Monday, November 12, 2018

Dylan Cover #350 Joan Baez "With God On Our Side" 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 Joan Baez playing "With God On Our Side"


Thoughts on Original
From the first time we talked about around Veterans Day as well:
Perhaps the most poignant and lasting song Dylan has written and that speaks volumes. Lyrically it is perfect; using history, the warping of religion and politics to get across the point that man will rationalize anything, even war. Only played live 30 times since it's debut at Dylan's historic Town Hall show the song has added weight and meaning when it is played.

Morality and War, Religion and Righteousness, all just words when it comes down to it, hold life inside those letters. Musically stark Dylan uses his impressive lyrics to express the confusion perfectly. Should be mandatory listing in every history classroom.

Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist
Joan Baez is a pure legend, a voice that will transcend time. To learn about her history check out this.

Thoughts on Cover
Well number 350 in our series just happened to fall on Veterans Day 2018 and gives us a chance to make this one special. While we paid tribute to the Veterans with some NYHC earlier today, we go lyrically heavy for our Dylan Cover now. Joan is tied to Bob and vice versa and this tune and presentation is both tearful and manages to piss you off at the same time. Great song, Great cover not much more needs to be said.

Veterans Day 2018

Veterans Day is an important one in our history, read more about it here.

Since this is a music site we will pay homage in our way and especially since our friend Glen has recorded a song with his great NYHC band Billyclub Sandwich titled "Veteran's Day". You can listen to bad ass tune below following the perfect Patton quote that the group used to intro it:
No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.


"I choose to fight for what I live for" Well said fellows. Well said.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Full Show Friday: Tedeschi Trucks Band @ The Capitol Theatre 02/20/18

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...Tedeschi Trucks Band!
Some months our Full Show Friday's will focus on specific artistsyearsvenues, festivals or some combo of it all. This month we focus on the gorgeous Capital Theatre over the last two years. 

The Capital Theatre in Port Chester, NY was a popular stomping ground throughout the 70's and 80's for musicians with a sprinkling during the early 90's tossed in. It was refurbished by Peter Shapiro and opened again in 2012 with a Bob Dylan concert to re-christen the venue to rock and roll once again. 

RtBE has caught some great shows since the venue reopened and will be going to more in the near future. This month the focus for Full Show Friday's will be on some of the dynamite shows throughout the "Cap's" history. 

This week it is the excellent touring soul review of the Tedeschi Trucks Band from last February. The group is fantastic live and always worth seeing so settle in for a fun show this week.  

Pro Shot, Pro Sound, Setlist and Information Below, Enjoy:

Set 1: 3:55 Do I Look Worried 9:57 Just as Strange 14:24 Until You Remember 19:52 Key to the Highway (Charles Segar cover) 28:47 Don't Miss Me (Derek Trucks Band cover) 36:57 Alabama (Neil Young cover) 41:00 Talking About (Susan Tedeschi cover) 46:40 Idle Wind Set 2: 1:40:22 Statesboro Blues (Blind Willie McTell cover) 1:49:50 Part of Me 1:54:25 It's So Heavy 1:58:45 drum space 2:02:10 Let Me Get By 2:13:46 Right on Time 2:18:31 Goin' Down Slow (St. Louis Jimmy Oden cover) 2:26:50 band intro 2:27:13 Made Up Mind 2:32:53 How Blue Can You Get? (Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers cover) 2:40:14 I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free (Billy Taylor cover) Encore: 2:54:06 You Don't Know How It Feels (Tom Petty cover) 2:58:08 Laugh About It

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Album Review: Black Elephant - Cosmic Blues

Black Elephant
Cosmic Blues
*** out of *****

The Italian heavy electric blues band Black Elephant's third full length is the aptly titled Cosmic Blues. Stoner rock with a retro vibe, the woolly record is full of effects, fuzz tone and head bopping riffs.

The four piece (Alessio Caravelli: lead vocals and lead guitar Massimiliano Giacosa: rhythm guitar Marcello Destefanis: bass guitar Simone Brunzu: drums) trudge along with massive beats and chords. The group can take the long and winding road like on "Helter Skelter" (an original despite it's name) or go for the quick hit as on the wah-wah laden brief instrumental "Chase Me" which ends too soon.

The vocals from Caravelli border on metal yelling as he accentuates the groove heavy tracks with screams that can become just as distorted as the feedback form the amps. On the over seven minute "Baby Eronia" the screams resemble a less defined early Chris Cornell as the band winds through the sonic wastelands. The track is one of the more successful on the record as the bass bumps along and guitar solos wipe side to side on your speakers. 

The revved up instrumental "Cosmic Blues For Solitary Moose" begins with a distant guitar before thundering into the foreground while closer "Inno" contains both a prog and punk rock ethos built into it's long running time to wrap things up. From the retro cover art to the familiar heavy stomp the groups sound is straight out of the early seventies.

Black Elephant's style is straight ahead and some of the tracks can become repetitive and dull ("Walking Dead") but on the whole the band lumber along with power and passion. Fans of blues based heavy rock and roll (like Endless Boogie or Wolfmother to name two bands similar) will find a lot to like on Cosmic Blues

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Support the band, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Album Review: Phony Ppl - mō'zā-ik.

Phony Ppl
mō'zā-ik.
*** and1/2 out of *****

The Brooklyn based five piece Phony Ppl broke through with 2015's Yesterday's Tomorrow and now hope to capitalize on their success with the phonetically spelled mō'zā-ik. The group mixes R&B, neo soul and pop runs throughout the forty five minute run time of the record with some highs and lows mixed in. 

The players, Elbee Thrie (vocals), Elijah Rawk (lead guitar), Matt "Maffyuu" Byas (drums), Aja Grant (keyboard), and Bari Bass (bass guitar) have been friends for years and the musical conversations that go on can feel warm and welcoming or pushing boundaries at times.

The band oddly opens with it's dullest offering, "Way Too Far", a song that was almost going to BTS, Phony Ppl oddly decided to lead off their engaging album with some dull modern, trap influenced R&B. Things quickly pick up though as "Once You Say Hello" is a cooking pop melange of Caribbean, rock, and dance disco, simultaneously cherry picking from Lionel Richie and moving into the future, the band delivers a winner. "Cookie Crumble" starts simple with piano as a vocal showcase but ends with over a minute of grooving musical experimentation, around bass, piano, keys and more fluttering vocals.   

The best tracks are those when the group experiments as on "somethinG about your love." which skirts around with unique drum patterns and rhythms as keyboard runs and direct blasts enter for the chorus all around a delicate dreamy vocal before a fluid sing-songy guitar solo in the vein of Prince colors things even further. 

"The Colours" finds the band moving into hip-hop with sounds reminiscent of a more artsy Pharcyde while "Move Her Mind" deals with more than just ass shaking on the dance floor. Speaking of dance floors the get down jam "Before You Get A Boyfriend" gets directly to the freakin' successfully mixing smooth grooves and rhymes. On the flip side "One Man Band" and "Think You're Mind" act more as toss off place holders, feeling more like demos than finished products but there is enough other material here to make up for these. 

The band ends in political fashion after singing in and around love for all of the other tracks. "on everythinG iii love." is a stunner which deals directly with police brutality in an Marvin Gaye way, having been feed up by the everyday dealings they have to put up with in Brooklyn. 

The willingness of the band not to be tied to modern trends, speak their mind, explore their own sound and still make things incredibly smooth and enjoyable is a winning combo for Phony Ppl, making mō'zā-ik. a fulfilling journey.
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Support the artists, buy the album and peep some video:
         

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Album Review: Adam's House Cat -Town Burned Down

Adam's House Cat
Town Burned Down
***and1/2 out of *****

Adam's House Cat was the first pairing of Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley before the pair went on to larger success with the still rocking Drive-By Truckers. The duo, along with drummer Chuck Tremblay and bassist John Cahoon wrote these scrappy songs, a few of which fans of the Truckers will instantly recognize as Hood and Cooley continue to enjoy them, playing to them to this day.

Town Burned Down starts with one of those as "Lookout Mountain" kicks off the retro looking record. The track was recorded by the Truckers on their amazing The Dirty South album and has been a highlight of live shows with it's crunching riffs. This version along with "Runaway Train" (another DBT live staple) are both a bit faster and thinner then when the group tackle things currently on the stage, but both will be incredibly familiar to fans and are solid intro tracks for those new to the party.

There are flashes of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty as well as other classic rock touchstones, but it is clear that Hood was finding his own unique lyrical voice. "Down On Me" is predominately an acoustic number with a weeping electric slide guitar accentuating the vibe, the foundation of a unique lyricist and songwriter is clearly present.

"6 O'Clock Train" finds Hood and company chaffing against the bible belt morality and small town conformity which leads into "Buttholeville" which expands on that vibe and is another track DBT continues to be proud of, playing it onstage often. There are a few odd musical choices such as the Bo Diddley beat of "Child Abuse" which doesn't match with the direct lyrics of it's title subject or the bratty "Love Really Sucks" lyrics around some excellent guitar soloing.

However, unearthed numbers like the life keeps kicking your ass track "Kiss My Baby" and the heartbroken beyond his years "Shot Rang Out" show exactly where Hood and Cooley were heading as both themes would be visited multiple times throughout DBT's run. "Long Time Ago" is a bass led story song which finds Hood dipping into his raconteur roll while closer "Cemeteries" adds a touch of ukulele closing excellently on a big cinematic note.     

The recording and presentation of Town Burned Down changes the full impact of the album as the original tapes were discovered by producer David Barbe, but everything was re-mastered and Hood went back and re recorded all of his vocals this year. In doing so, the late 80's feel has been reduced greatly and the true sound of this record is lost (originally to a tornado and now to re-recording) and in it's place is a professional offering from a wiser (in studio and recording ways at least) outfit, not the young southern punks who originally crafted the songs.

That disconnect from time and place is one that keeps this from being a true document of the young artists who would go one to anchor one of the best rock bands of the last 25+ years, but taken on it's own Town Burned Down is still an intriguing listen, plus a great window into the foundation of Hood's lyrics and the Truckers roots.
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Support the band, buy the record and peep some video below:


Monday, November 5, 2018

Dylan Cover #349 Rod Stewart "Sweetheart Like You"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Rod Stewart playing "Sweetheart Like You" 

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this song:
All of the songs on Infidels  stuck around to long in the Bards brain (which we talked about before). While "Jokerman" overwhelms as a rambling waterfall of a song the first time you hear it, "Sweetheart Like You" is clear evidence of that fact that things were left to simmer on the stove longer then needed. It is a mix of condescension, sexy, sexist, insecure and scattered. In fact those things make for an amazing Dylan tune, but in this case I don't feel it really adds up to a classic or much of a very good song at all.

Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Well RtBE is split on The Rod, but if you want the positive side of things, please read this.

Thoughts on Cover:
The track is actually understated from Rod which is rarely his modus operandi. Slow groove, excellent singing, organ and clear guitar lines accentuating things along the way before a double guitar solo outro; blissful .

In the middle you can feel Rod wanting to go hammy and showboat but he reigns it in just in time. The cover is better for it. 

Also it needs to be mentioned that with the USA's current political climate more than ever this couplet from the song hits home:

Friday, November 2, 2018

Full Show Friday: Portugal. The Man Live From The Capitol Theatre 10/24/17

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...Portugal. The Man!
Some months our Full Show Friday's will focus on specific artistsyearsvenues, festivals or some combo of it all. This month we focus on the gorgeous Capital Theatre over the last two years. 

The Capital Theater in Port Chester, NY was a popular stomping ground throughout the 70's and 80's for musicians with a sprinkling during the early 90's tossed in. It was refurbished by Peter Shapiro and opened again in 2012 with a Bob Dylan concert to re-christen the venue to rock and roll once again. 

RtBE has caught some great shows since the venue reopened and will be going to more in the near future. This month the focus for Full Show Friday's will be on some of the dynamite shows throughout the "Cap's" history. 

We start the month with a Portugal. The Man show from 2017 up at the gorgeous theatre. Unfortunately there is 17 minutes of ad's before the show starts so skip ahead to the 17:11 mark to the get he music started. 

Pro Shot, Pro Sound, Full Setlist and Info below. Enjoy:



17:11 For Whom the Bell Tolls (Metallica cover) 19:57 Another Brick in the Wall/Purple, Yellow, Red and Blue 27:44 Number One 32:52 Feel it Still 35:56 Noise Pollution 39:57 Head Is a Flame (Cool with It) 44:28 Got It All (This Can't Be Living Now)/Once Was One 51:26 Waves 57:18 So Young 01:01:43 All Your Light/Kilo/TheHome/I Want You(She's so Heavy) 01:15:34 So American 01:19:25 Rich Friends 01:23:54 Modern Jesus 01:27:14 Live In The Moment 01:30:35 Feel it Still (again) 01:33:27 Don't Look Back in Anger (Oasis cover) 01:42:18 Hip Hop Kids 01:46:24 Holy Roller (Hallelujah)

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Scott Hutchinson Tribute 12/5 @ Rough Trade, Brooklyn

There will be a celebration of the songs of Scott Hutchinson who passed away earlier this year. The front man for Frightened Rabbit had a lot of friends in the music industry and few will pay tribute at Rough Trade in Brooklyn on 12/5.
RtBE will be there and tickets go on sale tomorrow, with proceeds going to a fund that will support people with mental health issues in Scott's name.
All proceeds from Tiny Changes will go to benefit the Scott Hutchison Fund. “The Scott Hutchison Fund has been set up in memory of our beloved Scott,” Scott’s brother Grant said in a release. “It will form the basis for a Mental Health Charity to be set up fully in the coming months. We hope to be able to help others the way Scott did with kindness, empathy and hope."
Mr. Hutchinson was a hell of a songwriter so to prepare for the show here are just a few of his gems:







Album Review: Tom Petty - An American Treasure

Tom Petty
An American Treasure
**and1/2 out of *****

For Tom Petty, an artist who is fairly well defined by his Greatest Hitsthe release of the sprawling box set collection An American Treasure, is a bit puzzling and unnecessary. The artist himself already released one back in 1995 titled Playback which managed to capture outtakes and alternate versions from his early years. He also combed through his complete touring history, releasing an excellent five disk deluxe Live Anthology in 2009.

Obviously box sets are for diehards and completist's, so his fans will eat this up, but do his late career outtakes and live offerings warrant this large of a collection? The answer is no and for those who are looking to get into the artist there are much easier ways to do so.

That all said the music collected here is up to Petty's high standards. Alternate versions of a few of his best known tracks, live offerings and early Mudcrutch all show the professionalism of the band,  and Petty as a consistent songwriter, but few truly elevate the artists career or for the alternate versions, replace the official releases. The tracks were selected by Petty's daughter Adria, wife Dana and long time Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench so the collections heart is in the right place.

It begins by going back to the beginning of course as the early outtake "Surrender" kicks off and screams southern Bruce Springsteen with it's shine and power. Some lesser loved tracks from his first album get a remastered treatment as "Rockin' Around (With You) and "The Wild One, Forever" ring loud and free while a live version of "Anything That's Rock and Roll" from Hollywood in 1977 pinpoints the era.

Petty's career was a bit blurry at times and selections like "Deliver Me", "Damage You Done", "The Best of Everything" are all fine/middle-of-the-road for the catchy songwriter while "Walkin' From The Fire", "Don't Treat Me Like A Stranger", "Gainseville" and "You Can Still Change Your Mind" are all dull and probably didn't need to be showcased at all.

Along those lines, for a crack whip live band the stagnate "A Woman In Love (It's Not Me)" doesn't do the touring players justice but on the flip side a live version of "Kings Road" from Hard Promises is a blistering rocker that crackles with energy. The more delicate "Alright for Now" and the outtake "Keep a Little Soul" both dynamically showcase the softer side of Petty while "The Apartment Song" demo with backing vocals from Stevie Nix is the best uncovered gem in the box. 

The collection is a chance to examine some of Petty's later day releases and unfortunately The Last DJ songs do not get better as "Have Love Will Travel" and especially "Money Becomes King" still feel out of touch from the rocker who made a career out of radio hits. Hypnotic Eye, Echo and Mojo tracks all show the professionalism still but again don't cause reevaluation of the just OK original releases. Petty's best album in the 2000's, Highway Companion only gets two tracks here, the highlight of the original record, "Down South" and a live version of "Saving Grace".

In Steve Hyden's piece on the box set he mentions that we view artists output differently after their death, evaluating their releases with yearning ears because we know their won't be much more new coming from them. Spot on, he also nailed our feelings of Petty exactly in his book Twilight Of The Gods: A Journey To The End of Classic Rock when he states:
"Tom Petty could always be counted on to be just good enough Tom did not have to prove it all night. He was fine knocking off at around 11 PM.”
An American Treasure convinces Hyden to reconsider that stance, even going so far as to say that the massive release is a good place for newbies. I feel that Petty's surprising passing is still raw in Hyden's ears and he is being too kind and I feel he got it completely correct in his book. Petty's American Treasure is not on par with other career spanning outtake and b-side collections from major artists like Tom Waits Orphans or Dylan's amazing Bootleg Series, and is superfluous.

There is a reason Petty's Greatest Hits is his best selling album by far, this is definitely not the case with most "classic" artists. His hits were dynamite, most albums were let downs and you really didn't need to dig too deep to get the best out of him and The Heartbreakers. Greatest Hits, Wild Flowers, The Traveling Wilburys and The Live Anthology would pretty much cover everything you really need from this no doubt American treasure.
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Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Album Review: This Will Destroy You - New Others Part Two

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

It is of the instrumental rock band This Will Destroy You's surprise release New Others Part 2.
It is an interesting album that plays with musical textures and doesn't always go for the big release like a lot of these bands tend to do.

Support the artist, read the review, buy the record and peep some video below:

Celebrating the Halloween Spirit Through Songs

A few years ago, one of the best blogs out there, WFMU's Rock and Soul Ichiban put together a great collection of Halloween inspired tunes and playlists.
They have crafted one dealing with ghosts which you can directly download. Another that tackles vampires and you can grab that one directly as well. Now there is also Weird-O-Matic streaming and a you can also drink a spooky cup o' Alligator Wine!

All of these are fantastic and as always Ichiban gives us old songs that are brand new to RtBE and all are also flat out awesome!

I mean how could we have missed The Bar-Kay's "Holy Ghost" for all of these years?

Damn that is some funky stuff. WFMU Rock and Soul Ichiban always delivers the goods, but in 2014 they got some help from their friends over at Fringe Factory who offered up a Halloween themed show themselves right here.

Here are a few songs that jumped out to us from these shows/free downloads and of course it wouldn't be Halloween without Elvira. She closes out our Halloween focus with her Third Man Records release "2 Big Pumpkins" written by the B-52's Fred Schneider:
The Pastel Six: "The Strange Ghost"

The Primates "The Creep"

The Upsetters "The Vampire"

Virgil Holmes "Ghost Train"

Elvira "2 Big Pumpkins":

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Tomorrow Night Murphy's Law Return with Drunken Rampage

Tomorrow night @ The Kingsland in their home borough Murphy's Law return to action, even better news is that Drunken Rampage will be opening the show. RtBE has a personal connection with that band to as our friend Simon is the lead singer.
A few weeks ago RtBE had the privilege to attend a benefit for Jimmy G the lead singer of Murphy's Law who has been dealing with medical issues and bills. Jimmy was in attendance and thankfully is recovering.

Here are a songs from both bands to get in the mood.



Album Review: Ty Segall - Fudge Sandwich

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of Ty Segall's recent cover album titled Fudge Sandwich

While showcasing the Monday Dylan Cover series we have mentioned multiple times that the more original covers which toss out the originals structure tend to be our favorites. Maybe that is why we dig Segall's newest record; nothing is sacred.

There is a lot to like here and Segall seems to be someone who could converse about music all day long. Support the artist, read the review, buy the record and peep some video below:


Monday, October 29, 2018

Album Review: decker. - Born To Wake Up

decker.
Born To Wake Up
**and1/2 out of *****

The psychedelic desert folk artist decker. has released his newest effort Born To Wake Up which continues his lonely western soundscapes over haunting singing around death and the unknown with southwest twinge and twang.

The odd yells and howls start off the record before the first song proper, "The Strawman" layers pulsing electronics, vocal ahh's, singular ringing guitar lines and a slow dripping beat. The track could easily fit into the aesthetic for True Detective's upcoming third season given that series habitual love of haunting tracks.  

The tempo and polish rev up for the more conventional "Burnin' Grass" which rocks with a smoking solo and electro pop keyboards to close while "The Matador" amps up the swagger with a pushing groove and snaking guitar line around relationship problems both external and internal and blows out with a dramatic climax. Less successful is "The Garden" which takes on a 80's L.A. hair metal ballad feel that is out of place with the rest of the record and "The Saint" is overproduced and over dramatic, trying a bit to hard and landing closer to Broadway then Arizona. 

The album centerpiece is the country dappling "Awake" which proceeds direct and gorgeous, easy with spiritual assurance and flowing vocals before the swirling "Smudge" and the sparse duet of "Mexico" both rolling out under the desert stars. The idea of silence and shutting up gets mentioned often by decker. not always pleasantly, perhaps reflecting his wide open quiet spaces that can become crippling at times. 

Certainly a mood record, one that flourishes under lonely hot night skies or if you happen to be cruising through the American southwest in a convertible, but decker.'s true ability on Born To Wake Up is his ability to transport the listener directly to his Sedona, AZ landscape from wherever they might be; a real successful trick. 
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Support the artist, buy the record, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:

Dylan Cover #348 Bettye LaVette "What Was It You Wanted?"

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 Bettye LaVette playing "Political World"

This month we are doing another special focus in RtBE's Dylan Covers series. In the past we have highlighted The ByrdsCoulson-Dean-McGuiness-FlintThe HolliesJoan OsbourneMountain and more. Now the spotlight shines on Bettye LaVette and her recently released Things Have Changed covers album.

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
Oh Mercy brought Dylan back in from the creative wasteland that was his 1980's. It had an eerie sense of foreboding, helped by producer Daniel Lanois and the ghosts of New Orleans. The irritable old man in Dylan came out a bit here as well, and "What Was It You Wanted" is a good example of that, a confused searching feeling colors the lyrics as the protagonist just can't seem to get it right.

Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
RtBE first became aware of Bettye LaVette while watching The American Epic Sessions on PBS and were semi shocked to learn that until the last decade or so LaVette only had minor success in the industry. She is a powerhouse singer and can turn a phrase with the best of them, using Gospel, R&B, Soul and Funky backings to croon her way forward.

Thoughts on Cover:
We close our monthly focus with yet another stunning cover track from Betty LaVette. For "What Was It You Wanted?" she and her band dip into the New Orleans night to add atmosphere influenced by the original, but solely her own. The hand drums, eerie backing vocals and shaking tambourine all set the stage as LaVette's soulful vocals sing the way forward through the fog before NOLA's own Trombone Shorty injects his brass into things, elevating the track even further. This is an outstanding collection of Dylan covers, def the best full album of cover tracks we RtBE has come across.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Full Show Friday: Green Day 2013 Reading 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...Green Day!
This week we travel back five years for Green Day's set at The Reading Festival in 2013. While we here at RtBE have never been big fans of the band, their version of poppy theatrical punk hit it big and we can't begrudge them even if we never loved them. Why not check in on them for this Full Show Friday?

Pro Shot, Pro Sound, set list below. Enjoy:

0:03:58 99 Revolutions 0:08:31 Know Your Enemy 0:13:18 Stay The Night 0:19:39 Stop When The Red Light Flash 0:24:14 Letterbomb 0:30:44 Holiday 0:35:37 Boulevard Of Broken Dreams 0:41:23 Let Yourself Go 0:45:08 Wake Me Up When September Ends 0:50:47 Burnout 0:53:00 Having A Blast 0:55:44 Chump 0:58:19 Longview 1:02:45 Welcome To Paradise 1:06:26 Pulling Teeth 1:09:44 Basket Case 1:12:40 She 1:15:13 Sassafras Roots 1:18:02 Highway To Hell 1:18:54 When I Come Around 1:21:58 Coming Clean 1:23:27 Emenius Sleepus 1:25:55 In The End 1:27:44 F.O.D. 1:34:05 St. Jimmy 1:37:45 Waiting 1:41:48 Minority 1:51:44 American Idiot 1:56:26 Jesus Of Suburbia 2:06:40 Brutal Love 2:13:08 Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Album Review: Foxing - Nearer My God

Foxing
Nearer My God
**and1/2 out of *****

The St. Louis Missouri based Foxing have put together a large sprawling effort with their third full length album Nearer My God which looks to push them out of their emo digs into larger surroundings.

The band, Conor Murphy, E.M. Hudson, Enrique Sampson, Jon Hellwig, never hold back throwing all sorts of sounds and experiments into the twelve tracks presented here. Co-produced by former Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, the album does not continue the groups emo sound structure, but tries to hold onto to the feeling through more instrumentation and daring musical pairings.

The majority of the tracks work with an electronic digital beat that is paired with either a piano or some other motif and then slowly incorporates more instrumentation layers of vocals and soaring sounds as the track progresses. Opener "Grand Paradise" starts this journey in that fashion with hand claps before a big swelling and the pattern continues through "Trapped in Dillard's" and "Won't Drown".

The group has a plan and executes it with the light percussion and digital bass around falsetto singing on "Slapstick" which successfully adds clashing rhythms upping the stakes while "Gameshark" less successfully overloads on the digital bleeps hitches and skittering sound. "Heartbeat" starts with strings and horns only for those to be exorcised early as the track forms into full on dance track with digital beats.

The two most straight ahead tracks here are the title offering with it's arena ready ringing guitars and "Bastardizer" which uses acoustic strums as a foundation. Both of these though manage to still go above and beyond with instrumentation though as "Near My God" incorporates looping digital twinkles/pulses and "Bastardizer" uses bagpipes to augment the sound.

"Five Cups" is the true centerpiece of the album though, the almost ten minute track is cinematic in scope using yells, digital undercurrents, backward tapes, layers of vocals and even French Horns. The overriding feeling from this focal point track and the album in general is a searching feeling, but one that never truly connects or delivers any emotional release or delivery. 

The band is opening up their sonic palette but nothing here is much hear, or stands out form the digitally pulsing mood album. Closer "Lambert" comes closets to breaking through the electro haze, but the new wave rocker losses steam as the album wraps up. An interesting full album listen but one that does not pack the desired punch to elevate the collective effort.
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Support the band, buy the album, stream it below or on bandcamp and peep some video:






The Hold Steady Return To London in 2019

The Hold Steady have made their late November early December Brooklyn Bowl residency a yearly event now and it looks like they are adding one more yearly outing to the mix as they will be returning to London England over the weekend of March 9th.

The band has lots of fun in that town and will be playing three shows plus doing a film screening. Some info from the band:
In March 2018, The Hold Steady returned to the UK for the first time in four years and played three shows in London. We did Friday and Saturday at the Electric Ballroom, and Sunday at a smaller venue The Lexington. The UK has always been such an important part of The Hold Steady story. 
We were excited to be back, and anxious to see what would happen… The weekend that unfolded was perfect. There were songs, there were sing alongs, there were old friends, there were new friends, there were pints, there was confetti, there was so much joy…. So…. we’re doing it all again, March 8, 9 and 10, 2019! Friday, March 8 & Saturday March 9 will once again see THS taking the stage at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, London. Sunday, March 10 we are doing another smaller show, this time at Oslo Hackney in Hackney, London. 
Also on Sunday, in celebration of the 10-year Stay Positive Anniversary, we’ll be hosting an exclusive screening/Q&A with the band of A Positive Rage at Hackney Picturehouse. We are calling this The Weekender, and we hope to make it an annual event. Please note these are the only UK shows we have planned at the moment, so we hope you’ll join us in London. 
Going to be a hell of a run in jolly ol' England, plus the band will be playing some east coast dates in May in Boston, Connecticut and back at the White Eagle in Jersey City where we recently caught the band.

Tickets to the London show go on sale tomorrow and the East Coast shows next week, so to get in the positive mood, here are a few Hold Steady tracks:







Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Album Review: Lil Wayne - Tha Carter V

Lil Wayne
Tha Carter V
***and1/2 out of *****

The Chinese Democracy of modern hip hop has finally arrived. Scheduled for 2014 Tha Carter V has been released after extended legal battles between Lil Wayne and Cash Money Records along with a personal feud with one time mentor Birdman. Wayne has gone through many personal up and downs during the last four years, including being hospitalized and shot at, and after years of promises the album is a long running journey which proves Wayne is still solidly in the game.

Opening with honest sentiments from his mother the record was designed to show growth and maturity from the artist and it does, addressing painful situations, personal failings, and even his 12 year old gun accident while still lamenting getting fucked up, going to parties and trying to be the best rapper alive.

Wayne’s verses come out super strong even if the first two songs “Don’t Cry” and “Dedicated” feature powerful statements from him personally around dull guest choruses. XXXTENTACION goes the singing route on “Don’t Cry” with rough results beginning on a bum note while 2 Chainz ode to Wayne works (barely) on “Dedicated” which gets a boost from a President Obama sample.  

The two best beats on the album come in the form of throwbacks as “Uproar” and “Start This Shit Off Right” by Swizz Beatz and Mannie Fresh respectively just miss being all-time classics surprisingly because Wayne’s rhymes are lackluster on these numbers. Weezy always seems to dive into the tracks with thinner beats that never really want to go anywhere instead of the real bangers.  

He successfully falls back into his auto tuned/trap/cheaper sounding beats safe place for “Problems”, the deeply personal closer “Let It All Work Out” and the strip club ready “Open Safe” which uses bumping and slapping from DJ Mustard around Weezy’s never ending flow. Great word play is everywhere throughout Tha Carter V as Wayne is open, giddy with his voice, flowing and letting everything hang out, one random example is “Hittas” which has both “Money in the air/Who said white men can’t jump?” and “I got paper, on top of paper, we gon' need rulers/I'm effective, been doin' numbers since Roman numerals”.

This is clearly Wayne’s vehicle but there are a few guest appearances. Nicki Minaj has the most eye opening turn, expertly pairing with her old partner in crime to deliver an unexpected affecting tune on mortality and the afterlife with “Dark Side Of The Moon” while Travis Scott gets blown away by an energized Wayne who spits fire on “Let It Fly”. On the dull side, Snoop Dog doesn’t add much to “Dope Niggaz” nor does Drake’s unaccredited appearance on “Hittas”.

Producer Infamous has worked with Wayne for over a decade now and the combo put together a few of the best tracks here as “Took His Time” his a rich tapestry of piano, bass and clicking snares, “Mess” allows Wayne to deal with his pain around gorgeous guitar lines and the creepy/dramatic music box lines in “Used 2” fires Wayne up for gangsta laced stanzas.

Infamous gets the hell out of the way with minimalist accompaniment over the richest word play and stand out track on the record, “Mona Lisa”. A five and a half minute story, the track is a sex and crime rhyme tale which is an expertly painted plan of attack regarding love triangles which could be made into a movie. Kendrick Lamar hops on board to play the role of spurned, psychotic lover on a track that proves Wayne and Lamar are par excellence; an instant classic.  

The talk of growth is legit as the sex rhyme and dick jokes are scaled back but the middle of the record drags into softer modern R&B sounds with a trio of relationship/life slow jams. “What About Me” is a self-centered woe is me number, before the brokenhearted “Open Letter” and the piano ballad “Famous” which does showcase the soothing vocals of his eldest daughter  Reginae Carter.

Things aren’t perfect but that is to be expected, for an album which has gone through such drama as this one; Tha Carter V shows its scars and Wayne proudly wears them. Four years is longer than most rappers careers and for Wayne to present a unified sounding record from tracks recorded in wildly different sessions is a success in itself. Lil’ Wayne manages to remain one of the most engaging artists on the scene as he continually dives deeper into his strongest subject, himself.
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Support the artist, buy the record and peep some video below:

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Album Review: Becky Warren - Undesirable

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of Becky Warren's excellent new album Undesirable

This was a really great find. Believe it or not, the first RtBE heard of Warren was when she appeared on Jeopardy! We went back and downloaded her first album War Surplus which was good, but Undesirable kicks it up even higher. 

It is not false praise when we say she is operating on the same level of Jason Isbell these days who we really dig. 

This is a hell of a record which we talked a ton about in the review, so support the artist, buy the album, read the review, and peep some video below:

Monday, October 22, 2018

Dylan Cover #347 Bettye LaVette "Political World"

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 Bettye LaVette playing "Political World"

This month we are doing another special focus in RtBE's Dylan Covers series. In the past we have highlighted The ByrdsCoulson-Dean-McGuiness-FlintThe HolliesJoan OsbourneMountain and more. Now the spotlight shines on Bettye LaVette and her recently released Things Have Changed covers album.

Thoughts on Original:
The opener of Dylan's first good album in years didn't signal a return to form by any stretch. In retrospect it is the weakest song on Oh Mercy, generalized and cranky without much oomph behind it. Dylan mentioned in Chronicles that it was a follow up to "With God On Our Side" but if that is the case, it is a weak one. The shocking thing is now, thirty years removed, the song seems to have taken on added weight as the U.S.A becomes more tribal and fractured politically. 

Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
RtBE first became aware of Bettye LaVette while watching The American Epic Sessions on PBS and were semi shocked to learn that until the last decade or so LaVette only had minor success in the industry. She is a powerhouse singer and can turn a phrase with the best of them, using Gospel, R&B, Soul and Funky backings to croon her way forward.

Thoughts on Cover:
And the successful covers just keep on coming for Ms. LaVette. Here she takes a lesser known number and uses her soulful voice and easy rolling funk backing (sounding straight out of The Meters backyard) to inject new life into the track. Oh and that guitar solo...some guy named Keith Richards adds some great rocking riffs to keep the track afloat in the swampy sounds. He may just have a career yet...

Friday, October 19, 2018

Full Show Friday: Action Bronson 2018 Miami

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...Action Bronson!

Some hip hop for this Friday from Action Bronson. RtBE have reviewed him in the past so how about some Full Show Friday action? Well hip hop rarely, if ever, gets better live and this is no exception but why not give it a spin this week.

From Bayfront Park Miami Fla... Pro shot, pro sound, Enjoy: