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The Beat

Marco Benevento Trio – Live at the Blockley – 6.24.11

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Marco Benevento ‘s Trio dropped by Philadelphia’s up and coming Blockley on Friday evening for a rousing two and a half hour set of music.  It would seem that Mr. Benevento has finally found a venue suitable for his spirited work on piano and effects.   The set was stacked with highlights including an early “Atari” done with a dainty touch on the keys and then beefed up at the end with by Benevento adding plenty of pepper and kung-fu hand action.  Dave Dreiwitz held down a pumping low-end pocket with a smile and bounce adding in a chugging rumble when cued by Benevento.  Back on the kit sat drummer Andrew Borger who was no stranger to the jazzy flow erupting from
Benevento’s musical whims.  He connected beautifully with both Marco and Dreiwitz throughout the long and winding set with some exceptional standout snare work on “Greenpoint,” the first track off Marco’s new album Between the Needles & Nightfall.  Borger, who was comfortable with the jazzier numbers, lacked some of Andrew Barr’s punch on “Heartbeats” leaving room for Dreiwitz to bounce in the open holes.  Benevento turned up the juice towards the end of the set as he dropped a cheery and upbeat booty shaking version of “Fearless”  on us that carried directly into Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets.”  Benevento
had been probing all evening for singers to step up from the crowd.  Since no one had obliged his earlier requests, he turned the rocketman’s tune into a sing-along.   With the crowd all properly loosened up on sauce, plenty of shenanigans ensued as Benevento got his wish with a majority of the “spirited” crowd singing the highs on the repeating lyric “Bene! Bene! Bene!”  By two am with several versions of the “Real Morning Party” under our belts the show concluded.   Learn more about Marco Benevento here and Peep the Benevento Trio in action in the video below.

Bonnaroo 2011 – Video Mash-Up !

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See the Jambase review here

The Roots Picnic – 2011 – Video Mash-up !

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See the Jambase review here

Two Events In June!

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A few interesting shows are popping up on our horizon in Mid-June – thought I would share.  Agnes Obel a Berlin by way of Copenhagen native will play stateside at Philadelphia’s Tin Angel on 6/15.  Fans of Tori Amos and Cat Power listen up; Agnes has a smoky, sultry voice and delicate yet poignant piano work that does haunting justice on Elliott Smith’s “Between the Bars.” Click here to listen .  If you dig that you can be sure she will light up that tiny upstairs room at the Tin Angel on 6/15.

On the other side of the county on June 10, 11, and 12 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, hosts the Harmony Festival where you can find The Flaming Lips, Primus and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros as well as a plethora of offerings from 300 vendors, thought provoking Speakers presentations, action sports, a steampunk garage, and the overall amplified vibe thanks to a wide variety choice brews and wines.  At night the music really heats up in California as the Mystic Beat Lounge once again brings the together the Festival’s After Dark extravaganzas, featuring some of today’s hottest and most exciting artists on the scene


This year they mix roots, reggae and soulful songwriters to light up the stage FEATURING SOJA, G. LOVE & SPECIAL SAUCE, ROOTZ UNDERGROUND, GAUDI & QUIXOTIC

Also on FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011 9PM – 3AM – “A Tribute to the Life of Owsley “Bear” Stanley and the Musical Spirit of Jerry Garcia”, featuring performers Steve Kimock, the David Nelson Band, Jesse McReynolds, members of Railroad Earth, and Moonalice.


Immerse yourself in an unforgettable, full spectrum collision at the vortex of sound, light, technology and talent FEATURING GHOSTLAND OBSERVATORY, DAVID STARFIRE, NATACHA ATLAS, TIRALINE, A.SKILLZ, EMANCIPATOR, PHUTUREPRIMATIVE AND SO MUCH MORE…

Admission to this special “After Dark” presentation is included in VIP, and Whole Festival passes, or with a Saturday NIGHT ticket. Tickets are available in advance here

The Thinking Man – Neurotechnology and Fuzzy Pink Bunny Ears

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Previous posts investigated god helmets, flesh eating robots and what might happen if and when man figures out how to merge his mind with computer technology.  This is serious, sci-fi movie level stuff.  Man has often used science fiction books and movies as a launch point for the real development of technology.

We could be talking about HG Wells or James Cameron or any number of other visionaries who help us visualize and therefore materialize the future.

Who, in the name of Charles Darwin, came up with this idea?

You have to hand it to the pioneers over at Neurowear who came up with this obnoxiously silly use of a cutting edge technology.   In reality, this so-called cutting edge technology is now so cheap and widely available that the Japanese can find bizarre uses of it. The real story is that this technology is cheap enough to make use of but it’s currently still finding the application of that technology.

Even though there is a growing cottage industry of nutty uses of technology, expect to see some potentially useful implementations of this type of technology.  Here’s a recent example of using your mobile phone to dial with your mind.

Doc Rock – My Favorite Band Is Cream

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Cream is my absolute favorite band for a bunch of reasons.

Amazing musicians – Check 

Totally cool – Check 

Wild explosive personalities (the stories of the fights between them are legendary) – Check

Archetype of the 3 man power band – Double Check

However one of the two biggest reasons that I love Cream is that they knew when to call it quits. Three albums and they broke up.  Some would argue that they just barely touched the pinnacle of their prowess. I think about the bands I love and there are very few that I listen to who have more than a couple of years of music that I really love. There’s something about rock music.  The best that this genre offers comes from a perfect, but not totally understood combination of talent, testosterone and partying (some bands focus too heartily on this last ingredient).  This mystic combination only lasts a few years or an album or two before the combustible effects taper off.  Unfortunately, most bands don’t get this like the Rolling Stones. Honestly, have they really done anything you’ve really given a crap about since the days of Hot Rocks?  Anyway, I have the utmost respect for anyone who has the good sense to know when to give up …And Cream did.

The other reason is thanks to my younger son.   Six years ago he and I were on a string of college tours in the Northeast. He was a senior in high school at the time and we were going to see a school on the coast of southern Connecticut. Where we lived at the time was 4-5 hours from the school and we were scheduled to be on a tour of campus at 11:00 a.m.  That’s right, the dreaded pre-dawn start. Now mind you, neither my son nor I are early risers. After years of being in medicine, I’ve learned to be awake and function no matter how tired I am. My son has no such set of skills. Waking him before his body is ready is an act bordering on resuscitation. Picture these two sad souls droning down the interstate both in levels of consciousness not quit asleep though not really resembling awake when my son asks, ” Hey dad, you ever hear of the band Cream. ” Before I could shoot him one of those ‘You’re kidding me looks’ he pulled out Cream’s greatest hits album and put the disk into the player. And it was magic. We had the coolest day listening to that album and talking and just hanging out. It was one of those days when I was realizing that in a matter of months he would be leaving home and days we would spend together like this would be painfully fewer. We ended up having the greatest day together. And the best band in the world wrote the soundtrack…..

The New Deal – Electric Factory – 5.5.11

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The New Deal is out on tour for what may be their last ride as a band.  Dan Kurtz, Darren Shearer and Jaime Shields are calling it quits.  They stopped into Philadelphia on Cinco De Mayo early on the spring leg of the tour.  Like a precision timepiece, they delivered another fine set of the most liberal break beat electronic music going.  The band constructed massive cathedrals of trance inducing sounds that the crowd danced passionately to.  The inside of the Electric Factory embraced these friendly Canadians and the end of an amazing 12 year run.  The New Deal finished showing the same creative gusto and fire that I first saw them with at the Khyber Pass so many years earlier with the highlight being a huge “Octobong>J>Octobong”.  Peep the video and images below to see The New Deal rage at the Electric Factory.

AGESANDAGES – Live in Philadelphia – 4.28.11

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AGESANDAGES – Live in Philadelphia – 4.28.11 – Playing amazing versions of “Souvenir” – “No Nostalgia” in the video below.

Beats Antique – Northstar Bar Philadelphia – 4.20.11

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The west coast trio of David Satori, Sidecar Tommy and Zoe Jakes aka Beats Antique stopped by the Northstar Bar in Philadelphia for a 4/20 celebration.  The show was packed with a sold out crowd that made the floor erupt in a mass of dancing and debauchery.   Peep the photos and Video below to see and hear what went down.

Fishtown Shad Fest 4/23/11 – Penn Treaty Park

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The 3rd Annual Shad Fest went off with what seemed like 800 or so people enjoying music, beer and scenery down along the Delaware River.  After a bit of a rainy morning we made it over to catch The Spinto Band and Black Landlord drive the rain away and produce a wonderful afternoon of music and beer.   Peep the video below to see all of the afternoon action!