September 14, 2010

Review: Life is Good Festival, Day Two

Life is good Festival, Blue Hills – Canton MA, September 12

Sunday, Day Two at Life is Good, brought a nice mix of great home-bred talent in Guster, the best of the New Orleans’ funk & jam scenes with Trombone Shorty and Galactic, the world-renowned international sounds of Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars and Toubab Krewe and pop superstars OK Go!, Brett Dennen, Corinne Bailey Rae and Jason Mraz.

[Life is Good founders sit down for an interview on Sunday]

Despite an early morning shower prior to any of the acts hitting the stage, and slightly cooler temperatures, it was another near perfect day in Canton, MA. Just like Saturday, the schedule of the Main Stage and the Good Vibes stage was thoughtfully planned. Bands never overlapped giving festival goers an opportunity to catch entire acts and little to zero downtime without music filling the air. The Kids Stage proved an even bigger draw on Sunday. The tent was jam packed to overflow capacity for all the bands throughout the day. The only balloons to be found in either the parking lots or the festival grounds were those of the smiling children.

Besides the same type of music, like They Might Be Giants that the Kids’ Stage hosted on Saturday, there was one major change on Sunday. Due to some flight difficulties and logistical issues, Trombone Shorty had to be re-scheduled to the Kids’ Stage. Frankly, it may have been a toss-up on what was better for them: opening the Main Stage with the early slot when people were still arriving or not even there yet, or closing out the Tent in a late afternoon slot. In one of the only hiccups in the execution for this rookie festival, the organizers did a poor job in alerting the attendees of the new time-slot and location. Despite the lack of communication, a relatively decent sized crowd made their way to the tent and saw a remarkable set of music. With the energy absolutely pulsing from the stage, it was tough not to imagine the kids that had been in the tent earlier in the day literally being blown through the big-top if they had still been inside.

READ ON for more from Parker on Day Two of Life is good…

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Hidden Flick: The Window

Wanda, proper noun, a “moment of independence” which implies a formidable time; sometimes refers to a reserved area of mystery.

One never knows what makes up the Rosebud moments of someone’s life. Even relatives may never enter the interiors of one’s onionesque inner mind, the window to the soul, in pursuit of the true moment which encapsulates everything into one tidy and neat little package. One cannot really define what it is that makes up someone’s life, but a film can often get pretty damned close, and that is the hidden truth in our continuing search for the pearl of wisdom here on our modest little quest to find something cinematically worthy.

A memory of where and when and how forever circling overhead, looping through time while gazing out upon eternity, out upon a distinct link between what space appears to be, and what it really is—a mysterious riddle consumed by the enormous weight of it all. And so we gaze beyond Time and Space as we take a look at this edition of Hidden Flick, Carlos Sorin’s La Ventana, or, in English, The Window, and it IS the window, the view out there, one is forever focused upon, in this film to seek, to find, to see the soul within.

After many flights of weirdness within the realm of numerous Kingdoms—audio, visual, and otherwise—it is time to feast one’s eyes and ears upon a subtle and deceptively simple little film. Indeed, at 77 minutes, The Window is one of Hidden Flick’s shortest entries in this four-season arc, thus far. But the rich gem helmed by an Argentine, starring a famous Uruguayan author, and filmed in the exquisitely beautiful Patagonian countryside, has one quickly wrapped up in its warm alchemical spell. Magic? Perhaps. But one is more apt to call this film a humble study of a man’s hidden thought-dreams.

READ ON for more on this week’s Hidden Flick – The Window…

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Bust Outs: Early ’90s Grateful Dead

Looking back on the early 1990s in Grateful Dead lore, it’s easy to understand why some folks view this as a less than heroic era for the band. Between the death of Brent Mydland in July of 1990, rumors of Phil quitting the band earlier that year and the transition into the Vince Welnick/Bruce Hornsby keyboard era not being met with entirely open arms, the bigger stories took precedent over the individual evenings.

However, when taken out of the broader context, some effortless digging uncovers countless gems from 1990 and 1991, as the band pulled out a lot of stops in the form of playful setlists, choice covers and impromptu jams. This edition of Bust Outs* hits on those high notes.

* Last Bust Outs [354 days]

It’s a Bullshit Lie! – Cal Expo, CA, 6/10/90

Let’s just clear one thing up right off the bat.


Stir It Up Jam – Capital Centre, Landover, MD, 3/21/1991

This is quintessential Bruuuuuce. In lockstep with Phil, Hornsby leads the band through a festive, uplifting improvisation on Bob Marley’s household tune, which didn’t culminate in anybody taking a crack at the lyrics, but this works better as just a jam anyway.


READ ON for more Early ’90s Grateful Dead Bust Outs…

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R.E.M.: Fables of the Reconstruction – 25th Anniversary Edition

Few archival releases are as revelatory as this 25th Anniversary edition of R.E.M.’s , so it’s perfectly appropriate the packaging recalls nothing so much as a limited edition, designed by the band itself. Replica LP sleeves, individual portraits of the four men as well as a booklet and a large foldout poster are all extensions of the original artwork.

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TheTrio of Oz: The Trio of Oz

Discovering The Trio of OZ via their debut album has been one of those unexpected pleasures that happens every once in a while. I didn’t see this one coming, boys and girls – but I’m glad it did. Pianist Rachel Z, drummer Omar Hakim, and bassist Maeve Royce have laid down a jam-laden jazz album chock full of emotion and life. Some of the jams captured here take you through more twists and turns than the average feature-length movie: tension that gives way to wistful sweetness or jump-in-the-air joy, with enough peaks and dips and drifts and glides to hook you in and make you want to find out just where the thing is going next.

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Mogwai Leaves Matador For Sub Pop

Rock/psychedelic band, Mogwai, have announced that they will be parting ways with their current label to join another. Matador Records was home to Mogwai for over 10 years but according

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