Thursday, November 26, 2015

Danzig: "Skeletons" (album review)

I'll tell you a secret: I have a bit of a soft spot for Glenn Danzig.  Sure he's a hulked up demon metal caricature, but there's something about that which I find charming in a goofy way.

Well, the former Misfit has just released an album of covers, Skeletons, on which he does his versions of songs from an incredibly broad swath of artists.

Hearing a metal guy like Danzig cover artists like Black Sabbath ("N.I.B."), Aerosmith ("Lord of the Thighs"), and ZZ Top ("Rough Boy") really isn't that surprising.  It's not really that interesting either.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Drive-By Truckers: "It's Great To Be Alive!" (album review)

Drive-By Truckers are an incredible band on record.  Having seen them in a live setting three times now I can say I've come away underwhelmed.

That doesn't bode well for the 35-song career-spanning live epic It's Great To Be Alive!.

The album, originally released as 5 LPs, was recorded during the band's three night stand at the Fillmore in San Francisco.

In terms of set list, there's really something here for all of the band's fans.  The tunes are drawn from across the group's catalogue and hits pretty much all of the notes that one would want or hope to hear.

The album's fatal flaw is the sound.  The vocals are murky and buried.  The arrangements are cluttered and far far too loose.  Together they render much of the record simply unlistenable.

I want so badly for DBT to be a great live band.  All the elements are right there.  However, my personal experience is that, for some reason, they just aren't.  It's Great To Be Alive! only serves to reinforce that opinion.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Shovels & Rope: "Busted Jukebox Vol 1" (album review)

I was first introduced to the folk/roots duo Shovels & Rope at the 2014 edition of TURF.  While I can't say that it was love at first listen, it was pretty darn close.

The pair recently teamed up with a plethora of friends to produce the surprise covers album Busted Jukebox Vol. 1.  The record is a mix of surprising, and not so surprising choices.

On the not so surprising side, the group is joined by Shakey Graves for a slightly more dissonant rendition of Neil Young's "Unknown Legend", which makes you wonder why more people haven't tackled that track.  "(What's So Funny Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" is given a Gospel finish that suits it perfectly.  The Milk Carton Kids team up with them for Guns N' Roses "Patience" to beautiful ends.

Monday, November 23, 2015

This week in Toronto concerts: Zeus, The Dears, Bahamas

Local mainstays Zeus play Lee's Palace on Thursday while The Dears are there Friday.  As well on Friday Bahamas are at Massey Hall.

...also this week:
  • Beach Slang, Nov 23
  • The Facelss, Nov 23
  • Buckcherry, Nov 24
  • Our Last Night, Nov 24
  • Gang Signs, Nov 25
  • Twitching Tongues, Nov 25
  • English Beat, Nov 26
  • Jon & Roy, Nov 26
  • Health, Nov 26
  • Slow Magic, Nov 26
  • Big Sugar, Nov 27
  • Dilly Dally, Nov 27
  • Beat Connection, Nov 28
  • The Paper Kites, Nov 28
  • Julian Taylor Band, Nov 28
  • Sharpling & Wurster, Nov 28
  • X Ambassadors, Nov 28
  • The Watchmen, Nov 28
  • Dragonette, Nov 29

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Toronto concerts announced this week: The Sheepdogs, Daughter, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down

  • Neon Indian, Lee's Palace, Jan 30
  • The Sheepdogs, Danforth Music Hall, Feb 6
  • Beacon, Drake Underground, Feb 6
  • Disappears, The Garrison, Feb 17
  • Eleanor Friedberger, Drake Underground, Feb 22
  • Joan Baez, Koerner Hall, Feb 27
  • Hoodie Allen, Danforth Music Hall, Mar 3
  • Daughter, Danforth Music Hall, Mar 7
  • Jukebox The Ghost, Adelaide Hall, Mar 16
  • The Jezebels, Mod Club, Mar 30
  • St Germain, Danforth Music Hall, Apr 7
  • Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, Adelaide Hall, Apr 9
  • Porches, Horseshoe Tavern, Apr 11
  • Ben Harper, Massey Hall, Apr 13

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tuesday Find: Jennifer Budd

For those who like: Adele

This local artist has one booming voice that demands attention.  Her album, Lip Service, came out last week.

Listen to the single "Church" here: