Thursday, December 31, 2009

Phish NYE Run Night #3

Gone was a debut, and Dixie Cannonball was a Phish debut. Back on the Train featured an extended jam including hints of Limb by Limb. During Love You, Fishman mentioned Trey's announcement on December 28, 2009 that it was Fishman's last vacuum solo "of the aughts," so he announced that he needed "someone dressed like me" to do it, brought audience member Rich onstage to do the solo, then gave him the vac! Antelope included numerous Boogie On teases. Frankenstein featured Page on keytar. Corrina was played for the first time since February 24, 2003 (100 shows) and Tela was played for the first time since November 24, 1998 (235 shows). This gig featured ten songs not previously performed in 2009 inclusive of two debuts; 2009 features more unique songs (242) than any other year in Phish's history, beating out 1998 by 2... so far!

Set 1: Soul Shakedown Party, Runaway Jim, Jesus Just Left Chicago, Dixie Cannonball[1], Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Corrina, What's the Use?, Tela, Gone[2], Rocky Top, Chalk Dust Torture, David Bowie

Set 2: Sand, The Curtain With, Lifeboy, Back on the Train[3] > Wading in the Velvet Sea, Hold Your Head Up > Love You[4] > Hold Your Head Up, Free, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Run Like an Antelope

Here's a video of "What's The Use"

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Phish NYE Run Night #2

The ball continued to roll last night as Phish played their second night in Miami, Florida. The boys dipped into their album Undermind a little more heavily than usual, busting out tunes like the poppy "The Connection" and "Access Me" while surprising the crowd with a nice Manteca jam in the midst of a heavy "Tweezer". A rare "Sleeping Monkey" and "Tweezer Reprise" mainstay made sure the encore wasn't a snooze fest. The boys keep the heat going tonight for the second to last performance.

Set 1: Golgi Apparatus, Maze, Driver, The Connection, Wolfman's Brother, Ocelot, Reba, Access Me, The Divided Sky, Cavern

Set 2: Kill Devil Falls, Tweezer[1] -> Prince Caspian, Gotta Jibboo > Wilson -> Gotta Jibboo -> Heavy Things > Also Sprach Zarathustra, Slave to the Traffic Light

Encore: Sleeping Monkey, Tweezer Reprise

[1] With Manteca jam.

Here's a video of the encore. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Phish NYE Run Night #1

Phish kicked off their 4 night NYE run in Florida in style last night. First set had some nice bust-outs including the first "My Soul" and "Roggae" since 2004, while the second set saw "Light" being mixed into the classic Mike's Groove segment for the first time. I'm definitely looking forward to hearing the next couple of shows as I'm sure the boys will only continue to improve. Here's a link to download a soundboard of the show : http://www.megaupload.com/?d=78IYXN3G

Set One

Sample in a Jar
NICU
My Soul
Roggae
Undermind
Bouncing Around The Room
Poor Heart
Stash
I Didn't Know
Beauty Of A Broken Heart
Possum

Set Two

Mike's Song >
Light >
I Am Hydrogen >
Weekapaug Groove
Alaska
Backwards Down the Number Line
Makisupa Policeman >
Harry Hood >
Contact
Character Zero

encore
First Tube

Check this video of "Alaska", my favourite of the new tunes

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dr. Dog - The Breeze

Last week Dr. Dog headed over to one of NYC's hottest new venues, Brooklyn Bowl. Brooklyn Bowl is a combination first class bowling alley, Blue Ribbon restaurant and live concert venue. Some super hot acts have been stopping by since it opened in early August, including one of my favourite bands, Dr. Dog. The group played a Christmas themed show tinged with the spirit of summer. They venue itself was decorated in Christmas fare while the group also handed out sunglasses and other summery goods. Check out this video of the band playing "The Breeze" from their 2008 album, Fate

Interview: Carlon



Here's an interview I did with the New Jersey based indie-rock band Carlon over the summer. The group was recently added to the Rope-A-Dope Records family which features the likes of John Medeski, Marco Benevento, Charlie Hunter, DJ Logic and many more fantastic artists.

A Johari Window as I understand it is a cognitive exercise that helps one to better understand their interpersonal communication and relationships. That’s a pretty interesting choice for an album title, what is the band’s experience with the Johari Window tool?

Band: In making the album we learnt about one another. We weren’t sitting there with four windows picking adjectives. We learned things about one another that you can only learn through spending way, way too much time with somebody (Laughs). That was sort of the experience for that album. It was all of us realizing something about one another. It was breaking down barriers, individual barriers. Learning how to communicate more or less when you want something, when you hear something should go a certain way or someone hears the opposite. I think that’s one of the challenges as a new band. We developed to a certain level but the album was the first time we had been put in that place in more of a creative mindset. Where it’s like we have to write this many songs and we want to record them by this time and how are we going to do that. The title itself came in retrospect. When we heard what it meant it was really what we had gone through. We debated over using a track name or self titled but none of that really felt right.

The album opens with “Mixed Messages”, a hard-rocking tune with blues sensibility and an infectious chorus. Do you feel the song’s mixture of different styles is an appropriate segue into a noticeably eclectic album?

Band: That’s a controversial track. I think Mixed Messages was such an old song, its probably one of the oldest songs on the record. That song is early on for us. We’ve gone through a full range of emotions on it. Its also sounded so many different ways before it made the record. It’s fair to say that from anyone’s perspective. If you asked all of us we might have different answers as to what would be a better all-encompassing segue. But because it started out so early with us with that track, during the recording process there was a constant strive to try and incorporate all these different ideas through every track, not just that song.

“Cantaloupe”, the single off of Johari Window is just drenched with reverb and evokes the recording techniques utilized on My Morning Jacket’s “The Tennessee Fire”. When you decided to record in an empty warehouse, were you hoping to create a reverb-heavy album that would really enrich and amplify your vocal harmonies?

Band: I think that we loved the idea of recording in a warehouse. I don’t think it was so we could have reverb drenched vocals, guitars and natural delay. That was stuff we realized we had once we were there. You could fly a kite in this room so you could put a mic all the way at the other end and have a natural effect basically. It would have been silly not to utilize the surrounding. We kind of wanted to have a home. It was big. Every night I’d walk in there and just have a big shit-eating grin on my face. There were instruments everywhere, a whole recording setup, and everything you could ever want to make a funny noise with was there. It was a quintessential situation for recording an album. We definitely didn’t choose recording there to get any sort of certain sound. Nothing was done with too much intention. We started the process a year before we finished it with the thought that we would be done in a few months, max. More and more ideas come and then our manager kept trying to put finish dates on us. When we started in the warehouse it wasn’t empty, there were storage racks from the company that was renting it out to us. We were crammed in a little corner and one day they pulled all the stuff out and said we were still free to use the space.

Although Carlon has been labeled as an “indie rock” band, the music on Johari Window really just seems to be influenced by both new hard-rocking and old southern and folk style music. Can you talk about some artists (new and old) that have really had an impact on the band and its style, either individually or as a whole?

Band: We definitely have an appreciation for American music. I’m a huge Ledbelly and Woody Guthrie fan. Songs that have bellowing vocals. Lots of volume, push and power. In terms of new stuff, I wouldn’t say that I was listening to so much when we were recording Johari Window, but I was listening to Danny Elfman. He scores movies, the Tim Burton films. We were all listening to contemporary and American music. We just wanted to put it all together in our own way. Everybody in the band listens to so much stuff, there is really nothing stopping the album from turning out completely different than it did. There are days we go into practice and we spend the first 45minutes jamming. That could be really dramatic ambient stuff or just straight blues or funk. There is never a time when we put borders or walls up around us. Driving to practice once we listened to Lauren Hill, Outkast and Woody Guthrie.

Even with its wide range of sounds and styles, Johari Window is ultimately a cohesive record that displays the band’s maturity. Can you talk a bit about the song-writing process and how the tracks came to flow so well?

Band: Nothing was really done with intent. A bunch of songs were written over six years ago, they were not written with intention of being on a record. “Rutherford” was an exception it kind of happened while we were in there. “Red Rover” was a newer one that happened within that year. Ryan and I had been writing together since we were teenagers, the concepts behind lots of tracks were incredibly old. But obviously since the band was started we have all added and they tend to evolve. In terms of things we have written together, in the catalogue we didn’t pick the super-old ones we picked the relevant ones. When the songs had the possibility of being put on the album then a whole new wave of new ideas got put into the song. You see how far you can go with it and what you can do with it. You also have to be willing to change old stuff which is difficult because you get really attached to old things. You also have to know when to leave old stuff and there is no rule book for that. That’s usually where we tend to disagree. We would bring a track up and somebody would say “oh I don’t want to see a change here” and that’s why lots of things get put by the wayside. We went through about 50 demos or ideas for songs and voted to narrow them all down. At the time I didn’t think all the songs fit that well but now the record feels great. We always talk about Beck and how you listen to this records and there is a cohesiveness to his records but there are always a few tracks that if you took them out of the album you would be like “what was that doing in the mix” but when you get through the record you can’t imagine it happening any other way.

On the album, the songs are very focused and well crafted. How do the songs translate in a live setting? Is there room for improvisation and stretching out?

Band: There is definitely room for both. We’re always changing. We can’t necessarily do what we did on the album live. We don’t have the money (laughs). With some of them we can, with some we can’t. You have to build in some live dynamic. The songs do change live because we only have two hands and on the record you can layer and have a lot of texture in the songs. There are only four people on stage. We’ve gone the route of people playing two things at all time and we are still trying different methods. It will be interesting to see how we keep playing live. When it comes to records there is a mentality that there are no limits. We make the songs individually whatever they can be we don’t think of them live. We add a layer if we think we should add one. It will be interesting to see what limits we have and what technology we have available to us. If people start paying us money we will play it just like the album. The whole point of recording is to be able to do things you can’t do in a live situation. It has forced us to be more courageous. Everyone tries new instruments. Just because you have never received proper training on an instrument doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to play it, and play it in time because you’ve been trying for ten minutes now (laughs).

Ropeadope Records is a pretty prestigious record label with a great mix of artists from a variety of genres. How did you guys become involved with the label?


Band: A friend from college, Kentavious Jones, is responsible for teaching me guitar. He is doing his thing down in D.C. and he wrote me a message saying “I’m friends with this label you should send me a demo” so we sent him a demo and we were in touch. They knew we had a new record out and in good will we sent a few rough tracks and they were stoked and it developed from there. It’s a very cool label and Andy and Lewis are great guys. They are small label compared to the Majors but they’ve always been supportive and done what they could.

The core of the group has known each other before the band even came into existence. Have you noticed a change in your relationships?

Band: No, not even a little bit (laughs). Our lives have changed, the love is still there. In many ways we are closer than we have ever been in terms of what we talk about and being there for eachother. We have all experienced bad things in our personal lives in a five year period. We always talk about remaining family, if we had more time it would be easier to do that. It takes a lot of time and coordination. People are getting engaged and starting new chapters in their personal lives so it gets more difficult but we are figuring it out. Communicatively, we’ve never felt as good as we do now. When we make zillions we’ll go on trips together and talk about all the pain we’ve shared and talk about things besides music (laughs).

Has the band begun to write new songs/plan for a follow up album?

Band: Definitly, most of the stuff that has been going on has been more musical. Becoming more complex and smarter about what were playing and how we play it. Playing tones as well as our instruments and getting the sounds we kind of hear in our heads and want to hear on a record. We were guessing and learning before but now we’re figuring out how to get exactly what we want and its showing in the music. We will be able to construct these songs to have a musical and lyrical message to get something across. If you listen to a movie score they can make someone feel sad or happy and its just music that does that. We want to exploit that emotional dynamic. We don’t have a concrete plan for a record, it took a little time post releasing Johari to bandage our wounds and to say “we need to not think about a new record yet”. As early as this winter we started doing more writing sessions and bringing new material in and so our momentum is starting to pick up. We start building on everyone’s ideas now. We’re trying to perfect our live stuff and we’re trying to get the album stuff to come across live on stage with only four people. It’s always refreshing to work on new tunes especially when we spent a year recording these songs and another year playing them live there are times when we have to hear and play something new. We don’t want to lose sight of our immediate goal which is to kick ass live on stage. Rehearsals are funny because we want to come in and play something new but we are determined in many ways because we don’t want to give up on our live show and develop new stuff but the opposite is true as well. It’s all about time management and finding a balance.

check out Carlon's music at www.carlonmusic.com & http://www.myspace.com/carlonmusic

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Keys & Colbert's Empire State of Mind

While Colbert often has musical guests on his show, he rarely performs with them. Last night was one of those rare, hilarious and surprising moments as Stephen Colbert displayed his MC talents for all the world to see. I think he held his own and lightened Keys' serious tone with some absurd dancing. What a maniac.

Amazon Leaks New Lil' Wayne Album

Weezy enthusiasts will be happy to hear that his new rock-centric album "Rebirth" was leaked by none other than monster online retail outlet Amazon.com. While the mistake was likely made due to the constant changing of the album's release date which is now February 1, it doesn't make up for the fact that Wayne's new album can be downloaded for on the net a month earlier than it should be. According to Billboard, Universal Music Group Distribution, Cash Money Records' distributor, manufactured about a million copies of the Rebirth CD before the release date was pushed back again. A third of those went to retailers. UMGD sent out word that the CDs needed to be returned, but Amazon still somehow managed to mail out those 500 copies. What's more, Billboard notes that the version of Rebirth that shipped may not be the final version. Needless to say, you can no longer pre-order Rebirth.

Friday, December 11, 2009

BlakRoc Live On Fallon

BlakRoc continue on the late night television circuit, this time playing Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Last night's pairing with Wu Tang Clan's RZA, and the group throws down a medley of "Dollaz & Sense" and "Tellin' Me Things".

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Top 10 Albums of 2009

2009 was a big year for music. It saw folk/punk road-warriors catching the attention of none other than Rick Rubin. Underground indie rappers were popping up everywhere, on the albums of hiphop legends and all over the radio waves. Folk monsters shared an album, and a stage on several occasions. It saw a rapper from Brooklyn top rock and roll legend Elvis Presley as well as indie-godfathers make an extremely accessible album, arguably for their first time. It also saw a jazz pianist embrace wonderful musicians new and old, and newcomers make beautiful roots-rock that would have made Dylan and The Band very, very proud. Ladies and gentleman, here are the top 10 albums of 2009:

1. Dawes - North Hills
These newcomers from California put out a record that hits you from the first listen. It feels like The Band froze some of their creativity from "Music From Big Pink" and donated it willingly to Dawes. Lead singer Taylor Goldsmith's voice encapsulates the soul of Rick Danko while still remaining completely his own. The album is roots-rock at its finest. The production is minimal yet extremely crisp, and every instrument and voice simply shines. The band writes songs that rock veterans may hope to someday write, and this is their debut album. Simply put, grab it now and see what you were missing, I promise you won't be dissapointed.
Key Tracks: When My Time Comes, Peace In The Valley, That Western Skyline
Live Track: Peace In The Valley


2. Phish - Joy
Phish made every hippies dream come true when they decided to re-unite at Hampton Coliseum in 2009. Let's be honest, every fan new that Coventry would not be the band's true farewell, partially because the whole event itself was a trainwreck, and so was lead guitarist and singer Trey Anastasio. Anastasio saw the error of his ways, got clean and got the old band back together. The boys enlisted producer-extraordinaire Steve Lillywhite to produce "Joy", the first Phish album in far too long. Playful tunes such as "Ocelet" and heartfelt lyrics such as those on the title track make this album a strong return from a band who is just beginning to get their groove back.
Key Tracks: Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Ocelot, Backwards Down The Number Line
Live Track:

3. Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3
Jigga drops another album full of instant classics. He enlists the help of up-and-comers such as Toronto born Drake and Kid Cudi. Jay also happens to make New York's unofficial anthem with Alicia Keys at his side and proves that none of us have to grow up on "Forever Young". The Blueprint 3 is easily the best rap album of 2009 and helped rekindle my love for hip hop.
Key Tracks: Empire State of Mind, Already Home, Thank You
Live Track:

4. Marco Benevento - Me Not Me
Marco may be one of the busiest men in the music industry today. He plays in like 5 different groups and still manages to put out incredible solo records. Enlisting the help of Reed Mathis (JFJO, Tea Leaf Green) and Andrew Barr (The Slip, Surprise Me Mr. Davis, Land of Talk) doesn't hurt either. Marco covers indie-favourites My Morning Jacket, classic rockers Led Zeppelin and even George Harrison. He also sprinkles in a few of his own sonic gems as well.
Key Tracks: Golden, Call Home, Mephisto
Live Track: Heartbeats

5. The Avett Brothers - I and Love and You
In 2009 the Avett Brothers proved that hard work and determination (as cliche as it sounds) pays off. Rick Rubin, arguably the biggest record producer in the world produced their latest album, and the boys played on national television on several occasions. I and Love and You is poetic and poppy while still remaining true to the signature sound of the Avetts.
Key Tracks: I and Love and You, Laundry Room, Kick Drum Heart
Live Track: Laundry Room

6. Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
Wilco probably pissed off quite a few fans with their latest, humorously self-titled album. At first I kind of felt betrayed too. The album is undeniably poppy on first listen. But like all good Wilco albums, the subtle nuances and instrumental intricacies seep in upon numerous listens. The lyrics are dark (listen to Bull Black Nova), but their is plenty of sunlight on the album as well, as can be hard on You and I (featuring Leslie Feist of Broken Social Scene) and Sunny Feeling. Not to mention, the songs completely blow you away live.
Key Tracks: I'll Fight, You Never Know, One Wing
Live Track:

7. Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk
This super group made up of Jim James (My Morning Jacket), M. Ward, Conor Oberst & Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes) could simply never live up to the hype. That being said, the album is pretty good. It may be a little heavy on Oberst's "i'm holding back the tears" singing style, but it is rich and texture and has a nice old timey feel to it that would make The Travelling Wilburys or even CSNY take notice.
Key Tracks: Temazacal, Baby Boomer, Man Named Truth
Live Track: Temazacal

8. The Black Keys - BlakRoc
Leave it to blues duo The Black Keys to finally get the recipe for a rock meets rap album right. The low-fi guitar and drums combo enlist the help of some of the best rappers out there including Mos Def, Jim Jones, Raekwon and Ludacris to put together a seriously interesting album. The beats are heavy and trippy and it seems that the rappers really dig the bluesy vibe of the Keys. Check out the webisodes which document the whole making of the album, which took an astonishing 11 days to complete!
Key Tracks: Why Can't I Forget Him, Ain't Nothing Like You, Stay off the Fuckin Flowers
Live Track: Ain't Nothing Like You

9. Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon: The End Of Day
Cudi reached the public ear with virtually endless remixes of his standout hit "Day N Nite". The young MC redefined what a hip hop album should be, enlisting indie-rockers and rapping over seriously unique beats. He also had some of the biggest and best in hiphop lend a hand on a few tracks.
Key Tracks: Simple As, Day N Nite, Make Her Say
Live Track: Make Her Say (feat. Common)

10. The Felice Brothers - Yonder Is The Clock
These roots-rockers bring a vaudeville like quality to their latest release. The group can make things dark and minimalist as can be heard on the track "The Big Surprise" and create an interesting juxtaposition of dark lyrics and upbeat rock on "Penn Station". Yonder Is The Clock is just a great, down home style album that really works and shows the potential of this band.
Key Tracks: Penn Station, The Big Surprise, All When We Were Young
Live Track: Penn Station

Special Mention:
Surprise Me Mr. Davis - Demo
With the addition of Marco Benevento to the group, Surprise Me Mr. Davis' new album which will likely be released in 2010 (its now streaming on their website) is sure to be a winner. This is a band that deserves wide spread recognition and I think they may just find it with this up-coming album. Expecting big things from this band in the new year.
Key Tracks: That's The Way, One Sick Knave, Sleepyhead

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
The French indie-rock band put out a highly danceable album, and the tracks "Listzomania" and "1901" could literally be heard everywhere, clubs, radio-stations, television shows and commercials and movies since their release. That being said, most of the songs follow a very similar rhythmic formula which to me, grows tiresome. I can pick and choose some of the songs I love and I do thoroughly enjoy listening to them, but I can't listen to the album all the way through, which is problematic for me. All in all, W.A.P. is still a very strong album and people seem to love it so it deserves special mention in this list.

There you have it folks. My favourite 10 albums of 2009. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

New Gorillaz Album In 2010

The third Gorillaz album will feature one newly announced GPS voice, two iconic frontmen of the ‘60s and ’70s, and more, lending to a contributing line-up as eclectic as the one heard on 2005’s Demon Days. The GPS voice, Snoop Dogg, plus Lou Reed of the Velvet Underground and Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, will be heard alongside Mos Def, Bobby Womack, The Horrors and the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra in Plastic Beach, out 2010. For Demon Days, production by Danger Mouse and guest spots from De La Soul and Ike Turner lent to sounds more ominous than breakout single “Clint Eastwood.” However, as Gorillaz leader Damon Albarn told The Guardian, Plastic Beach promises to be “the most pop record [he’s] ever made.”

"November Has Come" is my personal favourite Gorillaz tune. Check out this live performance from the Demon Dayz concert. If you've never seen this concert before I highly recommend it. The production is incredible and the performances are equally as good.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

BlakRoc Live On Letterman

Last night, The Black Keys debuted their new hip hop project, BlakRoc live on Letterman. Mos Def and Jim Jones were chosen by the group to play their banger "Ain't Nothin' Like You".

Eric Clapton To Tour With Rock & Roll Legends

As I tweeted a few days ago, guitar-god Eric Clapton will embark on a tour of North America in 2010. While the tour is billed as a Clapton solo tour, joining Slowhand will be joined on stage by another guitar legend, Jeff Beck. Just recently, Clapton announced that additional dates had been added to the tour, and this time The Who's frontman Roger Daltrey would be coming along. What's more, Blindfaith bandmate Steve Winwood has also been added to the final stretch! This sure-to-be-epic tour will kick off on February 25 in Pittsburgh, PA.

Dates:
02/13/10 Sat O2 Arena London, GB (w/ Jeff Beck)
02/14/10 Sun O2 Arena London, GB (w/ Jeff Beck)
02/18/10 Thu Madison Square Garden New York, NY (w/ Jeff Beck)
02/19/10 Fri Madison Square Garden New York, NY (w/ Jeff Beck)
02/21/10 Sun Air Canada Centre Toronto, ON (w/ Jeff Beck)
02/22/10 Mon Bell Centre Montreal, QC (w/ Jeff Beck)
02/25/10 Thu Mellon Arena Pittsburgh, PA (w/ Roger Daltrey)
02/27/10 Sat Sommet Center Nashville, TN (w/ Roger Daltrey)
02/28/10 Sun Birmingham Jefferson Arena Birmingham, AL (w/ Roger Daltrey)
03/02/10 Tue BOK Center Tulsa, OK (w/ Roger Daltrey)
03/03/10 Wed Sprint Center Kansas City, MO (w/ Roger Daltrey)
03/05/10 Fri FedEx Forum Memphis, TN (w/ Roger Daltrey)
03/06/10 Sat New Orleans Arena New Orleans, LA (w/ Roger Daltrey)
03/08/10 Mon RBC Center Raleigh, NC (w/ Roger Daltrey)
03/09/10 Tue Gwinnett Civic & Cultural Center Duluth, GA (w/ Roger Daltrey)
03/11/10 Thu BankAtlantic Center Sunrise, FL (w/ Roger Daltrey)
03/13/10 Sat Amway Arena Orlando, FL (w/ Roger Daltrey)
05/18/10 Tue LG Arena (NEC Arena) Birmingham, GB (w/ Steve Winwood)
05/20/10 Thu Wembley Arena London, GB (w/ Steve Winwood)
05/23/10 Sun Sportpaleis Antwerpen Antwerp, BEL (w/ Steve Winwood)
05/25/10 Tue Bercy Paris, FRA (w/ Steve Winwood)
05/28/10 Fri Phillipshalle Dusseldorf, GER (w/ Steve Winwood)
05/29/10 Sat Gelredome Arnhem, NL (w/ Steve Winwood)
05/31/10 Mon Malmo Arena Malmo, SE (w/ Steve Winwood)
06/02/10 Wed O2 World Berlin, GER (w/ Steve Winwood)
06/03/10 Thu Color Line Arena Hamburg, GER (w/ Steve Winwood)
06/05/10 Sat Konigsplatz Munich, GER (w/ Steve Winwood)
06/07/10 Mon Stadthalle Vienna, AUS (w/ Steve Winwood)
06/09/10 Wed Belgrade Arena Belgrade, RS (w/ Steve Winwood)
06/13/10 Sun Santral Istanbul Istanbul, TR (w/ Steve Winwood)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sullivan Hall 2 Year Anniversary Party

In 2008, a famous New York City concert venue called The Lion's Den was transformed into Sullivan Hall. The new club is marking its 2nd anniversary with a special concert featuring one-time Sullivan Hall resident Marco Benevento. Benevento will be performing with his trio which will include special guest drummer and musical hero, Billy Martin. What's more, Benevento's new Surprise Me Mr. Davis band mates, The Slip will also be performing in another one of their one-off shows. Tickets will be available to the public on December 1 via ticketweb.com and the show will take place January 2, 2010.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know things have a been a bit slow around here lately, and they will continue to be until the new year most likely. That's not to say I won't be putting together posts from now until then, they will just be a little bit shorter. Anywho, I'm going to leave you with a piece of music from a band that has been a big part of my life since the day I stumbled upon their music. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Furthur Tour Dates

Furthur, the band made up of Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Jay Lane, Joe Russo, John Kadlecik and Jeff Chimenti, have just announced a major tour that spans the month of February and goes into the first week of March

February 5 Miami, FL Bayfront Park Amphitheatre
February 6 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
February 8 Atlanta, GA The Tabernacle
February 9 Asheville, NC Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
February 10 Charlotte, NC Bojangles Coliseum
February 12 Hampton, VA Hampton Coliseum
February 13 Faifax, VA Patriot Ctr George Mason Univ. February 14 Ithaca, NY Barton Hall Cornell University
February 15 Lehigh Univ. Bethlehem, PA Stabler Arena
February 17 Buffalo, NY Shea’s Performing Arts Center
February 18 Manchester, NH Verizon Wireless Arena
February 19 Amherst, MA Mullins Center Univ of Mass February 20 Utica, NY Utica Auditorium February 22 Newark, DE Bob Carpenter Ctr Univ of DE
February 23 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall
February 24 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall
February 26 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
February 27 Atlantic City, NJ Trump Taj Mahal @ Estess Arena
March 2 Chicago, IL Auditorium Theatre
March 3 Chicago, IL Auditorium Theatre
March 8 Portland, OR Portland Memorial Coliseum

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Phish: Live In Detroit - Wednesday, November 19, 2009

As I tweeted yesterday, I was unable to make it to the Phish show in Detroit. Thankfully, my good friends over at http://dogoneblog.wordpress.com/ were able to make it and have given me permission to post their show review. I recommend heading over to Dog Gone Blog for more pics and sound clips.

On a cool, rainy night in the Motor city, Phish opened their fall tour with a show that hinted at what will come as the tour progresses. Phish got started with some standard rock, bringing Cobo Arena back to its roots, one last time.

The first set flowed like one from a past era, sprinkled with new songs to add an original flavor. The setlist was surprising, and carried the night into a more of a rock-concert feel than a Phish show. However, certain moments saw a combination of the two which made for a perfect tour starter. “Sample in a Jar” heard Trey deliver one of his best standard rock solos this year, as he shed some of his edgy tone, and at the same time, brought back licks we have not heard in years. So many Phish fans have negative feelings for anything that isn’t wildly outside jamming, but this “Sample” reminded us how great, and diverse, Phish’s musical catalog is. Such a simple song, when played well, can have an incredibly powerful impact. “Kill Devil Falls” picked up on this vibe, carrying into an extended jam that continued to heat things up inside Cobo. “It’s Ice” came as a very welcome treat, and was executed fairly well. “Ice” is far better suited for arena shows, and as the tour progresses, will hopefully make a dive toward the depths it saw this year at Hampton.


“46 Days” was one of the highlights of the night, as the band took the song into a deep, percussive groove. Page initiated an ascending pattern that has been present in many jams in ‘09, and Trey quickly latched on, syncopating his notes amongst the rest. As the song risked being dragged into an extended guitar solo, Trey kicked back into the chorus to add some additional power to the song. Upon reentering the jam, the band diverged into a syncopated layer of crawling funk-filled notes that brought the show to a new level. Coupled with Kuroda’s psychedelic light show, Cobo Arena came to life, as legend had told. “Bowie” closed the set, as expected, and though we hoped to see it reach into its potential depths, it only hinted at greatness before coming to a close.

The second set saw the first dark “Disease” of the year, showcasing the band’s tight new form, and unimpeded new direction. The jam flowed perfectly into “Free”, another ultimate arena rocker. Trey, who in the past has referred to his guitar pedals as his “safety mechanisms” has slowly been using them less in his playing (has anyone else noticed?) as he becomes more comfortable and confident leading his old band.

Distortion pedals and effect pedals allow guitarists a certain forgiveness that Chet Atkins described quite elegantly. Known for playing in his high school bathroom to achieve a natural reverb, Chet simply said when asked about it, “it just made me sound better than I really was”. In March, and much of the summer, Trey’s sound was dominated by his effect-laden tone, with heavy use of his new favorite toy, the digitech wham II. After 8, as a natural energy took over, and Trey no longer required his safety cushions to falls back on, we saw him slowly return to a cleaner, less effect-heavy style of playing. Last night followed in this new development, as we heard him incorporate a greater use of his licks from the ‘98-’99 era.


The set featured an interesting mix of slow and fast tempos, laying the set out in a spontaneous way that all come together by the end. With two slow songs in the second set, I know people will be talking, but the spontaneity is what counts. Going into a Phish show, knowing what is going to happen, is my greatest nightmare. Last night proved contrary, with high and low points of many different kinds. On the first night of the tour, the band delivered a classic rock performance in a classic rock venue peppered with some of their own improvisational force. Almost every note was well played, and there is no doubt the energy has carried over from 8.

This weekend, as the band returns to another storied venue, this time one familiar to the band and their fans, we can only go upward in terms of quality. That has been the trend since Hampton, with every step of the way getting better and better. This weekend will be a significant time, the first two-night stand, in a place that holds a very strong Phishiness.

Bonnaroo 2010 Dates

The ninth annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival will take place from June 10-13, 2010. The four-day music and camping festival will once again be held on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, TN, 60 miles southeast of Nashville. The festival’s initial lineup will be confirmed in either late January or early February.

A special holiday ticket pre-sale will begin Friday, November 27 on noon. In addition, the festival is making an installment plan available for tickets buyers.

Lisa Go Stick It, I Got My Bonnaroo Ticket by Gary Chardonnay from Bonnaroo on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Phish - Tour Opener: Detroit

Phish @ Cobo Arena: Setlist

Phish
November 18, 2009
Cobo Arena
Detroit, MI

Set 1: AC/DC Bag, Foam, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Bouncing Around The Room, Sample In A Jar, Kill Devil Falls, It’s Ice, Horn. Mountains In The Mist, Poor Heart, 46 Days, David Bowie

Set 2: Runaway Jim, Down With Disease -> Free, Waste, Taste, Bug, Wading In A Velvet Sea, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Cavern

Encore: Character Zero

Friday, November 13, 2009

Monsters Of Folk: Say Please Music Video

It looks like the Monsters Of Folk have released a music video for their single, "Say Please". It's a pretty strange video, starting with three members of the group being found in a ditch wearing WWII vintage uniforms and ending with a roll skating party....see for yourself

The Who: Super Bowl Halftime

According to a Sports Illustrated source (via Spinner), the two surviving original Who members, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, will entertain the millions of viewers of Super Bowl XLIV in Miami on Feb. 7 of next year.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Marco Benevento DVD Sneak Peak

Here's a sneak peak at Marco Benevento's new DVD. In this excerpt we can witness the trio of Marco, Joe Russo (drums) and Brad Barr (guitar) tearing up a 100% improvised jam of rock and roll madness. Needless to say, the rest of the DVD will be equally as incredible considering the lineup of musicians.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Phish NYE in Miami


As if the beautiful women, sunshine and food weren't enough reasons to head to Miami for Christmas break, Phis has now confirmed rumors that they will be playing a 3 night stint at at American Airlines Arena, December 28-31. A limited number of tickets are now being offered through Phish's online ticketing system at phish.portals.musictoday.com. The request time ends Sunday, November 15 at 11:59 p.m., EST. Tickets go on sale to the public Saturday, November 21 at 10:00 a.m. EST.

My Morning Jacket To Appear On American Dad


The members of My Morning Jacket will voice themselves in an upcoming episode of the adult cartoon American Dad. In the episode “My Morning Straitjacket” main character Stan Smith becomes a My Morning Jacket groupie. The show is scheduled to air Sunday, November 22 at 9:30 ET on FOX. The episode is believed to be the first time the members of the group have portrayed themselves in a prime time animated series. My Morning Jacket is currently off the road while Jim James tours with Monsters of Folk. (from jambands.com)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

BlakRoc Music Video

Here's the new music video from The Black Key's hip hop project, BlakRoc. The song's called "Ain't Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo). Personally, I think the track feels a bit too busy with 3 different voices on it. Mos Def's singing also a little off key, but to be fair, he is a rapper and not a crooner. Anyways, judge for yourself.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sharon Jones Interview Cancelled

Alas, somethings don't always work out. Due to scheduling issues I've had to withdraw from the Sharon Jones interview I previously reported on. Sorry folks, I'm in the process of arranging an equally as thrilling read so check back for an update on that.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Upcoming Sharon Jones Interview

It looks as though I will be interviewing Sharon Jones sometime next week for Jambands.com. The focus will be the new Daptone Gold release, the forthcoming Dap-Kings disc and her recent sit in with Phish at Festival 8. Stay tuned it should be a great interview.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Phish Festival 8 - Day Two

NOON ACOUSTIC SET
*Water in the Sky, **Back on the Train, ***Brian and Robert, Invisible, Strange Design, Mist, The Curtain With, Army of One, Sleep Again, My Sweet One, Let Me Lie, Bouncin' Around the Room, Train Song, Wilson, McGrupp and the Watchful Horsemasters

ACOUSTIC ENCORE
Driver, Talk, Secret Smile

SHOW NOTES
*Someone in the crowd yelled, "Thanks for last night," and Trey replied off mic "Thank You." **Someone yelled, "Reba," and Trey said, "You're going to have to wait for that one." ***You guys sure you don't want to sit down, huh? It's the last time I'll say it but we are going to be playing a lot of mellow tunes (people did sit down) ... I've never played to a sitting down Phish crowd before."

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Phish Festival 8 - Day One

Here's the first set from Festival 8. I'd make longer posts but I'm super shook up that I'm not there. More setlists to come.

Set I: Party Time, Chalkdust Torture, Moma Dance, NICU, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Stash, I Didn't Know, Poor Heart, Cavern, Beauty of a Broken Heart, Ocelot, Time Turns Elastic
Set II: Punch You In The Eye, Down With Disease > Prince Caspian > Wolfman's Brother > Piper > Joy, David Bowie*, Harry Hood, Golgi Apparatus
Encore: Character Zero
* "We're gonna give you a hint about the Halloween album now." -Trey

Friday, October 30, 2009

Show Review: Jay-Z Live At The John Labatt Centre Thursday October 29, 2009


There was a ton of speculation leading up to Jay-Z’s performance on Thursday night in London, Ontario. Having opened game two of the World Series only hours before the show, nobody was really certain as to whether the Paul McCartney of hip-hop would bother to even show up to this low-profile gig. Thankfully, Jigga did show up, and I think everybody was surprised by the massive party he brought with him. I’d argue that this is the biggest concert London has ever seen and I was completely shocked by the energy radiating through the John Labatt Centre. Jay opened the show with “Run This Town” sans Kanye West and Rihanna, but it made no difference to the crowd who was willing to gobble up any banger Jay through at them. Jay came equipped with a massive backing-band that featured two drummers, a scaled-down horn section, keys and the requisite guitars and bass. The backing band simply exploded on the beat heavy “Run This Town”, setting the pace for the night which really never let up.Jay treated the audience to some special guests, bringing out the once popular Memphis Bleek to provide just the right amount of backing rhymes on a good number of tracks. N.E.R.D. member and producer extraordinaire Pharell Williams also guested on a few songs, most of which did not feature him in the originals, while Jay chose to perform real Pharell featured songs solo. Strange but satisfying as the man ripped apart every track he chose to perform. Jigga catered to the iPod shuffle generation, segueing in and out of shortened versions of his songs in order to appropriately sift through his massive song library. A re-worked, horn-heavy version of “I.Z.Z.O.” was really refreshing after this song was played to death on the radio some years ago, while the chestnut “Heart of the City” remained as powerful as ever. Jay chatted with the audience quite a bit, telling us to follow our dreams and remain inspired. He also noted how much love he felt in the air, and wherever he feels love, he feels at home, before launching into the infectious “Already Home” off of his new record The Blueprint 3.0. Jay-Z left the stage only to return for a 30 minute encore filled to the brim with rap-a-long club bangers including a rowdy version “Big Pimpin’” and a mostly a-cappella rendition of his 911 tribute “Thank You”, one of the standout tracks from his new record. Reluctantly leaving the stage just after midnight, it was easy to see that Jay-Z was overwhelmed by his London, Ontario reception, making me believe that our little city could remain a mainstay on Jay’s future tours. It was simply an incredible show from a man who has long surpassed hip-hop stardom and is now a full-fledged mega-star appealing to just about anybody who can appreciate good music, regardless of the genre.

Setlist:
Run This Town
D.O.A.
You Don’t Know
99 Problems
Show Me What You Got
Give It To Me
Jigga My
I.Z.Z.O.
Jigga What
Public Service Announcement
Heart of the City
Already Home
Empire State of Mind
A Star is Born
So Ambitious
Dirt Off Your Shoulders

Encore
Thank You
On to the Next One
Excuse Me Miss
Swagga Like Us
Can I Get A
Big Pimpin’
Hard Knock Life
Encore
Young Forever

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Album Review: Blue Rodeo - The Things We Left Behind


What happens when you take The Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main St. and extract the sex and the drugs from it? You end up with the dad-friendly, Canadian country/rock band Blue Rodeo’s latest double-album release, The Things We Left Behind. The album is about as ambitious and successful as it gets for a band twenty-five years deep into their career. Disc one opens up triumphantly with the one-two punch of “All The Things That Are Left Behind” which features huge, dominating drums, softened only by gentle strings, and rounded out by an anthemic chorus. The band then picks up the speed with the fast-paced, country shuffle of “One More Night”. Disc one is rounded out nicely by “Sheba” the obvious choice for a radio-friendly single, as well as the most Stones like number on this disc. While the first disc is certainly an enjoyable listen filled with some accessible rockers and piano-driven ballads, disc two is where the band actually hits their stride. I can’t help but hear more of The Stones (this time “Torn and Frayed”), as disc two opens with “Don’t Let The Darkness In Your Head”. The band’s psychedelic rock influences finally shine through as Blue Rodeo let loose on the second, more experimental half of disc two. The slow, jazzy break during “Wasted” sounds as though Traffic was jamming with a freshly moondanced Van Morrison, and segues beautifully into the haunted, country-ballad of “You Said”. Lead singer Jim Cuddy has clearly been listening to a lot of Roger Waters as his plaintive, whisper-like vocals peak through the mellow track. The album comes full circle, ending just as triumphantly as it began with the ten minute, acid-soaked “Venus Rising”. The group loses all inhibitions, jamming with gooey, distorted guitars which are contrasted against beautiful, acoustic piano driven verses. The words on “Venus Rising” are a bit under-thought however, with lyrics such as “If you could learn how to play that guitar, you sure could go far”, but the band more than makes up for it with their instrumental virtuosity. Ultimately, a sixteen song, double-disc album is an undeniably ambitious affair for most bands, at any point in their careers. As a result, it comes as no surprise that The Things We Left Behind feels a bit like a band in a mid-life crisis. The boys in Blue Rodeo were dreaming of a Porsche, but instead came home in a Volkswagen.

3.5/5 stars
Blue Rodeo - The Things We Left Behind will be released on November 10, 2009

Marco Benevento & Friends, Live In NYC DVD

COMING NOV 10th... FEATURE-LENGTH DVD from Marco Benevento & Friends

Pre-order direct from The Royal Potato Family before street date and receive a link to download five additional unreleased videos for your ipod, phone, or desktop, featuring performances from The Sullivan Hall residency.

FEATURING ...
Andrew Barr
Billy Martin
Bobby Previte
Brad Barr
DJ Olive
G. Calvin Weston
Reed Mathis
Joe Russo
John Ellis
Kaki King
Marc Friedman
Skerik
Stanton Moore
Steven Bernstein

Directed by Karina Mackenzie
Executive Producer Kevin Calabro

At the outset of 2008, Marco Benevento set up shop at New York City’s brand new Greenwich Village music space, Sullivan Hall, for a month-long residency. Calling it home for five Thursday nights in January, Benevento invited a who’s who in modern jazz and improvisational rock music to perform with him each week in various configurations. Benevento hauled his own baby grand piano from his Brooklyn apartment to the Sullivan Hall stage to host both musical friends and heroes. Each night he’d lead his musical co-conspirators through two sets of daring and consistently breathtaking improvisations. Whether it was the Bitches Brew-esque sonic explorations of the Benevento-Steven Bernstein-Bobby Previte-DJ Olive collaboration, or the glorious post rock ferocity of Benevento-Brad Barr-Joe Russo, or Benevento’s own trio with Reed Mathis and Andrew Barr celebrating the release of their debut album Invisible Baby, each performance took on a life completely its own. As the sold out crowds from week to week will attest, these shows were the stuff of legend in the recent history of downtown New York City’s music scene. Thankfully, all five nights were shot on high definition video along with multi-track recordings that are now set for a DVD release entitled Marco Benevento (& Friends): Live In NYC: The Sullivan Hall Residency. While it’s Marco Benevento’s name at the top of the billing, what the film portrays is a dynamic family of fearless, faithful, one-of-a-kind artists who are making some of the most vital music of their time.

Brought to you by Shine A Light Productions & Royal Potato Family.

Marco Benevento & Friends - Live in NYC : The Sullivan Hall Residency from Shine A Light Productions on Vimeo.



I had the privilege of working for Karina Mackenzie, President and founder of Shine A Light Productions. I was lucky enough to join her on multiple shoots (filming Marco's solo show at The Stone) and I also got to screen tons of the Sullivan Hall footage before hand. Let me tell you this, it is genuinely amazing stuff. Expertly filmed by Karina and crew and expertly played by Marco and all the amazing artists he had join him during the residency. If you love good music, do yourself a favor and buy a copy of this DVD!

SIRIUS XM’s Jam_On to Broadcast Festival 8


Thousands of lucky fans will be heading out to Indio, California to catch Phish's first ever Halloween festival, 8. Of course, countless fans will be unable to make the fall trek out to beautiful California and will obviously be missing the show right? Wrong! Thanks to Sirius XM and Jam_On we'll all be able to listen to the entire weekend and the long awaited cover album set. SIRIUS XM will broadcast 8 beginning Friday, October 30. through Sunday, November 1 at 1:00 am EST, featuring all eight of Phish’s festival sets. Additionally, before and after the “classic album” set on October 31, Jam_On host Jonathan Schwartz will take calls from SIRIUS XM listeners about the performances at “Festival 8.”

Monday, October 26, 2009

Jay-Z To Perform At World Series

Wednesday night Jay-Z and Alicia Keys will be at Yankee Stadium for game one of the World Series to perform "Empire State of Mind" one of the standout tracks off his new album, the Blueprint 3.0. Jay-Z will then be heading to London, Ontario to perform at the John Labatt Centre for possibly the biggest hip-hop show this city has ever seen. Opening the show will be N.E.R.D., DC rapper Wale and newcomer J.Cole.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New Vampire Weekend Single

Just stumbled upon a video of Vampire Weekend playing the new single "Cousins" off of their upcoming sophomore release Contra. It's a jangly tune with some great guitar fills and some nice lyrical phrasing. It's also quite a bit punkier than the band's previous work.

Surprise Me Mr. Davis

Back In 15 Minutes favourites, Surprise Me Mr. Davis, have finally given the public a glimpse into what they've been up to as of late. While the group has released two albums in their six year career and toured extensively, the band has had pretty limited exposure. Previously comprised of folk troubadour Nathan Moore and jazz/indie rockers The Slip, the group has recently added a new member to the delight of many die hard fans. The recent addition of pianist extraordinaire Marco Benevento (of the Benevento Russo Duo) illustrates the group's push towards some much deserved exposure. The new demo tracks showcase a more song-oriented version of Surprise Me Mr. Davis as opposed to their more experimental songs released on their first album. Check out the band's brand new website www.surprisememrdavis.com to listen to some demos and to learn more about this amazingly under-appreciated band.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Warren Haynes Xmas Jam 2009


The 21st Annual Christmas Jam will return to the Asheville Civic Center in Asheville, NC on December 12. As always, there will be a pre-jam at the Orange Peel. This year's show will feature moe., Ani DiFranco and Counting Crows with many more acts yet to be announced. In addition, numerous guest musicians will participate, with confirmations thus far from Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, DJ Logic, Audley Freed, Eric Krasno, Col. Bruce Hampton, and Robert Kearns. VIP Tickets, which include early admission to the Civic Center and admission to the Pre-Jam go on sale this coming Monday, with a general pre-sale on Tuesday. As with past years, the event will benefit for Habitat for Humanity. Go to www.xmasjam.com for more information regarding the event.

Free Album Feat. Joe Russo, Marco Benevento, Dave Dreiwitz

Radio Soap Star Opera was recorded in seven days over three years. The tremendous musicians include: Joe Russo (drums, percussion, glockenspiel, vocals, producer of tracks 2, 3, 5-9), Stuart Bogie (clarinet, alto saxophone, jaw harp, bass harmonica, producer of tracks 1, 4), Don Piper (lap steel, vocals, harmonica, engineer and mix), Andrew Southern (bass 2, 3, 5-9), Kevin Kendrick (vibraphone 1, 4-7, 9), Colin Stetson (tenor and baritone sax on 1), Jon Shaw (trumpet on 6), Nick Movshon (bass on 1), Dave Dreiwitz (bass on 4), Marco Benevento (organ on 2), Sean Bones (guitar on 6), Ryan Thornton (tambourine).

You can download the album for free now at:
http://www.sendspace.com/file/u86hrc

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Low Anthem - This God Damn House

The Low Anthem are a quiet band from Providence, RI. Each member of the trio plays a slew of different, unique instruments such as the pump organ, the clarinet, the alto horn and even cell phones. They've toured with one of my favourites, Surprise Me Mr. Davis and re-released their album "Oh My God Charlie Darwin" on Nonesuch Records last year. Here's a wicked video of the group playing "This God Damn House" off of their latest release.

The Low Anthem - "This God Damn House" - HearYa Live Session 8/9/09 from HearYa.com on Vimeo.

Lil' Wayne To Face Jail Time

While I don't usually post this kind of news, I do like me some Lil' Wayne on occasion and I wasn't all too surprised when I came across this tidbit of news today. The Associated Press reports that Lil Wayne pleaded guilty to attempted gun possession in New York this morning. According to the AP, he "expects to receive a one-year jail sentence." Wayne is out on bail right now, but he'll be sentenced in February. The charge stems from a 2007 incident in which Manhattan police raided Wayne's tour bus after smelling marijuana and reportedly saw Wayne trying to get rid of a bag, which contained a loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic. Wayne had previously pleaded not guilty to the charge of illegal gun possession. As the AP reports, if he had been found guilty for that, he would have faced a three-and-a-half-year jail sentence (from pitchfork.com).

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Day In The Life of Bon Iver

Check out this video of Bon Iver playing the Oya Festival in Norway.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Show Review: Wilco Live At Massey Hall Wednesday October 14, 2009


It came as no surprise that Wilco, the godfather’s of indie-rock sold out their two night stint at one of Toronto’s most beautiful and legendary venues, Massey Hall. What sounded like a growling siren was really just guitar playing maniac Nels Cline manipulating the hell out of his instrument on the set opener, “Wilco (The Song)”. The band was eager to show off some of their newer tunes, relying heavily on material from their latest release Wilco (The Album). They have a longstanding history with Toronto and the group made sure to dig deep into their vast catalogue of often neglected songs. They pulled out the Spanish-tinged “How To Fight Loneliness” which was surprisingly enough, poorly received, as many fans chose to catch their breath and take their seats during this slow but lovely number. Tweedy, who seemed to be in especially good spirits even took a request from the audience as the band launched into Pot Kettle Black. While usually much more talkative, the shaggy haired front-man acknowledged Massey Hall’s tight curfew and said he would rather fill the set with songs rather than the usual witty banter. “Theologians” saw each axe man singing in ridiculously high, playful register, while Cline graciously gave up the spotlight for a one-footed Tweedy guitar solo during “I’m The Man Who Loves You”. In predictable Wilco style, the band left stage only to return soon-there-after for a characteristically long encore. They brought out show opener (and potential Jack Black impersonator) Liam Finn for a rousing rendition of the uber-poppy “You Never Know” before launching into the grungy, old school rocker “Can’t Stand It”. The group displayed their jammier side as the four song finale of “Walken” segued effortlessly into the garage-rocker “Monday”, then into “Outtamind (Outta Site), before capping things off with a monstrously extended version of “Hoodoo Voodoo” which featured a wild guitar duel between fan favourite Nels Cline and serious underdog Pat Sansone. Both men clearly emerged as the victor judging by the crowd’s cheers. The band set the bar extremely high on night one of the run, but it seems as though that’s all we can expect from Wilco at this point in their careers.

Setlist:
1. Wilco (The Song)
2. I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
3. Bull Black Nova
4. You Are My Face
5. One Wing
6. A Shot In The Arm
7. Either Way
8. Impossible Germany
9. I'll Fight
10. Handshake Drugs
11. Pot Kettle Black
12. How To Fight Loneliness
13. Jesus, etc.
14. Hate It Here
15. Theologians
16. I'm The Man Who Loves You
------------------------- ----
17. Heavy Metal Drummer
18. You Never Know (w/Liam Finn)
19. Can't Stand It
20. Walken >
21. Monday >
22. Outtamind (Outta Site) >
23. Hoodoo Voodoo

Bonnaroo 2009 DVD

The tracklist and trailer for the new Live at Bonnaroo 2009 DVD has finally emerged. While some of the artists included came as a surprise to me, others could not have been left off for very obvious reasons. Take a look:

Live from Bonnaroo 2009 Trailer from Bonnaroo on Vimeo.


Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band (“Outlaw Pete”), Phish (“Down With Disease”), Beastie Boys (“Intergalactic”), Snoop Dogg “I Want To Love You”), Elvis Costello with Jenny Lewis and Her Sound (“Go Away”), Ben Harper and Relentless7 (“Fly One Time”), Andrew Bird (“Fitz and the Dizzspells”), The Decemberists (“The Wanting Comes In Waves/Repaid”), Del McCoury Band (“Moneyland”), Coheed and Cambria (“Welcome Home”), Amadou & Miriam (“Masiteladi”), Santigold (“LES Artistes”), Zac Brown Band (“Who Knows”), Passion Pit (“Little Secrets”), Raphael Saadiq (“Keep Marching”) and Cage the Elephant (“Ain’t No Rest”).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wilco @ Massey Hall

Just got back from seeing Wilco tear it up at Massey Hall in Toronto. Show review to come soon. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Even Rats on Rock Band

Our good friend and fellow Slip enthusiast Cleantone just produced a new promo clip made for The Slip's song Even Rats coming to the Rock Band Network and his company The Authority who authored the song for the game. It will be coming this fall to an XBOX near you (and PS3 shortly after that).

Album Review: The Avett Brothers - I and Love and You



Only the truly special bands get the opportunity to work with musical legend and producer extraordinaire, Rick Rubin and The Avett Brothers are without a doubt one of those bands. They’re the type of group that you would love to keep your own little secret. You love seeing them in the smallest, dingiest of venues, but deep down you know they should and could be wowing audiences in stadiums all across North America and beyond. I and Love and You is the album that will be winning over legions of new listeners. Between the piano, strings and vocal harmonies of brothers Seth and Scott, the boys from North Carolina cut deep on their latest album. The title track cuts deep, with the strength of a Counting Crows ballad and the imagery of musicians who have clearly paid their dues on the road for far too long. While die-hard fans may be wondering where the Avett Brothers’ punky edge went, they have to look no further than “Kick Drum Heart”. This piano driven rocker features the Avett’s signature screaming that’s sure to surprise new fans and delight old ones. “Laundry Room” is the sleeper hit of the album. It starts off slow and ballad-like as Scott sings “close the laundry door, tip-toe across the floor” but gradually grows into an all out banjo-driven country rocker. The Avett's respond to the likes of two classic rock monsters on the acoustic guitar and organ driven “Ten Thousand Words”. They borrow both chord progression and rhythm that sounds strikingly familiar to both Zep’s “Your Time Is Gunna Come” and Traffic’s “Shouldn’t Have Took More Than You Gave”. In true mainstream fashion, Rubin has streamlined the Avett Brother’s signature sound. Gone is the rough, homemade sounding production of the past and prevalent banjo and strings. Instead we have slick pop songs paired with smooth harmonies, textured backgrounds and minimal banjo. Will I and Love and You ostracize old fans? I think it’s rather unlikely. The Avett’s have a loyal following that should be more than willing to share their once perfectly kept secret. Leave it to Rick Rubin to be utilitarian, spreading the joy that is the Avett’s music to millions, while spoiling the old secret for a select few.

Album Review: Monsters Of Folk



The comparisons have been made to death that the highly-anticipated, super-hyped Monsters Of Folk sound like a new-age Traveling Willburys. While the Monsters of Folk is made up of some of indie-rocks most influential artists, Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, M. Ward and Mike Mogis, the only similarity I see between the Monsters and the Wilburys is that they are both super groups with a shit ton of potential. I think this debut album is good, but it’s not great. The collection of songs from this four-headed monster (no pun intended) feels a little too scattered to be called great. Firstly, Oberst leads so many of the songs that the rest of this super talented group ends up feeling like a backing band for Mr. Bright Eyes. Anyways, the album opens with “Dear God (sincerely M.O.F.), while the title of the song is super lame, the use of drum machine, dream like harpsichord and crooning from Jim James is much worse. Not to mention that the each lyrical phrase begins with “Dear God”. The lyrics are far too literal and really not my cup of tea. The album is really up and down from here. “Say Please”, the obvious radio single is quite catchy and showcases each member of the band nicely. Not an overly original sounding tune, but its infectious none-the-less. A few songs down the line we get “Baby Boomer” which nicely contrasts M. Ward’s dusty voice with Oberst’s shaky singing style that I simply can’t help but dig. Next up is the twangy, country tale of “Man Named Truth”, which I believe is the highlight of the album. The song is full of psychedelic imagery. Oberst takes you on a trip (no pun intended once again) to the Middle East. With lyrics like “And I fell in love with identical twins, they lived 34 summers between the two of them. I gave one my ego and one my id, I gotta get back to my pretty little twins”, it’s clear that Oberst has been reading up on his Freud. Things get really strange as he belts out “I met a black skinned man with an ice cream grin, and a blonde Afghan with that heroine. I moved to the mountains where the highway ends, and I got myself that ice cream grin” amongst a whirlwind of telecaster guitars, banjo and windy sounds. “Goodway” is another quick, weak tune that easily could have been left off. Perhaps my real issue with this album is that its potential greatness is hindered by too many songs. 15 tracks could have been cut down to a manageable 10 in a heartbeat. The album does grow the more I listen, but I’ve had to go out of my way to listen instead of wanting to listen. I’ll give the band the benefit of the doubt and assume the mass amounts of blogger hype freaked them out. Ultimately, the only thing that's scary about these Monsters is their lack of song discretion.

Bon Iver Live Podcast

Radio Milwaukee released a podcast of Bon Iver’s 10/11/09 show from the Riverside Theater. You'll be hard pressed to find a better sounding live recording. Enjoy. http://radiomilwaukee.podbean.com/2009/10/12/bon-iver-live-at-the-riverside/

Friday, October 9, 2009

Phish Announce More Dates

From jambands.com: Earlier today, Live Nation jumped the gun by a few minutes in listing a pair of pre-Thanksgiving Phish shows on its website. Initially the site confirmed two gigs at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia on November 24 and 25. However the band has now announced a 13 date tour that also will include two nights in Cincinnati at the U.S. Bank Arena, two dates in Albany at the Pepsi Center and three shows at Madison Square Garden on December 2-4, with the full itinerary below.

Phish November/December Dates

November 18 Detroit, MI Cobo Arena
November 20 Cincinnati, OH U.S. Bank Arena
November 21 Cincinnati, OH U.S. Bank Arena
November 22 Syracuse, NY War Memorial at Oncenter
November 24 Philadelphia, PA Wachovia Center
November 25 Philadelphia, PA Wachovia Center
November 27 Albany, NY Times Union Center
November 28 Albany, NY Times Union Center
November 29 Portland, ME Cumberland County Civic Center
December 2 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
December 3 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
December 4 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
December 5 Charlottesville, VA John Paul Jones Arena

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wilco Announce 2010 Tour Dates

Wilco is the band that just never stops. Continuing to tour in support of last year's Wilco (The Album) the band will be making some unusual stops in 2010. Most notably, the group will be playing the moderately small Centennial Hall in London, Ontario which is obviously great for me. The rest of the dates are as follows:

Feb. 7 Adams Center – Missoula, MT
Feb. 9 Arlene Schnitzer Hall – Portland, OR
Feb. 10 Paramount Theatre – Seattle, WA
Feb. 13 Live City Vancouver @ David Lam Park^ – Vancouver, CA
Feb. 15 Northern Jubilee Auditorium – Edmonton, AB
Feb. 16 Southern Jubilee Auditorium – Calgary, AB
Feb. 17 TCU Place – Saskatoon, AB
Feb. 19 DECC Auditorium – Duluth, MN
Feb. 20 Overture Hall – Madison, WI
Feb. 21 Wharton Cobb Great Hall – East Lansing, MI
Feb. 23 Hamilton Palace Theatre – Hamilton, ON
Feb. 24 Centennial Hall – London, ON
Feb. 27 Olympia De Montreal – Montreal, QC
Mar. 1 National Arts Centre – Ottawa, ON
Mar. 3 Halifax Forum – Halifax, NS
^ – Free show as part of The 2010 Winter Games

Here's a great video of an early version of "one Wing" off of Wilco (The Album)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dave & Tim's Vegas Weekend

The amazing but occasional acoustic duo of Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds will play 3 nights of shows from December 10-12 at Las Vegas’ Theatre for the Performing Arts at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. Tickets may be requested by members of the Warehouse, the official Dave Matthews Band fan association, beginning Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 12:00 noon ESP through Monday, October 19, 2009 at 12:00 Noon EsT. Warehouse member confirmations will be issued by the end of the day on Friday, October 23, 2009.
Here's the duo playing one of my favourite Dave Matthews Band songs "Pay For What You Get"

Temple of the Dog Reunite at Pearl Jam Show

Last night Pearl Jam played another sold out show in Las Vegas' Gibson Amphitheater. The highlight of the show clearly came once Chris Cornell stepped on stage to take over some vocal duties. The performance unified all the principal members of Temple of the Dog — Cornell, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, Matt Cameron, Mike McCready and background vocalist Eddie Vedder — for the first time since 2003.
Here's the reunited Temple of the Dog playing their standout hit "Hunger Strike"

Another Taste of The Avett Brothers

The late night television appearances just keep on coming for The Avetts. They played Craig Ferguson last night and performed another song off of I and Love and You, this time a tune called "Laundry Room". It's nice to see the boys sticking to the original 4 members and playing a more up beat, punkier song than they played on Letterman.


The band also just announced a string of New Years shows
The Avett Brothers will ring in 2010 with a performance at Knoxville, TN’s Tennessee Theatre on December 30 and a gig at Asheville, NC’s Thomas Wolfe Auditorium on December 31. The band will then make stops in Atlanta, GA (1/1), Dallas, TX (1/3), Midwest City, OK (3/3), Milwaukee, WI (3/6) and Reno, NV (4/18) early next year. The next leg of the group’s fall tour will kick off with an appearance at Baltimore, MD’s Rams Head Live on October 15 and come to a close with a Halloween performance at Nashville, TN’s Ryman Auditorium (from jambands.com).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Surprise Me Mr. Davis & The Land of Talk

Surprise Me Mr. Davis, the avant-folk group made up of The Slip + Nathan Moore and newest member Marco Benevento will be touring with Canadian indie rock group Land of Talk. The latter is led by Broken Social Scene singer Lizzie Powell. Andrew Barr of Davis has drummed for Land of Talk in the past and will be providing drums for both bands during this short tour. The Slip will also play a one off hometown show at Lupo's in Providence Rhode Island this Thanksgiving (November 28).

Tour Dates:
November 18 Cambridge, MA—Middle East Downstairs
November 19 Burlington, VT—Club Metronome
November 20 Northampton, MA—Iron Horse
November 21 New York, NY—Mercury Lounge
The Slip - November 28 Providence, RI - Lupo's

Check out Andrew Barr playing drums on the Land of Talk's "Some Are Lakes"

Here's Surprise Me Mr. Davis playing "Silly Like A Goose" with Andrew Barr playing some wandering drums

Zero 7 - First North American Tour In 3 Years



Zero 7, the electronic/rock duo from Britain will tour the U.S. and Canada for their first time in over three years in support of their new album Yeah Ghost. The duo will be joined by singer Eska and folk collaborator Olivia Chaney as well as long time band members Eddie Stevens, Robin Mullarkey and Tom Skinner. Listeners will probably remember the Zero 7 song "In the Waiting Line" from the flick Garden State.

Tour Dates
10/08/09 Thu Roundhouse London, GB
10/09/09 Fri Roundhouse London, GB
10/11/09 Sun 53 Degrees Preston, GB
10/12/09 Mon Queens Hall Edinburgh, GB
10/13/09 Tue Birmingham Town Hall Birmingham, GB
11/26/09 Thu 9:30 Club Washington, DC
11/27/09 Fri Terminal 5 New York, NY
11/28/09 Sat House of Blues Boston, MA
11/29/09 Sun Theatre of Living Arts (TLA) Philadelphia, PA
12/02/09 Wed Club Soda Montreal, QC
12/03/09 Thu Phoenix Concert Theatre Toronto, ON
12/04/09 Fri Metro Chicago, IL
12/05/09 Sat Epic (formerly the Quest) Minneapolis, MN
12/07/09 Mon Ogden Theatre Denver, CO
12/08/09 Tue Belly Up Aspen, CO
12/11/09 Fri Wonder Ballroom Portland, OR
12/12/09 Sat Showbox at the Market Seattle, WA
12/13/09 Sun Commodore Ballroom Vancouver, BC
12/15/09 Tue The Warfield San Francisco, CA
12/16/09 Wed Orpheum Theatre Los Angeles, CA
12/17/09 Thu House of Blues San Diego, CA