Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Morning Key Bumps: The Band - The Shape I'm In

Dragging ass after Panic Red Rocks run? How about a little something from The Band to soothe the soul? On Sunday afternoon, Widespread Panic paid homage to The Band with a hat trick of covers banging out Ophelia > The Shape I'm In > Chest Fever.

Here's a clip from The Last Waltz and the last-ever performance of The Shape I'm In...

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Phish Letterman

On Tuesday, Phish was the musical guest on Letterman, which coincided with the release of Fuego. After the taping, the band played a short set that was mixed with a few songs off Fuego. You can watch that full set here.

Here's The Line from Letterman...

And here's Phish on Letterman circa March 1997. Billy Breathes was the studio album they were pimping at the time and the boys performed Character Zero. FYI... Fishman NOT wearing his dress. Hey, we all had our phases back in the 90s, right? Well, Fish was sans muumuu.

Get a sizzling hot copy of Fuego here.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Morning Key Bumps: Graham Central Station

Oh my, Larry Graham. You might not be familiar with the name, but you definitely heard his funk. Larry Graham was the bass player in Sly and the Family Stone. He held the groovy bottom to all those monstrous Sly tunes. Graham Central Station was Larry's solo project and The Jam is 8-minutes of classic early 70s funk...

Friday, June 20, 2014

Phishy Videos: SPAC Drowned

This is one of the Joker's all-time favorite videos... SPAC 2004 Drowned jam spliced together with some Star Wars, Josie Wales, Ricky Gervais, lots of ass-shakin booty, and Jesus Camp freaks...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Today in Phistory: 6/19/04 SPAC - Piper

Ten years ago today. Phish played SPAC and jammed out one of my all-time favorite versions of Piper. Yeah, sometimes those Oxy jams worked out. Most of the time they were self-indulgent wank fests while Trey nodded into an Oxy hole, but every once in a while, Trey got his shit together and led the band on a wondrous journey like Piper from 6/19/04.

Here's the infamous Piper... a jam so juicy they needed to videos to contain it! FYI, it's audio only...

I caught the show with the Joker. 2004 summer tour was the first time I toured with the Joker and we've been best buds ever since.

Here's my mini-review that I wrote on my personal blog (Coventry Music was not birthed yet)...
19 June 2004

We arrived in the mid afternoon, checked into our hotel outside of Albany, which was filled with heads. Loaded up on supplies and headed for the venue. We were in a overflow parking lot, which didn't have too much pedestrian traffic. Joker's mini-bar out of the back of his vehicle didn't pull in the monster bucks like he did in Brooklyn, but we met some cool people and that's all that mattered. In addition to Bloody Mary's, Joker was also making White Russians (the drink of The Dude) and Screwdrivers. I made a killer White Russian for a cute Columbia U girl.

We had great seats in the pavilion. The lawn was small, crowded, and hectic.

First set = lot of fun. The only downer? Scents and Subtle Sounds. Whenever you open a show with Reba, you know it's gonna be a rager. They nailed it. No mistakes. Page went off on NICU. Mike was the shit on Wolfman's. The boys jammed out a smokin' Walls of the Cave.

The highlight of second set was Piper, high energy and the peak of the show. The would not stop the jam and kept pushing along. Very cool. Fishman was the man during Limb by Limb. Had an amazing show.

I bought a couple of grilled cheeses after the show. Some crusty chick was totally diggin' my red blazer. "You're pimpin' brother!" she yelled out at me as we walked out of the show.

The funniest thing I overheard so far on this tour... from a really young, wasted Phishy chick: Man, I was pretty wasted... until that third hit of Ecstasy kicked it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Piano Covers: YEM

The Joker sent me this video. He was looking to learn some Phish songs on the piano and stumbled upon this gem during a search. Great version of YEM...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday Morning Key Bumps: 555

How about some new Phish as your Monday morning pick-me-up? 555 will lift those sluggish spirits.

And if 555 doesn't get you're ass in gear, you should stream all of Fuego courtesy of NPR.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bleach by Nirvana Released 25 Years Ago Today

Wow, time flies.

Bleach was released 25 years ago today in 1989. Nirvana's debut record (produced by Sub Pop trusted confidant Jack Endino) represents their original gritty and emotional raw sound (metal blended with punk) before it got cleaned up for mass consumption. Bleach is heavily accented by tight and powerful drumming. Majority of the drum tracks were by Chad Channing, but Melvins' Dale Crover sat in on three cuts from an earlier demo session. Dave Grohl would not join Nirvana until just before they drove down to LA's Studio City to record Nevermind.

Bleach is anchored by a catchy tune -- About A Girl -- which gave us the first glimpse into Cobain's pop sensibility. Some of my all-time favorite Nirvana tunes appeared on Bleach including Floyd the Barber and Negative Creep.

Nirvana recorded a demo tape that they intended to shop around. Jack Endino was the engineer on the demo's recording session and he held onto a copy, which he rushed over to Bruce & Jon, the head honchos at Sub Pop. They liked what they heard and commissioned a 7-inch single for Nirvana. Sometime in 1988, Nirvana initially released their first single -- a cover by Shocking Buzz titled Love Buzz (and Big Cheese was the B-side) -- which did okay enough that Bruce & Jon from Sub Pop decided they would bankroll an entire album. The band rushed to finish the album during the holidays in late 1988. Nirvana banged out Bleach in less than a week at (now defunct) Reciprocal Studios in Seattle. Endino insists it took approximately 30 total hours to record and mix Bleach.

The cover art on Bleach is one of those haunting, yet iconic images of the early days of the so-called grunge era, but in reality it was designed as cheap as possible because the parties involved thought that a financially-struggling Sub Pop was going to stiff them. Cobain selected the hair-aided action photo but asked they use the negative exposure. Lisa Orth designed the album cover rather quickly for only $300 and kept it low frills because she didn't trust Sub Pop. At that point, everyone knew Sub Pop was troubled by deep debts and they owned multiple printers outstanding invoices. The logo was designed for $15 by Orth's friend at The Stranger. Another quickie job. The not-so-warm font was called ONYX, which ended up becoming a powerful image.

Yep, only $315 for the album cover (that's about $600 in 2014 dollars). Of course, no one knew the band was going to... blow up.

Bleach was a local success for Sub Pop (they manufactured 50,000 vinyl pressings and another 50,000 cassettes), but the band and album were unknown to mostly everyone else outside the Pacific Northwest. That is... until Nirvana's nuclear annihilation of culturally-starved post-Reagan America with their second album Nevermind. By late 1991, millions of newly-birthed, rabid fans went scouring around for older material and finally came upon the rugged, twisted and sonically demented Bleach.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dock Ellis LSD No-Hitter

Never forget. 44 years ago to this day... Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter on LSD. He forgot what day he was supposed to be pitching and ate LSD thinking he had the day off. Here's a great animation...

Monday, June 09, 2014

Monday Morning Key Bumps: Merry Clayton

Monday. Dragging ass? Here's something that will give you an instant pick-me-up...

Merry Clayton delivers a soulful cover of Southern Man (Neil Young). Merry is most known for her backing vocals on Gimme Shelter. She was featured in the documentary on background singers 20 Feet From Stardom...

Sunday, June 08, 2014

G-Money Picks: Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs

Sunday Funday! Time for the latest installment of G-Money Picks. Whenever I ask G-Money (@777GMoney) for any type of music recommendation, he always delivers.

Derek and the Dominos only released one studio album in 1970 titled Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. Clapton's band included Bobby Whitlock (keys and vocals), Carl Radle (bass) and Jim Gordon (drums). The recording sessions also included Dave Mason from Traffic and Duane Allman. Pretty much everyone knows about Allman's blistering solos during Layla.

G-Money explained:
"The remix of this classic album clears up the somewhat muddy sound of the original, and the brings both of the guitars up in the mix so you can clearly hear Clapton and Allman weaving around each other beautifully. The bonus disc is Five Jams, appropriately labeled Jam 1, Jam 2 etc. The playing here is so good, it might be some of the best guitar dueling ever. The first three jams are Clapton and Allman with the band. The fourth one has them and the rest of the Allman Brothers Band lighting it up! I am certain that many of my jam focused phriends and all around guitar fans will really enjoy these lost studio gems."
Check out Jam #1...

If you dig this series, then check out more picks by G-Money...

James Brown (Paris 1971)
Marvin Gaye (1974)
Aretha Franklin (Live at Fillmore West)
The Police - Reggatta De Blanc and Zenyatta Mondatta
Bill Frisell - East West
James Brown's Funky People
Allman Brothers - Brothers and Sisters
Little Feat (1976 Winterland, SF)
Slave and Ohio Funk Scene
Grateful Dead - Egypt 1978

Monday, June 02, 2014

Monday Morning Key Bumps: David Bowie - Young Americans

Back to work on a sluggish Monday. Maybe a little glam-soul from David Bowie will get your ass moving?

In 1975, David Bowie unleashed his inner soul singer. Here's a live version of Young Americans from the Dick Cavett show. And yes, that's Luther Vandross among the chorus of background singers. You might have seen a clip of this performance in the documentary film 20 Feet From Stardom.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

G-Money Picks: James Brown, Paris 1971

It's Sunday and time for a new installment of G-Money Picks. Whenever I ask G-Money (@777GMoney) for any music recommendation, he always delivers.

For the first Sunday in June (or the first real Sunday of the summer season), G-Money selected a legendary James Brown live show from 1971... Love Power Peace: Live at the Olympia, Paris. This was a lost soundboard recording and included the original J.B.s line-up that featured a 19-year old Bootsy Collins and his brother. This particular backing band also had two drummers. Yeah, James Brown brought some serious firepower with him to Europe. Paris was never the same after this batch of powerful percussion.

Here's what a couple of reviewers said:
"If you only buy one James Brown album ever, LET IT BE THIS ONE. This is the single disc that will show you why James Brown is considered the greatest live act, bar none... You can feel the sheer continuous energy of the performance. The liner notes state that this show was so hot that a woman from the crowd came up on the stage and stripped naked, and nobody wanted to stop her. I can believe it."
Here's what G-Money said:
"I can't really put it any better than what is stated above. You NEED this in your collection if you don't have it. The Godfather of Funk at the height of his powers, you get the experience the entire show with  all the tempo and genre changes."
Listen to this historical moment in live music...

If you dig this series, then check out more picks by G-Money... Marvin Gaye (1974), Aretha Franklin Live at Fillmore West, The Police's Reggatta De Blanc and Zenyatta Mondatta, Bill Frisell's East West, James Brown's Funky People, Allman Brothers - Brothers and Sisters, Little Feat (1976 Winterland), Slave and Ohio Funk Scene, and Grateful Dead - Egypt 1978.