Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Posts Tagged ‘covers’

On A Mission w/Black Violin

Posted by xneverwherex on March 26, 2015

Black Violin
Yoshi’s Oakland

Couldnt have picked a better venue for Miami’s Black Violin to play. Yoshi’s is a sweet little jazz club that doesn’t leave space for dancing, but is great for a very intimate performance. The sound couldn’t possibly have been better and as it was all chairs and tables, the sightlines were great.

Of course, right from the on-set the band went against Yoshi’s “rules” and told everyone to take pictures and videos and to tag everything with @BlackViolin. They also encouraged everyone to stand up and dance and their shows were not made for sitting. Sadly, there really wasnt much room to stand nor dance, but people did what they could on occasion.

Black Violin

Black Violin

The duo consisting of the always wide smiling Kev Marcus on violin and Wil B on viola are nothing short of impressive. From seeing them at a small hip-hop club last year at SXSW to seeing them at a jazz club, the band doesn’t disappoint.

The band started out with their classical music “Brandenburg” showing just how talented the two of them are. It quickly moved into some hip-hop numbers along with their DJ throwing down the beats and a drummer who was simply sick. The way the guys move between genres and making it sound so flawless is pretty amazing. The wah-wah effects pedal used with Kev’s violin is pretty sick and not something that you see a lot. It gives the instrument such a full on sound taking it far away from a traditional violin sound.

Im a big fan of their renditions of popular songs and just how amazing they sound with violins and their vocals. It helps that they encourage a lot of audience participation with hands in the air, encouraging lots of dancing and of course, singing along. Its a bit of a bummer when the crowd is pretty silent to a song like Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky“, but then again hearing Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk” on violins is nothing short of impressive. Of course, the crowd was mostly singing along and a few of us had our hands in the air or were dancing. “Radioactive” and “Stay With Me” were also pretty cool, but Im a bigger fan of their original numbers. “The Mission” is a highly catchy song with great beats/synths and Kev plucking his violin like a guitar and will have you tapping your foot in no time. But the band is most impressive when they perform their song “Freestyle” which is exactly as it sounds – just them performing on the fly, feeding off the energy of the audience and never the same. Its pretty cool to see what they come up with. Of course, after it was done Wil asked for someone to be sure to post it as it was one of the more awesome Freestyles. This is where the band excels fusing classical with hip-hop and making it all sound so fresh and new.

The band had now been touring for 65 days straight and it seems theyre hitting up everywhere. So if they haven’t yet hit your city, its a crime to not see them. Push yourself into a genre you probably weren’t necessarily aware of and enjoy some violin for a night. It will blow your mind. Now, if theyd just start playing the club circuit and then you could have a real party!


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Wild Cub Closes Out 2013 Concerts

Posted by xneverwherex on December 20, 2013

Wild Cub
Rickshaw Stop

Its hard to believe that 2013 is nearly over. But Wild Cub made it clear that they would end out the year with a bang! It was their final concert of the tour and year and the band was beyond excited to be back in San Francisco. They had only played one other time in SF (back in July – when I missed their show but ended up in Austin) and had an awesome time. I had heard others on the street outside talking about how awesome that first show was. So, of course, my expectations were now set a bit higher.

It was a late show night with doors at 10pm. I was told it would definitely not be a late night, but it turned out that the band didnt hit the stage until around 11:15pm. Indeed another late night at Popscene. Thankfully, Aaron Axelsen was spinning some great tunes and the new War on Drugs song is f’ing brilliant. I cannot wait to hear the new album.

Wild Cub

March also brings the release of Wild Cub’s debut album, Youth, which is INCREDIBLE. Ive been listening to it on repeat the day-after and am seriously not disappointed at all. The band formed after Keegan left Brooklyn (the rents too damn high!) for the greener pastures of Nashville. He is an endearing front-man who just exudes energy and still looks like he probably did in the 90s. Pegged pants, nice shoes, a slightly shaved head with long hair in front.

The band has a Prince vibe on some of their songs. Check out ‘Wild Light’. Their music is fun, catchy, indie-pop thats quite dance-y and will have you clapping in no time. Add some great melodies and infectious keys and some great hooks on their bass and voila! The band wasted no time getting the crowd moving with the ever-catchy ‘Jonti’ early in their set.

‘Wishing Well’ with its hook of a bassline and a sound that will take you back to the 80s, is one awesome song. Seeing it live is even better as Keegan tears up the stage. He dances all over the stage while playing guitar exuding fun and pleasure. The band then slowed it down with ‘Drive’ which is probably one of my favorite songs. With gorgeous guitars and Keegan’s smooth vocals the song feels like blissed out summer joy.

Wild Cub

The band definitely ended their tour on a high note. They talked about the great Chinese food they consumed (for about 7 people) and just their love of the city. They changed their set list a bit from their usual set. Keegan wanted to play his favorite song of 2013 and did a great rendition of Lykke Li’s ‘I Follow Rivers’. It was really awesome. They added a couple new songs and just did not want the night to end. So they pushed it out as long as possible. Instead of vanishing for an encore, they just remained on stage – announced their last song and broke out ‘When Doves Cry’ from Prince. While its hard for anyone to hit Prince’s notes – this was a pretty awesome cover.

One hell of a way to end 2013. Wild Cub delivered and made it an awesome last show of the year!

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Heart + Jason Bonham = Magical Led Zep Experience

Posted by xneverwherex on September 2, 2013

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience
America’s Cup Pavilion

Ann & Nancy Wilson, the sisters of Heart, will always take me back to the 80s. I first remember listening to them on tape after hearing one of their songs on the radio. I must have played the hell out of it, as the tape was a bit crunchy, and the tape would get stuck all the time and you’d have to manually rewind it. Sure I’m dating myself, but that was the time.

It was hard to believe that it would take this many years later for me to finally see them live. And the wait was so worth it! The powerhouse vocals that Ann has are simply amazing after all these years. You hear their songs performed on TV all the time, but none could ever get the angst and power to their vocals to come even close to hers. Her voice comes across as gritty, strong, filled with angst and so much emotion.

The band opened the set with ‘Barracuda’. What a great song to open with and the crowd was up and dancing and singing and clapping. The acoustics were amazing and from where ever I was standing (including outside the venue during the opener) it was crystal clear. America’s Cup Pavilion – on Piers 23 and 27 – is an amazing place to see a show. Youre right there on the waterfront – with a cool breeze coming in and the Bay Bridge behind you with their nice new light work. Its definitely worth the price to check out a show there.

Ann said she’d be playing songs that she said called to her to be played. It was a really great set with a good mix of songs from the 70s and 80s (and perhaps even later than that). ‘These Dreams’ and ‘Alone’ sounded amazing. Nancy’s guitar work was superb and she killed it on the songs. ‘Crazy On You’ which closed out the set was perfect. At first the show seemed a bit short – clocking in at 70mins or so just for the set – but the encore itself was balls out one of the best shows Ive ever seen.

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience opened the show. I missed most of their set – but heard a good chunk of it from either outside the venue or waiting in line. ‘Whole Lotta Love’ was so impressive it was hard to believe it wasn’t the original band. The guitar work from Tony Catania, is pretty amazing. It’d be hard to compete with Jimmy Page, but honestly – this is on par with it. Jason Bonham is impressive, carrying on in his father’s footsteps.

The show’s encore was the real highlight of the night. Ann called for Jason and his band to perform with them and it was SICK!! Two amazing bands on stage together performing some of the greatest songs ever. The guitar work from Nancy was incredible and showed how talented she is. Ann’s vocals were amazing on these tracks and of course the guys from Jason Bonham’s band were insane!’Misty Mountain Hop’ and then ‘Immigrant Song’ … honestly I think my mind was blown. And of course, Kashmir – what an amazing song to hear live. The band closed out with ‘Stairway to Heaven’ which was so beautiful that you really did not want the night to end.

Easily – one of my favorite shows quite possibly ever. The bands were so talented and the combination of them was pretty unreal. I cant imagine ever seeing something like this again – unless Led Zeppelin somehow reunites with the remaining band members.

This show reminded me of quite possibly my favorite quote ever uttered on tv courtesy of Freaks and Geeks: “I believe in God, man. I’ve seen him, I’ve felt his power. He plays drums for Led Zeppelin and his name is John Bonham, baby!”

Heart set list:
What About Love
Magic Man
Kick It Out
Mistral Wind
Even it Up
Dog & Butterfly
I Need You To Turn To (Elton John cover)
These Dreams
Dear Old America
Crazy On You

Encore: w/Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience performing Led Zeppelin songs
Battle of Evermore
Misty Mountain Hop
Immigrant Song
The Rain Song
Stairway to Heaven

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience Set List:
Black Dog
Over the Hills and Far Away
House of the Holy
Nobody’s Fault But Mine
The Ocean
When the Levee Breaks
Whole Lotta Love

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Arm Wrestling with Yo La Tengo

Posted by xneverwherex on May 4, 2012

Yo La Tengo
Mystic Theatre
Petaluma, CA

May 2, 2012

It was quite a show for the threesome from Hoboken, NJ. It was their first time playing at the Mystic and their first time in Petaluma. I am sure after the show they had learned a lot more than they would have ever expected.

The show started soon after 8pm and Ira announced that they would be having a q and a. He explained it that we could ask questions between songs and he’d answer them (well the band). Sure enough there were questions galore that covered most topics. It’d be hard to recap most the questions but some that stood out were – what were the band members first album purchased. James talked about his first album bought with his own money at 9 years old being Deep Purple. Because of course, at 9 years old, that is the first album _every_ kid should buy. Georgia, who was seemingly beyond quiet, didn’t want to answer?! Thankfully, Ira coaxed her into telling us the first albums she could remember listening to which were the Monkees. Ira’s was Let’s Spend the Night Together. Ah the Rolling Stones. Hard to go wrong.

Yo La Tengo

Of course, it meant that there would be a Monkees song or 2. There were quite a few covers with ‘Im A Believer’ and ‘Gonna Buy Me A Dog’ from the Monkees. A Velvet Underground song ‘She’s my Best Friend’ also was played. The covers they played were really well done.

They were asked about SFMOMA (pronounced svmoma (one word)) which led to the band pronouncing almost every word bizarrely. Someone asked Georgia about the drums on ‘Saturday’ (then it was played). They talked about working in parking lots and all the music that they consumed (Robyn Hitchcock and Grand Funk Railroad). Oh and yes, is it torture to play a baby Grand Funk Railroad and some sorta bizarreness.

While I really wasn’t familiar with most of their songs – the encore ‘Sugarcube’ was really well done. All 3 of them have really strong vocals. Sexbeat we learned was the first cover song the band (although it was just Ira and Georgia at the time) to have played live, at a friends party.

They played a song from the Hal Hartley film Amateur. It turns out that their name was misspelled in the film itself. Doh! There was a cover of Neil Young’s ‘From the Turnstyles’. ‘Big Day Coming’ was really great and the lyrics stuck in my mind.

As the night came to an end we were rewarded with the best question/statement ever. Apparently, Petaluma is the arm wrestling capitol of the world. The band quipped they thought it would be most known for its chickens. I dont recall seeing a lot, but it is more farmland I suppose. As they returned from the encore, sure enough, Georgia and Ira had an arm wrestling competition. Quite naturally, Georgia won! 🙂

Its really hard to top a night that ends with that. While I cant say I was very familiar with Yo La Tengo’s work, I was happily surprised with the entire night. It was fun and quirky and a bit odd, just like the band seemed to be.

Oh and yes, there was mention of Snooki and the gang being denied from filming in Hoboken. The band clearly was enjoying themselves as much as the crowd. Would highly recommend checking them out for anyone that has the slightest interest.

Randomness of what was played written in my phone:

SF Moma movie song
Sexbeat – first cover
Song from dump? – its smaller than you are
Going Home
There’s a big day coming, I can hardly wait
All the turnstyles
Amateur – Hal Hartley film
The Monkees ‘Im A Believer’
Im Gonna Buy Me a Dog
Velvet Underground ‘Shes my Best Friend’
Im On My Way
On The Course of Change, try to more aware
Whatever you want from me, tore me down – encore

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Superchunk Plays Misfits/Black Flag Songs

Posted by xneverwherex on July 18, 2011

House of Vans (Brooklyn)
July 14, 2011

Well it was nice to be seeing tweets not too long before Superchunk came on to let people know space was still available and to come on down. I showed up pretty late to the warehouse now known as House of Vans. They have a taco truck out back along with free beer and free water. And of course, music, all for free! Its a win/win any way you look at it.

I came in and caught the last few songs of Off! I had no clue who they were aside for the fact that it was _very_ loud and pretty crazy. Later did I come to learn theyre some hardcore punk bank with the former singer of The Circle Jerks/Black Flag (Keith Morris).

Thankfully not long after Superchunk would be hitting the stage. As always it was an awesome show. Bring back the 90s with lots of pogo-ing, hands in the air, some pushing/shoving and an all around great time. It was great to see a good mix of people from the older(ish) fans to the much younger fans with everyone singing along to “My Gap Feels Weird”.

There were some annoying kids (who clearly dont go to concerts) that continued to scream out the same song every 5 seconds and after every song. Some girl finally turned around to tell them to ‘shut up’ and the song they were yelling was on the setlist. That was great for all of 5 seconds till they decided to yell at another song.

It was a really great mix of songs and it seems they were trying to play some songs off of every album. They noted that a fan complained about them not playing songs off their 2nd album, so of course they included it this time. As always, their music is super catchy. Lots of people singing along. The bands always seems to be having a great time, bouncing around on the stage, interacting with each other and the crowd. And it was rather funny to see Jack putting a band-aid on Macs forehead at the beginning of the show! Those pesky cuts from guitars or some such thing. And Laura is as awesome as ever jumping around and singing and having a great time.

The encore was really great with the aforementioned Keith Morris joining Superchunk and playing a Misfits and Black Flag song. The warehouse turned into complete chaos at that moment and Im glad I was far enough off to the side.

Slack Motherfucker
Digging for Something
My Gap Feels Weird
Animated Airplanes Over Germany
Skip Steps 1 & 3
Sunshine State
New Low
Sick to Move
Crossed Wires
Martinis on the Roof
Driveway to Driveway
Detroit Has a Skyline
Throwing Things

Cursed Mirror
Learned to Surf
Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie (Black Flag cover with Keith Morris)
Where Eagles Dare (Misfits cover with Keith Morris)
Hyper Enough

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