Monthly Archive for April, 2009

The Mighty Men of Budos Prepare EP of Unreleased Jams

The Budos Band are an 11 (or 12) member Afro-Jazz-Funk outfit from Staten Island on the constantly-cool Daptone Records label.  The band’s two albums– The Budos Band released in 2005 and The Budos Band II released in 2007 are examples of well-crafted, if otherworldly instrumentals. After I started getting into the Daptone catalog after writing the review of the Daptone Remixed collection, I quickly made these two albums part of my regular musical diet.

So, it’s with certain anticipation that I pass along the news that there will be a new EP released on June 23 by “The Bearded Ones” (the band was originally called Los Barbudos until one of the band members decided to shave). The EP, which will be released in vinyl and download only, will be comprised of rare tracks recorded between The Budos Band and II. The EP will contain tracks that the band typically performs live as well as “The Proposition” single. I picked up that single in Chicago in December, 2007.

The Budos Band EP tracklisting:

1. Hidden Hand
2. Mas O Menos
3. The Proposition
4. Ephra
5. Nobody’s Bulletproof
6. Smoke Gets In
7. Bonus Track

 

Click Here to visit the Wikipedia page on The Budos Band.

Click Here to visit the Budos Band website.

Click Here to visit the Budos Band MySpace page.

Click Here to visit Obscure Sound page on The Budos Band which has some mp3’s.

Click Here to visit The Spinner.com Interface session with video of The Budos Band.

Upcoming Shows: Umphrey’s McGee in Iowa July 15 & 16 2009

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The Umphrey’s McGee camp announced this week their summer tour run, which includes a couple of dates in Iowa: Wednesday, July 15th in Des Moines at Simon Estes Riverfront Amphitheater and Thursday, July 16th in Davenport at the Capitol Theatre.

The Simon Estes show is an outdoor event and is being handled by Amedeo Rossi and Sam Summers who are responsible for the Nitefall on the River concert series as well as the 80/35 Festival. The 80/35 Festival which takes place over Independence Day is in its second year and the lineup is looking pretty good for this year.

Tickets for both shows are available for pre-sale through umphreys.com, and will be available for sale through other outlets soon. The Des Moines show will be available through Iowatix.com on 5/1, and through the Capitol boxoffice.

The Umphrey’s shows since this year’s release of Mantis have focused on the Mantis material, which the band has considered to be a turning point for the band in its career, and in my opinion the pinnacle of their releases so far.  The show I saw in Minneapolis earlier this year was my first, and was very impressed with the band’s live show. I’m going to try to attend at least the Davenport show.

Click Here to see the other dates on this summer tour.

Lyrics Born Live @ The Picador, Iowa City 4/15/09 (Review)

Lyrics Born
My wife Sherry and I were really looking forward to this show. LB had canceled his Minneapolis show last fall so he could help campaign for Obama, and we really hadn’t had an opportunity to hear a lot of the Everywhere At Once songs live. Additionally, this mini-tour was going to be done with a DJ instead of a full band, and we hadn’t heard LB in this context since we saw Latryx opening for DJ Shadow in Minneapolis at Quest as part of the Goodwill Tour where Shadow was the DJ for them. On top of that, we have the new single “Funky Hit Records” and Joyo’s new EP on the horizon meant that we’d get to hear her new songs, too.

Unfortunately, the prospects of the show started to wane a bit starting with Sherry either having a cold or some very bad allergy symptoms. Like a trooper, though, she wasn’t going to allow mere illness to get in the way of seeing this show. Out of all of the shows I drag her to, the Lyrics Born shows are her favorite and admittedly more of a good time than some.

We showed up just after doors were supposed to open, and we could hear Lyrics Born upstairs doing a soundcheck. We did manage to get a great parking spot right in front of the Picador. Although, that should have indicated what was to come for the show.

We made our way upstairs as soon as we were allowed, and went to the bar to figure out what we were going to drink. We both started with Absolut screwdrivers. Part of the reason we showed up so early was to make sure we got a table so we could sit if we wanted. The Picador has a very unpredictable table situation– one show has a few tables, and the next won’t have any. This was a won’t have any show, except there was a collection of chairs situated in a circle at the back opposite the soundboard occupied by some people engaged in conversation. At this moment there was maybe twenty people total in the place. Sherry and I situated ourselves at a pole in front of the soundboard– at least we could lean if we needed.

The first act was Big Zay a producer-MC from Davenport who I’d never heard of, but apparently had performed at The Picador before. He claims to have a unique blend of dance music and rap– I’m not sure I think it is that unique, really. The show was him on stage in cargo pants, flip-flops and at one point a wig rapping and singing over a music track. I think the guy is pretty talented, but really his music is pretty unmemorable and I think he lacks a stage presence– he doesn’t command the audience the same way a more seasoned performer would. He chugged through his short set of happy tunes about clubs and girls quickly if not painlessly. His finale song “Love Can Change The World” is apparently– in his words– why he’s performing and why he’s on stage. Mostly the song is comprised of the song title, and while I appreciate the sentiment, the small crowd probably didn’t help deliver it’s promise.

The following act was one I was interested in seeing having checked out their MySpace page– Porno Galactica from Fairfield, IA. Their brand of electronica is reminiscent of Big Beat and drew quick comparisons to the Chemical Brothers and at points like “Next is the E” Moby. Not content to be laptop rockers the brothers Dom and Phil Rabalais were bouncing around the stage and running around the room while tweeking their gadgets on stage. If I would have been a lot more drunk, I might have found their schtick more amusing– as it was I left feeling that they were having a lot of fun, but probably the minority in that. Ultimately, their irreverant approach to their show– while punky– had little to do with showmanship, and really not very complimentary to the headliner. If they were supposed to be a warm-up act, they actually had the opposite effect as it seemed that the small crowd actually shrunk during their show.

So, I have to hand it to Lyrics Born. He hit the stage and truly delivered the show that he would have delivered to a crowd– well frankly, 500 times the size of the Picador crowd on that Wednesday night.
Lyrics Born
Quite a bit of LB’s set was similar to the live shows Sherry and I saw in Minneapolis over the last three years relying on mainstays in his catalog, holding on to some of the “prop” moves like the freezing at the end of a song and doing the stopping the song part to get the crowd to cheer. Well, it works every time. LB really knows how to work a live show and takes command of the stage. He seemed a bit off to me, but this is due to the fact that he actually was fighting a cold and said that he had considered canceling the show, but wanted to come out because this was his first time in Iowa City.
DJ D-Sharp, Lyrics Born & Joyo Velarde
So, I was a bit embarassed by the low turnout. A quick count of the room gave me somewhere around 60 or 70 people.The shows in Minneapolis had been over 200, typically. But, really it had to be the LOUDEST group of 60 or 70 I’ve ever been a part of– the audience was hooting, screaming, cheering and singing along like a crowd 10 times the size! Clearly, everyone there was a fan, and that was a relief.

I don’t know why the show had such a low turnout– I didn’t see much promotion for the show other than my blog. Maybe there was more coverage in the Daily Iowan. Plus, it was a mid-week show and experience shows that Iowa City lights up more towards the weekend. One criticism I’d have is that really the Picador isn’t the right venue for Lyrics Born. It has the trashy indie bar atmosphere, and not the more classy atmosphere I’m used to seeing LB in.
Joyo Sings "Take You Home"
The high points of the night were the new songs from both Lyrics Born and Joyo for me. LB said that he had a couple hundred thousand downloads of “Funky Hit Records” which is from his next album. He said that it was proof that he could do it without intervention of a record label. It’s a great song live and I think it will be a show centerpiece until the album comes out this fall if not beyond. A super treat was getting a solo performance from Joyo of  her new single “Take You Home” which is also a free download. I’m hoping we see more shows where Joyo would take the role of warmup act for Lyrics Born.

 Lyrics Born and Joyo Velarde

The show ended up with a really long freestyle from Lyrics Born, which was really exciting, but the show concluded on a low note as we didn’t get an encore. But, considering that he was sick I certainly don’t fault him for that. I really want to believe that Lyrics Born should be able to pull a larger crowd in Iowa than he got that night and if he comes around again, I’ll certainly do what I can to promote the show. In the meantime, I’ll continue to try to see him in Minneapolis where he has a guaranteed crowd.

Click Here to see my flickr.com photoset of the Lyrics Born show in Iowa City

Setlist:

Hello
Do That There (remix version)
Don’t Change
Hot 2 Def
I’m A Freak
I Like It, I Love It
The World Is Calling
Top Shelf
Calling Out
I Changed My Mind
Cakewalk
Differences
Take You Home (Joyo Solo)
Pack Up
I’m Just Raw
Bad Dreams
Funky Hit Records
Freestyle from LB.

Upcoming Shows: Savage Aural Hotbed Brings The Noise to CSPS for Two-Night Engagement 4/24 and 4/25

Savage Aural Hotbed have been delivering their brand of Industrial music for 20 years this year. SAH’s brand of Industrial music is not to be confused with the 90’s and later flavors of Industrial served up by bands like Nine Inch Nails, Ministry or KMFDM, but closer to the original Industrial movement which influenced those bands. In the 1970’s bands like Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire but has even more in common with Einstürzende Neubauten in that it uses custom-built instruments– made from “found objects” scrap metals and other tools– to achieve an actual “industrial” sound.

The Minneapolis band which formed in 1988 describes themselves as “four people who can’t seem to use containers, auto parts or power tools in the intended manner.” Their live shows could be considered performance art and the bands influence from Japanese “Taiko” drumming pre-dates touring Broadway troupes like “Stomp!” and The Blue Man Group.

This weekend Savage Aural Hotbed will be bringing their show for a two-night engagement at CSPS in Cedar Rapids– Friday April 24th and Saturday, April 25th. Both shows start at 8PM and tickets are $13 in advance and $16 the day of the show.

Following the shows, the band will be holding an open drum jam and folks are encouraged to bring drums, homemade drums or junk instrument along to the show.

It’s rare for Cedar Rapids to get this kind of performance– so don’t miss this opportunity!

Click Here to visit the Facebook event for Friday Night

Click Here to visit the Facebook event for Saturday Night

Click Here for the Legion Arts page on the Savage Aural Hotbed show and how you can get tickets.

Click Here for Savage Aural Hotbed’s Website

Click Here for Savage Aural Hotbed’s MySpace Page

B-Sides in the Bins #43 – Record Store Day 4/18/2009

Record Store Day Crawl #1 for Record Store Day 2009 went mostly without a hitch and certainly I look forward to next year! My friends Erik and Alex were my companions for the trip which made for a pretty great day.

The plan was to hit the two record stores in Dubuque and the one in Iowa City since those were the closest to Cedar Rapids. I had originally hoped to hit Zzz Records in Des Moines, but that would have made for a very long day. I had called the three stores last week to see which of the special release items they were planning to get. Only Mike at Moondog Music was able to give the the full list as he had gotten most of his ordered inventoried already, the other two stores hadn’t gotten theirs, yet. Based on the reported opening times of the stores, I decided to hit CD’s 4 Change in Dubuque first since they were going to open at 10AM, followed by Moondog Music at 11AM and then we’d beat it to Iowa City to hit Real Records and hopefully be wrapped up before 4PM.

I got up early and picked up Erik and Alex. We hit Croissant du Jour to get coffees and French pastries for the road. We made it to CD’s 4 Change at 9:30AM and hung around for a bit to see if they’d open. 10AM rolled around and no sign of anyone opening. So, we walked over to Uncle Ike’s Music which was kitty-corner from the record store. When I lived in Dubuque in the 90’s I spent a lot of time at Uncle Ike’s when they were downtown. The store was pretty busy for early on Saturday morning and they had a very impressive collection of guitars at great prices. Erik picked up some patch cables and Alex bought a neat Oscar Schmidt OU2 ukulele while we waited. Ike’s had a pretty interesting collection of used Stratocasters including A white ’85 MIJ with black head and locking nut for $369, and this pristine ’94 40th Anniversary for $899, complete with 40th badging.

We headed back over to CD’s 4 Change and at that time someone pulled up and opened the store. I asked about the special orders for today, and they had a very small collection of items. The owner stated that he didn’t order any of the major label releases and didn’t order any of the Sub Pop either. He didn’t get any of the Thrill Jockey Records Toreism 12″s. He had the Pavement Live LP as well as the Touch and Go Jesus Lizard Inch 7″ box set, and had both of the Sonic Youth split singles. Not a great showing of those releases, but he was having a $2-off of all new vinyl, which was great, and Erik bought a slug of records as they have an impressive new vinyl release selection. Erik was able to pick up The Sea and Cake Everybody album, which was cool as it has been out-of-print for a couple of years. I would have picked up the SY singles, but I knew that Mike at Moondog had them for $1 cheaper.

Flipping through the new and used LP’s I found a bunch of interesting pieces, and if I wasn’t trying to stay under a budget that needed to include the exclusive releases I would have picked up some of these: a still sealed Ventures Walk Don’t Run on United Artists! ($50, even with the $2 off, it was a bit too pricey for me), R.E.M. Reckoning and Life’s Rich Pageant for $8 and $10. I don’t have these on vinyl today, but I’m holding out for ones with better covers, The Moody Blues Days of Future Past for $2– Minty cover and LP with plastic inner sleeve. It’s a later pressing under PolyGram. I just about bought it, but do I need a fourth copy of this? They also had the Beastie Boys 2 LP reissue of Check Your Head, which I’d like to pick up at some point. They also had Pink Floyd The Wall and The Final Cut for over $10 apiece. I have neither of these, and would have snagged The Wall if it weren’t for the scratch on one of the LP’s. I had briefly considered picking up some Ryan Adams vinyl– they had Demolition and Gold which would have been $10.99 during their sale.
Moondog Music
We departed for Moondog Music while the sky started spitting. We never did get the real rain that was predicted– just enough to piss you off and make it muggy. We stopped in around 11:30ish and although Mike wasn’t in yet, he had a bag prepared with “MIKE (CEDAR RAPIDS)” written on it with all of the pieces that we discussed on the phone as well as a bunch of really cool freebies! Talk about service! We flipped through the used and new vinyl in the store, Moondog has a great selection of new vinyl as well. I’m beginning to think I need to make some runs to Dubuque just to go record shopping. In the bins: The new crazy reissue of Beck’s Odelay in a box set with 4 LP’s for $99. I’d love to have this piece in my collection but it didn’t fit in my budget. Here is what I picked up at Moondog Music:

Various Artists – Records Toreism (12″, Thrill Jockey 12.30, 2009) ($12.99) Gorgeous hand-screened cover, four tracks from TJ artists old and new. Brand new Tortoise track “High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In” from the upcoming Beacons of Ancestorship album, “Window” by Mountains is unreleased as well as the Double Dagger track “Stagger Lee” and the Trans Am track “Wounded Monkey.” This is the first Thrill Jockey appearance of recent signings White Hills with “Eye to Eye” which was previously on a tour-only CD-R called Abstractions and Mutations. Included in the sleeve with the record are two photocopied booklets. The first little booklet is a manifesto of sorts called “Recordstoreism” on visiting your record store frequently and is apparently an anti-iPod perspective as well with iPod-and-crossbones logos and “..knock down to the Pod Peddlers!! Zombies tethered to headphones. Wandering Wastrels whose auditory corridors are clogged with wax.” The second booklet called “Whatisinstore” is emblazoned with a bunch of indie record store names inside of which are essays by artists and store workers alike about record stores. I think I found most of the stores I’ve been to: Jazz Record Mart, Cheapo’s, Electric Fetus, Moondog Records (s.i.c.),  Hard Boiled, Laurie’s Planet of Sound, Reckless Records, The Record Collector, Mad City Music Exchange, Treehouse Records, Zzz Records, Newbury Comics… They included Rolling Stones, but I didn’t see any Thrill Jockey at their store when I was there last month. I didn’t see Real or CD’s 4 Change on there. Maybe you can special order TJ there. A very cool piece very much in the spirit of the day.

Tom Waits – Live Glitter & Doom Tour 2008 (7″, Anti- Records 87018-7, 2009) ($5.98) I don’t really collect Tom Waits, but this was a pretty neat release. “Lucinda / Ain’t Going Down To The Well” from Atlanta, backed by “Bottom of the World” from Edinburgh, Scotland.

Bob Dylan – “Dreamin’ Of You” / “Down Along the Cove” (7″ Columbia 8697-50225-7, 2009)($6.98) “Dreamin’ of You” is from last year’s great Tell-Tale Signs – Bootleg Series Volume 8 release. It was the lead off track that was sort of a single. Produced by Lanois as part of the Time Out of Mind sessions. “Down Along the Cove” is a John Wesley Harding track that Dylan did for his 2004 Bonnaroo appearance. This track previously appeared on the Bonnaroo 2004 compilation CD. Includes a photo of Dylan.

Whiskeytown – “San Antone” / “The Great Divide” (7″ Geffen B00128170-21, 2009)($5.98) “Limited Edition Produced Exclusively for Record Store Day 2009″ – two unreleased tracks from Ryan Adams’s pre-solo, pre-Cardinals band Whiskeytown. These are two tracks from the Baseball Park sessions that would make up Whiskeytown’s first album Faithless Street in 1995. When Faithless Street was reissued in 1998 by Outpost, it included Baseball Park tracks which were produced by Chris Stamey (from the dB’s). These two tracks were not part of those. Really nice hard sleeve that reproduces the Faithless Street cover photograph taken by Ryan.

The Sonik Youth / Beck – “Pay No Mind” / “Green Light” (7″ Matador OLE 865-7, 2009)($5.98) Limited edition (2500) split single. Sonic Youth covers “Pay No Mind” from Beck’s Mellow Gold, and Beck covers “Green Light” from Sonic Youth’s EVOL album.

Iron & Wine – Norfolk 6/20/05 (CD, Sub Pop SPCD 839, 2009)($7.99) Super-cute CD made to look like a mini-Sub Pop singles club release. Iron & Wine live during their 2005 tour after the release of Woman King EP. A sticker on the wrap mentions the upcoming release Around the Well, which will be a compilation of B-Sides and Rarities due out May 19th and will be followed by a tour. The cover art also mentions playedlastnight.com which is a place where you can purchase shows by Iron & Wine as well as The Swell Season.

The Jesus Lizard – INCH (8 x 7″, Touch and Go tg347, 2009)($29.99) Limited, numbered edition (256 / 2000) I will admit that I haven’t been a big fan of The Jesus Lizard, but will readily admit their influence on a lot of bands that I’ve listened to. Touch and Go records created this amazing “box set” of all of the singles release during The Jesus Lizard’s time on Touch and Go. All of the singles have been out-of-print for over six years, apparently. The singles have been remastered by Bob Westin and include reproductions of the original sleeves and are included in this really great clear plastic package that houses them, or could be used to display them as it has metal eyelets at the top. Gorgeous, if bittersweet release from Touch and Go as this will be one of the last new releases from the label until economic times improve. They are hoping to do reissues of the Jesus Lizard LP catalog in August, too.

In addition to the releases I purchased, Moondog included a recycled bag from WEA made of 60% post industrial and consumer recycled content full of freebies which included:

Various Artists – Happy Birthday to Me – SP20 – Terminal Sales Vol 3 (CD, SubPop SPCD 779, 2008) ($0) Super-cool CD celebrating 20 years of Sub Pop Records. Comes in a neat gatefold sleeve. 18 tracks of Sub Pop artists including Mudhoney, Wolf Parade, No Age, Blitzen Trapper, Flight of the Conchords, as well as a birthday card we are supposed to fill out and mail to Sub Pop and an SP20 sticker taboot!

Various Artists – Bloodshot Catalog Sampler (CD, Bloodshot Records, 2008)($0) Compilation of artists on Bloodshot Records. Bloodshot is the home of Jay Farrar of Son Volt, Sally Timms, Kelly Hogan, Split Lip Rayfield and Andre Williams among others. Bloodshot is also handling the vinyl reissue of  Ryan Adams’s Heartbreaker. Reissued as a 2 LP gatefold! Home of Dexter Romweber Duo and Ha Ha Tonka, too.

Various Artists – Live Your Life with Verve (CD, Verve Music Group VERR01591-2, 2008)($0) A compilation of artists on the Verve label(s). Includes the Diplo remix of Mariena Shaw’s “California Soul” which was on the Verve Remixed 4 compilation. “California Soul” was included in Brainfreeze by DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist, too.

Beat Union – Disconnected (CD, Science Records 426428-2, 2008)($0) Pop-Punk outfit from the UK. Disconnected is their debut release under the band’s new moniker as Beat Union. They used to be called Shortcut to Newark. This release was produced by Goldfinger frontman John Feldman. I haven’t listened to this, yet. If it rocks, I’ll review it.

“You Think You Really Know Me – The Gary Wilson Story” (DVD + CD, Plexifilm 032, 2008)($0) Wow, this is a pretty cool freebie. In 1977 Gary Wilson recorded a crazy outsider-art experimental album and effectively dropped off the face of the recording industry. A bunch of noted artists including Beck start talking about him and the renewed interest in him causes folks to look for him. This is the documentary about his return to recording and includes the seminal You Think You Really Know Me album. He apparently recorded an album for Stones Throw in 2004 as well.

Other goodies in the bag included a Touch and Go Records sticker, a Bloodshot Records Sticker, a drink coaster promoting the Oasis album Dig Out Your Soul, a sticker promoting the Hank III record Damn Right, Rebel Proud, a rolled poster for Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky album, a folded poster for Mogwai’s The Hawk Is Howling album, and a temporary tattoo that says “Jesus Loves Scott H. Biram” with praying hands that is a Bloodshot Records promo for Scott H. Biram. Also got the Dec ’08/Dec ’09 Paste Magazine.

What a very cool collection of freebies! Thanks Moondog Music!

From there we headed to Kennedy Mall to get burgers and beers at the Mining Company. Still the great burgers and fries I remembered from the 90’s. Our hunger sated, we made the hour-and-a-half drive to Iowa City for the Real Records stop. We listened to the Iron & Wine CD on the way there.

Real! CD's and Records

I hadn’t been to Real since it’s coming back in business. Real! originally opened in 1986, and I remember frequenting it along with The Record Collector and BJ’s back then. Sadly, BJ’s is gone, and Real! was gone for a while, too. It’s been back for three years (I think) under new management by Craig Kessler, who is also a DJ on the Jazz station KCCK-FM.

Real is now abutted with a book store, which is pretty cool. When we stopped there I didn’t spend any time in the book store, but certainly will next time I’m in town. The store itself is jam-packed with product, but has a laid-back cozy kind of feel. Lots of new and used vinyl and CDs. Craig still had some of the Record Store day exclusives in although he said a lot of it was already bought. He had the Talking Heads 77 180g vinyl as well as the Jane’s Addiction vinyl reissues of Nothing’s Shocking and Ritual de lo Habitual (which aren’t really exclusive, but were released Saturday), and had the Columbia 7″es for Dylan and Springsteen as well as the Rhino 7″es making this the only place I saw these. Here’s what I picked up:

MC5 – “Kick Out The Jams” / “Motor City Is Burning” (7″, Rhino Entertainment R-21481, 2009) ($5.99) Very cool reissue of the seminal 1969 MC5 single on Elektra for “Kick Out The Jams.” Notable for the use of word “motherf*uckers” in the intro shout. The flipside is a cover of the John Lee Hooker song “Motor City is Burning.” According to the Wikipedia article on the MC5, there was a single for radio that replaced the intro explitive with “brothers and sisters.”

New Order – “Temptation” / “Hurt” (7″, Rhino Entertainment R-21479, 2009)($5.99) Another cool reissue from Rhino. This is a repressing of New Order’s 1982 Factory Records single for “Temptation” and “Hurt” (aka Fac63) This represents the first time this single has been released domestically in the US. The notable fact being that New Order used different mixes for every version of a release, so any version released in the US could be different from the UK versions. I have the original Fac63 12″ which is die stamped, so this is a nice companion to that.

Pieta Brown – Flight Time (CD, T Records, 2008)($11.99) Not a Record Store Day exclusive. Kind of pricey for a 7-track EP, but I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to pick this one up since Pieta’s touring schedule doesn’t seem to mesh with my life schedule. This EP is a really good companion to her last album Remember the Sun. This is self-released. I wonder what this means about future releases? One Little Indian seems to be staying up-to-date on her touring schedule, so that implies a current relationship.

While I was flipping though the bins, I found a copy of the out-of-print Mountains vinyl for $16.99 which I was tempted to pick up. They also had the last Sea & Cake album Car Alarm and the Human Bell LP. So, this is a good place to pick up Thrill Jockey releases. Craig was playing the relatively obscure Miles Davis Big Fun album. I’d never heard of it, but recognized it as Davis. The release had been regarded at it’s 1974 release as being a filler release. The sessions were recorded in 1969, 1970 and 1972. These session included quite a few jazz heavyweights: Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, John McLaughlin and Ron Carter amongst the large list of performers. The version he was playing was a Japanese Sony version of the original album. In 2000 it was re-released with other sessions recorded between Bitches Brew and Tribute to Jack Johnson expanding the release to a 2 CD version. So, this particular visit did what a record store visit should do– educate! I’ve already done some looking into Big Fun and will probably at least download it, and keep an eye out for a vinyl version.

So, all-in-all a sucessful day! I’m glad I got to do this run and big thanks to Erik and Alex for coming along and making it much more fun than it would have been by myself. Stay tuned for next year’s Record Store Day Crawl!

B-Sides in the Bins – Record Store Day “Crawl”

Since Cedar Rapids, IA no longer has an Independent Record Retailer, there are no stores here participating in Record Store Day 2009.  Record Store Day has been going on for a couple of years and I haven’t participated in it.

This year, it seems like all of the record labels have made special releases, including one from Thrill Jockey– which is a first for them! Along with my friend Erik and Alex, we are going to do a “Record Store Crawl” by hitting three record stores in two cities in Iowa– two stores in Dubuque and one store in Iowa City. The total trip will be 169 miles accounting for 3 hours of driving!

View Larger Map

I will be doing a live twitter of the events, which will also include pictures. I’ll be doing updates here, too as I can.

Click Here to follow my twitter

Joyo Velarde Moves Center Stage With 5-Song EP

If you’ve been following Lyrics Born’s over 16-year career, you are familiar with the heavenly vocal counterpoint of Joyo Velarde. Joyo’s recorded career with Lyrics Born started with her “Moo baby” vocal hook on his 1997 landmark release of “Balcony Beach” which would eventually be released on the Latyrx album.

It’s been my opinion that the increasing popularity of Lyrics Born is his unwillingness to be pigeonholed into any particular music style and his tendency for very musical releases. I can appreciate straight beats-and-rhymes hip-hop, but I like my hip-hop tempered with some melody, and certainly Joyo’s presence on his recordings are part of that.

The promise of Joyo’s first solo record has existed since she released her “Sweet Angels” single in 2002 on the then-newly-formed Quannum Records. Which isn’t to say that she hasn’t been busy– since that time she has provided her voice to many recordings– mostly related to the Quannum collective like the last couple Blackalicious records, Lyrics Born, Latyrx, The Mighty Underdogs, as well as the impressively extensive touring that Lyrics Born has been maintaining since his first album Later That Day. Joyo’s album Love and Understanding was originally supposed to be released last fall and had the very cool Hey Love! mix as its calling card, which included tracks from the upcoming release.

Now the release date is slated for this November, and on May 26th, a self-titled 5-song EP will be released digitally (no physical media, presumably). The EP includes three tracks that were included in the Hey Love! mix: “Build This World,” “Take You Home,” and the Bobby Digital-produced bonus track “I Need You Boy.”

The songs on the EP are a great slice of R&B and Soul. If you are looking for the down-home funk that Lyrics Born brings, you’ll need to look elsewhere. But, the EP isn’t without its funky moments, the track shared all over is “Take You Home” which is pretty much my favorite track on the EP is a summery dance-funk track that should help build the interest in the album.

Tracklisting:
1. Build This World
2. The Way We Are
3. Feels Right
4. Take You Home
5. I Need You Boy (bonus)

Click Here to download “Take You Home” from Joyo Velarde EP.

Click Here to visit Joyo’s MySpace Page

Here is the video for “Take You Home”:

Upcoming Show Reminder: Marco Benevento in Iowa – CSPS on Sunday 4/12

Just a reminder that this weekend brings the remarkable piano trio led by Brooklyn, NY resident Marco Benevento to. Currently on tour Benevento and his trio are on the road promoting his sophomore solo release Me Not Me, which is a collection of originals and really inspired covers.

Listening to his performance on The World Cafe, his passion for what he does is absolutely addicting, whether it’s discussing his growing collection of circuit-bent toys, or when he talks about his methods for inpiration when he writes. It’s clear he embraces all aspects of his talent and brings some genuine unique vision in his work.

Even though the Cedar Rapids show at the phoenix-from-the-flood venue CSPS is on Easter evening, I’m planning to high-tail it back so I can catch this show. I’ll be shooting pictures and will also be interviewing Marco for a future “B-Sides in the Bins” so stay tuned!

Tickets are $14 in advance, and $17 the day of the show. Set the Tivo’s and come out!

BTW: The song Marco uses as the demonstration on World Cafe for how he composes with circuit bent toys became “Now They’re Writing Music”. Click Here to download!

Oh, I’ll eat any Peeps that people don’t want from their baskets if they bring them to the show.

Click Here to visit Marco’s Website

Click Here to visit Marco’s MySpace page which has tracks streaming from Me Not Me.

Upcoming Show: Reunited Jayhawks to Play Minneapolis Basilica Block Party 7/10/09

It seems that the reunion of Gary Louris and Mark Olson which produced the fantastic Chris Robinson-produced Ready For The Flood, has grown enough for them to consider some Jayhawks reunion shows.

“Since Mark and I are buddies again,” Gary said in a quote from Billboard.com, “and the fact that Karen [Grotberg] is now willing to do some shows because now her daughter is old enough for her to leave for periods of time, it’s just become for viable.”

Right now, the only confirmed U.S. date is the massive Minneapolis Basilica Block Party on Friday, July 10th which has them sharing the bill with The Black Crowes and Mat Kearney. Continuing the Crows-theme, The Counting Crows play on Saturday along with Twin Cities ex-pats The Hold Steady and Matt Nathanson. Tickets go on sale 4/24, and you can pick individual day passes or a pass for both days. No ticket prices are announced, yet.

As, for future Jayhawks shows or the possibility of touring, Louris says, “Our approach is to look forward. I think the plan is that we’re going to play festivals, next year we’re hoping to play Bonnaroo and things like that. We’ll see if it grows from there… But if we continue and we’re loving it, then of course you need new songs.”

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