Friday, September 28, 2018

Bandcamp Donates All Proceeds To Voting Rights Project Today

Today Bandcamp, one of RtBE's favorite sites for finding, hosting and distributing music for artists, is donating all of their proceeds to the Voting Rights Project.

You yourself can give directly to the project, and you can also grab great music to go along with that. There are tons of artists that are on their and many are donating all proceeds as well.

My band Angels & Vagabonds have 2 EP's on the site, The A&V EP and the acoustic based Anyways... that you can grab from bandcamp to help out, as we will be donating to the good cause as well. You can stream the records below, but feel free to purchase them to help out.

Full Show Friday: Murphy's Law 10/11/13 St. Vitus Brooklyn, NY

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us celebrate Full Show Friday's. These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)...This week...Murphy's Law!
With the Benefit for Jimmy G going down tomorrow in Tompkins Square Park we wanted to focus on him this Full Show Friday.

Here is Murphy's Law playing St. Vitus on October 11th, 2013. The show was part of the now defunct CBGB Fest. They were opening for another RtBE NYHC favorite, Judge which makes for some interesting banter from Jimmy inbetween songs in regards to the straight edge crew (and lots of others) in attendance. 

As a reminder if you can't make the show you can still donate to help Jimmy out.

Not pro shot, but pretty god damn solid all around. Enjoy:

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Album Review: Shannon Shaw - Shannon in Nashville

Shannon Shaw
Shannon in Nashville
**and1/2 out of *****

For her most recent full band release Shannon Shaw (as part of Shannon and the Clams) went to Nashville and crafted the groups most complete/successful record to date with the help of producer Dan Auerbach. Now Auerbach and Shaw take that partnership a step further as Shaw has released her first solo album with Auerbach's support titled Shannon in Nashville.

The clear parallel, right down to the retro cover art, is the all-time classic Dusty in Nashville album from Dusty Springfield. Auerbach/Shaw clearly did more than just title the album in that vein; each song is packed with Nashville professional musician who made names for themselves in the 60's and 70's playing with classic artists like Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin and even Springfield herself on that famous album.

Nothing is off the table as strings, brass, chimes, electro-pulses and guitar effects are all tossed into the sound structure, heaping layers of production and vocals are embedded into every track. The extra polish and overproduction has an interesting effect on the album though as each song sounds lush and vibrant but Shaw's vocals and lyrics rarely sync up successfully the dramatic sonic palette; there sadly aren't any must hear songs on the record.   

Shaw just doesn't sound as invested in her singing and the verses/choruses, sometimes even getting overshadowed by the layers of backing vocals ("Goodbye Summertime" being one example). For a singer with range, passion and flair, the vocals sound detached instead of sultry or rebellious ("Coal on the Fire", "Lord of Alaska") or worse, just plain dull ("Bring Her The Mirror", "Freddies 'n' Teddies"). The lyrics also don't do any favors for Shaw as none of the tracks contain a hook or verse that stands above the music and catches the ear for multiple spins.

The playing itself is incredibly layered, with everything from the warbling guitar solo that closes out "Cryin' My Eyes Out" to the bubbling bass of "Broke My Own" to the skittering drums on "Make Believe" and the excellent trumpets which punctuate the Latin tinged "Leather Metal, Steel". "Golden Frames", "Love I Can't Explain" and "I Might Consider" do the best job pairing the marching beat and swelling sense of drama with classic soul strings and overloaded rhythmic crashes, successfully representing all players.

However it is the track "Cold Pillows" which sums up this release. All the ingredients are present for a classic song in this early 70's pop/soul style but things never truly coalesce. The best lyrics on the record are presented in patented weeping soul style, with male backing vocals juxtaposing Shaw's breathy lead, all in front of gorgeous strumming, building around a slapping snare, strings, piano and rhythmic punctuation, trying to climb to cinematic heights. Unfortunately the end results come off more sterile than soul stirring like Shannon in Nashville overall.
Maybe we just had too high of hopes after the amazing Onion but this one is a bit disappointing, yet no where near bad. Anyways, support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Album Review: Snail Mail - Lush

Snail Mail
*** and 1/2 out of *****

The Baltimore, Maryland based Lindsey Jordan's debut LP as Snail Mail contains tired, dreamy pop sounds that can move from weary, so-over-it and bored to grandiose. While the songs on Lush blend into an overall motif there are moments which prove Jordan has a bright future ahead of her.

The strumming light strumming starts at the "Intro" and doesn't really let up until delicate closer "Anytime". Jordan with drummer Ray Brown and bassist Alex Bass have crafted their title environment and major credit should also be given to producer Jake Aron and engineer Johnny Schenke as the small adjustments and instrument changes add a lot to the sound and song structure.

"Pristine" recalls early 90's buzz bin era sounds of The Breeders but Jordan's been there done that vocals/lyrics never truly engage singing about never loving anyone else. That changes dramatically on "Stick" as her vocals and singing start off breathy as the polished production builds and swells so does her singing to soaring levels, a very solid/dramatic track.

The dream pop of "Speaking Terms" gets more ethereal and fluid while "Golden Tempo" moves with big ups and downs in the same fashion. "Deep Sea" bubbles along and has some expertly placed horns added for excellent dramatic effect.

It is the complete effort of "Heat Wave" which really hits the mark and elevates the whole album as the track pairs perfect deep bass lines with fuzzy yet bright guitar lead from Jordan which manages to penetrate at odd times. Lyrically the already world weary Jordan is dealing with relationships in poetic ways and always wanting more or less, depending on the mood. The track is a standout on an album that is more about tone and feel then capturing a single.

Lush is an impressive start from Jordan and crew, confident, young, and moving into the future with past influences riding shotgun. Snail Mail may not be a revelation, but they deliver.   
Support the band, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp, and peep some video:

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Phish Announce MSG for New Years Run

The Vermont foursome Phish return to their home away from home and will ring in 2019 at the world's most famous arena:
RtBE has been in attendance almost every new year run they sine they started hitting the Garden and '18-'19 will be no different. Last year's New Years run show which we managed to catch was a bit of a let down compared to their amazing mid summer Bakers Dozen stand but it is always fun to see the fellas playing down the road from RtBE headquarters.

Ticket lottery has started already and runs through the 8th of October and full on sale starts on Friday October 12th.  To get in the mood how about a few live Phish tunes from MSG during past show:

Live Review: Dinosaur Jr. 9/20/18 Garica's Port Chester, NY

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
Photo By, Andrew Blackstein
One of RtBE's favorites, Dinosaur Jr. played Garcia's in the Capital Theater as the band shifted gears from their co-headlining with Mastodon canceled tour to play small ass clubs. Garcia's almost couldn't handle it as the power cut out right in the middle of "Watch The Corners" on this night, but the group took it in stride dipping right back into the song's solo...pretty perfect.

The link says that the group opened with "Thumb" but our notes say "Pieces" and while we did imbibe in the excellent beer selection we are pretty sure it was "Pieces" so we will stick with that in our review for now.

We have reviewed the band and seen them a ton, they never disappoint. Lots of good tunes and excellent playing in the tight quarters, we even got a shot of J playing a Rickenbacker bass:

Below are some more photos taken by Andrew Scott Blackstein. You should also support the band.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Beastie Boy Book Release and Mini Speaking Tour Starting Next Month

Mike D and Adrock are set to release Beastie Boys Book and to celebrate they will promote the release with a Live & Direct mini speaking tour. 
Each night of Beastie Boys Book: Live & Direct will feature readings, conversations between Mike D, Adrock and a special guest moderator, Q&A sessions–all with a live score provided by Mix Master Mike and a brand new Beastie Boys exhibit, curated by Beastie Boys & Beyond the Streets in partnership with adidas Skateboarding. Sonos will provide the sound experience at each exhibit, playing a mixtape curated by Adrock and Mike D.

The run kicks off with two nights in NYC which will be sure to sell out as each ticket also gets a copy of the book. Tickets go on-sale Friday at noon for the Town Hall evening. To get in the mood, how about some tunes from Beasties... 

Bob Dylan Cover #343 Phil Shackleton "What Good Am I?" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from Phil Shackleton and is a live cover of "What Good Am I?"

Thought's on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this song:
Coming on the heels of Dylan's most powerful song in decades "What Good Am I?" can get lost on Oh Mercy, but the track is a sorrowful sweet plea. Slow and deliberate, questioning like the Louisiana night that may have inspired it. Dylan's vocal performance may not be his best but at the heart of it this is a really powerful song. Not one of his better known tracks, but a goodie all the same. Simple and slow, direct without hidden agenda's (I think...) all of which is a bit unique for Bob.


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
This is the first RtBE is hearing of Phil Shackleton, he seems to be a musical completest, recording, engineering, arraigning, scoring, etc etc.

Thoughts on Cover:
This is a very moving emotional cover from Mr. Shackleton. Played confidently and sung powerfully, this is an excellent addition to RtBE's ongoing cover series. Dylan Cover Monday's has seen two powerful live acoustic offerings these past two weeks, and RtBE will shift gears a bit for a special treat next month...stay tuned.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Full Show Friday: Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble Passaic, NJ 9/21/85

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...Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble!

Stevie Ray & Double Trouble! What a Texas Tornado! From the opening supersonic "Scuttle Buttin'" to the closing "Tin Pan Alley" this is a hell of set of electric blues music from one of the greatest electric guitar players to ever come along.  

What makes this selection even cooler was that it happened exactly 33 years to the day! This had to be one of the hottest shows in 1985. Pro-shot, Pro-Sound, full setlist below, Enjoy:

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Full Concert Recorded Live: 9/21/1985 - Capitol Theatre (Passaic, NJ)
More Stevie Ray Vaughan at Music Vault: Subscribe to Music Vault: Setlist: 0:00:00 - Scuttle Buttin' / Say What! 0:07:29 - Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up On Love 0:14:51 - Lookin' Out The Window 0:16:59 - Look At Little Sister 0:21:06 - Change It 0:25:31 - Mary Had A Little Lamb 0:30:05 - Cold Shot 0:34:54 - Couldn't Stand The Weather 0:41:41 - Guitar Change 0:42:10 - Tin Pan Alley

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Live Review: Marshall Crenshaw @ City Winery 9/18/18

Marshall Crenshaw
City Winery, NYC 

On Tuesday night Marshall Crenshaw sauntered onto stage with bassist Jared Michael Nickerson and drummer Rich Pagano to play a stripped down laid back version of the 80's pop rockers classics and newer songs to (unfortunately) a half empty City Winery.

The trio's volume was toned down to suit the supper club vibe of their surroundings as the kicked things off with a slow and languid version of the Crenshaw nugget "There She Goes Again" from his first album. The theme of the night was jazzy interpretations of the Crenshaw catalog and this fit Nickerson's roaming fingers well as his roaming bass lines lead the way during "Fantastic Planet of Love".

Crenshaw then dove into a few songs he co-wrote with various people but he made special mention of co-writer Dan Bern who helped him with lyrics on a number of tunes including the marching "Learning to Live" and the road song about "fatigue and crumbling infrastructure" "Driving and Dreaming". Both were passable but things picked up with "Better Back Off" and "What Do You Dream Off" which he mentioned was written in bed while literally watching his wife dream, not what critics thought at the time...shows you how much critics know.
"Passing Through" was next and started a lull in the set as "Move Now" wanted to rock but the setting, players and vibe never let it while "Red Wine" was a flat out dud of a tune. The shift to a cover of Buddy Holly's "Crying, Waiting, Hoping" was a welcomed move before "Cynical Girl" (semi surprisingly) received the loudest cheers of the night as it's first chords were strummed.

Pagano produced a unique drum solo which lead into an angular rendition of "Dime a Dozen Guy" playing with some spooky atmospherics that didn't particularly match up with the lyrics but was an interesting adventure on it's own. After a bass heavy straight ahead "Monday Morning Rock" and a clunker "Grab The Next Train" which never left the station, the band played a grooving  "Whenever You're On My Mind" dominated by Pagano's big kick drum. The percussion segued into a rockabilly tale that morphed into "Someday Someway" closing the exploratory set of tunes. 

The encore of "What I Didn't Want To Do" and slowed down, rhythmic take on "You're My Favorite Waste Of Time" capped off the hour and a half of tunes from the trio. Far from a greatest hits act Crenshaw is still experimenting with his sound, his stage show and performance and while things can be hit or miss the relaxed, jazz style on this evening was unique for the small crown in attendance. 
Support the artists, see them live, and peep some video from a very different lineup Crenshaw played City Winery with just a few months ago:

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Original Misfits to Play Chicago, Integrity to Play Baltimore in 2019

Two announcements from aging metal bands that are both worthy of a mention here at RtBE even though the shows won't be taking place in NYC.

First, The Original Misfits: Glenn Danzig, Jerry Only and Doyle, with help from former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo and guitarist Acey Slade announced they will be playing Chicago in the Spring of next year.

Having caught the band earlier this year RtBE can not hype their live set enough. It was a blast to catch the men doing their painted faced horror punk thing.  Fear, Venom Inc and Power Trip make for fine openers as well as tickets go on-sale this Friday.

Also in aging punk/metal/hardcore touring news, Integrity is playing two shows in Baltimore. RtBE dug the band back in the day, specifically Those Who Fear Tomorrow and Systems Overload and honestly did not know they were still around, but apparently they released new music very recently so we are down to check that out.

If you are in Maryland January 11th or 12th 2019 check out the shows, night one tickets and night two tickets can both be had still. To celebrate these two old metal/punk legends return to stages how about a few of their tracks below:

Album Review: Aaron Lee Tasjan - Karma For Cheap

Aaron Lee Tasjan
Karma For Cheap

**and1/2out of *****

Folky freak rocker Aaron Lee Tasjan has bounced around during his career playing glam rock, alt-country and more. On his newest solo record Karma For Cheap he goes retro-mainstream with a twist on classic rock offerings which would have vied for FM air time in the mid-70's.

The whole album has a shaggy, light psych-rock aura as it easily struts and rolls around the frayed edges with direct lyrics about keepin' on keepin' on. The opening three songs are all cut from the same cloth as "If Not Now When", "The Truth Is So Hard To Believe", and "The Best Is Yet To Come" are fuzzy guitar numbers with easy grooves augmented by slight enhancements like a plunking piano or doo-doo-doo backing vocals (from none other than Sheryl Crow). While all are adequate, none ever elevate above the simple structures and heard-it-all-before lyrics; the retro is much more important to Tasjan than the rock.

"Heart Slows Down" is the first full on winner as the tune recalls Tom Petty with is pulsing rhythm, swirling swelling sounds and a constant acoustic six string running in place before the best chorus on the album. Another disk highlight is the more stripped down acoustic ballad "Dream Dreamer" which is sweet and honest, working as a delicate lullaby with some odd Beatles-like touches.     

Tasjan dips back into his safe (bordering on dull) feedback enhanced pocket with the tambourine shaking "End of the Day", the marching "Set You Free" and the strutting "Crawling At Your Feet" all blending together with that smokey 70's sound. "Strange Shadows" winningly mixes up the formula combining 50's doo-wop feeling with warbling country vibes while "Songbird" ends the disk strongly.

Tasjan's vocals and playing certainly recall some of the greats in the genre such as Petty, George Harrison, and most apparently David Bowie (specifically Hunky Dory era) while the organic sound (co-produced by Jeff Trot) does well to prop up some cliche musical and lyrical passages.

Karma For Cheap's retro pop rock is pleasant in all forms but without a must hear hook, riff or lyric the album often falls into easy background tunes reminding of others that will always pack more oomph no matter the year. 
Support the artist, buy the album on bandcamp and peep some video below:

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Album Review: Earthless - Black Heaven

Black Heaven
*** out of *****

The newest studio release from the psych/stoner/metal outfit is a huge change for the power trio. For the first time in the band's career Earthless has moved from the instrumental realm to songs with  *gulp* actual vocals. Out of Black Heaven's six songs, four feature Isaiah Mitchell singing, something he hasn't done since the band covered Groundhog's "Cherry Red" back in 2007. 

Mitchell's vocals properly recall late bluesy hard rock 70's titans most instantly comparable to Black Sabbath, Deep Purple or Mountain, with not as much vocal range or firepower, but Mitchell presents himself favorably. Opener "Gifted By the Wind" is a groove statement track with nature influenced lyrics while both "End To End" and "Electric Flame" deal with post apocalyptic landscapes and the end of the human race. The lyrics for "Sudden End" are grounded in a sadder reality as Mitchell finished up his guitar parts while watch Netflix's 13 Reasons Why and the next morning Chris Cornell committed suicide, lending the song it's hefty lyrical weight.

While the singing is new and an exciting addition to Earthless's arsenal, this group is primarily about the riffs and pummeling rhythm section moving as one; thankfully that has not changed. "Electric Flame" is a monster, scrambling all over the speakers in crushing fashion. The style reigns in the group from their past wandering ways but even the brief instrumental "Volt Rush" has a propulsive energy that jumps out to the forefront.

Drummer Mario Rubalcaba and bassist Mike Eginton have a synergy as the plow ahead with sludgy riffs that never seem to drag, just listen to the kick off of the title track as huge behemoth gets moving. RtBE's personal favorites are still these blistering instrumentals but the bluesy take on heavy "Sudden End" is unique for Earthless as they dip into more conventional sounding riffs and stomps with plenty of room for Mitchell's soloing at over eight minutes. 

Earthless long, often sidetracked career has been on the fringes and Black Heaven may push them more into the metal mainstream with its compact blues rock heavy attack. While long time fans may yearn for more expansive jam based offering like the title track, this evolution of the trio is an unexpected and a mostly successful twist. 
Support the band, buy the album and peep some video below:

Ween Touring This Fall/Winter Playing Capital Theater December

The freak n' rolling chaos that is Ween is back at it. The group will be touring this fall and early winter wrapping up their jaunt with some holiday shows at one of our favorite venues, Port Chester's Capital Theater.
The Boognish will be in full effect as Ween is always a fun act to catch live. We saw them back in 2008 and hope to head up to Port Chester to do it again in a few months. Tickets are onsale and until then the full list of dates and some live video is below:

OCT 05 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival Friday, 12:00PM San Francisco, CA
OCT 13 The Fillmore Saturday, 7:00PM Miami, FL
OCT 14 St. Augustine Amphitheatre Sunday, 7:00PM St. Augustine, FL
OCT 16 Ryman Auditorium Tuesday, 7:00PM Nashville, TN
OCT 16 Ryman Auditorium – 2 day Package Tuesday, 7:00PM Nashville, TN
OCT 17 Ryman Auditorium Wednesday, 7:00PM Nashville, TN
OCT 19 The Tabernacle Friday, 10:00AM Atlanta, GA
OCT 20 The Tabernacle Saturday, 7:00PM Atlanta, GA
OCT 30 Royal Oak Music Theatre Tuesday, 7:00PM Royal Oak, MI
OCT 31 Aragon Ballroom Wednesday, 7:00PM Chicago, IL
NOV 02 The Rave / Eagles Club Friday, 7:00PM Milwaukee, WI
NOV 03 Palace Theatre Saturday, 7:00PM Saint Paul, MN
NOV 04 Palace Theatre Sunday, 7:00PM Saint Paul, MN
DEC 14 The Met Philadelphia Friday, 7:00PM Philadelphia, PA
DEC 15 The Capitol Theatre Saturday, 7:00PM Port Chester, NY
DEC 16 The Capitol Theatre Sunday, 7:00PM Port Chester, NY

Monday, September 17, 2018

Dylan Cover #342 Phil Cohen "When My Ship Comes In" 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 Phil Cohen playing "When My Ship Comes In"

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
One of our favorite songs from the early days of Dylan. The purest Irish Folk we felt he ever got, Joan Baez was a fan of this one and told a cool story during No Direction Home, about him being pissed at a hotel attendant and then having this song just spiral out of him. Images of the sea, the salt, the song, raiding/pillaging; a pirate song at heart. When we are looking for pure folk Dylan this one usually finds it's way to our ears.

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Have not heard of Phil Cohen before today but he is a singer/songwriter based in Brooklyn and has a bandcamp page with recordings, but doesn't look to have released anything since 2014.

Thoughts on Cover:
So musically this is a straight ahead live acoustic number in the vein of the original. HOWEVER we don't normally mention the videos, just the music, but this is one of our favorite pure videos during our on going Dylan cover series as it was filmed on the front lawn of RtBE headquarters, NYC's Highline Park.

The playing, the ambient noise, random snippets of passing conversation and slowly strolling Cohen just add's to the majesty. It is one of our favorite cover videos we have showcased in this series, excellent work Mr. Cohen and Motiki Media Productions

Bob Dylan Playing Seven Night Beacon Stand

Just last week RtBE posted about the announcement that Bob Dylan would be re-opening the Philly Met in early December. While we were happy to spread that news, we also pointed out that his annual NYC stop around Thanksgiving had yet to be announced.

Well we didn't have to wait long. Now it is confirmed that Dylan and his band will be playing seven nights at the Beacon Theater on the Upper West Side of Manhattan closing out November and running into December.

Pre-sale starts tomorrow, full on-sale is later in the week. To get in the mood for the Bard's appearance in his adopted city, here are a few live tunes recorded sneakily by fans on his 2014 tour, the first from the Beacon itself.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Jack White: Kneeling At The Anthem D.C. Out Next Week

Jack White is releasing a concert film from his May 30th Washington DC show this spring. It is titled Jack White: Kneeling at the Anthem D.C.

For some reason it will only be released exclusively through Amazon Prime. For a man who cares about packing, delivery and owns his own god damn record company it seems an odd pairing to work with Amazon Prime solely for this release.

There is a very good chance it will be released elsewhere in the future, but for now, fire up your prime account and get ready to grab the film and the accompanying EP next Friday the 21st.

Peep the trailer below to get pumped.

Full Show Friday: Pet Shop Boys 2013 Electric Tour

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...Pet Shop Boys!

This week we focus on the Pet Shop Boys, the 80's group who were on their Electric Tour in 2013.

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

Pet Shop Boys Full Concert 2013
Intro: Gui Boratto - Arquipélago Rex The Dog 'Prototype'

One More Chance / Face Like That
Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)
Memory of the Future
Integral (Sample of "The Rite of Spring")
I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing
I'm Not Scared
Last to Die (Bruce Springsteen cover)
Somewhere (Leonard Bernstein cover)
Love Etc.
I Get Excited (You Get Excited Too)
It's a Sin
Domino Dancing
Go West (Village People cover)
Always on My Mind (Brenda Lee cover)

West End Girls Vocal

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Sheer Terror & More Playing Tompkins Sq 9/29 Jimmy G Benefit

Getting sick sucks and that is what happened to Jimmy Gestapo, lead singer of Murphy's Law. Jimmy has been in the hospital dealing with some serious health issues and is in need of support. He is one of the most beloved people in the NYHC scene and his friends are coming together to perform a benefit for him in Tompkins Square Park on Saturday September 29th.

If you can not attend, you can still donate here

We just caught Murphy's opening for the Misfits and hope Jimmy G can recover as quickly as possible. A few years ago RtBE attended the show when it was a benefit for Dr. Know. The worthy cause was very helpful to his recovery and the music/vibe all day was fantastic as we got to hang with new and very old friends. In fact, it was one of our favorites of 2016.

This year RtBE will also be attending as well because besides the great bands playing (Killing Time to name just one) and because we have meet and hung out with Jimmy on multiple occasions. Come to think of it, who hasn't who has been around the NYHC scene for the last 40 years?

A great guy, killer bands, in the heart of the Lower East Side, Saturday the 29th should not be missed. To get in the mood here are some songs from the groups playing in a few weekends: 

Album Review: Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears "The Difference Between Me & You"

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

It is of their newest album The Difference Between You & Me.

This is a dense album to dissect. On one hand you can just put the tunes on and not think too deeply as most of the vocals/lyrics are mixed to blend into the album ("Culture Vulture" being the exception). On the other, when you listen to what Lewis is singing about things are very bleak.

The same as on Father John Misty's excellent 2018 release their are times as a listener you want to check on Lewis to make sure he is really O.K? Unlike that album though, the music and playing seems to be at odds with the lyrical theme at times. Modern, raw almost bi polar blues, that is what the listener is in for. 

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

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Bob Dylan to Open Renovated Philly Met on 12/3

One of RtBE's patron saints, Bob Dylan will be opening the renovated and rejuvenated Philly Met on December 3rd.

One of RtBE's favorite all time Dylan concerts took place in Philly back in 2002.  You can see the set list here, but it doesn't do it justice to just what an amazing night of music and hanging with friends it truly was.

The bard has not yet announced his annual NYC gathering around Thanksgiving. Usually Dylan will play The Beacon or comparable venue for a few nights before Turkey Day, but his camp has been silent on any announcements as his tour had ended on the 20th in Connecticut until the news he will be playing Philly broke.

Here's hoping some NYC dates get added really soon, as the last time we caught Dylan was a fantastic night of tunes, the best we have seen him in years and it ended up being one of our favorites of 2017.

To hopefully put good vibes into the ether, here are some live Dylan tunes which have not yet been taken down from youtube. These are from Dylan's amazing run at The Supper Club in 1993 to get ready for his Unplugged performance...hmm RtBE should write some more about these shows one day...:

Album Review: Pig Destroyer - Head Cage

Pig Destroyer
Head Cage
**** out of *****

Opening with soothing pianos the grindcore veterans Pig Destroyer expressly warn listeners from the get go that they are not responsible for any hearing damage that they may suffer at the hands of the bands sixth studio release Head Cage.  The noise, banging, rage, clanging, screeching and yelling begin shortly there after and don't stop until one of the best heavy albums of 2018 wraps up.

Metal has more sub-genres then you can shake a leather studded fist at and Pig Destroyer dips into all of them on this release; the band confidently expands it's sound on a hardcore groove based "Army of Cops" which feels almost mainstream. The track is a highlight on an album full of them with head banging, pit ready riffs and vocals which are recognizable, all layered around bassist John Jarvis and drummer Adam Jarvis flow.

The Jarvis squared rhythm section are an excellent new addition to the band with Adam joining half way through recording their last album and John joining the band here on record, the first time Pig Destoryer has ever recorded with a bassist. "Circle River" also continues this groove based thrash metal direction with pounding drums, screeches, well produced gang vocals and a swirling breakdown.

While long time fans may gravitate to the more clanging noise, blast beat explosions like "Dark Train" and "Terminal Itch" yet it is these more spread out efforts that lend texture and depth to Head Cage. "The Torture Fields" blends both of these worlds with screeching and off kilter expert drumming, that could just as easily move a live pit or be a theme song for a horror flick.

Pig Destroyer are alive with power and ferocity throughout, constantly twisting their sound to keep it fresh for both their fans and themselves. Including guest vocalist Kat Katz (Agoraphobic Nosebleed) who spices up "Concrete Beast" which thunders forward with crushing force while the blistering minute and a half "Mt. Skull" finds front man JR Hayes lamenting lost homes and lives. 

"The Last Song" mixes in digital samples from Blake Harrison along with a sludgy low end while Full of Hell's Dylan Walker adds more vocal dynamics as the beat trudges through swampy intros before exploding out of the depths splashing and descending from all sides. Guitarist Scott Hull is at the forefront of this record having recorded it and written multiple memorable runs.

The album closes with the over seven minute nightmare of "House of Snakes" adding another dimension to the group who are riding a late career high throughout Head Cage. Every sub-genre of metal the band tries out works winningly and while Pig Destroyer's newest clearly won't be for everyone, fans of adventurous heavy music need to give Head Cage a spin; it is some fierce shit. 
Support the band, buy the record, check it on bandcamp and peep some video below:

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Album Review: Candi Staton - Unstoppable

Candi Staton
**** out of *****

The soul singer Candi Staton's 2014 comeback was titled Life Happens and was a soulful survivors guide to staying positive through tough times. Unstoppable keeps that vibe alive, but also pushes up the energy on all fronts.

Going on her seventh decade recording music Staton is fiery and lets you know right from the drop as "Confidence" sets the tone. Lyrically Staton can not be contained, but it is the electro-funk playing around her that kicks the record into a higher gear. Pumping horns and a locked in rhythm section that just happens to be provided by her sons Marcus (drums) and Marcel (bass) Williams pop and lock throughout the strutting opener.

The groove keeps rolling, in a more relaxed fashion on the head bopping "I Fooled You, Didn't I?" and the smooth and slinky (complete with funky keyboard accents) "Love Is You" is just restrained enough to keep it from the disco realm. The full funk force kicks back in for "It Ain't Over" which is a soul survivor bumper, dedicated to anyone who has ever felt like the world was all against them.

Her positive call for fixing the present "Revolution of Change" uses warbling guitars allowing Staton to stretch out and speak directly to the listener while "Stand Up" continues this call to action but injects more energy into the mix with a faster tempo; however both tracks run on a bit too long with their message of change.The two closing tracks are a bit more effective in this vein with the direct song about domestic violence "The Pleasure's Not Worth The Pain" and her Muscle Shoals retro soul blazer "Can I Change My Mind".

The crisp production was handled by Mark Nevers and things never become to slick as there is always a funky break, trumpet squeal or keyboard bubbling over to keep things unique. Candi has always had an interesting ear for covers and this album is no exception. She and the band give a funky strutting work out to Patti Smith's "People have The Power" turning it into a gospel influenced anthem while she pulls back for a more nuanced take on "(Whats so Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" stripping away the rock and her funky players for acoustic guitars and a focus on her vocals. 

Pairing Life Happens with the even better Unstoppable, it is clear that Candi Staton is enjoying a late career renaissance and is in a wonderfully positive place artistically. Her fierce singing, strength and determination shine through even during the darkest of times.
Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:

Monday, September 10, 2018

Dylan Cover #341 The War On Drugs "Tangled Up In Blue" 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 The War On Drugs performing "Tangled Up In Blue" 
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.

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
RtBE digs the War on Drugs. Their most recent album was excellent and we ended up ranking it high on our best of list for last year. Their sound seems perfectly suited for takes on Dylan's 80's period.
Thoughts on Cover:
Here they go for a classic, and while the sound isn't perfect with a phone recording the band from super close range, the spirit is there and an admirable cover flows out. We particularly dig the fuzzed up guitar solo that is thrown down to close the shortened number as certain verses are skipped.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Full Show Friday: Vieux Farka Touré @ Brooklyn Bowl 2/25/18

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

This week RtBE is proud to showcase Vieux Farka Toure for Full Show Friday. The Mali singer and guitar player puts on a spirited show from early this year. Recorded at Brooklyn Bowl the group work through Mali's songs with dexterity but it is truly Toure who stands out with his fiery playing.

Definitely an artist to keep tabs on going forward.  Pro-Shot, Pro-Shot. Enjoy:

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Album Review: Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band - 6/5/81 Wembley, London

Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band
June 5th, 1981 Wembley, London
**** out of *****

The Site has been releasing shows from Bruce's past for anyone to download and enjoy. While all of the recent shows have been recorded and uploaded, every month or so the site will dig into the archives for a blast from the past. Last month the site offered up the June 5th 1981 Wembley Stadium show and it is a behemoth; over three and a half hours of music.

This performance was during the bands six night London stand on the worldwide River Tour. The European leg was Springsteen's first shot at playing to this market and he poured his all into it, so much so that the Western European leg was delayed three weeks due to Springsteen's exhaustion from the first two legs. There is a weariness in Springsteen's voice on the selected night, but the band is whip crack tight and the (slightly) reserved Bruce lends himself to the quieter/softer numbers.

The biggest surprise of the show has to be the pacing and song placement, this is immediately evident as the concert starts with none other than "Born To Run". Springsteen and crew used this as the opener on The River Tour and it is almost as if crowds weren't prepared for it right off the bat. The guitars are low in the mix for "Prove It All Night" but gradually increase in volume as the show goes on while the "Out On The Street" is a touch sluggish not hitting the joyful high of studio or other live takes.

On the flip side the introspective "Follow That Dream" is successful with only minimal instrumentation and Bruce's raspy/weary vocals. That sense of foreboding works amazingly well for "The River", "Independence Day" and "Darkness on the Edge of Town" but the lesser played "Johnny Bye-Bye" never captures the 50's rockin' sound the group were shooting for while a mid-set "I Fought The Law" feels misplaced. The emotion and seriousness embedded in Springsteen's take on Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" is hypnotic while the cover of Creedance Clearwater Revival's "Who'll Stop The Rain?" nails the dramatic aspects of the song.

"Badlands" is grandiose, opposite of the some of the tighter/manic performances this group of players have banged out during this number and the performance on this night is an upbeat highlight of the first set. The odd pacing however returns as Springsteen chooses to wrap up the first set with the introspective "Thunder Road", it is a wealth of riches from a song perspective, but the performance aspect of the beginning of the show never truly locks in.

The second set flows better to start as "Hungry Heart" is already crowd pleasing, "You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)" is revved up hip swinging rocker and both "Cadillac Ranch" and "Sherry Darling" keep the party flowing with Clarence Clemons saxophone solo in particular highlighting the last of those.

The whole show hits a cinematic high-point however in the middle of the second set as "Because The Night" steals the evening. The band uses the songs dramatic opening to capture the audience, slamming them on the notes as the effort climbs before Springsteen shreds his voice screaming the mantra into the English air; this track alone reason to download this show.

After the blistering song, the band takes some time to gain it's footing again as "I Wanna Marry You" (complete with odd static sounds), and "Point Blank" are downers and normally blazing pair of "Candy's Room" and "Ramrod" never fully coalesce. Show closer "Rosalita" contains group intro's but the band is waning a bit, needing a break to gather themselves (who wouldn't) as the second set ends.

This being Bruce Springsteen however more is never enough and the encore finds all of the players back and completely energized as "I'm A Rocker" totally captures the Jersey shore rock jangle Springsteen envisioned. The heightened poetic tale of "Jungleland" is huge in scope as the piano of Roy Bittan sings, but not as lovely as Springsteen does though on the stripped down Elvis Presley cover "Can't Help Falling In Love".

The bands "Detroit Medley" finally ends the night paying respects to Little Richard by way of Mitch Ryder and is a dynamite exclamation mark on huge night of music. The River Tour had more famous shows, and probably a few better played, but the fact that THIS is a good-to-average night in this bands life circa '81 is a huge testament in and of itself.

Springsteen and the E-Street Band are a hurricane force, June 5th, 1981 Wembley, London proves that they always blew strong; their passion and commitment to the rock and roll spirit are still palpable almost forty years later.
Support the band, download the show and peep some video below:

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Album Review: St. Paul & The Broken Bones - Young Sick Camellia

St Paul & The Broken Bones
Young Sick Camellia
**** out of *****

On St. Paul & The Broken Bones debut Half The City the group dove into retro soul sound with passion, then their follow up the excellent Sea of Noise was one of the best albums of 2016, expanding the bands sound by experimenting with outer-space funk. That trend of successfully widening the groups breath and scope continues on Young Sick Camellia which roots itself in the south through it's title, some lyrics and interludes, but also soars for the stars.   

The album was written from front-man Paul Janeway's personal relationship with his father and grandfather. Janeway is, as he describes it:
I’m liberal, a blue dot in a very red part of the world. When you’re from Alabama you have to go out of your way to make people understand that you think a little differently. But we’re an Alabama band—it’s who we are.
Those personal relationships with direct family members and spirituality/wisdom may form the crux/inspiration for the record, but in the end they also muddy the overall flow. Janeway is evolving as a lyric writer and when he addresses those relationships directly on "Hurricane" or we hear from his "pawpaw" in recorded conversations, the moments are deeply personal and cathartic but also rub awkwardly against the universal appeal of the standout first single "Apollo".

Listening to that track alone, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Jesse Phillips (bass, guitars) Browan Lollar (guitars), Andrew Lee (drums), Al Gamble (keyboards), Allen Branstetter (trumpet), Chad Fisher (trombone) and Amari Ansari, Jason Mingledorff (saxophone) hit it out of the park with a magical grooving funk soul work out dealing with pure love; a dynamite four minutes and forty five seconds of bliss. 

Another scorcher is the drop dead sexy flow of "Nasa" which fuzzes up guitars putting bass and organ work front and center while Janeway's amazing vocals captivvate leading to a swirling climax. The group injects some disco with the Bootsy Collins bass bubbles of "GotItBad" and "LivWithoutU" both of which get the dance floor moving but dig deep with questioning/spiritual lyrics moving mind an body. 

The choice to partner with polished producer Jack Splash (Cee-Lo, Kendrick Lamar, Alisha Keys) and striving for accessibility is evident throughout, but mostly during their tricky foray into hip-hop samples and beats during "Mr. Invisible". Not a blazing success, but not as silly as it may seem. The duo of "Convex" and "Concave" also possess flashes on modern with "Convex's"odd electro sounds (and even more convoluted lyrics) for "Convex" and a dip into pop rock territory with thematic strings for "Convex".

This mixing of feelings/goals, a down home record that captures pop sensibility and appeal in 2018 make for a bit of a disjointed overall listen but it is hard not to admire a band who goes for it all. The drawn out dramatic closer "Bruised Fruit" hearkens back to the southern personal family bonds (and the obvious "Strange Fruit" comparison in the title) with pianos, a huge horn crescendo and cinematic scope, but the ending isn't fully nailed as the record grapples with issues bigger than most albums can deliver, or ever even aspire too. 

Young Sick Cameilla tries to straddle personal connections, the twisted history of the American south  and cosmic nature of life, not just for Janeway but with all human relationships (physical and spiritual). Some big ass goals and the band almost pulls it off, falling just a bit short, however, the gorgeous vocals and musicality from the group still succeeds on multiple levels crafting a complex listen, solidifying them into a echelon of must hear artists.
Support the band, buy the album and peep some video below:

Two New Hold Steady Tracks Released Today

As The Hold Steady have done before each of their recent mini tours, the group has released new songs to celebrate the shows.

The upcoming multi-night stand in Toronto will most certainly hear both "Confusion in the Marketplace" (par for later day HS) and "T-Shirt Tux" (pretty cool and unique for the band) live when the band plays the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern next week.

For some reason these new tunes are fine yet there is a overriding feeling that Finn is writing lyrics separate from the music and forcing alignment of cool lyrics into songs that they may or may not fit. Then again we are just hearing them for the first time and "T-Shirt Tux" particularly is a engaging listen with an interesting musical ending and both "The Stove & The Toaster" and "Star 18" are solid efforts.

All of these A/B side releases may one day add up to an album or just may live in our new streaming bite sized world, but either way it is heartwarming that the best version of this band continue to be inspired to create new music together.

RtBE can not wait to party with them in November. Until then enjoy the new tracks streaming below and download them from the groups bandcamp page.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Album Review: Beanpole - All My Kin

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

It is of a weird, one-time recording from Beanpole. A Primus offshoot which is pretty god damn strange.

We broke this one down pretty honestly in the review so buy the record, check it on bandcamp, read the review and peep some video below:

Monday, September 3, 2018

Dylan Cover #340 Osvaldo Paese "Union Sundown" 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 Osvaldo Paese playing "Union Sundown"
Thoughts on Original:
From what has become an annual tradition here and here:
Wanted to pick this one for Labor Day as it is Dylan's take on the lack of US manufacturing jobs as well as the increasing flux of capitalism in society and the death of unions.  The idea of greed taking over is nothing new, but this song seems to come from an impulsive Dylan (a lot do) and shows up on Infidel's of which Dylan has commented something along the lines of "Those songs stuck around too long".  Ideas seem to be a bit jumbled on this disk, but not on this tune, his lament at no good paying job for American workers is clear, but he isn't passing the buck.  It is all of HIS products that are foreign made, this isn't a plea for change as a younger Dylan might have done; it is a simple statement of fact...and a sad one at that.  Having grown up in a extremely pro-Labor house hold I just wanted to point this tune out and the fact that Dylan wrote it almost 30 years ago, and things have only gotten worse... Happy Labor Day....

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Osvaldo Paese is a singer songwriter who likes to upload both originals and covers to his youtube channel. Head on over and support him.
Thoughts on Cover:
A man, his guitar and a song. Pretty straight ahead. Mr. Paese dives right into the song with passion and sings with some fire, making for a good listen of this deeper Dylan cut on Labor Day.