REVIEW: Jane’s Addiction’s “Live In NYC”

 photo JanesAddictionLive_cover_zpsfa8a360c.jpg Recorded live in New York City at Terminal 5, Jane’s Addiction’s Live In NYC (Universal Music Enterprises) has the band showing how to make great music together, 28 years after their formation and three decades after their greatest successes. The band has gone through a lot over the years but what remains is their sheer energy and means of pulling out everything they have within a live setting, and that is shown here in performances of “Ain’t No Right”, “Up The Beach”, “Three Days”, “Mountain Song”, “Stop”, “Been Caught Stealing” and the crowd favorite, “Jane Says”. What also brings people to want to hear Jane’s Addiction live is the mouth of Perry Farrell, who always has something to say in between songs. If something is pissing him off, he’ll tell you. Something pleasing? He’ll share that, but it becomes more than a concert and more of a cross between a carnival act and a family picnic, and you’re invited, at least in spirit. This live album is also being made available as a DVD and Blu-Ray but this is one of those albums that does not need visual accompaniment, but is available for anyone and everyone.

REVIEW: AAIIEE’s “See You In Seattle”

AAIIEE photo AAIIEE_cover_zps0edd863b.jpg A nice theme for a concept album by this Seattle band: a tribute to Century 21, the theme of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. It’s a look at what outer space was assumed in being, and now that we’re 51 years beyond that time, can that optimism and charm be understood today? I think with ambition and devotion, it can, and See You In Seattle looks back at a world with incredible ambition and vision. These guys play hard like a garage rock band from the 60’s but progressing into the early 70’s with the fever of the Pacific Northwest from the mid-80’s to mid-90’s, and with the eagerness of anyone who knows how to rock. These tracks sound like a mixture of the works of The B-52’s, The Fleshtones, and the U-Men, and what I also love about this is that it sounds like a local record. Or at least local in a Seattle capacity, where no one else outside of the region mattered, music made for friends. Or if it was meant to be heard by outsiders, it is an awesome audio postcard which tells people “if you want to hear the future, it is hear in the area code of the 206”. The synthesizers in “Space Needle USA” is perfect and helps give the sound a slight Disneyland/Tomorrowland feel but with a care for people like J.P. Patches. While I wasn’t alive when this 1962 fair happened, it makes me wish for that feeling when things felt a bit more simple or without care. See You In Seattle represents Seattle as much as Jimi Hendrix, Heart, The Thrown-Ups, and the Edgewater Inn do, and maybe for those who have never been to the city before, this musical postcard will bring you in for a day or two.

SOME STUFFS: WAVVES are “Afraid Of Heights” and prove it

WAVVES photo WAVVES_old_zps0d7a34e8.jpg
Even when they’re down to Earth, the gents in WAVVES are “Afraid Of Heights”, which is why (as you can see in the above publicity photo) they like to lie down on hills.

Or something.

In truth, “Afraid Of Heights” is the band’s latest video, which doubles as the title track of their latest album on Mom + Pop/Warner Bros. They are currently on tour beginning tomorrow in Denver, as you can see below:

March 27… Denver, CO (Larimer Lounge) *
March 28… Omaha, NE (Waiting Room) *
March 29… Minneapolis, MN (7th Street Entry) *
March 30… Milwaukee, WI (Rave Bar) *
April 1… Chicago, IL (Subterranean) *
April 2… Columbus, OH (Basement) *
April 3… Cleveland, OH (Grog Shop) *
April 4… Detroit, MI (Magic Stick) (Lounge) *
April 5… Toronto, ON (Horshoe) *
April 6… Montreal, QC (Salla Rosa) *
April 8… Boston, MA (Brighton Music Hall) *
April 9… Philadelphia, PA (Johnny Brendas) *
April 11… Brooklyn, NY (Glasslands) *
April 12… Brooklyn, NY (Shea Stadium) *
April 13… Washington, DC (Rock & Roll Hotel) *
April 15… Atlanta, GA (Drunken Unicorn) *
April 16… Nashville, TN (Mercy Lounge) *
April 18… Houston, TX (Fitzgerald’s) *
April 20… Phoenix, AZ (Crescent Ballroom) *
April 22… Los Angeles, CA (The Smell) *

* w/ FIDLAR and Cheatahs
! w/ Cheatahs

SOME STUFFS: Big Sir to release album, and when they do… tour they go

Two California dates, a 6-week time-out, and then they head to Europe? Get ready, as Big Sir are taking their music to the streets. Big Sir are going on tour in support of Before Gardens After Gardens, which will be released on February 7th (my review of which you can read here),

February 19… Hollywood, CA @ Hemingway’s *
February 20… Long Beach, CA @ Harvelle’s *
April 9… Hamburg, GER @ Hafenklang
April 11… Leipzig, GER @ Ilses Erika
April 13… Innsbruck, AUS @ Los Gurkos
April 14… Bolzano, IT @ TBA
April 17… Rome, IT @ Ausgang / Locanda Atlantide
April 19… Trieste, IT @ Etnoblog
April 20… Rimini, IT @ Velvet
April 21… Livorno, IT @ Cage
April 22… Genova, IT @ La Claque
April 24… Birmingham, UK @ The Ballroom/The End
April 25… Manchester, UK @ Sound Control
April 26… Swansea, UK @ 22 Project Promotion/The Garage
April 27… Bristol, UK @ The Croft
April 28… London, UK @ The Old Blue Last (Binnacle Festival)

* w/ Eureka The Butcher+Sadah Luna (Marcel Rodriguez Lopez from Zechs Marquise)

REVIEW: Big Sir’s “Before Gardens After Gardens”

Photobucket Before Gardens After Gardens (Sargent House) is the new album by Big Sir, and off the top I’m going to tell what I don’t like. I think the pacing of the songs as an album is a bit uneven, and I wished they would’ve put two stronger songs at the top. To my ears, things sound a bit lopsided and I think it would’ve been stronger had it been configured differently. Then again, we live in a time of playlists where anyone can create their own playlists, so while you the reader are able to hear the album from song 11 to song 1, or randomize it, I want to be able to enjoy the album as it was presented to me by the band. Is this what they approved of? Then show me what you can do, the album is representative of you as a group, this is your show, give it to me.

With that said, Before Gardens After Gardens is an album by a Los Angeles duo who are very sure about what they want and how to do it, and the first thing that pulls you in is Lisa Papineau‘s voice. She has that kind of delightful, sexy, and seductive whisper of a voice where it sounds like she’s not giving it her all but you know it’s deliberate. It sounds alluring, but that only makes you want to hear the lyrics, as is the case with tracks like “The Kindest Hour”, “1 Thousand Petals”, or “Our Pleasant Home”. While these are pop-friendly, in that they have the means to become pop hits, these are not written with a pop mindset. There’s a slight darkness in her words, almost sounding like someone who wants to go into a fetus position and hide away from the world, but within that are songs of dreams, inspirations, and strength. Papineau doesn’t only sing one way, I love it when she digs deep and vocalizes in a lower register, and I wish I could hear more of that, or wishing she’d use it in parts of songs where she sings at a higher octave. When you hear both of her styles at once, it rocks.

At times, things are uneven because I’d like to hear the songs programmed differently, or I wished her vocals were arranged to my personal preference, but I’m not the producer. Without playing the role of a producer, I hear a group that could easily tear the heartstrings of everyone who listens because of the emotional impact they deliver. It’s not a perfect banger, but it’s getting there.