Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Paul Simon - Live In New York City (2012)

Filmed for a PBS/BBC Special last year, Paul Simon - Live in New York City captures a special evening live at Webster Hall with Paul and his band from June 6, 2011.  Webster Hall is a smaller intimate setting which to me would have been an awsome place to see Paul perform.  I was fortunate enough to see him perform in December on this tour in Kansas City and it was a brilliant show in a nice venue as well. 

This performance was released as a 2CD/DVD set in 2012.  The performance contains 20 great songs from over the years and starts off with a great version of one of my favorite, The Obvious Child.  Paul and the band do a great version with a really nice jam on the drums.

I love the versions of everything from Mother & Child Reunion, Hearts and Bones, Gumboots, Diamonds and a bunch more.  Even at 70 years old, Paul still plays the guitar and sounds as great as he has over the last 30 years I've seen him.

One of my favorite live performance of any band has always been Simon & Garfunkel Live at Central Park.  I wore through the double vinyl and and the cd versions.  What an amazing performance that was.  Now in 2012 we get a really nice solo collection of the best of all the years live.  This one is a must for all Paul Simon fans, pick it up.

Track Listing:

Disc: 1 
1. The Obvious Child 
2. Dazzling Blue 
3. 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover 
4. So Beautiful or So What 
5. Mother & Child Reunion 
6. That Was Your Mother 
7. Hearts and Bones 
8. Crazy Love, Vol. II 
9. Slip Slidin' Away 
10. Rewrite 

Disc: 2 
1. The Boy In The Bubble 
2. The Only Living Boy In New York 
3. The Afterlife 
4. Diamonds On the Soles of Her Shoes 
5. Gumboots 
6. The Sound of Silence 
7. Kodachrome 
8. Gone At Last 
9. Late In the Evening 
10. Still Crazy

Jason Mraz - 09/12/2012 Starlight Theater, Kansas City, MO

I was doing a volunteer gig with Headcount to get folks to register to vote for the 2012 presidential election as well as just to register to vote in general.  We are there to answer questions and encourage people to register who are not.  So if you haven't registered or you have moved since you last registered, I would go out to Headcount and get it done.

It was a really nice night out at Starlight Theater in Kansas City.  There was a pretty sizable crowd of people mixed with young and old.  But everyone was into the show from the start and Jason really interacted well with the crowd and his band.

He started off the show with some classics, Ray of Sunshine and then into Remedy.  Throughout the set the crowd was singing and dancing along throughout the whole show.  The band really jelled together from beginning to end.  There was certainly a lot of talent within his band with a great horn section. 

I found it to be pretty entertaining show from end to end and would highly recomment seeing him play if you get a chance.

Set List:
Ray of Sunshine, The Remedy (I Won’t Worry), Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Make It Mine, Butterfly, Lucky, Up, Plane, You and I Both, Living in the Moment, 5/6, Frank D. Fixer, You (expletive) Did It, Love Looks Like, I’m Coming Over, The Woman I Love, A Beautiful Mess, 93 Million Miles, I’m Yours, Three Little Birds, All Dialed In, Distance, I Won’t Give Up

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Gaddabouts - Look Out Now!

The Gaddabouts second album Look Out Now is a follow up to the original self titled album release in 2011. The Gaddabouts are Edie Brickell, Steve Gadd, Andy Fairweather-Low and Pino Palidino. Formed out of a meeting between Steve and Edie that turned into this band that has given us some beautiful music.
The new album contains 17 songs on two cds. There is quite a variety of music styles brought out in this cd that go from soulful to bluesy to a real jazzy feel. That's really the only way I really can descripe the style as it's all over the place because of the different styles that each musician brings to the table.

Meat On Your Bones is a wonderful start to the cd with a short one minute track that gets you hopping around and then it kicks into the really jazzy style of Look Out Now, which in itself is a brilliant tune with fulll interaction of the whole band.

Wicked William was started with Edie working on her finger picking techniques and evolved into a wonderful full band version that I really enjoy as my son's name is William even though he isn't wicked. This is by far my favorite song on the double album.

House on Fire was originally played by the New Bohemians live I believe, but certainly is a song that fits really well with the style of The Gaddabouts. Very blusey and the style of the song really brings out with Edie's beautiful voice. I'm A Van is slow paced tune with a really nice beat.

This album is full of great songs from funny tunes like The Horses Mouth to the soulful tune Blessed Day as well as Down and we haven't even gotten to the second cd of music.

The second cd starts off with a sort of samba style beginning tune that sounds like something you'd hear in a lounge bar. The song Free mixes piano, horns along with some really nice beats. Then is continues on that softer style with the song The Mountain mixing again a nice acoustic guitar in with a great compliment from the piano.

The album continues with a nice acoustic jazz feel with the mellow sone Don't Take All Day. This tracks into a really nice acoustic pop style song called How I Love You that keeps a real nice clapping type beat through the song.

Things pick up with a really nice upbeat song Can You Feel It that has a nice Sax solo and Steve Keeps you with a bouncing beat on the snare that keeps your foot tapping. Younger Woman is really sort of bluesy tune that seems like something that should be in one of those old mystery movies or that's how I picture it.

The album finished off with the song Corruption which has a nice beat and seems to tell a little story about the corruption of the world and where does the money go. But has a good message about the good people. This whole album has a great feel from end to end. I love to play it while sitting on the porch on a nice night with a fire in the fireplace and a cold beer in my hand. Scotch would actually fit this album a little better I think.

For more information about The Gaddabouts you can go to and to learn more avout what Edie Brickell is up to thise days check her website out at Pick this new album up today and if you don't have the first one I would suggest getting that one as well.

Track Listing:
1. Meat On Your Bones 1:01
2. Look Out Now! 3:41
3. Wicked William 2:56
4. House On Fire 4:31
5. I'm A Van 3:49
6. River Rises 5:50
7. The Horse's Mouth 3:34
8. Blessed Days 4:01
9. Devil's Story 5:47
10. Down 4:04
11. Free 4:22
12. The Mountain 4:29
13. Don't Take All Day 4:37
14. How I Love You 3:00
15. Can You Feel It 3:14
16. Younger Woman 4:08
17. Corruption 4:36

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dave Matthews Band - Away From The World

Dave Matthews Band’s new CD was produced by Steve Lilywhite, who produced their first three cds as well as the unreleased Lilywhite Sessions that eventually became Busted Stuff. The new CD goes a bit back to the style of the first 3 CDs that Lilywhite produced. Broken Things is a nice start to the CD kicking in with a typical Dave style with the horns, strings, drums all predominate in it.

Second song Belly Belly Nice to me is a big funky and odd. It really doesn’t fit the style of what I would expect. Mercy has been released early to get tested as well as being played live for the past year. Pretty mellow, soft style but a nice blend to the CD. Gaucho as a nice mix of the guitar and violin slowly building up at the start and building the song up. A really nice one to have on this collection. A little electric guitar kicks in there as well.

Sweet is a nice little tune that kicks off with a nice acoustic sound and moved out to full band. I haven’t seen Dave Matthews Band in many years as he really seems to sound the same and plays the same tunes every time I attend. I used to really enjoy seeing him until there was a rash of young 13-16 year old girls yelling out the lyrics to every song at the shows and awfully out of tune. But getting back to this CD I like the style and the sound a bunch. The Riff is a sweet soulful tune and Belly Full is a nice acoustic tune that could be one of those nice tunes to throw on in the car as you are driving at night or just sitting and looking at the stars. Sort of Paul Simon like. Actually I would love to hear Paul record that one.

If Only is a nice back to the standard slow style DMB tune that you would hear off Under The Table or Crash. Rooftop gets a really funky feel to it, great beat and pretty cool. Snow Outside is a nice acoustic style mixing in the horns and drums to give it a nice feel throughout. There’s a nice slide guitar in there as part of the mix. The last song is called Drunken Soldier – you hears some guitar play at the beginning with low volume vocals that kicks into the typical jam sound of DMB. It is about a 10 minute tune with some nice instrumental parts as well as vocals. Nice finish to the CD.

This CD has a deluxe bonus version that has 3 live versions of Gaucho, Mercy and Sweet from the 2012 tour.

Dave Matthews Band is Carter Beauford (drums), Stefan Lessard (bass), Dave Matthews (vocals, guitar) and Boyd Tinsley (violin).

Track Listing:

1. Broken Things
2. Belly Belly Nice
3. Mercy
4. Gaucho
5. Sweet
6. The Riff
7. Belly Full
8. If Only
9. Rooftop
10. Snow Outside
11. Drunken Solider
12. Gaucho (Hartford, CT- 5.25.12)
13. Mercy (Bristow, VA-6.12.12)
14. Sweet (Cleveland, OH-6.3.12)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Phish 8-22-2012 Starlight Theater, Kansas City, MO

It's been quite a while since Phish have played in the KC area and it was really good to have them back.  The Starlight Theater is a nice venue with a capacity of around 7,800 people.  It has a nice sloping grade from bottom to top so everyone can see the show and from all angles.

Phish came on just before dusk to kick off the night with a Chalk Dust Torture and the crowd erupted.  There wasn't a single space open in the venue, the isles were crammed with dancers and the whole from area was as well.  I started off the night about 10 rows back just joining in the one big dance that was going on.

There were some really good highlights flowing through the first set with The Momo Dance getting everyone dancing.  From end to end there was hardly a person sitting in a seat anywhere at the show.  I love a nice Bathtub Gin and is was good to hear one tonight at the show along with a Stash getting everyone interacting with some clapping.  I feel like every time I see them they play Kill Devil Falls and this was no exception.  Still a great energetic version.

Finally I found my way back to my seat at the intermission of the show.  They took about a 30 minute break inbetween the two 90 minute sets.  When they came back out they ripped it into a Tweezer which only meant that they were going to reprise it at some point, probably the end.  They did a few other newer tunes along the way with a classic harmonizing Bouncing Around the Room to get the folks stirred up.

The best of the show was still to come as they tore into a Weekapaug Groove and continues to get the crowd going with a Harry Hood and into a Suzy Greenburg where somewhere in that tune the was an added line "Todd Akin's a neurologist" yes a nice close to the set to come out and really finish strong with a cover of Loving Cup that was hot and right on as it flowed into the reprise of Tweezer and it was goodnight!

Great energetic show from end to end.  the venue was amazing as it was easy to get in and out of and loads of people just hung out, had beers and talked about previous shows and what they wanted and didn't want to hear that night.  I was quite satisfied with what I heard from end to end.

If you are interested in hearing this show live, you can pick a copy up at KC Show.

Setlist: Chalk Dust Torture; Skin It Back; The Moma Dance; Rift; Bathtub Gin; Stash; The Ballad of Curtis Loew; Kill Devil Falls; Funky Bitch; Run Like an Antelope. Intermission. Tweezer; Piper; Mike’s Song; Bouncing Around the Room; Backwards Down the Number Line; Heavy Things; If I Could; Weekapaug Groove; Harry Hood; Suzy Greenburg. Encore: Loving Cup/Tweezer Reprise.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Steve Martin - Born Stanfing Up - A Review

As he prefers to call this a biography even though it's his autobiography.  This is from a period in Steve Martin's life where he broke into comedy and made a name for himself as one of the best out there.  This is a great story of how he got started in stand up from working at Knotts Berry Farm to getting gigs at various clubs throughout the Los Angeles area.

The other thing I like about this book is that there is no fluff he talks about when he bombs or struggles. He even talks about an issue he had dealing with anxiety and panic attacks. It's great to see that he was able to get past the issues and how it can really affect you day to day life.

There's some good insight into how he had to go from using borrowed type materials to all original. Taking a 5 minute bit turning it into 20 and more.

Somewhere along the line Steve wrote a movie called The Jerk and that took him from a world of standup to acting and performing music with his band.

I never knew Steve was an accomplished banjo player, but from it being a part his comedy act all the way to selling loads of CDs and touring all over the US.

Great book to read. I highly recommend picking it up.

Death Cab For Cutie 07/08/2012 Crossroads KC

Sunday night prior to the MLB All Star game one of the many events happening in KC was the Death Cab For Cutie show at The Crossroads KC right behind Grinders.  I've heard their music over the past 10-15 years and was there as part of volunteering to get people registered to vote who have either moved recently or have never registered.

It was a good experience walking around before the show talking to people who were in town for the show and those who were in town for the MLB All Star game.  The band certainly has a diverse group of followers from young 15-17 year olds all the way up to the 40+ crowd.  I found the crowd of approximately 2000 to be very friendly and supportive of getting people to register to vote for the upcoming elections.

As far as the performace it started out with Ben Gibbard doing a solo tune "Will Follow You Into the Dark" and then set into a full band session the rest of the way through.  The band had a lot of enery and really sounded good on a hot KC night.  The crowd was energetic as well and really sang along and took part in the show.

It was a good night for Headcount in collecting some new voter registrations and a good night of music.  I would recommend checking them out if they play near you.

Set list:

Will Follow You Into the Dark
Home Is a Fire
I Will Possess Your Heart
Crooked Teeth
Why You’d Want to Live Here
Doors Unlocked and Open
Grapevine Fires
You Are a Tourist
The New Year
A Movie Script Ending
Pictures in an Exhibition
We Looked Like Giants
Soul Meets Body
Blacking Out the Friction
Marching Bands of Manhattan

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fiona Apple 07/17/1012 Midland Theater, KCMO

Fiona Apple played Kansas City on her new tour supporting her new album with a name so long I couldn't remember it if you asked. It was an almost full venue with a lot of women and a lot of true fans who knew the songs and sang along.

Fiona herself looks like she could put on a few pounds, cheeks are sunken and way too skinny.  Still her voice sounded as good as always.  She danced around, played some drums and had little interaction with the crowd over her 90 minute set.

The best thing to me about the show was her drummer Amy Wood.  She kept a great beat and was quite impressive in her small kit she played.  Amy is from LA and plays with The Donnies and The Amys as well as The Broken Remotes.  Check out her stuff for sure - I bet she will be a top drummer.

A show well worth seeing as this tour will cross over the whole US.

Set list:
Fast As You Can; On the Bound; Shadowboxer; Paper Bag; Anything We Want; Get Gone; Sleep to Dream; Extraordinary Machine; Werewolf; Tymps; Daredevil; I Know; Every Single Night; Not About Love; Carrion; Criminal; It’s Only Make Believe.