Saturday, December 31, 2016

Phish MSG Night Two Setlist

Review to come.


SET I (1 hour, 18 minutes) -
Sweet Adeline / Peaches en Regalia > Mike's Song > Secret Smile > Weekapaug Groove / Roses Are Free / Poor Heart / 46 Days / Brian & Robert / Beauty of a Broken Heart / Theme from the Bottom > Split Open & Melt

SET II (1 hour, 14 minutes) -
Down with Disease > What's the Use? > Fuego > Meatstick / Twenty Years Later > Kung > Twenty Years Later > Makisupa Policeman / Harry Hood

ENCORE (8 minutes) -

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Phish MSG Night One Setlist

Review to come.


SET I (1 hour, 20 minutes) -
The Star-Spangled Banner / Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan / Lonesome Cowboy Bill > Free / Train Song / Prince Caspian / Roggae / Funky Bitch / Halfway to the Moon / Corinna / Stash / Cavern

SET II (1 hour, 19 minutes) -
Wolfman's Brother / Golden Age > Simple > Chalk Dust Torture / Martian Monster > Tweezer Reprise > Martian Monster / Wingsuit / Possum

ENCORE (7 minutes) -
Good Times Bad Times

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Majorleans Return to Mercury Lounge

Mercury Lounge's most iconic feature had to have been its wall sconces.  The dim incandescent bulbs entrenched in decorative wire cages looked like giant firefly abdomens, just barely illuminating the showroom's brick walls to give it a feel that was somehow simultaneously dingy and classy.  They were even used in the lounge's website design for years until the Bowery Presents overhauled the page to include their other venues.  So imagine my shock last night when I stepped into the room to find them replaced with new fixtures that appear as if someone sliced a scalloped pitcher in half, stuck it over a LED light, and glued it to an elongated octagon made of reflective material streaked with blue wisps.  They look like shit and I don't know what they were thinking.  Almost exactly a year ago, when the original sconces remained, the Majorleans played the Mercury Lounge, unveiling a selection of new tunes that Nicky Francis and Chris Buckle had been workshopping for their next album, Carouser's End.  Last night, the band played all seven songs from the upcoming record.
The set got off to a shaky start, as inconsistent monitor levels had the members struggling to hear each other, with Buckle having difficulty harmonizing during "Mr. Magic."  After some adjustments, the band rallied behind "Give It All to Me," having lived in the Carouser's tunes long enough now that they've become staples.  The older Black Belt numbers benefitted from being reworked as well.  "Imaginary Plane" has always been my least favorite Majorleans song, but for this go-round, they slowed it down, allowing me to hear just how deep the pocket of rhythm section Bongers & Brooks goes.  By the time they'd reached the end of "What I Mean" five songs in, the confidence was visible, Nicky shaking his narrow hips as the crowd clapped for more.  "Once the pendulum starts swinging, it doesn't stop," Francis acknowledged.  "Not in those jeans!" came a teasing rebuttal from a crowdmember.  Trading out his Rickenbacker electric for a Gibson acoustic, Nicky led the band on a duo of Carouser's ditties, "Under the Spell" and "Sunrise Mary," the latter of which was greeted with knowing cheers from the audience.

Almost as big of a surprise as the new lighting on the walls, but entirely more welcome, was the second live performance ever of "Lonesome Seaside Driving School."  Written while driving along the southern coast of France, the introspective and atmospheric ballad stood proudly amid the band's rockers.  Having pulled it off without a hitch, Nicky warned the people, "It's all biscuits in your mouth from here on out, so be ready."  He held onto the Gibson for a terrific "Under Ma Wheels" before returning to the Rick on "Tattoo."  Chris sustained the song's final note to give Francis enough leeway to slap on a capo for their frequent closer and time-tested crowd-pleaser "Never Had Enough."  While it definitely sucks about the sconces, fortunately the Mercury Lounge will always be about the music, first and foremost.

THE MAJORLEANS - 12.07.16 - MERCURY LOUNGE (53 minutes)

Mr. Magic / Give It All to Me / Imaginary Plane / Set to Receive / What I Mean / Under the Spell / Sunrise Mary / Lonesome Seaside Driving School / Under Ma Wheels / Tattoo > Never Had Enough

Monday, December 5, 2016

Monthly Mix #23: December 2016 (Secular)

December 2016 (Secular):
I'm not solely listening to Christmas carols right now, so neither should you.

1. Bruno Mars - "24K Magic"
While not the instantly likable "Uptown Funk," I think I was hooked after three listens.

2. Sing Street - "Drive It Like You Stole It"
I was charmed by John Carney's coming-of-age film when I saw it over Thanksgiving break.  I'd recommend the movie (currently streaming on Netflix) and this Hall & Oates-inspired ditty. 

3. The Game feat. Too $hort, Problem, AV, & Eric Bellinger - "Or Nah"
Sorry if it's a little crass, but it's got that beat.  Eric Bellinger's hook is smooth AF too.

4. John Legend feat. Brittany Howard - "Darkness & Light"
Legend enlists Alabama Shakes' frontwoman for the sultry title track of his fifth studio album (sixth if you count his collaboration with the Roots).

5. Neil Young - "Here for You"
Back in September, this was the father-daughter dance at my friend's wedding.  I really liked the choice, and Neil's catalog is finally available on Spotify.

6. Johnny Marr - "Easy Money"
Propulsion epitomized.

7. Jim James - "Same Old Lie"
While it may feel like our current political climate is drastically different than what we've come to expect, Jim reminds us that in fact, "it's the same old lie."

8. Syreeta - "I Love Every Little Thing About You"
Syreeta recorded this cover of Stevie Wonder's song in the midst of their divorce, one-upping the original and adding a whole new layer of depth.

9. Jack Garratt feat. Anderson Paak - "Worry"
I'm not a big Jack Garratt fan, but Paak throws down one of his top verses here.

10. Mike Doughty - "I Can't Believe I Found You in That Town"
This was on my Top 40 of 2015 list when it was merely a demo on Mike's feed.  While I still prefer the stripped-down original over the DJ Good Goose production that you'll hear here, the effective lyrics remain unchanged.

Monthly Mix #22 - December 2016 (Holiday)

December 2016 (Holiday):
The holidays are approaching.

1. The Staple Singers - "The Last Month of the Year"
It's the last month of the year.

2. Mariah Carey - "All I Want for Christmas is You"
Like it or not, this is now a bonafide Christmas classic.

3. David Bazan - "Happy Xmas (War is Over)"
Bazan puts his lo-fi spin on Lennon as part of his new Christmas record, Dark Sacred Night.

4. Kacey Musgraves feat. Leon Bridges - "Present Without a Bow"
Cute seasonal number featuring two of music's shiniest new stars.

5. Grace Potter - "Naughty, Naughty Children (Better Start Actin' Nice)"
Potter looks at the bright side of getting coal for Christmas.

6. Andy Williams - "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"
The other day, I put this on and pretended I was living in a musical.  So fun.  I'm not ashamed to admit that, so try it for yourself.

7. Wham! - "Last Christmas"
No comment.

8. Jeremy Messersmith - "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
Starts off like a bedroom demo until the strings sneak in and open the door.  Remember when Jeremy was on the podcast?

9. Stevie Wonder - "Merry Christmas/Happy Kwanzaa"
Taken from an UK promotional single, this interesting little piece mashes up "Jingle Bells" with Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely."

10. David Bowie & Bing Crosby - "Peace on Earth/The Little Drummer Boy"
This has always been my Uncle Mike's favorite holiday song, and it's even more poignant with Bowie's passing this year.