This weekend I went to Quixote's to see two bands I'd heard of but had never seen. In the front room was Harmonious Junk. I walked into a cover of Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein," a brave choice without a key player in the band. Damon Wood's guitar-work was almost enough to make up for the lack of a synthesizer, but the psychedelic breaks in the song just weren't the same. In their second set, they threw together a number of great songs, though I felt the choices were typical jamband covers (ie. Shakedown St., We Want The Funk, Also Sprach Zathustra). There were a couple of rhythmic glitches as the band had issues landing some of their jams and fell out of time on occasion. Their sound was cluttered and divided as if they'd never focused on meshing their sounds into a cohesive mix. Rather, it seemed like Damon was running the show and the rest of the band was barely keeping up. The rhythmic hiccups were the product of the general wobbles that seemed to threaten the course of most of their sets. Not that they were out of rhythm, but there was an audible uncertainty as they tackled material that might have been a bit beyond the band's current level of talent. In the end, I felt that the group was less of a band and more of a guitarist with some accompaniment. I still enjoyed myself as I listened to their music, but felt their was an amateur feel to their presentation.
Dimitri's Ascent got started in the back room, and I settled in to find out what they were all about. Hailing from Austin, a city with one of the best musical reputations in the nation, I had only two expectations; that the band was talented and weird. Dan Kruger started in on a funky key riff alone before the band slowly built the sound around him. Kruger's playing was enthusiastic bordering on spastic, but filled the band with more than enough energy to keep the crowd interested. His playing was confident, entertaining, and jovial. He sported a paper eye patch with an eye drawn on in pen through most of the show. Guitarist Kenneth Broussard's playing bounced between creative licks and nonsensical noodling, but rode several of the jams to well executed climaxes. Drummer Alan Eckert kept consistent rhythms and added the strongest vocals in the group. His upper register was on full display through the Bee Gee's "You Should Be Dancing." Through several different styles, Dimitri's Ascent was capable, if not polished. A highlight was the "Help On The Way> Slipknot> Franklin's Tower" which featured phrases from "Angel is a Centerfold." Bassist Brian Felker provided harmonies, but when he took to the role of lead vocalist, he needed to project more. Many of his lyrics were lost in a sea of sound. Overall, the band was onto something, but they still needed to refine their sound. Some of the music meandered, and was stereotypical of a generic jamband, while other parts seemed to connect and had the room dancing. The chops were there... perhaps a bit raw, but there none-the-less. Dimitri's Ascent were on the verge, teetering between local party band and nationally touring act. They had a good foundation to transcend their Texas trappings, but needed a little more experience to be considered a legitimate player in the jamband world in my opinion. But that's ok, the word "ascent" is a noun referring to a climb, and perhaps this is just the beginning of Dimitri's Ascent.
Words by J. Picard André 3000, half of the defunct hip-hop duo Outkast, makes his triumphant return to the musical foreground with his new album, New Blue Sun . Contrary to his past output, the album features André in a beautifully different context; experimental flute jazz. As a kid I saw Outkast at the Area 1 festival just north of Detroit. The event featured Moby, The Roots, Paul Oakenfold, Carl Cox and more. During that festival, Outkast stole the show with a heavy-hitting funk band to back their lyrical prowess. What was clear to me then and is clear to me now is the value that André 3000 puts on the music itself. For many who were caught off guard by the coming release of New Blue Sun , rest assured, it was always about the instrumentation. "I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make a 'Rap' Album but This is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time," is the twelve minute plus opening track on the album and sets the pace for what will follow. André's wooden flute,
Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock ( phatphlogblog.blogspot.com ) At what point does the gimmick overshadow the performance? The obvious answer is Buckethead. The man is an amazing guitarist but something is not right in this world. The idea a performer who dons a KFC chicken bucket on his head for a concert has always intrigued me, and some of his side projects such as Colonel Claypool’s Bernie Bucket of Brains have been huge successes. However his performance last weekend in Fort Collins simply left me perplexed. From his robotic dancing, to his nunchuck display, to the fact the he performed with an iPod rather than a band all added to my confusion. Going into the show I was ready to be blown away, despite rumblings of disgruntled fans from the previous night’s show at The Gothic. Buckethead had had some sound issues and some missed cues in Denver but I was still trying to be positive for the show in Fort Collins. It did go off without a hitch technically but that was the least
Words By J-man "What should I name this fucking thing?" I asked myself in the midst of a joint in my Upstate, NY apartment. "It's got to be something with just 'Music'in the title. Nothing more specific than that, as we'll be covering a wide variety of genres." One more drag on the joint yielded the memory of driving down Woodward Ave. in Detroit, listening to Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders. "MusicMarauders! That's it... It completely encompasses what we do in the sense the we are 'maraudering' or 'pillaging' for music," I thought as I stared out of the window at about three and a half feet of fresh Upstate snow. First things first, the domain had to be registered. "Do I have ten dollars in my account?" I thought to myself from a position of just scraping by. Pulling out my shiny, rarely used debit card, I put it to the test and was able to secure MusicMarauders.com. "What's next?" I
Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre Morrison, CO Words by J. Picard Photos by Nancy Isaac Photography "Early in the evening, just about supper time," over at Red Rocks, sound check started to unwind. I walked along the main road through the sprawling complex from the lower north lot to the trading post where I would meet MusicMarauders photographer, Nancy Isaac, for my media pass. It's been decades since Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman and guitarist owned the rights to his music. After fifty years, all of that changed. Around 5:30 PM I scurried past the lower entrances to the fable venue where I could hear The String Cheese Incident and John Fogerty running through classic Creedence material and Fogerty sounded incredible! Leading up to the show, I resisted listening to any recent Fogerty as I wanted to go into the experience without expectation. On too many occasions I've wandered into a show to hear one of my favorites from the past, only to be disappointed by y