Friday, June 29, 2018

Full Show Friday: Umphrey's McGee Light Night Set @ Bonnaroo 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...Umphreys McGee!
Some months our Full Show Friday's will focus on specific artistsyearsvenues, festivals or some combo of it all. This month we focus on sets from Bonnaroo over the years. 

While Bonnaroo has become a behemoth that every living rock/rap/pop artist aspires to/ends up playing, it started off firmly in the jamband arena and the festivals famous late night sets were the draw (along with the Super Jam). The late hour had an anything goes feel to it so we end our monthly showcase with a jamband doing it up late at night as Umphrey's McGee throw it down in 2017. 

Pro shot, Pro sound, full set list below: Enjoy: 

Bathing Digits -> 1348 [1:54] Bad Friday [12:45] Bridgeless -> [22:45] Day Nurse [34:10] Booth Love -> [43:40] Frankie Zombie [57:00] Higgins -> [1:04:35] Bridgeless [1:21:25] encore intro [1:27:45] The Floor [1:28:08]

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Album Review: The Split Seconds - Counterfeit Reality

The Split Seconds
Counterfeit Reality
** and 1/2 out of *****

The Washington D.C. based The Split Seconds second release is titled after their twist on fake news as Counterfeit Reality takes things even further forward. Despite their hometown the albums title and the cultural climate, this isn't a screed against the establishment, the pop punk outfit are more into describing shitty relationships, distant loves, ladies of the night and punk rock scene squabbles.

The quartet, Drew Champion on vocals/guitar, Sean Peterson on drums, Alex Massi on guitar, and Stephen Parson on bass, slam and pogo their way around teen angst in digestible fashion. A track like "Fortunate One" has pretty crisp breaks, big builds, a soothing bass run and backup vocals shining while "Impulsive Automatic" slams the pedal down and goes the opposite way with more aggression however, the more radio friendly, mainstream tracks is where the band excel.

The light ska reggae groove of "Punk Rock Blacklist" captures the groups style in ethos fairly well when Champion states, "We are the fighting wing/of punk pacifists" while railing against a genre that ostracizes much of their own. 

The first single "Where Have All The Good Men Gone" begins with a lullaby guitar riff which rings throughout the track as bass and drums ebb and flow around the tale of a lonely morning post one night stand. Opener "Everybody's Wrong" with it's woah's and rumbling tom drums and  "Dear Cynthia" are also both par for the course in this realm via chugging riffs, shining guitar breaks and layered vocals. 

One of the standout tracks is "Dirty Shirley" which recalls, well, loving Dirty Shirley, but does so over almost cow-punk groove and flashes crazy guitar picking and solos which soar. The galloping surf rock instrumental "Get The Hell Off The Beach" shows that the band has new genres they can tackle while album closer "Little Lizzie Icepick" amps the hip swinging groove to finish things off.

The Split Seconds are much closer to the So-Cal sunshine friendly pop punk than their past D.C. hardcore brethren but the end result finds Counterfeit Reality a tasty treat, even if present day reality in their hometown is far from it. 
Support the band, buy the album and peep some video below:

Music From Big Pink Turns 50 This Weekend

The Band's debut album which influenced popular music immensely, Music From Big Pink came out 50 years ago.

Released on July 1st, 1968 it proved how dynamic The Hawks/The Crackers/Bob Dylan's Back-Up Band, truly were. It was also a glimpse of the stunning Basement Tapes which would not be officially released for a few more years but bootlegged everywhere.

Lee Zimmerman writing on Glide dives into some lesser known tidbits regarding the album which you should definitely check out.

Truth be told, Music From Big Pink is not one of RtBE's iconic, must-hear albums; it sounded stilted, soft and dull to these ears. That very well may be because it wasn't the first album of the groups we heard, it was the second. We got into The Band through Dylan (which should be obvious for readers) and first fell in love with their style through those mystical Basement Tapes which still manage to sound alive today. In retrospect, Music From Big Pink's tracks are all dwarfed by other versions, but that is revisionist history, not being exposed to this effort back in 1968.

After hearing and not really digging Music From Big PinkRtBE became enamored with their second release, simply titled The Band, (known as the Brown Album) now that record really spoke to us as it  brought the group back to more of their rock roots, and had the musicality that connected with their timeless lyrics. That album would be their studio recording high point to these ears, while we still always love their live offerings of The Last Waltz and Rock of Ages more, as they truly show the group in their element; both are must own.

All that said, Music From Big Pink (semi) started it all, and had a huge impact. Let's celebrate those recordings today, starting with our favorite from the record...which happens to be the only cover:

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Live Review: Dr. Dog & Alex G Brooklyn Steel, 6/21/18

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

It is of the recent Dr. Dog show with Alex G opening at Brooklyn Steel on June 21st.

Quickly on the opener, we had high hopes for Alex G after really liking his last record; those songs didn't translate on this night.

Dr. Dog though were the best we have seen them in years. The band was tight, but woolly, the harmonies where pristine and the song selection focused on almost all of their albums, highlighting good songs from lesser full lengths.

I have been reviewing this band since 2006 and they are still my favorite interview I have done. It is great that they are still at it and still on top of their sound.

Support the band, read the review and peep some video from this show below:

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Album Review: The Magic Numbers - Outsiders

The Magic Numbers
**** out of *****

In 2014 The Magic Numbers released Alias. The band claimed it was their most adult, complete and best album. RtBE disagreed. The quartet are ill suited for Pink Floyd experimental downer art rock, they clearly work best with indie pop upbeat outings. That said the band has absorbed the best parts of those dark interludes and put it all together for the best release of their career, Outsiders.

Right from opening duo "Shotgun Wedding" and "Ride Against the Wind" the band is on sure footing as the harmonies and jangling guitars flow out of them. The unique brother/sister quartet Romeo Stodart (lead guitar, vocals), his sister Michele (bass guitar, vocals, keyboard), Angela Gannon (melodica, percussion, glockenspiel, vocals) and her brother Sean Gannon (drums) have grown up and become fantastic songwriters.

"Runaways" gets a bit gloomy but injects an excellent poppy chorus that melds both the light and dark with ease but it is the following tune that pushes this album from good to great territory. "Sweet Divide" is a stunner as a moody guitar line opens things before the band soars into huge arena ready choruses extending and expanding the sound with a saxophone and mid 80's adult pop/contemporary slickness. Like The War On Drugs, The Magic Numbers manage to pull positives out of the radio ready decade and "Sweet Divide" is a standout on a stout record.

After a mostly acoustic break with "Wayward" the tempo and production slickness gets amped for the rambling "The Keeper" shakes hips and brings smiles to faces. The drama swells for the gorgeous "Dreamer" which blends the excellent vocals around piano/percussion fills in over the top fashion. "Power Lines" cools it down with some smooth soul inspired horns, strings and organs while "Lost Children" is the only downer/miss on the album which closes with the searching/building "Sing Me A Rebel Song".

The Magic Numbers are back and on top of their game. While the group went platinum on their 2005 debut release, Outsiders find them more fully formed, confident, wide ranging, dynamic and quite frankly better all around in 2018. If you haven't checked in on the group in a while, now is the time. 

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

Monday, June 25, 2018

Dylan Cover #330 Guy Davis "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 Guy Davis 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.  


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Guy Davis is an American blues artist who comes from acting royalty, but we were not hip to his music before hearing his covering of this tune. Will have to check out more of his performances.

Thoughts on Cover:
A groovy rolling blues take of the original. Slowed down and enunciated variously throughout, gruff to smooth and sultry. The fluctuation of singing can keep the groove  of the music from really taking hold but it is cool to hear Davis searching for what he feels is the perfect singing style for each line. 

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, June 22, 2018

Full Show Friday: Lamb of God @ Bonnaroo 2016

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...Lamb of God!

Some months our Full Show Friday's will focus on specific artistsyearsvenues, festivals or some combo of it all. This month we focus on sets from Bonnaroo over the years.  

This week we hit the late night metal from the festival back in 2016. Lamb of God takes the stage to get the head banging and mosh pits rocking. Pro shot, Pro Sound, full set list below:

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Gaslight Anthem and Hold Steady Front Men Touring Together

The front-men of two popular rock outfits will be pairing up and touring solo this October for 14 dates. The official title is SONGS FROM THE HYMNAL: AN EVENING WITH BRIAN FALLON & GUEST CRAIG FINN.
While RtBE is not a fan of The Gaslight Anthem and Mr. Fallon, we are pretty keen on Mr. Finn and his solo stuff and The Hold Steady

They will both be playing songs from their solo records and I am sure a tune or two from their main acts. They will be playing two shows in the NYC area (10/3 and 10/7)  and the full list of tour dates are below (click the Read More)

To get in the mood here are some videos of both artists performing their solo tunes:

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Album Review: Brownout - Fear of a Brown Planet

Fear of a Brown Planet
*** out of *****

The last time we checked in with the Austin, TX funk outfit Brownout they had on another musical costume, Brown Sabbath. Now the band continues its musical cosplay with a tribute to Public Enemy titled Fear of a Brown Planet.

In truth, this not a direct tribute or even cover versions of Public Enemy's famous tunes, it is an amalgamation of The Bomb Squad (PE's Production Team) beats and more specifically the samples from which they drew from, all filtered through Brownout's vision. Some of these songs bare little resemblance to the Public Enemy tracks they are titled after, and were simply jumping off points for free flowing funk. 

"Fight The Power" is a good example as the group sidesteps PE's angst, diving right back to The JB's "Hot Pants Road" and James Brown "Funky Drummer". The trumpet runs and particularly the killer drumming lay the base while off in the distance synth lines update things. "Bring the Noise" is messier but the chicken scratch guitars, vibrant countering horn lines and pump up the energy. 

A standout track is "By The Time I Get To Arizona" which hits a little closer to home for the Texas crew, beginning with the aggression and wah-wah guitars the groove is thicker than molasses. The horns try to punctuate but get swamped by the mega bass bumps and beats; head bopping icky goodness. The space and airiness given to Flava Flav's "I Don't Wanna Be Called Yo Ni**a" is a unique tweak that works and "911 Is A Joke" is a '70's blaxploitation soundtrack cooker with layers of percussion and horn lines, allowing for the originals bass work while expanding on the sound and working wonders.     

Other tracks are fun on their own but seem to be at odds with, or have no spiritual connection to the originals. "Shut'Em Down" is one example, lacking the punch but contains a nice chilled out groove with a killer fuzz tone guitar fade out that could run all night. "Don't Believe The Hype" turns from empowering anthem to cool get down jam and the most jarring track from title to result is "Welcome To The Terrordome" which transforms one of the most exhilarating/frightening hip-hop songs ever into a late night lounge trip-hop number, stripping it of all its power.

RtBE grew up on Public Enemy and for this outfit to take inspiration from the Long Island legends (and those they sampled) is fine, but Brownout seem anxious to break out of their cover band shell too often on this release. If the songs were say "Inspired by..." as opposed to a full album of interpreted tracks things may have worked better in setting up expectations and results.

If you are not a huge PE fan but love jazzy funk this is for you, if you worship the originals this may be off putting at first, but removed from the inspirations it is still a funky offering.   
Support the artist, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Album Review: Cut Worms - Hollow Ground

Cut Worms
Hollow Ground
***and1/2 out of *****

Cut Worms is the stage name for the Brooklyn based Max Clarke and his debut record, Hollow Ground is an ear catching retro pop delight.

Clarke recorded all of the instruments himself in both LA and NYC and the sense of intimacy rings throughout the ten songs presented here. There are flashes of 50's sweetness, 60's jangle, 70's LA country and other culture touch points music fans will recognize as the tracks pass by.

Opening with the bright guitar work and lyrics about record machines of "How It Can Be" the listener is instantly transported by the stylized rock.The calliope sounds and doo-wop backing vocals are overly dramatic and distracting during "Coward's Confidence" but things click back into a positive light for "Don't Want To Say Good-bye" which plays up mid career Beatles inspiration with ease and ends up being the catchiest track on the album. 

"It Won't Be Too Long" gets a Flying Burrito Brothers pop country groove working and that easy galloping western styled workout also settles into "Hanging Your Pictures Up to Dry" and while both are successful at what they set out to do Clarke is more in the pocket when he is dealing with the less rural numbers, like on the forlorn "Like Going Down Sideways". 

"I Think I Might Be In Love" is another disk highlight, a beautiful straight ahead number that pulls in "sha-na-na" backing vocals, a rolling bass line and pedal steel guitar work. Sounding like The Monkees the track is a bright slice of sunshine before the more driving "Cash For Gold" pumps up the energy but doesn't sacrifice the sweet sound even while dealing with a lyrical relationship breakup.

An album like Hollow Ground is instantly enjoyable as the sounds recall classics of generations past, but it can also slip by without much thought like a lazy summer evening. Unfortunately, this music can really use a knockout song and there isn't one standout must hear number on the record but this being the first full length from Clarke and company it still manages to load the album with a lot of very good ones. 

Reminiscent of Dan Auerbach's Nashville pop love record Waiting On A Song, Cut Worms have produced a record straight out of another era. Hollow Ground is a confident debut and makes following Max Clarke's career a requirement for any fan of pop/rock/fun music.
Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:


Monday, June 18, 2018

Dylan Cover #329 Daven Atma "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 Daven Atma 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 an all-time 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:
RtBE have not heard of Daven Atma before. He is a singer-songwriter from Chilliwack British Columbia Canada. More info and videos available on his Facebook page.

Thoughts on Cover:
An unique take on this song. In the original there is a fiery sense of urgency as if Dylan's brain will explode if he doesn't get all  the words out. Daven goes laid back...and it works. There is more of a light airy take on the flood of words and optimistic as opposed to fatalistic vibe. A cool breezy cover tune on this steaming hot Monday in June.  

Friday, June 15, 2018

Full Show Friday: Run The Jewels @ Bonnaroo 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...Run The Jewels!

Some months our Full Show Friday's will focus on specific artistsyearsvenues, festivals or some combo of it all. This month we focus on sets from Bonnaroo over the years.  

Last week we posted a headliner we don't care for much. This week we post a late night show for a band we dig. 

When we first got into RTJ was on RTJ2 which we reviewed and rated highly in our year end round up. We caught them live not long after that and loved it. We also dug their most recent release and rated it pretty high as well. 

Pro shot, Pro Sound, full set list below. Enjoy:

1:20 Run the Jewels 4:58 Oh My Darling Don't Cry 9:15 Blockbuster Night Part 1 12:13 Banana Clipper 17:11 36" Chain 20:04 DDFH 23:12 Sea Legs 27:17 Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck) 30:33 Pew Pew Pew 34:25 Lie, Cheat, Steal 38:03 Early 42:11 All Due Respect 44:08 Love Again 47:09 Get It 50:44 A Christmas Fucking Miracle 56:17 Angel Duster

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Album Review: No Dry County- Panhandle Music

No Dry County 
Panhandle Music
*** out of *****

No Dry Country are an outfit from Lubbock, TX that play a unique variation of Americana roots/rock mixed with blues influences all wrapped up with pop production, looking to break them out of their genre confines.

The four piece of Trent Langford (Lead Vocals/Guitar/Keys), Matt Newsom (Drums/Vocals), Dub Wood (Bass/Vocals) and Bristen Phillips (Guitars/Keys) have been at this for a while now releasing EP's and full lengths for about a decade but the scope and breath of Panhandle Music is their most complete offering yet.

The spooky western expanse comes to life on opener "Tucummcari" as the bands explores some Texas roots but that track is an outlier as the players are more comfortable going for bigger and brighter sounds as this record progresses. "Get Away" incorporates fun bass runs, "oo-oo" vocal chirps and a big blues rocking sound, while "When You Come Around" feels like a mid-eighties Tom Petty b-side with some killer lead guitar work.

The albums first single "Elvis Gun Runner" is a fantasy tale of a hallucinating trucker who feels he has the title job. Musically it is an exciting upbeat boogie-woogie with a driving beat sounding fresh containing excellent breaks.

The group started out as an 80's cover band and that style/production seeps in and causes a distinct sound as the vocals are clean, main singer/songwriter Langford sounds pristine, while guitars get distorted and languid at times. The instrumental "Mountains of Clouds" pumps up the arena riffs, leading perfectly into "On Our Own" which is chock full of classic rock cliches and singalongs. That clean/dirty mix might work best on the dusty distorted duet "Sheep In Wolves Clothing" but the vocals don't match the extra meaty blues stomping of "Sway" which is caught halfway between 70's thunder and 80's hair metal.

"15 Piece Band" is a waltzing highlight number containing a great lyric about a doomed from the start marriage calling to mind a Patterson Hood yarn, and when the long running album reaches its conclusion via the cinematic "Hey Thunder" the comparison is clearer. A more pop/80's rock influenced Drive-By Truckers sound, touching on various southern genres while spinning engaging tales filled with disappointment yet hope; No Dry County deliver a thoughtful Americana rock release with Panhandle Music.
Support the band, buy the album as it will be released on June 29th and peep some video below:

David Byrne Adds Tour Dates Including NYC Show

David Byrne is currently on his American Utopia tour and he expanded things by adding shows in Ireland, England, Australia and New Zealand. A bit closer to RtBE's home though he added a date in Brooklyn as well, giving him three dates around the city in mid September.
He will now be playing The Kings Theater on September 16th an tickets go on sale this Friday at noon. As well as Queens on the 15th and Kings Theater again on the 17th. 

We reviewed the new album and their is no easy way to say it, very disappointing, but Byrne and company are always great live so it is worth the ticket. Below is the full list of tour dates plus some live video of David Byrne from this current tour, for full tour dates click on 'Read More' below.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Deafheaven Album in July, New Tracks & Tour Dates

The metal outfit Deafheaven are putting out their fourth album this July titled Ordinary Corrupt Human Love. They are also planning a massive tour to support the album.
To pump up the faithful the group has also released two long tracks from the record, "Honeycomb and "Canary Yellow which you can hear below. On "Canary Yellow" the group moves away from pure screaming vocals to more melodic singing, a wise move to these ears.

The group is always interesting and we have enjoyed their last two releases, Sunbather and New Bermuda, but have rarely gone back to them (mostly because of the vocals). The musical style is pretty unique, combining assault metal with shoe-gaze bliss from riff to riff. It can be jarring but also beautifully intoxicating. The band is always interesting and Ordinary Corrupt Human Love seems no different.

Deafheaven will be playing Brooklyn Steel on July 24th for those in the NYC area. Click the 'Read More' below for full list of tour dates.

Album Review: River Whyless - Kindness, A Rebel

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

It is of River Whyless newest release titled Kindness, A Rebel.

Very happy this band is still doing it at a high level as RtBE really liked their last album, even discussing it during our year end review. Kindness, A Rebel is a damn good album and one of our favorite of the first half of the year.

In fact 2018 is shaping up to be a really solid year in music releases. Already it beats 2017 and most other years since RtBE started keeping track. Will River Whyless make our top ten come December? Stay tuned.

Until then support the artist, buy the album, read the review and peep some video below:

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Magpie Salute Releasing First Album & Touring

A few weeks ago we discussed the split of The Black Crowes and showcased As The Crow Flies for our Full Show Friday. Now we talk about the flip side of the Crowes Coin as The Magpie Salute announce their first release and tour dates this summer.
For those not keeping score at home, As The Crow Flies is led by Chris Robinson with past Black Crowes members and The Magpie Salute is led by Rich Robinson with different past Black Crowes members.

Coming out on August 10th will be The Magpies first release titled High Water I. You can hear the first song from the album titled "Send Me An Omen" below. Track info and tour dates are also down there as the on going divorce in Crowe country continues.

HIGH WATER I track listing: “Mary The Gypsy” “High Water” “Send Me An Omen” “For The Wind” “Sister Moon” “Color Blind” “Take It All” “Walk On Water” “Hand In Hand” “You Found Me” “Can You See” “Open Up”

Sun, July 1 Copper Mountain, CO The Village at Copper Mountain Sun,
July 8 Thunder Bay, ON, CAN Thunder Bay Blues Festival Tue,
July 10 Buffalo, NY Tralf Music Hall *Thu,
July 12 Wantagh, NY Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater *Fri,
July 13 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center *Sat,
July 14 Mansfield, MA Xfinity Center Mon,
July 16 Peekskill, NY Paramount Hudson Valley Wed,
July 18 Reading, PA Downtown Alive Outdoor Concert Series Thu,
July 19 Waterloo, NY Del Lago Resort & Casino – The Vine Fri,
July 20 East Greenwich, RI Greenwich Odeum Sat,
July 21 Fairfield, CT The Warehouse **Sun,
July 22 Silver Spring, MD Fillmore Silver Spring **Tue,
July 24 Columbus, OH Express Live! ^Fri,
August 17 Charlotte, NC Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre ^Sat,
August 18 Charleston, SC Volvo Cars Stadium ^Sun,
August 19 Nashville, TN The Woods Amphitheatre at Fontanel ^Tue,
August 21 Huber Heights, OH Rose Music Center at The Heights *Thu,
August 23 Noblesville, IN Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center *Fri,
August 24 Tinley Park, IL Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre *Sat,
August 25 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre ^Sun,
August 26 Des Moines, IA Brenton Skating Plaza ^Tue,
August 28 Mankato, MN Vetter Stone Amphitheater ^Wed,
August 29 Papillion, NE Sumtur Amphitheater Thu,
August 30 Boulder, CO Boulder Theater Fri,
August 31 Park City, UT Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater ^Sat,
September 1 Missoula, MO Big Sky Brewery Wed,
September 5 Grand Rapids, MI 20 Monroe Live Thu,
September 6 Kent, OH Kent Stage Wed,
September 12 Fredericton, NB Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival Thu,
September 13 Portland, ME AURA Fri,
September 14 Beverly, MA Cabot Theatre Sat,
September 15 Hampton Beach, NH Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom Sun,
September 16 Burlington, VT Grand Point North Festival Tue,
September 18 Washington, D.C The Hamilton Fri,
September 21 Atlanta, GA Buckhead Theatre Sat,
September 22 Columbia, SC Glass Half Full Sun,
September 23 Louisville, KY Bourbon & Beyond
* = w/Govt. Mule and The Avett Brothers ^ = w/Govt. Mule ** = w/Blackberry Smoke

Album Review: The Aces - When My Heart Felt Volcanic

The Aces
When My Heart Felt Volcanic

** out of *****

The Utah based four piece The Aces has released their debut full length When My Heart Felt Volcanic, a glimmering pop record that showcases their tween ready voices over heavy production and huge choruses designed to be played at festivals in the very near future; a tour opening for Haim cant be far off.  

The group, Cristal Ramirez lead vocals/guitar sister Alisa on drums, Katie Henderson lead guitar and McKenna Petty bass (shockingly no keyboard/piano playing credit?) are crafting tunes with new wave appeal yet clinically produced for the goal of gaining an iPhone ad. Dreamy vocals, digital effects, hand claps and dance ready beats are everywhere. Opener "Volcanic Love" gets the whole neon drenched party started and while the early twenty year old band may have been through ups and downs, the lyrics deal more with lighthearted loves and tshirts that don't look good on them anymore.

All of the songs continue in this fashion with various degrees of success "Stuck" pushes up the dramatics while "Lovin' Is Bible" pulls in light funk and modern day R&B in the vein of Bruno Mars as the group wants to watch their love go viral. Both "Just Like That" and "Holiday" rev up the dance vibe with electro keys and the singalong choruses while "The Last One" is a smiling upbeat kiss off tune.  

"Fake Nice" is the best of this bunch incorporating pieces of Prince, Justin Timberlake and Lorde complete with a vocal/lyrical breakdown. The chicken scratching guitars, dance laden bass groove and skittering clapping drums swirl into pure pop perfection complete with warbling guitar effects and light keyboard touches. This track is unimpeachable, but this also causes some of the reservations with the rest of the album.     

The Aces worked with six producers over the thirteen tracks including Dan Gibson and Simon Oscroft and in the end When My Heart Felt Volcanic comes off as an algorithm inspired collection of tracks to be shared on social media to garner clicks, likes, festival slots; easily digested/forgotten. The band is professional, the layers and layers of sonics are robust, the singing is clear, but the true connection/emotion somewhere, somehow gets lost. Pop music can be effective and affecting, this being their first full length it is impressive that The Aces manage to achieve one of these. 

A stripped down piano based number like "Hurricane" proves that the quartet has more to offer, but the pop waters they float in toss out as many tunes as possible hoping one floats to chart success. Red Bull Records will hype, commercials will get new soundtracks and The Aces could soar on the back of the clinically strong album. If the chips fall for them a Grammy (their goal) could be in their future, but here's hoping a bit more of life infects their next release. 
Support the band, buy the album on bandcamp, stream it below and peep some video: 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Dylan Cover #328 Fancy Franzi and the Dudes "Quinn the Eskimo" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's artists, Fancy Franzi and the Dudes doing a live cover of "Quinn the Eskimo" 

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

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Have not heard of Fancy Franzi and the Dudes before. They are acoustic/folk band from Koblenz Germany
Thoughts on Cover:
A really cool cover, and while it looks great out in nature, just wish they had re-recorded it with less wind swirling around. RtBE likes to showcase anyone covering Dylan in this series and this is a great cover, if the band posts a cleaner version it will be even better. 

Friday, June 8, 2018

Full Show Friday: Red Hot Chili Peppers Bonnaroo 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...The Red Hot Chili Peppers!

Some months our Full Show Friday's will focus on specific artists, years, venues, festivals or some combo of it all. This month we focus on sets from Bonnaroo over the years.  

This week when we dip down to Tennessee we arrive just last year and put the spotlight on headliners The Red Hot Chili Peppers. RtBE are not the biggest fans of this band, so we will let the music do the talking this week.

Pro Shot, Pro Sound, full setlist below. Enjoy:

Intro 0:00:00 Can't Stop 0:03:23 Dani California 0:08:38 Scar Tissue 0:13:54 Dark Necessities 0:18:57 The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie 0:24:58 Jam 0:30:57 I Wanna Be Your Dog + Right On Time 0:32:30 Go Robot 0:37:24 Jam + Californication 0:42:34 What Is Soul 0:51:05 Aeroplane 0:54:06 Jam 2 0:58:55 Snow 1:01:32 Suck My Kiss 1:07:50 Soul To Squeeze 1:12:20 By The Way 1:17:25 *Encore: Goodbye Angels 1:24:25 Give It Away 1:30:05