Thursday, November 29, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
My wife was in Nashville this past weekend and saw an amazing new band: The Felice Brothers. She and her friends met them after the show and they ended up coming over to her friend's house and parking their Winnebago in their backyard for three days thereafter. She came back with the cd, and I must say I am very impressed. At first listen, nostalgic echoes of Dylan and Prine immediately grab my ear, throw in a dash of Dr. Dog and you have the Felice Brothers. With the accordion and organ drifting throughout most tracks, one can't help feel as if he is in a Tennessee Williams play set in an eery New Orleans midnight. From start to finish, The Adventures of the Felice Brothers Vol. 1never ceases to impress. Hailing from the Hudson River Valley part of New York state, The Felice Brothers packed The Adventures of the Felice Brothers Vol. I, full of sing-a-longs, hooky lyrics, and crafty instrumentation that create an original masterpiece. Unfortunately, I missed them opening up for Bright Eyes on Tuesday Night in Memphis while the Real World was slowly rearing its ugly head into my life. Felice Brothers Myspace
Monday, November 05, 2007
Vampire Weekend - Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
Vampire Weekend - A-Punk
Thursday, November 01, 2007
The entire band was in full costume: Ritter as “Optimus Prime”, the base player as “Take the Mummy and Run”, drummer as “Marquis de Chaveis”; and guitarist and keyboardist as “Restless Heart” (“They're big in Buffalo”). This wit filled the show, as did the grin of Ritter as he ran through a great selection of songs from both Conquests and The Animal Years. Some highlights (in not necessarily the correct order): “Mind’s Eye”, “Monster Ballads”, “Wolves”, “Real Long Distance”, “Empty Hearts”, “Right Moves”, “Rumors”, “The Temptation of Adam”. The greatest treats however was their tribute to the holiday by performing multiple covers (Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece” and Johnny Cash’s “Crystal Chandeliers and Burgundy”), the show-ender “Lillian, Egypt”, and the crowd-favorite “Kathleen”—dissected with a full recital by Ritter of the speaking line from the “Thriller” video. Wicked, indeed.
Going into Workplay Theatre, I expected a more laid-back, lounge/piano bar feel, having not spent much time with the latest two albums but rather Hello Starling (still a great album). But it was rife with fast-paced, folksy foot-stompers. Ritter’s interaction with the audience was also spectacular: complimenting costumes, inviting two ladies on stage to sing “Empty Hearts”, allowing a fan to strum the guitar on “Distance”. His excellent song-writing and genuine showmanship has endeared me to Ritter for the long run.
Update, 11/5/07: This Saturday, I spoke with the owner of Laser's Edge record store in Homewood which held an in-store performance from Ritter after the show. Ritter played 9-10 songs acoustic at the store, a performance which started after midnight and must have lasted until close to 2 AM, all while still wearing his costume and no shoes. The performance was recorded, and the owners of Laser's Edge stated they wouldn't be surprised if it was released in some form down the road.