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,

Sunday, August 8, 2010

GATHERING OF THE VIBES 2010 (Part 2 of 4) @ Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT

Greetings, earthlings!  Friday was the first full day of the Vibes this year, and man, was I excited.  (I donned slightly less glitter glue this time, too.)

After reviewing Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings' new album, "I Learned the Hard Way" in May, I was stoked to see them come to the Vibes this summer.  The Dap Kings played a warm-up tune before the "indescribable" Sharon Jones came onstage.  All of a sudden it was like yin and yang - I don't know much about traditional Motown, but it seemed strange that Sharon Jones was full on energy while her backup band was practically stoic.  The music was tight and Sharon's performance was entertaining (see the following video for a peek!) but for some reason I cannot articulate, they didn't really do it for me.  There was something about a weird mix of energy levels onstage that was sort of.. offputting.


Don't get me wrong, I love her music.  I couldn't stop thinking of it for weeks after the new album dropped.  And her set was definitely what I would call entertaining.  Perhaps my expectations were a little lofty...

Anyways, check out this short clip of Sharon doing her thing at the Vibes:

After Sharon's set was over, I wandered over to the Green Stage to check out the scene.  I was immediately grabbed by an interesting mix of uptempo folk and swing music.  And someone up there seemed vaguely familiar.  I had occasionally seen the lead guitarist play with the Ryan Montbleau Band at the Fairfield Theater Company.  In fact, I had seen him guest-spot about three times already, and had always idly wondered who he was....

Enlightenment!  It was the lead guitarist from the Norwalk, CT-based band, Caravan of Thieves!  I had been meaning to check these guys out for a while, and I'm totally glad I stumbled on them!  I love these guys.  Their fresh take on old music (killer cover of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody') and unflagging energy that's channeled into their music and performance is super interesting and fun.  I definitely want to see them again!

Robert Randolph & the Family Band stole the show for me on Friday.  I hadn't heard much about their stuff other than rave reviews from friends, but they turned out to be one of the highlights of the Vibes for me!  That's the beauty of music festivals like the Vibes, though: I always manage to find a new band that I totally love without even meaning to.

Their sound is kind of like a mix of classic rock and funk with a heavy psychedelic guitar thrown in.  In other words.. it's good!  Randolph played both the pedal steel guitar and a traditional electric guitar during the set, and even called up a few people from the audience to guest-spot on electric guitar with him during one of his closing tunes.  I wonder if they were planted...

Anyways, I would call Robert Randolph & the Family Band a must-see act.  They were into the music, the audience was really into the music, and it was just good vibes all around.

Up next?  Get ready for my take on Saturday and Sunday's shows!

Peace, love, and OMGCATS,

Thursday, August 5, 2010

GATHERING OF THE VIBES 2010 (Part 1 of 4) @ Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT

As I settle in to write this entry, I wonder: could there be a more perfect way to celebrate the life and legacy of Jerry Garcia than the Gathering of the Vibes?  I think not.  So long story short, I plan on returning to the Vibes for a long, long time.

My festivities kicked off with a remarkable show from Dark Star Orchestra on Thursday night.  I hadn't seen these guys since Furthur recruited John Kadlecik to tour with them and Jeff Mattson from the Zen Tricksters took his place.  I think that seeing the DSO comes closer to seeing The Grateful Dead live than Further, the spin-off band with Phil Lesh and Bob Weir.  They cover whole Grateful Dead shows from cover to cover, and occasionally play original setlists as well.  If you close your eyes and listen, it can feel organic (or so I've been told!).

Thursday night, the band did a solid cover of the 10/17/82 show from Santa Fe, NM.

I caught two tunes on video that night - Me & My Uncle > Mexicali Blues.  Feel free to ignore the peanut gallery :)

Stay tuned for three more entries about the Vibes!

Peace, love, and way too much glitter glue,