Thursday, May 31, 2007
MP3: A Better Way To Run – Private Eleanor
And we close out this week, as well as the month of May, with “The Devil In Me,” by Kate Voegele. It’s some well-constructed catchy pop-rock with a bit a punch that gives her a chance to flex some vocal muscle. Though for some reason at some points I seem to be hearing some vibrato and tone in her voice during the verses that’s strangely reminiscent of Shakira. Anyway, if you’re liking what you’re hearing, she’ll be at Jammin Java this Saturday, June 2nd.
MP3: The Devil In Me – Kate Voegele
Posted by jeffro at 8:05 PM
Last Friday night was a musical endurance marathon, featuring an early Damien Rice show at DAR Constitution Hall followed by a late night Jeter gig at Bistro Europa. I don't lay claim to being a huge Rice fan, but I really enjoyed his album "O". Accompanied by the lovely Michelle, I was unpleasantly shocked to discover that Damien was either sick or suffering from a case of strained vocal chords. He struggled mightily to hit those delicate high notes that are a hallmark of several of his songs, notably "Amie" and "Cannonball". When he didn't try to muscle through or dance around the high notes, he sounded fine. The lower range of his husky tenor was largely unaffected by whatever was wrong with him, as was evidenced by the couple of songs that he sang in a lower key to compensate. And maybe I'm just getting old, but I could swear his sound engineer was trying to emulate a Spinal Tap gig. I was just behind the mid-point of the orchestra section, and I was thankful I wasn't closer.
Posted by Brian Flores at 6:29 PM
Monday, May 28, 2007
MP3: The Sound - The Damnwells
MP3: I Am A Leaver (acoustic) - The Damnwells
Posted by jeffro at 10:35 AM
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
They went with an acoustic line-up, with Butler on 12-string (and a little banjo), Shannon Birchall on acoustic bass, and Michael Barker on drums and percussion. Barker was sealed off in the drum chamber, but his percussive exploits were still visible through the windows. Both Birchall and Barker sang harmony and backup vocals, which definitely was a plus.
Most of their songs were funky, groove-oriented numbers that were often punctuated by searing slide guitar fills and solos. Even though the band was “just” a trio, there was plenty of instrumental action, with the rhythm section expertly holding down the low end during guitar workouts. Butler worked his 12-string like a champ, picking up a storm at times, and electrifying the sound of his acoustic when it was time to play leads or fills with his slide.
Lead vocals came from Butler, via a quick, yet still laid back, vocal delivery, at times almost rapping words over top of the music. The band ran through a 7-song set, ranging from the lumbering groove of “Daniella” (an ode to Butler’s wife), to the reggae-tinged “Good Excuse” (about folks complaining when there are others with things much more serious to complain about), to my personal favorite, the foot-stomper of a closer, “Funky Tonight.”
I also got to speak to John Butler briefly after the show, and based on what I already knew about his socially-conscious nature, I wasn’t surprised to learn that he’s spreading his recent success around. He’s set up a very cool program called The JB Seed. It’s an arts grant fund designed to help developing artists in his native Australia (he moved there from the US at age 11) become self-sufficient.
So needless to say, it was a good afternoon.
Posted by jeffro at 11:21 AM
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Posted by jeffro at 6:22 PM
MP3: Funky Tonight – The John Butler Trio
And we close things out this week with “When I Don’t See It Coming,” by DC’s The City Veins. I really like the building sense of urgency that’s created throughout the verses with the rhythm guitar and understated, almost fragile, vocals – and then how they eventually erupt into the choruses. And the keys provide a nice touch, adding an extra layer of sound to the layered, reverberating guitars. If you like what you hear, The City Veins will be at The Red & The Black Thursday, May 24th. And don’t worry, The Office will already be in reruns by then.
MP3: When I Don’t See It Coming – The City Veins
Posted by jeffro at 5:20 PM
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Posted by jeffro at 1:27 PM
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Posted by jeffro at 7:23 PM
Friday, May 11, 2007
The rumors have been flying around for weeks and now it is official. DC's Le Loup have signed to Hardly Art, which is a new offshoot of Sub Pop. Their debut album The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly will be released this fall. You will be hearing a lot more about this group in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can catch them at Rock and Roll Hotel on May 22. Congrats!
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
MP3: Built To Last - Melee
And then we close out the week with “Let It Roll,” by Pawnshop Roses. It’s swaggering southern boogie rock that’s a dead ringer for vintage Black Crowes. And I mean the Shake Your Money Maker/Southern Harmony-era Black Crowes that rocked. Give ‘em a listen.
MP3: Let It Roll – Pawnshop Roses
Posted by jeffro at 7:17 PM