Monday, August 31, 2009

Big Head Todd, G Love & Special Sauce with Meese at Beaumont Backyard, KCMO

Friday night was a really nice night to be outside hanging out on 40th and Pennsylvania in Wesport at the Backyard of the Beaumont. Big Head Todd and the Monsters would be headlining a concert sponsored by the 96.5 radio station.

The line-up started with a Colorado based band Meese, followed up by G Love & Special Sauce and then BHTM.

Meese took the stage right at 7:30pm and played a short but good set. I hadn't heard them before, but not bad at all. They have a bit of a pop sound, but a good one. They were entertaining for their short set and are worth seeing for a longer show for sure.

G Love took the stage and played a good set for the crowd of about 1,500. G Love is an interesting guy. He's a white boy from Philly with a bit of funk in his style. G Love had his day a while back and now had but out some new music and is still playing away. He played a lot of classics like "She Got Sauce", "Cold Beverages", "Booty Call", "Whose Got The Weed" and a couple of covers "Why Don't we Do It In The Road" and "Gin and Juice". All fun and about a 75 minute set. Good time and Big Head still to come.

Big Head Todd and the Monsters have been playing for 20 years and are as tight as any band I've seen. They know exactly how to play off each other. Todd, the lead singer plays with a blues swing in his voice, hard to compare him as he plays a little like Johnny Lee Hooker, Stevie Ray and Clapton all together.

Tonight they mixed it up with some new some old. "Broken Hearted Savior" and "Bittersweet" were both done in their classic live styles with some good jams. They played "It's Alright" "Crazy Mary" and "Spanish Highway" as well as many others. The only song in the set I had not heard was a tune about Muhammad Ali that was pretty cool.

Todd always puts on a good show and even after seeing them about every years for the past 20, it's always been awesome!

Good night, good crowd, fun time.

Just a side note - the pictures are from KC Star as they turned out better than mine.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Damned United - 2009 Movie Review

Directed by Tom Hooper, this is the story of Brian Clough's reign as Leeds United manager for all of 44 days. Michael Sheen plays Brian Clough. The previous manager Don Revie(Colm Meaney) had achieved national success wiuth the ream and was now asked to take the head job as England Manager. So in comes Brian Clough to take over and become the next biggest thing or not. Clough starts his job by taking an Yorkshire Television interview and states that Leeds were cheats and thugs and he's there to change their style of football.

Warning: There are spoilers if you don't know the story and don't want to, stop now.

The story jumps back and forth in time telling the story of Brian's early days with Derby County, working with Peter Taylor(Timothy Spall) to take them from the bottom of the 2nd league to the top of the first division. Clough is a man of many words and doesn't care who he's talking to, he says what he wants. This was all started when Derby selects Leeds in the 1967 FA Cup Draw at home. He gets the place ready to show his first division opponents that he is ready to have them as guests. so what happens, they lose 2-0 and Don Revie walks out snubbing Clough. From that point he was determined to get to first division and beat the pants off Leeds and stick it to Revie.

Flash forward in time and you see that he gets off on the wrong foot with the team right off the start in the Charity Shields match and can't seem to get his team to show any respect for him as a coach. This struggle will end up driving him out the door only 6 weeks after taking the team.

So back to the success he created at Derby. He went behind the chairman's back to aquire players and spend money the club didn't have. He took the team from nothing and made them the champions of first division. Clough did this all with Peter Taylor, who some say was really the brains of the operation. The breaking point was when Leeds was in town for a match and Derby had a mid-week semi-final cup tie with Juventus. The Chairman question why Clogh was playing his best against Leeds and not saving them for the Juve match. Well Leeds took out several key players and Derby went on to lose to Juventus and Clough looked bad to the Chairman and the board. Clough offered up his and Taylors resignation if the board didn't change the chairman. The board accepted and it backfired on Clough. He was now out of a job and screwed Peter Taylor along with him.

The only job offered to Clough was the Brighton & Hove Albion position, which he and Taylor accepted. Taking a chance to bring a 3rd division club to the top. While on holiday before the job started word came out that Revie was now England Manager and someone from Leeds asked Clough to take over. He had a falling out with Taylor and went to do it on his own. This became the start of the down fall, "The Damned United". The players wouldn't listen. His top players were hurt and the captain was suspended for violent conduct. so he had no change. Leeds players were looking for him to scout matched and train them based on the style of each team. Clough thought that if you trained his way it didn't matter who you played. We the team turned on him and only 44 days later he was out.

The story finished it up with Clough getting blindsided with an interview that included Don Revie to be critical of him. The two went at each other with words. Clough basically said he was doomed from the start because they wouldn't listen to him and that Revie was sabotaging him from the start. Revie asked why Clough disliked him so much and he told him about the 1967 FA Cup Snubbing and Revie tried to play it off like he didn't know that he was the manager. All in all they walked off saying nothing more.

The film itself then goes on to show Clough getting on his knees and begging Taylor for forgivness. He accepts and they join forces to take Nottingham Forest to the lead championship as well as two European titles. Clough and Taylor really were a great team. The success they had was amazing. The film ends with a quote "the best manager that England national side never had". Clough passed away in September of 2004, but will always be remembered as on of the best English coaches.

To me giving you the summary is no more that telling you what happened historically at the time. This film was done really well for a period piece done in 2009 portraying the mid-sixties through early seventies. The story may have been embellished a bit, but really for the most part is right on with how it went down. Brian Clough was a successful manager, but had no chance when he took the Leeds position, but he still fought and stuck to his style.

I think the acting was done well for this film, Colm Meaney does a great job being a prick and Michael Sheen is great and being the arrogant non-stop talking version of Clogh who won't let you get a word in. This is a good movie and well worth watching. You really don't have to be a Clough fan or Revie fan, just watch it for the story and the acting, everyone does a good job.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

Friday, August 21, 2009

Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 - Goodnight Oslo

Three years ago Robyn formed his latest band The Venus 3 with Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey & Bill Rieflin. This is the follow up to Ole Tarantula that came out 3 years ago. Goognight Oslo is a new collection of Robyn's eccentric sound in music. This CD has a mix of acoustic, electric, horns, harmonica and some good old rock. This is Robyn at his finest in putting a different style to music today.

"What You Is" really is a bluesy style song with some background singing. Really good start to the CD and lyrically a cool tune. Following is "Your Head Here" is a cool a tune with nice rythms and some good vocal changes through it.

"Saturday Groovers" is a nice catchy pop tune with some horns and a really bouncy beat to it. One of the more catchy tunes on the CD. "I'm Falling" is a really nice ballad type song, very beautiful. If I were to pick a song that might get more play than others it would be this one for sure. Sort of some of that early 60's groove added to it, if that makes sense.

"Hurry for the Sky" has a bit of a western style feel like you are sitting in an old saloon hanging out ready for a gun draw or the train to arrive in town. "Sixteen Years" is a really dark song. I don't know historically the significance of the sixteen years, but it really plays to some dark devestating years. Pretty cool tune as dark as it is.

"Up to Our Nex" was from the Jonathan Demme film "Rachel Getting Married". I can't say I've seen the movie, but the song is really cool. There's some horns and simple beat going on with maybe some mandolin in the back. It's a catchy little pop tune. "Intricate Thing" is love between a man and a woman. Very simple catch little acoustic tune with some good harmonies in it.

"TLC" is another one of those simple 50's rock style songs with Robyn singing in a low tone through the start. It sort of has a groovey feeling to it. It gives you a sense of relaxation in a slow melodic way.

"Goodnight Oslo" finishes this CD off with another darker style song. It keeps this beat like it's rolling along and going to catch up to a point and just keeps rolling. It's really a nice finish to the CD.

This CD really has a couple of different styles of Robyn's music from over the years. Robyn seems to continue to get more impressive as he continues his career and tries different styles of music. I've always been a fan of "Eye" and his darker accoustic styles of music, but I love "Globe of Frogs" as well. This is one band I hope to catch if they would ever come to Kansas City. I've seen Robyn before and really love his music and this is a great addition to the collection from all the years.

I would certainly recommend going out and getting this one, it's well worth the money.

Track Listing:
1. What You Is 3:25
2. Your Head Here 3:48
3. Saturday Groovers 2:47
4. I'm Falling 4:34
5. Hurry for the Sky 3:11
6. Sixteen Years 4:23
7. Up To Our Nex 3:46
8. Intricate Thing 3:30
9. TLC 3:46
10. Goodnight Oslo 6:00

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Swell Season - NPR Tiny Desk Concert

The Swell Season stopped by for a NPR Tiny Desk concert this past week and gave a 34 minute treat that included a series of new songs we will be hearing from their new CD out later this year. They performed six new ones and had the audience participate as their background music filling in as they only had a guitar with them in the tiny room.

Here's a link to the show to watch: The Swell Season NPR Tiny Desk Concert it is also available for download in audio only and video formats from the site.

Setlist from the show:
In These Arms
Low Rising
Fantasy Man
Paper Cup
Feeling the PullBack
When Your Mind's Made Up

The Swell Season are Glen Hansard, from the the Irish band The Frames and Marketa Irglova, who is a classically traind Czech pianist. The two made their name with the Oscar winning song Falling Slowly from the movie Once, which they were both in. The music they put together in the movie is beautiful, the last CD they put out is as well. The new CD Strict Joy will be out October 27th in the US. The track Listing is below:

Strictly Joy - Track List:

1. Low Rising
2. Feeling the Pull
3. In These Arms
4. The Rain
5. Fantasy Man
6. Paper Cup
7. High Horses
8. The Verb
9. I Have Loved You Wrong
10. Love That Conquers
11. Two Tongues
12. Back Broke

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Return of Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions

I've been wondering for a long time if we would see Hope Sandoval putting out a new CD. So while listening to Bavarian Fruit Bread while working out the other day I decided to to a google search and found that Hope and the band are realeasing a new CD Through the Devil Softly on September 29th, 2009.

The first single Blanchard was released recently on iTunes and I had a chance to preview it. I can tell you that I'm quite happy to hear Hope's beautiful voice once again singing in such a dark haunting tone. If Blanchard is any indication of how the rest of the cd will be, it's going to be brilliant. From the days of Mazzy Star through The Warm Inventions the Hope has done some awesome music and I really look forward to hearing the new CD as soon as it's released.

For those who know nothing of Hope, she comes from East Los Angeles and started out signing with the band Opal that then became Mazzy Star back in the late 80's. They put out 3 albums She Hangs Brightly (1990), So Tonight That I Might See (1993), and Among My Swan (1996). Then in 2001 she formed Hope Sandoval and The Warm Inventions which put out Bavarian Fruit Bread and two EPs At The Doorway Again and Suzanne. Now in 2009 we get the opportunity to hear them again with Through The Devil Softly which is being released September 29th.

Hope had collaborated with The Jesus and Mary Chain, Massive Attack, Chemical Brothers, Death In Vegas and several others. She likes to record, but apparently is not a fan of performing live. Still she does perform and I hope she comes to Kansas City later this year.

Check out her official website for news and tour dates at

Here's the track listing of the new CD:

Through The Devil Softly
... September 29, 2009
... Nettwerk Records

2.Wild Roses
3.For The Rest Of Your Life
4.Lady Jessica and Sam
5.Sets The Blaze
6.Thinking Like That
7.There's A Willow
9.Fall Aside
10.Blue Bird

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fanboys - Movie Review

Fanboys is all about a bunch of really nerdy dudes who want to go to Skywalker Ranch to steal Star Wars Episode One. The movie comes out in six months, but Linus(Christopher Marquette) has a terminal illness and has four months to live. So they decide that they want to get one more adventure in and get Linus to see the movie before he goes. His friends are Eric(Sam Huntington), who works for his father at a used car lot and has been estranged from the group until they meet up at a party on Halloween. His Dad is about to give him full run of the 15 dealerships and he takes off to help his buddies. Hutch (Dan Fogler), is a big nerdy dude who has the van and it's all decked out with Star Wars stuff and Windows (Jay Baruchel) is a tall geeky comic book shop dude who has the plan and connection to get into Skywalker Ranch. Kristen Bell plays Zoe, the female sidekick who is just like one of the boys, but there's more to learn on that. So off they go on the adventure.

It's a pretty funny movie with lots of good Star Wars lines and some good Rush tunes along the road trip. There are a bunch of cameos throughout the movie that include Kevin Smith as a strange dude outside a bathroom. Carrie Fischer play a nurse, Billy Dee Williams, Danny Trejo, Jaime King, Seth Rogan, Danny McBride and Ray Park all make appearances throughout the movie. Let's not forget William Shatner makes an appearance as himself.

I guess there were originally two versions of the movie. One with the cancer plot and the other was more of a vulgar take, but the cancer version is just as good. It pretty much hold the whole thing together.

So without telling you the rest and ruining it all, you should see this film. a bit of crude humor and other stuff that makes it silly, but funny. In the end it pulls together, mends relationships and brings them together.

If you are a Star Wars fan it's a must see. Hell just rent for sure it's worth it.

Rating 3 out of 5

Monday, August 10, 2009

Land of the Lost - 2009 Movie Review

In this remake of the 1974 TV Series Land of the Lost, Paleontologist Rick Marshall, played by Will Ferrell gets kicked out of his science department after having a meltdown defending his theory of timewarps and tachyons. He believes he can travel through time and ends up teaching children in a museum since he has become the laughingstock of the community. Holly Catrell a student studying Marshall's work urges him to build a tachyon amplifier and they go to the caves where all the source of high levels have been found. Will takes them into the caves, an earthquake happens and they end up falling to the Land of the Lost. You know the song and the story.

This version of The Land of the Lost takes a little different approach and makes it more of a silly commedy. I thought it was an interesting version of the show. Leading up I had watched about 4 episodes of the original show and realized how bad it was and how cheesy the effects were. Now take the 2009 version and add some CGI and all the rest with a couple of comedians and it becomes a funny version of the original.

The basis of the story is they need to figure out how to get back to present day Earth and are guided by a Sleestack who claims to want to help them so that he can get there as well. There are lots of silly fart humor scenes and well as some cool dinosaur adventures. Will Ferrell is always funny, but I just don't get Danny McBride. He isn't really funny to me at all. The remake of the Sleestacks is cool and Holly as the obsessed student is a good role.

Overall I would put this in the catagory of a DVD rental. Not really worth seein at the theater and not worth buying on DVD. Just go to NetFlix, Red Box or Blockbuster and rent it or wait for HBO or Showtime to air it.

Rating 2 out of 5