Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Lissie Music Hall of Williamsburg Setlist

Review to come.

LISSIE - 04.19.16 - MUSIC HALL OF WILLIAMSBURG (1 hour, 39 minutes)

Hero / Sleepwalking / Shameless / They All Want You / Stay / When I'm Alone / Oh Mississippi / Bully / Sun Keeps Risin' / Don't You Give Up on Me / Little Lovin' / Everywhere I Go / Daughters / Ojai / Further Away (Romance Police) / Shroud

In Sleep / Pursuit of Happiness

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Monthly Mix #14: April 2016

April 2016:
It's springtime, so I wanted to stack this with fresh tunes.  Most of these were released in the past two months.

1. Big Boi - "Feel Me (Intro)"
"Damn, and that wasn't nothing but the intro."

2. The Heavy - "Not the One"
The brass is where your ears will gravitate on first listen, but pay special attention to that choppy, John Frusciante-inspired guitar part.

3. The Hip Abduction - "Come Alive"
I bought my ticket to see ALO later this year, and these guys are opening.  This song is pretty fun.

4. Brett Dennen - "Only Want You"
I know Brett has a few new singles out, but this one from Smoke & Mirrors has been speaking to me.

5. The Front Bottoms - "Santa Monica"
"I wanna be stronger than your dad was for your mom" is such an audacious and scathing lyric.  Not sure I've ever heard anything like it.

6. White Denim - "Holda You (I'm Psycho)"
Good rock song.

7. Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals - "Shine"
Unfortunately, Harper's newest album is not essential, but this is the standout track.

8. Bear Hands - "Marathon Man"
I've been digging Bear Hands a lot recently.  Here's one from You'll Pay for This.

9. Sturgill Simpson - "Brace for Impact (Live a Little)"
I love the trip this song takes in its second half.

10. Charles Bradley - "Changes"
The Screaming Eagle of Soul puts his stamp on Sabbath.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Waco Brothers Back Bernie at Union Hall

The Waco Brothers play in Chicago.  And SXSW.  And that's it.  So when I saw that they were coming to Union Hall, my curiosity was piqued.  When Chris Mills & the Distant Stars were confirmed as the opening act, my Wednesday night plans were decided. 

The crowd applauded as the Mills and the Stars shuffled onto the stage.  "Don't get too excited," Chris said with a laugh before charging into "Atom Smashers," promptly winning over the Wacos' fans with the satiric, propulsive rocker.  Chris' banter was on-point as always, revealing that he'd just recently returned from Walt Disney World.  "Has anyone here been to Disney World last week?" he asked before proceeding to discuss the absence of a certain racist character from Splash Mountain.  "Anyway, it's a fun ride.  Fifty-foot drop," he added.  Though it wasn't terribly noticeable, Chris admitted that he's been having some issues with his vocal cords, and is currently in speech therapy.  The repetition of phrases such as "My mom makes us marmalade" and "Marv loves my mom" has Mills pondering a future as a copywriter for speech therapy exercises, but wishfully he'll stick to songwriting, so we can get more tunes like standouts "Blooms" and "Castaways."

Just prior to 10:00, the Waco Brothers took their spots at the head of a room so packed that fans were standing on the pews along the right wall.  Jon Langford re-dubbed the band of socialist cowpunks the "Bernie Bros," dedicated to exposing the "Clinton myth."  They started by taking on Bill with "See Willy Fly By."  Langford later threatened the audience to vote for Bernie Sanders or else the Wacos would have to beat them up and set their houses on fire.  "You say you want a revolution," he punctuated with a cackle.  Their music is just as subtle as their politics, and coincidentally, the reason why the concert was so captivating.  You couldn't help but be taken by the front line-attack of bassist Al Doughty, guitarist Langford, guitarist Deano Schlabowske, mandolinist Tracey Dear, and violinist Jean Cook crammed shoulder-to-shoulder to sing at the narrow stage's edge as they stabbed at the air with their instruments.  While the five folks up front might be the face of the band, they'd be nothing without the excellent drumming of Joe Camarillo, seated beneath that old lady portrait, which Langford jested was Camarillo's grandmother and had been painted in prison "with the ink of beetles he caught in his cell."  The jokes continued as Jon passed out the Chris Mills setlists that remained on the stage to crowdmembers in the front.  "I'd like to give you this.  And you this," he offered.  The Wacos' own setlist pulled heavily from their latest record, Going Down in History, with cuts like "Had Enough," "All or Nothing," and the title track fitting snugly alongside older anthems like "Hell's Roof" and "Plenty Tough - Union Made."  Partway through the encore, Mekons' drummer Steve Goulding replaced Camarillo as the anchor, Langford teasing the Who's "Pinball Wizard" until they plunged into "Folsom Prison Blues."  Each Brother (including Cook) took a turn soloing on the Cash number, with Doughty's deep-end effort causing to Langford to remark, "I'm gonna void my bowels," before they wrapped everything with T. Rex's "20th Century Boy."

With the invention of Google's autonomous car, we may actually get to see the Waco Brothers on the east coast more often.  Langford noted it would be their preferred method of transport, as they could just get drunk and lay on the floor.  "That's the only reason why you'd make a car with no driver.  Why the fuck else would you do that?" he questioned.  Let's hope Google speeds things up, so we can all get wasted and see the Waco Brothers without having to trek to the middle of the country.

Check out my podcast interviews with Jon Langford and Chris Mills.  They're two of my favorites.

CHRIS MILLS & THE DISTANT STARS - 04.13.16 - UNION HALL (46 minutes)

Atom Smashers / Crooked Vein / Alexandria / Rubicon / Escape from New York / Blooms / Brand New Day / Diamond / Sleeptalking / Walking on a Wire / Castaways

WACO BROTHERS - 04.13.16 - UNION HALL (1 hour, 33 minutes)

See Willy Fly By / Red Brick Wall / Had Enough / Receiver / Going Down in History / Harm's Way / Pigsville > Devil's Day / Too Sweet to Die / Walking on Hell's Roof Looking at the Flowers / All or Nothing / Plenty Tough - Union Made / Fox River / Building Our Own Prison / I Fought the Law / Revolution Blues / Do You Think About Me?

Orphan Song / White Lightning / Stick Around Here Till I Die* / Pinball Wizard (tease) > Folsom Prison Blues > 20th Century Boy

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Steel Pulse Brooklyn Bowl Setlist

Review to come.

STEEL PULSE - 04.12.16 - BROOKLYN BOWL (1 hour, 35 minutes)

Blues Dance Raid / Sound Check > Prediction > Macka Splaff > Drug Squad > My Favorite Things (tease) > Drug Squad / Not King James Version / Black & Proud / Nyah Love > Rocksteady / Taxi Driver / The Star-Spangled Banner > Worth His Weight in Gold (Rally Round)

Interlude / Chant a Psalm / Babylon Makes the Rules / Roller Skates / Don't Shoot (Hands Up, I Can't Breathe) / Steppin' Out

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Monthly Mix #13: March 2016

March 2016:
Somewhat sunnier than February because it's getting warmer outside.

1. Catfish & the Bottlemen - "Soundcheck"
I haven't heard crunchy, power-pop guitar like this in years.

2. The Jackson 5 - "I Want You Back"

3. Hero the Band - "Expectations"
Another band of brothers.  I'm not entirely sure why I like this song so much, but I cannot.stop.listening.

4. The White Buffalo - "Don't You Want It"
"Oh, like the first of spring..."

5. Caleb Caudle - "Tuscaloosa"
My friend Mel used to work with this guy at a pizza place.  "Well, I'm not looking to be fixed / Just understand that parts are broken" is a brilliant lyric.

6. The Flaming Lips - "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song (With All Your Power)"
Worth a revisit, especially considering the current political climate.

7. Johnathan Rice - "What Am I Going to Do?"
One of my favorite tunes.

8. Penguin Prison - "Calling Out"
Just as catchy as "Don't Fuck with My Money," but you can sing it in public without any shame.

9. Electric Light Orchestra - "Telephone Line"
I never realized how sad this song is until recently.

10. Randy Newman - "Losing You"

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Heavy National Sawdust Setlist

Review to come.

THE HEAVY - 03.08.16 - NATIONAL SAWDUST (1 hour, 10 minutes)

The Apology / Miss California / Not the One / Short Change Hero / Can't Play Dead / The Big Bad Wolf / Curse Me Good / Slave to Your Love / Same Ol' / What Makes a Good Man? / Since You Been Gone / Last Confession / Turn Up / What Happened to the Love? / How You Like Me Now?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Monthly Mix #12: February 2016

Now you can listen to a year's worth of monthly playlists.  That's 120 songs hand-selected by me.  Do it.

February 2016:
Picks up right where January left off.

1. Ozomatli - "Super Bowl Sundae"
I heard there's some football game this month.

2. The Postal Service - "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)"
TPS covered this Phil Collins number for the Wicker Park soundtrack.  Still haven't seen the movie.

3. Jermaine Jackson - "Let's Get Serious"
Seriously funky.  Stevie Wonder produced, co-wrote, and performed on this one.

4. Dr. Dog - "Good Grief"
New Dr. Dog album is out.

5. Bob Marley & the Wailers - "Waiting in Vain"
Bob would've turned 71 this month.  I like how the line "In life I know there's lots of grief" kinda hearkens back to the Dr. Dog track.

6. Grace Potter - "Something That I Want"
This is also from the soundtrack to a film I've never seen.

7. Hey Anna - "If You're Wondering"
I don't think I believe you, Anna.

8. Pop Etc - "What Am I Becoming?"
Chris Chu gets a lot heavier on this number from Souvenir.

9. The Cure - "Pictures of You"
"Disintegration is the best album ever!" yelled Kyle to Robert Smith way back in South Park's first season.  While it's not the best ever, it's pretty amazing when you get to that point in life when you totally realize why he said that.

10. Rayland Baxter - "Freakin Me Out"
With Baxter going solo on the Soho EP, this song takes on a further level of introspection as compared to its full-band album version.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Monthly Mix #11: January 2016

January 2016:
You can use context clues to figure out this one.

1. The Helio Sequence - "Lately"
I love this song because you can interpret it how you need to.  I always think he's lying though.

2. Mason Jennings - "New York City"
I agree with Mason.

3. David Bowie - "Lazarus"
It's amazing that Bowie was able to release this beautifully dark record for his fans before his untimely passing.

4. Grey Reverend - "My Hands"
All the more poignant if you know that Grey has focal dystonia, a neurological disorder that affects the dexterity of his hands.

5. Lord Huron - "She Lit a Fire"
A reawakening.

6. Otis Redding - "Pain in My Heart"
It's insane when you remember that Redding was only 26 when he died.

7. The 1975 - "Ugh!"
The next single from their upcoming album.  I like it much better than the '80s retread "Love Me."

8. Royal Headache - "Wouldn't You Know"
While this song is a throwback to '60s pop/rock, most of the tunes on this Australian band's second LP have a punkier feel.

9. The Flaming Lips - "Do You Realize??"
Those lyrics tho.

10. Eagles - "Desperado"
R.I.P. Glenn.