2013 in Music

In tune with the weather, we saw a super storm of fantastic music in 2013. We’re going to be listening to these albums for years to come. I can’t bring myself to put these in order because they mean so many things; they’re not meant to be ranked.

Here are my crème de la crème of 2013:

MUDDY:

Ok… there is one in another stratosphere: Possessed by Paul James. This entire album is a journey from the moment you hit play:
Hurricane (track 1) by Possessed by Paul James

Continue reading

Hellbound Glory Owns NYC 2013

HBGA mere week after the magic of Muddy Roots 2013 (I’m still processing), Hellbound Glory full band plays one of my favorite venues, The Bell House (also home to my Secret Science Club) and he sang my favorite song, Showing Off Sure is Fun, that he was creating last time they played here. From him snapping his fingers in my kitchen, to a full band with a stadium riff sent me sailing. I wish I could have experienced it large scale. Seeing it at Muddy Roots is a close second.

Continue reading

JAY Z’s Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film

I love hip-hop in the summer. It’s hard not to break out into a groove to Blurred Lines. (Yes, I’m aware it’s pop, but it’s a who-cares-cause-it’s-GOOD song.) I’m reading ?uestlove’s book, “Mo Meta Blues” and it’s a joy to watch the trajectory of The Roots of music from his point-of-view. I’m finally beginning to understand Kanye’s new album, Yeezus, and it’s worth it. Plus, Jay-Z is knocking one out of the stratosphere once again with “Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film” It pretty much sums up why I’m an art nerd. Early in hip-hop art, music, and dance were the trifecta that formed the lifestyle. Jay-Z was there for that and our tastes in art grew parallel. People say that art and hip-hop grew apart when art went all shi shi poo poo money and shut the door in hip-hop’s face. I disagree. Hip-hop grew just as greedy and bling hungry and closed the door on art’s face. As in most in-genre drama, both parties have egg on their face.

Jay-Z is king of the world right now and in the Biggie style of doing things, he brought Brooklyn with him. So if this new video that’s labeled a performance piece (which you would have had to be in that room for) educates the who’s who of whoville in creativity, I’m happy. Picasso Baby

Rachel Brook(lyn)

RB BK 2013Not only did Rachel Brooke come to NYC to sing with a full band, we got to spend time together. Rachel with a full band is the bee’s knees. On bass is Brooks Robbins and he is just the coolest cat. We sang Rocky Horror Picture Show songs in the van on the way to the gig. Her brother Andy is on drums and he is so good, and is a fellow sound aficionado. On guitar is Nick who gave me my perfect show moment when I heard him start up Serpentine Blues. During the show, Rachel sang a few songs with just her guitar, and there wasn’t a dry eye in Public Assembly during Life Sentence Blues.

Continue reading

Hurricane Sandy 2012

I’ve tried to write about it, but I can’t. Suffice to say I dodged a bullet.

If you have the comforts of heat and Google, I ask you to please find a way to donate, help, or pray.

Here are images I’ve collected from the internets (and a few of my own): 

Jay-Z Opens Brooklyn

The first song I liked by Jay-Z was “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” in 1998. As an urchin who grew up with the Broadway soundtrack to Annie on cassette tape, it immediately became my personal theme song. I also remember when Hot 97 was playing The Takeover like a broken record to hype the Nas beef. There is no arguing with me over poorly sampling Jim Morrison.

I think every genre has its masters. Jay-Z came from one of the country’s most dangerous neighborhoods; grew from artist to executive, and still does his art. He’s married to Beyoncé, and is a father for the first time. He is such a great success story.

Continue reading

2012 Summer Concerts

It’s barely May and I already have a beefy list going. I’ll update it as I find out more.

Saturday, May 12th = ChristyFest, Shippensburg, PA
Friday, May 18th
= Husky Burnette: Rodeo Bar, NYC
Tuesday, June 5th
= Jimmy Cliff: Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park
Friday, June 8th
= The Goddamn Gallows: The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY
Friday, June 15th
= Esperanza Spalding: Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park
Saturday, June 16th
= Ice T’s rockdoc “The Art of Rap
Sunday, July 1st
= Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band: Brooklyn Bowl
Wednesday, July 11th = Buddy Guy at World Financial Center Plaza
Wednesday, July 11th = Tchaikovsky NY Philharmonic at Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Saturday, July
21st = Arturo Sandoval: Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park
Friday, July 27th – Sunday, July 29th
= Farmageddon Fest in West Yellowstone, Montana (I’ll be there in spirit!)
Monday, July 30th =
Public Enemy and Salt N Pepa: MLK Concert Series at Wingate Field, Brooklyn
Friday, August 31st – Sunday, September 2nd
= Muddy Roots in Cookeville, TN

Hellbound Glory Gig in NYC

You know that band your friends worship, and for some reason or another, you missed the fan wagon? Hellbound Glory is mine. Trigger Man’s been writing about them forever on his Saving Country Music site. Buddies of mine planned their elopement around them (see video below). I even poo-poo’d their song in my review of the greatest compilation CD ever made! I finally caught the fever when Leroy went live on Outlaw Radio Chicago and was blown away.

They played two shows here in NYC last week (Hank’s Saloon and Rodeo Bar) and I’m fully converted to their awesomeness. Leroy Virgil is the epitome of what a front man should be; talented, street smart, and oh so charming. His raspy voice and gritty writing are the perfect combination that wrap you right in. Eric “Rico” Peterson on Lap Steel is a hundred shades of gorgeous. What girl can resist a man’s instrument that moans and cries out his country songs? Frank Medina on Bass is the music encyclopedia of the band. I wish I had more time to get to know his likes and theories about music. He plays like a philosopher, all in his notes. The three of them combined onstage is fantastic energy. They sing, play, banter, and wholeheartedly kick a world of ass. Each show they pleased the old fans, and made a bunch of new ones.

I had the honor of them crashing at my apartment but, alas, I didn’t think to video a song of them playing in my kitchen for YouTube. Next time.

Continue reading