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The Mutaytor – Live at the Blockley – 7.6.11

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Watch The Mutaytor throw down some seriously funky sounds and sights at the Blockley in Philadelphia – 7.6.11

The Thinking Man – New Video Tech

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I was at a show the other night and spent some time considering a bit of technology that I’m anxious to watch evolve: Continuous Video Capture.  Whenever I’m at a concert that I’m enjoying, I find myself wanting to snap a video of it so that I can relive that moment in the future.  Whipping out your camera can sometimes spoil the first version of the moment as you fumble for the right button, etc.  Without reinforcement, the brain spends less and less effort trying to remember events that are not actively recalled from time to time.

Would this technology be useful and desirable?  Earlier today my son was playing peek-a-boo with my wife and I.  It was the sort of moment that makes life worth living.  I had a camera nearby.  What to do?  I enjoyed the moment for a very long time, but finally caved and reached for the camera.  Of course he stopped as soon as I turned it on.  Is that moment gone forever?  No.  I will remember it, but it will fade.  Was it worth grabbing the camera for?

What if you had a camera technology that was so small and efficient that you were effectively
outsourcing your best memories?   It’s not hard to imagine a time when we are using more than just our iPhone cameras and film grade DSLR to shoot video to supplement our memories.  Whether it’s something like the technology in Strange Days or miniaturized cameras implanted onto your head something is coming.  Heck, it may become fashionable like animatronic pink fuzzy bunny ears.  I was at a different show recently where the venue announced that anyone taking photo or video would be kicked out.  Not an easy proposition in another 10 years.

The show was by James Farm (led by saxophonist Joshua Redmen)  and it was unlike any jazz concert I have seen or heard.  They claim to be influenced by electronica and rock, and they arrange songs structured in a way that will be familiar to fans of those genre.  Worth checking out. http://www.myspace.com/jamesfarmband

Doc Rock – Let the Music Take You Away

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When you think you’ve heard just about enough about Ratko Mladick ( too many consonants ), President Ahmadinajad ( too many liesure suits ), Moamar Kadaffi ( too many pairs of bad sunglasses ) and Osama Bin Laden ( too many poor quality amateur videos )…..When you find it impossible to leave your home for fear of being swept away by flooding rivers, sucked-up by whirring tornados, shaken by earthquakes or consumed by rogue waves…..If you’ve ever felt as if the world is going totally mad anytime the likes of Casey Anthony, Sarah Palin, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh or Glen Beck so much as open their mouths or if you feel your once secure future slipping away because of bankrupt Social Security, Wall Street greed, unfunded Medicare programs and a general loss of Faith…..

Then soothe yourself with a little selection from Doc Rock’s Mad Mad Mad World playlist:

” Blah, Blah, Blah ” by Iggy Pop

” Won’t get fooled again ” by The Who

” Living in the past ” by Jethro Tull

” Open Letter to a Landlord ” by Living Colour

“Revolution ” by The Beatles

” Change ” by Fishbone

” Rise ” by Bad Brains

” We care alot ” by Faith no More

” War Pigs ” by Black Sabbath

” Zoo Station ” by U2

” Zombie ” by The Cranberries

” Killing in the Name ” by Rage Against the Machine

Refill this prescription often. Doctor’s orders…….

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.