The Heavy Pets - Swim Out Past the Sun CD - The Heavy Pets (THP) are an American rock band whose contagious vibe blends rhythm and blues, jazz-funk and reggae fusion with rock and roll. Called "a living, breathing, force of nature" by Relix, THP are known for powerhouse live performances, and their self-titled album was dubbed a "Top 10 Album of 2010" by The Huffington Post. On Swim Out Past the Sun (2011), THP's guitar duo set aside their electric axes for a more organic approach, including three song sit-in by David Grisman.
Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood - In Case the World Changes Its Mind - Live (2CD) A double-live album featuring guitar guru John Scofield and genre busting improvisational jazz trio Medeski Martin & Wood.
Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood first recorded together on Scofield's A Go Go (Verve 1998), a project that united the group on material composed by Scofield and interpreted by all four musicians.
In 2006, MSMW collaborated again on OUT LOUDER (Indirecto Records), a jam-packed release full of irresistible grooves and spontaneous improvisation. OUT LOUDER was a genuine four-way collaboration between Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood. "A Go Go was John's record and we were essentially sidemen, where OUT LOUDER musically comes from all of us," explains Wood. Scofield adds that much of the material was composed when the foursome "would play free stuff, listen back, make a song out of it, and then go back with that idea in mind and play free again."
OUT LOUDER exhibits a raw and edgy sound that is embedded in the foundations of jazz, funk and blues. It is described as "funky, brash and sometimes downright beautiful," by All About Jazz and Down Beat notes "the disc serves as a jamming fun time of dance-friendly excursions, sonically pleasing FX'd textures and the requisite unpredictable swerves and swoops that MMW typically delivers."
Dumpstaphunk - Everybody Want Sum CD - Quick. Think of the worst smelling spot in New Orleans. Funkier than that one unfortunate spot of land at The Fly right behind the elephant patch at the Audubon Zoo. Think the intersection of Bourbon and Conti during Mardi Gras, and then think of the receptacles those trash heaps get thrown into.
Dumpstaphunk is that funky.
Right off the bat, the verses in the opener "Sheez Music" trigger memories of Brothers Johnson's "Ain't We Funkin' Now" with the involuntary leg motions to match. Most folks by now know the sheer power of Dumpstaphunk's live show, but this track and others here sound huge coming out of the Maple Leaf's house speakers between sets at their Sunday crawfish boils.
Some might take the Neville bait and compare Everybody Want Sum to the Meters' later Warner Brothers albums, New Directions and Trick Bag, but a better comparison would be with the city's other seminal '70s funk outfit, Chocolate Milk. Like that great group, I thought I liked it most when the band sits back and slinks along in the pocket, as in the third song, "Do Ya." The tempo lends itself to drummer Raymond Weber's backbeats and the punchy horns that accent the bridges. But my preference might just be correlation. Ivan Neville's clavinet and keyboard playing make the track a standout, and it makes you stand up at attention when they burst from that into "Gasman Chronicles" at a velocity faster than the vibrations of one of Nick Daniels' bouncing bass strings. Raymond Weber plays drums on this workout like a funk robot programmed with Swiss precision to play 150 bpm breakbeats. If you make it through all five-plus minutes you'll be doing that James Brown grunt, too.
If the album were a Dumpstaphunk concert at Tip's, the song "Oughta Know Better" is when you would walk to one of the bars and replace your beer. But much of that feeling is impatience to get to the Zigaboo Modeliste-penned "Standin' in Your Stuff," and especially to its ascending-to-descending harmonies in the chorus. The guest horn section is a welcome addition on this one, lending those choruses, breaks, bridges and transitions even more muscle, like a sixth 400-pounder on an offensive line.
Bottom line--this is a party album. It'll sound great when someone plays it on St. Charles before a Mardi Gras parade. The feelings of party records often get separated into those that are straightforward/earnest versus others that are ironic/removed, and it seems obvious where Everybody Want Sum stands. But how about this detail: the Producer credit went to Morgus the Magnificent. - OffBeat Magazine
Also available: Dumpstaphunk - Listen Hear CD
Medeski Martin & Wood - Fly In A Bottle DVD - Taking a look into the minds and lives of Medeski Martin & Wood, drummer/percussionist, Billy Martin, directed the first feature film in the band's history titled, Fly in a Bottle.
Working through a yearlong period of personal 16mm film and HD camcorder footage of MMW on the road and in the studio during the Radiolarians recordings, the film provides an extremely intimate portrait of the band. It highlights the trio's intricate relationships with each other and with the music they have worked to create over 20 years as a band.
Unique to the Radiolarians series, the band switched the order of conventional album cycles. Instead of touring to support a new release, MMW used touring as a way to compose and refine their music live, then they took the material to the recording studio.
This inverted process allowed them to release Radiolarians I, II, and III in just two years, a rare feat for a recording artist.
The DVD provides fans and critics unprecedented access to the band during their everyday lives. It's raw, highly personal and real.
In conjunction with Fly in a Bottle, the DVD will also include the music video for "Amber Gris", the esoteric Incant to Chantes Des Femmes directed by Grey Gersten, and an experiment with time-lapse film entitled CWO
CW (directed again by Martin), is a metaphoric look at the evolving and intricate relationship between Chris Wood and John Medeski from Billy Martin's perspective. Filmed on the tour bus, CW is set to the music of "First light" and features excerpts of transistor radio as used in "Chasen v. Suribachi."
* Nov 10-13 Bear Creek Music Festival - Live Oak, FL
* Dec 29 - Jan 2 - Bond-Fire Arts & Music Festival - Groveland, FL
*Look for the Home Grown Music Booth at this event!
Video of the Week:
As we get ready for Bear Creek Music Festival - here's one from BCMF regulars Soulive:
Soulive - Up Right (live at Cervantes)
Thanks for reading! Treat yourself to some good music this week. Look for us at Bear Creek Music Festival in FL.