27 December 2012

2012:: Favorite New Musical Discoveries

My obsession within my musical obsession is discovering new music and 2012 was a great year for finding new musicians and bands to whet my appetite. Mostly these are discovered through twitter, blogs, opening acts with a major assist from my subscription service of choice, MOG. And I've been doing my part to pass these on to my loyal followers via my picks of the week.

My top 5 discoveries which in 2012 I saw both live and had excellent new music released in 2012:
  • Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound
  • Mmoss
  • Spirit Family Reunion
  • Matthew E. White
  • Jonathan Wilson 
Honorable mention: Shanir Blumenkranz's Abraxas, The Amazing, Conduits, Django Django, Robert Ellis, Gosta Berlings Saga, Hospitality, Howlin' Rain, Jaill, Little Barrie, Anais Mitchell, The Pines, Prince Rupert's Drops, Quick and Easy Boys, The Sheepdogs 

Here is a playlist with my new discoveries:

Here is my pick of the week playlist, charting my album picks back over a year.

26 December 2012

2012:: Favorite Artist of the Year


Continuing through my year-end shenanigans, I'm continuing the fun-for-me tradition of the past few years and awarding an artist or band the "of the year" honors. Typically this goes to a musical act that's captured my attention over the course of the year more than any other.

Past winners:

This year there were three artists that fit the bill. The two "runners up" are
  • Andrew Bird who released a top-ten album for me, a wonderful companion EP and whom I got to see twice in very special, intimate settings: in March at the tiny Greene Space for a WNYC taping and then at the Riverside Church last month
  • Heartless Bastards who kicked my ass live on two separate occasions (captured by NYCTaper here and here) and had one of my favorite albums of the year in Arrow. 
But in the end, the artist of my year and many others' I'm sure was Tame Impala who, like the other two, put out one of my favorite albums of the year and who blew me away live on two separate occasions spread out over 2012.

What puts these guys over the top was the "side project" aspect. Pond, a kinda Tame Imapala cousin, with many overlapping members, had another top-ten album for me with "Beard, Wives, Denim" which was produced by TI's Kevin Parker. One of my great regrets of 2012 was missing Pond play live when they were in NYC, listening to and falling in love with the album literally a week after they were here. Finally, Parker also produced (and appears on) the fantastic Melody's Echo Chamber album. 

All told, Kevin Parker and Tame Impala were my soundtrack to 2012. A dreamy, groovy brand of psychedelic rock that worked just as well in my earphones as it did on the stage. This was music that got into my brain so that everything else I listened to and every other show I saw was affected one way or another and always for the better.

My reviews of the two Tame Impala shows I saw this year: here and here.

Album streams:

21 December 2012

2012:: Year End Mixes - After Hours

For your holiday weekend, I've got 4 year-end mega-mixes. I always like to come up with themes for these. Fun for me, fun for you.

The first mix was Morning -- music for your rise and shine.
The second mix was Afternoon -- music for your sunshine daydreaming.
The third mix was Night -- music for the dark.
Todays' mix is After Hours -- groovy and weird for the wee hours.

Listen on MOG

2012:: Year End Mixes - Night

For your holiday weekend, I've got 4 year-end mega-mixes. I always like to come up with themes for these. Fun for me, fun for you.

The first mix was Morning -- music for your rise and shine.
The second mix was Afternoon -- music for your sunshine daydreaming.
Today's mix is Night -- music for the dark.

listen on MOG

2012:: Year End Mixes - Afternoon

For your holiday weekend, I've got 4 year-end mega-mixes. I always like to come up with themes for these. Fun for me, fun for you.

The first mix was Morning -- music for your rise and shine.
Today's mix is Afternoon -- music for your sunshine daydreaming.

listen on MOG


20 December 2012

2012:: Year End Mixes - morning

For your holiday weekend, I've got 4 year-end mega-mixes. I always like to come up with themes for these. Fun for me, fun for you.

The first mix is morning -- music for your rise and shine.


listen on MOG

30 November 2012

minimix: Covers2012.5

An eclectic mix worthy of 30 minutes of your Friday.



01 Another New World (Josh Ritter) -- Punch Brothers
02 If I Needed You (Townes Van Zandt) -- Andrew Bird
03 Hey Joe (Jimi Hendrix) -- Brad Mehldau Trio
04 Every Night (Paul McCartney) -- Jason Collett
05 Carol of the Drum > Little Drummer Boy (traditional) -- Polyphonic Spree
06 Expecting To Fly (Neil Young) -- Of Montreal

16 November 2012

minimix: Psych2012.5

let the music take your mind...



01 Sleeping Ute -- Grizzly Bear
02 Default -- Django Django
03 Run Slow -- Prince Rupert's Drops
04 Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control -- Tame Impala
05 Cascade -- Woods
06 Wander -- Mmoss

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far)
My twitter (@neddyo) weekly album pick playlist
All the minimixes that ever were

09 November 2012

minimix: Groovy2012.5

Some laid-back grooves to warm your weekend.



01 Falta De Ar -- Ceu
02 True Thrush -- Dan Deacon
03 Something Good -- alt-J
04 They Could Be Wrong -- Lianne La Havas
05 Lights Out -- Menahan Street Band<
06 Big Love -- Matthew E. White

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far)
My weekly album pick playlist
All the minimixes that ever were

26 October 2012

minimix: Folk2012.5

Music for the dying leaves...



01 All Sense of Time -- David Wax Museum
02 Whole Lot to Give -- Ben Sollee
03 Bloodkin Push -- Will Johnson
04 (untold pretties) -- Patterson Hood
05 Marks -- Tift Merritt
06 34 Wishes: The Legend Of -- Black Prairie

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far)
My weekly album pick playlist
All the minimixes that ever were

18 October 2012

minimix: RandomFaves2012.5

Rock and roll!



01 King James Rag -- Jason Colett
02 Alright OK -- The Sheepdogs
03 Get It -- Buffalo Killers
04 The King & the Canary -- Hopewell
05 Scabbard -- Trey Anastasio
06 Star or Stone -- Chris Robinson Brotherhood

12 October 2012

minimix: Ladies2012.5

Something for everyone.



01 The Forest Awakes -- David Byrne & St. Vincent
02 3,6,9 -- Cat Power'
03 What Is Worse -- Cate Le Bon
04 Dawn Chorus -- Beth Orton
05 Deer Creek Canyon -- Sera Cahoone
06 Marks -- Tift Merritt

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far)
My twitter (@neddyo) weekly album pick playlist
All the minimixes that ever were

05 October 2012

minimix: Jazz2012.4

The good stuff to take you into the weekend...



01 Seven Minute Mind -- The Bad Plus
02 Fireworks -- Marco Benevento
03 Jam -- Brad Mehldau Trio
04 the rain is a handsome animal -- Tin Hat
05 Goree -- Lionel Loueke
06 Pentopia -- Get the Blessing

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far)
My weekly album pick playlist
All the minimixes that ever were

28 September 2012

minimix: Archival2012.2

Random playlist of live music. Enjoy!


01 Scarlet Begonias -- Grateful Dead
02 Get Out of My Life Woman -- The Wood Brothers
03 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover -- Paul Simon
04 The Long Black Veil -- Iron & Wine
05 St. James Infirmary -- Preservation Hall Jazz Band
06 Tweezer -- Phish

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far)
My twitter (@neddyo) weekly album pick playlist
All the minimixes that ever were

07 September 2012

minimix: Covers2012.4

Enjoy your weekend!


01 Slippin' Into Darkness (War) -- Lettuce
02 The High Road (Broken Bells) -- Joss Stone
03 That's All For Everyone (Fleetwood Mac) -- Tame Impala
04 Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles) -- Chick Corea/Gary Burton
05 Hail Hail (Chuck Berry) -- Shovels & Rope
06 The Boxer (Simon & Garfunkel) -- Jerry Douglas w/ Mumford & Sons

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far)
My twitter (@neddyo) weekly album pick playlist
All the minimixes that ever were

30 August 2012

minimix: Psych2012.4

(one day early) Some mellow mind music for your long weekend.



01 Feet Prints on Flower Dreads -- Dustin Wong
02 Drowning the Call -- Mirrorring
03 If Only -- MMOTHS
04 Two Lovers -- Delicate Steve
05 Youths -- Slow Magic
06 Downs and Ups -- Chris Forsyth

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far)
My twitter (@neddyo) weekly album pick playlist
All the minimixes that ever were

24 August 2012

minimix: Groovy2012.4

Grooves with an international flair.



01 Dirty Money -- Antibalas
02 Dougou Badia -- Amadou & Mariam
03 Inspector Bamba Singh's Lament -- Cornershop
04 Selvage -- Curumin
05 Me-Kyin-Kyin -- KonKoma
06 Cry No More -- Jimmy Cliff

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far)
My twitter (@neddyo) weekly album pick playlist
All the minimixes that ever were

16 August 2012

minimix: RandomFaves2012.4

Nothing beats good music.



01 (Gone) 'Round the Corner -- Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound
02 Forget the Song -- Beachwood Sparks
03 Stone Froze Mascot -- Jaill
04 Maps -- These United States
05 Pilot in the Sky -- Hacienda
06 Space Will Follow -- Cookie Duster

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far)
My twitter (@neddyo) weekly album pick playlist
All the minimixes that ever were

10 August 2012

minimix: Folk2012.4

The minimix is back from vacation!



01 Suffer So Long -- Tall Firs
02 1904 -- The Tallest Man on Earth
03 You Will Become -- Glen Hansard
04 American Tune/Spain -- Jerry Douglas
05 What a Waste of Good Corn Liquor -- Keller Williams with the Travelin' McCourys
06 Carry Me Back -- Old Crow Medicine Show

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far)
My twitter (@neddyo) weekly album pick playlist
All the minimixes that ever were

20 July 2012

minimix: Ladies2012.4



01 Turtable -- Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
02 Body of Work -- The Mynabirds
03 Speed The Collapse -- Metric
04 Daredevil -- Fiona Apple
05 Keep Your Heart Young -- Brandi Carlile
06 Bottom of the River -- Delta Rae

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far):
My twitter (@neddyo) weekly album pick playlist:
All the minimixes that ever were:

13 July 2012

minimix: Jazz2012.3


01 Across the Imaginary Divide: Bela Fleck & Marcus Roberts Trio
02 Sound Travels -- Jack DeJohnette
03 New Year -- Pat Metheny
04 Stills -- InterStatic
05 Something's Coming/Les Cinq Doigts -- Linda Oh
06 The Childhood Dream -- Esbjorn Svensson Trio

06 July 2012

minimix: Archival2012.1

Selections from some of this year's live releases.


01 Piece of My Heart -- Big Brother & the Holding Company
02 Midnight In Harlem -- Tedeschi Trucks Band
03 And She Was -- Caetano Veloso/David Byrne
04 The Boy in the Bubble -- Peter Gabriel
05 Luckiest Man -- The Wood Brothers
06 I Was Meant for the Stage -- The Decemberists

29 June 2012

Faves of first half of 2012

The first half of the year is over, as always, plenty of amazing music
already. Would love to get some of your recommendations. Here are some
of my favorites:

{my running favorites of 2012 playlist (updated monthly) on Spotify:

{my running weekly album picks playlist on Spotify:

Favorite albums of 2012 thus far (alphabetical, did my best to limit
it to 25, but plenty more I can recommend):

Air -- Le Voyage Dans La Lune
Andrew Bird -- Break It Yourself
Chicha Libre -- Canibalismo
Conduits -- Conduits
Dr. Dog -- Be the Void
Dr John -- Locked Down
Jay Farrar/Jim James/Anders Parker/Will Johnson -- New Multitudes
Floratone -- Floratone II
Laura Gibson -- La Grande
Heartless Bastards -- Arrow
Hospitality -- Hospitality
Michael Kiwanuka -- Home Again
Cate Le Bon -- Cyrk
Little Barrie -- King of the Waves
Brad Mehldau Trio -- Ode
The Pines -- Dark So Gold
Plants and Animals -- The End of That
Pond -- Beard, Wives, Denim
Quantic w/ Alice Russell -- Look Around the Corner
Frankie Rose -- Interstellar
Royal Baths -- Better Luck Next Life
Christopher Paul Stelling -- Songs of Praise & Scorn
Toure-Raichel Collective -- The Tel Aviv Session
Jack White -- Blunderbuss
Zeus -- Busting Visions

Favorite 10 new discoveries in 2012 so far:
Chicha Libre
Get the Blessing
Michael Kiwanuka
Little Barrie
The Megaphonic Thrift
Quick and Easy Boys
Royal Baths
Spirit Family Reuniion
The Young

minimix: Covers2012.3

Some campfire covers songs for your weekend pleasure.



01 The Ride of the Valkyries (Wagner) -- Chicha Libre
02 Revelator (Welch) -- Camille O'Sullivan
03 Leaving On a Jet Plane (Denver) -- Sea of Bees
04 Wayfarin' Stranger (traditional) -- Neil Young & Crazy Horse
05 The Scientist (Coldplay) -- Willie Nelson
06 Mr. Spaceman (The Byrds) -- The Wandering

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far)
My twitter (@neddyo) weekly album pick playlist
All the minimixes that ever were

22 June 2012

minimix: Psych2012.3

Some weird for your summer.



01 Evening Sky -- Plankton Wat
02 Workingman's Smile -- MV & EE
03 Latchkeys -- White Fence
04 Numb -- The Young
05 Beautiful Son -- Peaking Lights
06 Eg anda -- Sigur Ros

15 June 2012

minimix: Groovy2012.3

Dedicated to all the funky dads out there.



01 La Plata (En Mi Carrito De Lata) -- Chicha Libre
02 Witches Boogaloo -- The Sugarman 3
03 Ziggowatt -- Lettuce
04 Little Shimmy -- Billy Martin/Wil Blades
05 Take Off Your Clothes -- Everyone Orchestra
06 What I Know -- The Bamboos

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far)
My twitter (@neddyo) weekly album pick playlist
All the minimixes that ever were

08 June 2012

minimix: Folk2012.3

Summer is here, time for some roots music.



01 A Heart Arcane -- Horse Feathers
02 Ballad of Oregon -- River City Extension
03 Knob Creek -- Steep Canyon Rangers
04 Daniel Bloom -- Hope for Agoldensummer
05 You're the One I Love -- Sara Watkins (with Fiona Apple)
06 That's What's Up -- Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

25 May 2012

minimix: RandomFaves2012.3

Some *great* new music for your long weekend. Check it out!



01 Are You Gonna Waste My Time -- Zeus
02 The Letter -- Robbers on High Street
03 Raising FLags -- The Megaphonic Thrift
04 Elegant Design -- Pond
05 The First Time I Ran Away -- M. Ward
06 Home Again -- Michael Kiwanuka

18 May 2012

minimix: Ladies2012.3

{Sorry a little late.}

A little female influence for your weekend.



01 Little Spark -- Jessie Baylin
02 Out on the Road -- Norah Jones
03 I'm Alone -- La Sera
04 Johnny Cash's Mama's House -- Emily Wells
05 The Wonder -- Conduits
06 Volcanoes -- Anna Vogelzang

11 May 2012

minimix: Jazz2012.2

Little mind music for your weekend.



01 More Pluck -- Floratone
02 Azawade -- The Toure-Raichel Collective
03 Adagio in Wot Minor -- Get the Blessing
04 Minjor -- Snarky Puppy
05 Same Moon -- Jessica Lurie Ensemble
06 Dream Sketch --- Brad Mehldau Trio

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far)
My twitter (@neddyo) weekly album pick playlist
All the minimixes that ever were

04 May 2012

minimix: NOLA2012

Not Jazzfest, but 6 new tracks from the Crescent City.



01 Fortune Teller -- Jon Cleary
02 Getaway -- Dr. John
03 Night People -- The Soul Rebels
04 Trippin' Inside A Bubble -- Dirty Dozen Brass Band
05 Mind of a Junkie -- Anders Osborne
06 Ash Wednesday Sunrise -- Galactic

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far)
My twitter weekly album pick playlist
All the minimixes that ever were

27 April 2012

minimix: Covers2012.2

Six weekend-worthy tracks of people doing other people's songs.



01 Sweet Dreams Are Made of This (Eurhythmics) -- The Soul Rebels
02 I'm Shakin' (John) -- Jack White
03 Ooh La La (The Faces) -- Counting Crows
04 Pure Imagination (Wonka) -- Steve Lehman Trio
05 Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (Toussaint) -- Jon Cleary
06 Here Comes the Rain Again (Eurhythmics) -- Macy Gray

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far)
Album picks of the week playlist
All the minimixes that ever were

20 April 2012

minimix: Psych2012.2

Cuz it's #420, brah!



01 When It Explodes -- Pond
02 Sioxsie Blaqq -- Sleepy Sun
03 Take away lifes endless take -- White Fence
04 Headin' for the Top Now -- Spiritualized
05 Sensations -- Lilacs & Champagne
06 All My Prayers -- The Magic Castles

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far)
Album picks of the week playlist
All the minimixes that ever were

13 April 2012

minimix: Groovy2012.2

Some booty shakin' for your Friday the 13th. These are some good ones, well worth a listen.



01 Revolution -- Dr John
02 Make It Rain -- Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds
03 Magdalena -- Quantic & Alice Russell with The Combo Barbaro
04 Let Them Talk -- Spoek Mathambo (feat. Yolanda)
05 Part of the Glory -- Balkan Beat Box
06 Come On -- Third Coast Kings

06 April 2012

minimix: Folk2012.2

Roots music for your weekend.



01 In the Beginning -- Todd Snider
02 Flawless Executioner -- Christopher Paul Stelling
03 Chorine My Sheba Queen -- New Multitudes
04 Main Street -- Deer Tick
05 Boodle-De-Bum-Bum -- Carolina Chocolate Drops
06 In the Land (of Things That Used To Be) -- Kevn Kinney & the Golden Palominos

{programming note: just made a spotify playlist this week. is anyone listening to these on Rhapsody? is anyone interested in these on MOG? anyone listening at all? let me know and I'll adjust}

30 March 2012

minimix: RandomFaves2012.2

Some tunes that have been scratching that itch for me lately.



01 Desperation Breeds ... -- Andrew Bird
02 The Arrow Killed The Beast -- Heartless Bastards
03 Control Me -- Plants and Animals
04 When No One's Watching -- Craig Finn
05 Otherside -- Delta Spirit
06 Now We're Nowhere -- Little Barrie

23 March 2012

minimix: Ladies2012.2

A little female influence for your weekend



01 Origins -- Tennis
02 Interstellar -- Frankie Rose
03 Wilderland -- Anais Mitchell
04 We Are Fine -- Sharon Van Etten
05 Slow To Love -- Doe Paoro
06 Lafaye -- School Of Seven Bells

16 March 2012

minimix: Jazz2012.1

Little mind music for your weekend.



01 A Ride With Polly Jean -- Jenny Scheinman's Mischief & Mayhem
02 Move -- Bill Frisell & Floratone
03 Sequoia -- Lund Quartet
04 Solo Continuum 31 -- Chick Corea
05 Funky Digits -- Erik Deutsch
06 Pink Elephant -- Guy Klucevsek & Brave Combo

09 March 2012

minimix: Covers2012.1

So cozy under the covers!



01 Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana) -- Robert Glasper
02 Home At Last (Steely Dan) -- The Darcys
03 Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves (Doye O'Dell) -- The Little Willies
04 Kid A (Radiohead) -- Punch Brothers
05 Don't Let It Bring You Down (Neil Young) -- Erik Deutsch
06 All Apologies (Nirvana) -- Todd Clouser's A Love Electric

02 March 2012

minimix: Psych2012.1

The swirling guitars, the extended play, the mind-enhancing, the prog-jam and the just plain weird.



01 Gelid Ascent -- Of Montreal
02 Be Afraid of Me -- Royal Baths
03 Self Made Man -- Howlin Rain
04 White Hot Gun -- Phantom Family Halo
05 Simple Feeling -- Heartless Bastards
06 Gone Tomorrow -- Lambchop

26 February 2012

2011: Favorite movies

A little later than usual, but gave myself some time to catch up on some movies and since it's Oscar day (n.b. I hate the Oscars and all awards-giving enterprises with a passion), here's my list of favorite movies from last year. I saw most of the movies I wanted to see and a handful of crappy kids movies I wish I hadn't (looking at you Cars 2!!).

  1. A Separation (as perfect a drama as you can imagine, perfect weaves multiple threads and conflicts within a gripping, totally believable story while making shades-of-gray commentary on religion, class, sexism, relationships, family and parenthood)
  2. Tree of Life (who cares what it's about, a total joy to watch, I thought)
  3. The Muppets (I love nostalgia and this was pure nostalgia in its most enjoyable form... a nostalgic movie that's about nostalgia, hilarious and utterly benign. if it didn't make you smile, there's something wrong with you)
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 (epic and fitting finish to perhaps the greatest series of our lifetimes)
  5. The Descendants (wonderfully nuanced, perfectly acted. great film)
  6. Drive (so very quiet, so very intense, and then... so very (and very unexpectedly) bloody)
  7. Bridesmaids (year's best comedy, hands down, not even close)
  8. Hugo (a first for me: I actually enjoyed the 3D in this movie)
  9. Melancholia (so much to look at, so much to think about)
  10. The Artist (a fine film, total Oscar bait, but it was a weak year for movies, so it makes the top ten)
Honorable mention (a.k.a I also enjoyed... in alphabetical order): The Adjustment Bureau,The Future, Midnight In Paris, Rango, Source Code, Super 8, Young Adult

24 February 2012

minimix: Groovy2012.1

Your toes look like they could use a good a-tappin'.



01 Concrete Wall -- Zee Avi
02 Hey Na Na -- Galactic
03 Its Goin Down -- Big Gigantic
04 In The Middle -- Matthew Dear
05 Following -- The Phenomenal Handclap Band
06 Smoke And Mirrors -- Gotye

17 February 2012

minimix: Folk2012.1



01 Flippen -- Punch Brothers
02 All the While -- The Pines
03 Heart of the Continent -- John K. Samson
04 Zoo -- Ani DiFranco
05 Emmylou -- First Aid Kit
06 January Rain -- Winterpills

10 February 2012

minimix: RandomFaves2012.1



01 Lost In the Light -- Bahamas
02 How Long Must I Wait -- Dr. Dog
03 Separation -- Cloud Nothings
04 Eighth Avenue -- Hospitality
05 Sonic Armada -- Air
06 Easy Way Out -- Gotye

03 February 2012

minimix: Ladies2012.1

Getting back into the swing of sharing new music.



01 Sidewalk Safari -- Chairlift
02 Fold the Cloth -- Cate Le Bon
03 The Lion's Roar -- First Aid Kit
04 Lion/Lamb -- Laura Gibson
05 Chameleon/Comedian -- Kathleen Edwards
06 Jolene -- The Little Willies

Freaks Ball XII link-o-rama

Not only was this year's Freaks Ball the biggest and the best, it was also easily the most documented of them all. Trying to collect all of the links to audio, video, photos and reviews. Let me know what I'm missing and I'll add links, etc.

Excellent photos, videos, review and interview from Marc Millman at Hidden Track
Jambands.com review

Night 1: January 20, 2011, Brooklyn Bowl

                                        (photo by Dino Perucci)

Greg Aiello
Scott Bernstein
Dino Perucci

Portugal. The Man 
source 1: Scott Bernstein (archive)
source 2: acidjack (NYCTaper)
source 3: Eric McRoberts (archive)

Sam Champion
source 1: Scott Bernstein (etree)

full show video (thx to Justin Marinoff): 

other nice video clips

Night 2: January 21, 2011, Brooklyn Bowl
                                        (photo by Dino Perucci)

Brooklyn Bowl photo stream
Michael Jurick
Greg Aiello
Scott Bernstein
Dino Perucci
Adam McCullough

Freaks Ball-Stars (featuring Marco Benevento, Joe Russo, Eddie Roberts, Ron Johnson, with special guests Warren Haynes, Eric Krasno, Alicia Shakur and Scott Metzger)

source 1:  Scott Bernstein (archive)
source 2:  Keith (etree)
source 3:

Erik Deutsch, Joe Russo, Scott Metzger, Hagar Ben Ari
source 1: Scott Bernstein (archive)
source 2: Eric McRoberts (archive)

video clip playlist

20 January 2012

minimix: Friday FB singalong primer

Hitting the Ball tonight? Psyched for PtM but slightly unfamiliar with their material? One of the reasons I love this band is that yes, they rage very hard, but almost every one of their songs has a great hook and so there's almost always a chorus or a coda or whole song worth of singalong opportunities. Here are 6 songs over their catalog that you will likely hear tonight. Bone up and you'll be ready to belt 'em out when the time comes:


01 Got It All
02 People Say
03 AKA M80 The Wolf
04 1989
05 The Sun
06 Sleep Forever

02 January 2012

2011:: Favorite Shows

2011 was an insanely good year for me seeing live music. The quantity was a bit ridiculous, having clocked in at over 100 shows... not bad for an old man with two kids and an average hour trip into the city. But still, don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing, and the quality of the music I saw was what really made it a "best ever" year for me seeing music. Got to cross a bunch of live music experiences off my bucket list (e.g. Prince, Midnight Ramble with Levon Helm, Yo La Tengo Hanukkah show, Radiohead in a club...), saw a bunch of brand new (or brand new to me) music that really inspired and saw pretty much every band on my "favorite/gotta see" list at least once and in many cases multiple times. It was a very good year, I consider myself blessed.

The stats:
170 bands seen
102 shows
84 nights(or days) out
43 different venues

Here are my favorite shows of the year using some sort of inexplicable ranking system, although I had a blast at pretty much 90% of the shows I saw, literally.

Thanks to all those that helped make my year in live music possible:

  1. Masada Marathon @ NYC Opera 3/30/2011: It's hard to explain really what Masada is, but if you wanted to find out, going to this show would have done the trick. Twelve different groups playing music from essentially the same songbook over the widest range of genres & styles imaginable. Nearly every ensemble was great and the result was a very special evening of music in a very special room. 
  2. LCD Soundsystem @ Madison Square Garden 4/2/2011: I saw a lot of "epic proprtions" kind of shows this year, but this was the epic-est of them all. I've heard of going out in style, but this was ridiculous and ridiculously fun. Midway through this night I tweeted "I love live music! I love live music! I love live music!" It was that kind of night. Luckily snagged a ticket during presale on my mobile while sitting in a doctor's office waiting room. It was that kind of year. So glad I was there. (funny how this was just a few days after show #1).   
  3. Phish @ Superball IX Watkins Glen 7/3/2011: There was a definite "go big" theme to my year and Phish's "go big" festival event is always a treat. Wasn't even planning on hitting this one until things fell into place and I had low-to-no expectations going in. Thankfully they delivered with a show that spanned their repertoire new and old, featured killer jams and seemed to go on and on and on, as my smile grew bigger and bigger and bigger. Can't believe how much I still love this band.
  4. Portugal. The Man @ TLA Philly 10/23; Terminal 5 10/20; Westcott Theater 5/28; Studio @ Webster Hall 6/6 et al: I saw Portugal. The Man six (6) times this year and they pretty much blew me away each and every time. All the shows had their own distinct feel to them and each one was special to me. P.tM had a very special 2011 and I'm overjoyed I got to share it with them. Their live show is an intense, singular experience and I'm itching at the chance to put another show on my calendar in 2012... can't come soon enough. Terminal 5 review.
  5. My Morning Jacket @ Madison Square Garden 12/14/2011: Speaking of epic, MMJ knows how to rise to the occasion and the show they put on at MSG a couple weeks ago is still ringing in the ears of my soul. Easily the best My Morning Jacket show I've seen in 8+ years of seeing them. My review is here.
  6. Radiohead @ Roseland Ballroom 9/29/2011: Through some I'm-an-idiot circumstances, my wife and I missed a Radiohead MSG show on our anniversary last time they were in town. Again, through some amazing Ticketmaster luck, I was able to rectify my mistake and, babysitting secured, treat the two of us to a spectacular show. There really are few bands better.
  7. The Bad Plus @ Village Vanguard 1/1/2011: It was the first day of the year, the first show of the year and 364 days later, few sets of music I saw were better. I've seen the Bad Plus more times than even I can believe, but this was one of their best. Shaking off the cobwebs of the NYE show the night before, they were in fine, free-flowing form. These three rarely disappoint & almost always inspire, but this night was a step above. 
  8. Gillian Welch/David Rawlings @ Beacon Theater 10/22/2011: A big stage, completely barren save for a man and wife, a couple microphones and a guitar each. From this simple set-up, some of the tastiest, most soul-enriching music you could ever imagine was spun. When it comes to Americana, the conversation for me begins and ends with these two and they outdid themselves on this night, two sets of magic spent with some of my favorite people in the world.
  9. Anders Osborne @ Sullivan Hall 1/1/2011: Technically, this show happened in this year, a late night, face melting rage. Sometimes you're just in the mood to watch a guitar get abused by someone with complete mastery over his instrument and Anders was in an otherworldly zone the entire set. 
  10. Newport Folk Festival @  Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI 7/30 & 31/2011, : A year of live music just ain't complete without a good, old fashioned binge of music at a festival and you could do a lot worse than Newport. New discoveries, old favorites, Gillian Welch, great weather and an unbeatable vibe. Already pretty sure I'll be missing this in 2012 and already pretty bummed about it.
  11. Broken Social Scene Terminal 5, 1/18/2011: If my 12 BSS show was my last, so be it, they were amazing once again.
  12. Gary Clark Jr @ Mercury Lounge, 12/13/2011: Shows at Mercury Lounge are almost always a treat -- you always just get the feel of something real of rock and roll happening the way it was intended. And every once in a while there's a little magic and you get to see the music before it's the music. That was definitely the feeling in the Merc for this show as Gary Clark Jr announced his arrival with a blistering set of music that shook my musical world for certainly several years to come. My review.
  13. Freak's Ball XI @ Brooklyn Bowl, 2/2/2011: C'mon, you knew this was gonna be on the list, right? Easily the most fun of my year every year. Personal faves El Ten Eleven, gobs of Scott F'in Metzger, a room full of friendly faces and, oh, what a beautiful buzz!
  14. Levon Helm Band/Steven Bernstein's MTO @ Midnight Ramble, Woodstock, NY 12/10/2011: Sometimes you get to go to a show and it doesn't really matter how good the music is. This was one of those nights. A very special experience and a nice juicy line through another item on the bucket list... also the music was pretty good, especially that opening set. Made me feel lucky to see music in NYC even though it wasn't in the city.
  15. White Denim @ Bowery Ballroom 6/25/2011: White Denim went from a band I really, really loved to a band on "the list." An amazing album to top their previous amazing album and a live show that was even better than the last time they blew me away. The White Denim train is leaving the station and believe me, it's gonna be as good a time as you can imagine, don't get caught without a seat. One of the best damn live bands out there. My review.
Honorable mention: 

12/31/2011 Phish
3/19/2011 Anders Osborne
4/24/2011 Grails
8/19/2011 Burnham, Martin, Wood, Mr Rourke
10/29/2011 Medeski, Martin & Wood/Antibalas
6/24/2011 The Badwagon (The Bad Plus + Jason Moran Bandwagon)
12/6/2011 Scheinman/Frisell/Blade
9/19/2011 Tune-Yards
8/5/2011         Medeski, Martin & Wood et al
11/26/2011 The Musical Box
9/19/2011 The Bad Plus
4/11/2011 Toro Y Moi/Braids
2/7/2011         Prince 
10/12/2011 Trey Anastasio
9/13/2011 Fruit Bats/Vetiver
12/30/2011 Phish
8/11/2011 Bustle In Your Hedgerow
9/25/2011 Steve Malkmus & the Jicks
11/8/2011 The Sea and Cake/Brokeback
11/19/2011 Tinariwen
4/9/2011         Bardo Pond
3/6/2011         Middle Brother/Deer Tick/Dawes
5/25/2011 Bright Light Social Hour/Black Taxi
12/11/2011 The War on Drugs
2/9/2011         Nicole Atkins & the Black Sea
4/6/2011        Widespread Panic (1; 114)
10/13/2011 Iron and Wine
8/5/2011         El Ten Eleven 
8/16/2011 Mischief & Mayhem
10/1/2011 Black Taxi/Bright Light Social Hour
3/15/2011 Godspeed You! Black Emperor
2/26/2011 Galactic/Trombone Shorty/High & Mighty Brass Band
1/15/2011 The Punch Brothers
7/29/2011 Deer Tick/Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside
3/29/2011 The Dears
5/15/2011 Yellowbirds/Wolf!
7/15/2011 The Slip/Well-Dressed Groomsmen
7/14/2011 The Slip
11/23/2011 A.A. Bondy/Golden Leaves
1/24/2011 The Decemberists/Wye Oak
9/24/2011 Megafaun/Doug Paisley
11/13/2011 Manchester Orchestra/White Denim
10/18/2011 Wild Flag/Eleanor Friedberger
12/1/2011 J Roddy Walston & the Business
12/3/2011 George Porter & the Runnin' Pardners
11/2/2011 Feist/Happiness Project
12/3/2011 Charles Bradley & the Extraordinaires
12/21/2011 Yo La Tengo/Spent
12/13/2011 Wolf!/Jim Campilongo Trio
4/29/2011 Holy Ghost!
5/12/2011 John Vanderslice