Daily Archives: December 2, 2011

A Marc’s Muse Review – My Morning Jacket at the Gibson 12/1/11

After dining at Tony Roma’s and NOT having the Onion Loaf in an attempt to be healthy…We headed over to the Gibson.  Me and my buddy Rob, that is.  The meal itself was a bit of a disappointment, and as much as I gripe about the cost of Wood Ranch, and the inconsistencies and odd customer relations at Famous Dave’s, both have far superior ribs.  This made me a bit sad as I grew up with Tony Roma’s and had not had them in a while… I remember back in the day there was a great rivalry between Roma’s and a place called Bobby Rubino’s.  I believe both were from Florida, and just trying to make it in other states, but Rubino’s, who I greatly preferred, never caught on.  Now Roma’s is a monster.

I wanted to make sure we got to the show on time as I did not want to miss opener Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings.  This was as classic ’60s R&B revival as you can get.  The band is “Tighten Up” tight and Jones is a magnetic and energetic performer.  Would love to see them do a full show.

I felt bad that the house was largely empty as they hit the stage, but by the middle of their set, people were packing in and really responding to the band.

Between acts we got to talking a great couple behind us, Steven Kane and his wife Mickey… hope I am spelling that right… and the fabulous DJ Julie Slater from 100.3 The Sound.

At about 9 pm MMJ hit the stage.  From the first few moments you could tell something was off with Jim James’ guitar… and not just because he kept running off stage.  Throughout the evening, the roadies were almost on stage non-stop.  They must have gone through 50 cords and cables and could not get it right.  Either they are now full-fledged members of the band or on the unemployment line.  Carl Broemel  did not fare better and at one point was gesturing off stage with a crazy hand and a WTF?  He seemed more pissed than Jim.  Valiantly the boys fought through it and Jim even said, “I guess I’ll be playing less guitar tonight.”  He made several references to the glitches and basically said what can you do…

I love bass, but the mix was so heavy my head and balls (sorry, but it’s true) were vibrating… The reverb in my chest was intense.

Given all of that, MMJ still knocked it out of the park, as they always do.  This was my third full show… not including the song I saw them do on the Conan O’Brien Show… The last time was July 2 in Santa Barbara where a cameraman stood in front of me for the first four songs and their lighting and screens were glitching out.  Other than having to cut their set short because of the curfew, that show was great, too.

This is a band who just knows how to play.  They are so tight and so talented and in absolute synch.  Jim is the consummate leader and knows how to work the crowd with his plaintive wail, his pension for towels and hoods on his head and hair in his face, and for dancing and sliding and moving around the stage.

While my brother is really the one who pushed me hard onto this band, I also have to thank the amazing film maker Cameron Crowe for first giving me my first listen on the Elizabethtown soundtrack.  He knew there was something special and that just shows you what a gifted, amazing and talented eye he has for the verbal, visual and the sonic.

Knowing they had played LA over the summer, they mixed the set up nicely, moving the order of songs around but also adding some things we did not get to hear last time.  I missed “Gideon” one of, if not my favorite tune, but the set list was a good one.  These guys are my favorite current band… Now all I ask is that someone help me track down one of those Black Organic Owl t-shirts in an XL!!!

Here is the set list:

12/1/11 LA Set:
    1. Victory Dance
    2. Outta My System
    3. It Beats 4 U
    4. I’m Amazed
    5. Off the Record
    6. Golden
    7. War Begun
    8. First Light
    9. Phone Went West
    10. Evelyn Is Not Real
    11. Movin Away
    12. Smokin From Shootin
    13. (End Of) Run Thru
    14. Circuital
    15. Wordless Chorus
    16. The Day Is Coming
    17. Holdin’ On to Black Metal
    18. Highly Suspicious
    19. One Big Holiday

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

Long Live R&B! Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings… 100 Days, 100 Nights

Today is a quiet one.  I mean that quite literally.  It is cool and grey out and one of those days where you just want to go back under the covers and hide.  It is quiet… too quiet… The stereo is broken and the house is unable to be filled with the glorious sounds of music.  Instead I am listening to this on my lap top.  Nothing wrong with that, but it is not the same thing… Not even close… and this album begs to be turned up to 11.  It deserves that.

Last night I saw My Morning Jacket at the Gibson Amphitheatre.  It was a great show but filled with  seemingly unfixable technical glitches… and either their roadies are now full-fledged band members (they were on stage that much) or are looking for work.  When I saw them this summer we happened to be sitting behind the board and watched as one lighting glitch after another went down.  Odd.

If it was the Gibson, then I am thinking I may skip future shows there… Seeing Paul Simon a few months ago was an acoustic nightmare.  He was great, but they never quite got the sound mix right.  I expect a lot more.

The opening act was a group I had wanted to see live for a while.  And they did not disappoint.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – 100 Days, 100 Nights

If you take Etta James, Koko Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and James Brown and give them a nice shake, this is what you get… the glorious and non stop ball of energy called Sharon Jones.  She shook and shimmied last night and just R&B’d the crowd.  The band is so incredibly tight and talented and takes you right back to the fabulous ’60s.

I first heard the band in a Dap Tone sampler disc that Scion was giving out!  It might have even been at the LA Autoshow years back.  I still have it and still listen.  It’s great.  See, that is why sometimes it IS worth taking free stuff.

But it was not until having a chat with Jennifer at the local library that I really started exploring her.  I have said it before, but the BEST way to discover new music is just to talk about it with other people.  Jennifer is a student and works at the library and has a whole other perspective than I do.  She would see me taking out some music and would always say if you like that, you should listen to this… We then started a regular thing where we recommend bands to each other, and I have latched on to some great stuff.  Sharon being one of them!

This is her third album and while I think I like the first two better, this one is a new classic.

Dap Dippin’ with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (2002)

Naturally (2005)

100 Days, 100 Nights (2007)

I Learned the Hard Way (2010)

Soul Time! (2011)

The other thing I really like about Sharon is that her success came later in life… She has been singing for a long, long time but it was not until her 40’s that things really started to click.  This truly inspires me… and like Olympic swimmer Dara Torres says, “Never put an age limit on your dreams.”

“In the absence of any recording contract as a solo singer, she spent many years working as a corrections officer at Rikers Island and as an armored car guard for Wells Fargo Bank, until receiving a mid-life career break in 1996 after she appeared on a session backing soul and deep funk legend Lee Fields.”

I’d say she more than paid her dues… So here’s to her success and that of the band… and realizing that it is NEVER too late to make beautiful music!

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