Friday, May 24, 2019

Friday's Playlists: Inspired by Dylan & Dylanesque

In honour of Mr. Zimmerman's 78th birthday you get not one but two playlists this Friday. For the first one, we have compiled a few tunes from artists who have acknowledged their debt to the enigmatic Nobel Prize laureate, some of which even explicitly reference him in the song. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Tower of Power @ la Cigale, Paris - May 21st, 2019

Classic soul outfit Tower of Power is out touring behind their new album Soul Side of Town and celebrating their five decades at the same time. Founding member Emilio Castillo is still steering the ship alongside a cast comprised of musicians that also include long-time contributors Stephen Kupka and Sal Cracchiolo as well as new lead vocalist Marcus Scott. Original bass player Rocco Prestia has unfortunately been sidelined and is competently replaced by Marc Van Wageningen. His presence is still missed, but the band moves forward, as it should, because personalities don't matter. What matters is the groove, relentless and tight.

Album Review: Nick Lowe - Love Starvation/Trombone

Over twenty years ago, after the success of Little Village, Nick Lowe dropped his proto-punk pub-rock power-pop guises and reinvented himself into an understated singer/songwriter. Power chords and frantic beats gave way to low-key acoustic guitars and delicate arrangements.

Album Review: Rammstein - RAMMSTEIN

It's been ten years since the last studio record by everyone's favourite Teutonic pyromaniacs. Not that they've been absent: they've embarked on several tours and have released a few live documents but fans have had to wait a whole decade for a follow up to LIEBE IS FÜR ALLE DA

Album Review: Jimmie Vaughan - Baby, Please Come Home

If there was any doubt as to the vibrance of the Blues in 2019, Jimmie Vaughan's new album should lay them all to rest. The sepia-toned photo adorning the cover of this new LP is a perfect indication of the music inside: a familiar swing, old school sounds, and and an reverent approach to the material make the erstwhile blues revivalist one of the best, most authentic connection to the original source.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Album Review: Saint Vitus - Saint Vitus

Something is rotten in the State of Metal, and that's the corpse of old school Doom metal that refuses to stay dead in its casket. Instead it's risen to haunt us all: a few months after their Swedish counterpart Candlemass reunited with their original singer to release one of the best albums of their career, U.S. Stoner Doom Metal scene originators Saint Vitus are doing the same with a self-titled LP, their first since 2012's LILLIE: F-65,  that sounds every bit as dirty and evil as you'd expect.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Greatest Hits Live (2011-2019)

These are a few of my favourite concert shots. If you click on the name of the artist it'll take you to the concert review/gallery the picture is taken from. Don't hesitate to comment and share!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Wu-Tang Clan @ Accorhotels Arena, Paris - May 17th, 2019

On the day of their headlining slot on the French date of the Gods of Rap package tour, Wu-Tang Clan released a new EP entitled Of Mics and Men, the soundtrack to their new documentary series. But obviously the crowd was mostly here to hear old classics from Enter the Wu-Tang Clan (36 Chambers), which turned twenty five last year. All photogs were asked to leave after three songs, so I am unable to write a proper review of their set (as opposed to De La Soul and Public Enemy which I still managed to hear from the backstage area where I was). But from what I saw, the band was firing on all cylinders.

Public Enemy Radio @ Accorhotels Arena, Paris - May 17th, 2019

This act is being billed as Public Enemy Radio, which is basically the version of PE that's been touring for the past few years minus Flava Flav. If his absence (and replacement by longtime collaborator MC Jahi) caused some disappointment, it was quickly dissipated by a typically ferocious set from one of the most legendary acts in Hip Hop and beyond.

De La Soul @ Accorhotels Arena, Paris - May 17th, 2019

De La Soul played a short set that was heavy on hits and classics. Lawsuits have unfortunately prevented the band from enjoying their rightful legacy as Hip Hop innovators and the opening slot on the Gods of Rap is a way of righting wrongs and reclaiming their crown. 

DJ Premier @ Accorhotels Arena, Paris - May 17th, 2019

In the spirit of full disclosure, I'll start by admitting that Hip Hop isn't my favorite music genre, as you can probably tell by the content of this site. However, there were certain rap artists I did enjoy growing up and three of them are touring aspart of the Gods Of Rap package:
De La Soul, Public Enemy (albeit in a somewhat truncated format) and the Wu-Tang Clan.

Friday's Playlist: Jazz Classics

We usually like to feature things that are a little more on the rock side, but today we're in this ind of mood. Don't expect deep cuts or left field material: this is just classic performances of classic tunes by classic artists. Be-bop, swing, vocal, modal... This is jazz for people who don't like jazz. But if you don't like jazz, what is wrong with you?

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Album Review: Sammy Hagar & the Circle - Space Between

Unpopular opinion: Sammy Hagar's career is a monument of underachievement and mediocrity. The guy has a fantastic voice, and he's only used it to cater to undiscerning masses by churning out generic hard rock. It's often rather pleasant (Montrose's first album, a cheap American Led Zeppelin knock-off offered a few classic rock anthems), sometimes very commercially successful (I Can't Drive 55 or his tenure in Van Halen were blockbusters that still sell today) and always absolutely unremarkable.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Album Review: Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul - Summer of Sorcery

Two years after Soulfire, Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul returns with more rollicking soul/rock but when the previous record was comprised of covers and songs Van Zandt had written for other artists, Summer of Sorcery is comprised solely of originals. And while those tunes are meant to be heard in concert, which is where the group excels, the album is a perfect blend of everything we love about the music of the sixties and seventies.