Posted by flotz on Thursday, January 31, 2013 | Live Review

Dr. John did his Dr. John thing last night to a packed house at Jazz Alley. Not sure if he’s sold out for the weekend or not; if it isn’t, definitely worth checking this legend Friday or Saturday.  He’s playing with an all new band of top notch players that are funky as hell.  Dr. John shuffled out rocking a purple suit, sun glasses and a tooth necklace.  Swapped all evening between a Nord keyboard and a grand piano (with a skull on it) doing his signature stride sound with signature singing, including weird Dr. John voodoo incantations.  For one tune, he stood up and busted out an electric guitar, playing some sweet licks. No doubt, he still has guitar chops.  But he really shines on the keys. (Check out this session with Mary McPartland if you want to geek out on jazz piano.) He played obscure stuff and the hits, including “Right Place,” “Such A Night,” “Good Night Irene,” “Iko Iko,” “Let The Good Times Roll,” “How Come My Dog Don’t Bark” plus a bunch off his most recent record.

The backing band, comprised of Sarah Morrow (trombone), Bobby Floyd (organ), Joel Johnson (guitar), Dwight Bailey (bass) and Reggie Jackson (drums), was stellar. You could tell they were new to the tunes and arrangements, which was cool, cause you could literally watch them as they found the grooves and enjoyed the changes.  They were all monster players, but subservient to what each song needed. Jackson on drums was dialed in, never overplaying, laying down the backbeat, occasionally bustin out, especially with Johnson on guitar, whose solos ventured into weird jazz territory often, when he didn’t play it straight.  Would love to see these two in a different context, bet they’d shred. Overall, the whole set was just damn professional, the way the songs were arranged and rendered. Great night.

Posted by flotz on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 | Audio

Saw Hardcoretet at the Royal Room last fall and was mesmerized.  Turns out they’ve got a record out that dropped in December 2012 called Do It Live. Definitely worth checking out. The drummer, Tarik Abouzied, is also the drummer in McTuff and provides the same drive and taste. The compositions are super compelling and the sound itself is lush with the electric keys and electric bass. Something hypnotizing about them, can’t put my finger on it. Love the tune Yeti btw.

Posted by flotz on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 | Year End List

Not necessarily in any order:

Silian Raileach/other.  Emotive post rock with monster drummer and cool guitar technique. Post rock is often a let down but this is post rock at its best. Hypnotizing, rapturous, brooding and smart as hell.

Field MusicPlumb. Nominated for the Mercury Prize in the UK, this record is pop mastery in the XTC vein and is full of catchy complexity. Led to discovering the rest of their catalog, which is all as good as this.

Kelly HoganI Like To Keep Myself In Pain.  Exquisitely produced, this is alt-country at its best, with tracks written by Robyn Hitchcock, Vic Chesnutt and other luminaries, all belted out by Hogan with her signature style.

CataldoPrison Boxing. Local record here, officially came out in 2011, but only got turned on to it in 2012. Really pretty tracks and deceptively interesting song writing.

Matt SlocumAfter The Storm.   Heard him at Tula’s during Earshot Jazz and this CD has been in constant rotation in the car. Imminently tasteful.

Posted by flotz on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Live Review

Gold standard on a Tuesday, can’t go wrong with McTuff.  Started with an xmas carol, Good King Wenceslas God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. At some point the guitarist Andy Coe quoted the Star Wars theme. He’s such a melodic player. Can get lost in his lines. They played some originals and then busted out “Human Nature” from MJ.  Love the drummer Tarik Abouzied who tears it up and is the force that drives the band. He never lets up and accents around the beat whilst keeping the groove.  And of course Joe Doria who eschews a bass player for his own left hand. Only complaint is the new layout of the Sea Monster – miss the sofas. It’s good for them (more people, serving food, more business, more $$$) so makes sense, but selfishly bummed at the change.

Posted by flotz on Saturday, November 24, 2012 | Live Review

Got hip to Garfunkel and Oates 3 years ago (here’s the proof). Saw that they were playing at the Snoqualmie Casino (!) and figured it’d be worth the trip.  It was.  Casino very nouveau riche in a Northwest way, weird really, especially the fact that you could smoke inside – forgot about that part of the casino scene. With 502 passing, assume you’ll be able to light up a fattie in the casino in couple days here.

After eating some super-sized sushi and having a Dan Savage celebrity sighting, sat at the piano bar with Primo Kim who let the standards rip – heck he studied with the same teacher as Barbara Streisand. Could’ve sat there a long time sipping cocktails, mesmerized watching the inner workings of the piano (it was a baby grand with a see through top) and lulled by Kim’s crooning.  But had a show to go to and was herded into the ballroom (had to dump cocktail into a plastic cup) where Savage introduced the duo, who lived up to expectations, performing their hits with amusing stage banter betwixt. Duck fucking homos, handjobs, weed cards, smug pregnant women, college experimental lesbians: their song topics read like comment spam.