Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Breakfast & Beatles A to Z(6/25-26):

I’m still in somewhat of a haze from this weekend, so bear with me on this one.  This weekend would mark my first trip down to Connecticut to see the Breakfast since Sully’s in November, so I was really amped up to head down 95 South to see my favorite band with my favorite fanbase in lower New England.  I got to Toad’s Place in New Haven around 9:30 which gave me ample time to get myself conditioned for a night a music.

Saturday night was a co-bill with Roots of Creation so there was a lot of buzz on York St. that night.  Plenty of Vibe Tribers getting their last few stacks of fliers out before next months festivities.  Roots played a solid hour and a half set which left the Breakfast to hit the stage a little before midnight.  They started out with a tight version of Honey Butter to get the crowd loosened up for a funked out set.

Anyways, after Honey Butter was a patient chilled out version of The Chase.  I have seen the Chase probably around 50 times and this was the only time I’ve seen it branched out beyond the standard four and a half minute version, so it was worth noting.  Tim followed up with a solo tease of Blackbird, probably foreshadowing the Beatles A to Z show the next day, but soon thereafter dropped into Gladys Pimp and Kangaroos with Me.  Now I’m a Gladys Pimp connoisseur, so I knew from about 2 seconds into Blackbird that GP was to follow, and as usual it was its high paced funked out self.  There’s always talk as to whether Buquebus or Rufus is their best song after Episode 2 or Grand Scheme of Things, but nothing represents the Breakfast’s high powered funk offense as well as Gladys does.

I took a well needed venture outside during the early parts of Taboo and made it back in just in time for Frankenstein.  It was well played and I’m fairly certain it was only the second time the band has played it since The Freakout in 2002, so it was well received by me.  Adrian smashed his drum solos and nailed them to perfection as per usual.  The Existential Funk that followed was the highlight of the show.  This song has easily become the best offering from Chris DeAngelis in the past year and continues to evolve every time they drop into it during a show.

The set closing Buquebus was your typical Toad’s Place Buquebus, which is good.  Todd Stoops was clearly getting into it as he was getting his face ripped off in front of Tim Palmeiri in the crowd.  We all got our faces ripped off at some point and that’s why we go see the Breakfast in the first place.  For the encore, The Breakfast was joined onstage by all members of Roots of Creation as well as Rob Somerville of Deep Banana Blackout for a spirited version of The Harder They Come.  It was well stretched out and all 10 people onstage got to have their part in jamming it out a bit more.  Rob left the stage and left RoC and the Breakfast to perform a two band segue into So Lonely by the Police as sung by Chris DeAngelis.  This really capped the show of perfectly as we got to thrash around to the punky reggae sounds one last time that night.

Sunday was a treat as it marked the first Beatles A to Z show since New Years Eve.  For the uninitiated Beatles A to Z consists of Tim, Adrian and Ron from the Breakfast as well as Sean Miller and Fred DeLeone on keys.  I spent a long portion of the day at the Sunday Afternoon Bakeout getting primed for the show poolside playing some intense games of Stump.  I grabbed a couple gypsies for the ride down to Daniel St. and arrived with the first set in progress.

It was a freeform Sunday and the setlist was a solid mix of classic Beatles tracks with some deep cuts mixed in.  They’ve played every song in the Beatles arsenal a few times now, so they do a good job of keeping the songs true to form and occasionally jamming out a song or two.  One of Adrian’s drum students, Malcolm sat in for a few songs including Helter Skelter and the previously posted Tomorrow Never Knows.  Highlight of the show include the latter portion of Abbey Road being split over both sets as well as a nice I am the Walrus.

The Breakfast 6/25/11 Toad’s Place

I: Honey Butter, The Chase, Gladys Pimp And Kangaroos With Me*, Taboo Or Not Taboot, Frankenstein, Existential Funk, Buquebus

E: The Harder They Come** > So Lonely**

* with ‘Blackbird’ (The Beatles) into.
** with the entire Roots Of Creation & Rob Somerville.

Beatles A to Z 6/26/11 Daniel Street

1: And your bird can sing, come together( + jam), I’ll be back again, I’m a loser, not a second time, rain (+jam), she said she said (+jam), tell me why, when I get home, you can’t do that, can’t buy me love, get back, hello goodbye, lady Madonna, paperback writer, rocky raccoon, she’s a woman, tell me what you see, when I’m 64, you never give money.

II: all you need is love, dear prudence, good morning good morning, I am the walrus, I feel fine, revolution, the ballad of john and Yoko, tomorrow never knows, all my loving, come and get it, got to get you into my life, shelter skelter, I’ve just seen a face, let it be, penny lane, she came in through the bathroom window, the end

E: I wanna hold your hand, I’ve got a feeling, it won’t be long

Advertisements

In praise of Air:

I was originally planning on doing another 3 bands worth listening to post with Air being the focal point, then I came to the conclusion that this band is worthy of their own post that isn’t watered down by anyone else.  They have released 9 albums over the past 14 years and are featured on many soundtracks as well.  As far as overall appeal and influence as well as talent, you’d be hard pressed to find a band that rivals their output over the past 15 years.

AIR

Consisting of the duo of Nicolas Godin and Jean Benoit-Dunckel, Air have been making music together since 1995.  Their music is ambient electronica with heavy use of synthesizers, organs, drum and bass, as well as the occasional vocoder.  What results from that for the listener is probably the most relaxing chilled out musical soundscape, great for background noise, or focusing heavy on, great for listening in the car, or playing while you’re lying on top of someone.  Its very multifaceted in that sense.

Their music is just so accessible to the ears, its hard not to groove along to it.  Underneath it all, there’s something somewhat punk rock about it as well.  Nobody really does what they do, surely not as well as they do.  Their music has been featured on many feature film soundtracks including Go, Exit Through the Giftshop, and of course their full-length soundtrack to Sofia Coppola’s Virgin Suicides.  Its just that perfect kind of music where it can be background noise, but at the same time has enough tension and release to add to the scenes in which they are played on.

Let’s not pigeonhole them strictly as a soundtrack band though, although their music has a certain ambience to it, its often complex and diverse and it’s easily noticeable on their album.   Premiers Symptomes and Moon Safari are both strong albums, especially considering its their first two albums.  Maybe not all their albums are as strong as those two originals, but they still pump out solid albums regularly including 2004’s Talkie Walkie and 2009’s Love 2.

Seriously, go out and buy Moon Safari, go home get your woman all in the mood and fuck to this music.  I guarantee she’ll have came twice by the end of Kelly Watch the Stars.  Guaranteed to get at least one out during La Femme D’Argent alone and that’s the opening track.  By the time Ce Matin La ends, your mattress should be covered in female ejaculate, the amounts of which you’ve never possibly imagined before.

All kidding aside, their music has a slight euphoric feel to it, akin to taking half an E pill before going to work in the morning.  Seeing them live only confirmed that to me.  Their live shows are pristine sounding and you can hear a pin drop in the crowd during their songs.  Just thousands of people sitting in awe trying to keep their jaws off the ground for a solid two hours.  They are Air, and they are the very best at what they do.  I don’t know why the French are so amazing at making music that speaks to your inside feelings of joy and love, but they just do.  It’s something I’ve come to expect and appreciate.

The Indobox; 6/17/11 Providence:

Have I mentioned that the Spot Underground is my favorite local music venue?  I can not stress that enough, its like watching a concert from a rich person’s living room w/ hot bartenders and enough couches to sit Michelle Bachmann’s family.  Plus you can drink outside, which is clutch for when those opening bands are still playing and the music doesn’t stop until 2 am sharp.

Last night was a long and arduous battle, before I get to talking about the show, let’s discuss how this evening as whole went down.  I attended my friends on M & S Cleaning’s softball game at 8 pm in Taunton and figured I’d go right to the show from there.  So to kill two birds with one stone, I got dressed up for my night out before hitting up the game so that I wouldn’t have to go home in between.

Unfortunately, the gods were not smiling upon me last night as it began to rain in buckets at about the third inning.  I braved the storm for another 4 innings until M & S picked up the victory and booked it for my car.  Now, I had two options, run home real quick, change and head to the city or just say fuck it and go at it from there.  Being the crafty veteran I am, I took both my shirts off, laid them over the heaters in my car and proceeded to drive to Providence topless while my clothes got a quick dry.  Made a quick stopover at a friend’s house before finally getting to the venue at a little after 10:30.

As per usual, the second opening band was just starting, so I had a solid hour to get myself settled in before the main event of the evening.  I went to the bar to grab a drink and had a quick chat with Quinn, the drummer from Indobox, on beards and how diverse you can be with them.  Now being from the Northeast, I surprisingly haven’t seen the Indobox too many times(only twice opening up for the Disco Biscuits), but I knew they were capable of putting on a solid set full of dance party tunage.  I set up shop down in front on the left side of the stage(Pageside, chuck.side, Save Side for those of you who know what the hell I’m talking about) and took a quick look over the crowd to see that the place was pretty much packed both on the dancefloor and the raised bar portion of the venue, so that was reassuring.

Now, like I said, I’ve only seen them a couple times, so I don’t know what any of the songs are called, but I did swipe a setlist on my way out, so for those of you who are better versed in the Indobox, you can tell me how it looks:

btw, i’m writing this shit as is cuz even then its so complex looking to me:

Big Wheel-> Someone Great-> (jam into Ming verse groove) Ming Ming -> PDSN (inv), Need You Now -> hits -> Dig Safe -> A- -> Lollipops, Once Upon -> Covering Up (peak lines only) -> Pt II (fakeout) -> Monsters, Reading, Catch Her, Ready to Spill

Encore:  B- jam -> 5 minute Noise Dynamic Wash (stop), Top o World

Now, that all means nothing to me, so let me try to analyze the show without trying to pretend I know what was what.  The only song of the whole show I was familiar with is Someone Great, an LCD Soundsystem cover, which they played an instrumental version of(also known as 45:33 pt. 3)  and playing it so early in the set really pumped me up and got me loose for the rest of the set.  The jam leading out of Someone Great into Ming Ming was noteworthy cuz it give SG that added kick in the rear.

I assuredly took a smoke break probably in the late portion of Ming Ming or PDSN, but when I got back in, the jam that followed was the highlight of the night to me.  This must’ve been the Need You Now> Dig Safe> Lollipops portion.  I started counting songs after so I could try to remember which song it was that impressed me so much, then I realized this set wasn’t about to end anytime soon.  I know I left my feet multiple times during this segment so that usually means a good thing.

Sidenote:  You have to be pretty brash to set up your stage with the keyboard player front and center with each guitarist on the outside.  It almost looks intrusive up there.  Hell even the bands where the keyboard player is the cream of the crop, such as Raq or Medeski Martin and Wood, know well enough to put their keyboard player off to one side.  On top of that, if your keyboard player will wear pink sunglasses for parts of the show and wear an Incredible Hulk t-shirt, I’d think your band is fucking crazy.  Yet, it works perfectly.  Bravo.

The highlights of the rest of the set include the following segued portion as well as Reading.  By the end of the set, I was maxing out on a couch just taking it all in.  Set ended roughly around 1:35 and they played a solid 20 minute encore.  The jam to open up the encore was well done and was highlighted by the guitar playing of Mike Carter.  The feedback jam that followed was right up my alley.  Most people stop dancing in heavy times of feedback debauchery, especially if it lasts for a full five minutes, but that’s my kinda jam.  The final song was a great sendoff and got the few of us still raging hard off our feet one last time.  Overall it was a great show top to bottom and was glad I got to let loose for those two and a half hours.  The Indobox surprised the shit out of me and it easily was one of the best sets from a jamtronica band I’ve seen outside of a Biscuits or Brothers Past show.

Summer Festival Guide: The Big Up

Hidden in the rural pastures of Ghent, New York lies one of the best smaller festivals to hit the Northeast in the past few years.  The Big Up originated two years ago as The Let It Roll festival and has built momentum since then to be a powerhouse lineup of music the last weekend of July.  The festival grounds lie on a beautiful old farm that has hosted legends like John Lennon in the past and now is a perfect place to spend a weekend cut off from the rest of the world.  Let’s break down the highlights of this gem of a festival:

EOTO headlines the Big Up 2011

Raq– I’ve been lucky to see Raq for almost 10 years now and with their rare touring these days, it’s a special occasion when the fearsome foursome from Vermont get together to do what they do best.  Led by the fierce keyboard playing from Todd Stoops and the guitar attack from Chris Michetti, Raq have found their niche with a sound that is in your face and funked out to the max.

Marco Benevento– Speaking of keyboardists, Marco is always a treat to see no matter who he’s playing with.  His work w/ Joe Russo made him a much sought after musician on the scene and has since played with pretty much anyone who’s anyone in the world of acid jazz jam.  Seriously, this guy is a beast on keys, the likes of which I couldn’t classify and he’s been a mainstay at The Big Up since it’s inception.

The Breakfast– While we’re on the topic of Big Up mainstays, the Breakfast have played at Ghent every year and will be continuing their streak this year.  Led by the brutal guitarmaggedon style of Tim Palmeiri and the animalistic drum rage of Adrian Tramantano, the Breakfast have been constantly honing their sound to outdo themselves night after night.  With original keyboardist Jordan Giangreco and newest bass player Chris D’Angelis, they are on their best lineup to date and the energy of their shows are hard to match on a night to night basis.

But this is just scratching the surface.  If you like electronic music, then you’re in luck because the deemster barn will be kicking all weekend with the likes of Ott, Orchard Lounge, Abakus, and headliners EOTO featuring members of String Cheese Incident.  Not to mention Digital Tape Machine featuring members of Umphrey’s McGee and Big Gigantic.  Then the influx of local Northeast jambandia continues all weekend with Indobox, Dopapod, Kung Fu, Jimkata and Higher Organix.  Seriously, if you live anywhere within 5 hours of Albany, NY and don’t want to miss the most happening event of the summer, then be sure not to miss the Big Up.

The Best diss tracks of alltime:

Eazy does it.

In reverence of Tupac’s birthday, we’re gonna break it down with the best diss tracks of all time.  Tupac personally took the idea of the diss track to a new level when he came out of the hospital from getting shot and immediately laid down ‘Hit ’em Up’ before going ahead and getting shot a second time around, so in praise of your brashness, we will disect the best of the best diss tracks(in no particular order):

#1. Masta Ace- Acknowledge

This is hip hop rhyming at its purest form and Masta Ace lays it all on the line to set the record straight.

#2. Tupac- Hit ’em Up

Just the balls it takes to write this song after getting shot the first time is worthy enough to put this on the top of any list.

#3. Eazy E- Real Muthafuckin G’s

Dre Day was probably the most popular song on the most popular rap album of all time, but that didn’t stop Eazy from following it right up to clear up who the best rapper from N.W.A. always was.

5 more reasons the 80s were better than today:

The Cure

Back to the golden age of music videos for this week’s top five list.  Last time we had Pulp. New Order, Duran Duran, the Psychedelic Furs and Yaz, so without any repeats, here are five more reasons the 80s were better than the modern mainstream music world:

#5.  XTC- Making Plans for Nigel

XTC was one of the English bands at the forefront of the New Wave era and although they had very few hits, they released many albums and withstood the test of time lasting until their breakup in 2006.

#4. Echo and the Bunnymen- Killing Moon

Led by lead singer Ian McCulloch,  this also British post-punk band received popularity worldwide in the early 1980’s and rightfully so.  Their songwriting was top-notch for that era and they continue to perform and release music to this day.

#3. INXS- Need You Tonight

Traveling now to Australia, these rockers were huge in the 1980s and rightfully so.  INXS was in every way a better band than U2 on their best day, but the lads from Ireland got all the fame and recognition while Michael Hutchence committed suicide in a Sydney hotel room in 1997.  Would’ve rathered it have been Bono.

#2. Oingo Boingo- Dead Man’s Party

Our only American band of the list and it’s a good one.  Oingo Boingo started as a New Wave band in the late 70’s and achieved fame with their songs Weird Science and Dead Man’s Party.  They were known for playing kickass Halloween shows, so when you get decked out to the nines this year to hit up a concert on Halloween, thank Oingo Boingo for making it such a great night to see live music.

#1. The Cure- Lovesong

Closing out with the best of the English rock bands of the 1980s, The Cure led by lead singer Robert Smith were influential on so many levels to the way kids dressed to the future songwriters of the 1990s and the 21st century.  So here’s to you Robert Smith, you made it cool to be a brooding teenager in gothic clothes and without you, there’d be no Hot Topic.

That’s it for this week folks, have a good weekend and I’ll have some stuff ready for next week.

Phish Great Woods 6/7/2011:

note: still unfinished, waiting on pics, but be sure to check out mkdevo’s youtube channel for more great vids of this tour.

It’s good to be back on the horse again.  I was looking forward to this show since it was only my second concert coming off of surgery and it would be a test since I’d be on my feet all day and night for the first real time.  Got there right at 4 pm and was hurried into the furthest parking lot in the back, which meant I wouldn’t be getting out of there until 1 am at the earliest.  I had no issues with that.

It was a hot one today, I cut myself off after my first drink to stick to Iced Tea, Water and Dr. Peppers for my own well-being.  Within the first half hour of being there I had to pick up 2 tickets, drop off 1 and then finally get to relax a while.  I met up with an old friend from my hometown while picking up an amazing Steak Taco for 3 bucks and we settled down and chilled for a good while.  His friend and me got to chatting about bands and he was an Umphrey’s McGee/ Sound Tribe fan so there was automatic conflict since I’m more of a moe./ Disco Biscuits fan.  Luckily he brought up the Breakfast and we found mutual agreement over shows from the Psychedelic Breakfast era.

Did one last loop through the lot to meet up with a couple friends before going back to my car and changing into my evening attire.  On the way in the gate, I stumbled upon my old friend Gabo who was giving two younger kids a hard time about something.  I think both of them were so far gone at that point that they really had no arguments for him that made plausible sense.  So me and Gabo headed for the pavilion where we found a large handful of other gypsies to keep our row filled for some hardcore dance squad action.

The first set started off strong with a Llama opener, which mkdevo called earlier when I saw him on my lot stroll.  His crew was a few rows behind us, so section 5 had quite a bit going for it.  Hell, the energy in the pavilion was much higher than the past couple years at Great Woods.  Moma Dance and Possum followed up and both were strong versions, kept the energy alive and well.  Cities was just the icing on the cake of a strong first portion of the show, everyone within eye view was smiling ear to ear.

Instant Karma!  Great cover choice.  The last time I saw Page play it in the area was back when he played it with Vida Blue at Lupo’s in 2002, how time flies by.  Bowie started, and I was hoping we’d get a Maze, but when I’m complaining about hearing my favorite Phish song of all time, which Bowie is, there really isn’t anything to complain about.

Solid version with an extended intro and many false endings, reminded me of the June 30, 2000 version from Hartford.  Definitely a standout for the first set.  Rhymes was a nice change of pace for a new cover and I had no complaints with it.  The Divided Sky that followed was nothing short of perfect.  As the sun was setting on what was such a hot day, Trey jammed out the end extra hard to bring it on home.  The Faulty Plan to close the set was short and sweet, and we were all ready for a setbreak to relax and cool down a moment.

Set two picked right up where the first set ended with a rocking version of Get Back on the Train.  Rock and Roll really took the set off and running though.  This was a welcome song and they took it out there last night.  The jam reached many different themes and places before settling into the Mango Song.  Now I love the Mango Song, so I couldn’t have been any happier at that point.  Page really lit it up big time in the second set especially in Rock and Roll and Mango.  That final jam in Mango is one of those perfectly Phishy jams that can only be done right by the fearsome foursome from Burlington.

At that point, Bug was a much needed change of pace.  They had a tiny flub early on in the song which caused them to emphasize the “Overrated” line in the chorus, but Trey made up for it in his solo and they finished it strong.  I took a rest during Pebbles and Marbles as 2003-2004 Phish tunes are my least favorite besides the occasional 46 Days.  Luckily it didn’t go on to long cuz Halley’s picked the crowd right back up.  From my vantage point, this was the most well received song of the night at that point.  Even got the closest thing to a glowstick war going for the second verse.  They were really firing on all cylinders and Trey seemingly stopped it midjam to go tumbling into the Meatstick.

I’m not the biggest Meatstick fan so it was kind of a letdown, but what are you gonna do?  Its a rare occasion when every song in a show suits my fancy, so its best to accentuate the positive.  The Antelope that followed fits under the positive spectrum.  That was one of the better Antelopes I’ve seen from Phish 3.0 and even had a Fishman cymbal solo right before the “Rye Rye Rocco” part.  Fishman and Page were definitely the MVPs of the evening.  Definitely a solid way to end the show.

Before the encore, me and the girl next to me were discussing what they could play for the encore.   To which I replied “nothing that would make or break the show.”  Boy was I wrong.  That Suzy Greenberg was classic Phish funking out and really capped off a solid performance top to bottom nicely.  So glad they decided to end with a strong Phish song as opposed to a cover or a Sleeping Monkey or another First Tube.  Suzy was just what we needed to rock the joint one last time.

I headed out the venue quickly so I could grab a dollar water and chill out in the lot for a bit.  The Great Woods lot is notorious for not being able to get out of in a timely fashion, so I knew I wasn’t in any type of rush.  I made my way back to the taco people and they were serving up fresh lobster rolls for their latenight fare.  I grabbed one and devoured it before hanging out with the people parked in my immediate area for the next hour or so until the police finally came around and ushered us to our cars since the lot had finally emptied out.

Overall solid show of music capped off by a great day and night spent with some great people.  If I could do it over again, I’d do it just the same maybe minus the Meatstick, but besides that it was a great time all around.  Thank you Phish for playing us Massholes a great show.  My favorite since Fall Tour 2000.