31 January 2008

minimix: Americana Is Beautiful.5 Lovely Ladies

All about the women this week. Some "new" "classics."


Download the mix:

01 Margaret Vs. Pauline -- Neko Case: Fox Confessor Brings The Flood (2006)
02 Look At Miss Ohio -- Gillian Welch: Soul Journey (2003)
03 Blackbirds -- Erin McKeown: Distillation (2000)
04 The Big Guns -- Jenny Lewis: Rabbit Fur Coat (2005)
05 Joy -- Lucinda Williams: Live @ The Fillmore (2005)
06 Elijah Rock -- Ollabelle: Ollabelle (2004)

Previously in minimix:
Down the Slide
Relatively New
Schoolin' Banjos
Feellin' Steely

F Ball Giveaway

We're a little over a week and counting to the big Freaks Ball bash. We're running a little promo/contest over at the peerless Hidden Track, so check it out. I'd like to see each and every one of you at Southpaw next Saturday.

Also: say "Big Bill Frisell Fan" 5 times fast. I'm going into the Seuss business.

Nedstalgia: 5 Years Ago

[Previously in Nedstalgia: Phish shows 1 & 2, #3 #5 ,#6-9, #10, #77 & 78, #79, #80&81, #82-84); Mule; Widespread Panic #1 (& 'ween 97); The Duo; Robert Randolph HORDE 92 (i.e. Phish #4, WSP #1), Freaks Ball III, Galactic NYC 97]

A quickie version of Nedstalgia in re: Electric Masada.

Tonic, 31 January 2003

Download the show here:

Early set: part 1 part 2
late set: part 1 part 2 part 3

If not my favorite band of the last 5+ years, Electric Masada is certainly in the conversation. I've seen them on New Year's Eve 3 times and every show has been a jaw-dropping revelation of the 1st degree. Over the years the exact make-up of the band morphed a bit, but has finally settled on pretty much a steady rotation today which is just about the tightest jamming band out there.

But back 5 years ago, things were in major flux, every time I saw them was a little bit different in the players which lead to a little bit of a different sound. Of course, the core group has always been the same: John Zorn leading the way conducting the improvisation (did you even know that was possible?) and playing sax, Marc Ribot on guitar, Kenny Wolleson on drums, Trevor Dunn on bass, Cyro Baptista on percussion. Five years ago tonight, back at the old Tonic, I was able to convince a few folks to go check out that weekend's version of Electric Masada and needless to say, we all left blown away. That version included the group listed above as well as the dueling keyboard combo of Jamie Saft on ultra-groovy electric piano and the one and only Jon Medeski on organ. Saft eventually would be the full-time guy for EM, but back then Medeski was a big part of the picture. The strange thing in looking back is I think this show was the last time I saw Medeski play with Zorn... I never understood what happened between those guys, but can't speculate.

Anyway, for the uninitiated, Electric Masada is truly the closest thing you'll come in the present day to the old Miles Davis electric bands. I've often said that the "Electric" both refers to the fact that they're plugged-in vis-a-vis the other Masada bands, but also to the quality of their playing. It is electric, live wire, shocking. Deep, free form, funky, evil, evil grooving. This show was no different. Tonic was the perfect setting for these guys and I'm not sure they've played more than a gig since the old joint closed down. That night the room was probably only half-filled for the early set we caught. The atmosphere was conducive for moving around and getting different angles on the music and perspectives on the players. The music that came from the stage that night would have convinced any mortal that it was the greatest thing ever. It was. Of course, that happens every time these guys take the stage.

My one true memory of the music played by the band was one particular solo from Marc Ribot. It was a stretch of playing that unwrapped my gray matter and rendered me dumb. It was as if he had note for note synced with the rotation of the Earth on its axis and resonated with everything in the galaxy. Raunchy notes rendered a surprisingly clean line up and down the fretboard swirling the band behind him in his wake like dust trailing a semi on the highway to your soul. Whew! I actually uttered the words "that was the greatest thing I've ever heard" to myself when it was done and consider myself a changed man ever since. And yet, I've had similar experiences nearly every time I've seen Ribot play, which isn't nearly enough these days. I can trace the fulcrum of my Marc Ribot obsession to that singular solo, though... the moment a deep love became something impenetrable.

The other major memory of the night was Jon Medeski. For a band that operates with the highest form of intraband interaction, his presence, listening back, made Electric Masada
less tight, but in a gloriously messy way. Medeski is a beautiful player, but his tendency is always to fuzzy up the borders, not neaten them. Almost always, this is to purely benevolent effect. Today's version of Electric Masada has two drummers and a percussionist and operates with the precision of a Swiss timepiece... even if it's one of those Dali clocks melting over the side of a cliff to oblivion. But you can see how substituting a drummer for an organ player, everything else being equal, can change the horizon considerably. That's where these guys were operating.

Anyway, I highly recommend the download for fans and the unknowns alike. This is improv at its greatest. Think "Live Evil" with a tasty Ashkenazi twist; or Ribot, Medeski, Wolleson... great tastes that taste great together. I will note that the show I've got up there is from the following night of the 2-night run. I saw them on 1/31, this is the early and late sets from 2/1. Doesn't really matter in the long run, they bring it the same every night, which is to say that every gig is a new adventure every step of the way. Enjoy!

30 January 2008

Review: Edmar Castaneda|Brad Mehldau

Jazz Standard|Village Vanguard 23 January 2008

So, I got "shut out" of Marco last week, you'll have to do without my pontificating until tomorrow night's residency closer. Luckily, I did make it out to see someone else for once, a nice jazzy twofer last Wednesday.

I couldn't make the early set, but I've been wanting to check out Edmar Castaneda for a while after getting repeated recommendations of the "you've got to see this guy!" variety from the same folks who brought you my obsession with the Bad Plus and "we're driving to Hampton for Panic, giddy-up!" So, I got my butt in gear and made it to the Jazz Standard for his late set. I'm not sure I've ever been to JS after having already eaten dinner and let me tell you it was tough. I walked in with stomach full and the minute I got a whiff of that smoky Blue Smoke aroma, I was instantly famished once again. It took all I had to hold off ordering a rack of ribs and a cheeseburger, but I did go for some pie just to keep my stomach gurgling from overtaking the music.

Castaneda is a Columbian harp player -- he is both from Columbia and apparently the instrument he plays is called the "Columbian harp. Anyway, he looks like he's about 12 and plays something fierce. A couple weeks back when watching Lewis & Clark open for Benevento I joked that I was predicting a big year for the harp in 2008. Unfortunately for all the wannabes out there, Edmar Castaneda probably has them all beat. There is something naked and pure about the instrument itself, like a piano has been stripped of all its clothing... or alternatively, a guitar has mutated into something unrecognizable. Castaneda has an intimate relationship with his instrument, his fingers dance over the strings: shuffle, boogie woogie and ballet, there is an amazing combination of grace and power. The resulting sound is exotic and comfortable, disorienting (how is he making those sounds?) and exhilarating. With his body taking over his harp like he's curling up in bed with a lover, he manipulates the strings and makes some fantastic music.

The quartet was one of the stranger mixtures of players you'll find. Joining him on the vibraphone was Joe Locke who wore a necktie around his bare neck and there was Marshall Gilkes on trombone and David Sillman on a stripped-down drums/percussion set-up. Are the harp, vibes and trombone the elements of good music? Good question. For the most part, Castaneda as band leader did a good job corralling the tangential sounds of his ensemble and made great music. With Locke on one side and Edmar on the other, there was a otherworldly quality to the sound. There were solos for everyone in each tune, but within each number there were ample stretches of improvisation: dreamy interludes where the harp ducked down deep in the sound and got hypnotically subtle. Edmar's playing is of the master class level: bass notes and melody and rhythm all bundled up in an ear-pleasing tone. Watching him play is to watch someone entranced by their own talent; eyes closed, mouth pursed as if kissing the notes as they come off his fingers, it is as if he would crawl in between the strings and feel the vibrations directly if he could.

The music is a kind of Latin-infused straight jazz. They played exclusively originals as well as some traditional Columbian music that Castaneda has rearranged with some improvisational sections. The compositions were good, but it was the band that made them worthwhile. And while Castaneda on his own was worth the price of admission, it was the addition of Joe Locke's vibraphone that brought things up that extra smidge. Locke was perfectly in tune with Castaneda, working him back and forth and taking wonderful leads on his own. One tune opened with a long intro on the vibes which drifted into a familiar sounding riff... at last I recognized it: Neil Young's "Ohio." If you're wondering if that can be made to sound good on the vibes, the answer is a resounding yes. Good times, the pie was decent. I highly recommend Edmar Castaneda who seems to play regularly in the city.

I had designs on a possible double feature knowing that Brad Mehldau was playing across town at the Vanguard. We're talking about one of the premier jazz cats in the world at the Vanguard... every time he comes through I hope to make it and more often than not I'm doing something else. I wasn't sure it was even possible to make the set, but I had to give it a shot... although I played a little bit of "let the train decide" and opted out of the taxi ride for a shot on the subway. It was 11:01 when I hopped back up above ground and quickly made my way hoping to the club hoping they'd start late. I got to the top of those stairs and saw there was still a line waiting to get in, no music playing yet... I made it! Of course, even on a Wednesday night for the 11pm set, the place was packed front-to-back. I don't recall ever sitting so far in the rear, but I didn't care. I quickly went to the bathroom and almost knocked a guy over... looking up it was Mehldau coming out to the stage, thankfully unscathed by our near-collision. Some day I will take a musician down, and you will be the first to hear about it.

It's funny as I was looking around the crowded room, I noticed that there were a lot of couples there for the show. Usually at a jazz club it's a lot of dudes and maybe a few dates that had been dragged to the show. For Brad Mehldau, it was probably about 50/50 for men and women and I got the sense that there were just as many men dragged by their ladies out late on a winter Wednesday night as vice versa. I guess it's not surprising. Mehldau is the perfect combination of brilliant chops, highwire improvisation and pure accessibility. The set on Wednesday was almost entirely originals, mostly with names like "untitled" and "no name yet" as well as "MB" his tribute to Michael Brecker and a couple others. And yet, they all had a familiar quality, a deja vu appeal, almost like I could have started singing along with them if only I could remember the words. The one cover was a song from "A Light in the Piazza" which sounded like some indie-pop arrangement.

Mehldau's trio plays like a direct descendant of Keith Jarrett's. Not that they sound similar, but that their approach share the same mentality. The songs are just starting points, the diving board before the flipping, twisting maneuvers the diver does in midair before hitting the water. Actually, the Olympic sport most apt for metaphor for Mehldau's playing is figure skating. That is because there is no friction in his piano, the notes come out one after the other like a metal blade slicing through ice, gliding in figure 8's and launching triple axels and the like. Except what appears to be delicately choreographed movement is actually pure improvisation. If Brad's piano is the ice skate, the bass and the drums are the rest of the pink-sequinned body, arms extending from the center of gravity and then pulling in, centrifugal force generating perfectly controlled velocity and momentum. It is a wonderful balance. The resulting music is of the "everyone should love this" variety, pure beauty -- just adventurous enough to pique the excitement of the musical thrill seeker.

There was but one disappointment in the evening (other than my regret at not having splurged on some 'Cue) At the end of the set, not a dull moment in the 70 minutes, the audience gave it their all, all but demanding a return to the stage, but were denied an encore. I believe it was the most enthusiastic response I have seen to a set of music that was not rewarded with an extra spot of something. Clapping, clapping, clapping, then rhythmic clapping, then screaming then more clapping, even as the lights turned on. Nothing. Lame. What gives, Mehldau?

28 January 2008

Downloads of the Week

Rana! Yes?

First a bonus Phish track. Here's Weekapaug Groove from Colgate in 1993, one of my all-time favorite versions... Trey's playing between 7:00 and 9:40 is as next level as ever. This is in reply to this post at Hidden Track.

This week three shows from Rana's NYC raging past including a blazer from 3 years ago this week and that Freaks Ball gig @ the Bowery (special thanks to Prof. Swain for that one!). Maybe we can inspire makeithappen to unleash a certain Rana show on us...


Bowery Ballroom (Freaks Ball III) 10 January 2003
part 1 part 2

Tribeca Rock Club 20 March 2004
part 1 part 2 part 3

Tribeca Rock Club 27 January 2005
part 1 part 2 part 3 part 4

For your reference, the OTW master list download list is here.

27 January 2008

Shows of the Week

A super week... so be super!


Click here for upcoming shows

*Uri Caine Ensemble @ Joe's Pub (early)
Blind Boys of Alabama @ Cutting Room (early)
Les Paul @ Iridium (early/late)
The Ukuladies @ Union Hall (Brooklyn)
Ben Perowsky's Moodswing Orchestra @ Nublu
Matt Munisteri @ Banjo Jim's
Oz Noy Trio @ Bitter End

Xavier Rudd @ Nokia Theater
Vampire Weekend @ Bowery Ballroom
Marilyn Manson @ Hammerstein Ballroom
*Happy Apple @ Joe's Pub (late)
North Mississippi All Stars w/ A.Y. Hart @ Highline Ballroom
Jenny Scheinman @ Barbes (Brooklyn) (early)
Trio S @ The Stone (early)

Eric Bachmann @ Southpaw (Brooklyn)
*Vampire Weekend @ Bowery Ballroom
Roy Nathanson @ The Stone (early)
Scott Holcomb @ Fat Baby
Tracy Bonham et al @ Living Room
Seth Winters et al @ Sullivan Hall
Art Baron/Kenny Wolleson @ The Stone (late)
Marilyn Manson @ Hammerstein Ballroom
Adam Levy et al @ Banjo Jim's

Richard Thompson @ Nokia Theater
**Marco Benevento, Reid Mathis, Andrew Barr (Brad Barr opens) @ Sullivan Hall
Robert Glasper @ Iridium (early/late)
Cecil Taylor Aha 3 @ Blue Note (early/late)
J. Kaukonen, L. Campbell et al (L. Lynn tribute) @ Merkin Concert Hall
Railroad Earth @ Mexicali Blues (Teaneck, NJ)
Steel Train @ Southpaw (Brooklyn)
Joanna Newsom @ BAM
Alex Borstein/Seth McFarlane @ Carnegie Hall
Briggan Krauss Band @ The Stone (late)
Eddie Money @ BB King's
Toumani Diabate @ Bowery Ballroom
Donovan w/ J. Vivino, P. Shaffer et al @ Cutting Room (benefit)
Larry Coryell & Bombay Jazz @ Jazz Standard (early/late)
Josh Roseman @ Lucille's
Dub Trio et al @ Luna Lounge (Brooklyn)

Lenny Kravitz @ Hammerstein Ballroom
Railroad Earth @ Mexicali Blues (Teaneck, NJ)
*The Felice Brothers @ Mercury Lounge
Joanna Newsom @ BAM
Spank Rock et al @ Studio B (Brooklyn)
Robert Glasper @ Iridium (early/late)
Adam Levy et al @ Banjo Jim's
Larry Coryell & Bombay Jazz @ Jazz Standard (early/late)
Afroskull @ Parkside Lounge
The Four Tops/The Temptations @ Carnegie Hall
Dub Trio @ Blue Note (late night)
World/Inferno Friendship Society (Gutbucket opens) @ Bowery Ballroom

They Might Be Giants @ Beacon Theater
*Rashanim acoustic @ Stanton St. Shul
Railroad Earth @ Mexicali Blues (Teaneck, NJ)
Robert Glasper @ Iridium (early/late)
Larry Coryell & Bombay Jazz @ Jazz Standard (early/late)
Carly Simon et al @ Cutting Room
Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise @ Crash Mansion
Moutnain @ BB King's
Andrew Kelly et al @ Union Hall (Brooklyn)
Glenn Patscha/Tony Leone, Adam Levy et al @ Banjo Jim's
Howard Fishman @ Barbes (Brooklyn) (late)
The Holmes Brothers @ Joe's Pub (early)

Super Bowl Sunday:
Fareed Haque/Goran Ivanovic @ The Apple Store
Stephane Wrembel @ Barbes (Brooklyn)
Bloodcount @ Joe's Pub (early)
*Eivind Opsvik's Overseas @ Cornelia St. Cafe

Click here for upcoming shows

24 January 2008

minimix: 20th Century Edition

Does this mix make any sense? No, no it does not.

Presented to you in "chronological" order... enjoy!

Download the mix

01 1917 -- Fiery Furnaces: Live 26 August 2007
02 1921 -- The Who: Tommy (1969)
03 1978 -- Do Make Say Think: Do Make Say Think (1998)
04 1983 -- Flying Lotus: 1983 (2007)
05 1989 -- Clem Snide: Your Favorite Music (2000)
06 1999 -- Prince: Live 2 April 1983

[Of course, hat tip to nyctaper for all he does, including that Fiery Furnaces track.]

23 January 2008

Links of the Week

A few links for ya:

  • Because it's been a while with the obligatory St. Vincent poop, TRock points us in the direction of this nice show for download. Plenty other goodies on that site as well.
  • Did you see how the Fiery Furnaces are conducting their present tour? Liffy caught them in his new hometown.
  • This is one cool car.
  • For the parents out there... good advice.
  • Science is awesome... and sometimes groovy cool. Check this one out.
  • Finally, in case you missed it, I started a "master list" of all the shows available for download (not including mixes). You can find the list here. Bookmark, spread around enjoy. That link will update when new shows go up. Hopefully that will be pretty regularly now. Feedback good and bad is appreciated.
  • While I'm at it, we recently went over 5000 downloads(!) good time to recap where we are with another edition of greatest hits, last done here.:
Most popular OTW downloads (prev. rank)
  1. Arcade Fire 17Feb07 (1)
  2. Galactic 18Jan97 part 1 (ur)
  3. WSP Reno 3/29/97 Part 1 (2)
  4. Best of 2006 disc 2 (4)
  5. minimix 26oct07 -- Mix R Treats (3)
  6. bjork 5may07 (ur)
  7. minimix 20jul07 -- Jazzercise.4 (8)
  8. minimix 8jun07 -- Comes Alive Vol 3 (9)
  9. galactic 18jan97 part 2 (ur)
  10. (tie)minimix 6apr07 -- Americana Is Beautiful.1 (7)
  11. (tie)minimix 16mar07 -- Comes Alive Vol. 2 (10)
Biggest movers since November
  1. bjork 5may07
  2. Three Little Birds (Robert Randolph 9Feb03)
  3. Arcade Fire 17Feb97
  4. wsp 22apr97 part 2
  5. Best of 2006 disc 2

OTW Mediafire Master List

This is the master list of OTW live show mp3 downloads available with Mediafire links. Links to write-ups where available (click "rai" (="read about it")). Let me know if you have any issues, questions or suggestions.


[Last updated (4/7)]

Review of the Week

More Marco rambling over at Hidden Track -- night-3-of-5 style (feat. Stanton Moore & Marc Friedman + The Fuze). Better yet, this time with sick photos from GregA.

Note: we've added some great shots to the 1/10 review from that show as well, so go relive the blather.

C'mon, you know you love it! (Which is to say, expect more of the same next week)

21 January 2008

Download of the Week

Back with some more of the goods.

This week's show is from 20 years ago this week, some Superpickers bluegrass. If you were to come up with your "Acoustic All Stars" today, you might have many of the same 2 decades later. They're that good.

The second offering is a Phish show reminisced about over the summer that I didn't offer at the time. Read about it here.


Acoustic All Stars: Tony Rice, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, Stuart Duncan, Mark Schatz
Birchmere, Alexandria, VA
23 January 1988 (partial)
Download: part 1 part 2

South Park Meadows, Austin, TX 26 July 1997
Download: Part 1 part 2 part 3 part 4

20 January 2008

Shows of the Week

Git R Dun.

Click here for upcoming shows

Chris Thile/Michael Davies @ Living Room
Les Paul @ Iridium (early/late)
*Ben Perowsky's Moodswing Orchestra @ Nublu
Matt Munisteri @ Banjo Jim's
Oz Noy Trio @ Bitter End

Mavis Staples @ BAM Opera House (Brooklyn)
*Brad Mehldau @ Village Vanguard (early/late)
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ Bowery Ballroom
Jenny Scheinman @ Barbes (Brooklyn) (early)
M. Wainwright/D. Weiselman/T. Bartlett @ The Stone (early)
Larry Campbell & Friends @ The Apple Store
Edmar Castaneda @ Jazz Standard (early/late)

Brad Mehldau @ Village Vanguard (early/late)
*Edmar Castaneda @ Jazz Standard (early/late)
Back Door Slam @ Mercury Lounge
Elliott Sharp's Terraplane @ Joe's Pub (late)
Super Furry Animals @ Maxwell's (Hoboken)
Jason Crosby Band @ Ace of Clubs
Skerik @ Tap Bar
Chris Barron @ Bitter End
Chuck MacKinnon Mactet @ Lucille's
Tracy Bonham et al @ Living Room

*Marco Benevento, B. Martin, GC Weston, Skerik (Kaki King opens) @ Sullivan Hall
Marc Ribot @ The Stone (early)
Brad Mehldau @ Village Vanguard (early/late)
Marc Ribot/Laurie Anderson @ The Stone (late)
J. Kaukonen, L. Cambpell, J. Lauderdale et al (M. Haggard tribute) @
Merkin Concert Hall
Corn Mo & the .357 Lover (CD release) et al @ Mercury Lounge
Joey Defrancesco Trio @ Jazz Standard (early/late)

RAQ @ Mexicali Blues (Teaneck, NJ)
Super Furry Animals @ Music Hall (Brooklyn)
Brad Mehldau @ Village Vanguard (early/late)
John "The Cougar" Mellencamp @ Housing Works Bookstore
Joey Defrancesco Trio @ Jazz Standard (early/late)
*Neko Case (E. Bachmann opens) @ Tarrytown Music Hall (Tarrytown, NY)
Jamie McLean @ Mercury Lounge (early)
Blue Oyster Cult @ Fillmore
Blind Boys of Alabama et al @ City Center

DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist @ Fillmore
Ceramic Dog @ The Living Theater
*Cornelius (Benevento/Russo Duo opens) @ Webster Hall
RAQ @ Mexicali Blues (Teaneck, NJ)
Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad @ Zebulon (Brooklyn)
Charles Burnham @ The Stone (early)
Brad Mehldau @ Village Vanguard (early/late)
Ladysmith Black Mambazo @ BB King's
Joey Defrancesco Trio @ Jazz Standard (early/late)
Flutterbox w/ C. Burnham, D. Weiselman @ The Stone (late)

Brad Mehldau @ Village Vanguard (early/late)
Will Bernard & Friends @ Blue Owl
Melvin Sparks Band @ Lucille's
Roswell Rudd/Terry Adams @ The Stone (early/late)
DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist @ Fillmore
Joey Defrancesco Trio @ Jazz Standard (early/late)
Laura Veirs @ Union Hall (Brooklyn) (late)
*Uri Caine Bedrock/Dave Binney @ Tap Bar
Jonathan Goldberger @ Zebulon (Brooklyn) (early)
Stephane Wrembel @ Barbes (Brooklyn) (late)
A.K.A.C.O.D. et al @ Luna Lounge (Brooklyn)

Click here for upcoming shows

17 January 2008

minimix: DoubleCovered.3

Rolling Stones version... kind of. A good mix of all live tracks from a random crop of sources. Enjoy!

Download the mix

01 Let It Rock -- Legion Of Mary: The Jerry Garcia Collection, Vol. 1: Legion Of Mary (1975)
02 Wild Horses -- Old & In The Way: Breakdown (1973)
03 Satisfaction -- Otis Redding: Otis! The Definitive Otis Redding (1967)
04 Satisfaction -- Cat Power: Live 20 November 2006
05 Wild Horses -- Iron and Wine/Calexico: Live 22 October 2005
06 Let It Rock -- Rolling Stones -- Handsome Girls (1978)

Previously in minimix:
DoubleCovered.1 (Benevento)
DoubleCovered.1 (gospeditional)

16 January 2008

Nedstalgia: 10 Years Ago

[Previously in Nedstalgia: Phish shows 1 & 2, #3 #5 ,#6-9, #10, #77 & 78, #79, #80&81, #82-84); Mule; Widespread Panic #1 (& 'ween 97); The Duo; Robert Randolph HORDE 92 (i.e. Phish #4, WSP #1), Freaks Ball III]

Download Galactic's show from 10 years ago today:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Hopefully I'll be able to open up the Nedstalgia a little bit more beyond the Panic/Phish stranglehold (although there will still be plenty of that, never you fret). This week I look back 10 years to my first or one of my first trips to a room I've had a love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with: The Knitting Factory.

The occasion was Galactic's trip to New York City in the winter of 1998. At that point in time, I was still working on my sea legs in the oceanic NYC music scene. I was 10 years younger at the time, but I was living significantly further out on Long Island and was supposed to be a graduate student, so I was still working on the logistics of seeing lots of live music. I was also just getting used to navigating the who's-playing-when-and-where conundrum (a problem that would eventually come to a head with the brute force methodology of the Shows of the Week enterprise). But after seeing Galactic open up for Panic the Halloween previous, I knew I'd be making a Saturday night trip on the LIRR to see them play at the Knit no matter what the consequences. Brother Liffy was in town visiting and the Big Squeeze and I took 'em to town so to speak. Of course, we were naive little groove muffins back then and showed up at the venue plenty early. Early enough that the place was empty for the opening act... I'm not even sure it was an opening act as much as it was a separate bill -- an early show if you will. My bro informed me later on that he thinks that this was a John Zorn solo show, which wouldn't surprise me. I do recall that the mouthpiece to a saxophone was a prominently featured instrument which would limit the choices. So, that would make it my first Zorn experience.

Eventually, the place filled up and up and up. I was a bit surprised -- there were probably more people there to see the show than in the entire Lakefront Arena to see their opening set. New Orleans music might be a bigger draw in New York than it is in New Orleans itself... or at least it feels like that sometimes. My first Knit experience was a strange one, because we ended up grabbing a spot in the balcony and enjoying the show from a vantage point I'm not sure I've enjoyed again in all my return trips there.

After what seemed like ages, the band finally took the stage with an "are you ready New York?" attitude that set the stage for an amazing night of music. They immediately launched into "Let the Music Take Your Mind" which a lot of people have covered over the ages. To this day, when I hear that song, I think of Galactic and that initial blast of intense grooving. Somehow I still envision them as a groovy Grant Green/Meters hybrid and it all hearkens back to that initial offering at the Knit. The show that unfolded was a glorious mix of bopping originals and funky covers that all added up to a perfect p-a-r-t-y party.

Listening back to the show now 10 years later, it's amazing how much extracurricular space the band was exploring -- long jams, twisting segues, fearless excursions. Somehow they were masters of the 2-minute groove and the 12 minute improv. The other thing that sticks out is how much Stanton Moore & Rich Vogel were driving the band at that point. There are multiple sections where the organ or keyboards just float into their own universe, creating a dreamy hypnotic spell over the drunken room. I feel like Galactic has gone through a lot of different morphological versions of itself with different themes and styles evolving within the general structure and here Vogel and Moore combine to create a Meters-on-acid kind of texture that's fun to revisit.

Of course, this show represented a Mardi Gras-in-January for the band and they ended up pulling out all the stops. Members of the Wild Magnolias showed up and brought things to that next level. The result was a perfect clusterfuck of musicians on stage for more long, spiraling jamming and settling into a on-point New Orleans medley led by Houseman and the Indians, extra horn players and June Yamagishi that eventually lead to a bunch of nutty percussion and a Hey Pocky Way sing-along with the crowd.

All that and it was only the first set. I was contending with the same ridiculous what-train-will-I-make dealings back then as I deal with now, so we had to weigh our options at set break which was definitely in the past-midnight range. But how could we leave? The show was smoking hot. We stayed. Second set was more of the same, but a deeper, hazier, more drunken atmosphere took root of the Knit, as those wee hour of the morning set breaks are wont to do. Eventually, though, we knew we had to git which was unfortunately, because Warren Haynes had just poked his head out and joined the mess. Yes, even back then Warren was a jam slut of the 1st degree. I don't recall how much of that sit-in we caught, but my memory is that it wasn't enough... listen to that shit, it goes on for a bit.

Still, a great night in the city. Maybe one of the better shows I've seen in the main room of the Knitting Factory to this day. Take it for a spin.

The setlist:
Set I
Let The Music Take Your Mind, Go-Go, Get A Head On, Crazyhorse Mongoose, Just Kissed My Baby, Love On The Run, I'm A Ram, Doo Rag, Backpack, Peepin', Two Clowns*> Mardi Gras Medley* > Hey Pockey Way*
Set II
Hamp's Hump, Spicolli's Toe, Funky Miracle, Root Down > Quiet Please, Mind is Hazy, Something's Wrong, Get Out of My Life, Church, Black Eyed Pea **

* w/ Wild Magnolias
** w/
Warren Haynes - guitar

Review of the Week

It may be that I only see Marco Benevento this year and nothing else... just warning you.

This week's review was too long and ridiculous to survive in these parts, so I shipped the million monkeys jabbing away at their QWERTY's over to Hidden Track.

Read it here.

14 January 2008

Download of the Week

OK, so it's been a long time coming, but I finally got my DAT deck repaired and jerry-rigged a way to get the music onto my computer. So, I'm starting a new feature here at OTW and am going to try and unload a show or two every week on you (in addition to the minimix and Nedstalgia stuff). I'll follow some warped OTW version of the calendar and try to mix it up a bit as we go along. Requests and feedback are welcome and please spread the word so it's worth my while. Quality should be pretty good overall...

This week, two Panic shows from Virginia. The first is backtracking on a brief mention in this Nedstalgia episode from the summer when I couldn't offer it then. The second is a show from 20+ years ago. Amazing to think that WSP has been playing for 21 years without any appreciable break, that's got to put them on some sort of list. Lots of banter and fun covers on this one. I especially like how JB introduces Chilly Water: "here's another brutal original." I wonder what his reaction would have been like if you were to tell him what kind of crowds and venues that song would be played in front of over the next two decades.

Anyway, enjoy the shows, and please leave a comment, good or bad as these come along.

Widespread Panic
Strawberry Banks, Hampton, VA 13 July 1997
Download the show here: part 1 part 2 part 3 part 4
setlist courtesy of Everyday companion

Max's Cafe, Richmond, VA 14 November 1987
Download the show here: part 1 part 2 part 3
setlist courtest of Everyday Companion


13 January 2008

Shows of the Week


Click here for upcoming shows

*Mars Volta @ Terminal 5
KT Turnstall @ Joe's Pub (early)
Les Paul @ Iridium (early/late)
Stefon Harris @ Lincoln Center
Butch Morris Orchestra @ Nublu
Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Standard (early/late)
Matt Munisteri @ Banjo Jim's
Oz Noy Trio @ Bitter End

Don Byron @ Village Vanguard (early/late)
Jerry Joseph (CD release) @ Living Room
Terry Adams solo @ The Stone (early)
Bob Reynolds Quartet @ Jazz Standard (early/late)
Randy Weston African Rhythms @ Dizzy's Coca Cola (early/late)
McCoy Tyner w/ Joe Lovano @ Blue Note (early/late)
Mark Padmore/Ethan Iverson @ Carnegie Hall
*Jenny Scheinman @ Barbes (Brooklyn) (early)
Antigone Rising, Chris Barron @ The Bitter End
Terry Adams/Steven Bernstein @ The Stone (late)

McCoy Tyner w/ Joe Lovano @ Blue Note (early/late)
Wyclef Jean @ Nokia Theater
Antigone Rising @ The Bitter End
Curtis Hasselbring's Decoupage @ Barbes (Brooklyn) (late)
Tracy Bonham @ Living Room
Adam Levy et al @ Banjo Jim's
*Han Bennink w/ D. Douglas, D. McCaslin @ Club Midway (early/late)
Randy Weston African Rhythms @ Dizzy's Coca Cola (early/late)

Ani Difranco @ IMAC (Huntington, LI)
*Marco Benevento w/ S. Moore, M. Friedman (KiF opens) @ Sullivan Hall
Wu Tang Clan/Ghostface Killah @ Hammerstein Ballroom
Fiery Furnaces @ Maxwell's (Hoboken)
J. Kaukonen, L. Campbell et al (Hank Williams tribute) @ Merkin Hall
ALO @ Highline Ballroom
Randy Weston African Rhythms @ Dizzy's Coca Cola (early/late)
Aaron Goldberg Trio @ Jazz Standard (early/late)
Elliott Sharp @ The Stone (early/late)
McCoy Tyner w/ Joe Lovano @ Blue Note (early/late)
James Cotton @ BB King's
Matt Munisteri @ Barbes (Brooklyn) (late)
Donny McCaslin @ 55 Bar (late)

Smokey's Roundup @ Barbes (Brooklyn)
Antibalas @ Southpaw (Brooklyn)
John Kruth's Cinema Rif @ The Stone (early)
*The Mooney Suzuki et al @ Luna Lounge (Brooklyn)
Morning 40 Federation et al @ Mercury Lounge
Randy Weston African Rhythms @ Dizzy's Coca Cola (early/late)
Aaron Goldberg Trio w/ M. Turner @ Jazz Standard (early/late)
McCoy Tyner w/ Joe Lovano @ Blue Note (early/late)
Chris Barron @ Mexicali Blues (Teaneck, NJ)
DJ Olive & Friends @ Issue Project Space (brooklyn)
Elysian Fields @ The Stone (late)
Poi Dog Pondering @ Joe's Pub (early)
The Sweet Devines @ Magnetic Field

Brad Mehldau @ Washington Irving High School
*Blonde Redhead @ Terminal 5
McCoy Tyner w/ Joe Lovano @ Blue Note (early/late)
Aaron Goldberg Trio w/ M. Turner @ Jazz Standard (early/late)
Antibalas @ Southpaw (Brooklyn)
Randy Weston African Rhythms @ Dizzy's Coca Cola (early/late)
Isaac Hayes @ BB King's (early/late)
Ani DiFranco @ Starland Ballroom (Sayreville, NJ)
Tim Fite @ Joe's Pub (midnight)

*Aaron Goldberg Trio w/ M. Turner @ Jazz Standard (early/late)
McCoy Tyner w/ Joe Lovano @ Blue Note (early/late)
The World Without Magic et al @ Mercury Lounge
FREE Melvin Sparks Band @ Lucille's
Randy Weston African Rhythms @ Dizzy's Coca Cola (early/late)
Rakim, Chuck D et al @ Studio B (Brooklyn)

Click here for upcoming shows

11 January 2008

minimix: F.Art.S Vol. 6.2

Getting back into it... Frisell part II:

Download the mix


01 Lil' Roro -- Bill Frisell/Jerry Douglas: The Best Kept Secret (2005)
02 What the World Needs Now Is Love -- Bill Frisell: Great Jewish Music: Burt Bacharach
03 Ron Carter -- Bill Frisell: East/West (2005)
04 Abidan -- Bill Frisell: Masada Guitars (2003)
05 One Of These Days -- Bill Frisell: Nashville (1996)
06 Baba Drame -- Bill Frisell: The Intercontinentals (2003)

Previously in minimix:
Scott Metzger
Jimmy Herring
Mike Gordon
Marc Ribot
Bela Fleck
Bill Frisell

10 January 2008

Links: Freaks Ball edition

Welcome to the official birthday of OTW!

The Freaks Ball is coming... the Ocho, if you can believe it. As always, very excited about the lineup:

  • Bustle In Your Hedgerow = like best band ever.
  • Mocean Worker -- very psyched about these up-and-comers, check 'em out at Sullivan Hall late Saturday.
  • American Babies -- some countrified rockin' to get it rolling. these guys are awesome! (Metzger.... Russo... need I say more?)
Saturday, February 9th, Southpaw, Brooklyn, USA. The important link is this one. I hope to see you there. This message will repeat.

On the subject of Freaks Ball, it was five years ago today when I turned 29 @ the IIIrd annual. That year the shit was kind of big -- it was at the Bowery Ballroom, and I still shudder to think I had any part in throwing that party. Of course, my involvement was much less than in the other years before and after. But it came together nicely and I was able to get both the Duo (1st time playing @ Bowery) and Rana to support Robert Randolph who was just a smidge past his launching point. That's a great lineup, if I do say so myself. If I were to bring a band together for one night, it would probably be Rana... a band that is continually popping up on the iPod these days.

Here's the opener from their set that night: Tonight I'll be Staying here With You (Dylan). I do not have the complete show, sorry, wish I did.

I do have the Randolph set, here it is in 1 2 3 4 pieces. Weird crazy kind of show. Sloppy fun that highlights the best of what Robert was at that point and the worst that was to come. The Word show a couple weeks back renews my confidence that he can play this kind of show again. Lots of guests and plenty of drawn out pedal steel jam-o-ramas. Worth your while...

Gonna be a lot more shows to download here in the coming weeks, months, year... so enjoy and spread the word.

09 January 2008

Review: Marco Benevento + Sullivan Hall

Sullivan Hall, 3 January 2008

It begins... a new year, a new-look old venue, a new resideNYC with the same old Marco Benevento.

Last Thursday began another monthlong adventure with OTW's favorite keyboardist extraordinaire. As far as Benevento outings go, this was like the stretching before the real exercise, the prologue, the teaser. The line up was Marco w/ Bobby Previte on drums, Steven Bernstein on trumpet(s) and DJ Olive on turntables. The resulting music was nothing short of free form free-for-all, but with some guidance and plenty of hooks scattered throughout. It got out there, but was the perfect kind of mind-bending weirdness for a cold, we're-still-exhausted early January night... a great way to break yourself in to yet another year of music.

Enjoy the photos from Aiello

Benevento played piano with his left hand making ample vacation time over on the "Key Bass" which may very well be my new favorite instrument. Of course, his grand piano is far from ordinary, with plenty of digitalia piping its way around the sound and making it big. The music stuttered a bit in the first "set" which was about an hour straight of just good old fashioned improvisation. Between sets I verbalized my desire to get out of there by midnight and yet as the second set moved through, things got incredibly interesting and downright intriguing and by the time the clock struck twelve, it was tough to leave.... the best music of the night was going down with Bernstein being the consummate player he is and Previte just blazing away and even the DJ acting in parallel and not so perpendicular.

This month's run is at Sullivan Hall which is the old Lion's Den revisited. The sound and light improvements are definitely improvements and the small aesthetic touches give the place a chance for a new start. I'm not sure how the booking will change over the long haul, but a show like last Thursday's had me pining for both the old Wetlands and Tonic at times... frankly, there are few places where such a high level freak out can take place. The new Sullivan Hall has the feeling of a potential performance space as well as a out-and-out party central. I'd love to see them fill that missing link in the NYC music chain... but I doubt it will.

08 January 2008

Photo of the Week

Been a while... today's picture is courtesy of D. Nett @ the Post Standard...

So with the turn of the calendar, college hoops season is in full gear, so I am putting a stake in the ground to declare my enthusiasm for this year's Syracuse Orange squad. The picture you see above are the two cornerstones of the team, both freshman, and both incredibly exciting: Donte Green & Jonny Flynn. I'll be the first to tell you that sometimes the Cuse can be
an unenjoyable group to root for that I root for nonetheless... but this year's team is a pure joy to watch. These two guys especially. I think these two combined are in the same league as Melo/McNamara were combined at the same stage, so we could see some interesting development over the course of the season. Enjoy it while you can, beauty in college hoops is fleeting.

And how talented, check out this video of Green sitting in with the pep band:

06 January 2008

Shows of the Week

Capricorn's Unite!

Click here for upcoming shows

Les Paul @ Iridium (early/late)
*Ben Perowsky's Moodswing Orchestra @ Nublu
Dave Allen w/ M. Turner et al @ 55 Bar (late)

Nathalie Merchant @ Hiro Ballroom
*Paul Motian/Jason Moran/Chris Potter @ Village Vanguard (early/late)
Allen Toussaint @ Blue Note (early/late)
Jenny Scheinman @ Barbes (Brooklyn) (early)
Terry Adams/Marshall Allen/Bobby Previte @ The Stone (early/late)

*FREE Medeski Martin & Wood @ Borders Columbus Circle
Paul Motian/Jason Moran/Chris Potter @ Village Vanguard (early/late)
Allen Toussaint @ Blue Note (early/late)
Ribot/Moore/Taylor Trio @ Drom
Adam Levy w/ J. Scheinman et al @ Banjo Jim's
Nathalie Merchant @ Hiro Ballroom
Leroy Justice et al @ Rockwood Music Hall
Pat Martino @ Birdland (early/late)
Adam Rogers @ 55 Bar (late)
Kate Nash @ Bowery Ballroom
Chris Barron et al @ Bitter End

**Marco Benevento, Joe Russo, Brad Barr @ Sullivan Hall
Paul Motian/Jason Moran/Chris Potter @ Village Vanguard (early/late)
Lou Reed/John Zorn @ The Stone (early/late) (benefit)
The Prisoners of 2nd Ave @ BB King's
Regina Carter Sextet @ Jazz Standard (early/late)
Allen Toussaint @ Blue Note (early/late)
Nathalie Merchant @ Hiro Ballroom
The 1900's, Stevie Jackson @ Union Hall (Brooklyn)
Vision Festival @ Symphony Space

*Tift Merritt @ Union Hall (Brooklyn)
Sex Mob @ The Stone (early/late)
Vision Festival @ Symphony Space
Paul Motian/Jason Moran/Chris Potter @ Village Vanguard (early/late)
Allen Toussaint @ Blue Note (early/late)
Abigail Washburn feat. Bela Fleck @ Joe's Pub (early)
Smokey's Roundup @ Banjo Jim's
Bill Evans Soulgrass feat. Sam Bush @ Highline Ballroom (late)
Meshell Ndegeocello @ Music Hall (Brooklyn)
Regina Carter Sextet @ Jazz Standard (early/late)
Kelly Jo & The PREverts @ R Bar
Hassan Hakmoun et al @ Sullivan Hall
Groove Collective @ Knitting Factory
The 1900's, Richard Buckner et al @ Mercury Lounge
Richie Havens @ Highline Ballroom (early)
Mountain @ Starland Ballroom (Sayreville, NJ)

Wu Tang Clan, Ghostface Killah @ Hammerstein Ballroom
Carolina Chocolate Drops @ Joe's Pub (early)
Allen Toussaint @ Blue Note (early/late)
Paul Motian/Jason Moran/Chris Potter @ Village Vanguard (early/late)
Regina Carter Sextet @ Jazz Standard (early/late)
Vision Festival @ Symphony Space
Brookyn Qawwali Party @ Joe's Pub (midnight)
Children of the Unicorn (CD release) @ Mercury Lounge
Petra Haden @ The Stone (early)
David Kolker Band @ Bitter End
Petra Haden/Laurie Anderson @ The Stone (early)
The Budos Band et al @ Hiro Ballroom
Winter Jazzfest @ Knitting Factory
Bela Fleck, Bacon Brothers et al @ BB King's
Erik Friedlander @ The Stone (late)
*Mocean Worker, Hot 8 Brass Band @ Sullivan Hall
Edwin McCain Band, Kevn Kinney @ Highline Ballroom
Jim Pugliese @ Issue Project Space (Brooklyn)
Chris Barron @ Symphony Space

Paul Motian/Jason Moran/Chris Potter @ Village Vanguard (early/late)
Marc Broussard @ BB King's
Stephane Wrembel @ Barbes (Brooklyn) (late)
*Kimya Dawson et al @ Southpaw (Brooklyn) (1pm)
Regina Carter Sextet @ Jazz Standard (early/late)
Great Big Sea (Reid Genauer opens) @ Bowery Ballroom
Urban Tap w/ Tamango & Charlie Hunter @ Joe's Pub (late)
FREE Melvin Sparks Band @ Lucille's
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy @ Highline Ballroom

Click here for upcoming shows

04 January 2008

Links of the Week

Things were flying fast and spurious the last couple weeks, so here's a little rewind on the year-end posts:

I got into the Google Analytics thing midway through the year and am happy to report that the #1 visited post on the blog was this one. Which just goes to show: if you want high traffic on your site, put the words "sex" and "horses" in the subject... we live in a f'ed up world, people.

It was a good year here, but looking forward to rocking it out 2nd-set-style here in 2008. My new year's resolution for OTW is to not be so damned long-winded, but don't expect me to follow through on that one. Hopefully we'll get that long-awaited vault-busting going on my old music collection.

In the meantime, here's a download by request of the entire Elvis Perkins show highlighted in a recent mix. Perkins was definitely one of the top discoveries of the year for me, and this is well worth your bandwidth:Disc 1 Disc 2

Enjoy and thanks for hanging out...