Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Welcome to the Cosmic Love BallHello Bay Area musical socialites! It was great to see you the other night at the Cosmic Love Ball with DJ Wyllys, the North Beach Brass Band, Materialized, and Rubblebucket! That’s right, it was another great year for the futuristic love circus called the Cosmic Love Ball, which is held at the Fillmore in San Francisco every year to celebrate life, love, and music. This year, the Fillmore was adorned with wall hangings around the auditorium with heart accents around the room, including a whole wall filled with heart lights. Naughty love was certainly in the air though. As you entered the Fillmore you were greeted by a statue of a blindfolded angel’s bust offering you the traditional Fillmore apples. It was certainly a symbol of how the night was to progress.

DJ Wyllys at the Cosmic Love BallThe evening started off kind of slow with people slowly trickling in, but the lively DJ Wyllys kept everyone energized in the main auditorium while the North Beach Brass Band kept people entertained upstairs in the Poster Room. Eventually, the North Beach Brass Band marched their way downstairs and onto the dance floor to announce the beginning of the evening. It was awesome having them come down and march through the crowd. It really got everyone moving and it felt like we were swept away to New Orleans for a moment. Once everyone was hyped up the lights went down and genre bending house band, Materialized, took the stage.

Materialized at the Cosmic Love BallIf you have not seen or heard Materialized go check them out right now. They blew the crowd away at the Cosmic Love Ball with their intense energetic beats, thundering bass, and killer synths. They either kept people standing in awe, or made people move uncontrolablly. Either way, people seemed to be transported to cosmic love bliss. It is really hard to pinpoint what genre Materialized really is though. In fact, on their website they actually say the following:

“Any attempt to pigeonhole Materialized as an electronica band, a jam band, a jazz band, etc. doesn’t really work since this band has giant antenna always scanning the airwaves for interesting new ways of combining the musical banquet of the 21st century.”

They seem to rely heavily on beats, but they seem to twist and turn enough to keep you guessing on what kind of band they really are. One thing is for sure – they are really good.

Lebo paints Materialized at the Cosmic Love BallAdding to the fun of the evening, artist Lebo was painting along to the music. It was great to see images appear before our eyes as he worked on them. It really seemed to add another layer to the music too. It was a great addition to the entertainment for the evening. Thank you Lebo! The Galactic Muses dancers also took the stage several times to add some drama and flare with their sexy dance moves and several costume changes.The Galactic Muses dancers


Rubblebucket at the Cosmic Love BallSoon after Materialized finished their set, Rubblebucket came on. They were pretty good, and accomplished musicians, but I did not really care for their set as much for some reason. They seemed to be too showy with semi afro-cubanesque influences and some pop thrown in, and the combination really was not working for me. However, their horns were really good and I was definitely moving. In fact, the whole crowd seemed to really enjoy them and everyone seemed to be moving their butts. It was a really good time. What I really loved the most was when singer Kalmia Traver would hop on the baritone sax every once in a while and took command of the stage. Even better was the end of their set when she hopped down off the stage with her sax and started playing through the crowd with the rest of the band and the North Beach Brass Band to end the show as they walked out of the venue. It was an awesome way to interact with the crowd and change the atmosphere of the venue before finishing the evening. Good times had by all!

If you are around the San Francisco area next February I highly encourage you to check out the Cosmic Love Ball. It is a wonderful evening of good vibes, good music, and good times. I hope to see you all there next year!

 

COSMIC LOVE BALL GALLERY:

Cosmic Love Ball Stage  Welcome to the Cosmic Love Ball Might Dave Pellicciaro's Rig at Cosmic Love Ball DJ Wyllys at the Cosmic Love Ball The North Beach Brass Band at the Cosmic Love Ball North Beach Brass Band sax at the Cosmic Love Ball North Beach Brass Band bass in my face Materialized at the Cosmic Love Ball Mighty Dave Pellicciaro of Materialized Mighty D of Materialized at the Cosmic Love Ball Carlitos and Dale of Materialized Dale Fanning of Materialized Mighty Dave of Materialized The Galactic Muses dancers Galactic Muses dancers at the Cosmic Love Ball Crowd at the Cosmic Love Ball Lebo paints Materialized at the Cosmic Love Ball Dale Fanning rockin at the Cosmic Love Ball Dale Fanning patch change Mighty D rockin the Cosmic Love Ball Mighty D love pants coming off Materialized thanks everyone for coming Rubblebucket at the Cosmic Love Ball Finishing the Cosmic Love Ball

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Last Thursday, August 16, I was invited by Deren Ney of Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers to check out their show at The New Parish in Oakland, CA. First off, thank you so much, Deren. Second, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers rock! I had a great time at the show as Nicki and the band belted out tunes from their album, Driftwood, to a captivated audience. I knew it was going to be a good show when they opened with a wonderful version of their song, “Before You Loved Me:”

Knowing that this was only the first song of the evening, I knew it was bound to be a wonderful evening as they got warmed up, and I was right. Tune after tune, Nicki and the boys captivated the packed house at The New Parish. Many people were staring mesmerized, filming with their phones, singing along, or a combination of those. I did not see one person at the show who was not focused on it in some way. It was very nice to see so many people so enthralled by a show.

Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers

Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers @ The New Parish in Oakland, CA – 08/16/12

All night long the band was spot on. I mean, sure, there were a few flubs here and there – including Nicki messing up the words of one tune and having to start over. The way the flubs were handled and the laid back atmosphere of the evening made the flubs easily forgettable though as they only made the wonderful evening more memorable.

If you have never seen Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers I highly recommend that you see them now before they really blow up, which they are sure to do. They have been keeping up a pretty relentless touring schedule all around the U.S. and have started to gain a large following due to their awesome shows and their online Van Sessions.

Until you get to see them yourself, here is another video of them playing “Stick With Me:”

Thank you for the good times guys! Can’t wait to see you again!!

bryan Titus - anymore

Today I was fortunate enough to steal some time to sit down and listen to an album by bryan Titus titled, …anymore. bryan Titus was kind enough to send me a copy of his album to check out and I am glad that he did. Initially, it ended up taking me a few days to get to listen to the album since my roommate got hooked on it and it disappeared into his room for a bit. When I got the album back I was then a little apprehensive to listen to it since it was described to me as “really Country.” I was really shocked, and pleasantly surprised, that it was not so much Country but more of a mixture of genres.

…anymore. seemed more Rock oriented to me than anything, but it certainly had some other genres mixed into the pot. There was some added dashes of Country, Gospel, Blues, and more. The album is a wonderfully blended eclectic mix that seems to be likable across many demographics. In fact, one person who heard the album with me said that it would probably sell well in a Starbucks. I was able to play the album for several different people throughout the day and they all loved different aspects of it. Right away, the listener is greeted with sound from a band that seems like they are having a good time, and this feeling transfers onto the listener. Multiple people who heard the music moved their bodies and tried to sing along without knowing the lyrics or the actual melody first. The music seemed somewhat infectious. With emphatic vocals, bryan Titus certainly does not hide on the album. He is right out in front, commanding his band through a concerto of musical good times. Backed up by a dynamic band built up of Jonathan Weed (Acoustic, Electric & 12-String Guitars, Mandolin, Backing Vocals), Will Weissman (Bass) , and Jeremy Miller (Drums & Percussion); …anymore. at times seemed reminicent of some Dave Matthews or the Counting Crows. All of the guys with bryan Titus are professionals, they have been playing together for some time, and it shows. …anymore. is a tight album with a nice mix that could be liked by many. It’s good any time music.

bryan Titus is out playing live quite a bit and I encourage you to check him out if you can. He has been taking over the Los Angeles area for the past few years, but he does manage to get around. To find out what he is up to, check out his Facebook Page. His next show is at the Genghis Cohen on Friday April 13th at 8pm. Go check him out!

…anymore. can also be purchased online in a few places including the following:

Bandcamp

iTunes

Amazon

If you would like to check out a preview of his album beforehand, you can do that, here:

CREDITS:

Bryan Titus – Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Violin & Viola

Jonathan Weed – Acoustic, Electric & 12-String Guitars, Mandolin, Backing Vocals

Will Weissman – Bass

Jeremy Miller – Drums & Percussion

Additional Musicians:
Gerry Mattei – Keyboards & Piano
Skip Edwards – Pedal Steel (tracks 3, 7 & 11)
Charlie Superfly – Guest Vocal (track 1)
Tracy Nicole Chapman & Debbie Kee – Add. Vocals (tracks 2, 3 & 8)
Hanna Kondo Weed – Backing Vocals (track 7)
Ryan “Frogs” McCormack – Add. Percussion (track 9)

Recorded at Sonic Environments by Jeffery Weed. Vocals recorded at Eargasm Studios by Chris Wonzer and additional recording at Radar! Studios by Jonathan Weed.

© 2010 by Bryan Titus/Jonathan Weed
All rights reserved. Neon Zion/BMI Gasius Clay/ASCAP

It’s probably no secret that one of my favorite bands is NOFX. I try to get to their shows whenever they are playing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Back in January, I got to go see them for their two night run at the Fillmore with Old Man Markley, No Use For A Name, and Lagwagon. It was a great two nights, but the second night was probably the crazier of the two. On the second night, there was an incident now known as “Melvingate.”

Halfway thorough “I’m Telling TimEric Melvin was tackled by a drunk fan who made a very quick retreat into the crowd. Melvin soon followed with a jump after the guy. The greatest thing was that I just happened to catch it all on video. In fact, I caught the whole show on video. Instead of telling you all about it, why don’t you just come with me in my time machine back to the show!

You can check out the whole show at the following link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsg5oMlpk_c&list=PLF6A473207F2BCFC8&feature=plpp_play_all
or you can check out any of the individual videos from the show below.

Now, let’s go to Punk Rock show, kids!!

Of course, the show starts off with regular banter, but Hefe also gets a demo CD from a guy in the crowd who was there both nights. A guy they named, Gallagher, because he looked similar to the comedian.
Right into “60%,” Fat Mike is hit directly in the fact with a drink. Not cool, and the band asks for the crowd to turn in the culprit for $100. The show had a lot of energy and it was hard to stand still so the shot is pretty shaky.

Running through their set with “Murder The Government,” “I’m Telling Tim,” and “It’s My Job To Keep Punk Rock Elite.” Everything seemed to be going well until Eric Melvin gets tackled on stage at the beginning of “I’m Telling Tim.” He gets up and stage dives after the guy into the crowd where he is joined by Fat Mike and some of the Fat crew.

“Leaving Jesusland.”

“Totally Fucked.”

Playing “black music played by whites and Mexicans,” or “Eat The Meek.”

“Seeing Double At The Triple Rock.”

About 1/3 done with their set. Although they state that this show is definitely in their top 800 played, they do screw up the start to “Mattersville.”

“Fuck The Kids Revisited” and “Linoleum,” and you get to find out what snowballing is if you did not already know!

A guy gets up on stage and tries to take pictures, but is very quickly rushed off during “Wore Out The Soles Of My Party Boots.”

“The Moron Brothers.” Appropriately enough, the guy in front decides to be an ass and give people the bird.

Here, they change the name of the song a little from “Arming The Proletariat With Potato Guns” to “Arming Puerto Ricans With Potato Guns.”

“Reeko.”

“Blasphemy (The Victimless Crime).” They also call out a guy in the crowd, calling him Dave Mustaine.

Here, they screw up the start of “The Malachi Crunch,” but then they nail it in true NOFX style.

Finishing up their set with “The Separation Of Church And Skate.”

Starting their encore with “Doornails.” They also unveil their second night banner!

“Stickin’ In My Eye.”

“Don’t Call Me White.”

Continuing through their encore with “I Wanna Be An Alcoholic” and “Fuck The Kids.”

And, finishing up with show with “Kill All The White Man.”

Hope you enjoyed the show!!

Originally posted on :

The Sharks

England’s rising pop-punk sensation SHARKS played the Fox Theater on Saturday night, sharing the stage with Social Distortion for the second night in a row. With their brash and impulsive strain of the slamming pop-punk genre, the group proved to many that night that it still has a place in today’s music scene. Their tight-nit power chords and chanting melodies rang throughout the Fox Theater that evening, enticing the crowd along the way.

Traveling all the way out from the UK, the band played crowd favorites off of their debut full-length The Joys of Living 2008-2010, while also providing a sneak peak at their new record dubbed, No Gods, due to be released March 19th on Rise Records.

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Review: Lana Del Rey – “Born To Die”

Posted: February 8, 2012 in Albums, Reviews
Tags: , , , , ,

Originally posted on The Alternative Nation:

Photo Courtesy of: Interscope Records

Don’t let her failed “Saturday Night Live” performances fool you; Lana Del Rey is one to watch in 2012. The singer has been the center of controversy with people questioning her plump lips to her “manufactured” image and history. The hype over Lana Del Rey was overwhelming.

Media outlets like Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Stereogum and many more pimped her for months only to frantically type hypocritical reviews that tore the album apart. But Lana Del Rey’s sophomore effort, Born To Die (released on Jan. 30) holds its own without their approval.

Unlike other aforementioned outlets that are so transfixed on the persona, this review focuses on the MUSIC and nothing else.

Here we go.

The self-proclaimed “gangsta Nancy Sinatra” has a sultry 50s vamp vibe mixed with an enigmatic aura that is reflected in her songs. This album serves as a film noir score written by the bone-chilling…

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A Day to Remember

The Township Auditorium in Columbia, SC housed a packed lineup on January 22, 2012. The Menzingers joined hardcore icons Rise Against and A Day to Remember for some pyrotechnically-dense extravagance this weekend. We sent contributor Troy Browder to cover the show, and he produced some truly awesome captures for his first bit of work for the Thrillcall fam. (Seriously, two words: hovering guitar.) Check them out:

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Music Sumo:

I was there and have some videos that should be going up on YouTube. Stay tuned!

Originally posted on :

Weakerthans Tour 2012

Billed as the “Four & More” tour, Winnipeg’s The Weakerthans set up residency at the Independent for a sold-out four-night stretch of dates, each a celebration of a different full length from their modestly-sized but venerable discography. The album show, if it is common enough to be known as such, is a peculiar kind of palimpsest.  Original, recorded material is inevitably written over with individual experience and sentiment. At a typical show, however, songs range across the entire breadth of an artist’s catalogue, usually with an emphasis on the more recent, and the listener’s connections to the music range similarly. By playing material from a single album – particularly an older, much beloved one – an album show evokes a more cohesive set of associations, saturating the listener in a specific and concentrated nostalgia made only more intense by the urgency and immediacy of the live setting.

For their part…

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