September 16, 2009

Live Review: Mama's Cookin'

Crystal Bay Casino
Lake Tahoe, NV
Sept. 10, 2009

Mama's Cookin', a Lake Tahoe-based quartet (via Colorado), took over the stage for a G. Love aftershow in one of the North Shore's premier venues. Frontman Zebuel Early's charismatic presence intensified the energy of an already keyed-up crowd. Inspired by artists like the Black Keys and Led Zeppelin, the band played various hits from their self-titled album honing in on their rock influenced edge.

The lure of Mama's Cookin' is their ability to seamlessly weave hypnotic hip-hop beats, blues-laden guitar riffs, and funked-out bass lines. Their performance was yet another magnetic example of their polished sound throwdown. Zeb's lyrical delivery rolled with a syncopated cadence, wrapping around Mike Adamo's axial drum beats. Throughout the set Eric Matlock's soulful keys provided the perfect parry to Steve LaBelle's funk-implosive bass tones. Hot and heavy blues emerged when Zeb unleashed his gritty guitar-playing skills, transporting the crowd to the Deep South where squirrel hunting and moonshine are alive and well.

If sweating bodies pulsing in a sultry, party atmosphere is a turn off, then a Mama's Cookin' show is the wrong place to be. This band's live performances are a shot of adrenalin – movement is not required but is sure hard to repress.

Review and photo by Tanya Fuller

New Records We Got in the Office Today

Stem – Highpocrisy
Tape Deck Mountain – Ghost
A Grave With No Name – Mountain Debris
The Devil and a Penny – EP
Paris Keeling – End of Ride Revisited
Hardlogic – Group Therapy
The Happy Hollows - Spells

September 15, 2009

New records in the office today...

The Invisible Rays – Salute the American Popular Song
Dangerbird – dangerbird
The Old Man and his Po’ Buckra - Taxes
Mark Stepakoff – Some Assembly Required
Nathan Sexton – Grave
Ingenue – The Lolita EP
Arrington De Dionyso – Malaikat dan Singa
Nathan Oliver – cloud animals
The Paddle Boat – B-Side of a Life/Everything
Jimbo Ross – Steady Rollin’ Man
Lemming Malloy – The Return of the Norfolk Regiment
Blue Mother Tupelo – Heaven & Earth
Dave Desmelik - Onlooker
Volcano Choir – Unmap
Krista Ravengael – Thanks, but No
Stephen MacDonald & The Okay Win – We Are Bound
Lymbyc Systym – Shutter Release
Rain Machine – Rain Machine
Blisses B – You Should
Tempo No Tempo – Waking Heat
Capgun coup - Maudlin
Cyrus Fell Down - Radar
Whogas - Whogas
Face on Straight – Midnight to Morning
Twin Atlantic - Vivarium
Clay Ross – Matuto
Jessie Torrisi – Bruler Bruler
Valerie Nicole – From the Heart
Os Mutantes – Haih or Amortecedor
Speakermute – The Weight
The Electric Poet – Volume 1
Doomstar – Colors
Just Monroe – Everything for a Reason
A Bad Think – Simple Rhymes
Hyim – Sex in the Morning
Nine Even – Seamsan Over
Christians and Lions – EP
Lunic – Love Thief

Live Review: Margaret Glaspy | Daisy May and Seth Bernard | The Tales

Gallery 263
Cambridge, MA
Aug. 13, 2009

For anyone on the search for up-and-coming talent, the Aug. 13 show at Gallery 263 was a goldmine. The small venue allowed for an intimate show while rain fell just outside.

The Tales started the night with some feel-good rock, reflecting on past loves and life with three-part harmonies and classic guitar sounds over the rhythms of surf and soul. The band shows a knack for songwriting in the vein of The Beatles, letting songs tell their stories without clutter. Lead singer Andrew Burri sung with conviction, backed by drummer Machael Haziza and lead guitarist David Brandwine, both of whom sung several songs. Grooving steady, bassist Taylor Shell let his shoulders keep the tempo. Contained in such a small place, they swayed the crowd with charisma, letting their melodies flow over the art and into the assembled crowd.

The pace slowed as Michigan natives Daisy May and Seth Bernard took center stage, singing tales of life in America's heartland. Between songs they told the crowd the stories behind songs as they re-tuned their instruments. Seth Bernard's guitar was from the '20s, and he explained that they both played older instruments that, though requiring more upkeep, came with a history that shin through in the music. Daisy's voice followed the hilly roads of their travels, adding heart and soul into their all acoustic set.

Taking a jazzier turn, Margaret Glaspy serenaded the crowd with a smoky voice drifting somewhere between Regina Spektor and Kate Nash. The music – jazz turned Americana complete with a banjo played by Ben Krakafur – was tight, and fit complex grooves unexpectedly under the nylon guitar strumming Margaret laid behind her voice. Vishal Nayak and Josh Hari blended drums and bass into a single force that carried the room until the end of the night.

-Review and photo by Garrett Frierson

Live Review: FYF Fest

FYF Fest
Los Angeles State Historical Park
Los Angeles, CA
Sept. 5, 2009

These days it is difficult to come by independent events that combine both charity and entertainment into a beneficial, worthwhile experience. In its sixth running year, the FYF Fest (previously known as F Yeah Fest) has it down to a science by creating a locally famous music festival where proceeds go towards the funding of our state parks. The show started at 1 p.m., when the scalding sun shown directly overhead, bearing down on the long line of dedicated concertgoers. Fedoras and thick-rimmed ray bans galore, the fans depicted the epitome of our nation’s independent music scene. Located at the Los Angeles State Historical Park in Chinatown, the venue proved to be a blatant illustration for the cause: an overlooked, underrated plot of potentially green landscape, neglected through budget cuts and the indifferent eyes of those living amidst a concrete jungle.

There were three stages set up in the park: the oak, redwood and sequoia; each displaying a makeshift poster duct-taped to the stage bearing the names of the bands playing and their set times. There was something seemingly unique and comforting about a show without the glitz and glam of over-marketed concerts we see all too much these days. FYF Fest offered a more intimate environment that just got down to the bare essentials: great music and a great cause. The headlining acts such as No Age, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Black Lips gathered much fan support, but as much could be said for the smaller, but no lesser, names such as Dan Deacon, Peanut Butter Wolf and Japanther.

Highlights of the event included Crystal Antlers, newcomers to the music scene, who possessed a powerfully rough psychedelic sound comparable to The Mars Volta, yet set themselves apart by their hoarse, punk-like vocals. The Thermals embodied their seemingly contradicting sound with raw, distorted instrumentals and clear, defined vocals that resulted in absolute harmony. There were also comedic acts such as Tim and Eric, who brought a much needed sense of humor to the scene by exchanging witty banter with one another and belting out their popular songs from their television show.

Throughout the day you would hear the artists yelling, “F Yeah” amidst their sets with the enthusiasm and conviction only conjured by true elation; they weren’t here for the money or the fame, they were here to support their community and do what they do best: play music for true fans.

-Review and photos by Becky Moine

September 14, 2009

New records in the office today

Clay Ross – Matuto
Jessie Torrisi – Bruler Bruler
Valerie Nicole – From the Heart
Os Mutantes – Haih or Amortecedor
Speakermute – The Weight
The Electric Poet – Volume 1
Doomstar – Colors
Just Monroe – Everything for a Reason
A Bad Think – Simple Rhymes
Hyim – Sex in the Morning
Nine Even – Seamsan Over
Christians and Lions – EP
Arrington De Dionyso – Malaikat dan Singa
Lunic – Love Thief
Bench Grinder- Clean is the New Dirty
The Zeke Martin Project- U4RIA
The Echo Falls- The Echo Falls
Actual Proof- Paradigm Shift
William Ferris- Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues
Darling New Neighbors- Rocket
The Medveds- Boos, Coups, & Interviews
Tigercity- Ancient Lover
Time for Three- 3 Fervent Travelers
Ad Frank and the Fast Easy Women- Your Secrets Are Mine Now
Hurricane Doyle- Hurricane Doyle
Merrill- A Beautiful Disaster
Kenley Young- Standard Candle
The Black Heart Procession- Six