Tag Archive for bass

Pre-Bear Creek 2011: Medeski Martin & Wood / DumpstaJam Prequel in ATL

I’m going to start my Bear Creek Music Festival coverage with some pre-fest festivities from Thursday, November 10, in Atlanta, GA. I started the evening at the Variety Playhouse with my 47th Medeski Martin & Wood show. The opening act was a blues band called Scrapomatic featuring Kofi Burbridge on vocals as a special guest for the entire show. Kofi has a silky smooth voice and the tunes were playful blues numbers. However, after the first 30 minutes, people got antsy. The vibe was a little too relaxed for the restless crowd that was starting to pour in.

MMW started their all request set with two tunes from their classic 1995 album, Friday Afternoon In The Universe: The Lover > We’re So Happy. Between these two songs it sounded like Billy was teasing Moti Mo (one of my friend Greg and I’s requests for the evening). My video of We’re So Happy starts out a little rough with some heads in front of me, but about 3 minutes in the people in front of me let me step up to the front and film the song with a clear view. You can view the video below.

After a brief acoustic detour into Duke Ellington territory on Acht O’Clock Rock (with an interesting John Medeski mellotron section), the band slid into a third song from the Friday Afternoon album, Last Chance To Dance Trance (Perhaps). This was a very long and expansive version, clocking in at around 18 minutes long including an acoustic piano section and an illyB drum solo. They closed the set with a tambourine and melodica infused version of the old New Orleans mardi gras song, Tootie Ma Is A Big Fine Thing.

Medeski Martin & Wood – We’re So Happy, Feelin’ Good (with Col. Bruce Hampton) 11/10/11 Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse:

The second set began with a sit in by Col. Bruce Hampton on vocals, which you can watch above. Next was 25 minutes of sublime, groove-oriented, improvisation. You couldn’t ask for more, but we got more. The improv segued into a drum and percussion solo, which segued into another rarity: Sequel (also from the Friday Afternoon album).

John Medeski then topped off the set with a soft and sweet rendition of Everyday People by Sly & The Family. For the encore, Billy Martin announced that they would be playing a song from their “20” release. When crowd members asked the name of the song, Billy told them they would have to buy it to find out, since there were some “profundities” in the title. The name of the tune: Fuck You Guys.

I never got my Moti Mo or Chinoiserie requests, but I did get plenty of other Friday Afternoon songs, as well as a Duke Ellington fix, so no complaints here (well, except my complaint that Kofi never joined the band for a flute down…). However, I can confidently say that this blew the Chicago show out of the water and has to be in my top 5 MMW shows.

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As soon as MMW ended, we headed straight to The Masquerade to catch Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk. We arrived just as the opening act, Orgone, began breaking down. I was glad we hadn’t missed Dumpstaphunk, and I knew I would see Orgone the next day at Bear Creek. (Shout out to Sergio for putting me on the guest list!)

Attendance was sparse as Dumpstaphunk hit the stage around 1am, and the band used this show as a warm up for their two upcoming Bear Creek sets. This was my first time seeing them with new drummer Nikki Glaspie and I came away knowing that she is more than capable of filling Raymond Weber’s shoes, while also bringing some added energy to the mix.

They played several new songs: Fame (a David Bowie cover), If I’m In Luck I Just Might Get Picked Up (a Betty Davis cover in which Nikki sings), Blueswave (which has been played only a few times since August of 2010), and Water (a Graham Central Station cover) (presumably this was the first time it has been played live, since they had lyrics sheets out and they had been in the studio days before this show). (FYI, Water was also the set closer Sunday night at Bear Creek with The Shady Horns.)

Near the end of the show, Nigel Hall, Ron Johnson, & Terrence Higgins showed up after their gig with the Warren Haynes Band at the Tabernacle finished. For the set closer, Meanwhile, Nigel Hall joined on keys, freeing Ivan Neville to jump on guitar. And for the encore we got a DumpstaJam prequel: Tony Hall & Nick Daniels sat out. Nigel Hall was on keys and vocals, Ivan and Ian stayed on guitar, Terrence Higgins got behind the drum kit, Ron Johnson took Tony’s bass, and Nikki got on Nick’s bass. They started with a slow and brooding version of Sly & The Family Stone’s Babies Making Babies then segued into Nigel’s Nick Daniels impersonation on Turn This Thing Around, then into a slow and playful version of Put It In The Dumpsta. Clearly these guys don’t take themselves too seriously and were just playing around for their own amusement, as the encore is kind of half-assed and tongue in cheek. It’s still cool to watch though….

DumpstaJam Prequel – Encore (1 of 2) with Nigel Hall, Ron Johnson & Terrence Higgins: Babies Making Babies (Sly Stone cover) > Turn This Thing Around > Put It In The Dumpsta 11/10/11 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade:

DumpstaJam Prequel – Encore (2 of 2) with Nigel Hall, Ron Johnson & Terrence Higgins: Babies Making Babies (Sly Stone cover) > Turn This Thing Around > Put It In The Dumpsta 11/10/11 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade:

Dumpstaphunk – Fame (David Bowie cover) 11/10/11 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade:

Dumpstaphunk – Blueswave (new song) 11/10/11 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade:

Dumpstaphunk – Water (Graham Central Station cover, first time played) 11/10/11 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade:

Dumpstaphunk – If I’m In Luck, I Just Might Get Picked Up (Betty Davis cover) 11/10/11 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade:

Dumpstaphunk with Nigel Hall – Meanwhile 11/10/11 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade:

Primus – Louisville, Kentucky – videos + exclusive radio audio

Primus 10/10/11 Louisville, KY @ 91.9 WFPK
Interview – Lee Van Cleef – Interview – Tragedy’s a’ Comin’

Primus ripped through Louisville, Kentucky, last Monday with their original lineup of Les Claypool, Larry LaLonde and Jay Lane. I’ve seen them over the years with each of their three drummers (Tim “Herb” Alexander” and Brian “Brain” Mantia) and I can honestly say that Jay Lane is my favorite. After all, he was the one that helped develop the original Primus sound in the late-1980’s and he did co-write most of the songs on Frizzle Fry & Sailing The Seas of Cheese. To me, his playing is groovier and tighter than the other drummers. Also, to his credit, his return to the band rekindled the Primus spark and inspired Claypool to write and record a new album, so you can’t fault him for that.

Early in the afternoon of October 10, 2011, Primus entered the studio at our favorite independent radio station, 91.9 WFPK Radio Louisville. Here I bring you the exclusive recording of their interview and performance. You can stream it at the top of this page, or press the down arrow on the soundcloud bar to download the 83mb lossless FLAC file (Sidenote: Although it was recorded from the webstream, which was most likely a lossy MP3-quality stream, I chose not to downgrade the quality further by compressing it to MP3 again. And that’s why you get a FLAC file and not an MP3. But really is that extra 60mb really gonna tip the scales and fill your hard drive to the bursting point?).

Here I also present the videos I shot from the front row. The audio has been upgraded with my friend’s recording with schoeps microphones, which is available to download over at etree. The video starts out with Extinction Burst (one of my favorite tracks off the new album), and then there is nearly 5 minutes of Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers, including most of Claypool’s bass solo jam middle part. It ends abruptly about 1.5 minutes before the end of the song due to “security.”

VIDEOS: Dumpstaphunk Jazz Fest 2011 Tour de NOLA

“Sleep is NOT overrated!” I once heard Ivan Neville exclaim between songs at a late night Maple Leaf gig. He should know, as one of the hardest working musicians in New Orleans during Jazz Fest week. (It’s usually a competition between him, George Porter Jr. & Stanton Moore as to who does the most gigs in that 10 day period.) For Jazz Fest 2011, Ivan did at least 9 gigs (if not more) during the second weekend, 3 of which were with Dumpstaphunk.

Gasman Chronicles > Do Ya > Deeper:

On Thursday, May 5th, Dumpstaphunk opened for Soulive & Lettuce at the Royal Family Ball at the Contemporary Arts Center. My pal Theo showed up and set up his audio recording equipment dead center, about 20 feet from the front rail (much closer than FOB). I clamped my video camera to the side of his mic stand, zoomed it in tight and just let it roll for the entire set. Here, I present 45 minutes of highlights from their 70 minute set. Note the rare cover of The Isley Brothers’ “Fight The Power” as the set closer.

Lt. Dan, Put It In The Dumpsta, Everybody Want Sum, Fight The Power:

The day before, on Wednesday, May 4th, Dumpstaphunk played an afternoon in-store performance at the Louisiana Music Factory record store on Decatur Street. This is an interesting set because Ivan is playing Joe Krown’s organ and without clavinet. Here is the full 35 minute set:

01. Everybody Want Sum – Do Ya:

02. Oughta Know Better:

03. Gasman Chronicles – Deeper (part 1/2):

04. Deeper (part 2/2):

On Sunday, May 9th, Dumpstaphunk closed down the week’s festivities late night at Tipitina’s for the 5th year in a row. The highlight for me was the unexpected James Brown cover, The Payback, sung by Nick Daniels. I didn’t shoot this video (I was too enthralled in the front row), but I sure am glad that my friend Chris Rogers was holding up his flash video recorder. Now I can relive one of my favorite moments from Jazz Fest 2011, as drummer Raymond Weber gives us those “hits” we so desperately need.

The Payback (James Brown cover):

BTW, this was a crosspost with Live Music Blog: NOLA. Definitely check them out to keep up to date with the New Orleans music scene!