Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gipsy Kings - Chicago Theater - 2/21/09

What an exerience, what a sound. I started listening to the Gipsy Kings a while back in the early 90s. I was 6 or 7 years young when my grandfather gave me a cassete tape of 'Allegria.' Luckily amidst my love for Vanilla Ice, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Soundtrack, Marky Mark, and MC Hammer, I was able to appreciate the complex sounds of the Gipsy Kings. I remember listening to this on my walkman, in the car and on airplanes, traveling to various places. Since my introduction to them, my relationship with their music has always been about escape, adventure, and the excitement of the unknown.

It was this time last year that I was in Puerto Rico, hanging out on the beach, swimming in the ocean, and enjoying a few Medallas in an attempt to forget the brutal cold Chicago delivers in February. This year I wasn't so lucky. Stuck. Having to deal with winter this time around I've lived it up the best I could. One great thing about Chicago is the diversity of opportunity to see live music, something I obviously take advantage of. Last weekend I had the chance to finally see the Gipsy Kings, and to my surprise I was able to travel away, if only for a couple hours. I knew thi show would be different. Not just in the style of music, but in the atmosphere. I knew it would be different but I still did not know what to expect.

I was curious though, would the audience be older? Would it be lively? What about the band? I wasn't even totally sure what the Gipsy Kings looked like or how old they were. Would they play a lot of songs I'd recognize? My collection of their work is limited to 3 albums, all atleat 10 years old. I realized I had lost touch with this band that I knew I loved. Not that my appreciation for them had faded but my musical interests had taken me in other directions and in the excitement of getting to know new favorites I had neglected the Gipsy Kings.

I arrived at the show and sat eagerly waiting for them to take the stage, looking closely at the un-maned instruments. The crowd was everything you could hope for. They were young, they were old, they were snooty, they were chill. There were families, there were dates, groups of friends large and small and before a single note was played I could tell that everyone in the room had a passion for this music.

The band took the stage and what followed was one of the best performances I've witnessed. These guys are true musicians. There is nothing like hearing 6 guitars all playing together, with their sounds filled out by the textures of 2 drummers, a bassist, and a keyboardist. The energy and emotion from the band members transfered directly to the fans in no time. Women first stood up and danced at their seats, then another, then a couple would come down the aisle. Before long everyone was standing up, clapping along . Drinks were raised, people whistled and cheered. It was one of the most positive environments I've experienced. By the time they were returning for their encore (Bomboleo) women began flooding the stage and dancing with the band members, by the end there must have been 50 women on stage. Who could blame them, thats what good music does to you. It tickles your impulses and strangles your inhibitions, that and Im sure a little alcohol helped as well. The band played and they played well. Crisp and fast.

As for what else they played, there were songs I recognized and some completely new to me. Unfortunately I had become so distant with their music that I wasn't able to compile a set list. It is time to dive in to the Gipsy Kings music some more. I suggest you do the same. If you are well versed with there music already, if they ever come to your town, or even if they don't and you have to travel (as if a vacation would be all that bad) you have to see these guys play, no matter your taste you will not be let down.

Check out the pics below...Thanks Big D for getting up front and scoring some great photos...especially the ones during the Bassists solo!

Happy Birthday Johnny Cash!

77 years ago today the Man In Black, John R. Cash was born in Kingsland , Arkansas. In celebration of his life and the music he’s shared I’d like to invite any and all of our readers to share their favorite Johnny Cash song, story, or memory. I’ll get things going with mine. It’s a story of how file-sharing led me to spend countless dollars on an artist I’d previously never had any interest in and how I met Johnny Cash.

It took a bit of a roundabout path for me to discover Johnny Cash’s catalog of musical work. Growing up outside of Chicago and then shipping out to finish high school at boarding school in CT, I didn’t have much exposure to the Cash brand of music. Sure, I knew “Boy Named Sue” and “Ring of Fire”; his tunes that were in every jukebox (even in Chicago and Connecticut), but I hadn’t really gotten into the full body of work and what I had heard was only in passing. Then I went to college, just as high-speed internet and this thing called Napster were sweeping across campuses nationwide; eating up bandwidth along the way, pissing off university IT heads, and keeping college kids very entertained and distracted from their studies.

I’d met a girl at school from Texas and with this new technology she had downloaded a bunch of songs and burned me a CD (a mix CD! Who’d a thunk it?) that included a number of tunes that leaned a little more to the south than I was accustomed and more towards the country and western end of the musical spectrum. There were a couple Johnny Cash songs on that mix. I think “Daddy Sang Bass” and “Folsom Prison Blues”. I couldn’t get enough of that sound. I even caught my roommate from New Hampshire singing along, “…daddy sang bass, mama sang tenor…” at one point.

Those few songs and the ease of file-sharing at that time allowed me to expand my Johnny Cash collection pretty rapidly. I don’t want to ramble too long about the good and bad of such file-sharing programs, but I will say this, that introduction to Johnny Cash led to many dollars being spent on the gathering of much of his catalogue of work.

The exchange of music during the Christmas season is always a big deal in my family. That year Johnny Cash was the centerpiece of all musical gifts from me. I’d talked about him so much and as a family we’d been listening to him so much that they bought ME CD’s of his too. We’d found the rare artist that suited all our musical tastes and that we enjoyed listening to together.

Over the years that followed my family has bought and accumulated much of the entire Johnny Cash recorded material that is out there; old and new. We enjoy most all of it. We chased down concert posters and 8X10’s on ebay and maybe most important Johnny Cash introduced us to other artists that we came to enjoy and follow.

I was a little late in discovering the man and his music but a touch ahead of his latest resurgence in popularity with “Hurt” and his bio-pic. I’m grateful for the file-sharing that allowed for the discovery and for it coming at all. I take pride in being able to now sprinkle my vocabulary with the occasional, “…cavorting in Davenport “ and “…said, I fooled you. I fooled you…” or “in the mud and the blood and the beer..” and having people (some people at least) know what I’m talking about. So, in honor of the Man In Black go take a listen in honor of all that he left us.

Seeing that this is a live music forum...If you don’t have it go get yourself a copy of Live At Folsom . It’s one of my personal favorite live recordings of all time and my favorite Johnny Cash. I also have to recommend checking out his autobiography CASH by Johnny Cash for when you’re in the reading mood and if you’re in Brooklyn or nearby this weekend Alex Battles and Whiskey Rebellionwill be playing their annual birthday show in Johnny Cash’s honor this Saturday at Southpaw by performing his entire live performance from San Quentin.

Happy Birthday Johnny Cash!

(post written by Jim Longstreet)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

On Sale This Week: New York Edition

This is not a complete list but rather some shows we've got our eye on.

Thursday 10 AM:
Keane w/ Mat Kearney and Helio Sequence
at Radio City Music Hall 5/27
Pre-Sale Code:HEKEANE Get 'em here.

Friday 11 AM:
Band of Horses special acoustic performance at Carnegie Hall 6/11 Get 'em here.

Friday Noon:
TV on the Radio at Central Park Summerstage 6/5 Get 'em here.

Lez Zeppelin at Webster Hall 5/14 Get 'em here.

Saturday 10 AM:
Gipsy Kings at The Wellmont Theatre 6/11 Get 'em here.

Delta Spirit @ Bowery Ballroom 2/21/09 "People Turn Around" Video

This took forever to upload and process, but it finally worked and it is worth sharing. This was arguably the highlight of the Delta Spirit show. They invited band members back out from The Other Lives and Dawes and did stirring version of their protest song-ish tune, "People Turn Around". It's a short clip, but you get the idea. Enjoy.

Rocker Hottie of The Week - Zooey Deschanel

She can act, she can sing, she can play the banjo...

enjoy your week, and the pics

...Oh and shes got good looks

We're getting tickets to hear M. Ward @ the great would it be if Ms. Deschanel made an appearance and we got a lil She and Him action?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Delta Spirit @ Bowery Ballroom 2/21/09 (setlist & pictures)

I just got home from this show and I'm still pretty geeked over the whole thing. Big E and I rushed over from Williamsburg to get to the show thinking we were running late after a few beers with friends. About 10 minutes after we arrived opening act Dawes took the stage. I had nothing on these guys. They were solid. I would definitely check them again. I meant to pick up their CD, but by the time I made it back downstairs the swag table was closed up. They treated us to a good set and were followed by The Other Lives. These guys were also pretty good. They apparently have a song that has been included on the Gray's Anatomy soundtrack. I'm not sure what song it is, but I know they played it. That was when all the ladies were singing along all of a sudden. It should also be noted that Other Lives lead singer, Jesse Tabish, looks a lot like the lead singer from The Spin Doctors. Their music was a little darker; almost haunting than the Dawes set and the Delta Spirit that would follow, but they had a cello player which was different...and she was wearing antlers which is even better, so I'll have to give these guys another listen.
After all that I think everybody was ready for the main event. The guys did not disappoint. (Setlist, pictures, etc. below)

Delta Spirit dove right in with Strange Vine and People C'mon. Lead singer Matt Vasquez put on a great show, sung with heart, and even dove into the crowd at one point. You got the sense that they were sincerely grateful for the crowd's enthusiasm throughout the show. The band sprinkled in a few new tunes with numbers from Ode To Sunshine. The rough setlist was as follows:

Strange Vine
People C'mon
House Built For Two
St. Francis
Bushwick Blues
Ode To Sunshine
People Turn Around
Bleeding Bells
Crippler King

The show was great. All three bands delivered strong performances with Delta Spirit carrying the day. I hope the pictures do the night justice.


The Other Lives

Jesse Tabish of The Other Lives

Delta Spirit

E insisted this was the drummer from Dawes. I was confident it wasn't. She bet me $1000.

THIS is the drummer from Dawes. I never got my $1000 and E tried to barter sexual favors for the balance. I told her, cash is king, and that I was not interested in trade.

With Delta Spirit lead singer Matthew Vasquez. E told him he looked like a gremlin in this. He responded that he was in fact a gremlin. In our brief conversation he reiterated the sense of gratitude he had for the crowd and fans that had come out. Go check these guys out when they come to your town. You won't be disappointed.

Find some better pics and read the Minneapolis show review at Decider Twin Cities.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

the White Stripes on Conan O'Brien

The White Stripes performed a bizarre version of their cheerful 'We're Going to be Friends' last night on Conan. Lets just say it wasn't cheerful. Love White Stripes, and this song, but they kind of let me down with this. Check it out and share your thoughts.

Muzzle of Bees Blitzen Trapper Review

Muzzle of Bees seemed to agree with us about the Blitzen Trapper Show the other night. I was speaking with people that I went with and I think we saw the MOB crew afterwards buying that vinyl of Furr and showing it off. Always enjoyed that blog, funny to put a name with a face. They had a nice photo too, glad someone had a good pic from the show. Ours came out not so good, but thanks KZ for bringing your camera.

Read the Muzzle of Bees Blitzen Trapper review

Friday, February 20, 2009


Going in another musical direction and side-stepping from all this Id like to share with you Petey Heat's Hot Summer Jams.

We realize summer isn't quite here yet, but hey, why should we have to wait for the Jams? Its bad enough we have to wait for the warm weather. While you may not think this is the place for Rap and R&B please listen with an open mind. Have some fun with these, Imagine yourself on a Yacht, or in a Range, it's 80º outside, maybe you have on a pair of 'Ones' or maybe just some flip flops. Maybe a polo, maybe a white tee, maybe a Lacrosse pinney, maybe shirtless, but definitely some board shorts, it doesn't matter you're on your way to the Beach, or better yet a BBQ. The best Jams are Summer Jams, so celebrate with us and Petey Heat.



Jamie Foxx ft T-Pain, Lil Wayne, and Young Jeezy-Blame it on the Alcohol remix

Eminem ft Dr. Dre and 50 cent-Crack a Bottle

Bobby Valentino ft Yung Joc-Beep Beep

Flo-Rida- Right Round

Blitzen Trapper @ the Empty Bottle 2/19/09

Sacrificied seeing the opener for grabbing a bite to eat at Moonshine, and then made it just in time for Blitzen Trapper's first song. One of my favorites, 'Stolen Shoes + a Rifle'

Good times, they played as crisp and clear as they sound on their album. My only beef is their inability, or unwillingness, to jam away and rock on with their songs. I know they have another set to play later but come on, I expect a little more out of em. I could listen to the 3 minute versions of the songs on the album. Let loose, solo, go nuts, shit atleast some banter between songs. That said I don't want to make it sound like they played poorly. They still put on a heck of a show. I absolutely loved the bird call they incorporated into 'Furr'. What a great tune anyway. If you havent heard it look it up. Our friend CLO describes it like this,

"I hear that song and I feel like I'm riding through a field on a tandem bike, maybe a girl is with, me maybe not, but either way I just feel good."

Very true. It is one of those songs you just hear and you're in a good mood, it makes you feel like you're walking around in a movie when you hear it. All the side instrumentation was my favorite part.

Whether the bird call whistle, the recorder esque sound maker the guitarist had in his back pocket, maracas, or other various nature sounds or vibrations I was thrilled. Lead singer really expresses his full vocals with intense wails to start off 'Love U'...

Any way it was an impressive show just lacked anything exceptional. Here is the set list. We got a hold of the onstage set list (pictured at the top of this post) from a fellow blogger. We had our own, made the old fashioned way, by listening and taking notes with a pen and paper.

Anyone happen to check out the later show? or the opener that we missed?

1. Stolen Shoes + A Rifle
2. Sleepytime in the Western World
3. God + Suicide
4. Saturday Night
5. Furr
6. Lady on the Water
7. Country Caravan
8. Black River Killer
9. Murder Babe
10. Big Black Bird
11. Gold for Bread
12. Jericho
13. Love U
14. Echo
15. Asleep for Days
16. Fire and Fast Bullets
17. Canyon's Edge
18. Wild Mtn Nation

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Weekend Reading 2/20/09

Duff McKagan stopped in for a brief chat at Rolling Stone this week. Read his take on Steven Adler's foray into reality TV and the possibility of a Guns n' Roses reunion.

Riley reviewed the album here. Now go read the interview with Dan Auerbach over at Aquarium Drunkard.

We could post it for you, but it's been covered at every other music blog out there. Go check out Springsteen's video for "The Wrestler." The guys at Consequence of Sound have a good take and you can wonder with the rest of us why it wasn't nominated for Best Song come Sunday's 81st edition of the Oscars.

Listen to a Pearl Jam's remastered "Porch" and Ten outtake "Brother" in anticipation of the March 24th reissue of Ten over at Rolling Stone's Smoking Section.

Steve Earle talks guitars and bonsai trees with the folks at American Songwriter Magazine.

Chris Martin dubbed it the best encore ever. I’m not sure I’d go that far. Check it out for yourselves. Coldplay, The Killers, and Bono at the Brit Awards. Videos at the Huffington Post.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

M. Ward On Letterman Last Night 2/17/09

I received an email from one of our loyal readers recommending I check out M.Ward when he plays at the Apollo Theatre tomorrow. I can't make it to the show (and it is sold out) but I did watch M. Ward's performance on Letterman last night on Each Note Secure via You Ain't Picasso.
Check it.

Concert dates below

18 - Boston, Mass. @ Somerville Theater
19 - New York, N.Y. @ The Apollo Theatre
20 - Philadelphia, Pa. @ Trocadero Theatre
24 - London, United Kingdom @ Bush Hall
25 - London, United Kingdom @ Borderline
26 - Paris, France @ Café de la Danse
27 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands @ Paradiso

4 - Los Angeles, Calif. @ Music Box at Fonda
5 - San Francisco, Calif. @ Palace of Fine Arts
6 - Seattle, Wash. @ Showbox At The Market
7 - Portland, Ore. @ Aladdin Theater
8 - Portland, Ore. @ Aladdin Theater
9 - Portland, Ore. @ Aladdin Theater

17 - Indio, Calif. @ Coachella
18 - Tucson, Ariz. @ Rialto Theatre
19 - Tempe, Ariz. @ Marquee Theatre
20 - Albuquerque, N.M. @ Sunshine Theater
22 - Tulsa, Okla. @ Cain’s Ballroom
23 - Omaha, Neb. @ Slowdown
24 - Milwaukee, Wis. @ Pabst Theater
25 - Minneapolis, Minn. @ First Avenue
26 - Chicago, Ill. @ Vic Theatre

15 - Visalia, Calif. @ Fox Theatre
16 - Oakland, Calif. @ Fox Theater
17 - Davis, Calif. @ Freeborn Hall
18 - Chico, Calif. @ Senator Theatre
22 - Eugene, Ore. @ McDonald Theatre
23 - George, Wash. @ Sasquatch Music Festival

Read the recent NY Times article on M. Ward. Thanks to Reggie for the tip and the link.

Happy Birthday Dennis DeYoung

Born in beautiful Chicago, IL, Feb. 18, 1947 Dennis DeYoung (of Styx) would hit it big with Desert Moon in 1984...priceless music video.
And ofcourse where would we be without Mr. Roboto

Mr. Roboto - Styx

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Boring Tuesday, Exciting Weekend Approaching

Watching the Blackhawks get worked by Tampa I put the game on mute and tuned in to some music. I began reading through Ear Farm's Band Of The Week column. I Casually clicked around and gave a few new groups a listen (Sam Champion, Heartless Bastards, Jenny Dalton)
some decent stuff, not in love with anything yet but I was starting to dig the Heartless Bastards. I then recieved an email from the Bowery Ballroom. Two things perked me up and saved me from nodding off and disapearing into the couch cushion.

1st I saw the band X will be performing 3 nights this May. The week of our very own Jim Longstreet's B-Day. X has a great sound and I suggest anyone in New York come end of May check them out, especial Gen. Longstreet. Time to look when these fellers are coming to Chicago right?

2nd thing was Reckless Kelly is performing this weekend in New York. I started listening to these gents about a year ago after a buddy at work turned me on to em. I remember liking them but never really dove into their whole body of work. I also love their album art.

Well I just gave them a revisit and I suggest you all do the same. I hate to make comparisons but I guess you could say they're from the Steve Earle, Guy Clark vein. In fact they have recorded with Steve Earle. Give it a listen. TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE.

New York you're getting some good shows. Mystery Jets Feb. 24th would be fun too, hopefully Laura Marling shows up with em.

I can't complain though, Blitzen Trapper Thursday and Gipsy Kings Saturday. WOO!

As I wrote this the Blackhawks tied the game, took the lead, and got an insurance goal, thats Doin' work.

Tom Morello in the movie, 'Made'?

Did everyone else know this? This past weekend I caught the tail end of the movie, 'Made', with Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Famke Janssen, Peter Falk, and others on IFC. I have enjoyed this movie numerous times in the past. I even own it on DVD. Never before had I really watched the credits. This time in passing I see Tom Morello's name pop up when the credits roll as having played the part of "Best Man". Immediately I know who he is. He's the guy at the early bachelor party scene who, after some negotiating, whips out a roll of hundreds and heads off with the blond stripper. I'm baffled at how I repeatedly missed the guitarist from Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, and now headman of The Nightwatchman right in front of me
(not used to seeing him without a hat?).

After some internet research I found out that it is indeed Tom Morello and he is not only in 'Made' but also has a small part in "Iron Man". I knew he'd chipped in on the music to 'Iron Man' but I hadn't realized that he's buddies with Favreau which explains his appearance in these flicks.
I'll take this as a sign that I need to do something I've been meaning to do which is recommend Morello's solo effort The Nightwatchman - The Fabled City.

The album is a departure from some of the guitar elements we grown accustomed to hearing from Morello's in his past projects. Armed primarily with an acoustic guitar we still get some impressive picking from him and we're treated to his own dark vocal offerings. It's a good listen. Go check it out.
I've seen him perform a couple times with Audioslave and can attest to his bringing it on the guitar (anybody that has listened to his work can) and from what I hear his opening act on The Hold Steady tour often stole the show for those dates.

Have a listen.

Delta Spirit V-Day Pics

Pictures from Saturday came out quite nice... Thank you Susan!