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Song of the Week: Operators “Cold Light”

Dan Boekner is giving us a quite a treat already in 2016.  First off, Wolf Parade will begin touring and making new music, which is freaking amazing and reason enough to celebrate. Then he goes and drops “Cold Light” on us this week, to remind us he is not a one trick pony.

After a few subdued SOTW’s to start the year, “Cold Light” is a heart pumping tune that is impossible not to jump around to. Pair that with Boekner’s distinct voice and you have another reminder on why, regardless of his band(s), he is so relevant to music as a whole

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Ocean Colour Scene – Concert Review – Glasgow – January 23 2016

“I see trouble up ahead,” began Ocean Colour Scene on their 1996 breakthrough album Moseley Shoals – but 20 years on the band’s troubles have yet to emerge.
Now touring the album’s 20th anniversary, they are arguably the “The Best Band In The World” while Noel Gallagher – who Christened them “the second best band” back in the day – steadfastly refuses to reform Oasis.

Unlike most of their peers, OCS have toured and recorded steadily without going to ground for the big cash-in reunion tour, and can still sell out big venues like the 13,000 capacity Leeds Millennium Square in July – ably supported by a reformed Shed Seven (no new material since 2001) and a “temporarily” reconstituted Bluetones (nothing since 2010).

OCS can comfortably accommodate their side projects – Simon Fowler has folk band Merrymouth and Steve Craddock plays with Paul Weller – and still come together every year for a tour and every three years for an album. (more…)

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Song of the Week: Whitney “No Woman”

As we prepare to get hit with a “Monster” snow storm, we are wondering what your set lists are for a snowy day.  Lucky for you, nothing spells snowy days like Whitney’s track “No Woman”. The gorgeous track from this newly found group screams residuals of a broken up relationship your not ready to let go of. Made up of members from Smith Westerns and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the track has a powerful subtly about it.  Oh and a few nice guitar licks too. There is serious depth here. 

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Song of the Week: Woods “Sun City Creeps”

If you haven’t heard how we feel about Woods yet, well then you must be new to BOTC. The Brooklyn (shout out Warwick, NY) based band has been consistently producing great music for over a decade. Sun City Creeps is another indication of growth for these indie rock vets. Gorgeous, yet subtle undertones and nice horn work lead way for not one, but many, guitar jams.

The new album, City Sun Eater In The River Of Light, is out 4/8 via their label Woodsist.

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#Throwback Thursday – Mark Knopfler – So Far Away

Sometimes the simplest song can mean the most to people. Mind you, there is nothing simple about Mark Knopfler’s guitar playing. “So Far Away” is from Dire Straits career defining album Brothers in Arms. This album made Mark and Dire Straits legends.

This version is from a live album “Real Live Roadrunning” where Mark joined forces with Emmylou Harris. Her backing vocals in this version add a different layer of longing that makes this song so much more powerful.  Mark’s signature guitar picking, creates a sound like no other guitarist I can think of. Once you hear Mark Knopfler pluck the first string you get an instantaneous recognition of who you are listening to. “So Far Away” is a prime example of sometimes less is more. Just a beautiful song that I could, and am listening to non-stop. Enjoy

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Jimmy Fallon as Bob Dylan

Some really good late night music sketches this week. Jimmy Fallon continues to breath new life in to the Tonight Show. His musical impersonations are second to none, he gets celebrities to participate in odd “games” and promotes great musical acts. Although his interviews are absolutely awful, he makes up for them with gems like this. Fallon’s Bob Dylan is spot on and hilarious. Check it out

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Phish – Concert Review – Madison Square Garden – January 2 2016

So on Saturday (January 2nd) I attended my first Phish show. By no means am I a die hard Phish fan or dare I say a member of the Phans.  Although I’ve always enjoyed their music, I’ve never been motivated enough to attend a show.

That all changed in 2016, as I was given a “miracle” by a friend (to the unindoctrinated this means getting a free ticket to a Phish show). Technically for a “miracle” you need to receive a free ticket outside the show, but I’m calling my ticket a miracle anyway.

As I said before, I had been a fan of Phish in my teens but they had not been on my radar for quite sometime.  If anything, I had been thinking about Phish recently due to Trey Anastasio playing with the Grateful Dead this past summer. Like most 30 somethings, I had the mid 90’s live album “A Live One” in my CD collection.


In the mid 90’s it seemed like everyone had this CD, whether they liked Phish or not. It was one of those discs that seemed required by law to own in 1995. Around the same time as “A Live One” was released, I would sneak out to a local restaurant/bar to hear some local kids play mostly Phish tunes. It was there I became familiar with Golgi Apparatus, Suzy Greenberg, Fee, and Sample In a Jar. I ended up buying the album “Junta” from the Wiz and from time to time would revisit Phish, listening to these two albums.

Right around the time I was introduced to Phish, I really only had just started my love affair with rock music. Phish were part of my continued rock exploration at the time. Prior to 1994/95 I had been listening to Rap, much to my parents delight.

But I digress….

Fast forward 20 years and I’m heading to Madison Square Garden with no idea of what to expect and a little skeptical of the Phish experience. The crowd awaiting entry to the world’s most famous arena, exchanged hypothesis on what Phish might play and reminisced about former shows. I asked a couple of guys chatting about former shows “Do you think they will play Fee?” Instantly, another guy not in our conversation chimed in that Phish had not played that in around 60 shows. A quick confirmation off of Phish.net and it was decided by the group that it was unlikely they would play Fee, much to my disappointment. I was taken back at the amount of passion and loyalty this fan base has, I wish every concert I went to had fans like this that were so committed.

New security measures make getting in to any arena now extremely annoying. We continued waiting in a monster line/crowd and as showtime approached everyone remained extremely polite and did their best to just get in the show. I could sense a vibe in the crowd that was different from other shows I’ve attended in the past at MSG. I was welcomed numerous times to my first Phish show by people from all over the country. One guy had traveled from Nashville because….why not.  I guess since I’ve seen so many shows at Madison Square Garden, you can forget that playing MSG is still a really big deal, and an even bigger deal when you sell out four nights. A couple of “whoos” from the crowd, a final security scan, and we were in.

Luckily I was attending the show with a Phish veteran, 35 or so shows under his belt. He would be able to guide me through all the inside jokes, jargon, and rituals that comprise attending a Phish show. After scanning the crowd for sometime, I was glad that I didn’t shave my 5 day old beard, as it seemed beards were mandatory.

We finally got to our seats in the 100 section of MSG just as Phish were about to take the stage, perfect timing.  Scanning our section I realized this would be a very different show. Our section was bursting at the seams. The whole aisle was filled and people were standing 2 or 3 in a seat. It seemed as if the Garden had been sold out 10 times over. As the night went on I realized people were exchanging tickets to guarantee they could get back in to this section, to dance and sing with their friends. Pretty cool move if you ask me.

To say security were looking the other way for the night, might be the greatest understatement of all time. After 3 shows, I assumed security was tired of shooing peaceful 30 somethings from the aisle, only to see them reform in the aisle seconds later. As the lights dimmed, the amount of smoke that wafted from the crowd was a sight I’ve never seen at an MSG show. Former Mayor Bloomberg’s decree of no smoking indoors did not apply tonight. The crowd exploded as Trey and the boys hit the first note of the night and off we went.

Phish opened with “Your Pet Cat” that went straight over my head. Quickly, or as quickly as Phish can, it was on to “AC/DC Bag”. Really good tune, and brought the first of what seemed a never ending flow of glow sticks flying from the upper deck. Being my first show, I was not aware of the Phish fan tradition of throwing glow sticks throughout the show. It was awesome, and between the smoke and the glow sticks, it created a beautiful canvas of light and shadows that would have made Bob Ross proud.

Since I only knew 5-8 songs I was at a huge disadvantage throughout the night. While prepping for the show I did my best to get acquainted with Phish post 1995. The thing is that recorded Phish does not do the band justice, they are the ultimate live band. The interplay between the band is exquisite and the songs take on a whole different meaning in a live setting.  “The Divided Sky” and “Axilla” sold me on the night. I was now hopping and bopping with the rest of the crowd and fully engaged. It’s an unbelievable feeling to be part of a crowd that is “all in” on a show. There were no cell phones up taping songs, everyone was immersed in the spectacle of light and sound.

Throughout the night I was coached on what to look and listen for. Luckily my personal guide was there to steer me through the “never ending choral maze” that is a Phish show. Towards the end of the night it became my time to join the rest of the crowd since Phish finally played something I knew, “Suzy Greenberg”. I could now finally fully participate in singing along with the rest of the crowd.

After Suzy, Phish continued to jam out propelling themselves and the crowd towards their triumphant end of their four night stint at MSG. The crowd, which never sat, or stopped dancing or singing, gave Phish a great send off after playing Tweezer for the 2nd time of the night. My friend and I grabbed our coats, high-fived a few concert neighbors, and headed out.

As a first time attendee, I was completely blown away by Phish and what is the Phish experience.  For those that think Phish is not for them, I would highly encourage you to second guess that belief. Between the welcoming fun crowd, amazing light show, and first class musicianship, Phish is the real deal. Too be honest I was slightly skeptical if I would really enjoy the show. I envisioned myself losing interest in ten minute jam sessions and checking my watch to see how much more time was left in the show. I couldn’t have been more wrong, not only did I not lose interest once, even though I only knew one song from the set, I was so caught up in the night I didn’t even film any part of the show or check my watch. If you are on the fence about seeing Phish live, do yourself a favor and go, you won’t be disappointed. Make sure to bring some glow sticks though.

Set list:

Your Pet Cat

AC/DC Bag

NICU

It’s Ice

Horn

The Divided Sky

(with ‘Stash’ tease by Trey)

Axilla

Maze

Train Song

Julius

Set 2:

Tweezer

Sand

Limb By Limb

Suzy Greenberg

Harry Hood

You Enjoy Myself

(Trey briefly joined Fishman on the drums)

Encore:

The Lizards

Tweezer Reprise