Saturday, January 26, 2008

Upcoming Show: Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit w/ Will Hoge @ High Noon Saloon

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit w/ Will Hoge
Thu. February 7

9:00 PM / $15 cover $12 Advance 18 AND UP

True Endeavors presents...
Jason Isbell spent the past six years as one of three frontmen for the critically acclaimed band Drive-By Truckers (DBT)—and although fans may have been shocked by his leaving the band last April, hearing his solo material should help them understand that it was something he needed to do, as he has a voice all his own. Hard-touring, blue-collar, heartland-style rocker Will Hoge opens the show with a sound that has been described as Springsteen meets the Stones. We caught Isbell with in July at the Union and in November at the High Noon Saloon opening for Cracker. This is a show that should not be missed!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Recording Review: Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend (XL Recordings)

Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend (XL Recordings)
December 15th, 2007 - by Fred J. Simani
Buy From Strictly Discs

Ezra Koenig (vocals / guitar), Rostam Batmanglij (keyboards / vocals), Chris Tomson (Drums), and Chris Baio (bass) met while attending Columbia University and formed what is now known as Vampire Weekend. The New York City band depicts their sound as "Upper West Side Soweto". These ten tales from the preppy young boys with a taste for popular African music and Western Classical Music work tremendously well. In June 2007 the New York Times wrote that "Even without an album, Vampire Weekend have made one of the most impressive debuts of the year." VW should soon be blazing over the nearest college campuses with a fury that will have everyone grooving along to their own blend of Afro-pop flavored indie rock.

Ezra Koenig starts out their self titled album stating that he can "see a Mansard roof through the trees" painting the picture of the Columbia campus and its Empire style architecture. The song contains an arrangement of strings (keyboard) and heavy reverb on the guitar: a match made in heaven. "A-Punk" (most danceable) Koenig's brilliant guitar work mixed with Batmanglij's ambient keyboard chords in the chorus, makes for one the finest tracks on the album.

" Who gives a fuck about an Oxford Comma", states Koenig in an apathetically spoken statement; he has seen those English dramas, diction dripping with disdain. A song with a title about a comma used immediately before a grammatical conjunction that precedes the last item in a list of three or more items and the song is brilliant.

In the song "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" (which references Congolese soukous music), the beautiful bridge seems to be cut from the same fabric as Paul Simon's Graceland and flows perfectly within the confines of a jumpy, afro-pop four cord progression…it's the "hit"…one of those songs with a guitar hook that will never leave your mind. Later on we move into the very danceable "Boston" which has it's typical 4/4 time Ramones style drum beat but done with ivy league class; there is no monotony. Koenig croons" I've dreamed of Boston all of my life". Later on the song comes to an abrupt and morbid bridge with only church organ and Koenig promising how he will put the morbid family streak to rest. "Campus" gives off imagery of the college campus in a love song with its driving guitar lines almost mimicking Albert Hammond Jr. from The Strokes,. Track seven, "One" has this bouncing beat which you can't help but groove on. You will catch yourself singing "Blake's got a new face". The song" Bryn" opens with a beautiful south African guitar line and the layered vocals from Koenig makes for a perfectly executed track and one of my favorite songs on the album and possibly one of the best I have heard in a while.

The whole album holds up extremely well with "Walcott" the bouncing, piano tinged song about getting out of "Cape Cod tonight" and finally ending with"The Kids Don't Stand A Chance" a reggae flavored kiss goodbye which bookends this wonderful album.

Upcoming Show: The Carolina Chocolate Drops - Thu. January 24 - High Noon Saloon

The Carolina Chocolate Drops
Thu. January 24 - High Noon Saloon

Carolina Chocolate Drops
9:00 PM / $tba cover 21 AND UP

The Carolina Chocolate Drops are a group of young African-American stringband musicians that have come to together to play the rich tradition of fiddle and banjo music in Carolinas piedmont. Although the band's members have diverse musical backgrounds, they draw on musical heritage from the foothills of North and South Carolina. The band has long studied under the tutelage of Joe Thompson, said to be the last black traditional string band player, they are proud to carry on the tradition of black musicians like Odell and Nate Thompson, Dink Roberts, John Snipes, Libba Cotten, Emp White, and countless others who have passed beyond memory and recognition.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Coming Soon - The Greyboy Allstars / Leon Mobley

Monday, January 21, 2008
at Majestic Theatre

The Greyboy Allstars were formed in 1993 by rare-groove DJ Greyboy (aka Andreas Stevens) and Karl Denson on sax as an extension of Greyboy’s classic soul and funk DJ sets at a weekly residency at the now defunct Green Circle Bar in downtown San Diego. The band recently reformed after a six year hiatus [more...]