Sunday, November 29, 2009

Garaj Mahal 6.21.08

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Heady Medeski

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sexfist Wins Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Contest!

November 16, 2009.

Chicago, IL. The Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival’s Last Banjo Standing tallied over 20,000 votes from Midwest music fans in the last month, yet a mere 7 votes separated 1st and 2nd place when voting ended at midnight on 11/16. Two bands earned it, so, two winners were crowned, as the Festival announced that both Sexfist and Great Divide will appear on the main stage with Bela Fleck & The Fleckstones, Dr. Dog and the Emmitt-Nershi Band this 12/12.

They’ll split the cash prize and share in the opportunity to repay their loyal followings with back-to-back sets to commence the day’s Main Stage lineup. Blues fusion extraordinaires Great Divide will kickoff the mainstage event, followed immediately by the hootenanny that is Sexfist. ADDED BONUS: Sexfist has invited its fans to enjoy “Break-Fist w/ Sexfist” while taking in the Great Divide set. More to come on what the boys will serve.

Sexfist, Chicago’s most politically incorrect band name, started as a duo in 2001 and has since become the five-man band spawned in May 2003. Often found under the moniker “The Henhouse Prowlers,” at clubs around the nation, Sexfist has found themselves comfortably alongside Cornmeal as one of Chicago’s two most popular bluegrass acts. On tour since 2004, you can find them every Tuesday night at the Red Line Tap and every second Thursday at Quencher’s Saloon.


Sexfist Live at Schubas on 1.21.09

SexfistSexfist Live at West Fest on 7.12.09

Congratulations to Sexfist! It's great to see one of our favorite bands earn an oppurtunity like this.

- J-man

Molitz, Logic, Freekbass Project

DJ Logic, keyboardist Steve Molitz (Particle, Phil Lesh & Friends), and Freekbass are putting together a project to tour late winter/early spring 2010. They initially got together onstage for a jam during DJ Logic's set at the Church of Universal Love and Music in Pennsylvania over the summer. It turned out to be one of those magical musical moments, so they have decided to do some full shows together.

These three talented musicians are asking people that are interested to go to Twitter and answer "Name the new DJ Logic, Steve Molitz, Freekbass groove project. Tweet using the hashtag #logicmolitzfreek or hit DJ Logic and Freekbass directly at and/or The person whose name is chosen will be on the Lifetime - Guest List to this "yet to be named band's" shows.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Weather Report

"Founders pianist Joe Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter first met and became friends in 1959 as they had both played in Maynard Ferguson's Big Band. Zawinul went on to play with Cannonball Adderley's group in the 1960s and Shorter with Miles Davis's second great quintet where both made their mark among the best composers in jazz. Zawinul later joined Shorter with Miles Davis's first recordings of fusion music as part of the studio groups which recorded In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew, although Zawinul was never part of Davis's touring line-up. Weather Report is, despite this, often seen as a spin-off from the group of musicians associated with Miles Davis in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Initially, the band's music featured extended improvisation, similar to Davis's Bitches Brew-period work, and instrumentation included both a traditional trap set drummer (Alphonse Mouzon) and a second percussionist (first Airto Moreira, later Dom Um Romão). The group was unusual and innovative in abandoning the soloist-accompaniment demarcation of straight-ahead jazz and instead featuring continuous improvisation by every member of the band.

Reedman Wayne Shorter further pioneered the role of the soprano sax (taking the torch from Sidney Bechet's, Lucky Thompson's, Steve Lacy's and John Coltrane's earlier efforts) and both Zawinul and original bassist Miroslav Vitouš experimented with rock guitarists' electronic effects, Zawinul on piano and synthesizers, Vitouš on upright bass, often bowed, as a second horn-like voice.

By 1976's Black Market, the group's music had evolved further from the open-ended funk jams into more melody-oriented, concise forms, which also achieved a greater mass-market appeal. Most notably, this album introduced virtuoso bassist Jaco Pastorius into the group, although he only played on two of this album's tracks. Alphonso Johnson (who played on the other 5 songs) decided to leave Weather Report to play with the Billy Cobham/George Duke Band (a group that featured a young John Scofield on guitar). Black Market was perhaps the most rock-oriented studio album by Weather Report, in part due to former Frank Zappa sideman Chester Thompson playing drums on most of the songs (he later would be recruited into the touring band of Genesis). Black Market again won Down Beat's album of the year.

The addition of Jaco Pastorius helped push the group to the height of their popularity. Their biggest individual hit, jazz standard "Birdland", from the Heavy Weather album in 1977, even made the pop charts that year. The group also appeared on the Burt Sugarman produced series The Midnight Special, performing Birdland and Teen Town. Heavy Weather proved to be the band's most successful album in terms of sales, while still retaining wide critical acclaim. Pastorius established a new standard in fretless electric bass playing and added two compositions of his own. Heavy Weather dominated Weather Report's disc awards, including their last Down Beat "Album of the Year" award."

The Weather Report:

8:30 (Live)

Black Market

Heavy Weather

Mr. Gone

Night Passage

Weather Report


-Mr. n00b

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Original Fish - Country Joe & The Fish

Of all the music I have listened to from the 60s, Country Joe & The Fish seem to stick out the most. Besides the impact The Grateful Dead, The Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Janis Joplin/ Big Brother & The Holding Company, etc. had on the development of Psychedelic Rock, which in turn influenced many varieties of Rock... Country Joe and The Fish represent a lot of what the counter-cultural movement stood for and are definitely one of the most, if not the most underrated band on the scene. Their lyrics being strongly anti-war or psychedelically driven, really shows the image they were putting across. Their music? It developed through the years. Electric Music for the Mind and Body is an acid drenched album full of great organ/ guitar solos and trade offs. The bass player lays down some great lines and at the same time allows for space so the other members can jam. As the years went on they added orchestration to their compositions in addition with the psychedelically driven guitar style and spacey organ while incorporating genres such as jazz, blues, country, rock, and psychedelia. These guys are the shit, seriously check em out!

"The group's name is derived from leftist politics; "Country Joe" was a popular name for Joseph Stalin in the 1940s, while "the fish" refers to Mao Tse-Tung's statement that the true revolutionary "moves through the peasantry as the fish does through water." The group began with the nucleus of "Country Joe" McDonald (lead vocals) and Barry "The Fish" Melton (lead guitar), recording and performing for the "Teach-In" protests against the Vietnam War in 1965. Co-founders McDonald and Melton added musicians as needed over the life of the band. By 1967, the group included Gary "Chicken" Hirsh (drums) (born Mar 9, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois); David Cohen (keyboards) (born 8 April 1942, in Brooklyn, New York) and Bruce Barthol (bass) (born 11 November 1947 in Berkeley, California). The 1967 lineup lasted only two years, and by the 1969 music festival Woodstock, the lineup included Greg 'Duke' Dewey (drums), Mark Kapner (keyboards) and Doug Metzler (bass).

The band came to perform an early example of psychedelic rock. The LP Electric Music for the Mind and Body was very influential on early FM Radio in 1967. Long sets of psychedelic tunes like "Section 43", "Bass Strings", "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine", "Janis" (for and about Janis Joplin) and "Grace" (for singer Grace Slick) (all released on Vanguard Records) were often played back to back on KSAN and KMPX in San Francisco and progressive rock stations around the country. Their first album charted at #39 on September 23, 1967, their 2nd album at #67 on February 3, 1968, and their third at #23 on August 31, 1968. Country Joe and The Fish were regulars at Fillmore West and East and Chet Helms' Avalon Ballroom. They were billed with such groups as Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Led Zeppelin, and Iron Butterfly. They played at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and at the Woodstock Festival in 1969."

Get Some Country Joe:

Electrique Music for the Mind and Body (1967)

I Feel Like Im Fixin To Die (1967)

Here We Go Again (1969)


Mr. n00b

Monday, November 9, 2009

Henhouse Prowlers

... Have you ever come across a band that the mere thought of the band itself, not being more popular, boggles your mind? As you stand listening to the music; the people around you, (often times fewer in number than most shows you attend) dance uncontrolably. Smiles from ear to ear, the bar constantly serving beer to people looking over there shoulder in excitement of getting back to "action". From songs you've never heard prior, to great renditions of classic traditionals, song after song has you purely wanting more. For me The Henhouse Prowlers are that band. With tight instrumental exchanges and clean, often family like harmonies resinating through your eardrums, to your heart, to your feet. There is nothing else to do but dance, smile and be happy to be in the presence of good company.

I was first introduced to The Prowlers through a friend of mine who played for a band called The Flatbellys. After bringing up his understaning of our mutual love for bluegrass music; he told me there was a band that I had to check out. I did just that, and man I'm glad I did. It was the first time I saw a bunch of younger bluegrass pickers in a bar wearing full suits. I was blown away by not only the music, but the band's professionalism in addition to their kindness as individuals. Following the show, we spent some time drinking and talking about music... Little did I know that this experience was going to be the first of many I would have with this band.

I was pleasently surprised to see that The Henhouse Prowlers were playing Summer Camp Music Festival, a festival that I was attending in Illinois. Their set was fantastic, and once again had me looking around scratching my head. What would these festival going hippies take with them from this band? Would they tell their friends? Would they seek them out in the future? Lastly, what were they doing playing this tiny little stage in the woods...? The smiles were just as bright as I had seen the last time.

The next time our pathes crossed, they were playing agian at the same bar that I had seen them play prior, however this night would be different, and would lay out the foundation for our friendship. The Circus Bar was packed for this Bluegrass Night and The Prowlers didn't disapoint. Following the show, I stuck around to help with equiptment, with the selfish motivation of convinsing them to play an aftershow in my livingroom. It took little to no convincing what so ever, and the next thing I know; I'm sitting in a van with one of my favorite current bands, giving directions to my place.

We had a blast that night. Homebrews, impromtu jams, great conversation and for me; solid memories.

The more recent show of their in which I attended was at Bell's Brewery. Once again, I was satisfied. Thus sealing the deal for The Henhouse Prowlers being one of my favorite bands. I have and will continue to do everything possible to promote their music, and turn people on to the band that I have come to love.

I say this with complete honesty; they are one of the few bands that deserve a 5 out of 5, for every show that I have seen them play.

Henhouse Prowlers 10.29.08

Henhouse Prowlers 10.16.09

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Review: Disco Biscuits & UV Hippo 10.28.09

Jes, Greg, and I decided to drive down to Kalamazoo, MI for the recent Disco Biscuits show and Ultraviolet Hippopotamus after-show. We arrived in Kzoo, and got in. I had to wait a little for my friend to show up with my ticket, so Jes and I waited outside. As we waited we watched 3 people get kicked out, a couple people freaking out about it, others seemed happy to not be going to jail. We already knew this was going to be rowdy. The Disco Biscuits played the Kalamazoo State Theater, a beautiful theater with what I would say to have pretty good acoustics. The crowd, was the usual bisco crowd, spun out kids everywhere, everyone a total mess, security roaming around everywhere, kicking kids out who were zonked out on chairs, running through the aisle chasing people. It was seriously out of hand. At one point we noticed a dreaddy pregnant lady. I had to take a break from the crowd at that point.

Despite the sheer ridiculousness of the crowd, the show for the most part was really good. I am not the biggest Bisco fan, but they threw down. The jams were well executed and the peaks were to the utmost Bisco style. The light show was awesome, and had some great moments, but I felt there was too much strobbing and spinning lights everywhere to focus on the music. I had to sit down for most of the show. As for the tunes, they played really well, for Bisco. Overall I would give it a 4/5 for a Disco Biscuits show. But for my overall taste; I felt some musicianship was lacking in certain areas. The drummer absolutely beasted it as did bro on the guitar. The bassist laid it down when he was actually playing the bass, but my only real problem was the keyboardist. He continually moved around his body to the beat while playing literally two notes. Ive never seen a keyboardist doing so much on stage, movement wise, and doing absolutely nothing keyboard wise. He had his tiny moments but overall it was simplistic and boring keyboard playing. He is much better than that and could lay down some fat licks in between his chord playing if he really wanted to, hes absolutely capable.

Rating: 3.5/5 for me... for a Disco Biscuits show 4/5

Ultraviolet Hippopotamus

After leaving the Bisco show, we headed over to UV Hippo. These guys can throw down, I saw these guys two years ago and had fun but wasnt that impressed. Recently, earlier this year, I saw them again for the first time in a while. I was blown the fuck away. These guys can JAM. They are a progressive style rock band. They keyboardist is absolutely insane, mooging out real hard and making it real spacey. Hes got a nasty tone on the keys as well, the kind that makes you clinch your jaw and grind your teeth (in a good way). He is a great player all around. The two guitarist are awesome. They communicate so well during the jam, doing great trade offs of call and response, each of them throwing down riffs that were mindblowingly slick and amazingly non-repetitive. The drummer is great and versatile, raging his styles from rock, to jazz, to bluegrass, to trance, to space. The percussionist lays down some good shit as well. The bassist also lays down some fat licks that brings it all together. These guys are awesome, one of the best bands in Michigan in my opinion. The Bisco after party was absolutely awesome. They really threw down. They played all their hits, and they nailed each one of them. They had a nice little light show that went along with their music perfectly. A number of crowd favorites/ super crunchy tunes were played and all of Papa Petes was getting down. They definitely got their name out there the other night, there being a lot of biscuit fans who didnt know who they were. All in all they put on a spectacular show and I see nothing but good things for this band.

Rating: 4.5/5

UV Hippo's Whunurth Late Night Set!

-Mr. n00b

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Review: moe. Halloween, Albany.

The moon lit the evening sky, as a mass of people lurked out in front of the Washington Square Armory. The energy was high, and the excitement was clear. Entering the castle-like venue it was it became apparent that it was going to be a packed house, and sweltering hot. Upon passing through security, the lobby opened up to what appeared to be a large gymnasium. The house lights dimmed, the stage lit up and out came moe dressed in skeleton costumes. Approxamately two and a half weeks after their last show (due to tour/date cancellations) moe came out heavy.

The first couple of songs sounded good, with some good guitar work and a tease of what was to come in the light show. Then the song "Farmer Ben"... This song provided some rapping as well as a bummer of a vibe for the crowd, who was left looking around in confusion. Following up that mess was a version of Paul Simon's "Call Me Al". This was one of the songs on the fan based setlist voting that I did not really want to hear, but turned out sounding really good, and the crowd dug it. The first beast of the show came when they played "George" taking it through twenty plus minutes of wailing, dance and space. This was the first point in the show that the crowd went absolutely nuts.

The highlight of the show for me was the "Echos (Pink Floyd), Stash (Phish), Meat, Eyes of the World (Grateful Dead)>Echos, Rebubula>Darkstar (Grateful Dead)>Rebubula" This core section of the show really made it for me. It was great to hear moe cover a Phish song and jam it out harder than Phish. My level of excitement shot through the roof when they broke into the song that I voted on for the set; "Eyes". I was a little unsure of how it would sound coming from moe, but it had the same sweet, mellow, flowing vibe that the Dead created. The Rebubula was uber beastly and the crowd was extremely responsive. Then to go into "Darkstar right after playing "Eyes" caught me off guard, yet pleased me to the extreme. Finishing the segment with Rebubula...

For the encore moe came back out and played a version of Tenacious D's "Fuck Her Gently". For an encore, it was completely awful. A lot of the younger bro'ed out cats were really into it and screaming the words at the top of there lungs... Quite a mess. They then played "Don't Fuck With the Flow", which had a very swing/jammy grove. The encore's saving grace was "Crab Eyes" which left everybody wide-eyed, and completely killed.

Overall I thought the show was on. I thought the covers were well done, and the peaks were excellent. My main complaints were with the venue. They ran out of water after the third song, and by set-break were completely out of all water, Gatorade, and any sort of beer/alcohol. They were completely unprepaired, understaffed, and ended up putting a lot of people at risk for dehydration. This could have been a serious problem, and looking around I saw several people struggling to not pass out. It was extremely irresponsible.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

moe's Halloween show: moe. Halloween, Albany