Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Third Man Records Singles Roundup

In the past month or so, Third Man Records released a bunch of singles, some of them part of the continuing Blue Series- where bands passing though Nashville are invited to record a single at Third Man headquarters, to be produced by guitar virtuoso and label owner, Jack White. Two of the new singles are also a part of the continuing Third Man Records Live Series, where bands are invited to perform before an audience in the back room in the Third Man building, called the Blue Room, which is also where the single covers are shot.


Gibby Haynes
“Paul’s Not Home” b/w “You Don’t Have To Be Smart” and “Horse Named George”
Gibby HaynesThis Blue Series single featured Butthole Surfers frontman, Gibby Haynes, drummer Ben Swank (Soledad Brothers/Henry & June), and Jack White (I have a feeling you may know this guy). This single is really hard to describe, I think you’d be better off listening to it yourself, but I’ll try explaining this oddly cool single… The A side is a cover by Adrenalin O.D., a New Jersey punk band, called “Paul’s Not Home”. I can’t say the tune particularly grabs me, however, it’s a repetitive jam that has about 6 total words in it, not that that’s bad, but it gets predictable and rather boring about 1:00 in. The only thing saving it is Jack White’s squealing guitar solo, one of which is placed in each of the tracks. “Horse Named George” is a traditional blues song, and is definitely the song that is most reminiscent of the Butthole Surfers, and that’s a beautiful thing. The single was also sold at South by Southwest in a limited edition, it was pressed on actual X-Rays. I rest my case.
Rating- 3.5 out of 5 stars

Brittany Howard and Ruby Amanfu
“I Wonder” b/w “When My Man Comes Home”
Howard-Amanfu           Featured here is Brittany Howard, soulful front woman of the Alabama Shakes, and Ruby Amanfu, a touring member in Jack’s all-female band. Side A featured a reggae-licious version of Rodriguez’s “I Wonder”. The bass in this one is especially delicious- provided by a member of Jack’s all-male band, Dominic Davis.  The B side features an awesome cover of “When My Man Comes Home”, a tune originally written by Miss Memphis Minnie, with Howard on acoustic guitar. There’s a special message scratched into the runout of the vinyl grooves alluding to the 2012 award winning film, Searching For Sugar Man, the acclaimed documentary about Rodriguez. It says, “You’re welcome for keeping you alive”.
Rating- 4.5 out of 5 stars

ShovelsandropeShovels & Rope
“Johnny 99” b/w “Bad As Me”
My new favorite alt-country band, Shovels & Rope, are featured on Third Man’s latest Blue Series single. The band unleashed their second full length LP, ‘O’ Be Joyful’, last July, and I heavily recommend it, as well as anything the band has released. It’s country with a twist, in better terms; it feels like the White Stripes of the new-country genre. The A side features the duos take on Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska cut, “Johnny 99″. It starts off with a jumpy offbeat keyboard and snare beat, and slowly takes off to an acapella gospel tune. On the flip, recent Tom Waits tune “Bad As Me” is covered, and pays proper respect to Mr. Waits. You’ve gotta admit, it takes a lot to cover Tom Waits successfully.
Rating- 5 out of 5 stars

HellBeachHell Beach
“Ocean Floor” b/w “End”
Jack White performed in March 2012 at the Third Man Records 3rd anniversary party as an introduction to his new solo career (It was his first solo show), and Hell Beach were his openers. Clearly, he picked a band that wouldn’t overshadow his own performance, not that it could happen…remember, it is a Jack White solo show. Make your own opinion about it, but I think it’s the worst thing Third Man Records has ever released. It’s full of drone and it’s awful. I don’t recommend picking this one up, but remember, not everything Jack White is involved in can be perfect.
Rating- 2.5 out of 5 stars

TempleThe People’s Temple
“Never More” b/w “Miles Away”
Lansing, MI psych group stopped in at Third Man to open for Rock n’ roll wizard King Tuff, and recorded two of their songs for a live series single.  The A side, “Never More”, is a jam that was on their 2012 HoZac records release More For The Masses (I really recommend you pick that one up, it jams!), and the B side was off their 2011 album, Sons Of Stone. The recording is superb, and it’s pure in face-melting rock and roll.
Rating- 4.87 out of 5 stars

Jarrett Koral

-Originally Posted on the Metro Times Blogs on March 30th 2013
Link- http://blogs.metrotimes.com/index.php/2013/03/third-man-records-singles-roundup/comment-page-1/

Shows- The GO! At PJ's Lager House

What’s to expect when you go see The Go? They haven’t played in Detroit for over two years, and they just stopped at SXSW to perform a set solely of Fiesta! material, their new album that came out earlier this year,  produced by lead-singer and genius Bobby Harlow. What kind of band goes on stage and only plays their new material, which a heavy chance that less than half of the audience has heard it? Bob Dylan said the same thing a while ago- keep the shows fresh, and don’t rely on greatest hits material. Alice Cooper and Paul McCartney have been making a living off of it. They’ve barely played new tunes, the latest from their 90’s revival records. What’s great with The Go is that they have the ability to pull it off, and they can do it good. This is the first time I’ve heard of a Sold Out Lager House show, and it was packed to the rafters. The room was packed, like sardines, while watching the first opener for Redd Kross, the Wolfman Band (The brainchild of Italy Records owner David Buick and UFO Factory/Infinity People main-man Dion Fischer), performing cover songs, redone to include ‘wolf’ phrases. Among the best were ‘T.V. Wolf’, and ‘She’s A Wolf’ The Go hit the stage at around 10, opening with the first track off of Fiesta!,  ‘Voices Rant On’. It was amazing to see The Go’s new lineup- Bobby Harlow, John Krautner, Justin Walker, Steve Nawara, and Ben Luckett, performing for the first time in Detroit. Lee from Burger Records was also set up with T-Shirts, LP’s, and Cassettes (of which I bought Redd Kross’s two Burger releases, including their new album ‘Researching The Blues’).  This is exactly the kind of show where you have to ask why The Go aren’t selling out The Fillmore, and it’s obvious that they are the most under-appreciated jem in the Detroit music scene. Redd Kross were up next and were great, but, The Go were the stars of the night, and it seemed like The Go were done too soon. Long live The Go, mastermind Bobby Harlow, and the beautiful place that is PJ’s Lager House.
Order The GO’s new album, FIESTA! from Burger Records: http://www.burgerrecords.org/apps/webstore/products/show/3583651

-Originally Posted on the Metro Times Blogs on April 13th 2013
Link-  http://blogs.metrotimes.com/index.php/2013/04/the-go-at-pjs-lager-house/

Shows- Christmas Jubilee at the Masonic Temple

For those who attended Patti Smith’s show at the DIA earlier this year should be eager to catch Smith for the second time this year at the Christmas Jubilee. It’s not just a Patti Smith show though: Vin Dombrowski, Jennifer Westwood and the Waycross Georgia Farmboys, Ty Stone, The Thornbills, and The Curmudgeons (Fabulous Rhythm and Blues Revue).
This certainly won’t be one to miss either, a portion of profits will be given to Gleanors Food Bank of Michigan, and non perishable food items will be collected to help the needy.

The press release reads:
Music fans with diverse tastes will be enjoying a unique holiday celebration December 16th at the Masonic Temple when local artists will be joined by some big names in music to help support Gleaners Food Bank of Southeast Michigan.
The show will feature a dozen locally and internationally acclaimed artists, and include a short set by Patti Smith.  Smith, known by some as the Godmother of punk,  has inspired masses through her poetry, music, and art. The first exhibition of her photography in the United States, Camera Solo, came to the DIA last June and her performance there in conjunction with the exhibit quickly sold out.  Her appearance at Christmas Jubilee will undoubtedly be a highlight of the holiday season for many.
Accompanying Patti and performing as a special guest will be Luis Resto, who is know most widely for his work with Eminem.  In 2003 he won both a Grammy and Oscar for “Lose Yourself” which he co-wrote.  Resto, a Detroit based musician and songwriter, has worked with renown artists in most every genre including country music legends The Highway Men (Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash) and chart topping Nicki Minaj.
Other artists include platinum selling recording artist Vin Dombrowski of Sponge fame, award winning blues singer Chef Chris, and downriver’s favorite son Ty Stone to name a few.  Locals Jennifer Westwood and The Waycross Georgia Farmboys have assembled an all-star house band for the show, and will back several of the artists.
Great music and a great cause is at the heart of the show explains Dombroski. “What makes this event great is that everyone involved has ties to Detroit,” he says . “It showcases what we are made of talent-wise, and the generosity of these people, coming together with their time and resources to do something good during a busy time of year”.

Tickets start at only $25 (A steal, seeing this is 10+ bands performing!) and they can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or at the Masonic Temple Box Office.
Surprises are in store.
For More information, please visit www.christmasjubilee2012.com

 -Originally Published on the Metro Times Blogs on December 4th 2012
Link- http://blogs.metrotimes.com/index.php/2012/12/christmas-jubilee-at-the-masonic-temple-featuring-patti-smith-december-16th/

Shows- Bootsey X Celebration at Mario's

550973_10152269327724298_1646715515_nDespite being a hectic day with Record Store Day, I hope you have the time to stop into Mario’s 1477 Grille tomorrow, April 20th, for the Bootsey X celebration. Bootsey has been fighting medical issues for a few years, and your donation of $7 at the door goes directly to Bootsey to help cover his hospital stay! Bands performing include The Ruiners, Circus Boy, The Seatbelts, and Mike Murphy and his Arm Band.  Please come out to support Bootsey and hear some great music! His new album also comes out on 5/26, and CD samplers will be sold at the show with proceeds going to Bootsey also. Doesn’t it feel good to do good?
Set Times:
7:30-8:00 -The StompRockets
8:15-8:45 -Mike Murphy and his Arm Band
9:00-9:30 -The Seatbelts
9:45-10:15 -Cinecyde
11:15-11:45 -The Ruiners
12:00- ?? -Open Jam

See you there!

-Originally Published on the Metro Times Blogs on April 19th 2013
Link-  http://blogs.metrotimes.com/index.php/2013/04/bootsey-x-celebration-at-marios-tomorrow-420/

Review From The Grave- Inside Outlaws LIVE LP

From the rustic look of the cover, it looked to me like it would be another wannabe Indie comp but after a closer look, I see the awesome list of bands on the cover: Doop and the Inside Outlaws, After Dark Amusement Park, Katie Grace, and a ton more. This is Motor City at its finest friends, and man does it feel good. I’m tired of ‘Indie’ rock, and finally, here’s some relief. Don’t get me wrong though, for a live record, this has a ton of spunk. The record has its roots in country, but has a more evolved sound. When I was in Nashville this past summer, these are the kind of jams I would hear passing down Broadway inside the whisky joints. The coolest thing though is how eclectic the cast of characters is here. There’s Katie Grace, whose sound is rhythmic and Americonic (Is that a word?), and Screamray who sounds more like a hard rock outfit. It doesn’t sound like it would go together, but the sequencing of the record makes it right. Oddly, I’m not that big of a country fan, and my favorite on the nine song compilation is Patrick Davy’s contribution, “Something Going On” I can’t describe it on paper at all, and the vocals and acoustic guitar add to its craftsmanship. More so something that has to be heard in person. Ty Stone also sings on the final song with the ‘Inside Outlaws All Stars’, whom are truly the best of the best Detroit musicians. It’s vinyl only too, which makes it even more cool and tangible. Really, go get it. There’s been a ton of records released this year, and this is definitely one of my favorites.

The ‘Inside Outlaws LIVE’ LP release show will take place on Saturday December 29th at the Park Bar, and there is an $8 cover charge. Bands include Doop & the Inside Outlaws, Matt Dmits, and After Dark Amusement Park. The show will be recorded for a future Motorcity Special release.

-Originally Published on the Metro Times Blogs on December 24th 2012
Link- http://blogs.metrotimes.com/index.php/2012/12/inside-outlaws-live-lp-and-release-show/

Review From The Grave- Amy Gore and The GO!

(Based on the title, no. Amy Gore is not playing with The GO! I have to admit it would be pretty…interesting).

Amy Gore and her Valentines
In Love
 Label: Space Lion
By now, if you’re a Detroiter, you should’ve heard the first single off of Amy Gore and her Valentines debut album In Love.
(If you haven’t go search it on your beloved interwebs) The first whiff of the Valentine’s dream-pop came out in mid 2011, and was called ‘Drivin’ Around’ If you loved that, you’re sure to be In Love with this whole album. (See what I did there? In Love? Man, I’m good…) To fill some gaps in her solo band, Gore recruited Jackson Smith (Elton John and Leon Russell, Patti Smith group), Joe Leone (Grayling), and Leann Banks (Von Bondies) for a one off show that eventually turned into a real band. There’s also a ton of guests on the album, Luis Resto and Dennis Coffey to name a few, that make this record cooler than it already is. Believe me, all of the tracks here are solid jams. Go pick it up.
Get it here on split color vinyl and/or MP3- http://thisisamygore.com/gore-topspin/
The GO!
Unreleased 1996-2007
Label- Burger Records
This set is pure gold. Set aside the fact that it’s packaged with special care, this insanely huge collection packs in 99 full length tracks on 5 cassette tapes. Who makes cassettes anymore? Burger Records does and they’ve been doing a great job at it.. They’ve has been putting out great music out on cassette for almost three years and with over 200 cassette releases to boot, it doesn’t look like they’restopping anytime soon. All of the tunes on here are jams (Jack White has an never before heard song on the set called Turn Your Little Light Bulb on. I think that’s worth the $25 price tag alone). There’s live tracks, demos, and completely unreleased jams on here, so if you’re a fan of the GO! or just a fanaof Detroit music, pick it up at the Burger Records online store. Also comes packaged with a Go photobook and a mini-zine made by an old member, Marco Delicato. Burger also just put out the new go album, Fiesta on three different colors of vinyl. Yes, three. It’s a collectors nightmare.

Buy the unreleased cassette box set here- http://www.burgerrecords.org/apps/webstore/products/show/3385396
Buy The GO!’s new album Fiesta here- http://www.burgerrecords.org/apps/webstore/products/show/3583651

-Originally Published on the Metro Times Blogs on December 21st 2012
Link-  http://blogs.metrotimes.com/index.php/2012/12/jumblejumble-amy-gore-the-go-unreleased/

Shows- Detroit Cobras at PJ's Lager House

This show was actually over a month and a half ago, but better late than never I suppose! The Lager House traded over their event room for a tent in the parking lot September 27th and 28th. It may sound strange, but it worked out perfectly, and it was definitely a night to remember.  Opening up the night were Nashville based rockers, Natural Child. They zoomed through a quick set of covers, and a TON of jams from their new albums For The Love Of The Game, and Hard In Heaven. (Both came out this year, and both really rule).  I didn’t catch much of TYVEK’s set, because I was inside eating cheese fries and talking music with Natty Child, but there were a couple of songs they played that I remembered from their Live At Third Man Records album, which was pure genius. About 15 minutes after they wrapped up, a tall slender man hopped on stage. I didn’t know who he was prior to this show, but now I realize I should’ve been listening to him for a long time. Mr. Davis ran through a great set of tunes that all had a story behind them. Of particular interest was W.C.T.P., which evolved from a tender ballad to a Shout like sing-along. Plus, his guitar player looks a lot like Tim Curry, just an observation. I hadn’t seen the Detroit Cobras’ before, but I was always a big fan.  Rachel Nagy has one of the most powerful voices in Detroit, and Mary Cobra’s guitar licks are tasty.  They went through, hit after hit. Some highlights were Hey Sailor, Cha Cha Twist, and Cry On. Thanks to PJ and the Lager House for getting this together, I look forward to next year’s. 

-Originally Published on the Metro Times Blogs on November 25th 2012.
Link- http://blogs.metrotimes.com/index.php/2012/11/detroit-cobras-melvin-davis-tyvek-and-natural-child-at-pjs-lager-house/

Review From The Grave- Jack White's New Single 'Freedom At 21'

Earlier this year, Jack White released 1000 helium balloons from the Third Man Records headquarters in Nashville,TN. The balloons were accompanied with a flexi disc of the third single released off of his debut album Blunderbuss. So far, only six of the records have been found. Several of them have been found in pastures and other weird places. After a while of looking at that webpage, I had a thought. ‘Why does Jack come up with all these awesome ideas?’ This thought, along with the gap in my collection has haunted me until today at noon.
I looked on thirdmanrecords.com, and the big nugget of news was that White will be wide-releasing “Freedom At 21″ on an unlimited 45 RPM single. Along with that, all of the covers from the singles released on Blunderbuss fit together to form a nice panoramic picture. (It’s cool, believe me!) The flip-side contains the previously unreleased JW track “Inaccessible Mystery.”
Pre-Order ‘Freedom At 21′ here: http://store.thirdmanrecords.com/jackwhite-freedomat217vinyl.aspx
And check the status of those helium balloons here: http://thirdmanrecords.com/balloon

-Originally published on the Metro Times Blogs on May 21st 2012.
Link- http://blogs.metrotimes.com/index.php/2012/05/jack-whites-freedom-at-21/

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Review From The Grave- Indie Singles Roundup

Jeffery Drag Records-
This label is really cool, and listening to just one of their records proves it. I had no expectations when I asked for copies of these, but that changed very quickly. Not only does the label release almost exclusively to 7” and cassette, their bands are well known too (Turbo Fruits, Natural Child, Pujol) and the stuff that JDR records releases is never short of brilliant.
The cool record swag I received:
Turbo Fruits/Bad Cop split single ‘Tennessee Love’ b/w ‘Wet Lips’-
Turbo Fruits/Bad Cop
Turbo Fruits/ Bad Cop
Turbo Fruits/Bad Cop
The Turbo Fruits tune sounds like it fits on their newest LP Butter, and has wicked solos and is slightly reminiscent of Jeff The Brotherhood’s summer jam ‘Sixpack’ The song is just about good, wholesome fun; Loving Tennessee, going to the lake, and drinking beers (Until they disappear, as singer Jonas Stein puts it….) The flip side is a Cramps style jam by another Nashville based band, Bad Cop. It’s a wild punk tune, and that’s all I really can say. I mean, you have to hear this thing to really appreciate it. It’s that good.
Listen to both tracks here: http://jefferydragrecords.bandcamp.com/album/turbo-fruits-bad-cop-split-7
And buy it here: http://www.jefferydragrecords.bigcartel.com/product/turbo-fruits-bad-cop-split-7

Natural Child
Natural Child
Natural Child ‘Mother Nature’s Daughter’ b/w ‘Bodyswitchers Part II’
Maybe it’s a coincidence that this tune is called ‘Mother Nature’s Daughter (Mother Nature’s Son anybody?) because this sounds just like a White Album outtake, with delicate equally measured guitar, bass, and drum tracks that pour into each other like syrup on a pancake. This is totally unlike Natural Child, Track one weighing in at a hefty five minutes. Track two is bare bones psych-rock with chilling vocals and hypnotizing guitar and bass synchronization.
Listen to both tracks here: http://jefferydragrecords.bandcamp.com/album/mother-natures-daughter-7
And buy it here: http://www.jefferydragrecords.bigcartel.com/product/natural-child-mother-natures-s-daughter-7

Grimtale Records-
White Buffalo Woman
White Buffalo Woman
I’ve heard about this label for a while, but with only one release on the market, I wasn’t drawn in quickly. Now after making the biggest mistake of my life, I’ve found out how much impact on the vinyl collector industry this company has made.
White Buffalo Woman ‘My Days’ b/w ‘This Town’
This gem is nothing short of spectacular. Starting off like a wild blues-rock jam, the A side to this rad single ‘My Days’ has singer Evan Rutledge howling and shouting over the wicked slide guitar. But don’t get me wrong though, the shouting is a great thing. Both tunes show that with a little digging around in the bins, you can find something truly great.
Go listen to both tracks here: http://whitebuffalowoman.bandcamp.com/
-Originally published on the Metro Times Blogs on September 17th, 2012

Link- http://blogs.metrotimes.com/index.php/2012/09/indie-singles-roundup/

Shows- Frütstock 2012

Carl Lundgren posterLegendary 60's band The Früt are whipping out their instruments once again for one more yearly reunion show. The obscure rock legends opened for countless bands at the Grande Ballroom (You remember that, right?) and also set the stage for the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1968. Back in the day, the rockers covered old rock hits like ‘Ruby Baby’ and ‘Sixteen Candles’ in their own wild style, and released hit originals such as ‘Keep On Truckin’ Two classic LP’s were also released on Westbound Records to great acclaim by Lester Bangs….. You get the idea, these guys rock and you have to see them live to be able to take it all in. This year, The Früt will play at the Rec Bowl outside venue in Mount Clements Friday and Saturday, both at 7 P.M. so you have no excuses for missing this once in year-time experience. Detroit legend Little Leon will be opening for the previous opening band, and I will be there jamming on a few tunes too. Legendary Detroit poster artists Gary Grimshaw and Carl Lundgren will be present with their artwork along with rock photographer Leni Sinclair. Going with The Früt’s motto; “Hell no, we ain’t forgettin!’ this won’t be one to miss out on. ~Jarrett Koral

'The Früt' performs at the Mt.Clements Rec Bowl this Friday and Saturday night beginning at 7 P.M. See you there.

-Originally posted on the Metro Times Blogs on August 9th, 2012.
Link-  http://blogs.metrotimes.com/index.php/2012/08/frutstock-2012/

*Author's Note- I will be playing with the Frut again in May for the opening of the Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead at MoCad in Downtown Detroit. More info to come soon. -JK 4/16/13

Interview- Ben Blackwell of The Dirtbombs and Third Man Records

The cover of Blackwell's 2010 solo album
Over the past month, I’ve been able to talk to Ben Blackwell, the so-called ‘Pinball Wizard’ at Third Man Records, the record label started in 2009 by Jack White III. Mr. White is a former member of The White Stripes, and member of The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs. Third Man holds true to the vinyl format, releasing 45’s and 33 1/3’s regularly. The label also has a subscription only Vault membership, where you can get exclusive content and records that are not available anywhere else. During the past 12 years, Blackwell has been a drummer for The Dirtbombs, and has established his own record label Cass Records. Blackwell released his first solo album, “I Remember When All This Was Trees” in 2010.

Jarrett Koral: Has there been any rivalry between Cass and Third Man? Even an occasional friendly one?
Ben Blackwell: No, there's not a rivalry between Cass and Third Man. It's kind of hard to have a rivalry between two things you are a part of.

JK: I know you’ve been asked in every single interview, but how did Cass Records start out?
BB:I noticed a lot of music that I liked wasn't being released right around the same time my mom refinanced her house. It all worked out pretty well from there.

JK: Have you gotten used to the Dirtbombs shows after all these years? Does the energy ever fade out?
BB: After 12 years, yes, I feel like I've finally gotten used to it. But those first ten years...those were arduous.

JK: At the moment, do you have a favorite new band?
BB: I really like D. Watusi from Nashville.

JK: Thinking about any new solo work after your last album?
BB: I tested myself with a cover of Beck's "Pay No Mind" that is currently just languishing on my laptop.

JK: Why has Cass never released Record Store Day exclusive items? Is it a big enough label to have a major release?
BB: At Cass Records, every day is Record Store Day.

JK: Will there ever be a TMR staff jam session with Jack White, Ben Swank (of the Soledad Brothers) and yourself?
BB: Still waiting for this one. Someday.

JK: How do you feel about Detroit's music scene?
BB: I love it. I miss it.

JK: What is the favorite record in your collection?
BB: It's always changing, but I'm always pretty fond of my hand-painted "Lafayette Blues" single

JK: What can we expect next from Cass Records?
BB: In the making for over 8 years, I will finally be able to release the Vegetarian Cannibals recordings.

JK: One of the Cass releases is by a band called Tin Knocker, which was never available for sale. Can you tell us anything about this mysterious record?
BB: An awesome band. My uncle and a family friend who did some solid jams in the garage. One of my favorite things I’ve ever released.

JK: Aside from your favorite new group, what band has/had the best ever stage presence?
BB: That's a really good question, and a difficult one to answer. Instinct dictates the MC5 and/or the Stooges, but a to dig beneath the surface bands like the Cramps, Viva L'American Death Ray Music and the Clone Defects were all pretty amazing in their own way.

JK: Could you name your top 5 favorite albums of all time right here right now?
CW Stoneking "Jungle Blues"
Richard Ristagno and Soular self-titled
April in the Orange "The Glittering Fish Were Stars"
Dan Sartain "Too Tough To Live"
The Hentchmen "Ultra Hentch"

JK: On every Third Man release, there is a message in the dead wax of the vinyl. Sometimes they make no sense, but sometimes they’re complete genius…
BB: It's the best way to communicate a secret, there's a meaning behind all of them.
-Jarrett Koral

-Originally posted on the Metro Times Blogs on July 8th, 2012
Link-  http://blogs.metrotimes.com/index.php/2012/07/teen-a-rama-the-ben-blackwell-interview/

Review From The Grave- After Dark Amusement Park's 'Walk Alone...Skin N' Bones'

On the first album from this super group of musicians, They keep to their glam rock roots, and hard rock influence. The group composed of Gregory Beyer (Grayling, Sherry, Ty Stone and The Truth) Eric Hoegemeyer (Crud, Gold Cash Gold) and Troy Gregory (The Dirtbombs, The Witches) are all but underground, having performed at UDetroit recently, among other full house gigs. From the first track on the album Jack Knife, you know this is going to be great experimental, powerhouse rock. Holy Roller Suicide; another jam, is packed to the rim with musicianship, and great lyrics. “I love the band. I first met Eric when I was 14, recording my first demo” says Beyer, the guitarist and vocalist in the 3-piece band. “It’s a pure power trio. I want others to discover the music and realize how cool their sound  is. We’re in the studio finishing up our 2nd release, and It’s gonna be awesome!” Troy Gregory, a Detroit native and legend, makes a great addition to this band musically, and in the sense of star power. Hoegemeyer adds just as much with his insane fills and wild beats that leave you hankering for more. A fan favorite from the album, Spector, is meaningful, and beautiful in it’s own right. “I’ll be waiting, I’ll be waiting today” a line from the song, shows how much insight into your future these cats have. Prior to the vinyl release, ADAP will be selling the album in download form on Bandcamp.
It's cool. Check it out.
Really.It's great.

-Originally published on the Metro Times Blogs on May 11th, 2012
Link-  http://blogs.metrotimes.com/index.php/2012/05/teen-a-rama-walk-alone-skin-n-bones/

Review From The Grave- Record Store Day: Twenty Twelve (Inch)

Jarrett Koral just turned 14. He's the world's youngest rock critic.

One of my favorite things is visiting a local record store. The dusty feel of undiscovered vinyl leaves you coming back and back again for that one record you'd wished you picked up.  Record Store Day was created in 2007, based on the celebration of your local mom & pop vinyl store. Every year, bunches of companies have banded together to unleash a bevy of releases for you to pick up on vinyl. Here is a few releases you should pick up. Prepare for Record Store Day, which falls on April 21st.
David Bowie 'Starman' picture disc for RSD 2012!

-David Bowie: "Starman": A 7” picture disc with the remastered version of "Starman" (There’s a STARMANNNNNNNNN waiting in the sky…) On the flip, is the Top Of The Pops performance of said song, which is really cool. It’s a picture disc, it’s Bowie, buy it.

Flaming Lips
Lips unleash the Psych mayhem!
-Flaming Lips: The Flaming Lips And Heady Fwends: Hot of their set of collab LP's, the Lips unleash a new set of tunes to drive you wild! It's the Flaming Lips with Ke$ha and Bon Iver. BUY IT! On randomly mixed colored vinyl, and it may or may not be made of the bands' blood. It's insightful. It's groovy. It's ... weird!

Broken Jaw
Foster The People, the best band on the indie scene right now.

-Foster The People "Broken Jaw/Ruby": My new favorite band is back with two previously unreleased tracks that sound like they’re popped right off of their debut album Torches. If you liked "Don’t Stop" and "Pumped Up Kicks," run for the counter.

-Iggy & The Stooges "All Tomorrows Parties": Tracks from Iggy’s performance, hand selected by Papa Stooge, with an interview. (Iggy is this years’ Record Store Day Ambassador!)
Totally rad, but do we need to see him shirtless again?
This years' releases may cut a little short on the "amazing" factor, but it's worth it if you're the completest or every day fan who wants to own said plate of wax. Have fun, and I hope to see you at your favorite local record store.

 -Originally published on the Metro Times Blogs on April 16th, 2012
Link- http://blogs.metrotimes.com/index.php/2012/04/record-store-day-twenty-eleven/

Shows- Saturday At The Hangout-The Story Of My First Blowout w/ Kim Fowley and Dan Auerbach

It was excruciatingly hard getting into bars at 9 o' clock and convincing others that I am a Metro Times writer (he's 13 years old, came in with his old man! -- ed.) but it all paid off. After a quick filling of Crepes at Polish Village Cafe I headed upstairs to catch the beginning of Greater Alexander, a twangy folk project which showed that the Blowout isn't all Rock 'n' Roll. Sadly, leaving that behind *sob* was a hard decision, but in the end it was worth it for what came next. I caught the wonderfully spunky Amy Gore And Her Valentines, a power pop quartet whose main goal is being loud. (In a good way!) The After Dark Amusement Park were especially great live, featuring Greg Beyer (Ty Stone & The Truth) and Troy Gregory (The Witches, Dirtbombs). They busted out a killer mamma jamma set of songs (that phrase was embarrassing. Bear with me ...). Then, checked out Kim Fowley's Psychedelic Dogs back at the PNA, where I stayed for the rest of the night. I met Kim two days earlier when he spoke at the School Of Rock. He told me to write a book and become the next Cameron Crowe.

With the one and only Kim Vincent Fowley

 I caught a bit of The Dirtbombs set, but by then, my eyes were practically falling out. I can't wait for next year's Blowout, and hope it's as good as this. Until next time~JK

"No fanboys here!" Dan Auerbach (right) and  Koral mix it up.
-Originally published in the Detroit Metro Times Blogs on March 5th, 2012
Link- http://blogs.metrotimes.com/index.php/2012/03/teen-a-ramasaturday-at-the-hangout-the-story-of-my-first-blowout/

Monday, April 15, 2013

Review From The Grave- Jeff The Brotherhood's 'Hypnotic Nights'

From the very first tune, you know this is going to be a weird album. Jake Orrall of the two-piece Nashville band (neither of whose members are named Jeff, actually) snarls, "I want a place where I can smoke meats." It makes no sense at all, much like the Brother Orrall's (Nicknamed the Bogus Bros by fans) other lyrics. But, the brothers aren't new to the business aspect of music either; Jake runs a record label, Infinity Cat Recordings, which has released such artists as PUJOL and Cy Barkley. Their first brotherly recording, a 2002 CD by the Sex (their first band), shows their raw punk upbringing at a young age. They also released a single and a live LP on Jack White's Third Man Records in 2011. To sum up the boys in two words, Nashville reps. On their 7th studio album, their sound progresses much from 2011's We Are the Champions, and it is produced by mega-music-mogul Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. When most people hear that Auerbach produced an LP, they think of an overproduced album by an artist who just needs the extra push. Luckily, this new jam collection shows that nothing will change Jeff and their punk ways. I think that's a pretty good thing.

-Originally published in the Detroit Metro Times on September 12th, 2012
Link-  http://metrotimes.com/music/jeff-the-brotherhood-hypnotic-nights-warner-brothers-infinity-cat-recordings-1.1371535

Review From The Grave- Alabama Shakes' 'Boys And Girls'

The radical stuff erupts out of "Hold On" with such anguish that I'm amazed that singer Brittany Howard's vocal chords are still intact. In fact, I'm amazed so many people have heard it. When "Hold" dropped as the first single, nobody ever heard of Alabama Shakes, and three months later, the CD is available at every Starbucks location in the United States. Such hipster trending! When the Shakes began making TV appearances, (Conan, Letterman, etc...) the public began investing in (or stealing) this little chunk of Southern soul, and that's a good thing. Better this than Kelly Clarkson. 
"Hang Loose" takes a drive through the Motor City circa '63, and Miss Howard can wail like young Aretha. The disc also has its fair share of piano ballads, with little more than a crash cymbal and some light guitar inter-working. The title song and standout, "Boys & Girls," shows how ballads can work magic when the singer means it. Anyone who loves blues-rock must get this. There are lots of surprises to be found in this little band from Athens, Ala., who are suddenly getting all the boys and girls with true authenticity.

-Originally published in the Detroit Metro Times on June 6th, 2012
Link-  http://metrotimes.com/music/alabama-shakes-boys-girls-atc-1.1325469

Review From The Grave- Dr. John's 'Locked Down'

The Doctor is back, and finally you can get a little taste of what he's prescribed.
Giving off the flare of voodoo funk, this time with Black Keys front-man Dan Auerbach, he delivers what you wish the Black Keys sounded like. Even though this is more like a Black Keys plus Dr. John album, the tunes are all but arena rock. The first single, "Revolution," is driven with an underlying baritone sax, something that's not often recognized in rock anymore. It's catchy as hell too, and halfway through, Dr. John bangs out a crazy organ solo, which, with Auerbach's catchy riffs, throws naysayers in the dumpster. "Big Shot" sounds like it's a modern soundtrack for a talkie, (dang those newfangled talkies!) but it comes off as much more. By the finale, "God's Sure Good," Danny boy pulls off a modern rock riff, but combined with Rebennack's "organistics," it emerges as something special — straight outta 1972, kids. But it's something out of 2012. It comes out of anywhere where there's great music, and now the good Doctor is reborn. So, yeah, the Doc delivers his magical healing powers: "Let's all just pray on it ... right now."

 -Jarrett is 14 years old. His album collection is massive because he knows good music isn't relative to a recording date.

-Originally published in the Detroit Metro Times on May 9th, 2012
Link- http://metrotimes.com/music/dr-john-locked-down-nonesuch-records-1.1312157

Review From The Grave- Foxy Shazam's 'The Church Of Rock And Roll'

There was only one Queen. With only so many albums recorded before singer Freddie Mercury's death, fans have wanted more Queen for almost 20 years. Foxy Shazam is the Queen of my generation; an American band from Cincinnati, Ohio who charted on the Billboard 200 with "Unstoppable," the first single from their eponymous third album. On the sextet's fourth album, they rely on heavy distortion and Roger Taylor-like drum fills. The entire album flows together like a three-ring circus, showing off all kinds of rock 'n' roll surprise. Flashback to 1975, and imagine spinning this on your turntable. Amazing. 
The album's best song, "Forever Together," shows the soft and personal side of the band's time on the road. It's the perfect Foxy experience. But album closer "Freedom" is Foxy's worst yet. Eric Sean Nally's vocals are shallow, pointless; he wails like the deer you hit with your car last Thursday. The vocals ruin the entire song, tearing apart both the guitar and string parts. Rule No. 1: Don't talk about how great America is in a rock song. Don't be Kid Rock. But the other 10 songs are fab, and show how, with hard work, you really can be heard.

-Originally posted in the Detroit Metro Times on April 11th, 2012 
Link- http://metrotimes.com/music/foxy-shazam-the-church-of-rock-and-roll-i-r-s-records-1.1297898

Review From The Grave- Paul McCartney's 'Kisses On The Bottom'

Sir Paul is finally at home, paying respects to musical greats, such as Fats Waller, and Irving Berlin, who he was raised on, so if you want to end up like Sir Paul, (highly unlikely; no — impossible) listen thoroughly. Otherwise this is exactly what you'd listen to on a date night. (Though I've never been on a date. I've seen them on the TV. Fun times. ...) 
Take a gander at the star-studded guests such as Eric Clapton, Diana Krall, and Stevie Wonder, who make this better than it already is. The album's first hit single "My Valentine" is a beautiful homage to his new wife, and to his loyal fans. You might remember it being performed on the Grammys (with the wonderfully flatulent Paul McCartney). For a standards LP, it follows in the footsteps of Rod Stewart's Great American Songbook series and several McCartney originals are sandwiched between the classics. Be sure to pick up the deluxe version of the CD for great packaging, and two extra songs, including a cover of "Baby's Request" from Wings' classic Back to the Egg. The edition also includes a download card for four additional tunes recorded live by Sir Paul at Capitol Studios.

-Originally published in the Detroit Metro Times on March 7th, 2012
Link-  http://metrotimes.com/music/paul-mccartney-kisses-on-the-bottom-hear-music-1.1282008

Review From The Grave- John K. Samson's 'Provincial'

The lead singer of Canadian band the Weakerthans has gone solo with a pack of jams, and you most likely haven't heard anything about it. Too bad because it's extremely easy to listen to and every song's reminiscent of a good Neil Young album. The first few songs are slow going, but it rolls along, and starts getting great by "When I Write My Master's Thesis," — a little nod to Dylan — which name-drops almost every nerdy thing you love. Plus, this isn't overproduced at all. It has the old feel of a folk-garage band. (Is there such a thing?) This album is also great for anyone who likes looking for insight from (poetic) lyrics. Next time you're on a wintery afternoon trip though Canada, listen to this, kick back, and enjoy.

-Originally published in the Detroit Metro Times on February 8th, 2012
Link- http://metrotimes.com/music/john-k-samson-provincial-anti-1.1268748

Review From The Grave- The Black Keys' 'El Camino'

The Keys have now officially graduated from the laid-back "folk-blues" recording style, and have slung into the Top 40. From the start, this 38-minute, 11-jam collection doesn't catch on to the brilliance of 2008's home run Brothers, but producer (du jour) Danger Mouse has had a major pop influence on them. "Lonely Boy" keeps on track with electro funk beats, fuzzy guitar licks and spontaneous drumming (not to mention the hilarious video of the song), though "Little Black Submarines" comes off as a Dylan-influenced, folk-sounding piece that halfway erupts into a Zeppelin-influenced ballad. (The words in each song make no sense though; the Keys supposedly went to the studio sans lyrics and worked mainly on instrumentation.) The catchy "Run Right Back" is a worthwhile listen with its great riffs, sounding more like an outtake from the previous album. "Hell of a Season" is too much like Vampire Weekend's Contra, or it sounds like every single garage band in Michigan. (And we don't need another one.) "Mind Eraser" is the only song here that whiffs of blues familiarity; it brings us back to the old days in 2000, when two guys were just recording in their Akron, Ohio, garage, before becoming an overcommercialized pop band. The dig-down-deep rhythm and murky vocals are a remembrance to all things past and present. Think of this album as a friendly transition between sounds, and a sort of "place-holder" of what's to come.

-Originally published in the Detroit Metro Times on January 11th, 2012
Link- http://metrotimes.com/music/the-black-keys-el-camino-nonesuch-1.1255812

Review From The Grave- Taylor Swift's 'Speak Now LIVE CD/DVD'

Taylor Swift has never released a live recording, and now you can enjoy it without paying more than $100 for a decent seat. If you were at her Ford Field concert earlier this year, you should be excited, as parts of this package were recorded in Detroit. The CD contains all but two tracks of the complete Speak Now album from last year spliced in between acoustic covers of popular songs including "Drops of Jupiter," "Bette Davis Eyes," and the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back," which not only shows her fantastic talent, but her ability to play. The sound quality is great (with little to medium screaming fan interruption) and legendary rock producer Bob Ezrin mixes the audio. Although no songs from her previous two albums are on the CD, it's amazing to hear Taylor in her natural environment. The DVD features most of the CD tracks along with other hits including, "You Belong With Me," "Love Story" and "Fearless." The DVD was filmed during all 15 shows of the first leg of the tour, featuring the best performances of each song, without leaving fans disappointed. The special features have footage from the tour rehearsals, and home movies shot throughout her career. Definitely worth buying for the hard-core Swift fan.

-Originally published in the Detroit Metro Times on December 21st, 2011
Link-  http://metrotimes.com/music/teen-a-rama-1.1247717

Review From The Grave- Alice Cooper's 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare'

This highly anticipated sequel to 1975's Welcome to My Nightmare gets back to basics, only this time Detroit native Alice Cooper's crazed fantasies aren't exactly on par with the original masterpiece. Album opener, "I Am Made of You," even has some Cooper fanatics rightly disappointed in its fusion of AutoTune and high-octane rock 'n' roll. The album also sports a list of sometimes questionable guest artists, including Ke$ha, Rob Zombie, Vince Gill and John 5, who almost makes this a true monstrosity. ("I'll Bite Your Face Off," the Ke$ha-guesting first single, doesn't exactly come together.)
Because we get the original Alice Cooper Group (minus guitarist Glen Buxton, RIP) on three songs, Welcome 2 isn't a waste of shelf space. "A Runaway Train" is purely guitar-induced mayhem, a sound that could only rise from the original band. 
Alice next awakens from his nightmare to find himself in a sideshow-esque world. "Last Man on Earth" sounds like an early Rankin-Bass holiday special song. Alice trips through hell with Rob Zombie on "The Congregation," and the fairly good hook and guitar craftsmanship should leave you in stitches by the last note. Alice hits a zombie disco party in "Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever," and, after a wild night, he bids his zombie girlfriend goodbye in the Coop's most touching ballad ever, "Something to Remember Me By." Cooper then winds up in the devil's lair with Ke$ha in "What Baby Wants." Ke$ha's appearance here was a smooth marketing move, but awkward; she doesn't fit the part. 
The finale, "The Underture," is a great contrast between this and the '75 original, giving the vibes of classic rock 'n' roll. Guesting on the instrumental is Detroit's Dick Wagner, who was involved in the original album and co-wrote "Only Women Bleed" among other Cooper hits. Though the album doesn't match the classic Welcome to My Nightmare, it's a fine compilation of what Cooper's about — giving his loyal fans what they need, '70s rock with a bizarre twist.

-Originally published in the Detroit Metro Times on December 7th, 2011
 Link- http://metrotimes.com/music/alice-cooper-welcome-2-my-nightmare-universal-1.1241592