Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Best CDs of 2010

Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté
Two world music giants collaborating on a stellar set of tunes.

Johnny Cash - American VI: Ain't No Grave
Need I say more.

Robert Plant - Band of Joy
Former Zepp frontman avoiding a tour with his old bandmates and doing a great job of it.

Blue Giant - Blue Giant
Portland Country-Pop-Rockers gracing us with a solid effort.

Bob Dylan - The Bootleg Series, Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964
Early recordings from the man who changed popular music

The Black Crowes - Croweology
The Brothers Robinson with a two disc live, acoustic performance

School of Seven Bells - Disconnect From Desire
Reminiscent of Early B-52s with a bit of thechno influence

Angus & Julia Stone - Down the Way
Aussie Folk-Rockers

The Budos Band - The Budos Band III
Brooklyn World-Jazz combo reinventing the Fela Kuti sound.

Turtle Island Quartet - Have You Ever Been...?
Hendrix channeled through a chamber music ensemble.

Band of Horses - Infinite Arms
Think CSN&Y, The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers combined in a CD. I love this band.

Francis & the Lights - It'll Be Better
Soulful R&B. One of my faves from 2010.

Bedouin Soundclash - Light the Horizon
Canadian trio with their 4th CD of tasty Reggae.

Peter Wolf - Midnight Souvenirs
Amazing disc from one of the most underrated performers of our time. BUY THIS CD NOW!

The New Pornographers – Together
Neko Case back with her old band making great tunes.

John Legend & the Roots - Wake Up!
Classic R&B tracks with a more contemporary sound.

Women + Country - Jakob Dylan
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Galactic - Ya-Ka-May
Soul/R&B/Hip-Hop/Funk/Rap and whatever else they can fit into the songs.

The Moondoggies – Tidelands
Seattle’s answer to The Band with their second release.

Chuck Berry - Have Mercy: His Complete Chess Recordings (1969-1974)
Truly shows Chuck’s range. It extends beyond Johnny B. Goode.

Patty Griffin - Downtown Church
Soulful singer/songwriter has hit her stride with this set of Country-Rock and Gospel.

Local Natives - Gorilla Manor
Rock and Roll for the new millennium.

more to follow...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bumbershoot 2010 Preview

It's been a while. I started this blog with a review of Bumbershoot a few years ago. So it's fitting that I resume with the same event. If you're looking for some great entertainment over Labor Day Weekend, Bumbershoot is the place to be. Lots of local music, national acts, great food and amazing art.

Saturday, Sept 4th

The Decemberists Pac NW originals.
*Neko Case I love Neko’s brand of Country!
*Bob Dylan My first concert was Bob Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Review so many years ago.

Center Square Stage
Idiot Pilot Electronica from Bellingham
HEALTH LA band sharing Rock with beau coup FX.
Civil Twilight U2 meets Coldplay by three talented South African lads.
This Providence Polished, toe-tapping Pop Rock.

EMP Sky Church
Great Waves Sammamish Rockers are sure to delight Bumbershoot crowds.
Born Anchors Local band with great Rock N Roll.
Parlour Steps Enjoyable Rock tunes from a BC quintet
Feral Children Another Seattle band rocking out.
See Me River Local Rock with a hint of Country.
*The Cute Lepers Up-tempo Rock reminiscent of Elvis Costello & the Attractions.
Visqueen I heard an interview with Rachel Flotard on NPR. It made me revisit the work of Visqueen, I’m glad I did. Rock with a soul.

Broad Street Stage
The Submarines Folk influenced Rock featuring great vocals.
Plants and Animals Down from Montreal and rocking with purpose.
Atlas Sound "A largely ambient meditation on romantic obsession full of densely layered electronics and guitars that sound as if they were beamed in from some haunted parallel universe." The Fader. Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Jamie Lidell Soulful, World-music-influenced Electronica.
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Hard to categorize. I’ll take a stab and say Rock influenced by Cabaret.
The Raveonettes Danish Rockers gracing the Pac NW with their presence.

Starbucks Stage
*Becki Sue & Her Big Rockin’ Daddies Blues from WA State’s capitol.
*Star Anna & the Laughing Dogs Sweet, soulful Country Ellensburg style.
*The Maldives Local Country-Folk-Rockers with great tunes!
*Justin Townes Earle What do you do when you’re the son of one Alt-Country legend and named for another? You begin your own journey to Alt-Country legend status.
Bob Schneider Smooth, Country-Rock sounds from Texas.
Solomon Burke A legendary Bluesman, need I say more?

Fisher Green Stage
Grynch Seattle Hip-Hop, very nice grooves.
The Constellation Ghettotech? WTF? Sounds like R&B infused Rock to me.
Wheedle’s Groove Northwest Funk & Soul.
*The Budos Band Funky, Worldbeat instrumentals.
Balkan Beat Box Hip-Hop with an Eastern European soundtrack.
*Ozomatli Reminds of the band War.

Sunday, Sept 5th

Rise Against Head bangers from the Windy City.
Hole Courtney’s 15 minutes continues.
Weezer Still rockin’ in a hard place.

Center Square Stage
Sweet Water Local Rock quartet not to be confused with the band that played Woodstock.
Crash Kings Rock leaning toward the Punk side.
The Bouncing Souls Big Apple band, reminds me of the Ramones.
Motion City Soundtrack Nice vocals from Pop Rock quintet.

EMP Sky Church
School of Rock All Stars
*The Lonely H Classic Rock sound from Port Angeles.
The Redwood Plan Local, high energy, angry-young-man Rock band with a female vocalist.
Slender Means Strong vocals and snappy tunes from Seattle Pop-Rock quintet.
*Fences Slow, somber, melodic, acoustic songs.
The Physics South Seattle Hip-Hop crew.
Fatal Lucciauno Rap. Laying it down Seattle style.

Broad Street Stage
Unnatural Helpers Seattle punkers.
*Hey Marseilles Saw ‘em open for Toad the Wet Sprocket in July. Toe-tapping combo with great Folk-World-Rock tunes.
David Bazan Seattle Rocker rolling into town for Labor day.
*Ra Ra Riot Bright Pop-Rock from Syracuse.
Delorean Techno sounds abound.
*The Dandy Warhols They’ve been around forever, but I’ve never seen them. Of course they usually don’t take the stage until after my bedtime.

Starbucks Stage
*The Tripwires The Sangster brothers and company bring some great NW Rock to the stage.
*Horse Feathers One of the greatest contemporary NW Folk groups around. Don’t miss these guys.
*Sista Monica’s Singin In the Spirit A lioness of Blues, R&B and Gospel.
Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express Got Jazz if you want it.
*James Cotton Blues Band Saw James at the Rusty Anchor in the 70s. He was a great.
*Billy Bragg loved the Mermaid Avenue project with Wilco from a while back.

Fisher Green Stage
*Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme Funk & Soul from the land of moss and slugs.
Fresh Espresso Hip-Hop samples with lots of bass & drums.
Georgia Anne Muldrow & Declaime Dropping Hip-Hop beats straight outta Babylon.
Jay Electronica NOLA Hip-Hopper.
Aterciopelados Self-described as Melodramatic Popular Song from Bogota
LMFAO LMFAO is an electro-hop group from Los Angeles.

Monday, Sept 6th

J. Cole Who dat? Who dat? Rap on.
Drake Hip-Hoppin’ like a Mo-Fo.
Mary J. Blige Less Rap and more singing. MJB does a version of Stairway to heaven on her MySpace site.

Center Square Stage
JEFF the Brotherhood In your face Rock.
The Whigs More in your face Rock. Not that it’s a bad thing.
Baroness Bang your head.
Anvil Bang your head some more, Canadian style.

EMP Sky Church
people eating people Piano-centric, Jazzy Pop
BOAT Fresh from a tour of Montana, Seattle Rockers should entertain the Sky Church masses.
Helladope More Seattle Hip-Hop
THEESatisfaction Two chicks Rapping with feeling.
Lisa Dank Slick Pop tunes, very danceable.
Wild Orchid Children Seattle Psych Rock.
The Splits Ohio Rock, like very early Pretenders.

Broad Street Stage
Bobby Bare Jr. Son of Outlaw Country legend, making his own way in the Rock’N’Roll world.
The Clientele UK Psych Rockers with the Prog Rock sound.
Meat Puppets Old Punkers never die, they just reunite and play some tunes.
Japandroids Canadian duo Rocking in the free world.
Surfer Blood Interesting Surf-influenced sound with several YouTube cat videos on their MySpace page. I’m puzzled.
The Thermals Portland Rockers.

Starbucks Stage
Brent Amaker & the Rodeo C&W baritone leading the charge.
*Trampled By Turtles Bluegrass mostly, from the edge of the prairie.
Greg Laswell Heartfelt Folk songs.
*The Moondoggies When The Band broke up Rock’N’Roots music was left with a huge hole. These are the guys who filled that hole!!!
Jenny & Johnny Mostly Country.
*Booker T. The legend, live at Bumbershoot. Should be interesting.

Fisher Green Stage
Victor Shade One half of Common Market striking out on his own. I suspect some great Hip-Hop.
Garotas Suecas Brazilian Pop-Rock.
*Kings Go Forth Soul and Funk reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield or the Four Tops.
Bomba Estereo More self-described melodramatic Popular Song from Columbia, but it sounds like Columbian Rap.
*Angelique Kidjo The lady from Benin with the wonderful voice.
*The English Beat Dave Wakling is still going strong. Saw them a while back and they are great. What a great way to close out B-shoot 2010.

*John’s picks

more to follow...