Archive for March, 2010

Melvin Seals & JGB

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Melvin Seals & JGB

The Waterhole – Saranac Lake, New York

Contributing Writer – Garret K. Woodward [TheRFW.com/blog/Garret]

Contributing Photographer – Andrew Wyatt [TheRFW.com/blog/DirtySanta]

Thanks to grassojoe at YouTube for the video footage!!

March 20, 2010

www.JGBband.com

www.MySpace.com/MelvinSealsAndJGB

Chilled bodies light shaky cigarettes. Mouths mumble in unison over the supposed arrival of spring tomorrow.

The Adirondacks are a cold and isolated place, especially during this time of year. But, with the right kind of music, and a shot of bourbon, souls can get rejuvenated quite easily in the desolate, yet unparalleled, beauty of the northern woods.

[continues after photos]

The temperature is in the mid-30s. Halfway finishing their tobacco fix, several musty characters meander back into The Waterhole- an infamous Upstate New York music venue equipped with rowdy locals and agreeable drinks prices.

And tonight, the raucous crowd shook their bones to the memorable and gracious sounds of jam-rock legends Melvin Seals & JGB (Jerry Garcia Band).

Dead family and friends alike reunite in Saranac Lake without ever making rendezvous plans beforehand. This is a common trait of the nomadic community. Whenever any form (or tribute group) of the Grateful Dead takes shape, an unspoken call for unity emerges.

Reminiscent of a “Batman” signal in the sky (but for them a skull and lightning bolt), the word spreads like wildfire. Troves head towards the sound of freedom and possibility- a tone solely unique to the late Garcia himself.

“I knew you’d be here, I fuckin’ knew it,” overzealous and hairy specimens of humanity shout as they embrace other comrades. “Let me buy you a drink! How have you been, brother?”

The scent of patchouli, pot, and Parliament Lights waft throughout the room.

The larger-than-life Seals sauntered onstage. Sitting down in front of the keyboard, a smile adorns his joyous face. It’s time to get the train rolling. He nods to his ensemble- Gloria Jones (Vocals), Jackie LaBranch (Vocals), Stu Allen (Guitar, Vocals), Marty Holland (bass), and Sam Howard (drums).

Soon, the sextet merged into one with the audience. The air becomes moist. Arms rise toward the ceiling. Sing-a-longs take over the space. The thunderous strokes of Seals dominate the ambiance. Guitar notes are sprinkled about the premises. The calming presence of Jones and LaBranch ease the spectacle- the duo double-teams harmonies, their choreographed movements slowly swaying to the jovial sight before them.

Jumping around from original numbers, to traditional melodies, and tunes cherished by Garcia, the timeframe of the sets blur.

All which remains is one moment. It is a moment where the listener and musician form a solid entity of sound, wonder, and inspiration. Midnight becomes the early morning. Eventually, it’s last call around 3 a.m.- the band packs up their gear and says goodbye to their beloved following.

The moment is all too fleeting. The blissful memory is all too scarce these days. The band is all too rare of a sight in an industry full of madness and confusion.

Our hearts, cradled by the music, are at ease- for now.

March 2010

25th (Thu) Mexicali Live – Teaneck, NJ
Melvin Seals & JGB
26th (Fri) Penn’s Peak Jim – Thorpe, PA
Melvin Seals & JGB
27th (Sat) The Warehouse – Hartford, CT
Melvin Seals & JGB

April 2010

2nd (Fri) Quixotes True Blue – Denver, CO
Melvin Seals & JGB
3rd (Sat) Quixotes True Blue – Denver, CO
Melvin Seals & JGB

May 2010

28th (Fri) Schwagstock 43 @ Camp Zoe – Salem, MO
Melvin Seals & JGB
29th (Sat) Schwagstock 43 @ Camp Zoe – Salem, MO
Melvin Seals & JGB
30th (Sun) Desert Rocks Music Festival – Moab, UT
Melvin Seals & JGB

June 2010

4th (Fri) Hopmonk Tavern – Sebastopol, CA
Melvin Seals & JGB
5th (Sat) Hopmonk Tavern – Sebastopol, CA
Melvin Seals & JGB
6th (Sun) Summer Music & Arts Festival – Benbow Lake, CA
Melvin Seals & JGB

July 2010

9th (Fri) Salty Jam Festival – Saint John Waterfront – Saint John NB Canada, NB
Melvin Seals & JGB
23rd (Fri) Schwagstock 44 @ Camp Zoe – Salem, MO
Melvin Seals & JGB
24th (Sat) Schwagstock 44 @ Camp Zoe – Salem, MO
Melvin Seals & JGB

August 2010

7th (Sat) Truckee Amphitheatre – Truckee, CA
Melvin Seals & JGB
8th (Sun) Dead On The Creek Festival – Willits, CA
Melvin Seals & JGB

September 2010

17th (Fri) Schwagstock 45 @ Camp Zoe – Salem, MO
Melvin Seals & JGB
18th (Sat) Schwagstock 45 @ Camp Zoe – Salem, MO
Melvin Seals & JGB

October 2010

28th (Thu) Spooksock 9 @ Camp Zoe – Salem, MO
Melvin Seals & JGB
29th (Fri) Spookstock 9 @ Camp Zoe – Salem, MO
Melvin Seals & JGB

U-MELT’S PERFECT WORLD

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

U-Melt

Perfect World

Contributing Author : Garret K. Woodward [TheRFW.com/blog/Garret]

www.UMelt.com

www.MySpace.com/UMelt

With the release of their third studio album, “Perfect World”(Harmonized Records), prog-rock gurus U-Melt have once again unleashed another offering of existential intuition amid a backdrop of melodically proficient music.

Though the 10-track release features the last collaboration with founding guitarist Rob Salzer (who was replaced by Kevin Griffin this winter), a feeling of unity and utopia emerge between the quartet and the listener. Each tune is structured with a unique lyrical theme. Whether it’s our place in the Universe, shaking hands with a stranger, or just existing in our own time- the core values of beauty amid chaos is evident.

The selections are inviting and warmly embrace any who are intrigued to take a moment and immerse oneself into the seemingly tranquil flow of the album.

The soft, yet playfully assertive, finger licks of keyboardist Zac Lasher cradle eager ears. Molasses-thick bass hooks from Adam Bendy cause your legs to stick to the floor. The spiraling guitar chords of Salzer seep into your gyrating muscles, while the pendulum drumming of George Miller and three-part harmonies float out of your speakers- provoking a freefall of positive emotions.

But, the true splendor of this record lies in the encouraging consistency of U-Melt- a consistency which is not only a testament to the work ethic of these road warriors, but also compliments their pure intent of progression through experimentation.

Key Tracks: “Pura Vida”, “Perfect World”, “Panacea”, “Question Matters”

Tour Date

Thu, March 25 8:00 pm The Emerald Lounge Asheville, NC
Fri, March 26 8:00 pm The Double Door Charlotte, NC
Sat, March 27 8:00 pm Smith’s Olde Bar Atlanta, GA
Wed, March 31 8:00 pm Plush Tucson, AZ
Thu, April 1 8:00 pm Goat Head Saloon Mesa, AZ
Fri, April 2 8:00 pm Winston’s San Diego, CA
Sat, April 3 8:00 pm The Mint Los Angeles, CA
Sun, April 4 8:00 pm The Connecticut Yankee San Francisco, CA
Mon, April 5 8:00 pm The Crystal Bay Club (Red Room) Crystal Bay, NV
Wed, April 7 8:00 pm Hodi’s Half Note Ft. Collins, CO
Thu, April 8 12:00 pm University of CO Boulder Boulder, CO
Fri, April 9 8:00 pm Quixote’s Denver, CO
Sat, April 10 8:00 pm Quixote’s Denver, CO
Sun, April 11 8:00 pm Old Town Pub Steamboat Springs, CO
Wed, April 14 8:00 pm Old Rock House St. Louis, MO
Thu, April 15 8:00 pm Copper Dragon Carbondale, IL
Fri, April 16 8:00 pm Reggie’s Rock Club Chicago, IL
Sat, April 17 8:00 pm Otto’s Dekalb, IL
Fri, April 23 8:00 pm The Stone Church Newmarket, NH

Thom Yorke Guests on Flying Lotus Track

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Thom Yorke Guests on a New Flying Lotus Track

PITCHFORK.com | Tyler Grisham

Last month we tipped you off to some big-name guest stars set to appear on the upcoming Flying Lotus LP, Cosmogramma, and now we’ve got our first taste of the Thom Yorke collab “…And the World Laughs With You”, which has a brief vocal hook sung by the Radiohead frontman that’s looped around one of the L.A. producers typically lush and static-y beats. At just under two minutes (might be an early fade), it’s painfully brief, but it is getting us excited about FlyLo’s follow up to 2008′s excellent Los Angeles. This is labeled as a radio rip from Mary Anne Hobbs’ Radio 1 show. Thanks to Travis Sedore for the tip.

Alex Chilton R.I.P.

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

via PITCHFORK.com | Mark Richardson

Crushing news from the Memphis Commercial Appeal: Alex Chilton, the legendary singer, songwriter, and performer who created music with the Box Tops, Big Star, and as a solo artist, died today. Chilton was in New Orleans and was scheduled to play in Austin this weekend with the reunited Big Star as part of SXSW. According to the paper, he complained of feeling ill and was taken by paramedic to the hospital. Cause of death has not been confirmed, but the Commercial Appeal reports that it is believed to be a heart attack. Chilton was 59. We’ll update with further details when available.

Meanwhile, a brief selection of YouTube clips of various performances by Chilton, the Box Tops, and Big Star after the jump.

Dead Confederate

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Dead Confederate

w/ Futurebirds

The Jinx – Savannah, Georgia

March 13, 2010

Contributing Writer – Garret K. Woodward [TheRFW.com/blog/Garret]

Contributing Photographer – Mackenzie Simkins

www.DeadConfederate.com

www.Myspace.com/DeadConfederate

www.MySpace.com/TheFuturebirds

Slight drizzle from above soaks already pickled bodies. The cobblestone streets are flooded with green vomit and vulnerable southern belles.

Georgia is an eerie and mysterious atmosphere once darkness, alcohol, and energies of the past arise from the depths, enveloping the masses. Savannah, the Southern Gem, now pawned off like a $2 whore to the highest male chauvinist bidder- covered in shades of emerald, a walking hard-on staring sexual harassment charges right in the face.

Escaping the St. Patrick’s Weekend/Spring Break hordes, I took refuge in The Jinx.

Providing raw, unseen, and absurd musical acts, the venue is a safe zone amid a society bingeing itself on proper etiquette, Garth Brooks, and the latest clothing line from Hollister.

Filled with vintage horror film memorabilia, cheap Pabst Blue Ribbon tallboys, dimly light corners, and bathrooms as dirty and vandalized as a western Arkansas truck stop on I-40, The Jinx played host to Dead Confederate- a band of psychedelic southern rock misfits obsessed with distortion, debauchery, and causing early hearing loss.

Passing around a bottle of Wild Turkey 101 between selections, Futurebirds kicked the audience right smack in the crotch. The Athens, Georgia sextet spews out a rare blend of bluegrass, folk, punk, alt-country, psychedelic rock, and seemingly the kitchen sink. Imagine if The Beach Boys wandered into Deliverance, or Hank Williams taking a hit of acid, or The Felice Brothers brewing moonshine in the Appalachian Mountains- it’s all there

The baby-faced rebel yells and honest lyrics burst from the murky rock-n-roll. The youthful exuberance showcased intrigues the mind. Only together less than two years, the ensemble literally leaves any competition in the dust (“Red Top Girl”).

An amplifiers worst enemy, Dead Confederate abuses their instruments to no end. Chaotic beauty rears its mutilated head throughout the menacing melodic offerings of hard-as-nails southern rock paired exquisitely with a sound straight out of an era in Seattle buried beneath the pages of history.

Skinny as a rail (with a look of starvation), Hardy Morris (lead guitar/vocals) embraces the listener in ways I have rarely, if ever, witnessed in any previous live music experience (“The Rat“). The innocence and vulnerability only emphasizes the intense emotion he screams, as if a cry for help, into the microphone (“All the Angels”). Hair hanging in front of his eyes, the shyness, modesty, and brute force of Morris (“Heavy Petting”) conjures recollections of a once promising hard rock vocalist from Spokane, Washington- taken from the world some 16 years ago.

Jason Scarboro (drums) mangles the kit, utterly assaulting each song in his own John Bonham fashion. Like a broken heart, his arms and legs never stop pounding. With Scarboro, Brantley Senn (bass), John Watkins (keyboards), and Walker Howle (rhythm guitar) act as constant pendulum of harmonious distortion. The foursome surrounds Morris with a presence akin to a pack of snarling pit bulls protecting what is theirs- barking at whomever has the guts to cross into their territory.

“We make a shit-ton of noise and see what happens,“ Senn said afterwards. “Part of making the noise is just letting it go, letting it take us to where it wants to go. I want people to be scared.

“If the music is happy, then we are happy. If the music is going down the drain, so are we.”