311’s Universal Pulse
by terri sapp
© Concert Sutra, All Rights Reserved
click photo for website
Every time that my favorite band comes out with a new album, I get all nervous and excited all at the same time! I can’t wait to sit alone with the lyrics, read along as I listen, and just enjoy. The nerves come from the same anticipation that I get when I am about to shoot photos of them at their concerts. Butterflies and all! Nick Hexum (vocals and guitar), SA Martinez (vocals and special effects), Chad Sexton (drums), P-Nut (bass), and Tim Mahoney (guitar) have not made an album yet that I did not like, and their 2011 release, Universal Pulse is no different. I knew from the first song, “Time Bomb” that I would love Universal Pulse. This time, unlike in the past, I ordered my copy (CD and vinyl) on a pre-sale set up by the band. However, once the actual day came for the album to ‘drop,’ I didn’t feel right not picking a copy up from one of my favorite local record stores, so I went there, too! 311 usually offers a special keepsake with their records that are bought the day they go on sale, and this year it was a free limited edition lenticular hologram of the album cover. Of course, I couldn’t resist!
“Time Bomb” is a classic 311 dancehall rock jam. Seems like another awesome message and sort of another ode to their fans… “Let me introduce you to the excitable crew! This is just how we do. Tickin’ like a time bomb…watch, we go off!” SA and Nick’s harmonies are on point throughout Universal Pulse, which always gets a crowd going. Continue reading
!!! (chk chk chk)’s Strange Weather, Isn’t It?
by terri sapp
© Concert Sutra, All Rights Reserved
click photo for band website
One of my favorite bands, !!! (chk chk chk) made us all happy in the Fall of 2010 when they released their latest album called Strange Weather, Isn’t It? just in time for my birthday!! ! Since their debut self-titled studio album in 2001, !!! has produced nothing but quality work. After the 2007 release of the awesome Myth Takes record, I was not surprised to hear that their sound just keeps getting tighter and tighter! It is hard to imagine an album that can stand up next to Myth Takes, because it is such a fantastic collection of songs, but Strange Weather, Isn’t It? holds its own in a major way. I knew I loved this new release within the first few measures.
In true !!! form, Mario Andreoni (guitar), Dan Gorman (horns/percussion/keys), Nic Offer (vocals), Tyler Pope (bass/various electronic devices), and Allan Wilson (horns/percussion/keys) , Shannon Funchess (vocals), Sean McGahan (various electronic devices/sound manipulation), Paul Quattrone and Jerry Fuchs (drums) kick off the new album with a lively, bouncing beat in “AM/FM.” Continue reading
Addison Groove Project
By terri sapp
I was encouraged to check out the Addison Groove Project, and once I heard them, I understood why. I checked out their 2002 allophone and Archive Cuts Volume 3, Rob’s Picks – Fall 2003. In the two albums, I found several enjoyable moments that make me move. I really LOVE the funky jazz vibe that these guys give. The saxophone wails. Not only are the instrumentals fun to listen to, and make wonderful background music, but the songs with lyrics are noteworthy as well. The second song on allophone, “Carpal Tunnel,” has a comical undertone, telling about a beautiful woman and “what you’re doing to me.” I couldn’t help but wonder why they named the song carpal tunnel…guys…fantasizing about a hot chick…singing about wrist pain…hhhmmmmm. The song really moves, though. The harmonies on the sax are great. I danced when I heard “Turning Points” thanks to the horn and guitar mix. “Breathe” has a super dreamy scratching sequence that reminds me of a toned down psychedelic DJ Shadow. The deeply soulful vocals also caught me in a flashback to a show where G Love meets Michael Franti. Very impressive. Archive Cuts Volume 3, Rob’s Picks – Fall 2003 came up with some exciting covers and originals. Pink Floyd’s “Have a Cigar” is musically right on. The vocals on this one were a little over the top, in my opinion, in this recording, but the singer did put his own spin on the cover, not just carbon copying the original. “Brown Sunlight” has a real funky groove. Songs like this one make me understand where the band name comes from. Their cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On” was much more fitting for the singer, and the band really brought a mellow mood to this rock ’n’ roll song. The last of my favorite covers on this live cd is “Fame.” Addison Groove Project brings a little bit of P-Funk to this David Bowie/John Lennon classic collaboration. The vocals are totally on point on this one! “Wolfgang,” another of the band’s instrumentals, shows the emotional side of the Groove Project, and leads me to think that these guys could make a pretty good living just composing movie soundtracks! Visit the Addison Groove Projects’ website, www.addisongroove.com, for more information on the band, their music, and when you can catch them in your area!