Since the day I started writing these things each month, I have patiently awaited focusing all of my attention on G Love and Special Sauce. November 18, 2005 in Atlanta, Georgia, opening act Blackalicious joined G Love and Special Sauce at the Roxy for one of the highpoints of our time with the Concert Sutra. G Love is Garrett Dutton (harmonica, vocals, and guitar), and the Special Sauce is comprised of Jimi Jazz (string bass) and Houseman (drums). Most of the times I have seen these guys play, they seem to invite additional “special sauce” to add to the flava, and the Roxy show was no different. G Love and Special Sauce have been touring through the Fall, and don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
The first notes of the night that come out of G Love are from his harmonica, which is why G Love has my heart! When he plays the harmonica, I feel my world is complete. “Get Ur Shit Together” is just G Love with his harmonica and guitar. G is the funkiest, flyest, and freshest! He makes my heart aflutter… Houseman and Jimi Jazz join in on “Friday Night (Hundred Dollar Bill)” from Philadelphonic, making for the perfect opportunity for an Atlanta (or Hotlanta, as G likes to call it) freestyle. These boys really know how to make ya shake it! What a relief to get one of your favorite songs so early in the show, “Give It To You” from G’s album The Hustle hit the spot. This is the best beat ever! Houseman really rounds this song out with his backup vocals behind the drums. Songs like “Give It To You” display the magnitude of which G Love and Special Sauce have been steadily consistent through the years with songs that you wanna hear over and over. The heavy reggae beat is a sure fire way to my playlist! Along the same lines, from The Hustle, “Booty Call” offers the crowd a fun sing along with a catchy tune. And who wouldn’t want a “Booty Call” from G Love??? “Ain’t nothing wrong with a booty call…I can tell that we gon be friends.” In cases like tonight, the booty call sometimes ends with a bit of the old “Hand Jive…” Flashbacks rule! Continue reading →
From the day I got my first taste of 311 from “Music” back in the very early 90’s, I was hooked. Ever since, I never miss an opportunity to catch them doing what they do best…rockin the crowd! They brought the usual bag of tricks with them, as well as a few new flares on their Summer Tour, 2005. On August 27, 2005 at the Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheatre in Atlanta, Georgia, fans were faced with a wide range of 311’s musical history, as well as some rarities to celebrate the many years we have had to know and love this band. These guys have an onstage finesse about them matched by few, as evidenced by any given show they play. 311 is always on point, so far as I am concerned!
On this special night in Atlanta, we were “Welcome”d by a very smooth intro fueled by the masterful guitar stylings of one Tim Mahoney (guitar, and one of my heroes, LOVE him). P-Nut (bass), Chad Sexton (drums), and S.A. Martinez (vocals, effects) also contributed to the newly extended jam intro to the 311 Music classic “Welcome.” Of course, we always know the party has started as soon as we hear the words out of Nick Hexum’s (vocals, some guitar) gorgeous mouth. It’s always good to “Freak Out” at the very start of a 311 show, because who wouldn’t freak out on this one? “To all my friends, it’s not the end. The Earth has not swallowed me, yet.” I really feel this one. Continue reading →
After I almost beat a bitch down in the vast crowd of a free concert in Downtown Atlanta last month, I decided I needed some quality Anger Management! This year’s Anger Management Tour proved, once again, to be one of the most finely orchestrated tours to come around. From the set construction and design to the line up and performances, the Anger Management Tour, 2005 rivals any tour I have been to in the past ten years. Of course, most of that is due to the brilliance of Marshall Mathers a.k.a. Eminem a.k.a. Slim Shady. This year he, along with D12, teamed up with 50 Cent and the G Unit, and Lil’ Jon and the East Side Boyz, among many other guest artists.
I caught the show on July 31, 2005 in Atlanta, Georgia at the Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheatre toward the end of the U.S. leg of the tour. Lil’ Jon and the East Side Boyz, Atlanta native, had the job of getting the crowd crunked up. He even sported the “P. Diddy style” shirt that read “Crunk or Die!” The East Side Boyz carried around gas cans full of Crunk Juice that they poured into fans’ cups in the crowd. The stage work set the night off well, with a huge likeness of Lil’ Jon with a big hand sticking out that moved up and down. I wasn’t sure what I would think of the Lil’ Jon show, since I have always been pretty much annoyed by his presence, much less his music. However, I was pleasantly surprised that his portion of the show was actually quite enjoyable. Out of nowhere Ice Cube even joined Lil’ Jon for a song during his set. Everyone loved it! Luckily, he saved the “WHAAAT? WHAAAT? YEEEEAAAAH! OOOOHKAAAAY!” for the very end. Continue reading →
In my teenage years in the late eighties, there were many acts that I longed to see, but never seemed to find the opportunity. The Pixies were one of them. Until recently, every time they were around, I could not seem to score tickets! That is, until Music Midtown 2005 brought the best line up ever. When I heard the Pixies were going to be playing Music Midtown 2005, I knew I had to be sure not to miss a moment! Black Francis a.k.a. Frank Black, a.k.a. Charles Thompson (vocals, guitar), Kim Deal (bass, vocals), David Lovering (drums, some vocals), and Joey Santiago (lead guitar, vocals) serenaded the crowded 99x stage with the grace of no other, as they will in their upcoming tour of the world.
They kicked off their headlining performance Saturday Night with “Wave of Mutilation” from the 1989 Doolittle album. It wasn’t until the start of “Debaser” from Doolittle that we truly heard from bassist, Kim Deal. I think she must have really turned up the bass for this one. I have always admired the chemistry between Black and Deal’s vocals. They blend well. This is quite evident in Doolitle’s “This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven.” Continue reading →
There’s no secret that some of my favorite events of the year happen on the weekend of Music Midtown every year. A weekend full of so many different types of artists all coming together in the middle of the City of Atlanta to put up their best effort to draw the biggest crowd between six stages. This year, hats off to 99x, the local “Everything Alternative” Radio Station, who managed to book the most impressive line up on one stage that I have ever experienced.
Out of all of the bands that I was overjoyed to see, I have to say that the most unexpected delight of the weekend was the grand finale headliner on the 99x stage, DEVO! Even though it had been nearly 20 years since DEVO had played Atlanta, you wouldn’t have known it from the warm welcome they got from all the happy “spuds” and future “spuds” on Sunday evening. The DEVO energy dome hats must have been working to keep the rain away, because Sunday ended up being the only dry day of the festival. DEVO packed a high-energy punch with or without “flower pot” energy dome hats and radiation suits. Their message is as politically charged as ever and complete with social commentary and fun. Their set list was a balanced mix of their more popular songs and rarities. We got to hear “That’s Good,” “Girl U Want,” “Whip It,” “Satisfaction,” (Rolling Stones cover) “Uncontrollable Urge,” “Mongoloid,” “Blockhead,” “Jocko Homo,” “Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA,” “Gut Feeling/Slap Your Mammy,” “Gates of Steel,” Encore: “Freedom of Choice,” and “Beautiful World” with a special appearance by Booji Boy. Booji Boy seems to be sort of the social voice of DEVO, with his stories and lessons. My favorite ever Booji Boy moment was his role in the 1982 Neil Young movie, Human Highway. Continue reading →
The summer is always the time for festivals to come through town. Summer, 2005 offered many to choose from. The weekend of June 10 through 12 proved a challenge for the indecisive. Of course, everyone and their brother (except me and Leah) made the trek up to Tennessee for Bonnarroo. Then there were those of us who remained faithful to Atlanta’s Music Midtown, which took place the same weekend. If that weren’t enough, Atlanta also hosted the first annual VIBE MusicFest. The VIBE MusicFest line-up rivaled the others from beginning to end. From Ludacris to Faith Evans, Big Boi to Lauren Hill, even Common and Kanye West made an appearance. For me, though, the group that got the least amount of “press” was the most uplifting and enjoyable. The Marley Brothers’ celebration of their Father, Bob Marley’s Life of work touched me on the deepest part of my soul. The actual sons of Bob featured in this particular event were Stephen Marley and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley.
From the first note of the introduction of the Marley celebration, I knew that VIBE MusicFest was in for a Kingston-style treat! The Marley Brothers were the first of the night on Saturday night, but brought the energy of a headliner. We were first introduced to Bob’s youngest son’s 1996 “Mr. Marley,” which is obviously a shout out to his father and the music he left behind. Damian Robert Nesta Marley a.k.a. “Junior Gong” started the show with high energy and a heavy reggae vibe on some of his solo material. Stephen then joined Damian onstage for a “Marley Brothers” version of the classic “Kaya.” Both of these boys have their own voice, unique to them only. However, when Stephen hit the stage with one of Bob’s signature outfits, the jean shirt and jeans, I could have sworn there had just been a resurrection. Stephen and Ziggy Marley are the spitting image of their Father, so every time I see them play music, I can’t help but wish Bob could walk out and join them for a few songs. One day. Continue reading →
The intensity and message that comes from his song
Makes me wonder how before him I ever got along
Conjuring high energy and strong emotion never fails
Coming from the power that will always be Nine Inch Nails
Having waited for this night since the day “Pretty Hate Machine” boomed from the speakers of my high school cd player, I would have to say that spending the evening with Nine Inch Nails, no matter what the lineup, was monumental. In support of their latest, long awaited, studio album, “With Teeth,” Nine Inch Nails has launched a club tour across the globe equipped to blow the roof off of these smaller venues. Front man and only official member, Trent Reznor, along with his newest touring lineup of musicians, definitely left a mark on Atlanta, Georgia that will not soon be forgotten. Atlanta was lucky enough to have had two opportunities to catch this rare intimate tour, both Saturday, May 21, 2005 and Sunday, May 22, 2005. Although, only a handful of fans (comparatively) were able to score tickets, since both shows, and most shows on this tour, sold out within minutes. Continue reading →
Every time Tori Amos (pianist, singer, songwriter) puts out an album, the buzz gets going surrounding what that tour will bring. Tori’s new album, The Beekeeper, is no different. The Original Sinsuality Tour offers Tori at the essence of her best, just her and her instruments: the Bosendorfer Piano, two Hammond Organs, a Rhodes Keyboard, and that hefty set of vocal pipes. Although her band mates Matt Chamberlain (drums) and Jon Evans (bass) are missed terribly when they are not around, it is something special to experience the one woman show that is Tori Amos in the midst of a sea of keys!
Even though Tori’s boys aren’t around to entertain her, Mark Hawley (Husband, sound) is always there to make sure she is taken care of on tour and sounding great. It’s a family affair. On the “Original Sinsuality Tour” Tori is wearing the flowing feminine clothes tailored from Bora Aksu’s Spring/Summer 2005 collection. For a glimpse of the clothing line, go to: http://www.boraaksu.com/ss05/index.htmlContinue reading →
Oh…to be monkeying around in one of Atlanta’s most respected Recording Studios with Producer/Engineer extraordinaire, Robert Hannon!! This Grammy Award winner (for his work on Outkast’s “Hey Ya!”) has recorded and engineered many highly respected artists from Ludacris to Marvelous 3 to Bone Thugs ‘n’ Harmony to Snake Oil Medicine Show. Leah and I were able to spend some time at the largest, highest quality Studio in the Southeast United States. For some of Leah’s pictures of our time in the Studio, visit: http://www.concertsutra.com/cstree32005/. To check out more on Tree Sound Studios, go to: http://www.treesoundstudios.com/. Read on for an in depth interview with Robert Hannon.
Concert Sutra: Can you give us a little background to start out with on Tree Sound Studios and how it came to be so great? Continue reading →
I have heard about the Toasters quite a bit on my local favorite radio station here in Atlanta, 99X. One of the radio personalities, Fred Toucher, loves them so much that he has hired them to play his wedding! After hearing this authentic Ska band’s music on Toucher’s show, I knew I had to check them out. January 31, 2005, I got my chance at Smith’s Olde Bar here in Atlanta, Georgia. What a show!
The Toasters, true Ska pioneers, having been around since the eighties, are still going strong with the Ska beats and Bucket’s sweet vocals. The “SKA BRAWL” features the veteran Toasters Robert “Bucket” Hingley (vocals and guitar), Jack Ruby, Jr. (vocals), and Larry “Ace” Snell (drums), teamed up with Dan Jesselsohn (bass) and Jeff Richey (sax and some vocals) as well as the addition of cult trombonist (and some vocals) Chris Rhodes.
On January 31st, the Toasters played an early, all ages show, and another later “adult” show. They started out with “I Wasn’t Going To Call You Anyway.” I immediately fell in love with the saxophone and trombone. I AM an admitted SUCKER for HORNS! Jack Ruby, good with the onstage antics and well-placed “Yeah’s!,” gives good advice, “don’t mix up your urine sample with your bottle of water.” While Bucket keeps it real with the words of wisdom of the next song that shows that you don’t have to have a lot of money to be happy in life. “Sittin’ on Top of the World” spotlights the reggae bass and guitar, as well as the highly poignant lyrics you can expect to find in a Toasters’ song. Continue reading →