Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Buckethead Sept. 26th, 09

Buckethead never disappoints his fans. He has not only been included in lists of "top" guitar players, but he is a tireless songwriter. With 28 solo albums and countless side projects it would seem that he hardly has time to tour. The fact is he has had a hefty tour schedule this summer, starting in May and ending here in NYC on Sept. 26Th at Gov. Island. It was a fun to ride on the free ferry over to the show even in the drizzle that started in the late evening. Then after the boat docked walking toward the stage a unknown source in Jersey had a fire works show. The view from the Island is breathtaking, the water, the buildings and the bridges. Reading up on the venue made one think it was beach like, with sand and electric palm trees. This is true there is sand and the trippy lit up trees, but in front of the stage was a generous amount of asphalt to dance on. (much better then sand) The six dollar beers were a nice change of pace. Most venues have upped their beer price this year. Take MSG for instance now nine fifty a glass. Buckethead (Brian Patrick Carroll) has this aggressive presence on stage. His fingers are so fast that it looks like he has more then four of them on each hand. Shearing the stage and studio with other weirdos did not hurt. Known to work with Quirky musicians like Bootsy Collins and Les Claypool, then down right crazies like Axl Rose and Iggy Pop. His almost ominous stauncher helps with the theatrical some times confusing show. He never really left the stage only putting down his white Les Paul to play with his nunchucks. He then did some dancing and gave out his toys. One must be upfront to get a souvenir, although he did toss them a little farther on this night. Buckethead is a complex experimental guitar genius and we love him for it.

The Stone Street Oyster festival

Now this Saturday was a strange day. It was windy, looked like rain all day but it did not rain till well after night fall. Everything seems a little strange when you are eating oysters, and drinking beer. (don't forget the beer) It just so happened that this last Saturday was the The Stone Street Oyster festival. This yearly event is put on by the downtown bar Ulysses. If you don't mind the frat boys then you should get down there next year and slurp down some oysters and guzzle some Guinness. There is music to if you are sober enough to here it. Yes the Ulysses Folk House knows how to show us a grand old time. Nothing better then drinking in the streets. They have other events including the Stone Street Sessions. This means weekly music and drink specials, what a great pair.
95 Pearl Street / 58 Stone Street - New York, NY 10004 * 212.482.0400

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yo La Tango With The Blacklips Sept. 25, 09

Outside Roseland looked like a ghost town early in the night but the room filled up around ten or ten thirty. Most people getting in after the Black Lips left the stage. To bad for them because it was one of the best parts of the night. Their 60's style short Garage band type songs are fun do dance to. No craziness on this night. None of their strange stage antics no nudity, fireworks or chickens. They had to get off the stage so fast almost running off, but for what? Well thirty minutes of nothing that sucked. Then a comedian that half of the people could not understand, and then more nothing. Wish the Black Lips could have played a longer set. So later, rather then sooner, Yo La Tango arrived on the stage with a kick ass light show that had trippy lights and effects over a slow moving liquid lights. Joshua White and Gary Panter are the magic makers that put on the lights. They have been known for putting on shows at the Film Archives in Second Avenue. Yo La Tango are a NJ feedback-driven art rock band. There was some low and high points of the set. Weird to bring out a string ensemble only once for a song off the new record. The encore being the best part of the night when a fan wanted a song most of the band hardly remembered. One of their sweet pop songs that sounded great. Yo La Tango means "I've got it" and this small band does have something.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Porcupine Tree Thursday September 24, 2009

How does that old joke go? Why do UK bands sound better? -They practice. Ha,Ha, but there are a lot of really, really good bands out of the UK. Porcupine Tree is one of these unappreciated bands. Being the brain child of singer/guitarist Steven Wilso, Porcupine Tree have had many albums since 92'. Experimental Rock or Ambient Prog-Rock are terms used to describe them. This just starts you off on the journey to understand. This band has the fast-yet-slow sound of most 90's Grunge bands with Metal riffs and Gothic melodic harmonies. On this last Thursday night there were many shows to choose from. It wasn't hard to make the decision to head uptown to Terminal 5. Some of us that were stuck to our TVs when we were younger might have memories of this band from old late night MTV. At the show there was a dark stage with a screen filled with different flickering images. At his first chance Steven let the audience know that they were going to play the whole new album the Incident, first disc. This is a kind of concept album of sorts which was recorded like a single long song that features many different movements. It was played out on stage with tight precision, moving from one "song" to the next. Hmm..Yes ..Blown away we were. It was amazing, then after only taking a 10 min. break they came out with a shorter but just as mind blowing set. Everyone in the crowed was dressed in mostly black. There were lots of Dream Theater T-shirts, at least 30. (no kidding) Always leave them wanting more and that is what happened. Steven let NYC know that they will be back at the beginning of the year. The lights only went on as the band left the stage after a double encore. You can check them out by listening to the songs they played at this New York Show on Setlist.fm. A web sight that puts together videos of songs to form a complete set list. Then you can get tickets to see them early 2010.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fat City (1972) Film Forum

This gritty boxing movie from the early 70's is in its second week at the Film Forum. Based on a novel by the same name this is a story of the down and out and the up and coming. The book and screenplay were both written by Leonard Gardner. This flick is directed by John Huston and is said to be one of his best. Filmed in and around Stockton California, one can see the economics of the time in every frame. Stacy Keach plays Tully an out of shape fighter with a drinking problem trying for a comeback. A young Jeff Bridges is the new man found by Tully and encouraged to use his talent. The scenes in the gym with the fighters and mangers are almost as exciting as the fights. Tully earning money as a field worker drinks all the time. The sleazy bars and dodgy hotel rooms are proof that he is a failure. This film has fun showing all the daytime drinkers and winos. Oma played by Susan Tyrrell is a drunk, a mean but sometimes sweet drunk. She tells it like it is and it ain't all that good. Tyrrell received an Oscar nomination for this interpretation of a man eating alcoholic. The story is not all on the surface, the background tells it own story. Roger Ebert said "this movie's edges are filled with small, perfect character performances." Movies from the 70's seem more real then most films written today. This is one not to miss playing only till Oct.1 on the big screen. If you don't get downtown to see it, rent it and watch at home, but you might be driven to have a little drink.


Extract? What is Extract? Do they mean the stuff you cook with like Vanilla? In this Working mans comedy Joel (Jason Bateman) runs his own factory that produces food flavoring. Joel has lots of problems... Starting with his stupid and reckless staff, then moving on to his frigid wife Suzie (Kristen Wiig). Don't forget his drug addict best friend Dean (Ben Affleck) and all his great ideas. Things don't start out right for Joel and quickly get worse. When hot drifter Cindy (Mila Kunis) wonders in things get sticky. Who could think up a story line with a pool cleaning gigolo, a healer slash bar tender, and a out there T.V. lawyer? Writer and director Mike Judge of course. The man that brought you Beavis and Butt-Head and King of the Hill is back. This stoner flick even has a part for Gene Simmons. Go ahead, get out and laugh, you know you have nothing better to do.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mike Rimeo's Benefit Show with Dead Men Dreaming & No More Tears Sept. 18, 09

The music never stops in New York City. Most nights have more shows then some Midwest city's have in one week. This was the case on the 18Th. After ZZ Top at the Beacon one had to jet over to the Gramercy to make it in time for Dead Men Dreaming and No More Tears. This concert was not only a kick ass Rock show but also a Benefit for Mike Romeo, may he rest in peace. This meant that most of NYC rock aficionados where in the crowed, and the bands played sets that made all of us stand up and take notice. As Dead Men Dreaming took the stage and you could see why people talk so highly of them. They played mostly covers and some originals for this special night on Lexington Ave. Busting out The Who, Pink Floyd and Metallica this band made it look easy. Mike Triana is an impressive front man in this classic five piece rock formation. You should get out to see them in front of Type O Negative at the Nokia on October 22. Then out comes No More Tears, New York's ultimate Sabbath cover band. If you have not seen these guys get off your ass because the play all the time. They take the art of being a tribute band to the ninth degree. All-in-all a great night for Rock and Roll, with more night's like it to come this fall.

Monday, September 21, 2009

ZZ Top Sept. 18, 09

ZZ Top loves to play New York, and New York loves ZZ Top. This sold out show was not to hard to get into if you know how to try. Another rock trio filling the stage with big riffs and good times. Billy, Dusty, and Frank have been using tasteful humor and sexual innuendo for over four decades. Rockin' the first part of the set with "Party on the Patio" and "Cheap Sunglasses," both written almost 30 years ago. Full of Texas charm these men know how to work a room, pull-in' up two young bucks from the front row and asking them what they wanted to hear. This 15 year old wanted "Just Got Paid" a track from 1972, everyone in the room was just amazed. Using two gold Fenders with hot pink backs most of the night only switching once to their furry white Guitars. What a sight, all the dressed up lady's dancing when they pulled out "Sharp Dressed Man," "Gimme All Your Lovin'," and "Legs." ZZ Top is one group that you should get out and appreciate while you have the chance.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Johnny Winter at B.B. Kings Sept. 17, 09

When it comes down to the Blues Johnny Winter is one of the greats. What other American Blues guitarist can say that they impressed Muddy Waters? Johnny even produced three studio albums for Waters, including playing with Muddy on Hard Again. This talented albino has been in the scene for 30 years, even playing at Woodstock. On the night in question Johnny's loose fingers tore through all the Blues classics. Arriving late again, Johnny was all ready on stage. Picture me running down the stairs into the gracious arms of B.B. King’s Blues Club where they always treat you right, getting in just in time for "Miss Ann." Most of the night he played a headless white Lazer guitar, which he says "sounds like a Strat, but feels like a Gibson." Driving through "Red House," "Under the Apple Tree" and "Its All Over Now." Then picking up his old '63 Gibson Firebird to play slide on "Highway 61 Revisited," what a showmen Winter is. If you can catch him he is playing in Stockton NJ at the Stockton Inn on Sept. 20 you would be lucky.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Motorhead With Reverned Horton Heat 09/09/09

Sorry about the late review but I had a Birthday and a crazy belligerent weekend.

This night of the Show 09/09/09 an upside down 06/06/06, so we went in looking for trouble. Arriving just as the Reverend Horton Heat took the stage everyone was hyped up for a good time. This trio from Texas is hot with a larger then life stage presence. They have such a round and full sound for three players because of the stand up bass and a lick called ‘hurricane'. Playing lead and rhythm guitar simultaneously, The Rev. (aka Jim Heath) can make one instrument into two. With songs like "Nurture My Pig," "Drinkin' and Smokin' Cigarettes" and "Psychobilly Freakout" one can see why the have such a cult following. They joked, played around and the Rev. did his thing by jumping up on the bass mid song. Then the out comes Motorhead. This classic power-trio is loud and fast with a punk rock style of heavy metal. Never changing Ian Fraiser Kilmister, known as Lemmy came out in all his glory. Remember in the 70's they still had rock gods. Now over 60 Lemmy is still drinkin' and jokin' on stage with his thick English accent. Always in black cause he doesn't need to wash them so often, he will never change unless someone finds something "darker than black.' Motorhead is the lasted song Lemmy wrote for Hawkwind one of his first projects. They where a prog rock band with there signature song "Silver Machine" written by Lemmy in 72'. The 70's were long but the 80's even longer with Ace of Spades being Motorhead's first American album. In NYC when they ended with this Ace of Spades everyone was wanting more. All the people, all in black, poring out of Roseland went on into the night for more drinking and depravity.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Time Travelers Wife

Living the life of a time traveler has its up and downs. Henry is lucky to have found love with such a strange lifestyle. The movie could have focused on the "nitty gritty" of time travel, stealing, robbery, and running. Most scenes where almost right out of the book, a book that in the end was about a man and his wife. This movie was not all that it could be, but you have to believe that its still better then most romantic dramas or comedies. One of the only problems was some of the duologue was flat or to dull. By the end the audience feels for this family, if only you could care for the younger Henry and Clare. This is a movie that you want to see after you read the book, it makes the movie look better.

The September Issue

Fashion is beautiful and glamorous. Fashion is also hard work, and long hours. The fashion industry is a creative workplace that can eat you alive. One has to have a real purpose and thick skin. Vogue has a long history as a fashion powerhouse. The best thing about "The September Issue" is that it lets you inside Vogue from the top down. First Anna Wintour lets the cameras straight into her office. They get to follow Wintour to the front row at Fashion Week. As September gets closer you get a first hand look at everything that's gets shoot, not everything makes the cut. The Hallways are crammed with styles for the next year. What is the fall of this year going to be? This extremely close look at the everyday of the New York offices was filmed in 2007 the thickest Vogue in history. Lots of dedicated people working for this magazine. Creative director Grace Coddingtion shines as a old world dreamer, she still has personal contact with the models and makes every Shoot her own. The film crew get high marks for the way the camera captured the world of Fashion from Rome to Paris. You can see why Wintour is at the top of her game. Anyone that wants to get into this circle of people "in the know," should watch this documentary and get a subscription to Vogue.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day Trips - From Brooklyn's Gardens to China Town

Day Tripin' is the most fun. Taking your friends and going out for the day on some crazy adventure. What could be better?

Day trip # 1: From Brooklyn's Gardens to China Town

1. Start this in the late morning around Ten or Eleven. Meet you friends by the fountain in front of the Brooklyn Museum on Eastern PKWY and Washington Ave. Grab something from a bodega to eat on the steps or walk up Washington (Away from the museum) to Teddy's Restaurant, 791 Washington. There can you get some strong Greek coffee to perk you up. To eat you can have Green salad with dill and feta, or a Portabella Wrap with mozzarella and roasted red peppers.
2. Then your off to the gardens, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (admission $8 for adults, and $4 for students and seniors) with an entrance on either side of the museum. The BBG was founded in 1910 this is a wonderful way to feel like your out of the city. Don't try this trip on a Monday or you will find the gardens closed. The Shakespeare Garden exhibits more than 80 plants mentioned in William Shakespeare's plays and poems. This small Garden near the Washington entrance, was made in 1925. Even before a little of England came to Brooklyn, Japan was already on the Scene. The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden was opened in1915 and was the first Japanese garden in an American public garden. The landscape designer Takeo Shiota (1881-1943) made this a beautiful garden to walk through with the ponds and bridges. So much to see but remember to sit in the grass and enjoy nature.
3. Exit at the Empire BLVD and Flatbush Ave and jump on the 41 bus down Flatbush toward downtown Brooklyn. Go to the end of the line (not to far) and walk down the park passed the WWII memorial to the Brooklyn Bridge. Completed in 1883 this steel-wire suspension bridge is one of the oldest bridges in the USA. It takes about 20 min. to walk across into Manhattan.
4. Walk three blocks up Centre St. to Worh st. and take a right. Take a left in the next three blocks and you are at the bottom of China Town. This is a perfect place to do a little shopping, and don't be afraid to haggle with the shop owner's it usually works. The two major streets for China Town are Mott and Mulberry. On Mott St. stop at the Eastern States Buddhist Temple. (between Bayard and Canal)
5. Time for dinner, you can pick from many different restaurants in the area. Xe Lua is a amazing Vietnamese restaurant on Mulberry St (86 Mulberry St) After a cup of tea try their spring rolls or something from their clay pot menu. On one corner of Mott St. Mr. Tang's has a great menu. Most dinners are served family style so order different things to share.
6. Having just enough energy to have a drink and sing some Karaoke head back down to 104 Bayard St. to Winnie's Bar. Winnie aims to please with strong drinks and cool tunes to belt out.

And that's the end of our day....hope you enjoyed the Trip.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Inglourious Basterds by Quentin Tarantino

There is always a buzz around new Quentin Tarantino movies some of it good, some of it bad. If Quentin didn't have such a personalized style, or a drive to make movies his own way, then people wouldn't have so much to talk about. Aren't films supposed to make a splash? When did the film industry start taking the art out of old fashion movie making? Art! Can you call this new movie art when makes fun of lots of WWII stereo types? Well any film with stylized direction, beautiful wide or pan shots, great backdrops and funny on going duologue seems artistic compared to the crap big budget studio's are coming out with now. Quentin is a young guy coming out of the old school. Not only does he write most of his movies but he is involved in almost every aspect of his films. The screenplay for Inglourious Basterds was largely developed between work on Jackie Brown and Kill Bill. Said to be the length of three movie scrips this flick is another one of his movies with a long running time. In interviews Tarantino said that when he went in to cut out scenes he ended up adding three minutes. Watching a late show (like many of us in NYC enjoy) time seemed to fly by. All the sudden the movie came to it's bizarre climax and it was one in the morning. To long?... only if you don't pay attention. It is only when a film drops your attention does it seem long. Actors love to work for this strange filmmaker. It seems he also likes his actors using them from movie to movie. Brad Pit has not been in a Tarantino film scene True Romance and plays a funny to the point Southerner out for revenge on any Nazi in (and out) of uniform. Quentin also brings back the duo from Death Proof, Omar Doom and Eli Roth, as two of the Basterds that hunt for Nazi scalps. This goes for the unseen charters too, using Samuel L. Jackson for the voice over and Harvey Keitel for a bit voice character. Some new faces where a great addition to the cast. One pleasant surprise is Diane Kruger with a German accent playing an actress of all things. Then there is the wonderful Shosanna Dreyfus. A french actress who has the major role of a hiding Jew that runs a cinema in Paris. Having the cinema and a movie as part of the plot makes for some fun jokes about films of that time. Very clever of Quentin to add this for all the movie buffs he knows watch his films. The Highlight of the film is a Scene in a basement bar that is not only comical but also suspenseful. As said before this film might have a long running time but it seems to go buy without a hiccup, or a a glitch. If you, like most of us, love movies that kill Nazi then why not catch this one on the big screen.

P.S. What would a Pulp type film be without all the poster art?