March 21, 2007

Explosions In The Sky: Four Thumbs Up

Not unusual, the Grand Isle of Manhattan played host to three unique shows that my friends and I spread out across the city to catch: Scotty reviewed the Allmans already, I’ll get to Gilberto Gil later, and my good pals Hal and John caught up-and-coming indie powerhouse Explosions in the Sky at Webster Hall.

Archived Photo from Taste of Indie

Read on for some initial reactions and adjective-laden thoughts about the show…

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Grousing The Aisles: Uncreative Band Names

Over the years there has been one constant in rock and roll: terrible band names.

Hell, one of my faves, Umphrey’s McGee, has one of the worst band names ever. The tie that binds this week’s Grousing entries together is the lack of an interesting moniker. Some of these bands didn’t even try and just used the name of the player(s). But while KVMW, The Ryan Montbleau Band, Apollo Sunshine, and BAD II suffer from uncreative naming, their music absolutely blows my mind.

Kimock, Vega, Molo, and White 03/17/07 (FLAC, 320kbps MP3):

Steve Kimock, Bobby Vega, Alan Hertz, and Ray White did a few tours in 1998 and 1999 as the creatively titled KVHW. The band mostly played unique versions of Kimock and Frank Zappa tunes, as well as other covers. Kimock had been playing the same songs with Zero and his own band for years, and it was really nice to see him play a slew of material that was new to him. As with all of Kimock’s bands, KVHW ended in a trainwreck when Ray White was kicked out of the band.

This past weekend KVHW reformed with “Mountain” John Molo (The Range, Phil and Friends) replacing Alan Hertz on drums. The two gigs flew far below my radar, so I was pretty shocked when I saw setlists for these gigs on boxscore section. I also saw that made official recordings of both gigs available, so I took the plunge and bought 3/17/07.

Simply put, KVMW is fucking amazing. They played the most out-of-the-box versions of the Dead’s Wharf Rat, Spring Water, Zappa’s Willie The Pimp, and much more. It would be a tragedy if this band didn’t play more gigs. If this is what the first weekend of gigs sounds like, just imagine what this group would sound like with a few tours under their belt. Read on for more Grousing downloads…

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ABB: Not Quite Peakin’ At The Beacon

Apparently Spring Training in March isn’t exclusive to Florida and Arizona. I made the seven-block trek to see the Allman Brothers Band‘s first gig of 2007 at the Beacon Theater.

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Wednesday Intermezzo

One of us hit the first night of the Allmans’ 94-show Beacon run and one of us practiced, practiced, practiced up to Carnegie Hall for Gilberto Gil’s show last night. We’re tired

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Bruce Hornsby Headed To Broadway

"The Valley Road" is leading to the Great White Way, as Bruce Hornsby is adding Broadway to his already eclectic musical resume. Hornsby has been commissioned by the New York

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Chris Difford: Shank Hall, Milwaukee, WI 3/11/2007

Chris Difford, formerly of Squeeze, has written songs with the best. In addition to his longtime writing partner, Glenn Tilbrook, Difford has worked with legends Elvis Costello and Elton John. Now, out on his own with several releases to his credit, Difford made his first U.S. tour in ten years, culminating at Shank Hall in Milwaukee.

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The Apples in Stereo: New Magnetic Wonder

If there are three words to best describe Apples in Stereo – its unfortunately 'cutesy indie pop.' Associated with the Elephant Six Collective – a group of bands which also includes Neutral Milk Hotel, of Montreal and The Olivia Tremor Control – New Magnetic marks the Apples' first release in five years, and first on Yep Roc records. Is it for everyone? No.

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