Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Rinjo Cloudcast

By: Rinjo Njori

On the 29th edition of the I Blog Econo Podcast, we sample the non-holiday sounds of Puny Human, Electric Eel Shock and Eagles of Death Metal and the pop sensibility of The Chosen, Utopia, and Game Theory. With a dash of The Fleshtones, Voxtrot, and Reigning Sound, your auditory palette should be satisfied.

 
Name That Tune by Rinjonjori on Mixcloud
iTunes

Youtube Videos of the Day: Pearl Jam vs Nirvana

Youtube has some great Pearl Jam and Nirvana selections, and we've posed this question before regarding this longstanding grunge rivalry - who is better?

Black


About a Girl


Courdroy


Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam


Masters of War


The Man Who Sold the World


Evenflow


Come As You Are


Evenflow (unplugged)

Come As You Are (unplugged)

Grievance


Radio Friendly Unit Shifter


Better Man


Love Buzz


Comatose


Lounge Act


Alive


Smells Like Teen Spirit


Leash


Drain You


Porch


Dive


Gone: live webcast filmed on Letterman set

Negative Creep: live @ Pinky's Garage

Yellow Ledbetter


Breed


Animal


Lithium


All Apologies


Daughter

Mp3 of the Day: Radiohead

Free mp3 music downloads are great, but free Radiohead mp3s are awesome! I know this one is old and Radiohead sort of already gave away In Rainbows for free, well not really, right? One interesting aspect of the In Rainbows marketing, was the remix competition where the band set up a website for fans to upload remixes for the song "Nude."

The many submissions included this killer version from Holy Fuck, which you can download for free here (via Mp3.com). Not your average fans, Holy Fuck have performed at Glastonbury, Roskilde, Coachella and Lollapalooza, among other music festivals.

Due to the popularity of the "Nude" remix competition, Radiohead did the same for "Reckoner." You can listen to the top versions here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Schultz’ Earful: Bob Dylan; Girl Talk; The Beatles

By: David Schultz

The oft-repeated tales, stories and anecdotes that comprise the oral history of Bob Dylan’s storied career have helped create the mysterious aura that surrounds the mercurial and enigmatic icon. They are so prevalent in the narrative of the Dylan legend that it becomes hard to separate the facts from the prevailing fiction. Displaying ambivalence to his own mythos, Dylan customarily explodes others’ misconceptions of him in his own idiosyncratically understated, often inadvertent, manner. Over the course of three sold-out shows at Terminal 5, New York City’s most ill-conceived venue, Dylan proved that while he may no longer be the most versatile live performer, he can still deliver a vital, musically compelling live show while still scratching everyone’s itch for nostalgia.

The most prevalent myth about Dylan is that he is practically incomprehensible and that his shows have devolved into unintelligible morasses of slurred lyrics and overblown inflections. Dylan’s singing voice may no longer possess all of its warmth and reassuring pleasantness but any reports that he has become incoherent and indecipherable are simply ridiculous. A bad sound system may reduce Dylan to the caricature popularized by Saturday Night Live, Terminal 5’s did not. Singing in a lower register, on Tuesday night, Dylan offered up crowd-pleasing renditions of “Just Like A Woman,” A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall,” “Masters Of War” and “This Wheel’s On Fire.” Although clear and lucid in voice, Dylan’s cadence has taken on Lou Reed levels of disinterest. During the night’s closing rendition of “Like A Rolling Stone,” Dylan either missed or consciously avoided many of his cues, haphazardly reciting the verses to his beloved classic.

The cause of Dylan’s diminished guitar playing is another unanswered question that dogs the singer. Whether arthritis is the cause or even a factor, the reduction in the number of songs in which Dylan strums the six strings is significant enough that each set list denotes when he steps from behind his keyboard setup. With Charlie Sexton returning to his touring band, Dylan hardly needs to contribute his guitar and, regardless, it’s unclear as to whether he could conjure up the same iconic tones. For Tuesday night’s show, Dylan picked up the guitar for “Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again,” “Simple Twist Of Fate” and “Things Have Changed.” Dylan also disproved another pesky myth: the keyboard is in fact plugged in and yes, he is actually playing.

Since redefining himself as a live performer with a band that featured Sexton and Larry Campbell, Dylan has consistently offered a live experience that doesn’t rely on nostalgia or devolve into an uninspired audience with an icon. The Terminal 5 sets, which each clocked in at close to two hours, mixed up random classics with selections from his recent offerings, which stand up with his most treasured output from prior decades. Dylan’s allure remains remarkable; the Terminal 5 crowd consisted of a healthy mix of unreconstructed hippies, adults who are in their fourth decade of attending Dylan shows, many bringing their children, and a youthful contingent that have a proper respect for the accomplishments of their elders. Dylan can still deliver. However, expectations over what the 69-year-old can still accomplish on stage need to be kept in check.

AMERICA’S MOST ADVENTUROUS EXPLORER of the realm that lies between fair use and blatant copyright infringement, Girl Talk nee Greg Gillis has released his latest mishmash of classic rock, 80s chestnuts, pop smashes, hip-hop and gangsta rap on All Day. Insuring that he remains one step ahead of the law, the album is available for download at no charge at his Illegal Art website. Gillis breaks no new ground on All Day, his new mash ups retain his creativity and wit even if they are becoming a bit more formulaic then they’ve seemed in the past - take classic rock riff, enhance drumbeat, mix in anachronistic rap lyrics, repeat. Nonetheless, Gillis deserves all the glory and hosannas that can be lauded upon a DJ for finding the sole remaining copy of Frankie Smith’s “Double Dutch Bus” and reintroducing it to a new generation.

THE BEATLES ARE NOW ON iTUNES. This is easily one of the most overblown, overhyped stories in recent times. If it weren’t possible to buy every single Beatles’ album on CD, this would be phenomenal development. As it is, Beatles records weren’t exactly the hardest thing in the world to acquire or get onto your iPOD. Nice as it is that lawyers for The Beatles’ and Apple could get past their issues over the computer conglomerate’s entry into the music business, the ability to buy the Beatles’ catalog in a piecemeal manner for $1.29 each hardly qualifies as earth shattering news; no matter how much Apple tries to persuade us otherwise.

Mp3 of the Day: Phenomenal Handclap Band

Free mp3 music downloads often mean trouble, but today it really does mean free legal songs on Earvolution.com, courtesy of artists giving away some free mp3 downloads. And, today is a three-fer deal from the Phenomenal Handclap Band and Friendly Fire Recordings.

The first offering for free and legal downloading is "The Journey To Serra Da Estrella (Fujiya & Miyagi Remix)", which is a new spin on a tune from PHB's 2009 debut record, which featured members of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, TV on the Radio, Mooney Suzuki, Oakley Hall, Antibalas, the Dap Kings and more.

Next up for your downloading pleasure, is the Stallions remix of "Tears" and to complete the freebie trifecta, you can also download the danceable track "You'll Disappear."

If you like the music, for those in the New York City area, you can show support and see The Phenomenal Handclap Band live on December 4th at Brooklyn Bowl.

Youtube Video of the Day: Lissie "Everywhere I Go"

Youtube contains so many great music videos it's nearly impossible to only highlight just one, but that's what we intend to do here each day in our new "Youtube Video of the Day" feature.

Today's video "Everywere I Go" comes from Lissie, who I first learned about from my friends in Truth & Salvage Co. She's been an underground darling for a few years and this year released a major label debut, Catching a Tiger (Colubmia UK) while retaining some indie cred by having it released in the U.S. via Fat Possum (Andrew Bird, The Walkmen). The recordings were done in Nashville with Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Norah Jones, Modest Mouse) and in Asheville, NC, with Bill Reynolds (of Band of Horses).



If you hadn't seen this video, but the song sounds familiar you may recognize "Everywhere I Go" from being featured this year in 90210, Dollhouse and on Grey's Anatomy. Lissie, currently on tour in Ireland and the UK, is nominated for Best Breakthrough Artist in this year's Q Awards, and of course you can watch more of her videos over on Youtube, including her fantastic cover of Lady GaGa (Bad Romance).

Katy Perry's Boobs

Katy Perry's boobs get an estimated 33,000 Google searches each month. Interestingly "Kary Perry music" gets a very similar amount. So, I know you're thinking that we looked that up just to get some boob hits on the website. Guilty as charged.

But, Earvolution is not the only place focused on Katy Perry's boobs. And, we're not just talking about Russell Brand either. VH1 also knows sex sells and created a mini-controversy when articles surfaced all over the web "reporting" that Ms. Perry's handlers asked the music network to deflate her assets for the promo poster for the upcoming VH1 Divas Salute the Troops special, which will feature some music in between boob shots, including from this hottie (NSFW).

Turns out that Katie, perhaps a bit boob-shy after the Sesame Street "incident" earlier this year, made the request for the breast reduction herself, taking to twitter to clear the air, which of course resulted in yet another news cycle about Katy Perry's totally NSFW boobs.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Gathering of the Vibes Tickets

Black Friday got you down? Well you can, hip it up as Gathering of the Vibes tickets go on sale this morning at 10am Eastern. This coming year marks the festival's 16th anniversary and it will take place over four days, July 21-24, 2011 at Connecticut's Seaside Park.

Organizers expect nearly 30,000 fans and the good time is not limited to the music. The event also supports the Vibes charitable efforts, which dispersed over $100,000 last year, including $25,000 for the families of fallen Bridgeport firefighters. For complete Gathering of the Vibes info and tickets check out their website.

The Vibes 2011 lineup has not yet been announced, but the festival has a history of big name acts including The Allman Brothers, Crosby Stills & Nash, Furthur with Phil Lesh & Bob Weir, The Black Crowes, and Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Schultz' Earful: The Black Crowes; Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus Of Dreams

By: David Schultz

At the 2004 Jammy Awards, after Chris Robinson and Gov’t Mule collaborated on a cover of Neil Young’s “Southern Man," Rich Robinson and Eddie Harsch walked onto the Theater At Madison Square Garden stage prompting a minor apoplectic fit amongst those who recognized the import of the event. When the Robinson brothers and Mule launched into “Sometimes Salvation,” it became chilly in Hell as, for all intents and purposes, The Black Crowes were playing together for the first time in more than 3 years. One year later, a sold-out crowd at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom was giving Kate Hudson a standing ovation as a prelude to full blown return of a band that can credibly lay claim to being the best rock and roll band in the land.


These glorious stories of the rebirth of the The Black Crowes deserve retelling as, once more, the Crowes are bandying about the dreaded term “indeterminate hiatus.” Amidst rumors that band relations are at the same tenuous thread that led to the band’s first split, the Crowes will once again be taking flight into those cosmos of which Chris Robinson loves to preach. Entitling their last tour, Say Goodnight To The Bad Guys, the Crowes are taking one last lap around the globe as an ostensible farewell to their many fans. For the New York City leg of the tour, the Crowes took nest at the Best Buy nee Nokia Theater in Times Square for a five night residency. As they’ve done with certain shows, the Crowes opened each night with a lengthy acoustic opening set, finishing with an equal length electric set.

Since emerging from Atlanta, Georgia in the late Eighties and garnering attention on MTV with their cover of Otis Redding’s “Hard To Handle,” the Black Crowes have amassed a catalog comparable to any of the classic rock’s titans. Shake Your Money Maker, The Southern Harmony & Music Companion and Amorica, the Crowes first three albums, stand up with any other band’s initial output. Even lesser efforts like Three Snakes And A Charm, Lions and the dismal By Your Side contain a handful of arena-ready tracks. Not resting on their laurels, the Crowes’ second act, with Luther Dickinson in the fold, has yielded a remarkable comeback album, Warpaint, and the wonderfully hazy Before The Frost . . . Until The Freeze, recorded over a week long stint at Levon Helm’s studio in historic Woodstock, New York.

As a result, the Crowes have a rich and deep catalog of songs from which they can craft set lists that, a la the Dead, change on a nightly basis. “Wiser Time,” “My Morning Song,” “Jealous Again” and “Remedy” will turn up more nights than not but everything else, including Pink Floyd covers, unreleased tracks and selections featured on the Robinson Brothers’ Birds Of A Feather remain fair game, indiscriminately dispersed throughout the acoustic and electric sets. With rare exceptions, like the final night’s “Hard To Handle,” every song got a full workout, making it feel like it was being played for the last time.

The acoustic sets were completely owned by Luther Dickinson. Since joining the band, Dickinson has shown the Crowebase what the North Mississippi Allstar fans have long known: under the right circumstances, Luther can be a bad ass alpha dog lead guitarist. For the electric sets, the Crowes reverted to a more traditional approach. Drummer Steve Gorman and bassist Sven Pipien latch onto a captivating groove that gets the body moving while Rich Robinson and Dickinson to bob and weave within the spaces. Up front though, it’s Chris Robinson, the undeniably charismatic lead singer, who provides the captivating tour de force. Like a preacher inspiring his flock to see the light, Robinson rouses any audience to revel in the power and glory of rock and roll. He so clearly feels it when he’s on stage with the Crowes, it’s mystifying to think he won’t continue proselytizing his own fortifying brand of religion.

In addition to an acoustic cover of “No Expectations” and a romp through the shuffling “I Just Want To See His Face,” throughout the week, the Crowes offered subtle reminders that they are one of the few bands that still immerse themselves in The Rolling Stones’ style of loose, hazy, roots-based rock and roll circa the early-Seventies. Less cocky in mien, Chris Robinson’s strutting and preening derives from Mick Jagger iconography and Dickinson and Rich Robinson are no strangers to the six-string interplay that is the bedrock of all classic rock titans. Perhaps most emblematic, the reported squabbling between the Robinson brothers hearkens back to The Glimmer Twins’ love/hate relationship that has recently taken on literary proportions. For the last song of the residency, the Crowes offered up “The Last Time,” an early-era Stones classic that neatly encapsulated the moment. “This could be the last time. Maybe, the last time, I don’t know.”

PHISH’S MUSICAL COSTUME, which this year was Little Feat, has become one of the most recognizable, if not anticipated, events of every Halloween. On the fringes of the outskirts of the mainstream, the mercurially-named Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams have turned their Grand Slambovian Extraterrestrial Hillbilly Pirate Ball into its own annual trick-or-treat spectacular. With a Tolkienesque name and live staples like “Flapjacks From The Sky” and “Trans-Slambovian Bi-Polar Express,” Murphy & The Slambovian Circus seem like they should a novel cross between Gogol Bordello and The Flying Karamazov Brothers. While their Halloween-eve celebration at New York City’s Gramercy Theater did have its share of set break acrobatics, the rest of the night was a fun mix of Halloween-inspired covers and good old-fashioned folk-based classic rock and roll.

GM&TSCOD are emblematic of the type of band that people find early on, claim as their own and to whom they remain loyal throughout the years. Big Head Todd & The Monsters, The Subdudes, Social Distortion and legions of others have made fine careers catering to a solid, reliable and faithful fan base that will always buy the new album and come to the show when the band plays through. Their masses rarely swell but also never wane. Playing for a crowd that skewed towards the older demographic, the Slambovian Circus literally donned costumes in opening for themselves as three different bands. As a scurvy band of pirates, they offered up sea shanties and Irish traditionals like “I’ll Tell Me Ma”; as a nattily-dressed bunch of Southerners, they surrounded a set of country flavored songs with “Ghost Riders In The Sky” and as a pack of aliens ran “Moonage Daydream,” “Astronomy Domine” and “Across The Universe” into a psychedelic medley.

As themselves, lead singer Joziah Longo proved an affable and relaxed frontman, speaking to the audience as if presiding over a gathering of old friends. Looking slightly like an extra from the Aqualung photo shoot, Longo’s voice gave warmth of Beatles covers like “Rocky Raccoon” and “Yellow Submarine” – perhaps the greatest singalong of all time – and earnestness to the songs of their recently released The Grand Slambovians. (In fact, the Halloween festivities doubled as a CD release party). A family affair and small business success story, the Circus also boasts Sharkey McEwen, a remarkably dexterous guitarist who’s also proficient at the slide mandolin, a rarity in most parts.

The Circus comes to Woodstock for the Thanksgiving weekend, will celebrate A Very Slambovian Christmas in Vermont and Tampa and bring in New Years Eve 24 hours early in Philadelphia.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Schultz' Earful: Michael Franti & Spearhead

By: David Schultz

Standing 6’ 6” tall, Michael Franti has never had to worry about being noticed amidst a crowd. Even without his distinctive dreadlocked visage completing the picture, anyone owning a television would be hardpressed to say they are unaware of his existence, his “Say Hey (I Love You)” rapidly becoming the most ubiquitous advertising jingle since John Mellencamp climbed into bed with the fine folks at Chevrolet. With Franti’s catchy paean to the power of love promoting everything ranging from beer, FIFA sanctioned soccer and the victorious San Francisco Giants, it raises concerns about whether a message of peace and unity loses its luster and significance when it’s brought to you by your friendly caring global corporate sponsor. Further muddying the picture, Franti has returned to Capitol Records for his latest album, The Sound Of Sunshine, rejoining the major label that released the first two Spearhead albums in the mid-Nineties. Always a voice of the people, it’s now becoming necessary to divorce Franti’s populism from the medium of its delivery. As far as I can recall, it’s a trick that’s only been successfully pulled off by Bono.

Unfazed after being dropped by his label, Franti’s power to the peaceful attitude never wavered. In fact, his travels throughout the war ravaged regions of the Middle East only served to make him surer of his convictions. Franti’s already joyful music became infused with an emboldened spirit of positivity, serving as a vehicle for him to spread his vision of a world where acceptance, tolerance and inclusion are the norm and not the exception. Befittingly, his growing mainstream popularity has attracted more followers into his flock. His shows are no longer select gatherings and his recent return to New York City for a midweek show required the use of the cavernous environs of Terminal 5 to house all of Franti’s freaky people that make the music of his world.

The attraction of any Franti show is the ebullient energy he generates. Even though he would welcome them with open arms, disaffected hipsters really have no place at a Spearhead show, Franti being the rare performer that creates a sense of unity throughout any crowd. It’s a task accomplished through Franti’s undeniable charisma. Sophisticated concert-goers will find much fodder for nitpicking. If you aren’t distracted by guitarist Jay Bowman’s nonsensical preening, the derivative nature of much of the music, which is indisputably catchy and danceable, stand out sharply. Most noticeably, the last half hour of the show consisted of not much more than different variations of U2’s “Bad.” However, for every misfire like a mistimed and off key segue into Louie Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World,” there’s a Where’s Waldo like stunt where Franti pops up with his guitar in the balcony and sings amongst the crowd or the simple joy of an enthusiastic display of flower arrangement. There are many more cooks involved in Franti’s presentation to the world than there have been in the past. Franti’s shows have always been solid sustenance for the soul and it would be a shame if his heartening and inspirational message becomes diluted.

I'VE ALWAYS BEEN OF THE BELIEF that music begins and ends with Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground. Over at Kitchen Snark, the Rock Snob Sommelier has an extremely detailed and comprehensive analysis of the entire VU catalog that gets Earvolution's enthusiastic approval. It's well worth taking in and you can do so by clicking here.

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Rent Is Too Damn High Volume 1

The "Rent is Too Damn High" surged into pop culture mainstream recently thanks to New York Governor Candidate Jimmy McMillan's memorable debate performance and near immediate Saturday Night Live parody.

And, just when you think you've heard the last of Mr. McMillan, we now learn that he's releasing an album, called, you guessed it, The Rent is Too Damn High (Vol. 1). This is not his first music release. He released a soulful single back in 1975 as "Jimmy Mack," which you can hear over on Youtube. The new record is due out in early December, just in time for Christmas and the smart marketing McMillan is even including his own ode to St. Nick in "Rent is Too High Christmas" featuring the soon to be immortal lyrics:

Santa Clause got evicted
Cause he couldn't pay his rent
Now he sleeping in a park, in a tent
Yeah, he homeless

Of course, you won't be able to afford the record. Why? Because the rent is too damn high!

Jakob Dylan Tapes Sun Studio Sessions Episode

Jakob Dylan brought his band "Three Legs" to Memphis, TN this past Friday to tape an episode of Sun Studio Sessions, at the legendary studio where Elvis, Johnny Cash, Howlin' Wolf, Carl Perkins and other legends got their start. Dylan performed tracks from his latest record, Women & Country, including "Nothing but the Whole Wide World" and "Everybody's Hurting."

Dylan's stellar band, includes Kelly Hogan who sings back up for Neko Case. Both Case and Hogan sang on the T-Bone Burnett produced Women & Country. During the taping, in addition to performing several tracks from the record, Dylan recalled meeting Sun Studio founder Sam Phillips on an early trip to Memphis with the Wallflowers and Hogan explains how the band name "Three Legs" came to be. The episode is set to air in Season 2 of Sun Studio Sessions in early 2011.

Sun Studio Sessions Season 1 aired on 150+ PBS affiliates across the U.S., including some remaining airings in select markets such as Denver (CPT), Memphis (WKNO) and Los Angeles (KCET). Season 2 will also feature The Walkmen, Langhorne Slim, Grace Potter, and Truth & Salvage Company and will begin airing in select markets in January 2011.

Schultz' Earful: My Morning Jacket; The Drums; Surfer Blood

By: David Schultz


In the middle of every October, New York City and now Brooklyn, falls under the sway of the CMJ Music Marathon. A Northeast version of Austin’s SXSW festival, owing to the chillier weather, the non-centralized focus of the showcases and the practical absence of quality barbecue and Tex-Mex victuals, CMJ attracts far fewer casual music fans than its Southern cousin. Even with the awareness that I’ll probably go to great lengths next March to see some of the bands playing in my own backyard, your humble narrator customarily opts out of CMJ, often with the tacit approval and understanding from my day job. This year though, I unsuspectingly ended up at Webster Hall on the Wednesday night of CMJ for The Drums and Surfer Blood.

Although the show was ostensibly sold-out, the normally cramped Webster Hall had a loose feel for both bands, each attracting a different crowd. Having caught Surfer Blood at the NPR Showcase in Austin this past March, I was struck by how they’ve broadened their sound over the past six months. Perhaps owing to a larger stage and a larger room, the music seemed fuller and had a grander tone. No longer tied to a mike stand, John Paul Pitts exhibited a relaxed demeanor, comfortable with the expectations that follow the much buzzed about band.

One of the few Brooklyn bands that have found fame and fortune overseas before striking it big in their homeland, The Drums headlined the night with an hour long set of Eighties tinged, Joy Division influenced pop from their self-titled full-length debut. Swaying around the stage with a rapturous conviction, lead singer Jonathan Pierce comes perilously close to obsequious swishing and swanning. Yet his energy is undeniably infectious and helps sell the buoyancy of the music. For the encore, Connor Hanwick’s booming drums served as a counterpoint to Pierce’s insistent vocals on “Down By The Water” giving the song a powerful 50s-era vibe.

OFFERING AN ALTERNATIVE to the CMJ Music Marathon, My Morning Jacket put on a spectacular week long showcase of their own at Terminal 5. For their MMJ Marathon, the Kentucky juggernaut celebrated their recent success with a victory lap of sorts, playing each of their 5 albums in its entirety over the span of a marvelous five night run. As best they could, MMJ transformed the warehouse environs of Terminal 5 into a majestic ballroom, festooning the balconies with red and yellow bunting and surrounding the venue’s anachronistic disco ball with a set of fancy chandeliers.

Mirroring the band’s ascension, the attention and attendance of the residency grew over the week. The shows dedicated to The Tennessee Fire and At Dawn rewarded longtime fans who caught onto My Morning Jacket in their early days while It Still Moves, Z and Evil Urges cast a wider net. Over the run, the growth of the band’s sound, especially their ability to build a song to gripping crescendos, sat at center stage. Without the bravado that Lynyrd Skynyrd would bring to their guitar orgies, My Morning Jacket excels at releasing all the tension of a song in fantastic explosions of guitar goodness in much the same way. Where It Still Moves’ “Run Thru,” “Steam Engine” and “One Big Holiday” provided the occasional vehicle for grandiloquent flourishes and codas, it’s Z that lines them up in a murderers’ row. From the steamy psychedelia of “It Beats For You” and “Dondante” to the gorgeous melodies of “Gideon” and “Wordless Chorus,” it’s an album full of second encores. To say the least – it was intense.

MMJ dedicated the second set of each show to rarities and covers. For It Still Moves, Jim James’ lovely falsetto brought the proper forlorn timbre to Bob Dylan’s “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Her With You” and The Band’s “It Makes No Difference,” the latter getting a boost from Steven Bernstein and Eric Lawrence from Levon Helm’s band and the Elvis Perkins In Dearland horns. Notwithstanding an ambling version of the Velvet Underground’s “Head Held High,” the night’s closing cover of Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” was the highlight of the night. (On an irrelevant note, there are a group of twenty-somethings that will have to go to their graves knowing they mistook the Lionel Richie hook for Soundgarden).

For Z, a relatively sedate second set was revived by a rollicking run through “A Quick One (While He’s Away), an early Who prog-rock delicacy, and Prince’s “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man.” Working off of Carl Broemel’s soulful sax intro, MMJ dared close the night with a jaunty run through Wham’s “Careless Whisper.” Managing to be both deferential and cheeky as regards the George Michael “classic,” James mourned the lack of respect usually given to the ardent purveyor of bathroom trysts by diverging the song into an ode to bananas, tossing the potassium laden treats to the crowd. Patrick Hallahan, who needs to now be considered in the discussion of rock’s greatest drummers, displayed an impressive arm while James exhibited a slightly girly wrist to his tosses. No worries though, he plays the guitar and sings just fine.

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Grace Potter Rocking The Gear circa 2006!