Friday, December 31, 2010

Phish Thursday 30 December 2010 @ Madison Square Garden

Last night began with a feeling of foreboding as the stereo system buzzed, popped, and crackled ten minutes before the band went on stage.  With luck on our side, however, the set began without trouble.  In fact, it wasn't until Camel Walk that there was a problem... but that's a story for later.
Things were kicked off with a nice bouncy Cities - appropriate for the fact that we were in the Big Apple!  The Chalkdust Torture that followed brimmed with energy, as did Gumbo.  I always love it when Page takes that sweet solo towards the end, lending an authentic ragtime feel to the music.  I have a suspicion that the boys were warming up their Creole chops for the dose of Little Feat that they delivered later in the set.
It was during Camel Walk that things got interesting. The sound fizzed out for maybe a minute at the end of the jam leading into the chorus.  Trey and Mike looked at each other and kept on going, despite the fact that only those within a thirty-foot radius could hear them well.

But you know how people always tend to come together in the worst of times?  This was one of them.  When the time came for the end chorus, the band was joined with a resounding "Camel walk!" from the crowd.  Phamily phorever?  I think so.
While not my favorite Trey song (Mr. Completely, anyone?), Driver cooled things down with some soft bouncy sound after a meaty Maze.  A notable Bathtub Gin followed (made so mostly by Page's excellent intro); the jam picked up intensity as time passed, leaving us with enough to get really excited for Fat Man in the Bathtub.  I mean, really excited.

I'm so glad I brushed up on my Little Feat this fall in preparation for hearing the Halloween show.  Not only did I realize that I actually really like their music (even though I've seen them live three times and they never grab me), I also realized that I really like it when Phish does their stuff.  I mean, really like it.

After a hot Golgi Apparatus came a Character Zero that couldn't be beat.  Although I genuinely like the song, I think there's not much to it - rather, not as much to it as some of their other tunes (read: YEM, Tweezer, Ghost).  I found myself lost in the jam just as much as anything else - and that's always a good thing.
A transcendental Tweezer kicked off the second set.  This morning I was surprised to see on LivePhish that it was almost nineteen minutes long - it should have been longer!  The jam crept to a really interesting and different place, fueled by some offbeat rhythmic stuff that morphed the sound.

Tweezer also means the promise of a Reprise, which always makes me excited.

My Friend My Friend was short and sweet; everything was on, made apparent by the agile segue into Axilla I.  I really dig some of the darker Phish tunes (Carini, Guyute, Ester), and MFMF is one of them.
Fluffhead came next, and while executed well in every way, I seemed to fade during the tune.  I used to get really excited when they played it, but I suppose all the sharply calibrated orchestration gets old after a while.

And then came The Funk.  The band began with a sweet Boogie on Reggae Woman which riled up the crowd... in a good way.  During the jam, Trey laid a non-diatonic chord on top of everything else, and the rest of the band slowly adjusted their way around it.  It's always cool to see how they can react to each other's moves.

After a slow segue into 2001 (which, apparently, was originally called Also Sprach Zarathustra; I guess 2001 is easier to pronounce.  But I digress...), things got funky.  Mike was jamming on those basslines and Page ever-so-gently rocked the organ.
Suzy Greenberg brought the rock and roll kind of energy back to the night which very nicely transformed into a steaming Antelope.  Hungry, anyone?

Tweezer Reprise was a stellar way to end the night by bringing back the memory of that even more stellar Tweezer that I had enjoyed so thoroughly earlier.

Night one of my New Year's run is over.  Next up?  Instead of ringing in 2011, I'll be stepping back in time tonight to 1976 to hear the Grateful Dead do Cow Palace, courtesy of Dark Star Orchestra.  1/1/11 will bring me back to MSG for another night of Phish - the only way to start the new year off right!

Don't let the security guard take your sandwich,

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The McLovins @ FTC in Fairfield, CT on 18 December 2010

Finals? Finished.  Home? Here.  And the music? Marvelous.  Is there a better way to kick off the holidays than some groovin' jams?  I think not.
And boy, did they deliver.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: Saturday night was the best McLovins show I've seen (and I've seen quite a few, my friends).  It seems like every time I go to a show, the band is always so much tighter, so much on it than what I can recall.
The group began with a dose of Tokyo Tea, with a slightly theatrical twist - each member entered individually and joined in the groove.

But it was a funked-out version of Shakedown Street that really got things going.  People were up and dancing and there were glowsticks all around!  I love the way they cover the Grateful Dead tune - it's fresh but retains the essence of the original.

My other favorite moment from the first set was a Phish cover: Meatstick Reprise.  Dear reader, if you are not familiar with such a song, please do your homework.  A new song called Mon Ami finished the set.
Tetop, another new tune, began the second set.  I like this song a lot because there are a lot of different elements to it.  The choruses are totally catchy, but there's a sort of space in the interim that's kinda cool and different.
Check it out:
To me, Virtual Circle was the highlight of the show.  The song just really gets me: I love its fast-paced, almost frenzied feel.  This time, it tore the place down.  Halfway through the guitar tones morphed into something much more metally, which had the crowd doing a jazzed-up robot... myself included.
Cohesive, the McLovins' newest official single, came next.  The only version that I knew was the studio recording with Tom Marshall and Anthony Krizan, so I was hearing it live for the first time. 

Deep Monster Trance was on fire, and could I get through Bedheadded Crystal Bugger without a sweat?  Nope.

The boys did Little Wing as the encore; a sweet ending to a very sweet night.

I was glad to see that there were lots of high school-age kids in the crowd - I would love to see these guys totally infiltrate the masses of youth.

Happy (Almost) New Year's!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Grateful Anthem

Check out this video of Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, & Jeff Pehrson covering the national anthem this past summer; sure is something beautiful.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Deck the Halls with Pomplamoose

With work piling up and the mercury falling at an alarming pace, it seems like a good time to get into the Christmas mood.  You may know how much I love holiday tunes, so here's a new one I'd like to add to my list of favorites.  Pomplamoose is a really cool indie duo that makes videosongs, a medium in which you must see everything you hear.

This winter, I'm rocking out to this updated version of Deck the Halls... hey, is that PCP in my eggnog?

Submarines? Spaceships? Aeroplanes?

Friday, December 3, 2010

I know what I'm doing on December 18th...

Do you?  The McLovins will be playing the Fairfield Theater Company in Fairfield, CT.

You can meet the band (and yours truly!) after the show.

I've never seen a promotion video for a specific show before, but I totally love it!  Check out snippets of the McL's at their finest.

Just steppin' along with those hum drum blues...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ryan Montbleau Band on NPR

One of my favorites, the Ryan Montbleau Band, checked in with NPR last night on a segment that highlighted tracks from their new album, Heavy on the Vine.  It serves as a great introduction to people who have never heard of the band and a nice reminder to those of us who have.

Check out the 23-minute NPR segment here.

The reggae-infused Songbird plays underneath a brief introduction of the band and fades into a lighthearted interview.  Ryan dishes about riding the back of a U-Haul truck to a gig after the van broke down, demonstrating the humble roots of a band that has already played stadium arenas.

It's always nice to hear what Ryan and the boys have to say about their ever-growing careers, but it's always nicer to listen to them play: the band treated us to live performances of Stay, Slippery Road, Love Songs, and I Can't Wait.

Now that we are up to speed on the coolness of the RMB, we can all be properly jealous of this photo:


Thursday, November 25, 2010

All Day - Girl Talk

I'll admit it - I love Girl Talk's new album, All Day.  It's not generally the type of music I dig, but there's something to be said for the ingenuity of the mashups.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the artist, allow me to give you the lowdown.  Girl Talk is a guy who does mashups - combinations of different songs forged together to create a new one.  Killer mashups, I might add.  Generally the songs he chooses are not my style (he mostly draws from mainstream pop, rap, and rock), but I find myself tolerating crude and occasionally offensive lyrics for the awesome beats.

Occasionally there are some Elizabeth-friendly songs used in the mashups, like Derek & the Dominos:

This album never gets boring.  Maybe this is my musical ADD speaking, but I love how different elements from a wide array of songs are weaved together into incredibly dynamic tracks.  So where would I listen to this music?  Let's just say that the gym is about to see much, much more of me.

One of my favorite tracks is That's Right, which introduces some serious magic when BeyoncĂ©'s Single Ladies is brought in around 3:00.  The vocals are combined with some cool syncopated horns, which provides a new perspective on the song.

Every Day is a good one, too.  Think of a damn catchy rhythm piano under a rap.  Then think of an amp-up of the piano, morphing into a high-energy 80's rock band under... more rap.  Surprise surprise.  Fast forward a minute or two, and we hear a familiar piano riff: it's John Lennon's Imagine.

I leave this album with the impression that it could very well be better than most of the songs that it's made of (Imagine, Casey Jones, and Layla excluded).  But hey - mad props, Girl Talk.

Whether it's tofu or turkey, have a great Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Best Coast 19 November 2010 @ Smith College, Northampton MA

Last night the Californian surf rock trio Best Coast transported us to the land of sunny shores and lazy days.  Everyone was grooving to the high-energy tunes and having a grand old time.
The band played a solid fifty-minute set, comprised of lots of short-lived tunes and an encore.  Each song seemed like a total tease - maybe they wanted to give us a sampler of what they had to offer or maybe... they're just not Phish.  I guess jam bands have spoiled me.
Each song ended somewhat abruptly, sort on on an upbeat that you didn't expect.  It was kind of awkward, but kind of cool.  After a while the songs blended together for me into one big fast-paced, guitar-laden mess.  A hot mess, I might add.

Here's a taste of their sound: 
There was more of a sweetheart feel to Bethany's voice than I had expected - after listening to lots of their studio-recorded stuff, I remembered how crazy it is to expect the same onstage.  But what we got was better: I loved her rounded tones and sixties mod vibe.

(And I loved her pants!)
Her lyrics are heartfelt and occasionally touching, with lots of oohs over her gritty guitar interspersed.  There may not be too much substance to the stuff, but it's definitely catchy.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

For those of us who missed the memo...

from 2008.  It read something like this:

Beloved Music Aficionados,
The band Fleet Foxes is really great.  Go check them out.
Sincerely, the Music Gods


To make up for our (my) two year catch-up, I've started us off on a lyrical, haunting, and absolutely beautiful song called White Winter Hymnal.

Peace, love and pancakes,

Monday, November 8, 2010

Best Coast Adventures

The other day I picked up a ticket to see Best Coast, an indie group who specializes in gritty psuedo-surfer tunes.  They're stopping by my school on November 19th, so I figured why not?

At first I wasn't grabbed by their music, but I find that it grew on me with surprising speed.  Check it out for yourself:

Never eat the yellow snow, kids.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

McLovins 30 October 2010 @ Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT

This Saturday I trucked on up to Norfolk, CT to celebrate Halloween with The McLovins.  They played a solid yet interesting show, always making sure to highlight their individual and group talents.  

A percussion group called The Groove Smugglers did a brief set to open the night and stayed onstage to join The McLovins for their opener, 3:47.  I have always thought it's a really cool song, mostly because of its length (roughly two minutes), but also because it's pretty different than anything else they do.  This tune stays focused on one musical thought the whole time, rather than using a more complicated song structure.  
To keep the night fun and festive, the band did a ton of covers, including "Wouldn't Wanna Be Like You," "YEM," "Tweezer Reprise," "Werewolves of London," and (my personal favorite of the night) "Tik Tok."  Yes, Ke$ha.  And it was glorious.

A new song of their own was introduced that night as well, called Tetop.  The verses start out slow and pick up with each repetition of the chorus, complete with a big, loud (and sorta psychedelic) guitar solo.  Although it wasn't jammed or anything, I can tell it's got the potential.  It's gonna be a good one. 
The most notable cover of the night goes to Ghost, one of my family's favorite Phish tunes.  Their rendition definitely echoed the original song but had a more of a funky vibe.  I always like to hear a different take on a classic!  The end of the tune brought a short but very sweet jam.  Man, those guys know how to be succinct. 

Speaking of ghosts, I could definitely hear a little bit of Jerry's in the fat, heavy tones of Jeff's guitar.  

Deep Monster Trance was where things got hot - the energy in the room was practically tangible.  I can't get over how everything flows so well in this song, especially Jeff's guitar.  It's like listening to liquid HOT LAVA ...but in a good way.  If you listen to anything from the show, make it this track.
The audience was brought back to the good old days with Purple Trees>Rapper's Delight and then into... Tweezer Reprise, bringing back precious memories of June 18th, the night Phish ended with a double Reprise.  
And then there was the drag show:
You Enjoy Myself, popularly known as YEM, was pretty damn incredible that night too.  All I have to say is: I want the vocal jam!

Check out "Werewolves of London"

And then the best thing happened: I so totally called the encore.  It was a joke (or so I thought); when they came out and started the opening section Freebird, people practically thought I was magic.  

Relive the night with a great (free!) recording on here.

Now that it's November, I'm officially breaking out the holiday tunes.  Watch out, world. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

...Unless they bring the Maharishi.

Check out John Wesley Harding's tune "When the Beatles Hit America."  It's hilarious and contains political commentary to boot.

PS - I love you.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Phish 24 October 2010 @ Mullins Center in Amherst, MA

Although Sunday night has gotten a bad rap, I left the concert thinking it had been a great show.  And I'm sticking to my guns.

I hadn't gotten a chance to tailgate the night before, so I was eager to check out the lot scene and the Shakedown.  The temperatures took a major plunge, and for the first time in my life I was jealous of the wooks - they had so much insulation! 

Healthy noms before the show!

We love our glowsticks!
I got inside and settled in only after being thoroughly checked and double-checked: they made me take off all my jackets, my bag, my scarf... what do I look like, a drug monger?  It was unsettling, to say the least.

But once I finally made it through security, I was ready to boogie.  Phish opened with AC/DC Bag, which is always a welcomed, albeit oft-played tune.  

The funktastic Camel Walk followed.  The first thought in my head was: Good fortune!  They overheard me singing this one in the lot this afternoon!  Then again, probably not.  Nevertheless, Cactus held it together with the interesting-yet-grounding bass lines while Trey jammed on. 

Then delicately came the Divided Sky.  The boys took their time with the first part, which is carefully orchestrated but seems different every time I see it live.  It seems to me that the pause Trey milks before delivering the last note of the main guitar motif gets longer and longer every show.  It's fun for the first thirty seconds; after fourty-five seconds it's sorta funny; but after a minute?  I'm getting bored. 
The remaining part of the song definitely made up for my momentary lapse in excitement.  Not only was it very well-played, there was an energy about it that made me feel as if I was listening to a late 90's show instead of one more than ten years later.  There was that organic quality to the music where it felt like it hadn't been played about a thousand times.  I found this jam to be engaging - lots of interesting note choices on Trey's part. 

Everyone has been practically gushing about the breakout cover of the 1970's hit Ride Captain Ride that followed.  This is one of those songs that just leave you feeling so happy it's almost disgusting.  Page took over the vocals for this one and the combination of the organ and piano he used made it feel like a real blast from the past.  
Time Turns Elastic was another one I was hoping to hear this weekend and - surprise! - I got my wish. I was a skeptic at first; it took me quite some time to come to terms with this tune.  This video I found of Trey doing it solo acoustic really helped me appreciate it as a composition and not just some new (slightly boring) song from their latest album.  Who knows?  Maybe it'll do the same for you.

The second set proved to be an eclectic array of songs - all were good, but did they quite fit together?  I'm not so sure.  
I've said before that Backwards Down the Number Line is a new favorite song of mine, and I'll say it again (no shame!).  Not only is it catchy, but I find myself relating to it on a personal level (Goodbye, prep school friends: will we keep in touch?  Here's hoping.)  It's no YEM, but every once in a while it's a good listen.

There were at least three Phan-made signs in the audience calling for Lizards, and Phish kindly obliged.  Everyone went nuts.  
I love the funky, upbeat song Brother.  I saw it at SPAC on Father's Day when the little members of the Phamily squeezed into a small metal tub.  Hah.  
Mostly I love this tune for it's crazy fast and funky bass line (but faithful readers, you could have probably guessed that one by now).  It's a short, fun dance tune.  I regret to inform you that it sounded like Trey was spazzing out a little during his guitar solo.  Most of it was well and good, but there was this one moment where his timing is the tiniest bit off, but it makes all the difference.  To err is human, but this guys are jam gods.  So what gives? 

David Bowie provided a solid end to second set.  If I had to rank Phish songs in order of my favorites (don't make me!), this would be in my top three or so.  I love that first eruption of sound that opens the music up to be played with.

Ya dig? 

This has all been wonderful, but now I'm on my way.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Time Turn Elastic - Trey Solo Acoustic

While you are eagerly anticipating my review of Sunday night at Jamherst (it's coming!), check out this video I found awhile back.  It gave me a new perspective on Time Turns Elastic.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Phish 23 October 2010 @ Mullins Center in Amherst, MA

I was excited to get back into the Phish scene this weekend in Amherst, MA.  I saw five shows this summer, and was definitely feeling a void after a whole two live Phish-less months.

But before I could get to the show, I had to do one of my own...

I sang, then booked it.  After a mad rush and some momentary confusion (where the hell are we?!), I finally made it into the Mullins Center just in time for Big Black Furry Creature From Mars (which I had never seen live before!).  It was short, but exciting nonetheless.  After a little more confusion (where the hell am I?!), I finally settled in and was ready to enjoy the show.  

The next thing I know, Trey's on drums and Fishman's gearing up the vacuum cleaner.  He sang and soloed over the Syd Barret's tune Love You.  There were victory laps.

The band launched into Tweezer Reprise, which immediately brought me back to that awesome ending to the 6/18/10 show in Hartford... But this time around was a little different.  In fact, this version could be more aptly titled 'Meatstick Reprise,' and here's why:

My reaction went something like: ...did that actually just happen? 
It did.  And it was awesome. 

The second set had a great song selection; they were the kind of tunes that I don't immediately jump to on my iPod, but I never end up regretting it when I do.  The set began with the murky bass line of Down With Disease, a great version which segued into My Friend My Friend quite nicely; the DwD jam was showing signs of going nowhere, and the opening guitar riff of MFMF cut right through.  

Maze proved to be the highlight of my night, despite the following Hood and YEM - sorry I'm not sorry.  I tend to gravitate to the songs that I have the strongest visual imagery for, and although YEM is definitely up there, Maze takes the cake.  I see radar blips, giant monsters, and racecars (among other things) when I hear this song.  Normal?  Probably not.

But enough about me.  The song itself was incredibly played on Saturday, with great buildup into a hellish jam.  Page took the lead on this one; he delivered motion, lots of color, and even more importantly, lots of dissonance.  When he finally decided to return to the glorious main theme, the crowd cheered like there was no tomorrow.  Trey slowly took over and led the music into another high-energy jam.  Hm.  I'm beginning to think there's something to this tension-release thing I've been talking about... 

Daddy-o has been promoting the idea that Wading in the Velvet Sea would be a great tune to try out a cappella.  At first I was skeptical (covering Phish?  Are we crazy college kids up to the challenge?), but after hearing it Saturday night and imagining it in terms of arrangement (cue my inner music theory scholar), I'm sort of... bent on doing it.  What a powerful performance that could be.

Unfortunately, I didn't end up feeling too good about Hood that night.  I hate to sound like a jaded old Phan when I say this, but I've seen better.  I just didn't feel anything special behind this one.  YEM was a quite different case.  Not only was it well-played, but there was a ton of energy and really interesting jamage. 

And contrary to what everyone else seems to think, I love the vocal jam.  It's a continuation of the jam that was happening before, but using a different medium.  And I think the way this article describes it as "an eerie, improvised a cappella that finished with piercing, unison screams, then faded to nothing" is incredibly apt (and quite possibly poetic!).

Why does the moss look electric green?

Friday, October 15, 2010

One of my favorite Jerry songs:

Second only to Standing on the Moon.
Here you are, you beautiful people:

Until we meet again,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cohesive - The McLovins

Last week brought many things: a few drenching rain jogs, a Canadian tuxedo, a paper or two, and most importantly Cohesive, the brand-new new single from The McLovins.  It was written by Tom Marshall, the chief lyricist for Phish and a friend of the band.  Pretty cool, if you ask me.

Maybe it's because I know the lyrics are from Tom Marshall, but I can just feel the Phishiness.  And that's a good thing.  There's a laid-back element to the sound that's different from their stuff on Conundrum and Good Catch.  It's also more traditionally structured: verse, chorus, verse, chorus, etc.  

I really can't wait to hear it live - I predict some really cool jams coming from this one.

The light shines on,

P.S. To hear Cohesive, click the title of this entry!

P.S. Check out this sweet behind-the-scenes video!  Relix - Video - Artist Exclusives - The McLovins, Tom Marshall and Anthony Krizan: The Making of "Cohesive"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Just wanna ride my motorcycle...

The one thing I always neglect to explain is the significance of the pickle.
Enjoy one of my favorite Arlo Guthrie tunes on this wonderful fall Saturday.

Friday, October 1, 2010

TAB at the TAB

Just last week I received the Trey Anastastio Band's new album, TAB at the TAB.  Boredom was beginning to sneak up on me as I listened to the same few albums over and over, and over once more.  I needed something new to spark my interest; to revive my enthusiasm.

This did it. 

The album is a live recording of a TAB show from late February 2010 in Atlanta, GA.  At the beginning we hear a crowd cheering, and the band immediately dives into the opening riff for the rocker 'Money, Love & Change.'  Horns blast, the piano booms, and the sweet-slippery vocals are absolutely infectious.  I find myself humming this one much more than I had originally anticipated. 

Next up is the tender, melodious 'Words to Wanda.'  The best aspect of this slowed-down piece is the  delicate guitar solos that remind me of raindrops falling.  

The tune 'Valentine' is my favorite on the album.  It's fast-paced and has a ska feeling to it; not to mention, it's extremely catchy.  The opening guitar riff somehow reminds me of 'Piper,' which is one of my favorite Phish numbers.  Throw in some obscure lyrics, and watch the fun begin!  When I listen to this song, I feel like I begin to understand the goings-on inside of Trey's head.  

Check out a version from early February in Boston, MA:

Along with 'Alaska' and 'The Show of Life,' TAB covers three Phish songs on this album, my favorite being a rich-sounding 'Sand.'  Maybe it's the persistence of the bass line or the ongoing funky keyboard solo, but I mostly suspect the addition of a horn section.  They lend a hand to the guitar during the main riff, producing much more emphasis and articulation on the rhythm.  I really dig this version.. perhaps Phish should throw in some horns for their fall tour?

I only jest, dear readers.  But seriously, check out this cool version of the tune:

My other favorite song from the album is the hilarious, reggae-inspired 'Windora Bug.'  Tony Markellis (also known as "Fat Tony") takes charge on this one, posing the question "Is it a wind? Or a bug?" and finally coming to a resolution pleasing to everyone: "It's a Windora bug."  The joke sounds lame in writing, but in execution, I promise, it's hilarious. 

To be quite honest, I am surprised at how much I enjoy this album.  I had expected it to be good, but not something I haven't been able to get out of my head for a week.

So if you haven't tuned into this album yet, do it.  I dare you.

Adventure is out there!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Another reason I love my college:

I was fooling around on the internet this morning and decided to see what was the latest with a few bands.  Lo and behold, I discovered within a fifteen-minute period that Caravan of Thieves, Gandalf Murphy & the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, and Dark Star Orchestra are all stopping by Northampton this month.

Oh yeah, and then there's Phish in Amherst in October.

I'm trying my best not to brag but... I love Western Massachusetts.  Get ready for some reviews, ladies and gents.

The sun will shine and the leaves will fall,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Umphrey's is at it again...

by providing us with another hilarious and spot-on cover of a pop-culture hit.  First it was SNL's "Dick in a Box"...

..and now Cee-Lo Green's internet sensation "Fuck You"!  The sound on this video isn't the best, but the fact is hilarious nonetheless.

Enjoy, friends.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Shakedown Street: The EC$TACY EDIT

What do you guys think of this remix of the Grateful Dead's "Shakedown Street"?  Apparently it was spun by a guy named DJ Joe E. Crak.

I think I like it, but I can't be so sure.  After listening to it, my brain kind of hurts.  Is that normal?

The remix doesn't even sound like Shakedown Street until about a minute into it, but then it gets into a really funky groove involving the main riff.  The beginning of the lyrics is suspended by instant replays which climaxes into the real line - Nothing's shakin' on Shakedown Street.

But if you ask me, something cool is definitely going down.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm totally digging this tune

...from one-half of the duo that was Gnarls Barkley, Cee-Lo Green.  The song, called "F**k You" is not some product of a scary emo boy band, but rather a smart answer to a recent ex-girlfriend, and perhaps, muses an article from, a reading from the nation's temperature:

But that’s not what the song is really about—not in the world into which it was born, which is also the world that made it. The Wall Street shysters, the vicious Tea Party leaders, the BP executives: Who, living in 2010, didn’t already want to scream “fuck you!” to the loathsome rich people who seemed hell-bent on ruining our lives? Cee-Lo and Bruno Mars, co-writer and co-producer of the song, have grafted that sentiment onto a song that sounds, but for some obvious differences, like it could have been sung by the Temptations in 1968. Of course nobody can resist it.

Amen to that.

Warning - if you are opposed to the occasional obscenity, this song may not be your favorite.

Just be careful to keep singing along to a minimum around company.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals 8/15/10 @ Waterfront Park, Burlington VT

I just wanted to drop in to note that Grace Potter & the Nocturnals totally rocked on Saturday night in Burlington, VT.  Their performance was part of a weekend concert series that I happened upon while on vacation near Lake Champlain!

The band kicked off the set with my favorite track off their new self-titled album, "Hot Summer Night."  I love this song mostly because it's fun, uptempo, and totally seductive.  Oh, and Grace can belt the sh*t out of it! :)

Another highlight of the show was the soulful ballad "Apologies."  The band drew this one out for maybe eight or ten minutes, but there was never a boring moment.  The tune itself is so catchy but has this melancholy kick to it, and they got really into it this weekend.  Which means?  A total win for us!

"Paris (Ooh La La)" was a particularly high-energy hit with the crowd this weekend.  She danced, we danced, and everyone had a good time.  

I love Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit," and I love it even more when Grace does it.  The Nocturnals dove into it as the second song of a triple encore.  So sweet!
Although I was already tuned into GPN, seeing this weekend's show made me realize how ridiculously talented they are.  And also my ridiculous need to go see more shows. 

Peace, love, and Pokewalkers,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Pimps of Joytime 6 Aug 2010 @ Fairfield Theater Company in Fairfield, CT

After seeing The Pimps of Joytime at the Gathering of the Vibes last year and getting some serious groove on, I immediately wanted to buy tickets to their show at my favorite venue in CT, the Fairfield Theater Company.

And man, I'm glad I did.  During the first set of the night, I was beginning to wonder if they were really as good as I remembered them to be or if something was in the air at the Vibes last year.  But come second set, my doubts were put aside for good. 

Out came the big guns.  The big, groovy guns.  The second set laid down such a heavier beat than the first set in general.  No one could stay in a seat - their stuff is danceable!

What's interesting to note is that their band is basically three percussionists (drummer, a guy on what looked like two large bongos (don't ask me the technical term), and a girl doing loops on a computer as well as playing other assorted smaller percussion instruments), a guitarist and a bassist.  Sort of a curious distribution of sections for a 5-person band, but hey!  Why not?

The crowd was totally into it during the second set of the night (including myself!).  They played a bunch of songs I couldn't tell you the name of, but don't write me off just yet!  I caught the encore on tape just for you, dear reader:

I am definitely going to catch these guys next time they're in town.

Sun salutations all around,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

GATHERING OF THE VIBES 2010 (Part 4 of 4) @ Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT

The Harlem Gospel Choir: the best way to spend a Sunday morning.  Maybe because I'm a vocalist myself, and perhaps because I may have a thing for gospel music ('Hercules' has the best soundtrack out of all the Disney movies, hands down), but they're always one of my favorite acts at the Vibes.  There's nothing quite like getting shivers from good music on a hot summer day.

Check out this short video I took of their opening song:

I found my twin!

And the official title for Official Random New Find of the Vibes goes to Lubriphonic, a Chicago-based group who kind of rocks (this is where you detect the vast understatement).  Their music is sort of the rock/funk genre (whatever that means) and is super lively and fun to groove and dance to.  I could definitely picture myself going to see these guys again and having a really fun time dancing the night away.

I'm going to link to their MySpace page here where you can listen to some of their music (which I highly recommend).  Here's hoping to a full-on Lubriphonic show in my near future!

I have a bone to pick with this Martin Sexton fellow.  I just don't think he is as good as Ryan Montbleau, and it was a damn shame that he had to come in an interrupt what was otherwise a perfectly fine performance from the RMB on Sunday afternoon.  I saw him in early June and was just plain unimpressed (and totally baffled as to why everyone else was eating it up).  Let's just say I'm looking forward to seeing the Ryan Montbleau Band without Sexton very soon (hopefully doing the August 27th boat show).

'A Mainstay of the Vibes' almost became the tagline for the Ryan Montbleau Band from The Vibes People (official title? No, but good enough) this year.  If that's true, I would love to know why they couldn't squeeze in a full set for these guys.  Normally another favorite act of the Vibes, but this year not so.

We found Ryan later hanging in the Kiddie Tent, so it was chill.

Wavy Gravy MC'd the weekend's festivities and provided some quality entertainment while the Tribe waited (for an unnecessarily long time, I might add) between sets.  Remind me again why there weren't two stages this year?  

Jimmy Cliff

Although I may have complained a little too heartily in this entry, I maintain the utmost sincerity when I say that the Gathering of the Vibes is the best time of the year.

GOTV '11!  Bring it on!

Peace, love, and blue roses,

Monday, August 9, 2010

GATHERING OF THE VIBES 2010 (Part 3 of 4) @ Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT

Saturday was nicely bookended with power trios.  The McLovins shredded the Green Stage for a great afternoon set and Primus absolutely rocked the house at night.

But before we could settle down and put our listening ears on, we had some work to do...

The Thousand Hippie March was put into play!  The idea was borrowed for the Million Mom March, but we figured we would start just a little smaller.  (I'm not sure I would want to be caught up in a million hippies...)

Basically the idea was to bring attention to the fact that The McLovins should have been put on the Main Stage this year by rousing up the Main Stage crowd to head on over to the Green Stage and hear their set.

There were over two thousand faces melting!

The band played a great set - they started up, appropriately, with a jammed-out rendition of 'Dancin' In the Streets,' followed up by a crowd favorite, 'Tokyo Tea.'  I love this one because it's catchy and it's a great jam vehicle (and they jammed, alright!).  Somewhere after a song or two the group went into Phish's 'Tweezer Reprise' as a continuation of the night that all self-respecting Phans should know about by now (Read about it here!).  The faced-paced 'Virtual Circle' and The Door's 'Break on Through' were other highlights of the set as well.

I've got to give it to these guys - especially for a mid-day set, The McLovins tore the place up.  There was energy and enthusiasm in the crowd and the band that didn't happen again until the sun went down.

I was impressed with Primus, the headliner set of the night.  I wasn't sure what to expect out of them after hearing some mixed reviews.  I was immediately entranced by the music - it was totally different than what I had been listening to all day.  Maybe it was something about the heavy, repetitive basslines (hypnobass?) or the plain weirdness of the lyrics and Les Claypool himself, but for some reason... I liked it.

They play the sort of music that I know I could have a good time to.  There are definite heavy metal influences to their stuff.  Also - there was a giant glowing caterpillar!

I definitely want to catch Primus again sometime soon to experience a full-length show.  Fall tour, anyone?

Peace, love, & clown cones,