By Sam RosenbergWednesday night at Brooklyn Bowl (also known as “my home away from home”) had a few surprises for this first-time Zoogma viewer; the night was all about the special blend of live music, synths and samples. First, to warm up the crowd, D.V.S* threw down an intimate DJ set. All his beats are homemade with the goal of making those beats and melodies revolve around his live guitar once on stage. This guy has a passion for what he is doing and it shows!Then Zoogma took to the stage. Zoogma’s jamtronica music mixes youthful high energy, tight transitions, synthesizers, and driving live instruments molded around an electronic sound. Brock Bowling (guitar, live sequencing), Matt Harris (drums, live sequencing), Justin Hasting (guitar, synthesizer), and Ryan Nall (bass, synthesizer) brought out loyal fans and delivered an entertaining and engaging musical and visual experience.The first part of the set was filled with skillful mild peaks and smooth shifts. While playing as a unit, each member individually transitioned back and forth from their synth or laptop to live instruments within songs. They made these switches look easy; much of this attributed to the superbly solid drumming of Matt Harris. Not only did he stay steady – a tough job with such layered music – he was having a great time doing it!The textures and layers of their songs are a defining quality of the band hailing fromOxford,Mississippi. Subtly littered with mostly female vocal samples, the tunes were broken up nicely without overpowering the heavy instrumental bass-lead dance party. The samples were a great way to add variety to the tunes without over-extending the tempo in either direction; it was never too fast or too slow.As the band (and crowd) got hot, so did the peaks; getting steadily heavier as the set progressed; making it clear they knew how to keep their fans into it without being exaggerated. The comfortable crowd was really into it, and one could not help but head bob (though some danced full out balls-to-the-wall). Toward the end of the set, they announced a new tune; greeted with big cheers. One notable difference between this new material and other stuff they played was their use of the vocal sample. For this song, the sample was at the core, and the other instruments used around it added to the quality. The song was out of place in a set built around special blends and subtlety but was by no means a disappointment to hear.While fun to hear, this band is a visual experience; they need a good light show to function at their highest level of entertainment. The lights on stage, some from the house and others brought in by the band, were more than adequate and totally enhanced the show. It would be worth checking them out during the day to see if they have the same powerful pull. They are set to perform at The Catskill Chill this weekend and I highly recommend catching their set. These guys have an energetic and infectious youthful talent; couple that with the smart management at MCP Presents, they have a huge chance of becoming a band worth seeing on the regular. I am certainly looking forward to seeing what they bring next time!Setlist:Jerry DiezelPillowBlocksRock itMr. LimbicStarry eyed (Ellie Gouding Remix)Incredible MachineSaturateMioMirageCheck out our pictures by Corey Skonberg:
Phish’s Trey Anastasio has been nominated for the 2013 Tony Awards for his work with Hands On A Hardbody, along with co-composer Amanda Green. They have been nominated for Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for Theatre. Keala Settle and Keith Carradine have also been nominated for Tony’s as well. Though the play recently closed after a short and tough run due to lack of ticket sales, it had garnered praise from theater critics.Anastasio is also up for awards for Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards. The 67th Annual Tony Awards telecast will air on CBS, June 9th at 8pm ET. In other Phish related news, the band has officially released their June 20th, 1995 performance at Blossom Music Center.
by Bob WilsonWillie Nelson and his Electric Horsemen rolled into NYCB Theatre at Westbury, and played a set perfect for “Unlpugged.” The six piece ensemble was driven like a steady wagon, led by Willie at the helm moving them along with his trademark guitar work. Stand up bass, harmonica, piano, and two drummers (no sticks, only brushes), joined Willie for 27 numbers that the audience gobbled up like fine Texas barbecue. The crowd bristled in the anticipation that accompanies the appearance of a bona fide living legend, and each move that Nelson made during the festivities only increased the excitement the crowd emitted from start to finish.When Willie entered from stage left and pulled on his red, white, and blue guitar strap, he was reminiscent of a heavyweight champion entering the ring in his colors. Opening with “Whiskey River”, music flowed along clear and fresh, delighting and refreshing the audience who was left wanting more after 27 songs. How many artists can offer a repertoire in one evening including “Crazy”, “Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”, “Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground”, “On The Road Again”, “Always On My Mind”, “Georgia”, “Blue Eyes Cryin’ In The Rain”, “Good Morning America”, “I’ll Fly Away”, “I Saw The Light” and “Help Me Make It Through The Night”, and still have unpanned gold nuggets left over for next time?Willie remembered his partner Waylon Jennings, covering his “Good Hearted Woman”, evoking palpable feeling from the audience at the mention of his friend’s name. Willie made Carl Perkins‘ “Matchbox” his own. while still giving another icon his due. As Bob Dylan remarked, “Once Elvis sang a song, it was sung”, yet Bob opined that Willie had made Elvis’ “Always On My Mind” his very own. And the audience was glad he made it a gift to them on this evening.Willie’s weathered face belongs carved onto an “Outlaw Country Mount Rushmore.” His figure tonight was toned, and belied his 80th birthday which passed this April 30th. Numerous women danced stage-side trying to catch the singer’s eye, and seemingly hoped to be among “all the girls Willie loved before”, which he sang as a solo. While his own black pants were as saggy in the bum as the female tank tops were tight, the verve of these women was not dampened one bit on this stormy night. One woman climbed on the stage, and lobbied successfully for a kiss on the mouth. Willie remarked, “Good Lord!”, as the audience approved. Applause was a bountiful harvest during the evening, right up until the band continued playing “Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die” so that Willie could “scoot” to the bus unfettered by the zealous crowd. I was disappointed that no announcement was made stating that “Willie has left the building!”, but we can’t have everything. The audience did receive a healthy offering of Willie that all seemed beyond pleased with. Fans already seemed to be waiting expectantly for the next time the tour bus pulls in, before it even had departed.Willie Nelson’s latest album is 2013′s Let’s Face The Music And Dance, on Legacy Recordings. His book Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die: Musings From The Road (2012), is available from William Morris Books.
Glory. It’s the only word that truly captures the emotion of Lickety Split, the fourth studio release from Robert Randolph & The Family Band and the first in over three years. Roaring pedal steel guitar solos soar on every song of the album, a testament to the Sacred Steel tradition from which Randolph originated.After three years spent predominantly on the road, Robert Randolph felt that he and his band “just weren’t being creative musically.” Thankfully, Randolph’s effort to rejuvenate his creative spirit was a success, as Lickety Split grooves from the opening track, “Amped Up,” to their album-closing gospel-influenced cover of The Rascals’ “Good Lovin’.”The album features prominent guests Trombone Shorty (on the joyous “Take The Party”) and Carlos Santana (on “Brand New Wayo” and “Blacky Joe”). Randolph shows his respect for Santana on “Brand New Wayo,” shouting “I got Carlos Santana over here!” and “C’mon Carlos!” during a solo from the guitarist. Of course, Randolph also asks “y’all don’t mind if I give myself some?” before breaking out into a solo of his own. This is a fun track, as Randolph’s spoken conjectures betray his genuine enthusiasm for the song itself.To be fair, all of the tracks on this album are fun. Even the songs that touch on more serious subjects, “All American” and “Welcome Home,” are fast paced and thoroughly danceable. Randolph is keenly aware of this notion, saying “my thing is really upbeat, uptempo, with great guitar riffs… but also catchy choruses and lyrics that someday will make this music into classic tunes.” His lyrical depth is matched with musical fire, especially exemplified by “Born Again,” a soulful song that declares that “with your love, I can’t deny… I feel born again!” Backed by choir vocals and backup vocals from his sister (bandmate Lenesha Randolph), Robert Randolph’s pedal steel guitar and singing shine brightly.Lickety Split is musical glory. The energetic blend of funk, jazz, gospel, and blues is uniquely Robert Randolph, and it comes through in waves on his studio recordings. Waves may turn into tsunamis when Randolph performs these songs live… fortunately, he’s coming to the Brooklyn Bowl at the end of November.
Phish fans are in for some good news today, as the band has officially reported that their new album will indeed be titled Fuego, and will be released via NPR on June 24th. This probably means that the album will be available for streaming a week prior to the release date via NPR First Listen, but this is speculation.Fuego will be the band’s twelfth studio album, and their first since Joy was released in 2009. The album is centered on collaborative songwriting, as the creation of the songs took place over several visits to the band’s Burlington, VT recording facility — The Barn. Fuego was produced by Bob Ezrin, who has worked with such titans as Lou Reed, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, and more.Of the twelve songs performed on Halloween, nine will appear on the album. The tenth song, “Halfway To The Moon,” was written by keyboardist Page McConnell. That song debuted in 2010. Additionally, “Winterqueen” was previously performed with the Trey Anastasio Band.Here is the official track listing for Fuego:1. Fuego2. The Line3. Devotion To A Dream4. Halfway To The Moon5. Winterqueen6. Sing Monica7. 5558. Waiting All Night9. Wombat10. WingsuitYou can stream “Waiting All Night” below: Additionally, be sure to check out the L4LM July 4th Phish Pre-Party BBQ, with The Z3, FiKus, and Jauntee, right outside of the SPAC gates!-David Melamed (@DMelamz)
[via Jambase] Coming off a memorable performance at this year’s Catskill Chill, Electron, made up of Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner (The Disco Biscuits/Conspirator), Tom Hamilton (American Babies/Joe Russo’s Almost Dead), and Mike Greenfield (Lotus) announced a 4-night Northeast run that will take them from Washington D.C., New Haven, CT, a post-STS9 show at BB King’s in NYC, and ending the run in Syracuse, NY. Electron is also scheduled to play Suwannee Hulaween alongside The String Cheese Incident, Big Gigantic, Thievery Corporation and more on Halloween weekend down in Live Oak, FL.The group has also released full audio from the Chill performance, which includes various songs from the Disco Biscuits catalog, covers of the Grateful Dead’s “Shakedown Street” and Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb.” Listen to the entire performance below.Electron Upcoming Dates10/15 – Washington, DC @ Howard Theatre 10/16 – New Haven, CT @ Toad’s Place 10/17 – New York, NY @ BB Kings 10/18 – Syracuse, NY @ Westcott Theatre 10/30 – Live Oak, FL @ Suwannee Hulaween
In case you missed it, last week the hit comedy South Park revealed that the pop singer Lorde was none other than one Randy Marsh, local resident of South Park, Colorado. Of course, the real Lorde was on board with South Park’s prank, and, in an interview with New Zealand’s TV3, even went so far as to sing the South Park parody.Watch the clip below:And the original, South Park parody, for reference:The full quote from the interview: “I was thinking, ‘Yeah he has a moustache… I mean I have a moustache, but is it that prominent?’ But it was someone’s dad pretending to be me. We actually, in my hotel room, went ‘Ya ya ya ya ya I’m Lorde! Ya ya ya!’ for like an hour, because that’s what they do on the episode, so…”[Via Consequence of Sound]
Famed music producer and Def-Jam co-founder Rick Rubin just unloaded a ton of insight from his many years working in the industry through Genius, the song lyric annotation startup formerly known as Rap Genius. Rubin has worked with the likes of Johnny Cash, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Adele, Run-DMC and so many others. His musings include a great deal of behind-the-scenes commentary about many of these artists. Here are some of our favorites: “Only One” by Kanye WestKanye is a combination of careful and spontaneous. He’ll find a theme he likes quickly, and then live with that for a while, not necessarily filling in all the words until later. At the end, he’ll fill in all the gaps.He was upset at one point when I said that he wrote the lyrics quickly. He’s right — they percolate for a long time, he gets the phrasing into his brain, lives with it, and then lines come up. It definitely starts from this very spontaneous thing.On “Only One,” a lot of those lyrics came out free-form, ad-libs. The song is essentially live, written in the moment. Some of the words were later improved, but most of it was stream of consciousness, just Kanye being in the moment.I was in St. Barths two days before the single came out. Kanye said, “I’m thinking about putting out ‘Only One’ tomorrow at midnight.” I said, “Should we mix it?” He was like, “It hasn’t really changed — it’s pretty much what it was.” I hadn’t heard it in almost two months, so I asked him to send it to me, and he did. And I said, “I think this can sound better than it does.” We never really finished it finished it.So we called all the engineers — and I’m trying to get all this to happen all remotely — and we got maybe three different engineers. This is the day before New Year’s Eve, and we’re all finding studio time, getting the files. Then they all start sending me mixes. I thought one was better than the others, and Kanye agreed. One guy mastered it, because it was due, and they turned it in. I had another guy master it, and it was better, but it was already too late. I think it switched the following morning. It was in real time! Like as soon as it was better, we had to switch it.That’s how it works in Kanye world. It used to really give me anxiety, but now I just know that’s what it is. That’s how he likes to work.“99 Problems” by Jay ZJay came into my studio every day for like a week, I kept trying things that I thought would sound like a Jay record, and after like three or four days he said, “I want to do something more like one of your old records, Beastie Boys-style.” Originally that’s not what I was thinking for him, but he requested that vibe, and we just started working on some tracks.Musically, there were a couple of different ideas that [engineer] Jason [Lader] and I were working on independently that we played back together, and the way the beats overlapped was really interesting. It wasn’t planned out, it was more experimenting.There was a part where it really sounded crazy and the beats were fighting each other. Jason was operating the Pro-Tools, and I’m saying “Move to the left, move to the right, try this beat, add this, do this,” and then he makes it do it. There’s nothing live on the track.It’s a combination of three samples — “The Big Beat” by Billy Squier, “Long Red” by Mountain, and “Get Me Back On Time” by Wilson Pickett — and two programmed beats coming in and out.“Bound 2” by Kanye WestSomething we talked about with Kanye was doing an alternate version of Yeezus,because there are so many versions of songs, great versions. There are versions just as good as what’s on the album, just different. I know as a fan of the album, I’d like to hear that. Maybe some day, whenever he wants. But it exists! That shit exists.“Rock Hard” by Beastie BoysI cleared the use of “Back In Black” with AC/DC and they loved it.But this was in the days where no one knew what sampling was. I remember playing it for Malcolm Young on headphones backstage at an AC/DC concert, and he was like, “Who played guitar on that?” And I was like, “I did.”I mean it’s a combination — there’s samples involved too, but I’m definitely playing. And I programmed the drums. You couldn’t do it today.“That Was Just Your Life” by MetallicaThe idea is to allow an artist to see themselves as greater than they thought. Or break down any pre-conceived idea of what they think they’re supposed to be. That’s a big part of it. Take away the self-imposed limitations that artists have for whatever reason. A lot of them are like, “Well this is really what I like because I’m gonna do this because this is what I think someone else is gonna like.”Sometimes it’s the opposite, where artists have gotten so experimental that they’ve lost the core of what makes them them. And then in those cases, I’ll try to redirect them back. The example might be Metallica. They were kind of lost before and we helped get them back to being Metallica.“I Am A God” by Kanye WestWhen he played Yeezus for me, it was like, three hours of stuff. We just went through it and figured out what was essential and what wasn’t. It was like deciding a point of view, and it was really his decision to make it minimal.He kept saying it about tracks that he thought weren’t good enough and needed work. If he was going to leave me to work on stuff, he’d say, “Anything you can do to take stuff out instead of put stuff in, let’s do that.”“Black Skinhead” by Kanye WestKanye played at some festival after the release of Yeezus, and his whole rant was something to the effect of “I turn on the radio and nothing speaks to me, and I don’t want to have anything to do with it, and I don’t want my music on the radio because I don’t like what the radio is.” So in that mindset, it makes sense that he makes a record that isn’t for that. It’s not about that. It’s so anti. It’s almost anti-hip-hop. It’s crazy.“Playa Playa” by D’AngeloI don’t think there’s an album I’ve liked more than I’ve liked Voodoo in the fifteen years since it came out. I just think it’s spectacular.“Girls” by Beastie BoysAdam Horovitz and I wrote “Girls” on a train. We trained down to DC to record with the Junkyard Band, this band of kids who played D.C. go-go on garbage cans. We put out a Junkyard Band single on Def Jam.On the train back, we wrote “Girls”. It was rooted in an Isley Brothers song, “Shout.” It was written with that music in mind and then we sort of did our version of what that would have been. We just wrote really stupid, offensive words.“Stop Fuckin’ With Me” By Lil Jon Ft. The East Side BoyzDo you remember Lil’ Jon came out and he was really big and then he kind of disappeared because he had trouble with his label? We recorded this song, and it didn’t come out until years after.I did one song with Lil’ Jon. It’s insane and great. It’s using Slayer samples which was his idea because he was a big Slayer fan. It’s great.It feels like it almost never really came out, even though it did. No one heard it. It wasn’t because he wasn’t still great; he just had some issue where he couldn’t get his records out.
Atlanta’s Blackberry Smoke has overwhelmed fans with their down-to-earth mix of country, bluegrass and driving rock. The band’s organic feel drags you deep into the heart of the Southern Rock scene.Blackberry Smoke is steadily evolving, placing Southern Rock at the top of the food-chain. The band has given the genre’s heavy-hitters a run for their money. ZZ Top, Billy Gibbons, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Marshall Tucker Band have all toured alongside Blackberry Smoke. Not only has the band toured with these Southern Rock giants, but also Blackberry Smoke has grown a close and lasting relationship with many of these bands who have influenced them.Blackberry Smoke was requested to perform at Country legend George Jones’ 80th birthday party, which led to Jones’ guest appearance on the band’s sophomore album, Little Piece of Dixie (2009). Furthermore, their third effort The Whippoorwill (2012) gained praise from Zac Brown. Blackberry Smoke has been featured in EA Sports’ NASCAR 08 videogame (“Up In Smoke”), as well as the 2008 film Swing Vote (“Good Thing Comin’ On”).Everyone from The Washington Post to The London Times has had something to say about Blackberry Smoke. The band has played upwards of 250 gigs each year, a road tested sound that is even more powerful on their fourth studio album, Holding All The Roses, set to be released February 10 (available for pre-order on CD and Vinyl on the band’s website). Until then, Holding All The Roses is currently available to be streamed on Pandora Premieres, with a personal message from guitarist and vocalist Charlie Starr.The album’s first track, “Let Me Help You (Find the Door),” is gritty and driving, reinforced with soulful organ and shakers. As each track progresses, the album plunges deeper into the heart of Blackberry Smoke. With the click of a mouse, I have already pre-ordered the album on vinyl, and plan to add a digital download to the list, but there are still so many questions. How am I going to get to their gig at Webster Hall in New York City on March 28th? Who am I going to take with me? Train tickets or car-pool? I’m hooked!“Holding All the Roses,” the album’s feature track, is undeniably the most telling in defining Blackberry Smoke. Nothing can prepare you for the rock arena chorus that injects Blackberry-adrenaline through your veins. The band gives you a few bars breath of mellow guitar before blasting back into the chorus and screaming guitar duels.Other tracks, such as “Living in the Song” and “Rock and Roll Again” are reminiscent of a Lynyrd Skynyrd influence. By mid-album the song steers away from driving Southern Rock and transcends into a soothing rock. Although I wish Blackberry Smoke made every song as hard hitting as “Holding All the Roses,” there are big rock ballads like “Woman in the Moon” and “No Way Back To Eden” that add a unique sentiment to Blackberry Smoke.Holding All The Roses is road-tested, fan-approved. With diverse offerings that showcase the band’s Southern charm, expect big things from Blackberry Smoke in 2015.
Even Shirley Manson, the lead singer of GARBAGE, penned an open letter to Kanye, saying “It is YOU who is so busy disrespecting artistry. You disrespect your own remarkable talents and more importantly you disrespect the talent, hard work and tenacity of all artists when you go so rudely and savagely after such an accomplished and humble artist like Beck.”This isn’t the first time Kanye has acted out like this before. You can read our Top 10 Reasons We Love To Hate Kanye… which, after this situation, may be expanded to the Top 11 reasons. Paul Stanley, the guitarist from KISS, is one of many musicians to speak out in support of Beck after his recent run-in with Kanye West at the GRAMMYs. You can read the full story here, but, to summarize, Kanye basically believed the best album Grammy award belonged to Beyonce, and wasn’t shy about his opinion, nearly interrupting Beck’s acceptance speech in the process.Stanley posted on his Facebook, saying, “Beck should’ve kicked #Kanye right in the nuts last night and said Get the fuck off MY stage!”