Top Ranking Albums of February 2013

Super Hi-Fi Dub to the Bone [Electric Cowbell Records 2012]

Jose JamesNo Beginning No End [Blue Note Rcords 2013]

Trey AnastastioTraveler [ATO Records 2012]

Jim JamesRegions of Light and Sound of God [ATO Records 2013]

Various ArtistsGyal Season Riddim [Bambino Musik 2013]

Gregory IsaacsThe Love Box [Tad’s Records 2013]

ProtojeThe 8 Year Affair [Don Corleon 2013]

The Lions This Generation [Stones Throw Records 2013]

The Bryan Ferry Orchestra Jazz Age [BMG 2013]

Atoms for PeaceAmok [XL 2013]

Emmylou Harris & Rodney CrowellOld Yellow Man [Nonesuch 2013]

Night BedsCountry Sleep [Dead Oceans 2013]

Macklemore & Ryan LewisThe Heist [Macklemore 2012]

A$AP ROCKYLong.Live.A$AP [Polo Grounds 2013]

Aaron NevilleMy True Story [Blue Note Records 2013]

Etana – Better Tomorrow [VP Records 2013]

BaauerHarlem Shake [Mad Decent 2013]

Top Ranking Albums of February 2013

Top Ranking Albums of October 2010

The Sound Of Sunshine

  1. Bob DylanThe Witmark Demos: 1962-1964 (The Bootleg Series Vol. 9)[Columbia 2010]
  2. Michael Franti and SpearheadThe Sound Of Sunshine [Boo Boo Wax 2010]
  3. Ruby Jane Feels Like Home [2010]
  4. Kings Go Forth The Outsiders Are Back [Luaka Bop 2010]
  5. Elton John and Leon Russell The Union [Mercury 2010]
  6. Jamey JohnsonThe Guitar Song [Mercury 2010]
  7. Alborosie Dub Clash [JDF 2010]
  8. Neil YoungLe Noise [Reprise 2010]
  9. Trey Anastasio Band TAB At The TAB [Rubber Jungle 2010]
  10. Two Door Cinema Club Tourist History [Glassnote 2010]
  11. John Legend and the Roots Wake Up! [Columbia 2010]
  12. Junip Fields [Mute 2010]
  13. Mark Ronson & The Business IntlRecord Collection [Columbia 2010]
  14. Donovan Frankenreiter Glow [Liquid Tambourine Records 2010]
  15. Various Artists – Blow Your Head – Diplo Presents: Dubstep [Mad Decent 2010]
  16. Easy Star All-Stars Dubber Side Of The Moon [Easy Star 2010]
  17. Dub IncorporatedHors Controle [Diverste 2010]
  18. Matt & Kim Sidewalks [Fader 2010]

Dubber Side Of The Moon

Top Ranking Albums of October 2010

Austin City Limits Festival – DAY ONE

I went to ACL yesterday and saw some great bands, including Sahara Smith, Asleep at the Wheel, Blues Traveler, Kings Go Forth, the Black Keys, Pat GreenSlightly Stoopid, Vampire Weekend, and Phish. Wimberly, Texas-based Sahara Smith opened on the Austin Ventures stage and I liked the song “Are You Lonely.” But, it was Asleep at the Wheel that set the mood for the rest of my ACL experience. Ray Benson and his friends rocked. With steel guitar, fiddles, piano, guitars, bass, and drums The Wheel blazed through a hot set of western swing and classic country. The band opened with “Miles and Miles of Texas” and “Get Your Kicks on Route 66.”

Bob Wills Is Still The King

Asleep at the Wheel has been an institution in Texas since the 1970s. The band paid tribute to their heroes Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys with a Waylon Jennings song “Bob Wills Is Still The King.” From there they played the Bob Wills super-hit  “New San Antonio Rose.” Often Asleep at the Wheel teams up with a famous artist. For example, Leon Rausch recorded a new album with the Wheel called It’s A Good Day. At ACL Asleep at the Wheel played the title track from the album. The swinging musicians also played tracks from the Willie And The Wheel album recorded with Texas icon Willie Nelson, including “Hesitation Blues,” “Sweet Jennie Lee,” “Oh! You Pretty Woman,” and “I’m Sittin’ on Top of the World.”

I'm Sittin' on Top of the World

The rollicking Asleep at the Wheel set got even better with the hilariously titled song “Big Balls in Cowtown.” Followed by one of my favorite tunes of all time: “Hot Rod Lincoln.” I am a big fan of the post-1960s western swing revivalists. Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen are another fine band that fits into the mold–a band that also played a wild version of “Hot Rod Lincoln,” as well as a great version of “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette.” Commander Cody appealed to the west coast hippies paying homage to the Cowboy Code. Long haired Ray Benson fits in with these western swing revivialists, but Asleep at the Wheel is more than all that. They have become an institution in Texas keeping musical traditions alive. Plus Texas music history owes a debt of gratitude to the band. The excellent theatre production A Ride with Bob featured Asleep at the Wheel and the amazing Ruby Jane playing a young Bob Wills. From pure western swing to boogie woogie the Wheel wrapped up their set with “Boogie Back to Texas” and “Bump Bounce Boogie.”

Free

Donavon Frankenreiter followed the Wheel with a fun set including “Move By Yourself” and “Free.” Frankenreiter played a sweet song written for his son titled “Call Me Papa.” He then covered Tom Petty’sAmerican Girl,” putting a chill twist on the Classic Rock gem. The mustached singer played his hit single “Glow” and the catchy “It Don’t Matter.”

Blues Travelerkilled with their old school single “But Anyway” and a cover version of Radiohead‘sCreep.” The hit singles “Run-Around and “The Mountains Win Again” were followed by an amazing jam with the 15-year-old fiddle player Ruby Jane. Jon Popper and his tight jam band also covered the Sublime song “What I Got” ending with the mega-hit “Hook.”

The Outsiders Are Back

The Kings Go Forthwere the great surprise band for me on Friday. Their 1970s funky disco sounds were groovy. This 10-piece American soul band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin has an incredible stage presence to accompany jams like “One Day,” “I Don’t Love You No More,” and “Don’t Take My Shadow.”  We all know what made Milwaukee famous, but now we know why it is funky!

The Black Keys powered through a garage rock and blues set that included “Thickfreakness,” Strange Times,”Tighten Up,” “Your Touch,” and “Everlasting Light.” While Texas country artist Pat Green transitioned from the anthem  “Wave on Wave” into a nice cover of U2‘sAll I Want Is You.”

Chronchitis

I have seen Slightly Stoopid at ACL at least three times now. And I have liked every show. The dubby grooves are infectious. The reggae-punk rock formula originally perfected by Long Beach’s Sublime works well. Plus the lads from San Diego have mastered their vocals and guitar playing and their brand of stoner rock is always welcome in Austin. Among the songs played at the festival were “I Would Do For You” and “Till It Gets Wet” and the extremely danceable “Somebody.” Slightly Stoopid plays party songs interlaced by the occasional punk rock explosion like “Punk Rock Billy.” But don’t think there is not a message in the music. Just take a close listen to the politically charged “Runnin’ With A Gun.” 

Vampire Weekend provided a nice segue between the dub of Slightly Stoopid and the jam rock of Phish. The Columbia graduates sound like Paul Simon’s Graceland with strong hints of The Clash and various other world music sounds mashed together into a refreshing pop sound. The set list included: “Horchata,” “Cousins,” “Oxford Comma,” “White Sky,” “Holiday,” “California English,” “I Think Ur A Contra,” and “Walcott.”

Phish played a classic set opening with a rocking “Down With Disease.” They followed up that original song with a cover of the Talking Heads track “Cities.” Phish is Mike Gordon on bass, Trey Anastasio on guitar, Jon Fishman on drums, and Page McConnellon keys. But at times it seems like there might be twenty people on stage. The sound is full and lush and really meant to be listened to at a venue like Zilker Park. Following the Talking Heads cover, Phish geared up for a funky-driving “Possum.”

Wolfman’s Brother” brought people to their dancing feet while a jammed out version of “Chalk Dust Torture” awed the crowd. My favorite moment was an unexpected Velvet Underground cover. I dig Lou Reedand the Velvet Underground, so a bad ass version of “Rock And Roll” is alright with me. From this foray into the underground  Phish smoothly transitioned into an almost symphonic spaced out “2001.” I am also a big fan of the newest album Joy, from which Phish played the excellent track “Backwards Down The Number Line .”

Joy (Amazon MP3 Exclusive Version)

After a reggafied “Harry Hood” the boys played another one from Joy called “Light.” I am not as familiar with this song, but it provided a nice pallet cleanser for a rockin’ “Suzy Greenberg.” The set concluded with an extended “You Enjoy Myself.”  The encore rocked with a killer version of “Cavern” and a crowd-pleasing “First Tube.”

Quite frankly, Phish put on a hell of a show. It was nice to see Phish in Texas again. I hadn’t seen Phish in Austin since they played at South Park Meadows in the late 1990s. Hopefully, Phish will return to Texas in the near future. People forget Trey Anastasio was born in Fort Worth, Texas. So come on boys, bring it on back to Texas sometime. Why not? I guarantee a sold out crowd at the Bass Performance Hall in downtown Fort Worth. Come rip our faces off with a howling version of The Edgar Winter Group‘sFrankenstein.”

Austin City Limits Festival – DAY ONE

World of Reggae Music Collection–Rock/Reggae Fusion

Rock/Reggae Fusion

In this edition of the World Of Reggae Music Collection the selector explores the fusion of rock n’ roll and reggae music.

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Roots Rock Reggae

Blondie – Tide Is High

Sublime – Pawn Shop

The Police – Roxanne

Finley Quay – Even After All

Led Zeppelin – D’Yer Maker

Rebelution – Fade Away

Eric Clapton – I Shot The Sheriff

Slightly Stoopid – Don’t Care

The Grateful Dead – Fire On The Mountain

Daweh CongoDaybreak

311Rub A Dub

Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals With My Own Two Hands

The Police – Message In A Bottle

Sublime – Badfish

Chuck Berry – Havana Moon

SOJA – Everything Changes

Rockamovya – Collin’ I

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Slogans

Slightly StoopidWiseman

SOJA – Used To Matter

John Popper & Rebelution – Closer I Get

Rebelution – Closer I Get Dub

The Clash – The Guns Of Brixton

Sublime – 54-46 That’s My Number/Ball and Chain

Jack Johnson – The Horizon Has Been Defeated

The Kinks – Apeman

The Dirty Heads – Stand Tall

Collie Buddz & Rebelution – Had To Be The One

Barrington Levy & Long Beach Dub All Stars – Under Mi Sensi

Eek-A-Mouse & The Expendables – Ganja Smugglin’

Grateful Dead – Estimated Prophet

Finley Quay – Sun Is Shining

Rebelution – Outta Control

Slightly Stoopid – 2am

311 – My Stoney Baby

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Waiting In Vain (Jim James Remix)

The Police – Can’t Stand Losing You

Sublime – Boss D.J.

Long Beach Dub All Stars – Listen to D.J.’s

SOJA – Tell Me

Gov’t Mule, Toots & the Maytals – Hard To Handle

Gov’t Mule – Hard To Dubya

Slightly Stoopid – Bandelero

Sublime – Garden Grove

Rockamovya – Rock in Place

Citizen Cope – Brother Lee

Michael Franti & Spearhead – Red Beans & Rice

No Doubt & Lady Saw – Underneath It All

MatisyahuChop ’em Down

PepperNo Control

Sublime – Greatest Hits

Grateful Dead – Touch Of Grey

The Clash – (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais)

Michael Franti, Cherine Anderson, & Spearhead – A Little Bit of Riddim

Bad Brains – Roll On

Ezra Koenig & Major Lazer – Jessica

311Paradise

Slightly Stoopid & G. Love – Mellow Mood

The Police Walking On The Moon

The ClashPolice & Thieves

Sublime – Steppin’ Razor

Phish – Makisupa Policeman>Night Nurse>Makisupa Policeman (Live October 26, 2010 Manchester, New Hampshire)

SOJA – Better

Half Pint – My Best Friend’s Girl

Long Beach Dub All-Stars & Barrington Levy – Saw Red

SublimeDon’t Push

Nelly Furtado – Turn Off the Lights (Reggae Remix)

311Nix Hex

Jack Johnson – Wasting Time

SOJA – Be With Me Now

Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals – Jah Work

MatisyahuKing Without A Crown

Slightly StoopidTill It Gets Wet

Wayne Wonder – Hold Me Now

SOJA – Let You Go

311 – 1, 2, 3

Los Lobos – Pawn Shop

Ziggy Marley – Drive

Half Pint, Toko Pasi, & Long Beach Dub All Stars – A Girl Like You

Sublime – Rivers Of Babylon

Roots of Creation & John Brown’s Body Horns – Universal Soldier

Pepper – Freeze

311 – Welcome

Slightly Stoopid – Digital

John Brown’s Body – Garden Tree

Jimmy Cliff – Ruby Soho

Citizen Cope – 107°

The Police – Murder By Numbers

No Doubt & Bounty Killer – Hey Baby

Ween – The Fruit Man

Sublime – 40 Oz. To Freedom

The Aggrolites – Prisoner Song

Slightly Stoopid – Babylon Is Falling

Pepper – Things That You Love

Michael Franti & Gov’t Mule – Unthrow That Spear

Gov’t Mule – Unring That Bell

311 – All Mixed Up

Matisyahu – Message In A Battle

Matisyahu – Message In A Bottle (Dub Version)

Sublime – April 29, 1992

Slightly Stoopid – I Would Do For You

Rebelution – Calling Me Out

SOJA – Summer Breeze

Barrington Levy & Slighly Stoopid – Ur Love

311 – Plain 

The Clash – Revolution Rock

Half Pint & Filibuster – Get Ready

Ken Boothe – Everybody Want o Rule The World

Trey Anastasio, Toots & the Maytals – Sweet and Dandy

Pepper – Love 101

The Wailing Souls – War Down at the Pawnshop

Michael Franti & Spearhead – Rock The Nation

Cipes & People – Free Me

Bad Brains – Natty Dreadlocks ‘Pon the Mountain

The Grateful Dead – Eyes Of The World

Sublime – Right Back

The Clash – Armagideon Time

311 – Stealing Happy Hours

The Police – Invisible Sun

Slightly Stoopid – Still Be You

Pepper – Musical 69

The Black Crowes – Time Will Tell

G. Love – Greatest Hits

Roots of Creation – Woman

Rebelution – Sky Is The Limit

Gov’t Mule – Rebel With A Cause

Jimmy Cliff – Bang

Long Beach Shortbus – California Grace

Rancid & Buju Banton – No More Misty Days

Grateful Dead – Scarlet Begonias

Sublime – Scarlet Begonias

311 – 8:16 A.M. 

Slightly Stoopid – Waiting

Bedouin Soundclash – Until We Burn In The Sun (The Kids Just Want Love Songs)

The Clash – Rudie Can’t Fail

Aswad – Roxanne

The Police – Driven To Tears

Rebelution – Comfort Zone

Rebelution – Comfort Zone Dub

Sublime – Doin’ Time

Eric Clapton, Toots & the Maytals – Pressure Drop

Beenie Man, ARP, & Tony Curtis – Missing You

311 – Love Song

SOJA – Strength To Survivie

Pepper – Bring Me Along

The Clash – Lover’s Rock

The Police – Reggaetta De Blanc

Gov’t Mule – Horseflies

Mishka – Bittersweet

Jimmy Cliff – Rebel Rebel

Slightly Stoopid – Blood of my Blood

311 – Omaha Stylee

Nas & Damian Marley – Strong Will Continue

The Aggrolites – Time To Get Tough

Rebelution – Too Rude

Santana, Sean Paul, Joss Stone – Cry Baby Cry

Wyclef Jean, Serj Tankin, & Sizzla – Riot

Trey Anastasio – Small Axe 

Petra Haden, Stephen Perkins, & Mike Watt – Work That We Do

Long Beach Shortbus – Girl Next Door

SOJA  – Don’t Forget

Matisyahu – I Will Be Light

Slightly Stoopid – Sweet Honey

Rebelution – Day By Day

Gov’t Mule – Unblow Your Horn

Gov’t Mule – Reblow Your Mind

Sublime – Trenchtown Rock

NEED

Super Villains 20 Excuses

Pepper – Bad Idea

Horace Andy & Easy Dub All-Stars Airbag

PepperCan’t Stand Losing You

Sting & Ranking Roger The Bed’s Too Big Without You

Pasafire – Submersible

The Expendables –  Bowl For Two

DispatchThe General

Junior ReidSynchronicity 1

Bad Brains I And I Survive

GroundationLong, Long Ago

IrationFalling

Outlaw NationBabylon Is Falling

Easy Dub All Stars – Karma Police

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub SquadBuffalo

The HoldupHunnies

Aivar17

RebelutionOrdinary Girl

Toots & the MaytalsDe Do Do Do De Da Da Da

Bedouin SoundclashWalls Fall Down

Burning Spear – Jam Cruise

Roots Manuva Again & Again (Arctic Monkeys Remix)

Eve & Wyclef JeanYour Love

Mikey Dread & Seal Lips Like Sugar

ElanSlave To Love

Jason Mraz I Melt With You

Nicole KeaBreakfast In Bed

Dryden MitchellFriday, I’m In Love

Joe JacksonFools In Love

World of Reggae Music Collection–Rock/Reggae Fusion

Phish 3D

Phish image

I got to see the Phish 3D movie this last Friday night in Dallas, Texas. The film captured the 2009 Halloween sets from the Live 8 Festival in Indio, California. This movie is not a documentary. When the film starts the music begins. It is simply Phish doing what they do best, making music. Trey Anastasio shreds his guitar, twisting the strings and producing electrifying wails. Page McConnell tickles the ivory, textures the jams, and takes off on his own solos. Mike Gordon, the soloing bassist, drops deep thudding bass lines while the drummer John Fishman wears a polka-dotted dress behind a drum set pounding out tight rhythms. All four musicians sing. Blending funk, bluegrass, rock, reggae, and jazz, Phish defies genres fusing all into a bag of joy.

This was my first 3D concert experience. And it was better than expected. The beach balls, glow sticks, and balloons fluttered through the crowd and seemingly throughout the movie theatre. It was like being at a live concert, but with better views. In fact, it might be better than an actual concert in terms of visibility. because you get to see so many different perspectives. Perhaps the live music concert is better because you get to experience the music in the moment, in the heat of the spontaneous jam sessions, and among the Phishhead culture, but in the movie theatre Trey leaps off the screen as I sit sipping a beer and eating nachos.

As the film begins Phish goes into one of their old school jams “AC/DC Bag.” Then the band plays a track from the new album Joy entitled “Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan.” Next, I really liked the rockin’ version of “Undermind.” The light show was spectacular at this festival. Smoke floated by in 3D with lights piercing and slicing through the smoke into the movie theatre. As the song “Tweezer” started the lights turned a cold blue and Fishman donned a toboggan. We stepped inside a freezer and ceased her with a tweezer! From out of the freezer we emerged into the “Maze,” building and building until we eventually exploded out into space. Then we returned to earth with “Mike’s Song,” which rounded out a very strong night-time set.

The film then briefly shows some daytime scenes of the festival grounds, including the large piece of art known as the Squirming Coil. From there it cuts to the band taking to the stage with acoustic instruments. They embark on an acoustic jam that starts with “Back On The Train” from 2000’s release Farmhouse. From there the boys dig back into their catalog for a sweet version of “Strange Design.” Then Phish picks up the pace on “The Curtain With.” A trippy “Sleep Again” is followed by a sensational climaxing “Wilson.” The set concludes with “Train Song” from 1996’s release Billy Breathes.

In the third and final set Phish 3D explores a staple in the Phish phenomena, covering an album in its entirety. In this case Phish covers the legendary Rolling Stones album Exile on Main Street. Unfortunately there is not enough time for the film to cover the entire album or “musical costume”  in a short movie, but we do get to see some of the highlights. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings join the band for this wonderful set of music. First we see Phish playing “Loving Cup,” which must be one of their favorites. I actually saw Phish play this song in the 1990s at Southpark Meadows in Austin, Texas. The Exile on Main Street set also includes rollicking soulful versions of “Happy,” “Shine A Light,” and “Soul Survivor.” The film winds down with a fired up version of “Suzy Greenberg” anchored by the horns and electric voices of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. Phish’s big screen adventure concludes with the crowd pleasing “Tweezer Reprise.”

Phish 3D

BONNAROO MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL 2009

This year’s Bonnaroo Music Festival offered a fine mix of music from bluegrass to reggae to indie rock and jam bands to afro-pop and electronica music. The reggae musicians included Midnite, the Itals, and the Wailing Souls. I unfortunately missed Midnite on Thursday but I got to see amazing sets from the Itals and Wailing Souls. The Itals played roots reggae including songs like “In a Dis Ya Time.” And they played new cuts from the upcoming album Let Them Talk. The Wailing Souls played Saturday and dropped roots reggae classics like “Shark Attack ” alongside reggae covers of the Doors song “Love Her Madly” and the Grateful Dead classic “Casey Jones.” The Wailing Souls also played “War Down at the Pawn Shop” a track written by Sublime headman Bradley Nowell.

Phish played two shows. The first show on Friday night rocked with originals like “You Enjoy Myself” “Wolfman’s Brother,” “Wading In The Velvet Sea,” and “Chalk Dust Torture” and a cover of AC/DC‘s “Highway to Hell.” For an encore Phish covered the Beatles‘ “A Day in the Life.” The second show on Sunday night included a guest appearance by the Boss–Bruce Springsteen. The Boss and Phish played a brilliant extended version of “Mustang Sally.” Trey Anastasio and the Boss traded and then dueled guitar solos. It was an amazing show with a jammed out version of “Glory Days.”

Bruce Springsteen played his three hour show on Saturday Night with the amazing E-Street Band, which included Max Weinberg on drums. “Outlaw Pete,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Born to Run,” “Dancing in the Dark,” and “Devils & Dust” among other favorites kept the crowd on its feet. The Boss is quite a performer and storyteller.

The Beastie Boys played an amazing and energetic set with favorites like “So What’Cha Want [Explicit],” “Sabotage,” “Shake Your Rump,” “Paul Revere,” and “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” on the set list alongside punk rock favorites “Gratitude [Explicit],” “Tough Guy,” “Egg Raid On Mojo [Explicit],” and “Heart Attack Man.” Instrumental Jams like “Sabrosa” laced the Hip Hop and Punk Rock tracks. The Beastie’s DJ Mixmaster Mike is more than a DJ. The man is an exquisite turntablist and musician. MCA, Mike D, and AD Rock still have it going on after all these years. Also rapper NAS performed with the Beastie Boys on a track coming soon on the new Beastie album.

Rodrigo y Gabriela, Santagold, Girl Talk, Brett Dennen, Amadou & Mariom, Booker T with the Drive-By Truckers, Gov’t Mule, Merle Haggard, the Decemberists, and Snoop Dogg all played notable sets. I caught Booker T and the DBTs (Drive By Truckers) playing “Green Onions” and Merle Haggard covering Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Jackson.” The Hag played his own hits too, singing “Mama Tried,” “Working Man Blues,” “That’s The Way Love Goes,” and “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink.”

Immediately after seeing Merle Haggard’s set I trucked to the main “What Stage” to see Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound. Snoop strolled through hits “Gin And Juice,” “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?,” “Ain’t No Fun.” The LBC rappers paid tribute to 2pac with “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.” Snoop can still move the crowd. He even transitioned into Jamaican patois at one point sounding pretty good as a potential dancehall artist. Snoop needs to do a reggae album.  Merle Haggard and Snoop opening for Phish Sunday night seemed a perfect way to end this diverse mix of music.



BONNAROO MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL 2009