Monday, August 26, 2013

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 90: “The Pennypacker Shuffle, Volume 4”

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 90: “The Pennypacker Shuffle, Volume 4”

“Hanging On” by Radio Birdman

Set 1
“Set in Stone” by Catfish Haven
“’65 Love Affair” by Paul Davis
“Famous Blue Raincoat” by Leonard Cohen
“Impossible One” by the Yarrows

Set 2
“Give It Away” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Mission” by the Prime Ministers
“I Zimbra” by Talking Heads
“Look Sharp!” by Joe Jackson

Set 3
“Piece by Piece” by Murder by Death
“Like Dylan in the Movies” by Belle and Sebastian
“So, Relax” by Leon Redbone
“Jane Says” by Jane’s Addiction

Set 4
“Wait for the Blackout” by the Damned
“Go Girl Go” by the Raveonettes
“I’ll Be Around” by Howlin’ Wolf
“The Medium Way” by the 1900’s

Set 5
“Zombie” by the Cranberries
“Slipped” by the National
“Left and Right in the Dark” by Julian Casablancas
“Portland” by the Replacements

“Hit the Road” by Scott H. Biram

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Huey Lewis & the News @ Coney Island

Huey Lewis & the News
@ Coney Island
Brooklyn, NY - August 15, 2013

As the years have gone by, one of the more pleasantly parasitic and unexpected songs to be perpetually etched into my brain is Huey Lewis & the News' cover of "But It's Alright" - one of their last hurrahs on corporate rock radio in the mid 90's. I haven't heard the actual recording in years but I can hum the whole thing on instant recall. That probably speaks to the incessant, scratching at your door, genteel madness of the appeal of Huey Lewis & the News. Of course in the years since that final bit of new release success, their big hit catalog has gone from the lambasted to the ironically nostalgically loved to the non-ironically nostalgically loved. Part of that stems from the legacy of Sports. And so now three decades on from the release of that smash, the band is playing it in full, in order, on this summer jaunt and they were doing it here in what may prove to be one of the last hurrahs of the free Seaside concerts brought to you by the one and only Marty Markowitz.

After the political and community backslapping was out of the way, it was time for Huey and the gang to plow through Sports followed by some other hits like "Power of Love" and the soul covers. It's nice to recall that there used to be hit records of mostly singles and ran less than 45 minutes. King of 'em all has to be "I Wanna New Drug". After years of only really appreciating "Hip to be Square", this one has started to grow on me. The fact that there is room to re-appreciate Huey Lewis songs at all again speaks to that benignly parasitic quality. Also the fact I ran into more familiar faces from different walks of life than at any recent show I can think of speaks to that as well. Maybe it's the "Nice guys finish first" concept around this band that appeals to some and irks others that drives whatever conversation one may still want to have now and then about Huey Lewis & the News.

I can't believe I even got two whole paragraphs out of the show. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 89: “The Good, the Breaking Bad, and the Ugly”

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 89: “The Good, the Breaking Bad, and the Ugly”

“No Good” by River City Rebels

Set 1
“What Makes a Good Man?” by the Heavy
“Good Man” by Heavy Trash
“Good” by Morphine
“I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse

Set 2
“Only the Good Die Young” by Billy Joel
“What Good Am I?” by Bob Dylan
“Good Bad Not Evil” by the Black Lips
“I Feel Evil Creeping In” by Islands

Set 3
“Bad as Me” by Tom Waits
“Methamphetamine Blues” by Mark Lanegan
“Bad Man” by Oblivians
“Baddest of the Bad” by Reverend Horton Heat

Set 4
“Evil” by Grinderman
“Evil” by Howlin’ Wolf
“Evil Eye on You” by Daddy Longlegs
“Evil People They Find Me” by Troy Gregory & the Stepsisters

Set 5
“Race with the Devil” by Gene Vincent
“Let the Devil In” by TV on the Radio
“Me and the Devil Blues” by Robert Johnson
“Devil in Me” by  22-20’s
“The Ugly American” by Big Black

“Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangsta” by Geto Boys

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Cambodian Space Project; The Sights @ The Rock Shop

The Cambodian Space Project; The Sights
@ The Rock Shop
Brooklyn, NY - August 10, 2013

In all these years, I've never seen Jim Diamond live. The Detroit recording maverick and original Dirtbomb had left the band before my mania began. Now after about a decade (jesus), I finally saw him, playing  bass for the Cambodian Space Project, an actual Cambodian-based garage rock 60's drenched band fronted by a Cambodian ingenue and her Australian guitar pal. It was a good boogie.

If this wasn't enough, here were the Sights opening. It's been awhile, eh? Talk about memories of a time gone by. But forgetting nostalgia for a moment, the keyboards are out, a saxophone is in, and Eddie Baranek (PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!) is still a crack ball of energy.

I'm sorry I couldn't stick around for another throwback, the seemingly immortal Les Sans Culottes. Talk about a band that just won't quit. Like DeGaulle.

Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra @ Damrosch Bandshell at Lincoln Center

Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra
@ Damrosch Bandshell at Lincoln Center
New York, NY - August 9, 2013

The Dresden Dolls were one of the first bands to catch my ear during the heyday of the early and mid 2000's often discussed here. And they played Gotham seemingly every few weeks. But I never went. For all my minor interest in Weimar Three Penny cabaret rock, the definitely palpable aura of teenagerish exclusivity for goth art obsessives kept me away (that's on me, no one else). Then the Dresden Dolls slowly broke-up and in her own solo name, Amanda Palmer took her verbal, confident style and sound to another level, as the cliche goes. But that was nothing. Because then Theatre is Evil happened.

A rock record in every good, true sense, Theatre is Evil is one for the canon. And seeing her live for the first time, it's also true that Amanda Palmer as a performer is also one for that canon. The Grand Theft Orchestra, a backing band that includes Jherek Bischoff, merited getting named on the record for a reason. "Want It Back" and "The Killing Type", anthems for sure, drove the show. A cameo appearance by Brian Viglione and a cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit"gave the show an element of immensity and rock n roll spontaneity. And those sometimes awful concert transitions to the acoustic were rendered excellent with Amanda's two segments of ukelele, both the very heavy serious first segment and the encore of one of the best written songs of the last couple years, an ode to the ukelele itself. In between the opening acts - cabaret showgirls - came on for a combined showstopper, right down to the can-can dancing chorus-line kicks. And yet this was rock 'n roll. Brother was it rock n' roll.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Shuggie Otis @ Metrotech

Shuggie Otis
@ Metrotech Plaza
Brooklyn, NY - August 8, 2013

In a summer of great lunch time breaks, here was Shuggie singing the blues. For what I saw, I was treated to Shuggie and the gang doing a bit of it all - blues, funk, and the straight soul. For lack of any inventive descriptions, the band was tight. TIGHT. All capitals. Of course I'm using the past tense but the show is still going as I write this, because I had to go back to work. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 88: “Don’t Play ‘em Enough”

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 88: “Don’t Play ‘em Enough”

“Higher” by Sly and the Family Stone

Set 1
“Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
“Up on Cripple Creek” by the Band
“Tightrope” by Stevie Ray Vaughn
“She’s Gone” by Langhorne Slim

Set 2
“You’re No Rock n’ Roll Fun” by Sleater-Kinney
“The Same Way” by the BellRays
“The Letter” by B.B. King
“Justine Alright” by Heavy Trash
“Oh! Not You Again!” by the Heavy

Set 3
“Good Weekend” by Art Brut
“Atomic Dog” by George Clinton
“Sailor Man” by Turbonegro
"Diddy Wah Diddy" by Captain Beefheart

Set 4
“Shake Some Action” by the Flamin’ Groovies
“Feel” by Big Star
“Master of My Craft” by Parquet Courts
“Surrender” by Cheap Trick

Set 5
“Intervention” by Arcade Fire
“Just Like Heaven” by the Cure
“Get Me” by Dinosaur Jr
“Teenage Rampage” by Sweet

“That’s Right You’re Not From Texas” by Lyle Lovett