Archive for October, 2012
Shit, remember when Kimock used to melt your whole essence and was the de facto post-Jerry guitarist for non-frightening psychedelic release? Those days are long fucking gone my friend. Thank God I was on the guest-list for this one, because no amount of alcohol would have made me content with paying the $30 cover. Read the full review HERE at State of Mind.
…There was a time when seeing Steve Kimock play was an exploration in delicate psychedelia — when the entire audience would gracefully join him in weaving through his complex compositions and he seemed like the only logical heir to embrace Jerry Garcia’s once fabled guitar tone. That time however‚ is not 2012. The NorCal Mecca of Arcata gets about 3 quality concerts a year‚ and thus the heads came out of the redwood-work in full force for this show. In terms of per capita ratios‚ this crowd was probably more learned in the Kimock back catalog than any you’re bound to encounter anywhere in the world‚ let alone California. Fiending for the transient licks and familiar melodies that had once spawned a myriad of self-spun ruminations‚ and also looking for launch-box fulfillment to accentuate pre-show medications‚ the folks at Humbrews were beaming with expectations. Unfortunately‚ SKB didn’t seem to take the stage this night — rather it was the Bernie Worrell Band featuring Steve Kimock on rhythm guitar…
These formal sit-down shows really make for odd rock and roll experiences but James Mercer actually showed more enthusiasm than I ever knew he had at this hometown Portland gig. Read the full review at State of Mind HERE. And here’s a snippet:
The band itself was incredibly tight, and even for a fella who’s fired 8 members of his group already, there didn’t seem to be any reason why Mercer would be dropping any of these guys soon. New songs molded seamlessly with older cuts off Chutes Too Narrow, and there weren’t any moments where it felt like they hadn’t all been doing this together for a long time. When “New Slang” emerged towards the end of the set, it was easily the most accurately complicated sing-along I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness. Despite the dark undertones of most of these tunes, there’s a thriving buoyancy to them when a few thousand people are hearing them outside of their iPods for the first time. Add to that the fact that James Mercer seemed consistently overjoyed throughout the entire concert, and you have yourself a pretty darn radical rock showcase. I suppose he could have been enamored with the thought that he would be sleeping in his own bed at the end of the night, but he did appear to be taking some actual pleasure in being a rock star this evening.
If you paid any attention to my earlier posts, you know I was incredibly weary about seeing this band. I’m a fake-Jerry hater all the way – it’s just not what I’m looking for in my GD echoes. But luckily I caught em on a good night, although one night is definitely all I need of this band.You can read the full review HERE over at State of Mind.
…And yes‚ John Kadlecik does try to bring in more of his own voice both vocally and on the guitar in this band then he did while in Dark Star Orchestra. But let’s kindly call a spade a spade — he got hired for the band because he sounds like Jerry. Personally‚ as someone who just narrowly missed seeing the real fat-man in person‚ I’ve always felt that listening to someone try to play precisely like Garcia is like framing a poster of the Mona Lisa on your wall — an odd depthless replication. Regardless‚ I decided to approach this show with as little preconceptions as possible. I went to Edgefield this night with the intention of listening to this music like they weren’t songs ingrained in my soul‚ but rather just familiar echoes of blissful times passed…
...The backup singers are completely unnecessary and add to the slight Vegas-shtick vibe‚ but other than that it’s a top-notch band that Phil and Bobby have assembled. The one grand realization I did have however‚ is that with the formation of this band they have officially acknowledged that they are playing to a crowd that is primarily made up of people who didn’t ever see the Grateful Dead. It’s a younger crowd‚ and it’s a crowd that doesn’t have the same hang-ups as I do about synthetic Garcias. And you know what? That’s fine…
So for the first time ever, the Rock Hall is allowing fans to cast ballots for their Top 5 nominees going into the 2013 class. This doesn’t mean that the fans’ picks will actually win, but it means they’ll count on the official ballots. It’s a pretty stacked lineup this year, but I’m gonna rank the entire 15 nominees in order of valid significance. Go vote HERE.
- The Canadian prog-rockers for years have been the go-to music nerd’s complaint about the Hall of Fame. I always presumed that the reason they never got inducted is that one of the secret qualifications for entry is that your music has been used to get somebody laid in the past. Attending a Rush gig in the 70′s was probably more of a guarantee that some girl might vomit all over your bed than have sex with you though. But whatever, they are pretty fucking nasty, have a long list of great songs, Neil Peart is ridiculous on drums, and they do things like cook hundreds of rotisserie chickens on stage while they play. And who hasn’t air-drummed the fuck out of their steering wheel to “Tom Sawyer” before?
The Wilson sisters have been rocking harder than a majority of men on the scene for quite some time. Nancy is still legitimately one of the greatest guitarists on the planet, and also still looks incredibly hot for someone pushing 60. She’s actually my number one over-50 crush. This one seems like a no-brainer to me.
3) DEEP PURPLE
Huh? They’re not in there yet? I mean the riff for “Smoke on the Water” has to be the most recognizable guitar line of all time. They should be in there based on that simple chord progression alone, let alone there ability to write songs that dudes who drive Thunderbirds crank at full volume.
4) THE METERS
Easily the greatest in-the-pocket band of all time, their stripped down NOLA funk is a constant reference point for any and all quality rock, funk, and soul bands from the past 30 years. They’re one of those bands that if you don’t have at least some of their music on your iPod, then I don’t really want to be friends with you.
5) JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS
I mean hell, her biggest hit was called “I Love Rock and Roll” for Christ’s Sake. And she actually managed to make ripping rock music throughout the 80′s when most of the male acts were wearing way more makeup than her. Along with the Wilson sisters, this should be the year of some women inductees.
6) PROCOL HARUM
Everybody’s had at least one late night moment with “Whiter Shade of Pale” right? Sure, it was the beginning of symphony-rock, but these guys are friggin’ legends. They just miss my Top 5 by a slim margin to Jett.
7) ALBERT KING
It seems to me that most of the great blues guitarist all deserve a place in the hall. There wouldn’t really ever had been rock and roll as we know it without some of Albert’s tracks. Um, “Born Under a Bad Sign”? C’mon.
There’s a ton of unwritten but wholeheartedly valid rules about rock and roll bands out there, but I’d say the Top 5 has to include “Don’t let your wives get a say in the band.” Straight up, that’s all there is to it. The relationships band members forge with one another can, in a way, be even more involved and complicated than any marriage. There’s usually more than just 2 people in the situation, you have a whole network of employees and fans to worry about, and most likely there’s no amazing sex involved. Obviously, Yoko Ono is the go-to example of said situation, and that’s led to God-knows-how-many labeling of an over-involved woman who people start calling Yoko So-and-So, or So-and-So Ono. I mean for fuck’s sake, I love John Lennon, but the world’s most obscure performance artist had no place suddenly joining the greatest Pop act of all time. Anyway I bring this up due to my recent frustration over the Gener Ono situation.
For the past few months, the devoted followers of the Boognish like myself have been trying to comprehend exactly what led to Gene Ween breaking up Ween. Obviously he’s been having a tough time staying sober, but more info seems to be dropping about Deaner and Gener just totally not being the pals they once were. They aired a lot of their frustrations towards one another publicly a few days ago on the awesomely absurd Ween Forum – you can dig through the rants HERE. Basically they’re pissed at each other – you know, shit happens. And Deaner made the simple comment that he doesn’t really know Gene’s wife of 8 years, and that she doesn’t fully understand what the band is all about, and thus she shouldn’t be joining into the argument. But I’ll be damned if the lady didn’t post a solid 1,000 word rant on the forum – butting in about what Gener says about the band off the road and other stupid shit. It’s not only completely pointless, (because who gives a fuck what Gener’s wife has to say,) but it also make him look like a complete douche by having his unknown wife suddenly jump into the argument to defend her husband’s breaking up of the band. I’m sorry Pollyana, but you have nothing to do with Ween and your interference only makes it seem like you potentially had something to do with Ween breaking up. I’m gonna rank this as the#4stupid wife of band butt-in of all time. Here’s the rest of my Top 5 -
#1 – Yoko – duh
#2 – Phil Lesh’s Wife – It’s been well known that the woman has taken quite the controlling hand in Phil’s affairs since Jerry died, but her biggest mistake was causing Steve Kimock to quite Phil and Friends in 1999. All Kimock ever really said about the subject was that he “wasn’t gonna work on Maggie’s Farm no more.” The rumors are that she wasn’t into Steve’e backstage heroin abuse, but c’mon, the dude’s trying to fill in for Garcia. If he wants to poke a little smack before he launches into the nether-realm, then let him. Complicated topic, but still not hers to get involved in.
#3 – David St. Hubbins’ Wife – Ugh, we all hate Jeanine Pettibone and how she nearly broke up Spinal Tap. But nothing was worse than when she fucked up the sound-check for the rare oldie “Gimme Some Money.” Hell, the boys are finally busting out “GSM” and she has the nerve to come on the mic – “Hellllloooooo darling!” What a bitch.
#4 – Gener’s Wife
#5 – Warren Haynes’ Wife - If you ever listen to the JamOn station on Sirius/XM satellite radio, then you’ve probably wondered why the hell Stefani Scamardo is so fucking obsessed with the Southern axe-shredder. I mean honestly, nobody should be that obsessed with Warren Haynes, but she can’t go 15 minutes on the radio without mentioning how amazing he is. Once you realize she’s his wife, her voice become even more annoying. It’s like some asshole Mom whose son has the lead role in the 4th Grade Christmas Spectacular.
Oh well, let’s watch some decade old videos from before Ween let someone nose in on their business. Here’s a couple lovely acoustic numbers a fan posted on the forum the other day.
Well hot-damn, I had no clue there was a new Dr. Dog EP awaiting my tears and laughter but Wild Race just appeared today and you can stream it live right now. I’ve got it below, but it’s one of those weird restricted videos so I have a feeling it might disappear soon. Opening with a killer Scotty tune that presumably got cut from this year’s Be the Void, (the chorus is “be the void”) my initial reaction was, Goddamn these motherfuckers just keep em’ coming. I’ve said it many times before, but Scott McMicken is my favorite songwriter on the face of the Earth these days. I really don’t even care what Bob Dylan has to say anymore; I feel like Scotty’s much more in tune with the quasi-reality I call day-to-day life and his songs always seem to seductively tickle untapped parts of my soul.
The second tune starts at 3:12 and is another solid Scotty rocker based upon the line “It ain’t just the sun that’s gotta go.” Not as poignant as the first track, but still rather friggin’ dope.
Track 3 (6:41) is a slow Tobe crooner where he more directly addresses his constantly broken heart as compared to the scattered metaphors he usually gets wrapped up in. I have a feeling this one could have been on Be the Void as well but got shelved so that the fairly similar “Lonely” could be on there instead. Deep fucking passion on this like normal though.
Track 4 (9:23) is forged on one of those heart-wrenching drop-beats and constantly frequents the line: “Let’s put up our exit for sale.” The 3-part harmonies are nailed and highlight the fact that big Frank is another integral part of this band. The chorus gets repeated more than I’m used to with a Dr. Dog song, but I give em props for really wanting to drill that idea into your head of tossing away the escape plan. It’s a good idea – it makes me feel fuzzy and it’s a much-needed concept for a time when everybody’s always concerned about the way out. Why not just keep shit together?
Track 5 (14:18) seems like one of their more collaborative tracks, but still has Scotty’s vocals at the forefront. They couldn’t write songs like this before Eric Slick joined the band on drums, and he holds down the odd time-changes like a real-deal cream-dream. There’s a killer echoed-out guitar fill early on here as well as some of those awesome analog synth wiggles we all hear when we’re wide awake at 4:30 in the morning. This tune is a little all-over-the-place but 2nd listen will lock it in your head well. “Resting Easy” in the “Silent Place” is the general notion of this tune, although the tune is rather full and sorta-chaotic.
Super solid EP overall, but tracks 1 and 4 will be the ones I’m bound to visit over and over again. This band has been on the top of their game for a long fucking time now, and they show no sign of falling off. Now if they could just get a sound-man who understands their on-stage dynamics, everything would be perfect. Seriously though, the last couple times I’ve seen these guys the sound has just been completely blown the fuck out and always leaves me aching for the crisp sounds that I know the mics aren’t picking up correctly. Either way…the dog y’all.