cover that we liked the best of 2016, edging out the DBT.

Agree? Disagree? Did we miss an obvious choice? Feel free to let us know in the comments while you check out a few videos from this album.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Album Review Brujeria Pocho Aztlan

Brujeria
Pocho Aztlan
**** out of *****

The Mexican-American death metal monsters Brujeria have finally come back after a sixteen year layoff between albums with the pulverizing power of Pocho Aztlan. The title translate loosely to "wasted promise land" and while the band has had a rotating cast of members it still resembles an all-star lineup for fans of heavy music with members of Napalm Death, Carcass and Cradle of Filth. Longtime listeners will be happy to know they have not dulled one bit since their 2000 release
Brujerizmo keeping their machete metal music razor sharp; new fans will also find this a great place to get a taste of the Mexican influenced madness.

Starting off with the thundering title track sets the stage for the full length with a tribal intro/chant, and folk whistles, before devolving into police choppers and only then the metal barrage. The group takes on tons of topics they know well, drugs, disillusioned culture, murder, immigration, satanism and cartels but what reads like complete devastation actually contains lighthearted moments as the band can deftly add humor into their crushing power (see the recently released Vive Presidente Trump!).   

The blast beats of "No Aceptan Imitaciones" signals a speed metal shift that is brutal while "Profecia del Anticristo" amps up the groove, still keeping the speed in overdrive.  Those never ending drums keep slamming for the pit inducing "Angel de la Frontera" before the bands tribute to Pablo Escobar "Plata O Plomo" that grinds metal gears in its own slamming way. Metal fans can now debate who did it better, Brujeria or Soulfly? RtBE votes for the  like the variety of Soulfly's version, but both are slamming with aggression and deliver the goods.   

"Satongo" brings the hardcore elements of the band to the forefront while "Bruja" experiments with distortion, major breakdowns and groove laden riffs enter. Those machine gun level drums take over and decimate "Culpan La Mujer" as a second vocalist screeches along with vocal distortion and Spanish lyrics, screaming out to the masses. "Debilador" is a throw back to old school punk/hardcore/metal with its count off and pile on conducive singing, as well as tempo changes, breakdowns and a flair for the dramatic.  

The album is long, average music listeners probably won't make it through the whole release but for death/grind/metal fans who have been waiting over a decade and a half their can't be enough, especially because the end product is this good. Closing with their take on the Dead Kennedy's adds to this bands scope and really cements Pocho Aztlan as one of the best metal releases in any of that record labels many sub-genres.  
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These guys are fantastic and a big influence on our friends Billyclub Sandwich, so we were looking forward to this and were not disappointed. Support the band, buy the album peep some video below: 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Dylan Cover #258 Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard covering "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" 

Thought's on Original:
From the first time we reviewed a cover of this tune:
Yet another one of the mega-Dylan tunes that we haven't covered someone else covering on this site (got that covered?). Hard to believe because this song is so iconic and flat out awesome. Biting and yet not bitter, a toss off of the grandest proportions, "Don' Think Twice" is epic and yet so straight forwardly simple. It easily ranks as one of the bard's best works, truly a classic.
Cover:

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Two American legends. Simply put, I am not sure what more needs to be said about these two.
Thoughts on Cover:
Pretty spot on perfect, simple, the fellas don't do much to this, there are nice brushes on snares a harmonica and some electric guitar but things are streamlined. A hell of a cover version. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Full Show Friday: Section 8 Albany, NY June 5th 1994

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...Section 8!
For December RtBE is having a special focus with our Full Show Friday's. This month we will showcase live shows, that we were at and also were huge influences on our musical tastes. We will also be trying to get some outside perspectives when we can. This will be a fun and personal month for us, hope you enjoy.   

To start the month we are going back to our youth and one of the first bands that really broke us out of the MTV world of the early to mid 90's, as we focus on the Clifton Park, NY based hardcore/metal band Section 8. Today's Full Show Friday is a piece of history as it is the bands first show in the legendary QE2 in Albany from 1994. 

We were lucky enough to head down to the show with some friends as three of the band members went to our high school and were from our suburban town. This is the first time we were able to see actual friends, play in an actual clubs, with actually GREAT music. It made the idea, of bands, music, and honestly life, realer in a sense that things were palpable and possible. Looking back it was inspiring on many levels.  
https://www.flickr.com/photos/126524349@N02/14603282989/in/photostream/
We recently had the pleasure of chatting with our friend and Section 8 drummer Tim Parent, his memory of the bands first show were as follows:
"I think we were all just pretty overwhelmed at the feedback and did not expect what kind of response we would get. The support was definitely amazing and unexpected for sure, but much appreciated."   
As a fan, we were hooked immediately, in fact we still have the bands first four track demo tape and old school t-shirts. When the show starts it is pretty amazing that we still know all the words and remember instantly all the great tunes the band created. This show, being the first, is pretty amazing as the band is on point right from their creation, the tracks are fully formed and exhilarating.  

The songs really opened our world to local hardcore/punk/metal scene and in retrospect Section 8 were the perfect conduit as they incorporated a lot of Black Sabbath who we already dug. We instantly got into the Albany scene via bands like Withstand and One King Down (Rob from One King Down does the intro at the show below), then moved to the Upstate NY straight edge scene with Earth Crisis and Snapcase. After enjoying that we traveled south to the New York City Hardcore scene with bands like Cro-Mags, Agnostic Front, Murphy's Law and Judge. Now as the scene ages so do we but we still love it and revisiting with great bands make it worth it.

It was a great few years discovering heavy, aggressive bands that really hit home for us, We have Section 8 themselves, Tim, Andras, Mike and Kasey to thank for opening up our ears and whole world view with their gloriously dark sounds, thanks fellows.   

Now feel free to Enjoy:

01:00 Intro
02:18 Strife
05:23 Forth to War
07:53 Torn
13:15 Words of Love
16:43 Flatline
20:12 Nightfall
24:36 No One
And as a bonus two songs of Section 8 live from their November '95 show that was a treat, crowd was insane on that night, so was Drew's t-shirt if I remember correctly.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Album Review: Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath Vol. II

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of  Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath Vol. II. The bands side project which now might be a little more famous then their day job. It is good stuff as the group re-imagines Black Sabbath with some funky horns. 

Not perfect but a cool way to check out some the original bands work, especially if you are fans of Sabbath as we are.  Support the group, buy the album and peep some video.