A Band Is Born – Into The Wild With Wilderado

Yeah, I am that guy…the one who gets to the movie early and doesn’t leave until the final credit goes to black, mostly to see if there is a fun outtake or bonus scene, but mostly just because. There is something about

I also like getting to concerts early, especially the venues that allow you to picnic and hang out at. It’s all part of the vibe, the experience, the show. But to go in early… to give up some tailgating and drinking time to see an opener, especially one you don’t know, is a sign of respect for music in general. But it also provides an opportunity for great potential reward, a brand musical discovery and every once in a while, a new favorite band! So yeah, I am that guy, too… and on Wednesday, August 2 at the Greek Theatre in LA, I was most definitely rewarded!

The headliner was Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, out in support of their new record entitled… yup…Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie! It’s an enjoyable album, and better than so much of what is out there. My favorite track is “In My World,” which has elements of the Mac and solo Buckingham. Actually, I agree with from Thom Jurek of AllMusic, who singled out the first three songs as “absolute knockouts.” The first three tracks are stellar, and I also adore track six “Too Far Gone”, which features some killer drumming, and got the audience on their feet and dancing at the Greek!

From what I understand, some of these songs were supposed to be on a new Fleetwood Mac project, but Stevie Nicks was touring in support of her solo project 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vaultand Lindsey and Christine did not want to wait. So Mick Fleetwood and John McVie appear, but no Stevie. 😦

The night was humid…crazy humid. I felt like I was in Florida, where standing still results in a swamp all over your body. I was sweating profusely, and was worried that people would think I was dying. But then again, we were all…moist.

Usually the Greek Theatre, in the hills of Griffith Park, cools down at night, so a sweatshirt or jacket is a nice thing to have for later in the evening. On this particular evening, I wished I had a cold shower. The sweatshirt proved to be nothing more than a burden I had to carry around. Life metaphor? Perhaps.

Say hello to Wilderado.

They call themselves a local band, and now hail from the canyons off the PCH around Malibu, but as soon as lead singer and guitarist Max Rainer opened his mouth to say hello, the Oklahoma twang was evident.

There is a singer/songwriter quality that hails from Oklahoma and Texas, and includes Townes Van Zandt, Lyle Lovett, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Robert Earl Keen. So take that, and add a healthy dash of Neil Young, Dawes, Band Of Horses, Fleet Foxes and a few other Indie Folk Rock acts that have killer harmonies…shake it all up and you have yourself a cool, tall glass of Wilderado.

This video for “Live Nation Ones To Watch” At The House of Blues gives you a nice taste of their sound and personalities.

As does this one, from one of their Sofar LA shows. Y’all know how much I LOVE this series of live music in people’s private homes… basically a worldwide living room concert series!!! Did you see how twangy I just got?

New Dad, Max Rainer, on lead vocals and guitar and Justin Kila on drums hail from Tulsa.
Colton Dearing on bass and Tyler Wimpee on guitar and keys are from the Dallas area

It’s one thing to have great music, and a whole other thing to be genuine and kind. These guys have both… to a man! They were so genuinely appreciative of being at the Greek. You could hear the awe and honor in their voice and in what they said. You could see it on their faces, and you could feel it in the music and the energy from the stage.  I loved when Colton shouted “Hello LA!” I mean, who has not dreamed of that Rock N’ Roll moment?!

I had the same feeling watching these guys as I did when I saw the Record Company open for JJ Grey And Mofro. Killer band, fantastic guys and just after that show they broke in a HUGE way! I’m not saying I broke them, mind you, but I gave them some high praise indeed…and before many knew who they were… So BOOM!

Read that post (my 899th) here!

Wilderado Set List (Wed. Aug 2, 2017 – Greek Theatre LA):
The Ocean And The Sea (Misty Shrub EP)
Already Loved (Latigo EP)
Hollow
Morning Light (Latigo EP)
Bottoms (Singles EP)
Favors
Sorrow
Rubble To Rubble (Latigo EP)
Siren (A great new song they will be recording soon!)

(Photo by Stefanie Vinsel Photography)

Next month they head into the studio to record some tracks, including “Siren,” with the amazing Phil Ek. Phil has worked with some of my most favorite artists, like The Shins, Band Of Horses, The Walkmen, Father John Misty and Fleet Foxes, including their amazing new album Crack-Up!

After their set, Wilderado waited by the Merch table, and took the time to talk to each and every person that wanted to chat…or compliment…or take a selfie…
Okay, just ASK someone else to take the photo… Trust me! Selfies USUALLY suck.

My point is this…If these guys keep making great music and stay as humble, kind and sincere as they are, they are in for an amazing ride… as are we!

And remember the lesson of the day kiddies: Get to the concert early, respectfully watch the opener(s) and stay until the end. Usually, you will be quite happy you did! Cheers!

Leave a comment

Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Live Music Reviews, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

The Skirball, The Stars And The Sounds Of Silence – A Remarkable Tribute To Paul Simon, With Sean Watkins And Friends

I used to think that LA was a cultural void. I mean that was its reputation for years and years, right? I think perhaps it is the car culture that gets in the way. LA is not a street walking, neighborhood town. It is a get in your car and drive city. That makes going out and taking advantage of events a challenge at times. And yes, brutal traffic and overpriced parking can dampen an evening pretty quickly.

And yet, I will say that things have dramatically improved in the years since I have been living here. At least I notice the artistic, musical and cultural offerings much more, though I have always been paying attention. So maybe things are just better.

Last night at the Skirball, things were great.

The surprise charge for parking aside, which only came in a night before confirmation email, getting to the Skirball was fairly easy. Getting seats… well… that was a bit tricky, too… and many folks were not happy. Lesson learned about getting into the outdoor area faster and earlier and putting down those jackets and sweaters!

Take out those two elements and the having to stand in the back, and the evening was pure musical joy. I highly recommend getting there for one of these musical nights and for the fantastic Paul Simon: Words & Music exhibit (thru Sept 3).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to the amazing Skirball and to co-presenter The Bluegrass Situation, (and Amy) whose goal is to support a “new generation of roots and Americana musicians reinventing the genre while deeply connected to its history.”

Thank you to the sponsors, including KCRW, KPFK, Pepsi, US Bank, The LA County Arts Commission and the Department of Cultural Affairs.

And of course, a most special and grateful thank you to the amazing artists and modern-day troubadours who filled the warm evening with such soulful and harmonious tunes.

This was the first Sunset Concert of the season and the program American Tune featured Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek, Watkins Family Hour, Works Progress Administration), Cary Brothers, Gaby Moreno, Joey Ryan (half of Milk Carton Kids), Madison “Made” Cunningham and the Bee Eaters, celebrating “the legacy of Paul Simon and the past, present, and future of America’s vital and vibrant singer-songwriter community.”

A DJ set by dublab’s Liz Warner started things off.

The first round consisted of Paul Simon or Simon And Garfunkel songs, and Cary Brothers’ rendition of  my favorite S&G tune “The Only Living Boy In New York” slayed me. I have been a fan of his for a while, (Under Control And Who You Are are album must listens) and just figured out that he may be a fellow Northwestern Wildcat!  Go Cats!!!

The second round was made up of songs by artists who influenced Paul, so we got some Everly Brothers, and a fantastic Antonio Carlos Jobim song performed by Gaby Moreno and Sean Watkins.

And part of what makes Joey Ryan and Milk Carton Kids such a great act, aside from ridiculous harmonies and insane musicianship (Another Day/Another Time: Celebrating The Music Of Inside Llewyn Davis concert is an absolute MUST SEE), is his/their fantastic sense of humor and patter. This was on full display last night, especially when he talked about how hard it is to write a great political song and then broke out the Louvin Brothers’ “Satan Is Real.”. The appreciative and mostly anti-DT crowd loved the reference and there was no question which devil he was singing that song for and about.

Round three consisted of originals and gave us a stunner from Madison Cunningham that had Joni Mitchell all over it. I need to track that one down… and a new one from our evening’s intrepid and self-deprecating (and apparently home-schooled… his joke) leader, Sean Watkins.

I loved how the versatile Bee Eaters (Tashina Clarridge on 5-string fiddle, her brother Tristan Clarridge on cello and Simon Chrisman on hammered dulcimer) were able to plug in to almost any song, including a spontaneous fill in with Cary.

Everyone sounded great… looked great (lighting was top notch), and with the courtyard and LA skies in the background, this was a most wonderful night!

Los Angeles is lucky to call all of these musicians home-town talent, though they come from places far and wide… so yeah, LA’s cultural and musical scene is alive, vibrant and essential. Come on out and support it whenever you can!

Now if I can just keep my bluegrass watered and healthy…

Leave a comment

Filed under Live Music Reviews, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

Metal Monday – Open Your Ears And Your Mind

One of my favorite quotes is from the amazing Rabbi Noah Weinberg who said we must “Listen With Our Ears.” What he meant is that way too often we listen from our position, from our entrenched beliefs, and so we fail to actually hear what people are saying. We immediately take a defensive posture and argue, rather than simply listen… and hear… and take in.

This is an accurate description of the world in which we currently live… and it is soooooo not good. We need to get over who said what, and accept that a good idea is a good idea. The sooner we do this and realize that the big picture must be to help and problem solve and work together, rather than block and blame and fight on separate sides, the better off we and the entire world will be. Truth and fact MUST be respected and honored… and it is from here that we need to start and accomplish.

Soap Box… Stepping off.

Sorry, but coming off the most recent news cycle has my brain in a dizzying spin and I needed to vent a little.

But… I LOVE the fact that I could just quote a Rabbi in a blog about Metal, but this is who I am… a man of many sides and passions. I yearn for spirituality in different forms… life, religion and music!

So what does his quote have to do with music?

Too often we dismiss certain bands or genres because we have pre-conceived notions, ideas we have formed from others, instead of allowing ourselves the objective opportunity to hear, and observe and decide for ourselves. I am and have been guilty of this.

As I began to write these posts on Metal, I went back to bands I had dismissed out of hand… and found that there is a lot of music I actually like. This week’s playlist includes Queensrÿche, Motörhead and two completely new discoveries… bands I had NEVER EVEN HEARD OF, but found because of my research, and OPEN EARS!!! The Sword from Texas and Witchcraft from Sweden are now on my weekly playlist. And yes, I do laugh at myself for both my late arrival to Metal and for my embracing bands that many family and friends roll their eyes at me for.

Some band notes from Wikipedia:

The Sword is an American heavy metal band from Austin, Texas. Formed in 2003, the band is currently composed of vocalist and guitarist John D. Cronise, guitarist Kyle Shutt, bassist Bryan Richie and drummer Santiago “Jimmy” Vela III.”

“The Sword has been categorized as a stoner rock and doom metal band, and is influenced by groups such as Black Sabbath and Sleep. The band has toured with a wide range of fellow rock and metal artists since its formation, including Metallica, Lamb of God and Clutch, and in recent years has also headlined its own tours. The Sword’s first album Age of Winters failed to chart, but subsequent releases have all gained increasing commercial success in the US and the UK, with High Country also charting in other regions.”

“Magnus Pelander (formerly of Norrsken) formed Witchcraft in 2000 in order to record a tribute to Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling and Roky Erickson.”

“Their debut album, Witchcraft (2004), was worked on in a basement studio with vintage equipment, which gave them their very seventies-esque sound. Mats left the band almost immediately after the recording was done. Mats was also the drummer in the surf trio “The Hollywoods” and 50’s rockin “Eva Eastwood and the Major Keys”. In mid-2004, the band toured Europe with Orange Goblin and Grand Magus.

In May 2012, the band announced that they had signed with Nuclear Blast Records. Their fourth studio album, Legend, was released in September 2012.

The new album marked the recording debut of the band’s new members, including Simon Solomon (guitar), Tom Jondelius (guitar), and Oscar Johansson (drums) formerly of TruckFighters, with singer Magnus Pelander focusing only on vocals instead of both vocals and guitar.”

Kind of odd that if I had ended the blog before this sentence, the word count was 666.  Seriously!

So no, I am not into that part of the music… nor the doom and dark… but there is a lot worth listening to. I dig the retro sounds and the influences of bands I love, like Thin Lizzy and Rush and other Metal bands I am coming around to… and encourage you to do the same!

Just listen with your ears and decide for yourself.

The Sword

Witchcraft

Witchcraft Acoustic

Leave a comment

Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Live Music Reviews, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

“But In The End It Doesn’t Even Matter” – Thoughts For Chester Bennington

This is the official Tweet from the band… No words… Just this photo…

I can only imagine that words are too painful for now… or there are no words… no sentences that can be formulated… And a picture says so much… THIS picture says so much.

And yet… all that is not enough. The lights, the music, the adoration… the fame, and maybe fortune… None of that can inoculate any of us from pain and sorrow and whatever other dark forces try to pull us down.

In one of my favorite Linkin Park songs, “Bleed It Out”, Chester sings:
“Filthy mouth, no excuse
Find a new place to hang this noose
String me up from atop these roofs
Knot it tight so I won’t get loose.”

Chilling.

I always liked this band and their hybrid of Metal, Rock & Rap. I liked that they were mostly local boys… the band is usually referred to as coming from Agoura Hills, CA… and while definitely not my generation, they were close enough.

I had the pleasure of seeing them live once, at the Epicenter Festival at the Pomona Fairplex, and they were fantastic. And all seemingly nice guys. I’ll never forget that day… Saturday, August 22, 2009. My buddy Russ hooked us up with the full VIP… backstage… All Access… It was great..  Definitely spoiled by that one!

The line up was epic… Street Sweeper Social Club (Tom Morello’s side project at the time), Hollywood Undead, Atreyu, Wolfmother, Alice in Chains, Linkin Park and Tool.

Wolfmother, Alice In Chains and Linkin Park were the highlights for me… and seeing all those guys backstage was pretty amazing.

Today was a pretty shitty ass day, so I guess I was raw and nervy to begin with…

I guess that happens when you wake up to find someone had rummaged through your car late the night before, and had stolen a bunch of shit. Technically, they did not break in, since it seems that I left the car unlocked… Trusting bastard that I am… or most likely I just forgot.

And I got lucky in that they dropped a ton of stuff on my lawn… gift cards… sunglasses… a wallet with my insurance and registration in it. But the whole thing is just creepy and bizarre… and yes, you feel violated. I was actually shaking when I realized what had happened.

They took quarters out of a box I kept change in, but left some dimes and pennies on the car floor… They got away with some certificates for The Habit, but left some for Souplantation.

Apparently at least seven other cars were hit, including four or five of us here… so this was a well executed night. No one was hurt and it is just “things” but the idea of buying a gun has crossed my mind yet again.

And oh yeah… OJ was granted parole. I know the law is the law, and he paid his dues for THIS CRIME…but this spouse-abuser and double murderer does not deserve a minute of non-prison air. Not one.

So I was edgy and not happy, but is that the reason I shouted out loud when seeing the news of Chester Bennington’s death by suicide (hanging)? Or was it that he was only 41? Or perhaps it was the notion that fame and fortune and success could mean nothing in the face of whatever pain lies on the other side?

Clearly we’ll know more in the coming days… drugs… depression… all of the above. But six children… a wife and an ex-wife… I mean… I am speechless. Cannot wrap my head around that. Or maybe as I get older, I can and that is what scares me.

What signal does this send to the fans… to kids who have no fame, no stardom… to see their lives as lost and hopeless?

For someone who is sometimes stuck in the “If this happens my life will be better” mentality, things like this strike me to my core…

Life has to be better now… and if we need to scream or even whisper for help, we need to do that! Do NOT hold things inside. There is ALWAYS SOMEONE OUT THERE TO HELP!

And for those on the other side… SEE THE SIGNS… HEAR THE CRIES AND SOMETIMES ALMOST SILENT WHIMPERS AND INVISIBLE TEARS…

ALL OF US need to be present… ALIVE in each and every moment… And while we certainly can and should strive for more, we MUST FIND JOY in what is in front of us… and in what we have… NOW. 

“What I’ve Done”

“Formed in 1996, the band rose to international fame with their debut album Hybrid Theory (2000), which was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2005 and multi-Platinum in several other countries. Their following studio album Meteora continued the band’s success, topping the Billboard 200 album chart in 2003, and was followed by extensive touring and charity work around the world.

Having adapted nu metal and rap metal to a radio-friendly yet densely layered style in Hybrid Theory and Meteora, the band explored other genres in their next studio album, Minutes to Midnight (2007). The album topped the Billboard charts and had the third-best debut week of any album that year.”
(Wikipedia)

Ironic that I have been writing a lot about Metal music lately, and this band was considered to be in the Nu Metal genre. And perhaps most ironic and chilling yet again, are the lyrics from their hit song “In The End.”

It is hard not to grab onto some of the lyrics given what happened… Apparently Chester did not like this song initially, but it wound up being the “highest charting single in the US, debuting at #78 and peaking at number 2 on the Hot 100 in March 2002.” (Wikipedia)
“I kept everything inside
And even though I tried, it all fell apart
What it meant to me
Will eventually be a memory of a time when

I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter”

Life matters… Life matters.

“In order for us to truly experience everything the world has to offer, we must first come to appreciate all that we already have.” (Deepak Chopra)

2 Comments

July 20, 2017 · 5:31 pm

Metal Monday – General Thoughts And Rockin’ Ramblings (Part Two)

What the heck is happening to me? What have you done, Jason and Barry?

I’m starting to dive in a little deeper… and the cool, metallic blue water is fine.

So no, this is not a mid-life crisis, although there are far worse things I could be doing… and I do like the sound of having a Metal Mid-Life Crisis… don’t steal it… it’s my phrase!

So in addition to the countless TV series I need to binge on, I want to watch a few of what are considered the best Metal documentaries out there. My list of four is:

The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988)
I have not seen this Penelope Spheeris film, but hear good things.

Get Thrashed: The Story of Thrash Metal (2006)

Anvil!: The Story of Anvil (2008)
I have seen this film twice, but have not seen it in a while. I originally described it as the real-life Spinal Tap, but an incredible story of tenacity, heart and ultimate triumph!

Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (2009)
I have also seen this one, but I can use a re-do, especially after my first Maiden live experience. And yes the fact that Bruce Dickinson actually pilots the 747 (Ed Force One) is pretty amazing!

When I went to look up the year of this film, I also got a few more suggestions from Wikipedia:

“Flight 666 is co-produced by Toronto-based Banger Films, known for their documentaries Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, Global Metal and Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage.”

I have seen the Rush film… fantastic… but not the others.

To give you an update… I have Iron Maiden and the 30th Anniversary Remasters of Judas Priest in my steady rotation. And so you know how eclectic my tastes are… those records are balanced out with Cheap Trick, CRX, Maximo Park, Haim, London Grammar, Charles Bradley, Bob Dylan, The Book Of Mormon Cast Recording, Weezer, The New Pornographers, Seu Jorge and Bleachers as part of my July Summer Playlist!

Plus… and this is where it gets interesting, and we can blame Jason and Barry… I have Motorhead (yes, I am fascinated with Lemmy) and some more Metallica coming in from the library. And with the latter, I am really enjoying the ride! I know they are playing LA soon, so hmmm…

Now, I do NOT see myself becoming an aficionado of Thrash Metal, even though Metallica is in the “Big Four of Thrash” which also includes Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer.”

I both love and am frightened by this description from Wikipedia: “Low-register guitar riffs are typically overlaid with shredding leads. Lyrics often express nihilistic views or deal with social issues using visceral, gory language. Thrash has been described as a form of “urban blight music” and “a pale-faced cousin of rap.”

They say: “Thrash metal emerged in the early 1980s under the influence of hardcore punk and the new wave of British heavy metal, particularly songs in the revved-up style known as speed metal. The movement began in the United States, with Bay Area thrash metal being the leading scene. The sound developed by thrash groups was faster and more aggressive than that of the original metal bands and their glam metal successors.”

And speaking of Glam Metal, that would include 1980s Mötley Crüe and Poison, both of whom I liked growing up. Again, not a crazy, major fan, but their music was fun.

Death Metal… Ain’t gonna happen, and not just because it “utilizes the speed and aggression of both thrash and hardcore, fused with lyrics preoccupied with Z-grade slasher movie violence and Satanism.”
It’s just not my thing…

But Retro Metal seems to be, as I have loved Wolfmother for a long time! Though they are definitely more influenced by Led Zeppelin and seemingly not hardcore screaming Metal.

 

 

Other bands in this sub-genre are ones I have never heard… well, until now… like…
The Sword (from Texas)… So far, so good. I need to explore more for sure, and according to an iTunes reviewer, they were on an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, sampling Texas BBQ… so there you go! How could I NOT like them?
High on Fire (from California)… A little too “screamy” for my tastes… Will pass.
And Witchcraft (from Sweden). So, yes… the name scared me, but I am really digging their Self-Titled album and especially their Legend record. Hmmm… Although their song “Her Sisters They Were Weak” reminds me of Jethro Tull, who I really cannot listen to. But that is another story for another day. Their music just makes me feel uneasy and creeped out. Strange.

So if Punk was sloppy, Metal does seem to be quite precise. Both Barry and Jason agree on that, and it’s part of why they love it! I can see that so much more now!

Also from WikipediaNew York Times critic Jon Pareles writes: “In the taxonomy of popular music, heavy metal is a major subspecies of hard-rock—the breed with less syncopation, less blues, more showmanship and more brute force.” The typical band lineup includes a drummer, a bassist, a rhythm guitarist, a lead guitarist, and a singer, who may or may not be an instrumentalist. Keyboard instruments are sometimes used to enhance the fullness of the sound. Deep Purple’s Jon Lord played an overdriven Hammond organ. In 1970, John Paul Jones used a Moog synthesizer on Led Zeppelin III; by the 1990s, in”… almost every subgenre of heavy metal” synthesizers were used.”

Who wouldathunk that I’d be listening to, exploring, seeking out, and writing about Metal?

All the more reason to listen with your ears and be open to the music of the world…the music of EVERYTHING!

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Live Music Reviews, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

lovelytheband – Lovely The Night

So for full disclosure, Jordan Greenwald who plays guitar, keys and sings back up is my second cousin’s son… And if I understand the whole cousin thing, he is my second cousin, once removed.

Regardless, I would not give him a pass just because of our relationship. If he and the band were off, I would find a diplomatic way to say something…maybe not here…but I would speak up and be constructive.

Luckily for me, and for all of you, Jordan is a kick ass musician, and also one of the nicest people you will ever meet. His stage presence is phenomenal and his talent is huge. I have had the pleasure of watching him blossom from a beginner, to a total shredder and to see him happily in a truly fantastic band is a really great thing!

lovelytheband features Mitchy Collins, of the band Oh Honey, a great pop duo, who has released a number of really enjoyable EPs. This new band is definitely a step away from the bright and poppy anti-Civil Wars, but clearly Mitchy’s talent moves in many sensibilities.

In addition to that, I got to watch him work behind the scenes a little bit, and there is a real class and kindness to him, as well. I tell you, that is a refreshing thing to see and gives me hope for the future of music. Talent is one thing, and there is a lot of it out there, but to be nice and decent on top of that is sadly unique and a real standout. So here’s hoping that will go a long way!

They band was opening for Goody Grace, and had special guests on drums and bass for the night, but will now be joined by new drummer, Sam Price (he is the one on the left, Mitchy is in the middle and Jordan is on the right)

 

Arriving on the Sunset Strip brought back many memories… and seeing the line of young people, mostly girls, made me feel old. It’s an odd thing when you realize you could have fathered…literally…90% of the audience. Sigh…

 

Once we got inside, I realized that The Roxy needs a major overhaul! They are notorious for either not running the AC or not having it work, and Monday night a few weeks back was no exception. The place is a sticky floored, sauna. The band was drenched, we were drenched… and even young women, who always seem to be freezing, were perspiring. Yeah yeah… it’s historical, but come on. It’s clearly a “confused” venue…

But that mostly did not matter… The crowd was so into this band, and the fact that this was their very first live performance gave it that extra energy boost. Though I will say, you would never have known this was a first show! This is a band to watch… killer musicianship, great songwriting, and great guys! And…they genuinely love playing together, which is infectious. The audience was eating it up!

Their seven-song set featured:
Emotion
Make You Feel Pretty
Coachella Weekend
Stranger
Passionfruit (Drake Cover)
Broken
Friends

The closer, “Friends” is another hooky, catchy song that had the crowd singing along. I can easily hear many of these songs on a great movie soundtrack or TV series.

Billboard claims (and thanks for the article Rania Aniftos) this “Brand-new alt trio… came together on a drunken night in West Hollywood.” I know nothing about that… fingers in my ears… but from the opening notes of their amazing, catchy and still stuck-in-my-head hit “Broken” the influence of MGMT is clear.

Mitchy says that “Broken” “is about finding someone who is just as f—ed up and lost as you are, but somehow you make it work together. Everyone is a little bit broken inside, nobody’s perfect. This song is an ode to the broken ones.” The song is utterly infectious. Again, in a good way… You want this infection, trust me!

Billboard also mentions Pixies, who I’m not sure I agree with, and Grouplove, as other influences. The last one I totally get, especially their album Never Trust A Happy Song. 

So go checkout lovelytheband! They’ll be in Chicago and New York next week, and “Broken” has hit over a million plays on Spotify. Boom!

Also special kudos to Julia, the best Merch Girl in town! MERCH!
FullSizeRender.jpg

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Live Music Reviews, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

Metal Monday – General Thoughts And Rockin’ Ramblings (Part One)

So a couple of general thoughts hit me as I was writing my Iron Maiden posts. I knew I wanted to do something about Metal in general…the history, the different styles, etc.

Then my buddy Jason posted something that I thought was worth exploring, specifically about Maiden. And then my friend, fraternity brother and other Metal Mentor, Barry gave some awesome insight into his love of the genre… and Boom!

Since neither are guest blogging, you’re stuck with me. But these are the two who Metaled me up… And hey, look, Boys! Thirty some odd years later it worked! I’m hooked!

METAL MUSIC
So where does one start when looking for info. on any given subject? Wikipedia, of course.

“Heavy metal… developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and the United States. With roots in blues rock and psychedelic/acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. Heavy metal lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.”

“In 1968, the first heavy metal bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple attracted large audiences, though they were often derided by critics. During the mid-1970s, Judas Priest helped spur the genre’s evolution by discarding much of its blues influence; Motörhead introduced a punk rock sensibility and an increasing emphasis on speed. Beginning in the late 1970s, bands in the new wave of British heavy metal such as Iron Maiden and Saxon followed in a similar vein. Before the end of the decade, heavy metal fans became known as “metalheads” or “headbangers”.

A couple of things stand out for me. First, it amazes me how things that are on the fringe become so mainstream at a certain point in time. Zeppelin and Deep Purple are Classic Rock bands to me! Granted I came to them later in their careers, but that was normal FM Radio/East Coast listening. And let us not forget that The Beatles started off as the enemy to many a parent. Then the Stones came out as the even more evil rockers! And of course, speaking of Metal, Iron Maiden was cast as devil worshippers.

Some folks consider AC/DC a Metal band, but to me they are just hard rock and one of the highlights to come out of Jason’s Boom Box. Same with KISS. And while Judas Priest was always blasting that summer, I never really listened to Metal on a regular basis. In fact, when people asked me what musical genres were the ones I knew the least about, I would always say Rap, New Country and Metal.

Now Rap and Hip Hop come pouring out from behind my daughter’s closed bedroom door (No, that is not really it!!!), along with a fair amount of Show Tunes! Though I am also happy to say that her playlist has a heck of a lot of Classic Rock on it!

I will admit that I got into NWA, Dr. Dre, Tupac and others all “after the fact.” Way before my daughter, but after the fact…and I will also admit that I do get “parental” from time to time, as I hear certain lyrics being sung by my kid. Ugh.

And I always had a soft side… and I guess I still do… as my favorites of the time were Steve Miller Band and The Eagles. My first concerts were more Classic Rock than anything else, too. Chicago and Orleans was my first. Then The Eagles, Heart and the Little River Band

Usually as people get older their musical tastes get smaller and more “refined”.  Not me! My tastes have been growing and expanding for a long time now. And as I said, I seem to come to certain things late… like Metal! Which also has friends accusing me of doing to try to stay young. That’s not the way I work. I listen to what moves me, what grabs me and I do not care where and who it comes from. More politicians need to do this with good ideas! It should not matter what side of the aisle it comes from! A good idea is a good idea, and the goal must be to problem solve, help and create joy.

But this post is about MUSICAL JOY! So what is it about Metal that has taken such a hold on me? Iron Maiden is in regular rotation. I love the new Metallica album, and the Judas Priest 30th Anniversary CDs are kicking me into gear. I wrote about how studies have shown that this music can actually relax people. I can actually see that, but for me, it just makes me happy and energized, and I love to CRANK IT! To 11!!!

Barry wrote:
“It’s all about the energy. Metal still motivates me and gets me pumped like no other genre. And the metal bands that I like best – the ones that exhibit extreme technical precision like Dream Theater, Iron Maiden, Queensryche, etc. – appeal to me from my early years as a classically trained pianist. (Which is probably why I enjoyed grunge, but never got into it as much as I did metal – the precision was always a little lacking for me.) I am also a huge fan of guitar virtuosos like Reb Beach, Paul Gilbert, Nuno Bettencourt, John Petrucci, George Lynch, et. al. – their craftsmanship and precision continue to astound and inspire me.

Right on, Barry!!!

Robert Walser (author of Running With the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Musicsaid that Metal’s “most influential musicians have been guitar players who have also studied classical music. Their appropriation and adaptation of classical models sparked the development of a new kind of guitar virtuosity [and] changes in the harmonic and melodic language of heavy metal.”

 

And specifically on Maiden, Jason wrote:
“I think another thing that is important to mention — for the uninitiated — is to not pre-judge Iron Maiden because of Eddie (their mascot, who is on all their graphics). Maiden is not what you might hate about metal — in fact it’s quite the contrary. Musically, their material is high-energy and rocks hard (and they are great players), it’s mostly very melodic and their lyrics are unobjectionable (no cursing, no objectifying of women, and many have historical context, e.g., “The Trooper,” about the Crimean War, “Aces High,” about the WWII air wars and Battle of Britain, “Where Eagles Dare,” based on the great WWII film, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” based on the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem, etc). They are all smart individuals, family men, and their lead singer actually flies the band plane (a fully loaded 747 with the band gear, not a little prop plane.). With streaming services, it’s easy to sample their music or their bio-pic, “Flight 666.” Enjoy the journey and Up the Irons!”

So you can see how and why these two are my Metal Mentors… Jason on a Teen Tour, and Barry as my Frat House roommate in College! We listened to a hell of a lot of great stuff back then, Boys! And this does not even include all that Al Jarreau and Spyro Gyra, Barry! What? We needed to charm the ladies!

Come back next Monday for Metal Monday – General Thoughts And Rockin’ Ramblings (Part Two) when we talk about all the different sub-genres of Metal and more!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Album Review, Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Live Music Reviews, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me