Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Album Review: Hot Snakes - Jericho Sirens

Hot Snakes
Jericho Sirens
*** out of *****

On Hot Snakes first full length in over thirteen years the post hardcore rockers continue their unique brand of a punk rock that mixes arty flashes with punching low end work.

Jericho Sirens collection of ten short tracks runs the gamut from out and out fury to more restrained nuanced tracks. Vocally front man Rick Froberg still can scream or strain with the best of them while lyrically remains arty and aloof with more colors of sound than coherent thoughts or screeds against specific topics.

The group kicks down the down with it's most aggressive offerings right out the box. "I Need A Doctor" is a cry for help blasting forward in punk fashion while "Candid Cameras" gets angular with guitars and engaging drum work. Having two drummers is unique for any punk band and
Jason Kourkounis and Mario Rubalcaba along for the ride can inject an interesting dynamic at times.

A more direct rocker is the countdown closing "Death Camp Fantasy" which, despite it's title is the most pop punk track here. Metallic scratchy guitars and feedback color "Having Another?" while the engaging low end groove pushes "Death Doula" in ominous fashion before the closer "Death Of A Sportsman" pays tribute to one of the bands big influences, Suicide.

The groups intriguing appeal shows up in the middle of the disk with three tracks in a row. Their most aggressive offering, "Why Don't It Sink In?" gallops hard at a minute twenty before the swinging bar rock of "Six Wave Hold-Down" completely shifts gears and the marching doom laden title track closes things. Safe to say not all fans will like all three tracks, but their lies the appeal of the group; fans of interesting hard rock will find something to latch on to.

Sub Pop has released this record and plan to re-release their back catalog so a new generation of arty punk rockers can get down with Hot Snakes; Jericho Sirens is a confident return for the band.
Support the band, buy the album peep some video below:

Monday, March 19, 2018

Dylan Cover #317 Lukas Kowalski "Jokerman" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is live a cover by Lukas Kowalski playing "Jokerman"

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
The kick-start to his "back to rock and roll" album Infidels, "Jokerman" is a monster. A torrent of images, symbols, thoughts, proclamations, fears and fables; it feels like a dam was broken in Dylan's brain and all of these things just poured out. Musically it moves along but doesn't add much to the towering wordplay as the tune is dominated by the lyrics which seem almost never ending; Dylan has penned wordier tunes, but few feel as heavy as this. Flawed, but reaching for something, it is a not a great Dylan song but it is one that lets us peak into his brain a bit. For more on this tune, check out this post.

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Have never heard of Lukas Kowalski before. Not much found out about him, but he has a few other videos on his Youtube page.

Thoughts on Cover:
This is a stunning rendition of the the tune. The loops and FX work really add a lot to it, but Kowalski's vocals remind a lot of Mark Knopfler and hold up on their own as well. A pretty and confident version that once again makes this series such a joy every Monday. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wishing everyone a happy, safe and fun St. Patrick's Day from RtBE and we might as well throw in a self plug.

Here is Angels & Vagabonds Irish inspired tune, "Queens Boulevard Serenade":

The story goes; in the lead up to our first St. Paddy's Day gig we were working on some traditional Irish songs to play and our lead singer/keyboard player Don McNally realized they were basically all the same chords just re-arraigned.

So the Irish American from Woodside, NY dug into his past and crafted QBS. He brought it to the group and after a few tweaks it was ready for prime time, we actually played it only about a week after it was written. There is a little inside baseball into our process, now go celebrate by hoisting a pint....Happy St. Paddy's!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Full Show Friday: Mavis Staples @ Museum of Making Music Carlsbad, CA 2015

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...Mavis Staples!

This week we shine a light on an American legend as Mavis Staples and her band take center stage for an hour of tunes. The soulful mix of gospel rock, funk and roots rock is infectious. We caught her on this tour opening for Bob Dylan out in Queens and last year we caught her with this lineup open once again for Bob Dylan. We should also share our lover for her Jeff Tweedy produced album even rating it high in our year end review.

On this night of music covers from The Talking Heads and Parliament Funkadelic are sprinkled in with originals for this great set. Not pro shot or pro sound, but pretty damn close...Enjoy:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Album Review: Wild Child - Expectations

Wild Child
***and 1/2 out of *****

The fourth album from the Austin, TX based Wild Child is a long running, high minded pop excursion titled Expectations. Their are a lot of ideas and approaches presented here as the band expands upon their sound for their most confident release yet. 

The self described seven piece pop mini orchestra has Kelsey Wilson on violin and vocals; Alexander Beggins on ukulele and vocals; Sadie Wolfe on cello; Matt Bradshaw on keyboards, trumpet, and harmonica; Tom Myers on drums; Cody Ackors on guitar and trombone; and Tyler Osmond on bass. The players run the gamut on Expectations with stripped down direct numbers to overloaded anthems as the band lets everything plus the kitchen sink fly this go around.

The opener "Alex" is an easy rolling light funky joint that is highlighted by the duet vocals of Wilson and Beggins. Their vocal intertwining is magical when it is worked out, especially on the stripped down relationship honesty of "The One" which highlights the bands lyrical powers. "Follow Me" is another song that focuses on the craft with breathy vocals augmented by piano, well placed horns and bass notes to mellow things out.

The bands acoustic tendencies get many airings such as the light downbeat "Sinking Ship", the dramatic swells of "My Town" and the violin lead "Eggshells" which goes on a bit too long. These tracks aren't duds, but the band seems to work better when they can all contribute and elevate songs in a more upbeat fashion. "Back & Forth" breaks out the big horns for a successful soul shaker, the title track injects some rough noise rock and goes for the gusto with a huge chorus. "Break You Down" wins with hand claps, closing horn work all around a gorgeous bass line while "Think It Over" is a more restrained groove that is a hell of a jam about infidelity and cheating.

The band worked with a whose who of indie rock artists as producers: Chris Walla (formerly of Death Cab for Cutie), Matthew Logan Vasquez (Delta Spirit), Chris Boosahda (Shakey Graves), Scott McMicken (Dr. Dog), Adrian Quesada (Grupo Fantasma), and Max Frost. While all of these artists have been influences on the band (and can be heard in various tracks on Expectations) the group that they kept yearning to be compared to in these ears is another Austin outfit, Spoon. Wild Child has a more organic/acoustic vibe but their counterparts in Spoon seem to share the same passion for intricate pop numbers that are always focused on the totality of the song.

An long invested album, Expectations finds Wild Child putting it all on the line and succeeding.
A bandcamp find we were very happy to come across. Support the band, buy the album or stream it on bandcamp, and peep some video below:

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Live Review: Steve Winwood @ NJPAC 3/8/18

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of Steve Winwood's show from Newark, New Jersey's NJPAC on March 8th 2018.

The night was pretty dynamite and while we didn't take to Mr. Neto's lead guitar work that much, everything else was fantastic. If you can catch him on this tour do it, you will not be let down. High praise should also go out to NJPAC, it is a glorious venue and RtBE can not wait to catch another show there.

Support the artist, read the review and peep some video below from this and other recent shows:

Band of Horses Touring in 2018

Following on the heels of one of RtBE favorites the Arctic Monkey's announcing a tour, we have another RtBE band we dig doing the same. Band of Horses will be touring this summer and are also in the process of recording new tunes.
The full tour dates are below, and we will be catching them in the gorgeous Capital Theater on August 10th when the tour comes (close) to NYC. Fan Pre-sale is on now, on-sale to the public on Friday. To get in the mood peep some live video of the band below:

Band of Horses — 2018 Tour Dates
4/20 – Monterrey, MX – Pal Norte Festival
4/21 – Charleston, SC – High Water Festival
7/28 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom*
7/29 – Wichita, KS – Cotillion Ballroom*
7/31 – Springfield, MO – Gillioz Theatre *
8/1 – Kansas City, MO – Crossroads*
8/3 – Hinterland Festival Saint Charles, IA
8/4 – Peoria, IL – Peoria Riverfront Stage – Festival Park*
8/5 – Memphis, TN – Orpheum*
8/7 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s*
8/8 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom*
8/10 – Port Chester, NY – Capitol Theatre*
8/11 – Portsmouth, NH – Prescott Park – Free
8/12 – Providence, RI – The Strand Theatre*
8/14 – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony Summer Stage
8/15 – Richmond, VA – The National*
8/17 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz*
8/18 – Asheville, NC – Meadow @ Highland Brewing Co.*

* – w/ Bonny Doon

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Arctic Monkeys Announce North American Summer 2018 Tour

The fantastic Arctic Monkeys will be back on the road this summer playing to some festival dates and other one off stops on a North American tour.
They will be playing July 24th out in Forest Hills for their New York City date and RtBE will be there as we love this band and have seen them play each time they have been in town. Rumor has it that a new album is almost done so there could be new tunes popping up at these shows as well.

To get in the mood here are some live clips from the band with the full tour dates below:

Arctic Monkeys North American Tour Dates

May 5 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Forever Cemetery

June 14-17 – Dover, DE – Firefly Festival

June 16 – Raleigh, NC – Red Hat Amphitheater

June 18 – Nashville, TN – Ascend Amphitheater

June 19 – Atlanta, GA – Coca Cola Roxy Theatre

July 24 – Queens, NY – Forest Hills Stadium

July 27 – Boston, MA – TD Garden

July 28 – Washington, DC – The Anthem

July 31 – Pittsburgh, PA – Petersen Events center

August 1 – Detroit, MI – Masonic Temple Theatre

August 5 – Toronto, ONT – Air Canada Centre

Album Review: David Byrne - American Utopia

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

It is of David Byrne's newest release, American Utopia.
Byrne has been working on a series titled Reasons To Be Cheerful which includes speeches art and this album. In the press release for the record he even asks the question, Am I being serious? It is tough to tell on American Utopia, but the worst part was it didn't make me care about cheer, ironic actions or the songs themselves.

On first listen nothing worked for us. In reviewing the album for Glide we gave it multiple listens to dig into it and very little was illuminated. The silly/pointless lyrical songs stand out, the mix of organic/programmed is constant, and the one truly saving grace of the whole thing is Byrne's amazing vocals; a friend of the site's once commented "It sounds like he has been gargling with milk and ice cubes all of these years".

Byrne is clearly an artist, sometimes to his detriment and American Utopia seems to be one of these times.You may also notice on this review that we do not write the headlines for Glide...

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

Monday, March 12, 2018

Dylan Cover #316 CJ Ramone "My Back Pages" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by CJ Ramone 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?


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
A later day member of The Ramones and the singer of this cover track from Acid Eaters (which we already featured in this series). Today though we get a live acoustic cover from CJ and supporters. Oh and if you want to know how we feel about his band; they are one of the greatest American bands of all time.

Thoughts on Cover:
After a false start this is a fun upbeat cover in a live setting. Nothing mind blowing, but nothing harmful to the ears either. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Full Show Friday: Merle Haggard Live at Church Street Station 1988

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...Merle Haggard!

This week we focus on the country legend Merle Haggard. The man is an icon and while he isn't our favorite of the genre, he is really damn solid, so why not spend a nice Friday with some country classics like "Mamma Tried" and "The Bottle Let Me Down" among others.

The show was actually filmed in 1988 at the The Cheyenne Saloon and Opera House' located in Orlando, Florida. Pro shot, Pro Sound, Full set list with timing below. Enjoy:

Merle Haggard live at Church Street Station.

1. Twinkle Twinkle Star (0:50) 2. If You Want to Be My Woman (5:15) 3. Workin' Man Blues (8:50) 4. Always Late (11:41) 5. T.B. Blues (15:14) 6. Folsom Prison Blues (18:28) 7. Footlights (21:40) 8. Big City (25:48) 9. Mama Tried (28:39) 10. Medley: Brain Cloudy Blues / Milk Cow Blues (31:40) 11. Begging to You (36:30) 12. The Bottle Let Me Down (39:03) 13. What Am I Gonna Do (44:00) 14. Ida Red (47:58) 15. San Antonio Rose (50:14) 16. Corrine, Corrina (53:40) 17. Take Me Back to Tulsa (55:55) 18. Medley: Faded Love / A Maiden's Prayer (58:02) 19. Fiddle Breakdown (1:01:54) 20. Right or Wrong (1:04:45) 21. Ramblin' Fever (1:07:34) 22. That's the Way Love Goes (1:11:21) 23. Today I Started Loving You Again (1:14:25) 24. Okie from Muskogee (1:17:50) 25. The Fightin' Side of Me (1:20:55)

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Album Review: Barrence Whitfield and The Savages - Soul Flowers of Titan

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of Barrence Whitfield and The Savages newest release, Soul Flowers of Titan.
This group of players keep putting out damn good retro soul music. We were lucky enough to review a few albums of theirs now and each one is tight.

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

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Album Review: The Breeders - All Nerve

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of The Breeders newest release, All Nerve.
This is a damn good record.We didn't like the bands last few releases, but this one stacks up. Support the band, read the review, buy the album and peep some video below:

Two New Hold Steady Songs Released

In advance of this weekends shows in London (have fun Meg) The Hold Steady has released two new tracks that they will be debuting live in London.
They did the same thing back in November before their Massive Nights run, and a new album seems pretty certain at this point.

You can stream both of the tracks below and we dig them more than the first two the band released. There is still a sense of demo, or working things out, Craig Finn on "Eureka" seems to be vocally laid back while cramming lots of words home and the multi instrumentation comes out "Esther" with horns and tambourines.

Hope the Unified Crew is on point this weekend in London. Cheers.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Album Review: Titus Andronicus - A Productive Cough

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of Titus Andronicus newest release, A Productive Cough.
This is a different outing from the group, which is basically Patrick Stickles and friends at this point. Instead of feedback he goes for layers of instrumentation and singing. The album might not be for everyone but we enjoy his style, especially when experimenting, even if not all the songs succeed.

We love "Above The Bodega (Local Business)", it is one of our favorite tracks of the year so far. Support the band,  read the review, buy the album and peep some video (and a documentary on the album) below:

Wayne Kramer Announces “Kick Out the Jams: The 50th Anniversary Tour”

The dangerous Detroit dynamo Wayne Kramer has announced a tour to celebrate the MC5's amazing debut live album Kick Out The Jams

He has a lot to say about it, but what caught RtBE's eye is the amazing lineup that will be touring with Kramer: 
Brother Wayne on guitar along with guitarist Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), drummer Brendan Canty (Fugazi), bassist Dug Pinnick (King’s X), and the afro’d secret weapon frontman, 6-foot-7-inch Marcus Durant (Zen Guerrilla)
That is a bad ass lineup and one we hope to catch playing live. Full dates will be announced in the upcoming weeks, but here's hoping the tour and lineup click. To get in the mood here is some classic MC5:

Monday, March 5, 2018

Dylan Cover #315 Scuntz "Boots of Spanish Leather" 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 Scuntz of the Dylan tune "Boots Of Spanish Leather"

Thoughts On Original:
From the first time we highlighted someone covering this tune:
One of the first Dylan songs that really bowled me over. I know on the Times They Are a-Changin' there are a ton of epic songs but this was the track that stayed with me the longest. It is ghostly in it's presentation and still just as dynamic now as when he wrote it back in 1963. My favorite show I have seen Dylan play live was back in 1999 at the RPI Fieldhouse. The whole night was great, my favorite backing band of his since The Band, a tiny venue and a setlist that was magical. One of the major highlights was "Boots of Spanish Leather", I need to break out that bootleg this week and re-live that great night.

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Not much known about Scuntz, except he seems to like fly fishing, cooking/eating good food and playing banjo. What more do you really need?
Thoughts on Cover:
A fun. fan made video that becomes hypnotic in both singing and playing as it progress. We love the added chorus help at the end to close out the track as well. A pleasant, smile inducing version for this Monday. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Full Show Friday: Metallica - Fran├žais Pour une Nuit 2009

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...Metallica!

Since we reviewed various shades of metal/punk/indie rock this week and since they just announced North American tour dates, we figured this first Friday in March will belong to Metallica.

This is their officially released Francais Pour une Nuit which was recorded on July 7th 2009 on their Death Magnetic World tour. Pro Shot, Pro Sound, Full Set List Below, Enjoy:

  1. "The Ecstasy of Gold(Intro) – 2:40
  2. "Blackened" – 5:40
  3. "Creeping Death" – 6:25
  4. "Fuel" – 4:33
  5. "Harvester of Sorrow" – 6:07
  6. "Fade to Black" – 8:40
  7. "Broken, Beat & Scarred" – 6:35
  8. "Cyanide" – 7:52
  9. "Sad but True" – 5:43
  10. "One" – 7:53
  11. "All Nightmare Long" – 9:32
  12. "The Day That Never Comes" – 8:30
  13. "Master of Puppets" – 8:40
  14. "Dyers Eve" – 6:36
  15. "Nothing Else Matters" – 5:54
  16. "Enter Sandman" – 9:20
  17. "Stone Cold Crazy" – 2:30
  18. "Motorbreath" – 5:44
  19. "Seek & Destroy" – 13:07

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Album Review: Moaning - Moaning

*** out of *****

The debut self titled release form the LA based Moaning is a mix of dreamy pop with noise blasts and shoe gazing passages.

The trio, Sean Solomon, Pascal Stevenson, and Andrew MacKelvie use guitar bass drums and synths to cast a pretty spell over their mid level tunes. The first few titles do an admirable job in describing the music contained in the songs as opener "Don't Go" is a fuzzy plea for sticking around and "Tired" pumps up the keys and slips into dream pop.

The more angular "Artifical" has waves of emotion all pushed ahead by gorgeous bass work and a soaring questioning chorus. The positive track allows the band to flesh out their musical impulses with slashing guitars while keep an engaging pulsing rhythm yet never dirtying up their overall sound.   

The band plays with new wave multiple times as "The Same" recalls The Smiths blase and "Close" pumps synth work but keeps the fuzzy guitars to scratch up the edges. Another interesting mix of styles is "Does This Work For You" which plays in Sonic Youth noise rock territory however the buzzsaw guitar noise/feedback is mixed down to easily digestible levels, never overwhelming any of the sweet synth sounds, even with an extended outro. 

The "Misheard" uses a poppy rhythm and "For Now" adds an engaging dance beat behind mumbled lyrics and electronic strings while "Useless" goes back to their new wave with a hard edge style. Closer "Somewhere In There" has the makings of light arena rock behind the tom rolls and driving guitars, ending the record with an easy blow out. 

Sub Pop has been steadily releasing great music, since RtBE started to really listen to music actually, and Moaning is another nice addition to their stable; think of Moaning as a much prettier, poppier No Age and you can see the label and musical connection.
Support the band, buy the album, peep some video below: