Tag: Concerts

Jiggy Jiggy Joe

Hello friends . The prodigal son has returned.  I just needed to google that to discover exactly what it actually meant.  I’m not necessarily wasteful or extravagant , so at any rate . . .

As you have seen it really has been some time . I get on “kicks” and the most recent one was a new career . This one suffered in consequence . Well given that my cousin commented she “always looking for new tunes and I have been sick of the mundane .” to a recent facebook post , I reasoned I need to get back on my horse .  I am hoping this is like riding a bike .

Since my previous post I’ve been to a couple of terrific shows . First of all we attended Mumford and Son’s first stopover on the Gentleman of the Road tour . It was a stunning day here in Portland . Eight band took to two stages over more or less 8 hours . Heading in I had been psyched to check out St . Vincent and Mumford , however knew little to nothing basically relating to nearly all the other bands on the tour . I enjoy new music that being said I made sure to get there early so I could explore some new sh !t . The musical combo that stole my heart that day ( and still possesses a tight grip it currently ) was a group of three sister from California that call themselves Haim . Initially I had been curious about how they coined this name , but down the line discovered that Haim was their last name . They actually have only one digital EP released titled Forever . I’ve listened to this modest three track sampling of the band again and again since my first encounter with these lovely ladies however I still believe it pales in comparison with experiencing them live . I recommend taking a listen to the EP, but also checking out about the video of an acoustic performance of the song Go Slow .

More recently I got to see Ben Harper at the State Theater here in Portland . It was the second show this year that I been to with my sister , the initial one being the Black Keys back in March. Ben Harper is truly one of my younger siblings most loved performers , thus she was seriously fired up in the days leading up to the show . I had been excited at the same time , just simply not as much as her . For this tour Ben was on tour all by himself , his the stage setup consisted of approximately 20 or more stringed instruments resting on stands , and the performance consisted of Ben pretty much randomly choosing one of these brilliant instruments and performing a song from his extensive catalog . For the most part the set was an acoustic one , however occasionally he did play one of his electrics .
In addition to an amazing overall performance was the fact that this was the show that never ends.  Ben took the stage took the stage approximately an hour and a half before departing from for the first time . The crowd , as you would expect , cheered him to return on stage . He then performed for about one more hour before leaving the stage a second time . The crowd had started to thin a bit , however the remaining 2/3rds continued rock the place . Ben came back again for an additional hour long set ! I very seriously believe he would have played longer had it not been for the midnight noise ordinance in P-town . He actually performed his final song after midnight without a mic and only his acoustic guitar inhand . According to BenHarper.com he played a total of 33 songs . It was insanly fun and super exciting to share one of my sisters favorites with her!  I somehow promised her Dave Matthews, which I may live to regret doing, but that is another story…

Check out one of the many gems from the night below.  It is a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Atlantic City.


Put Me in Coachella! I’m ready to play!

For those who aren’t aware this weekend kind of kicks off the summer festivals.  (Ok, Ok, maybe South by Southwest does)  This years line-up includes a ton of great bands.  Ones I particularly enjoy are…

Day one: The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys, M83, M.Ward, the Black Angels, and Grouplove

Day Two: Radiohead, Bon Iver, the Shins, Andrew Bird, Feist, The Head and The Heart, and tUnE-yArDs

Day Three: At the Drive-In, Florence + the Machine, Wild Flag, Gotye, Fitz and the Tantrums, First Aid Kit,  and Metronomy

The bands listed here are just the tip of the iceberg.  For a complete list go the Coachella line-up page.

This weekends Coachella performances are being streamed online via YouTube also!!  I actually got the screenshots you see in the post from the broadcasts.  The broadcasts are all in HD. (if your bandwidth permits)  Last night I watched The Black Keys, The Black Angels and The Arctic Monkeys.  A couple things to take into consideration Coachella takes place in Indio, California, so all all times on the site are Pacific Time.  That means headliners are all being broadcast at midnight or later for is east coasters.  Today’s live broadcast are starting at 3:55 PST (that’s 6:55 EST).  You can however go right now and watch select re-broadcasts of yesterday’s performances.  Oh yeah, almost forgot, the Coachella YouTube link.

The Black Keys killed it as usual.
Swedish House Mafia had a crazy awesome light show!
I HAVE to see the tUnE-yArDs live at some point.
This Shin probably played a great set, I was to enthralled with St. Vincent
Amazing! I knew her album was amazing. Her live performance was even better.
The only hotter than that outfit was Grace's voice.
Andrew Bird made me wish some other amazing performances didn't over lap
An always amazing (and beardless) Bon Iver

(I had Radiohead images, but some how I messed them up…)

If you go to the Coachella YouTube page you can watch about 15-20 videos from this weekends performances.  There are on a few songs by a few artist posted, and the don’t appear to be streaming and rebroadcasts today.

The Black Keys – 2012-03-06 – Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, ME

Yes, I know I have mentioned a few times here (and a million times on Facebook), but I went to see the Black Keys last night.  It was an amazing show! My sister and I had a awesome time! I can’t wait to see them again and again and again…

I am actually a fairly new fan of the Black Keys.  I discovered them through NPR’s All Song Considered sometime around the release of Attack & Release in 2008.  I really liked the album but it wasn’t until Brothers came out that I really started giving them a wider listen.  I fell deeply in love with Brothers, and started to seek out there older stuff as a result.  I gotta say I think it really sucks that I discovered them so late because everything they have put out is so amazing. Better late than never they say.

So when I saw (via the Black Keys email newsletter) that they were coming to Portland, ME I was super excited.  After the euphoria cleared I noticed that the show was on my birthday!  I instantly new it was fate. So a couple conversations with my sister and two days later, I bought our tickets.  I actually bought my tickets two days before the general pre-sale via an exclusive Black Keys newsletter pre-sale.  (tip to readers, sign up for your favorite bands email newsletters).

So last night, after dinner with my new wife and sister at Granny Burritos (do check them out if ever in Portland) and a quick trip to Bull Moose (our local record store), we went to the show.  The Arctic Monkeys were the opening band.  They did one hell of a job although I think much of the Maine crowd was pretty unfamiliar with them.  I myself am a semi-fan of them and was pretty excited to see them live.  They played 15 songs which is quite a lot for and opening band.   If you would like to see the set list go check it out at http://rorypond.tumblr.com.  Annika got a signed copy of the set list.  Cool concert swag!  My picture below is a little blurry, but apparently the only one I took of them.

After a pretty short break and abandoning our spot near the front (we are getting to old for the pushy crowd) The Black Keys came out.  The crowd was amazingly loud.  Lets put that into perspective, Maine crowds are usually pretty tame compared to shows in other places.   I often wonder if fan in Maine are even awake for shows here.  I even think that bands get put off by how subdued a Maine crowd can be, they just have to realize us Mainers are pretty chill.  That being said the fans last night rocked it.

Based on the set-list posted at setlist.fm, they played 21 songs.  I knew they played a lot of songs but I didn’t realize they played that many.  My sister and I totally rocked out and I for one have a very sore voice from screaming and yelling so much.  Below is one of the dozen or so pictures I took during the set.  Amazing show!

I did buy a t-shirt at the show as I always do at all my favorite shows.  As you can see below it is a baseball style shirt with a Black Keys logo on the front and a list of all the tour dates on the back,  I would have like to have purchased one of the tour posters for this particular show but had to refrain from spending to much money.  Anyway, amazing show if you get a chance go see them.  (tour dates are listed on the shirt below).  Thanks for going with me sister!

That sounds like Japanese music!

“Huh?” was my reply with a bewildered look on my face.  I was listening to Rubber Factory by the Black Keys at the time.  For anyone who doesn’t know this album is pretty much a blues rock album.  Not Japanese sounding at all.  You can hear by the song I posted above.  The coworker who said this is a 60+ year old lady who lost her keys in the fridge one night and frequently tries getting in the wrong car at night when going home.  So I shouldn’t have been to surprised.  In anycase, the Black Key are certainly one of my favorite bands and this is the perfect opportunity to gush about them.

I am actually a bit of a late comer to the Black Keys.  They had gained quite a following before I really gave them a good listen.  In 2008, NPR’s All Songs Considered was raving about how much they all loved the new Black Keys album record Attack & Release.  I was certainly curious to hear what was so special about it gave it a listen.  I don’t think I really even fell in love with it immediately.  But over time I fell in love with it and when Brothers came out I was eager to check it out.  It was about this time I also did my best to listen to the four previous albums also.

I now consider them one of my favorite bands.  I love the blues, and I love indie rock so I guess its a no brainer.  I’m pretty excited too,  I will soon get to see them live as I have tickets to see them on my birthday in March.  I will certainly be blogging about it so stay tuned the first or second week of March.

Juliette Lewis – 2010-08-19 – Port City Music Hall, Portland, ME

I don’t go to enough concerts anymore.  I already posted about the last concert I went to (The Decemberists).  Juliette Lewis was one of the last three concerts I’ve been to and that was more than a year ago.  Pretty sad really!  I used to go to one a week when I was in college.  Ah…to be young again with no responsibilities!  So I went to the show with my friend, Krista, she hadn’t really heard much of Juliette Lewis but was excited to see her based on the little she had heard.   I actually bought my ticket the day they had gone on sale and was super excited to go see her.

Anyway, this was an amazing show!  First a band called the Dearly Beloved opened the show.  They are a indie rock band from Toronto and were really good.  They played a half hour (or so) set that the crowd seemed to be into.  They were a great warm up band getting the crowd primed for Juliette.  Krista liked them enough to buy one of there albums titled Make It Bleed at the merch table  at the end of the show.  I also thought they were really good, and I’ve now gotten a copy of the album and listen to it pretty frequently.

Juliette took the stage rocked all hell!  She is a phenomenal performer, you can certainly tell she takes her music seriously and has a lot of fun.  We got right up front and had a great view of the show.  I think I was one of the few who knew just about every lyric to every song and Juliette took notice, at one point winking at me, and at another point leaning down in front of me so I could big her a bog wet kiss!  All around I was definitely one of the best shows I’d been to in a while.   At the end I even got a copy of the setlist which you can see below.  I ended up buying a t-shirt from the merch table.  I do hope to get to see her again in the future!

You can click on both the crowd shot and t-shirt pictures below to get a bigger view.


Dearly Beloved Links:

HomepageFacebookMySpaceWiki – NPR

Juliette Lewis Links:

Homepage – FacebookMySpaceWiki – NPR

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XTC vs. Adam Ant

It’s funny to see another friend, Brian, write about the quality of both CDs and Mp3s in comment about my blog post Clouds and Cassettes Tapes.  He stated that the “sound quality of vinyl is still unmatched” and that he was “still very disappointed in the MP3 sound quality”.  I also have had those thoughts in the past, and at one point many years ago discovered lossless audio.

As some know, Mp3s are highly compressed audio files that lose both some of there high and low frequency when being “ripped”.  The result is a much smaller file with lower audio quality then its soarce.  They are considered a “lossy” file format, one that many audiophiles really hate.  Hence was born the lossless audio format, ie SHN, FLAC, APE and ALAC.  With lossless file you do have some compression but not enough to ruin the audio quality, the only drawback is a much larger file size.   Below is visual representation of a single audio file ripped in several different bit rates and formats.  Notice how the the sound spectrum gets cut off more and more as the bit rates decreases. (look at the top of each image)

So what does that mean to you and me.  Well most people should be able to hear the difference between a lossless file and a 128KBPS Mp3.  But some people won’t be able to tell the difference between any other.  Why is that? For one thing your standard computer speakers or the headphones that came with your “iThing” just aren’t good enough.  They just don’t have the capability of reaching such high or low frequencies.  If you have a really nice sound system and speakers or great headphone you might.  Yes still a might.  Some of it has to do with the type of music, some of it is how it was recorded and even some more on depends on the person.  I myself am half deaf from to many concert and having my stereo turned up to loud, so I don’t hear things the same way as say my fiance Andrea.  (yes it’s a bit of a volume battle in our house).

So why is it worth my time you ask?  Well it all depends on you.  Some people swear they can hear a difference.  Some people don’t care.  Some people have great audio equipment.  Some don’t.  Some stuff is only available in lossless format.  Some isn’t.  Some artist make releases available in a variety of formats.  For me I swing both ways (no not that way pervs!) but it really up to you to explore and decide.

There is a whole world of live music trading that goes on using only the lossless formats.  These are completely legal with the permission of the artist of coarse.  Bands such as Pearl Jam, Phish, Radiohead, Bela Fleck, Widespread Panic, Wilco and Jane’s Addiction are just a few of the hundreds of artists that allow taping at there shows.   The only thing tapers ask is not to share the file in lossy format. (you are permitted to convert to lossy format for personal use though).

If you are interested the following are some link to get you on your way.  You can find info about SHN files at Etree.org and info about Flac files at flac.sourceforge.net.  You can find legal live music at these two sites: bt.etree.org or dimeadozen.org   You will need a BitTorrent client to download them and I suggest uTorrent which you can get it at utorrent.com.  You can always email me if you have any question at kidajoe at the email service starting with a g.  (sorry don’t want spam!)  Other who know me can message me on Facebook.

Livin La Vida Local – Rustic Overtones

The Rustic Overtones are probably the most famous and certainly most popular band from the greater Portland area.  I first heard them around 1998.  Room by the Hours was out and Portland’s WCYY radio station was playing them in pretty regular rotation.  During this time in my life I was spending my first days in the big city of Portland, after having grown up in a very small northern Maine town.   I remember taking particular note of the Rustic Overtones because for me they were the first local band I had ever heard that actually wrote there own music.  Northern  Maine had there share of bands, just not many of them who aren’t cover bands.  I don’t recall exactly, but I believe I saw them at Stone Coast Brewery and the Asylum at some point around this time.  To be honest it wasn’t until Viva Nueva! came out that I really started to really get into them on a bigger scale.

So a little history for those who don’t know anything about RusticRustic Overtones are a bunch of guys who went to high school together and started a cover band called Aces Wild.  (My fiance, Andrea, actually went to school with them and recalls seeing them playing in a garage)  They started writing music on there own and released three albums before getting signed to Arista Records, with the help of then head Clive Davis.  While on Arista they recorded Viva Nueva!, but due to a label shake up the album ended up getting released on Tommy Boy Records.  Shortly after Tommy Boy folded and they as a result broke up.  This all took place between 1993 and 2002. Fast forward to 2007,  all the member had spent the past few years doing various side projects (many of which were pretty successful really) the band reunited after drummer Tony McNaboe tricked everyone into agreeing to reunite by telling each member that everyone had already agreed to reunite.  Initially it was supposed to be just a short reunion, but two albums later they are still going strong, lucky for us!

As for there musical style that’s a little harder to pin down exactly.  They are (at least currently) a 6 piece band that includes guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and a horns section.  They play a mix of rock, ska and funk and really fusion of all three.

So for your listening enjoyment I’m am going to post a few items so you can hear what Andrea and myself love so much about them.   First is Andrea’s favorite song direct from Rustic’s own YouTube Channel.   This is tittle Letter to the President and was release during George W. Bush’s term of presidency.

Next is one of my favorites Gas on Skin.  This a live performance from there 2011 New Years Eve show at the Port City Music Hall. (great venue by the way)

For the last you will again have to have Spotify to listen to it.  It is actually a playlist of there latest album New Way Out.  I know highlights both Andrea and I agree on are Common Cold and Kathleen Caffeine.  Just click on the this to enjoy the album.

Rustic Overtones Links:

HomepageFacebook MySpaceWikiNPR