Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Prince, 12/17/10, Izod Center, Meadowlands, NJ

Prince, 12/17/10, Something Corporate Arena, Meadowlands, NJ

Eric D. and I first met on 9/3/97^, at a moe. show at Club Toast in Burlington, VT. Last Friday, 12/17/10, we saw Prince together in New Jersey. Full circle. Did I just melt your face?

Prince is a Legend. I grew up listening to him, because everybody did: he's Prince. Friends have waxed poetic about his epic live shows for years, but I'd never had the pleasure. Neither had Eric. Until now! He scored the tickets and I happily tagged along. We were both pretty psyched for the show.

Can you say "Prince pregame"?

Cassandra Wilson and Maceo Parker each played short opening sets. The in-the-round "symbol"-shaped stage was only lit as a circle for the opening acts. You know what happens if the opener ventures beyond said circle? Prince mad.

Cassandra was good, Maceo was Maceo (good, slightly repetitive-- mad respek, though). Prince sang When We're Dancing Close And Slow with Cassandra & played guitar on We Gon' Make It Funky with Maceo. In both cameos, shrieks from the ladies in the room filled the gaps in between each lyric and every guitar rake. It was pretty amusing. Mostly because Prince is sort of like a tall dwarf in spandex and heels.

In between sets, there was some sort of weird movie playing above the stage with a complicated story line that surely Prince had spent a lot of (or maybe very little) money on. It was subtitled. It did not make sense (to me). And it was set to a soundtrack of (wait for it) --- Prince songs! Prince plays his own music in between sets.

Surrounding the stage were roped-off areas with tables, chairs, and palm trees- kind of a lounge vibe thing going on-- this must have been part of the $350-700/ticket Prince ATM VIP Package. These must be the same people buying the Prince Leggings.

really tempting…

The Purple One ascended with much smoke and lights. Let's Go Crazy -> Delirious -> Let's Go Crazy -> 1999, Little Red Corvette! Shit man, Prince rocks. This was solid! The set was great. I actually didn't realize I knew so many Prince songs, which was cool. He may have lost me a few times in the middle a bit, but I never strayed too far & he got me back with Guitar and Purple Freakin' Rain. Multiple wardrobe changes throughout the night as well, expected & delivered.

Kiss was an awesome encore, but he kept letting the audience sing the word "kiss" and for $60, I would really have liked to hear Prince sing the word "kiss" himself. Just sayin'. Prince disappeared underneath the stage, but then a snare drum and cymbals appeared and Sheila E. took over for a Glamorous Life. She stayed up for 4 more tunes.

I'm unclear if this was all part of the show, but Prince was talking about the curfew early on, starting like halfway through his set. After the first encore chunk of 5 songs, the band walked off and the house-lights went up, but the stage lights stayed on and house music did not play. It was 11pm-ish. Some of the crowd started to funnel out but many stayed at their seats and continued to cheer for more. In what felt like a total James Brown move, Prince and the whole crew came running back through the tunnel to underneath the stage. They re-appeared and proceeded to play 4 more songs with the house lights up. I don't know if they hit the curfew, came close to hitting the curfew, or just went way over and didn't care, but Prince was there to please the crowd-- and he definitely did.

It was super cool to finally see Prince. He didn't quite meet my possibly inflated expectations as The Shredding Live Guitar Player God^^, I had heard so much about. I really thought he'd be pulling out some crazy funk skillz and great loudness, but his solos felt kinda cliched and over-simplified. Weedilly-weedilly-RAKE-RAKE. Perhaps this just wasn't one of those shredding shows? Regardless, he absolutely met my expectations as The Great Showman I had heard so much about. It was a purely awesome musical experience, no doubt. Dude, Prince!

Mad points to Prince for single-handedly trying to bring back the gold sequined turtleneck. Some points deducted for not introducing his band. Sure, Prince is an eccentric egomaniac-- but not even introducing his band (he said Sheila E.'s name like 30 times)!? That's kinda dick.

Eric D., thanks for the fun!! Prince, 12/17/10, Jersey: 7.75-8ish HUZZAHS!!!

Let's Go Crazy ->
Delirious ->
Let's Go Crazy ->
Little Red Corvette
Love... Thy Will Be Done
The Beautiful Ones
Controversy ->
Sexy Dancer / Le Freak ->
Eye Love U, But Eye Don't Trust U Anymore*
Take Me With U ->
Purple Rain

Glamorous Life** ->
A Love Bizarre** ->
The Bird** ->
Jungle Love**

If I Was Your Girlfriend

* w/ Maceo Parker
** w/ Sheila E.


^ Eric looked this up for me, thanks for that!
^^ Not that I’m trying to start any beef between them, but it seems like Chuck could easily mop the floor with Prince. HAIL SATAN!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

moe.schief night, 12/4/10, Washington Ave. Armory, Albany, NY

moe.schief night: the electric lemoe.nade acid test, 10/30/10 12/4/10,
The Washington Ave. Armory, Albany, NY

Due to a family emergency, moe. had to reschedule their 10/30 mischief night show to 12/4. However, the fan-picked theme, The Electric Lemoe.nade Acid Test, would remain in place. Each band member had written an original tune to help tie the theme together throughout the night. Son of Screaming Chicken announced our arrival to the great City of Albany via the parking garage at the Crowne Plaza.

Then he broke. Then we drank Coffee Patron over ice in coffee mugs, which was delicious but may have contributed to some eventual incidents... more on that later. After warming our marrow from the inside, we headed to McGeary's for some yummy dinner awesomeness. And then-- a sign from beyond?!?

Chicken McFistys??

The Crowne Shuttle happily drove us up to the Armory, which was stellar cuz it was fucking Upstate Cooold out! Getting inside was kind of a clusterfuck and people were already shitty. That's just the way Albany do, yo. There were lots of costumes, but mostly, in spirit with the particular theme of this evening, many folks seemed completely out of their gourds. This isn't gonna be that review, cuz that ain't my style. Though I did wonder what evil plans moe. had in store for those folks.

The Armory was jam-packed. I was already getting jostled around like it was a Ween show. You accept it and move on. Which is exactly why I decided to flee the crowd before the show even started and found a nice little nook near Scott Bernstein's rig.

They opened with a fun, dark, circusy, tune that had a Welcome-To-The-Big-Top-You-Guinea-Pigs feel. A Jim composition, with the best song title EVER: Chromatic Nightmare!! OOOH!!!! When you say it, you have to speak with a delightfully evil voice (I hear The Monarch). And Jim was on fiyah! Brilliant! Above on the backdrop, old skool psychedelic liquid skins were totally melting peoples faces. Not Coming Down -> Wormwood. moe. were getting their noodle on. -> a super moody, dark, and grooving Interstellar Overdrive. Wow-- really really good. That was a long time coming! The crowd was actually cheering them along as they hit every single twist and turn. So so so so good. -> a really fun transition to a great Moth! Nice. Then, Suck A Lemon, Chuck's new tune, which was as you'd expect, totally fucking awesome. Really fun with a great hook! Annnd Plane Crash. meh.

Setbreak, regrouping, people-watching, stuff. The crew played a Cheech & Chong song while simultaneously plugging the USB of the show as a Perfect Holiday Gift. Brilliant marketing.

Son of Screaming Chicken is feeling fat tonight.

Having absolutely no desire to deal with the massive amount of shitfaced people on the floor, I followed friends up to the bleachers at center-court, al.side. Genius.

The guys were still in their classy suits, but Rob had a pirate hat and Al had a wig on. No Refrain, the new Rob tune has a classic groove and wailing guitars- it was fun-- maaaybe needs some work if they plan on breaking it out again. Speaking of Rob- are we sure his ankle is really broken? That this wasn't all some elaborate plot designed so he can sit down in a Leather chair onstage while the other guys have to stand (except Vinnie)? Has anyone actually seen the X-Rays? Yeah, marinate your brain in that.

Laziest Bass Player Ever, not punching someone in the face.

A lovely Buster and there began the weirdness. Giant Ant Creatures in Lab Coats came out and started dancing next to the guys- a performance troop, Big Nazo would be dancing alongside moe. for SET II in the form of costumed weirdness. Let the Electric lemoe.nade Acid Test commence!

I'm pretty sure there was a storyline through the span of the set, but haven't heard any theories on it thus far. An alien Doctor/Scientist came out and removed the Ant/Space heads from dancing Ant/Space things. Those were then Monkey Things. Suddenly moe. were wearing crazy hat-masks. Then some sort of epic battle ensued where moe. were answering the Big Nazo's creature's injustice with shredding rock? We may have been under water at some point. But then more aliens on stilts gathered round, a few were humping onstage. It was very Sid & Marty Krofft-- Sigmund & The Sea Monsters/Lidsville/H.R. PufnStuf kinda bizarre. I spent a good portion of the evening laughing hysterically.

All's I know is that as soon as Rec Chem broke out, everyone started dancing and getting along. Aww, they've found something in common! There's a lesson here! And that lesson is: This is exactly why I don't do acid anymore. It was fucking weird enough without it. The dude sitting directly in back of us spent most of the set with his head in his hands, between his knees. That looked awesome.

Weaved in between all that madness- moe. played a fucking killer SET II. This included an EPIC Meat -> Mar-Dema (new Vinnie song that blew everyone away) -> Meat. I'm unsure if Mar-Dema was written specifically to sammich into Meat, but it fit perfectly. The Meat sammich was energetic and intense. The room was rocking and the weirdness onstage only magnified the experience. Silver Sun, a new Al tune, starts off quietly and kinda spacey with keys, stays sweet until about 2/3's through when you hit the dark path where things get EVIL. Driving rhythm, screaming lead guitar, all leading back to it's sweet beginnings. It totally harnessed the Late 60's UK Psychedelic Rock theme.

The aforementioned Rec Chem was your classic moe. balls-out rocking Albany excellence. Definitely a highlight. Super energy, madness onstage. It was stellar way to end the set. A lovely Mexico encore, sans hats, masks, & Stilted Monkeys. This tied it all in a bow and began to re-acclimate the crowd of moe.rons for the world outside. Smart move.

It didn't quite work for everyone, though. When I got outside, El Herno was screaming like a lunatic and Matt was laughing so hard that tears were forming in his eyes.
Lynn: ... the fuck?
Matt (laughing): (El Herno) just spilled beer on himself and blamed some guy who was walking by.
CUT TO: El Herno returns with the most magically adhesive, coagulated, multi-toned, Super Loogie that you've ever seen-- gleaming across half his chest.
El Herno: I got spit on!
L: How is it possible that you've never been punched in the face?
EH: I don't know!!

Seriously, it was perfect-- like a rubber cement prop. Pumkin would be real proud, I tell you whut.

All in all, it was a mischievous moe.schief night experience. For journalistic integrity, I checked with some folks who took part in the Electric lemoe.nade Acid Test, moe.'s little Gerbil-Children if-you-will. Word on the street was it all went "fucking awesome!" - That Dosed Up Guy I Asked.

Sunday AM, we headed out to breakfast at the lovely Cafe Madison (where I ate at least 1 of Corinne's Spiced Oatmeal Raspberry Pancakes and ohhh the bacon, the bacon!). Matt (who was still laughing) walked in and said something along the lines of, "So (El Herno), do you remember when you spilled beer all over yourself and then blamed some guy and he spit on you?" Which led me to invite El Herno to compose an open letter of apology for the total verbal lashing he gave to a complete stranger.
Dear Angry Cast Member of "It's A Small World After All",

It's a world of laughter%
A world of tears
It's a world of hopes^
And a world of fears#
There's so much that we share*
That it's time we're aware
It's a small world after all

Indeed. As I'm sure you recall you and I had an altercation on Saturday night (perhaps it was Sunday morning, my memory is hazy). Gentle ribbing and an exchange of ideas occurred. I accused you of spillage, you called me fat, I called you short and it spiraled from there until another epithet was used casting aspersions on your preference of sexual partner, to which you clearly objected.

Though I was not aware of this, and was having a chuckle% at your cowardly retreat# you apparently found some reserve of midgety resolve and ran back to "hock a loogie" on my face. Except that you didn't hit my face. Spitting up is hard and gravity's a bitch, eh?

In any event you're lucky I'm not physically violent (merely verbally abusive) because surely it must be hard to run away from a normal sized man on those vienna sausages you call legs. Being the bigger man, and in the spirit of the season of peace and forgiveness I'd like to paraphrase Roger Ebert's response to Vincent Gallo - "I may be fat but I can lose weight, but you'll always be the shitty little midget who spit and ran!" But I forgive you, because you undoubtedly have more than enough sorrow in your life, what with all the things in supermarkets you can't reach (not to mention the breasts of most women).

Merry Xmas.

- E.H.

*P.S. I am not sure it dates to this event but I'd like to thank you anyway for the case of Wookiebola that I've come down with since the weekend. Way to share, brah.

Well, there you have it, folks! Let's just slide the Cafe Patron into the Gin (aka OFF LIMITS) Category on the El Herno Drinkability Chart. No more of that, eh? We live, we learn, we laugh, we hock.

I love moe.. Great fucking show! Glad they were able to reschedule! Glad I snuck in a flask! moe.schief night, 12/4/10, Washington Ave. Armory, Albany, NY: 9.5 HUZZAHS!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Chromatic Nightmare #
Not Coming Down ->
Wormwood ->
Interstellar Overdrive ->
Suck A Lemon ##
Plane Crash

SETBREAK: USB advert / Cheech & Chong cover performed by Crew members Frank, Steve, Hector, Steve, and Cass
Earache My Eye

No Refrain -> **
Meat ->
Mar-Dema -> ^^
Silver Sun -> ^
Recreational Chemistry


# - First Time Played (Jim instrumental)
## - First Time Played (Chuck song)
** - First Time Played (Rob song)
^ - First Time Played (Al song)
^^ - First Time Played (Vinnie instrumental)

DOWNLOAD THE SHOW! Thanks, Marcus! http://www.archive.org/details/moe.2010-12-04.albanyarmory


Andrew Hill took some awesome pics for State of Mind Music, ch-ch-ch check it out!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lo Faber & Aaron Maxwell / George Porter Jr. & Runnin' Pardners, 12/3/10, Sullivan Hall, NYC

Lo Faber & Aaron Maxwell / George Porter & Runnin' Pardners,
12/3/10, Sullivan Hall, NYC

You know what's cool? Lo Faber & Aaron Maxwell from God Street Wine have been playing occasional acoustic shows around the NYC area. Like, once a month, every month, for the past 3 months^... That's what's pretty fucking cool. In fact, it's time to Officially Label these gigs as: God Street Wine Side-Projects. That is: something that members of GSW do in-between GSW shows.

Clearly, while George Porter Jr. & Runnin' Pardners were headlining this show, plenty of people were there for Lo & Aaron too, cuz the place filled in and got pretty crowded for their 90 minute set. Amelia the waitress was in the house and Sullivan Hall was ready for action!

A blazerless (woot!) Lo & Aaron soon appeared. They opened with Found A New Baby and it left people glowing. Then a total surprise-- Beautiful Lies!!!! Sweet baby Jebus on a stick! I LOVE THIS SONG. It's a gorgeous Bevo song that appeared on GSW's never released last album- many Winos have never even heard this tune once! I will be incredibly jealous if/when GSW break this one out on Jam Cruise as a full band. After 10+ years, can this still be considered a new song? Yes. NEW GOD STREET WINE SONG!!

The whole set was great-- they positively killed! Highlights: Ballroom. Which is when I turned to Gabe and said, "ha ha BALLroom!" A great/warmy Electrocute. The lovely Dos Heteros arrangement of Funny Kinda Love, awesome. A really sweet Strange As It Seems. A nice Borderline sing-along. Bouncy Drive West and rockin' RU 4 Real? The american folk standard, Oh Shenandoah, which is Irish Sea Shanty-esque. And a super-groovy Molly to close out the set.

It was a great sounding set, complimented by the spot-on lights-work of Jeff Volckhausen (on loan from Mexicali in Teaneck). The last few times I was at Sullivan Hall, it was waaay too dark onstage. So, thanks for the lights, Jeff! Huge difference!! How else are we gonna see those handsome unblazered shirts?

George Porter of the (Funky) Meters had the privilege of headlining this show with his Runnin' Pardners. It was very cool to see a legend up close and rocking out. I'm not the hugest funk fan, but they were fun & solid, George was awesome. The Sax player played a sax, but also had an electric-sax thing called an EWI that had a real Max Rebo Band kinda feel to it. I'm not necessarily seeing the perks of playing an EWI over an actual sax, but I suppose the keytar was popular in the 80's for a reason.

Warren Haynes was rumored to be stopping by for a sit-in later on, but with a long moe.schief night ahead of me, I snuck out during setbreak. Shhh, don't tell Warren. He gets oh so upset when I bail. Fortunately, ustream was recording, so we can all watch him sitting-in together, right now!

Man, did that jam, or what?

Lo & Aaron (Lo-Ron?) are getting really good. Not that they were ever bad, but they are getting really really good. Each show is sounding sweeter and sweeter. Can't wait for Mexicali on 1/29/11!

Next Step: Jon Bevo. We simply place a trail of Reese's Pieces and thimble-shots of Jim Beam leading up to a Hammond conveniently placed stage right. “Oh, hey Bevo- how'd you get there?” Voila- a trio! Once Bevo sits-in, Dan Pifer will surely swap-out his Highlander sword for a bass (at least for a pre-determined night, barring any unforseen battles, of course). Then, we install a 3-D Tomo Hologram-- live, streaming, direct from Europe, available both onstage and at the bar, possibly wearing pajamas (because he could). IT'S ALL SO SIMPLE!

Lo Faber & Aaron Maxwell / George Porter & Runnin' Pardners, 12/3/10, Sullivan Hall, NYC: 8.8 HUZZAHS! Minor deductions to George Porter's set for whomever it was repeatedly shitting their pants in the vicinity of the chuck.side stage.

Found A New Baby
Beautiful Lies
Thirsty ->
Funny Kinda Love
Over The Rainbow
Strange As It Seems
Sneakin' Around
Drive West
RU 4 Real?
Oh Shenandoah

** Budke "taped" with some fancy robot machine. The link to download the show will be here once it's up on archive! Thanks, Budke! **


^ And besides the GSW Jam Cruise gig in January, they are also playing Mexicali on Saturday, 1/29/11! That will make it, once a month for 4 months! (when will Dos Heteros t-shirts be available?)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ryan Montbleau Band & JJ Grey & Mofro, 11/27/10, Brooklyn Bowl

Ryan Montbleau Band & JJ Grey & Mofro, 11/27/10, Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY

After a recent string of acoustic shows, I was jonesin' for something a little louder. When I heard that Ryan Montbleau Band would be at Brooklyn Bowl over Turkey Day Weekend, it felt like a necessary trek. There's nothing quite like Live Music to get you the hell away from family and unwind after any holidays you're forced to sit around a table with your loved ones. This is why Thanksgiving Run shows are always festive. There's a lot of de-stressing going on and tons of steam getting blown off.

Annnyways, when I found out Ryan Monbleau Band was actually opening for another band- JJ Grey & Mofro, I wondered if a 45 minute set would be worth the drive to Brooklyn. RMB's set at moe.down xi was totes rockin' and I was excited to see another show, but I was hoping for a full one. Folks In-The-Know assured me it was a stellar double-bill. GLR used the word, "swampy" (in a good way) to describe JJ Grey & Mofro's sound. Intriguing. Mark insisted that this JJ fellow's voice was "Honey-Dipped" and that he would undoubtedly be the newest member of the Derhak/Austin Club. Pshaw! Let's not go crazy. However, I can't argue with Honey-Dipped things, cuz mostly Honey-Dipped things are delicious. Now if JJ's voice was also dusted with sea-salt...

It took 15 minutes to get down the offramp of the BQE. By the time I got to Brooklyn Bowl^, the line was halfway down the block. Moving slowly. Oh, so sloooowly. And Ryan Montbleau Band had already started (at least we could hear it?). It took a solid 10 minutes to get in (between the line to get carded and the next line to buy a ticket). In that time, I made friends with some nice folks in front of me and when we got to the Box Office window, the girl handed me their extra! Really?? Thanks, Amy(?)! Great start to the night!

I found some of my peeps and enjoyed the show for a few minutes, but the frozen margarita machine was screaming my name, so I headed over. After standing amongst the mess that wasn't as much a "line" as it was a "total clusterfuck" at the bar for 5 minutes, I decided to catch the rest of the RMB set instead, cuz at that point they only had 2 songs left. I ran up front, took a few pics, and rocked out a bit. The place was packed- the show had SOLD OUT by now. The crowd was great and way into it. When RMB got to the end of the last song, I bolted back to the bar-sterfuck determined to score some booze this time. I would settle for nothing less than a slight buzz!

Another 10 minutes waiting, but I ran into random peeps and met some new friends. The girl waiting next to me proposed a deal- whoever ordered first would order for both. DEAL! -> ALCOHOL OBTAINED FOR ALL! = TEAMWORK HUZZAH!

The floor was packed solid, we stayed back for much of JJ Grey & Mofro's set. They had a southern-soul-blues-rock feel. "Swampy" is a great adjective for it. Swampy Soul. They really hit the spot. The entire set was enjoyable and everyone in the room was psyched. JJ Grey is super entertaining- running around on harp & occasional guitar. His voice may be Honey-Dipped, but he's a little too Billy Bob Thornton to fall into The Derhakian/Austinian Spectrum. Still, I would totally see them again.

Brooklyn Bowl hasn't really solved their sound-issues. Those purty brick walls and/or gorgeous ceiling could use some insulation. Regardless, it's still a fun venue. Dig it!

Mark DJ'd the fuck out of the drive home. He melted a shit-ton of faces on 1st Ave.

Ryan Montbleau Band & JJ Grey & Mofro, 11/27/10, Brooklyn Bowl: 7.8 HUZZAHS!


^ After realizing the 1st parking spot I chose was illegal (the NO PARKING sign was covered in graffiti and therefore camouflaged into the wall- only to be discovered after careful examination due to my "this seems too good to be true" NYC Street Parker Intuition) and had to re-park. This wasted precious minutes!