Saturday, June 25, 2011

What You May Have Missed: The Rassle at Pianos

The Rassle: June 22 @ Pianos, New York, N

Last Wednesday, I was over at Pianos. As I was walking through to the back room, I walked past a guy and thought, hm, he looks familiar. As I'm waiting for things to get started, that same guy hops up on stage to prep for the show. It was then that it hit me I'd seen him play before with another band, The Takeover UK. Okay, I liked them so I figured there was a good chance I'd like this band, The Rassle, as well. Plus, I had it on good authority that they were really good.

The Rassle took the Pianos stage effectively making the room a party. The good authority was right, they are really good. At some point they played a song that reminded me of T-Rex, what?! Yeah, they went there. I might have heard a little taste of early U2; maybe I was reminded of that based on the singer doing the Bono bounce every so often. They were funky, they were punky, they were pop rock yumminess and they were full of old school vibe with a nice coating of freshness. Their old school sound remind you of... but they add their own thing thus avoiding sounding dated and redundant. Keep an eye these guys and check them out if you haven't already.

This is what it looked like...
More photos HERE

Upcoming: Jump Into The Gospel's Pianos Residency, Last Call

New York electro dance rock darlings, Jump Into The Gospel, will take the stage at Pianos on Wednesday, June 29 at 10PM. Did I mention it's FREE? You heard me correctly, free ($8 before 9PM). This is the final night of their residency at the LES venue. If you missed the previous three shows, well, you probably weren't having as much fun as those of us who were there did.

Jump Into The Gospel: June 22 @ Pianos, New York, NY

For those of you who missed the show last we

This is what they played...
Have I mentioned how much I'm in lust with "St. John?" Well I am. Seriously, I'm going to keep saying it, I'm in lust with "St. John." Make it digital, slap it on some vinyl, hell, put it on an 8-track just make that joint available boys; that's my song!

...and this is what it looked like
More photos HERE

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

In New York: BID ON CULTURE Unveiled New Banner Designs

In conjunction with its celebration of Black Music Month, BID ON CULTURE unveiled the six winning banner designs in their third annual banner competition today. The double-sided banners are being displayed from Fifth Avenue to Morningside Avenue and from Broadway to 12th Avenue as well as 12th Avenue up to 138th Street.

Six designs, the work of five New York visual artists, were selected from 41 submissions.

The selected artists and banners are:
  • Corine Campbell: Billie Holiday
  • Misha McGlown: Jimi Hendrix and Josephine Baker
  • Tomo Mori: Somos la Musica
  • Soyca Mphahlele: New Colors
  • Hubert Williams: True Colours
The winning banner designs are the work of five professional New York visual artists who responded to a Request for Proposals (RFP) released in April. The RFP sought banner designs that celebrate Harlem's musical legacy as well as personalities and venues closely associated with Harlem's contribution to the history and development of music in America.

Barbara Askins, President and CEO of 125th Street BID, said, "The designs, the colors, the creativity and concepts all began to define the culturally sensitive streetscape improvements that the BID is seeking to bring to Harlem's major commercial corridor. We are pleased to exhibit the work of great artists and, and we believe these banners will enhance the pedestrian experience of those who are walking across 125th Street over the coming year."

The annual BID ON CULTURE competition is spearheaded by a partnership of The 125th Street Business Improvement District, the Harlem Arts Alliance and Harlem Community Development Corporation to showcase the cultural vitality of Harlem along 125th Street, its primary commercial thoroughfare. Its objective is to promote recognition and understanding of Harlem’s unique and authentic heritage, its role as a vibrant center of culture and to help promote the continued revitalization of 125th Street as the economic and artistic heart of Harlem.

What You May Have Missed: Red Wanting Blue at Mercury Lounge

Red Wanting Blue: June 17 @ Mercury L
ounge, New York, NY

Friday night I once again had the chance to catch Red Wanting Blue. They're a amazingly fun band oozing with talent. I believe I mentioned before, that they really should be on your list of bands to see if you haven't done so already. Anyone who appreciates musicianship will appreciate them and their blend of Americana and classic rock. They also have a real positive vibe about them.

As wonderful as the band is, I would be remiss in not mentioning their fans. While watching Red Wanting Blue would be enjoyable by itself, you wouldn't get the full picture without being surrounded by a venue full of their loyal and very vocal fans. Front-man Scott Terry commented at the beginning of the set that he saw a lot of familiar faces and 'some of y'all are out of your zip codes.' Whether it was the bird flipping "Finger In The Air" or singing along with the contagiously fun "You Are My Las Vegas" the audience was right there with them. They may well be the only band I've ever seen, that's not an "oldies" act, where every song they play seems to be a crowd favorite! That says a lot about them, their talent, their songs and their fans.

At the end of it all the audience wanted more. The gentleman next to me didn't just want more, he wanted a second set. Nobody would have complained ... well maybe the bands that were to take the stage after them!

This is what they played...

This is what it looked like...
More photos HERE

Monday, June 20, 2011

Blitzen Trapper To Release New Album

Blitzen Trapper will be releasing their new record, American Goldwing on September 13 via Sub Pop Records. They will also embark on a North American tour in support of the new work. Nothing for our lovely city has been announced yet. But, keep an eye on their website to see when they'll be playing near you.
With subjects ranging from falling in love to drug running good old boys and the final high school dance, American Goldwing is a freewheeling collection that balances the roughness of rock 'n' roll with fateful heartfelt loss. "It's me trying to evoke a true American nostalgia" explains lead singer and songwriter Eric Earley.

"My vision and focus while writing our new album was on the inescapable past" Eric adds. "It's about those feelings of being trapped in a small town. That fine line between the rural and the suburban settings that define much of America, that line between love and loss that occurs when you find yourself taking it too easy and sticking around a lonesome town for far too long."

American Goldwing is "us letting our loves and early influences hang out for all to see. We entered into the sounds we grew up with - the hard guitar rock and country picking of our younger years mixed with glimmers of our usual space-aging technology and pawn shop Casios. Heavy guitar riffs and blasting drum fills live side-by-side with plucking banjos, wailing harmonicas and muddy slide guitars. The earthiness of these songs will make you want to get loaded and get in a fight, or find a girl and fall in love forever, simultaneously."

Kenny Wayne Shepherd To Release New Record

The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band will release their new record, How I Go on August 2 via Roadrunner Records. The first single from How I Go, "Never Lookin' Back," is available now. Shepherd and band will be on the road supporting the record. They'll be here in our lovely city on September 8 at Irving Plaza. Check out the KWS website for dates near you.

The name "Kenny Wayne Shepherd" is absolutely synonymous with "young blues guitarist" but that phrase isn't the totality of his person. "Blues player is definitely one of the labels I've accumulated, because I'm a huge blues fan and I love to play the blues," Shepherd says. "But if you listen to my music, especially over the course of my career, everything that I do is not blues. It's the foundation of what I do, but my stuff has a lot more of an edge to it. It's a little more contemporary. And there's a certain youthfulness to what I do. I started writing and recording music when I was a teenager and that energy has been consistent throughout my career."

The hard-rocking, blues-based, guitar-driven How I Go sounds young and fresh. Yet it has that distinctive energy and vibe drawn from the deep heritage of the genre. It shows how Kenny Wayne Shepherd is growing as a songwriter, musician and producer. Which isn't to say he's not proud of his past. "I don't have any regrets, other than maybe a couple of outfits that I wore on stage," he laughs.

Shonen Knife To Release Ramones Tribute

Super fun J-rock darlings Shonen Knife are celebrating thirty years, yes I said thirty, of spirited pop/punk! Wow, time sure flies when you're having fun. It seems like only yesterday that I came across "Twist Barbie." So, what does a band do to celebrate a 30th anniversary? Well, if you're Shonen Knife, you release a Ramones tribute!

Osaka Ramones: Tribute to the Ramones will be released on July 19 via co-producer Robby Takac's Good Charamel Records. This has to be one of the most fun records I've heard in a long time.

Dates for a North American tour are to be announced soon. Keep an eye out so you can catch them live!

“Osaka Ramones” is not only the name of this tribute album, but is also the name of the side project which has made its way in and out of Shonen Knife’s performing history for decades. This East meets West punk rock combination is now captured in an album recorded and mixed between Osaka, JP and New York over the last year and was co-produced by Robby Takac of the American rock band Goo Goo Dolls.

“Ramones were my all-time idols since I first heard their music from a radio and rushed to a record shop. This year is the 30th anniversary of Shonen Knife. For celebration, we decided to record a cover album of our favorite band the Ramones. The title is “Osaka Ramones” with our respect. I’m very happy to release an Osaka Ramones project and to recognize their contri­bution to the evolution of Shonen Knife“-Naoko, Shonen Knife

Track List
  • Blitzkrieg Bop
  • Rock and Roll High School
  • We Want The Airwaves
  • She’s The One
  • Rockaway Beach
  • Sheenah Is A Punk Rocker
  • Scattergun
  • Psychotherapy
  • The KKK Took My Baby Away
  • We’re A Happy Family
  • Chinese Rock
  • Beat on the Brat
  • Pinhead

What You May Have Missed: TAB the Band At Mercury Lounge

TAB the Band: June 17 @ Mercury Lounge, Ne
w York, NY

I had a chance to catch TAB the Band again this past Friday. They took the Mercury Lounge stage, rocked it and rolled it like there was no tomorrow. The band played songs from their upcoming album. It should be coming out sometime later this year (follow and or like their social networking sites to keep up-to-date on that). They're a wonderfully fun band live.

I sat hunkered down on the steps leading to the stage to grab some photos. I had all of the clear opportunities in the world and yet, the photos lack something to be desired. But, on the plus side, hearing one of my all time favorites "She Said No (I Love You)" from that vantage point was icing. That song never gets old and it sounded amazing from where I was perched.

This is what rock 'n' roll looks like...
More photos HERE

Sunday, June 19, 2011

What You May Have Missed: Eric Tessmer Band at Mercury Lounge

Eric Tessmer Band: June 17 @ Mercury
Lounge, New York, NY

I caught the Eric Tessmer Band this past Friday night. They're from Austin, TX. Good things come out of Austin folks.

If you know anything at all about me from visiting my little place here in the Internet world, then you know I like guitars. Eric Tessmer plays guitar (and sings), damn does he play guitar. Let's see, think Stevie Ray, maybe some Kenny Wayne ... you know, that whole blues rock rip through you like hot lava kind of thing. It was a mind melting, brain fuck. Thank you Mr. Tessmer for giving me an eargasm. My ears and I may be a little bit in love with you now. We will definitely come and see you again when you pass through these parts.

Y'all know I tend to neglect the rhythm section. Hey, it's not my fault, I was born liking guitars! But, they tore it up too, all kinds of bad ass. They are the perfect counter to Tessmer's wailing guitar.

This is what the badassery looked like...
More photos HERE

What You May Have Missed: The Twees at Pianos

The Twees: June 15 @ Pianos, New York, NY

The Twees took to the Pianos stage around 11PM'ish. It was loud, full of energy and fun and by the end of the night, audience members were onstage dancing. See what you missed if you weren't there!

More photos HERE

Saturday, June 18, 2011

What You Might Have Missed: Living Days At Pianos

Living Days: June 15 @ Pianos, New York, NY

If you weren't at Pianos on Wednesday night, then you missed Living Days shaking things up. Front-woman Stephonik Youth was a playful vixen, romping around the stage and going into the audience several times to sing to the crowd. It was my first time seeing the band and they were a lot of fun. Check them out if you haven't already.

More photos HERE

Friday, June 17, 2011

What You Missed & Can Still See: Jump Into The Gospel At Pianos

Jump Into The Gospel: June 15 @ Pi
anos, New York, NY

Where were you on Wednesday night?! Well, if you weren't at Pianos, you missed Jump Into The Gospel bring their "A" game to the stage. After that performance, I have officially dubbed them rock stars. Everyone looked to be relaxed and having fun and they were musically in the zone ... the best show I've seen them do.

Fret not folks. If you missed that show, you can catch them this coming Wednesday, June 22 at Pianos. They're on at 10PM. Joining them on the line-up that evening will be, The Rassle at 9PM and Brick + Mortar at 11PM. It'll only cost you $8!

Look what you missed this past Wednesday...

This is what they played...
More photos HERE

And, this is what it looked like...

Seun Kuti & the Egypt 80 To Release New Record, 6/21 + MP3

This Tuesday, June 21, Seun Kuti & the Egypt 80 will be releasing their new record, From Mighty Africa With Fury: Rise. The record was produced by Brian Eno, John Reynolds and Kuti with additional production by Godwin Logie. It was mixed by John Reynolds and Tim Oliver.

Put this on your list of albums to check out this summer.

MP3 Grab: "Rise"

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What You Missed Tuesday Night: Adam Taylor

Adam Taylor: June 14, 2011 @ Mercury Lou
nge, New York, NY

Tuesday night, Adam Taylor and his band took to the Mercury Lounge stage. I've been telling you folks you should go see this guy, he's really good. Well, if you didn't listen to me, you missed out! Had you been there you not only would have heard great music, but you would have also witnessed him onstage with his brother guitarist Chad Taylor (founding member of Live and his new project The Gracious Few) for the first time! While it was their first time on stage together, it's not their first time working together as Chad produced Adam's latest record No Poet as well as his debut record.

The band, rounded out by Kate Young (vocals/percussion), Mike Giblin (bass/vocals) and Jason Hoffheins (drums) kicked things off with "Oliver" and rocked, rolled and charmed the audience. Always an upbeat performer, Taylor seemed to be having even more fun than usual which was contagious for those on stage and off. With big brother adding a bit of slide to the mix, many of the songs took on a more bluesy tone which worked nicely and gave a nice punch to "Painting Leprosy." It has also become clear that "Whiskey" is a crowd sing-a-long favorite with everyone shouting out that one line particularly loud!

While the entire set was terrific and as always, with top notch vocals. I'd have to say the highlight for me was the blistering, blues rock song "New York." If there's a recording of that performance out there, someone should send it my way! Not that I advocate bootlegging...

The set ended with Adam and Kate singing the wonderful "Cat's Cradle," albeit with a bit of giggling. Taylor's a diverse singer/songwriter and once again proved live that he's the read deal. In the span of one show, he and his band covered all bases ... folk, straight ahead pop, tossed in a little jazz flavor, some rockabilly, a pinch of blues, got funky and did it all with a little bit of a punk attitude. It's not something that everybody can pull off and certainly not as well as the Adam Taylor Band.

The show was loads of fun. If you weren't, you really should have been there!

More photos HERE