Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Album Review: Legend of the Seagullmen - Legend of the Seagullmen

Legend of the Seagullmen
S/T
**and1/2 out of *****

The newest pairing to constitute a super group comes in the form of Tool's Danny Carey and Mastodon's Brent Hinds Legend of the Seagullmen. The group churns out eight tracks of dark metallic psych rock, destined to spin off a into a low budget horror film, or at least a graphic novel.

The full band working with Carey on Drums and Hinds on guitar are director Jimmy Hayward (Jonah Hex) on guitar, David 'The Doctor' Dreyer on vocals, Zappa Meets Zappa's Peter Griffin on bass, and Chris DiGiovanni on synth. Opening with their statement song the lyrics describe the titular characters who "own the light". They don't waste anytime letting you forget him/them as the second track "The Fogger" ends with a redux of the first track. The band must think their fans have short memories, or don't listen to an album in order.

Things pick up (both in tempo and quality) with "Shipswreck" a chugging head banger with soaring solos and deep drums, the production on this release is noteworthy as their are lots of instruments (especially the synths and guitars) that are tracked very softly/restrained and multiple listens (perhaps in altered mental states on good headphones) reveal delicate touches that elevate almost every song from mediocrity. The excellent album art as well gives an eerie sense of mystery around the helmet/mask/disfigured face of the Seagullmen. 

The term cinematic is used in the press releases and having a Hollywood director on-board only furthers that feeling, but their is no denying the film quality of the Legend of the Seagullmen. The drama gets amped to Broadway levels for "Curse of The Red Tide", the albums centerpiece which contains a rising intro, drum showcase, strings, piano fills and vocals of a B-movie villain. All of the theatrical pomp is also present on the disk closing "Ballad of the Deep Sea Diver" with it's lead in, soaring fret work and full orchestra closing. 

The metal is revved up for the bands historical theme song that owes as much to Tenacious D as it does to Black Sabbath with a self mocking reference in it's chorus "That's right, this is entertainment/We don't know why, we can't explain it". Two odes to leviathans breach the surface with the pumping "The Orca" and the more prog rock/doom drenched "Rise Of The Giant" which has a giant squad with a "huge fucking eye" murdering Californians on Hollywood Beach.  

The person that leaps to mind instantly while experiencing this album was Les Claypool  as the group has a cartoonish sense of self and then tries to dip into seriousness; friendly with both Tool and Mastodon it is amazing Claypool isn't participating in this project directly in his wheelhouse. While Legend of the Seagullmen doesn't live up to "super group" levels, their target audience (think Metalocalypse fans looking for more dramatics and less speed) will enjoy as the band has an interesting sense of style and cinematic flair. 
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Support the band, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Album Review: The Dwarves - Take Back The Night

The Dwarves
Take Back The Night
*** out of *****

For their lucky thirteenth studio album the self proclaimed "best band ever" The Dwarves try to Take Back The Night with their speedy brand of rockin' roll. The irreverent group has been doing this so long they can bang these tracks out in their sleep but with the current state of affairs in this country the group has some juicy targets to attack this go around.

Seventeen songs of spitfire pop punk that rarely lasts longer than a minute or two, the players slam ahead with a full head of steam. The title track is a sing along rage, while the drums bang in hardcore fashion with "It's You I Don't Believe" which is directed towards politicians while "Here's Looking At You Kid" takes the role of peeping pedophilia; just par for the course from this group.

If you aren't laughing at that one, then don't even give The Dwarves a second look, you won't be able to stand the shit they toss at their neighbors in San Francisco during "City By The Bay" and the sexual standards discussed in "Anything That Moves".  The ripping "Devil's Level" and "Everything and Moore" are brief blasts of demonic slamming covered in "blood and cum".

The group broadens its sounds and style a bit with the dance ready "You Turn Me On" but finding a dance club to dance to it in would be trip while "Safe Space" mixes noise rock with samples and off beat screeches to mix things up. Don't fear, tracks like "Down and Dirty" and "Nowhere Fast" find the band back in the bands glam punk sound while the closing duet "The Giver" is a rollicking battle of the sexes.

One of the best tracks from the band is "Julio" which manages to channel Lou Reed, name check Frank Zappa's album and wrap it all up with surf rock style and Mexican flair. "Trace Amounts" also goes more of a pop rock route with a tune about a women who OD's and takes a sad yet not celebratory or judgmental approach; a sobering stance from this group of partying jokers 

While not as instantly enjoyable as the bands last release, 2014's The Dwarves Invented Rock and Roll,  the group still manages to deliver what they have become known for. Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this release is four *GASP* clean versions of songs presented here. The group has always been shock based and longtime fans will be satisfied with those surprises on Take Back The Night.
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Support the band, buy the album and peep some video below:


Phish Announce Summer Festival: Curveball Watkins Glen, NY 8/17-19

Phish has announced it's 11th festival, called Curveball, arriving in Watkins Glen, NY over the weekend of August 18th this summer.
Having attended a few Phish festivals in the past we RtBE know that they throw a hell of a party and usually have all of the bases covered for their fans to have a great time. While our Phish festival attendance days/nights are behind us, there is a good chance we catch these shows on the couch if they are streaming these sets.

To get in the summer Phish festival mood, here are some live clips taken from the bands very first festival The Clifford Ball in 1996. Enjoy:




Monday, February 26, 2018

Dylan Cover #314 Joan Osborne "All Along The Watchtower" 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 Osborn performing "All Along The Watchtower" 

This month RtBE will focus on Joan Osborn who released a cover album of Dylan songs last year. We will showcase some from that album but also a few live renditions that Joan performed as she has been singing Dylan tunes for years in various projects. 

Thoughts on Original:
From our first take on a cover of this:
There are certain songs we are surprised we missed cover versions of in the Bard's back catalog...but "All Along The Watchtower" isn't one of them.  There is a reason we haven't covered a cover version (confusing). As Wilson mentioned in his post back in cover #44 there is only one true version of this song...and that is Mr. Jimi's.
Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Joan Osborne has always been a cool artist on the fringe. When we first moved to NYC she was riding as high as she ever would be (on public popularity at least) with Relish. Her hit "One of Us" was massive and she was everywhere at the time. Then RtBE got to see her perform often with version of The Dead and Phil and Friends over the early/mid 2000's. A singer with soul, twang and power, she can do it all and seems happy to still be performing.

Thoughts on Cover:
Joan joins up with Phil and Friends for this cover version of the Dylan tune that Jimi made his own. She is powerful, fronting the fellas (including great guitarists Trey Anastasio and Larry Campbell) and belting out the tune with a passion and desire that frankly wasn't found on her recent studio release. It is curious as to why Osborn decided against a live album of covers as she clearly shines in that forum. Any which way it was a fun month focusing on Joan Osborn's Dylan covers.

For more insight into Joan Osborn's choice to cover Dylan was explained in-depth during this interview:

Friday, February 23, 2018

Full Show Friday: Bruno Mars 2011

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

We will be honest, we love our Jazz Jan series, but reviewing the numbers each year it seems the public does not. So to recover from the low clicks, we shamelessly move to pop acts in February for RtBE's Full Show Friday features. The truth is that we do not follow the top 100 and have no idea who teenage girls (the demographic the industry directly markets too) are following so we will just go look at the numbers.

This week it is the popular Bruno Mars who seems to never leave the Billboard Top 5. He is a pleasant combination of Stevie, Michael, and Prince without any of their edge. While not a fan of his, we have nothing against him at all. In fact, if that Met shirt in the picture is the truth, we may have to start giving him some more love.

Here he is from 2011. Pro Shot, Pro Sound, Enjoy:


Thursday, February 22, 2018

New Multi-Arts Venue The Shed Opening on The Highline in 2019

Our friends over at Brooklyn Vegan have rounded up a ton of info previewing the new performing arts space called The Shed which is being built on the far west side of Manhattan and is scheduled to open in 2019.
So you may ask why are we dedicating time to this, well it just happens to be one stinking block away from RtBE's base of operations. If this venue turns into something special, as it looks like it could, we would have the shortest commute imaginable to shows.

Indoor Outdoor Hell's Yeah
While we are still a ways away, we are hopeful that this venue is going to transform our neighborhood yet again, this time in a cultural and artistic way that enriches all. There is also going to be a pre-shed set of shows this May in the neighborhood for those interested.

Below are some videos previewing the venue and showing on going construction (which we hear all the time).


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Album Review: The National Parks - Places Deluxe

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of The National Parks newest album Places Deluxe.
We went pretty in-depth with the review, so we won't say too much more. The group clearly had a mission and delivered on it, whether or not that will equate to you digging their songs/pop sound is a whole other ball of vinyl records.

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

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Album Review: Shannon and the Clams - Onion

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of Shannon and the Clams newest release Onion.
We reviewed an album of theirs a long time ago and really dug it, now they come back with their strongest effort and we REALLY dig it. It what has become standard by this point, Dan Auerbach produces an already solid band and gets a great album out of them.

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


Monday, February 19, 2018

Dylan Cover #313 Joan Osborn "Masters of War"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Joan Osborn performing "Masters of War" 
This month RtBE will focus on Joan Osborn who released a cover album of Dylan songs last year. We will showcase some from that album but also a few live renditions that Joan performed as she has been singing Dylan tunes for years in various projects. 

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
Ranking as one of his most accusatory and cutting tracks Dylan condemns the whole "war machine" on this classic and vital song (the "hope that you die" line is so facking cold, it is brutal). Often misrepresented as an attack on war itself (Dylan always said he wasn't a pacifist) this track calls out the government for using war-as-business (the Cold War in particular) and business-as-war models when lives are put on the line for meaningless reasons. As alive and burning now as it was in 1962 when he wrote it.
Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Joan Osborne has always been a cool artist on the fringe. When we first moved to NYC she was riding as high as she ever would be (on public popularity at least) with Relish. Her hit "One of Us" was massive and she was everywhere at the time. Then RtBE got to see her perform often with version of The Dead and Phil and Friends over the early/mid 2000's. A singer with soul, twang and power, she can do it all and seems happy to still be performing.
    
Thoughts on Cover:
A song we had to do on this Presidents Day here in the States. Joan also digs into her vocals here, something she didn't seem to do on the studio tracks we have presented so far this month. Osborn is a live performer first, as she embodies the emotional pain for this number.

For more insight into Joan Osborn's choice to cover Dylan was explained in-depth during this interview:

Friday, February 16, 2018

Full Show Friday: Drake BMWT London 2017

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..Drake.


We will be honest, we love our Jazz Jan series, but reviewing the numbers each year it seems the public does not. So to recover from the low clicks, we shamelessly move to pop acts in February for RtBE's Full Show Friday features. The truth is that we do not follow the top 100 and have no idea who teenage girls (the demographic the industry directly markets too) are following so we will just go look at the numbers.

Drake is again on top of the Billboard chart, this time with "God's Plan" so it is only natural to feature him during these pop Full Show Friday's. RtBE are not big fans of the man and find his albums dull, but we are clearly in the minority on that. Here is his tour from last year with the full setlist below. Enjoy:



Trophies - 00:17 Started From The Bottom - 02:00 Headlines - 05:25 HYFR - 07:05 0-100 - 10:27 9 - 14:15 Still Here - 16:11 Childs Play - 17:44 Feel No Ways - 21:41 Worst Behaviour - 26:52 We Made It - 27:13 Blessings - 27:46 All Me - 28:11 Versace - 28:41 Pop That - 29:17 Over - 29:31 I'm On One - 30:10 Up All Night - 31:02 Miss Me - 31:19 Successful - 31:29 Wanna Know Remix - 32:59 Hotline Bling (removed) Hold on We're Going Home - 34:48 The Motto - 41:29 Right Hand - 42:59 For Free - 43:38 My Way - 45:17 Jumpman - 47:43 Giggs - Whippin Excursion - 49:33 Work - 52:39 Too Good - 54:37 Controlla - 57:22 One Dance - 59:36 Pop Style - 01:03:21 Know Yourself - 01:05:25 Energy - 01:09:15 Fake Love - 01:11:44 Legend - 01:13:31

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Album Review: Inara George - Dearest Everybody

Inara George 
Dearest Everybody
*** out of *****

Inara George’s newest solo album Dearest Everybody is an organic stroll through heartache and the longing to connect in both life and the ways we all uniquely have a relationship with loss. Her first solo adventure since 2009’s Accidental Experimental finds George delivering unique lyrics, around engaging musical arraignments which all sound fresh and alive. 

“Young Adult” starts the record by confidentially dealing with confusion of growing up. The lyrics remain hopeful amidst the uncertainty while pianos and bass lay the foundation before the chorus coalesces with grandeur. Rain drops and banjo color “Crazy” feeling like a spring morning stroll along a stone path in a garden

The sparseness of “A Bridge” puts the showcase squarely on George’s voice. The track layers her vocals and breathy “ooh and aahs” to completely wash the listener in her sound and nothing else. That layering also shows up for “Somewhere New” augmented by clapping and light strings but this disk is designed to shine the light on George’s voice; her singing throughout is wonderful as she moves from high fluttering to a warm soulful directness that spawns empathy.

The soft rock of “Slow Dance” gently picks up the musical pace while “All for All” has a baroque childish quality to it dealing with clich├ęs in a Simon and Garfunkel vibe. “Stars” seems like it could have been at home on Father John Misty’s most recent release while “House on Valentine” uses muted horns and a light march to try to say goodnight to the past in a very effecting way. At times when George goes too airy there can be a flimsy quality to the track but when the musical style matches the substance she succeeds.

That combo clearly arrives on her most complete effort, the torch song “Release Me”. The soulful effort displays warm rich bass, organ work and softly picking acoustic guitar, all overshadowed by a vocal that drips with emotion. Written from her mother’s point of view after the death of her father, the track smolders and still manages to exude positivity. 

The daughter of Little Feat’s Lowell George, Inara has unique musical interpretations flowing through her and some of the effortless sounding tracks here prove that. However, it is her singing, hard work and life experiences which imbibe Dearest Everybody with both heartache and hope.   
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Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Typhoid Rosie New Single "Sailing On" Album Due Next Month

We reviewed some damn good pop punk earlier with Superchunk's new protest album, so why not hype a perfectly named band for this day, Typhoid Rosie.

The Brooklyn poppy punk indie outfit have a new single titled "Sailing On" which is full of sing a long woahs and an upbeat vibe. Check it out:


Brooklyn's Typhoid Rosie have announced plans to release their third LP, This Is Now, on March 23. Keep an eye out for it.

Album Review: Superchunk - What a Time to Be Alive

Superchunk
What a Time to Be Alive
**** out of *****

The North Carolina based Superchunk have been in this game for over 30 years producing some screeching upbeat power/pop, emo/punk including a long recording pause before successfully returning to the fray in 2010 with Majesty Shredding. While that album dealt with universal angst of growing old, on What a Time to be Alive the group dips directly into youth punk aggression against a President/political movement they clearly hate.

There hasn't been many high profile protest punk albums regarding this administration (more in the vein of doom and gloom than out and out hate/resistance) and none have been as melodic as this release.

Opening with the title track the group gloriously states their intention from the drop while never expressly naming their villains, the message is clear with the booming chorus of "To see the rot in no disguise/ Oh what a time to be alive/ The scum, the shame, the fucking lies/ Oh what a time to be alive." Musically the track soars before the driving hardcore of "Lost My Brain" uses pounding drums to call for change. The Cheap Trick sounding "Break the Glass" calls for direct violence and protest with it's pop punk drive.   

Not many metaphors in the lyrics as Superchunk are proclaiming the world/youth has given up on this administration and its supporters. "Cloud of Hate"(direct at just over a minute) explodes with a hardcore ferocity exclaiming "You broke the world/that you're not long for" and also damning "I hope you die scared" while  "All For You" has a nonviolent person calling out for a fight over rising chords. This track picks up on the emo side of the groups lyrics proclaiming the phrase "I don't like to get hit" (which completely matches Mac McCaughan whine of a voice) but they are willing to take those punches this go around, as are a million more with them.

Perhaps the best combination of the groups tuneful nature and modern day anger comes in the form of "Erasure" which has Waxahatchee and Stephin Merritt on board to help out with vocals for the chorus. The upbeat gorgeous guitars, slamming drums and deep bass match with the dreamy vocals about hatred which is fleeting and the resistance which will outlast via the lines "Hate so graceless and so cavalier/ We don't just disappear/ Shifting shapes you're just an auctioneer/ But we're still here"

"Dead Photographers" is a burning arena ready bass heavy banger while "I Got Cut" screeches with layers of guitars as it slams/bangs with aggression, yet the band can't help but stay tuneful with a shaking tambourine and the plain as day line "All these old men won't die to soon/flesh balloons". "Black Thread" closes things by easing back on the throttle focusing on images of escapism as well as soaring backing vocals to end the album on a message and sound of positive change (as well as a smoking guitar solo).

The song "Reagan Youth" name checks the punk legends history of protest while sadly realizing that it is going to take more than defiant music this go around for things to change. That said, this is the kind of  triumphant protest music that acts as the soundtrack for change, What a Time to Be Alive injects Superchunk into the modern day discussions with an album as alive and vital as any in their 30 year career. 
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Support the band, buy the album, peep some video below:

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

All on a Mardi Gras Day!

Today is Fat Tuesday so live it up. If you are lucky enough to be in the Big Easy enjoy yourself. If you are anywhere else, party like you are in NOLA. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
2011 Mardi Gras Parade
Marching Bands Down Canal St.
Mardi Gras Pirates from 1930's
1910 New Orleans Mardi Gras
To help you get in the mood, here are some applicable tunes starting with the fantastic Professor Longhair:





Monday, February 12, 2018

Dylan Cover #312 Joan Osborn "Tangled Up In Blue"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Joan Osborn performing "Tangled Up In Blue" 

This month RtBE will focus on Joan Osborn who released a cover album of Dylan songs last year. We will showcase some from that album but also a few live renditions that Joan performed as she has been singing Dylan tunes for years in various projects. 

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this track:
Wow. The song that never ends, the tune that might just best sum up Dylan, if that is remotely possible. Dylan constantly toyed with this song (check out the Rolling Thunder and Real Live version's if you haven't yet) and even he knows it can't stay stagnant in one form for long, so covering it is a good bet.  Needless to say it is in the top 5 greatest songs he ever wrote if we were ranking them...hmm. 
Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Joan Osborne has always been a cool artist on the fringe. When we first moved to NYC she was riding as high as she ever would be (on public popularity at least) with Relish. Her hit "One of Us" was massive and she was everywhere at the time. Then RtBE got to see her perform often with version of The Dead and Phil and Friends over the early/mid 2000's. A singer with soul, twang and power, she can do it all and seems happy to still be performing.
  
Thoughts on Cover:
Coming from her album of covers, this one has some rich organ/key work and the production is organic, rich and warm. The bass bubbles along with the drums as well as a bit of pedal steel in the background, but if we are being honest Joan's vocals are average at best. This version does nothing to stand out.

This monthly focus proves that Osborn really loves the live stage and seems to tolerate the studio as a means to an end, even when singing the Bard's tunes.

For more insight into Joan Osborn's choice to cover Dylan was explained in-depth during this interview:

Friday, February 9, 2018

Full Show Friday: Ed Sheeran - Multiply Live in Dublin

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....Ed Sheeran

We will be honest, we love our Jazz Jan series, but reviewing the numbers each year it seems the public does not. So to recover from the low clicks, we shamelessly move to pop acts in February for RtBE's Full Show Friday features. The truth is that we do not follow the top 100 and have no idea who teenage girls (the demographic the industry directly markets too) are following so we will just go look at the numbers.

We are familiar with Mr. Sheeran, seen him in Game of Thrones, and even were at Jazzfest the same day he played which dropped the average of attendees dramatically. We have even featured him two times in our Monday Dylan Series. He is still sticking around the Billboard Hot 100 with his song "Perfect" so that gets him a nod for this feature.

Today we have a full show of his from his Multiply tour live from Dublin, Ireland. Full Set List and timing below. Enjoy:


Set List: 00:12 | You Need Me, I Don't Need You 12:35 | Lego House 16:33 | Don't 21:32 | Little Bird 25:30 | I See Fire 32:24 | One 36:25 | Drunk 40:25 | Take It Back 46:25 | Be My Husband (Nina Simone Cover) 55:30 | Tenerife Sea 1:00:40 | Give Me Love 1:11:00 | The Parting Glass 1:16:04 | The A Team 1:21:10 | Sing

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Album Review: The James Hunter Six - Whatever It Takes

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of the newest release from The James Hunter Six titled Whatever It Takes.
The retro-soul album was released on the fantastic Daptone Records and the band/label are a match made in heaven. RtBE has been listening to a lot of classic soul over the past few weeks and this album goes right back to those sources.

It is a short album that completely does the job. The only reason we didn't rate it higher than eight stars was there isn't a standout single, but that is small potatoes when all the songs are high quality.

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

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Album Review: Bonsai Universe - Moonstream

Bonsai Universe
Moonstream
***and1/2 out of *****

The first release from Bonsai Universe is the psychedelic pop based Moonstream. The new project is the brainchild of Woody Aplanalp resulting in an odd mix of hippie-electro grooves supplemented by quirky yet polished backing sounds and sweet vocals.

The opening title track sets the scene, talking about traveling on a moonbeam through celestial galaxies as the vocals take center stage with wah-wah effects, a funky bass line and percussive clicks all accompanying the listener on the interplanetary journey through time and space. Those odds sounds stick around for the more organic acoustic strumming of "Am I Good Enough" keeping things a little off-kilter so it doesn't slip into "sho-ba-dooby" bubblegum nonsense.

Aplanalp has had a varied career, mixing with the avant-garde (playing with the Nels Cline Trio) to the highest of pop success (touring with both Bobby Womack and Aloe Blacc). Those worlds seem to be in play on all of his songs in a tug of war between artistic experiments while shooting for mass appeal.

"Sweet Exaggeration" uses a funky beat, excellent acoustic picking and scat singing to move into a Jamiroquai-light zone; an engaging number that speaks to both Aplanalp's influences and his strengths. Both "Summertime Gone" and "A Lot of Nerve" travel more acoustic routes while "Why Are My Dreams" and "Astronic" play up the electronic side of things.

The most interesting tunes come out of Aplanalp's desire to combine both of these worlds, such as on the swirling standout success, "Once Upon A Dream". The track manages to touch on all of the areas Aplanalp has been exploring and coalesces into a dynamite offering with organic artistic flourishes and electronic touches that combine pop sensibilities into an infectious track that speaks to both the ears and heart. 

Things on Moonstream could use some editing at times as "Walking With My Eyes Closed" goes on too long with little variation while "Too Real" shoots for grandiose but never reaches it's goal. "Should I Believe You" floats away into the cosmos with nothing tethering it to earth a lyrically there are a lot of rhymes and multiple syllables, but not a whole lot being said except for escapism, which at times, can be enough.

While the record is clearly Alplanalp's baby some other friends are along to help out including drummer Anthony Logerfo (Promise of the Real, Neil Young). Also present are Paul Lacques (I See Hawks in LA) on dobro and guitar, Jason Chesney and Justin Smith (Old Californio) play bass and sing vocals respectively, while Miguel Atwood-Ferguson arranged strings.

The closing "Starstream" comes full circle to the opening track and again wants to slip away into outer space. For an artist who started playing music because he thought The Beatles sounded cool, there is a lot of the Fab Four (from all stages of their career) directly present, but updated for 2018 on Moonstream. The professional sideman has crafted an engaging release and Bonsai Universe will hopefully prove to be a a new jumping off point in his career, placing him center stage.
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Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Album Review: Palm - Rock Island

Palm 
Rock Island
**and1/2 out of *****

The four piece Palm are an ambitious art-rock group from Philly whose whacked out newest release Rock Island is a mind altering dose of bizarre.

The group likes to claim it "plays rock music backwards" and the opening "Pearly" clearly sets that tone as it oddly starts with digital beats and swirling sounds that twist around through out the track. Disjointed but still appealing the song finds guitarist/vocalist Eve Alpert singing softly as the music shifts around her. "Composite" is more of a straight ahead 60's ballad until a rapid tempo change that moves the backing music frantically forward, then shifts back to slow, back to fast back to slow all around Kasra Kurt's sweet singing; this is ADD music.

That can't-sit-still feeling is every year, there is rarely a groove that lasts, and while off putting and headache inducing at times, this adventurous programming and playing can also be rewarding for those willing to give it a go. Think of a sedated version of  Man Man and you are in the ballpark.

The MIDI effects for "Dog Milk" have calypso steel drums mixing with its twitching snares as it builds but also repeats ad nauseam.  "Forced Hand" clatters and bangs behind the breathy vocals as the cacophony never stops and that free jazz like playing is also present on the upbeat "Color Code" which uses sound effects to freak things out even more. The Rock Island in the title seems tropical as the theme flowing throughout (and on "Theme From Rock Island") is light, slightly whimsical and airy with Caribbean overtones.

It is impossible to recommend Rock Island to everyone as some people like to now exactly where their music is taking them, but for fans of "out there" art pop/rock you will want to book a ticket to Palm's Rock Island.
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Support the band, buy their album on bandcamp and peep some video below:



Monday, February 5, 2018

Dylan Cover #311 Joan Osborne "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Joan Osborn performing "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" 
This month RtBE will focus on Joan Osborn who released a cover album of Dylan songs last year. We will showcase some from that album but also a few live renditions that Joan performed as she has been singing Dylan tunes for years in various projects. 

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we addressed this cover:
A great song, and one that sounds so simple. It always felt to me that these are the kind of songs Dylan has seeping out of his pores, with lines like "Tailgates and Substitutes" that anywhere else would sound foolish yet here works wonders. The musical backing from the original Band version is loose and matched fantastically with the lyrics. I am sure it wasn't as easy going as it sounds on the final version, but what a gem of a track.
Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Joan Osborne has always been a cool artist on the fringe. When we first moved to NYC she was riding as high as she ever would be (on public popularity at least) with Relish. Her hit "One of Us" was massive and she was everywhere at the time. Then RtBE got to see her perform often with version of The Dead and Phil and Friends over the early 2000's. A singer with soul, twang and power, she can do it all and seems happy to still be performing.
    
Thoughts on Cover:
So the first of our monthly focus is fine. Straight ahead, not much different than the original. Joan's voice is warm as always, but otherwise there isn't a lot to write home about. A lackluster start to the month so things can only improve. 

For more insight into Joan Osborn's choice to cover Dylan was explained in-depth during this interview:

Paul Simon Announces Homeward Bound- The Farewell Tour

While the phrase "never say never" is always applicable in these situations, it looks like Paul Simon is about to hang it up and finish touring with the announcement of Homeward Bound - The Farewell Tour.
Photo by Jessica Gilbert, Image Courtesy of Legacy Recordings
Tour dates are below and it seems Rhymin' Simon is calling it quits, who can blame him, he has lasted longer than most. Some more info:
According to Simon, the Homeward Bound tour is a fitting culmination of a performing career that began in the early 1960s and has coincided with his artistic journey as a songwriter and recording artist until the present day. 
He said of this farewell tour, “I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to reach the point where I'd consider bringing my performing career to a natural end. Now I know: it feels a little unsettling, a touch exhilarating and something of a relief. I love making music, my voice is still strong, and my band is a tight, extraordinary group of gifted musicians. I think about music constantly. I am very grateful for a fulfilling career and, of course, most of all to the audiences who heard something in my music that touched their hearts.”
RtBE have had the pleasure of seeing him a few times in a various incarnations, (even singing a duet with one of the sites heroes) so this is far from a sad day, but we can say if you can check him out on this tour you should as he is an artist worth seeing live and he is right; his band is always tight. 

There are no hometown NYC dates in this announcement, so it is a safe bet more dates will follow, but for now you can buy tickets this week for the dates below. We will also add a few live Simon tunes from throughout his career to get you in the mood: 




The Itinerary for Paul Simon’s Homeward Bound – The Farewell Tour is as follows:
North America
DATE
CITY
VENUE
ON SALE (All Times Local)
May 16Vancouver, BCRogers ArenaFri, Feb. 9 @ 10am
May 18Seattle, WAKey ArenaFri, Feb. 9 @ 10am
May 19Portland,  ORMODA CenterFri, Feb. 9 @ 10am
May 22Los Angeles, CAHollywood BowlFri, Feb. 9 @ 10am
May 23Los Angeles, CAHollywood BowlFri, Feb. 9 @ 10am
May 25Oakland, CAOracle ArenaFri, Feb. 9 @ 10am
May 27Las Vegas, NVMGM Grand Garden ArenaFri, Feb. 9 @ 10am
May 30Denver, COFiddler's GreenFri, Feb. 9 @ 10am
June 1Dallas, TXAmerican Airlines ArenaFri, Feb. 9 @ 10am
June 2Houston, TXToyota CenterFri, Feb. 9 @ 10am
June 4Austin, TXFrank Erwin CenterFri, Feb. 9 @ 10am
June 6Chicago, ILUnited CenterSat, Feb 10 @ 10am
June 8St. Paul, MNXcel Energy CenterSat, Feb 10 @ 10am
June 10Detroit, MIDTE Energy CenterFri, Feb. 9 @ 10am
June 12Toronto, ONAir Canada CentreFri, Feb. 9 @ 12pm
June 13Montreal, QCBell CentreSat, Feb 10 @ 12pm
June 15Boston, MATD GardenSat, Feb 10 @ 10am
June 16Philadelphia, PAWells Fargo CenterSat, Feb 10 @ 10am
June 19Greensboro, NCGreensboro ColiseumFri, Feb. 9 @ 10am
June 20Nashville, TNBridgestone ArenaSat, Feb 10 @ 10am
UK & Europe
DATE
CITY
VENUE
ON SALE (All Times Local)
June 30Stockholm, SWEDENEricsson GlobeThu, Feb 8 @ 9am
July 1Oslo, NORWAYSpektrumThu, Feb 8 @ 9am
July 3Copenhagen, DENMARKRoyal ArenaThu, Feb 8 @ 9am
July 5Antwerp, BELGIUMSportpaleisThu, Feb 8 @ 10am
July 7Amsterdam, HOLLANDZiggo DomeFri, Feb 9 @ 11am
July 10Manchester, UKManchester ArenaFri, Feb. 9 @ 10am
July 11Glasgow, UKSSE HydroFri, Feb. 9 @ 10am
July 13Dublin, IRELAND*RDS ArenaMon, Feb 12 @ 10am
July 15London, UK*Hyde Park, BST FestivalOn Sale Now
* With Very Special Guests James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt