Monday, January 21, 2019

Archive for March, 2008

While wandering around Langerado, checking out the live gator pit, Andy and I were blown away by The Dynamites. An explosion of funk and soul that left us asking in disbelief … who are these guys?! After they get back from a European tour in April, we’ll be seeing the Dynamites at Rothbury and Wakarusa before they open up for Dave Matthews Band in August.

Band leader Bill Elder talked to Zack about why festivals are worth more than a whole tour and why the band calls him Leo Black.

On Festivals: “That’s just one of the greatest things. The cross-pollination of talent. The line-ups are so killer. “

“Festivals are where we’re trying to focus a lot of our energy this year. We can bring our thing to so many people from all over the country. It’s worth a whole tour.”

How he became known as Leo Black: As lead singer Charles Walker (left) says, “Shiiiit we can’t go around talking about no Bill Elder. It’s not funky enough.”

On collaborating: “We just got back from Europe. We played 6 of our 16 shows with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. That was a killer time. Authentic nights of funk and soul over there. Anybody in the funky soul world, we love to play with. It makes sense for us to play with Ozomatli and some of the jam bands. We just met those guys at Langerado. I looked over to the side of the stage during our set and they were dancing around, going crazy.” (He later admitted The Dynamites were doing the same thing during Ozomatli’s set.)

Winning over audiences: “We want to make people feel like they’re at a 1969 James Brown show at the Apollo. You watch a transformation in the audience. They’re like, ‘well, isn’t that cute. Those guys are in their suits playing soul music. And then Charles gets up there and they realize this isn’t novelty. This is real.”

Music is his baby: “The day Zoe was born was right before we had our first gig. My wife said, ‘I had a baby and Bill had The Dynamites. There’s a lot of funky music in the house. The girls are being raised right.”

If you love soul… Bill highly recommends you check out the podcast:
Downtown Soulville with Mr. Fine Wine

800 bands you’d rather be than Aerosmith?

Posted by admin On March - 30 - 2008

So tonight while discussing the upcoming release of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, Zack claimed that there were 800 bands that he would rather play as than them. I call shenanigans. He said that if given one day, he could come up with that many bands. I told him he doesn’t even know that many bands to begin with, and that there was no way that all of them would be better than Aerosmith.

I also challenged him to come up with 150 guitarists he would rather play as than Joe Perry. I told him that whether or not he liked Aerosmith, he had to accept that Perry is at the very least an above average rock guitarist. Failure to admit that would surely be blasphemy. He still refused to relent on his stance.
This is my standing challenge to Zack. If he is willing to put his credibility on the line by claiming all of these bands would be better to play as than Aerosmith, then so be it. He just has to know that respect of his opinion is at stake. All he has to do is accept defeat and admit that he may have exaggerated and we’ll chalk it up to a night of adult beverages at Bonerama. (There is no way to not make that sound funny.)

Gnarls Barkley The Odd Couple: 8.0/10

Posted by admin On March - 26 - 2008

I’m listening to this album like I listened to music when I was 12. I can’t help myself. I start with track three, the unbelievable “Going On,” and hit repeat. It will be a crime if CBS doesn’t make it the theme song of the NCAA tournament. Check the lyrics:

“I’m going on. And I’m sure they’ll have a place for you too (Shot of UNC) “I’m going on…And I’m prepared to go it alone” (shot of tournament scoring leader Stephen Curry, pictured left) “I’m going on and I promise I’ll be waiting for you.” (shot of UCLA)” See what I’m saying?

Ok, so there is more than one song on this album. Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse re-unite for the follow up to 2006’s album of the summer, St. Elsewhere with an album sounding like more of the same, but with a little less edge and a little stale.

The other song that really grabs me is “Blind Mary.” The kind of song that makes you excited for a spring time crush. I’m also a fan of Cee-Lo’s vocal work on “Neighbors” and I love everything about the closing “A little better.”

“Open Book” is a punchy, fun song that has single written all over it, clocking in at under 2:45 and is one of the more dance-y songs here.

“Would be Killer” is a slow, darker Cee-Lo crooner that I’ll skip half the time. ” “Run” is a snooze fest for the first minute and I was ready to dismiss it before I saw the cool video.

All in all, it’s a fun listen, but unlike St Elsewhere I don’t think it will have tremendous staying power, except for a few tracks. A lyric in “Whatever” sums up my attitude about the album:

“It’s cool, but it could be better.” -Z.T.

Jack White is the most bad-ass rock front-man of the 21st century. -Z.T.

It’s clear from the opening licks that this is Jack White’s band first and foremost. He can not be contained to just the White Stripes and the Raconteurs’ Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler compliment him perfectly.

Starting with a raucous title track like he did with Icky Thump, White opens things up on the sophomore album from The Raconteurs.

He shreds all over this brilliant follow-up to Broken Boy Soldiers, giving us another 14 treats to head bob and play a mean air guitar to. Consolers is a dirtier sounding album than Broken Boy, in that it feels rougher around the edges, sounding an awful lot like a White Stripes album, but with more fleshed out instrumentation.

They get bluesy on tracks like “Top Yourself,” bring the horns with class on “Many Shades of Black” and pretty much rock your face off consistently throughout the whole album.

I haven’t found any weak spots on this bad boy yet. It seems to be a skip-free album after a few listens and it’s growing on me by the minute. I’m discovering new things to go ga-ga over every time.

At the 1:00 mark of “Rick Kid Blues,” I swear I thought we were going into the build-up of “Sister Christian.” Someone check this out and make me feel less crazy.

White seems to have channeled his inner JB and KG of the D on the great “The Switch and the Spur” as he chants “Any poor souls who trespass against us, whether it be beast or man will suffer the plight or be stung dead on sight by those who inhabit this land.”

Great lyrics abound, like “I got what I got all despite you and I get what I get just to spite you” on “Salute your Solution.”

The Raconteurs started as a side project, but after two albums and another full tour this summer, it’s starting to seem like a pretty legit band to me.

Expect the title track to be a monster single and plan on keeping this album in your car stereo all summer. See you at Bonnaroo boys. Long live Jack White…

The best rock star of the 21st century.-Z.T.

All you need is Love

Posted by admin On March - 24 - 2008

Words cannot describe the visual and musical masterpiece that is Cirque du Soleil’s Love. After witnessing the spectacle, it left no wonder why they gave George Martin a Grammy for his work. The soundtrack was used as both an homage to the Fab Four and a way to create fresh sounding Beatles music. Hilarious banter from the band was used in between songs, and kept the crowd laughing.

It was all a highlight, so I’ll just name a few parts that were particularly impressive. Four rollerbladers skated on and over several ramps to “Help!” just after a carnival-esque scene for “Mr. Kite.” During “Tomorrow Never Knows,” the entire crowd was covered in a silk sheet as lights were projected on it to create the hazy, trippy feeling that the song portrays. Lights twinkled throughout the theater to create “Lucky in the Sky with Diamonds,” and they did an impressive job at creating an underwater “Octopus’s Garden” as well.
For a Beatles nerd like myself, and I know Zack and Jennie would agree if they saw the show, it was an exciting and sometime emotional experience. I couldn’t help but let some of those awe inspiring scenes get to me. I know the guy sitting next to me agreed. He was with his wife on their honeymoon, and she had gotten them the seats. He told me that as he sat there and enjoyed the show, he realized how much he really loved his her. It was that good. -A.S.

Big things did happen, they weren’t joking

Posted by admin On March - 24 - 2008

Now you may say I’m biased because I am friends with the guys in these bands, but that is just because you’ve never seen them. If you had, you would never make such erroneous accusations. The Hue and Kinetix absolutely brought down the house Saturday night in Chicago.

The Hue were on first. Although they seemed to be turned up to 11, they sounded better than I’ve ever heard them. Even my dad, who isn’t usually down with the Hue’s in your face brand of rock said that he enjoyed them more than he has before. Many of the new songs have really found their legs.

They often left me wondering what goes through the minds of these musical geniuses when they compose such complex songs. Eric Blumenfeld of Kinetix sat in for “Hot Giardiniera” and it wasn’t just the fans that were having a great time. A smile even replaced guitarist Jared Rabin’s usual rock face.

Martyrs really filled up as Kinetix opened up the set with “Own Mind.” The set was sprinkled with fan favorites such as “Mr. Sinister” and “People Start Hopping,” but it was the guests that really took this show up a notch. A couple songs after a killer cover of “Killing in the Name Of” the band called Jared Rabin up to the stage. Everyone went nuts as they launched into another great cover, “Hard to Handle.”

I’ve seen Jared play with these guys a few times, but never like this. It’s always fun to see the band having as much fun during a sit-in as the crowd is, and this was definitely one of those times. It happened again later in the night when Cornmeal’s Allie Kral and her fiddle took the stage for a rocking version of Phish’s “Funky Bitch.” The Kinetix set was mostly originals with these memorable covers sprinkled in. Perhaps I should have tried to review the show before I opted for margaritas by the pool-side in Vegas…. -A.S.

Festival Schedule

Posted by admin On March - 23 - 2008

It’s supposedly Spring in Chicago, but tell that to the 8 inches of snow we got this weekend. The only season you can count on is Festival Season. Here’s a quick guide to all things festival.
Summer Camp: May 23rd-25th: Chillicothe, IL
moe. Umphrey’s McGee, George Clinton and Parliament, The Flaming Lips, The Roots, G.Love, The New Pornographers, STS9, Girl Talk, Blind Melon, The Hue

Wakarusa: June 5th-8th: Lawrence, Kansas
The Flaming Lips, Emmylou Harris, Cake, Zappa Plays Zappa, STS9, Mickey Hart Band, Blackalicious, Keller Williams, Buckethead, Ozomatli, Galactic, State Radio, Dr. Dog

Bonnaroo: June 12th-15th: Mannchester, Tenn.
Pearl Jam, Metallica, Jack Johnson, Kanye West, Robert Plant and Allison Krauss, Phil Lesh and Friends, My Morning Jacket, Vampire Weekend, The Allman Brothers, The Raconteurs, Willie Nelson, Death Cab for Cutie, Tiesto, B.B. King, Ben Folds, M.I.A, Stephen Marley, Zappa Plays Zappa, MGMT, Lupe Fiasco, Robert Randolph, Lez Zeppelin, Umphrey’s McGee…
Comedy: Chris Rock, Brian Posehn, Zach Galifianakis, Janeane Garofalo,

Rothbury: July 3rd-6th: Rothbury, Michigan
Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Widespread Panic, Snoop Dogg, Primus, 311, Phil Lesh and Friends, Modest Mouse, Slightly Stoopid, STS9, The Black Keys, Gov’t Mule, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Yonder Mountain feat. Jon Fishman, MMW, Of Montreal, Disco Biscuits, Zappa Plays Zappa, The Wailers, The Dynamites, Jakob Dylan Mike Gordon.

Pitchfork: July 18th-20th: Chicago, IL
Animal Collective, !!!, Vampire Weekend, Dizzee Rascal, Spiritualized, M. Ward, Boris. Extra Golden, El Guincho, No Age, Atlas Sound…

Mile High Festival: July 19th and 20th. Near Denver, CO
Dave Mathews, Tom Petty, John Mayer, The Black Crows, Steve Winwood, Spoon, Flogging Molly, The Roots, moe. Rodrigo y Gabriela.

10 k Lakes: July 23-26th
Phil Lesh and Friends, The Flaming Lips, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, MMSW, Dark Star Orchestra, Slightly Stoopid, The Wood Brothers, Mickey Hart Band, The Hue, more to be announced…

Lollapalooza: August 1st to 3rd Grant Park, Chicago, IL.
RADIOHEAD AND NIN…many more to follow April 7th…

Excited for tonight!

Posted by admin On March - 22 - 2008

Chicago favorites the Hue and Denver-based Kinetix play tonight at Martyrs in Chicago. Really excited to see these guys together again, as fun things usually happen. It’s also a good festival preview as the Hue have already been announced at Summercamp and 10,000 Lakes. If you are in Chicago, be sure to check out this show.

It’s rock show tonight and then some R&R in Vegas for this Crasher. Couldn’t be more excited. -AS

When calling your band Bonerama backfires…

Posted by admin On March - 20 - 2008

You’ve got to have a pretty good sense of humor to be in a band called Bonerama. Sure, I get it. They’re a brass band. Trombones. Bonerama. I love it. The problem comes when is already taken by a bunch of guys. Guys who aren’t in a band.

Bonerama is a mostly brass band out of New Orleans who have been gaining fame, recording with OK Go and playing the National Anthem at the Sugar Bowl. They’ll also be at the All Good Festival this summer.

When they played at a high school a couple years ago, a band director sent out a memo to all the parents, directing them to the band’s Web site. He should have sent them to
He sent them Which is gay porn. Luckily, the band teacher was not fired.

Bonnaroo additions: Wood Brothers and Stephen Marley

Posted by admin On March - 19 - 2008

The immense artist list at Bonnaroo just got even better with the addition of Stephen Marley and The Wood Brothers. With his eerily similar voice, Stephen Marley is probably the closest you can come to experiencing Bob’s songs. The Wood Brothers left me wanting much more than the 15 minutes Andy and I caught at Langerado.

With Pearl Jam, Kanye, Robert Plant and Allison Krauss, The Allman Brothers, The Raconteurs, Willie Nelson, My Morning Jacket, B.B. King, M.I.A. and Zappa Plays Zappa, ‘Roo is pulling away as my most looked forward to festival. The fact that I almost forgot to add Vampire Weekend and the comedy tent highlights show unreal this line-up is.

The comedy tent at Bonnaroo is highly underrated and this year is packed with Chris Rock, David Cross, Zach Galifianakis, Brian Posehn, Jim Norton, Janeane Garofalo and Mike Birbiglia.

Lollapalooza has Radiohead, but they’ll have a hard time topping this gangbusters list at the ‘Roo.

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