Tag Archives: Cream

cat_preview

Ron Gallo and Naked Giants Blur Lines at Rough Trade NYC

November 20th, 2017

Ron Gallo – Rough Trade NYC – November 19, 2017


Sometimes it’s best to start with the end and work your way back to the beginning. Such is the case with the show at Rough Trade NYC last night, which closed in burn-the-house-down fashion, Ron Gallo and his band joined by opening band Naked Giants, two power trios banging around onstage, at least half of the six musicians having removed their shirts, the sweat a couple of hours of no-garage-can-contain-this rock and rolling. The Naked Giants guys had already been onstage for three songs to close out the set, at one point joined by Dr. Dog’s Eric Slick as well, playing both sides of their split 7″ single and culminating in a frenzied cover of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter.” Apparently they’ve been performing it together all along their tour, but when they played it in Brooklyn last night, it not only was an appropriate show closer, but also unwittingly, and perhaps unintentionally ironically, marked the passing of Charles Manson.

The packed house had been bouncing and percolating to both bands all night, but by this point, the energy from front to back was combustible, bodies slamming into one another and carelessly bounding up and down. Whatever the opposite of “quiet Sunday evening at home” is, this was it. The preceding set from Gallo and his trio had been an exercise in blurred boundaries, playing songs from their appropriately titled Heavy Meta record. The demarcation between headliner and opener seemed fluid, at one point midway through, after singing a song apparently about two headlining bands, the Naked Giants guys came on and swapped instruments, allowing Gallo and his group to hop into the audience to rock out with the crowd. Indeed the fourth wall between the performers and audience was as equally dynamic throughout, Gallo not only coming down off the stage on multiple occasions, but also chatting and bantering with folks in the audience, and the musicians mimicking the propulsive dancing of the crowd. At one point Gallo was able to merge all of the audience requests into one surreal medley, blowing into his trumpet and then threading together a few seconds of an unintelligible “Free Bird” with “Fight for Your Right to Party” and, of all things, “One of Us.”

The boundary between rock and roll show and performance art also disappeared, stretching back to the opening moments of Gallo’s set, when he played a little trumpet and then read a prepared introduction statement from a piece of paper seemingly channeling Christopher Walken. At other points, Gallo played his guitar with and on a skateboard. But for all the shenanigans, his set was a rage of rock and roll, channeling the great trios like the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream along the way. With Joe Bisirri on bass and Dylan Sevey on drums, the three-piece was greater than the sum of their parts, breathing fire into the material from the beginning. And as we continue to work our way backward through the night, we once again find Seattle’s Naked Giants. Seen from the end, their set was a bit of foreshadowing—their intense and thoughtful guitar-bass-drum rock a perfect tee up for the night. Their songs seemed to have a mind of their own, losing themselves in the middle to stray here or there in is-this-another-song fashion before hitting the head and drawing to a close. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

cat_preview

The London Souls Celebrate New Music at The Bowery Ballroom

April 8th, 2015

The London Souls – The Bowery Ballroom – April 7, 2015

The London Souls – The Bowery Ballroom – April 7, 2015
The London Souls used to be a trio, so I have to admit I was a little nervous when they showed up to The Bowery Ballroom last night without a bassist. But the duo put on a set massive enough that you could have sworn you were watching them at a summer festival. The hometown show was in celebration of the long-awaited release of the band’s second LP, Here Come the Girls, an album that was written years ago but was delayed as singer and guitarist Tash Neal fought back from a near-fatal car accident.

Neal isn’t the still, silent type, like Gary Clark Jr. He emotes as he plays—every note Neal sang or strummed was accompanied by a lip curl, a head shake or an eyebrow raise. His body swayed with each bent string or blue note. It’s the kind of thing that makes you feel the emotion behind the music rather than interpreting it in your mind. Chris St. Hilaire’s drumming was sort of the opposite of that, machine-like and furious but a loose style that doesn’t sacrifice precision. He almost didn’t move above his shoulders—if your view was blocked, he could have been typing an essay or knitting a scarf for all you knew. But from the shoulders down, he was a blur of sticks, wrists and elbows.

St. Hilaire struck his drum set hard enough that it sounded like we were listening to a rhythm from a different decade. It was proof that his drumming is the reason (as much, if not more than Neal’s abilities) that the band draws comparisons to Zeppelin, Cream and the Experience. That’s just a few ways of saying that even as a duo, the London Souls still rock harder than most bands you hear. Their now more unapologetic sound is tailor-made for their louder tracks, like “Steady Are You Ready,” but even their more melodic tunes, like “When I’m With You,” still hold up. The duo might sound a little cleaner when they’re accompanied by a third musician onstage, but a clean sound is overrated. Two is all they need. —Sean O’Kane | @Sokane1

Photos courtesy of Jeremy Ross | jeremypross.com

cat_preview

The London Souls Celebrate a New Album at The Bowery Ballroom

April 6th, 2015

The guys in the London Souls—Tash Neal (vocals and guitar), whom Okayplayer says channels “both Jimmy Page and the gypsy verve of Django Reinhardt,” and Chris St. Hilaire (drums and vocals)—felt comfortable playing together the very first time they did so. It also happened to be the first time they had met each other. No matter, they’ve been channeling their shared love of classic bands like Cream, the Beatles and Led Zeppelin into their own hard-driving rock with layered vocals ever since. Their newest full-length, Here Come the Girls (stream it below), comes out tomorrow. According to AllMusic, it “features 13 tracks of driving rock, stomping blues and the occasional folky jingle. There’s distorted guitars, upbeat ukulele and drums that aren’t in a rush to get to their destination, combined with vocals that alternately ache and roar.” The London Souls celebrate its arrival with a hometown album-release party tomorrow night at The Bowery Ballroom. Brooklyn rock five-piece the Skins open the show.

cat_preview

Swedish Doom Rockers Graveyard Play Webster Hall on Sunday

May 9th, 2014

Inspired by blues-inflected rock legends like Led Zeppelin and Cream, Joakim Nilsson (vocals and guitar) and Rikard Edlund (bass) formed Graveyard back in 2006. Now playing with Jonatan Ramm (guitar) and Axel Sjöberg (drums), the Swedish four-piece’s music reveals hints of blues, folk, jazz and rock and roll—or as they call it, “no boundaries, no limits at all.” The doom rockers, who perform in English, have released three albums, including 2012’s Lights Out (stream it below), which Pitchfork says, “might sound more like Wolfmother—or a supercharged version of the Black Crowes—than an actual metal record.” But you can decide for yourself when Graveyard (above, performing “Ain’t Fit to Live Here”) play Webster Hall on Sunday night.

cat_preview

Mercury Lounge Gets Psychedelic Tonight with Sproton Layer

July 26th, 2013

Prior to starting the influential punk group Mission of Burma in Boston, 17-year-old singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Roger Miller formed Sproton Layer, along with his 15-year-old twin brothers, Ben (guitar) and Larry (drums), in their hometown, Ann Arbor, Mich., in the late ’60s. And while they found some local success, their lone album, With Magnetic Fields Disrupted—recorded in their parents’ basement—came out in 1992, some 22 years after the band had called it quits. But it still made an impression: In Our Band Could Be Your Life, Michael Azerrad wrote that it was “an amazing band that sounded like Syd Barrett fronting Cream.” And while the brothers Miller went on to perform with other bands, something about Sproton Layer (above, doing “In the Sun”) stuck with them. And now that their psychedelic gem has been remastered, they’re again playing a few shows together (with Steve Smith on trumpet), including tonight at Mercury Lounge.

 

 

cat_preview

Two Nights of Swedish Rockers Graveyard This Weekend

January 24th, 2013

Inspired by blues-inflected rock legends like Led Zeppelin and Cream, Joakim Nilsson (vocals and guitar) and Rikard Edlund (bass) formed Graveyard back in 2006. Now playing with Jonatan Ramm (guitar) and Axel Sjoberg (drums), the Swedish four-piece’s music reveals hints of blues, folk, jazz and rock and roll—or as they call it, “no boundaries, no limits at all.” Last fall the throwback rockers released their third album, Lights Out (stream it below), which Pitchfork says, “might sound more like Wolfmother—or a supercharged version of the Black Crowes—than an actual metal record.” But you can decide for yourself when Graveyard (above, performing “The Siren” at Bonnaroo in 2011) play The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday.