Friday, October 30, 2009

FDF Volume 2: Issue 163 - Everlast - Whitey Ford Sings the Blues

By: March

Album - Whitey Ford Sings the Blues
Artist - Everlast
Key Players - Erik Schrody, aka Everlast - vocals, guitar(s), dj scratching
Produced By - Everlast, Dante Ross and John Gamble

Release Date - September 8, 1998

What caused me to blow off the dust? I've been singing "Ends" for a few weeks now off and on.

Overview - This is the second solo record from Everlast. Previously Everlast was a member of the rap, hip hop act "House of Pain" and left to work on other projects. He released a solo record that didn't do much commercially then worked with House of Pain before they disbanded in 1996. A popular record when it was released (it would go on to sell more than 3 million copies) Everlast was well on the road to personal recovery after suffering a heart attack before the albums release. Everlast was in such demand he actually worked with Santana on his smash release "Supernatural" when he performed on the track "Put your Lights on" and it would win a Grammy award. Everlast would continue to release solo records, tour and even record the theme to the television series "Saving Grace".

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The album starts off with a short "skit" called "The White Boy Is Back". Its just a toy organ sounding groove with some back beats and backing singers singing the title. "Money (Dollar Bill)" follows seamless after the intro. Everlast has a deep voice that blends a growl with a whisky soaked hoarseness. The track follows the traditional feel of a rap track with strong back beats over a standard looped track. Rapper Sadat X tosses in some call and response verses with Everlast as the song expands. Everlast is actually rapping pretty quickly as the tune fades. The second single of the record follows in "Ends". A much more laid back affair with Everlast and an acoustic guitar being the focus, with some samples tossed in from time to time. It is a big step from the prior track and his work in House of Pain. I think many folks were surprised this was the same person. The albums first single, and most notable popular song is "What It's Like". Also utilizing acoustic guitars and some scratching the song weaves in and out of moods. This song is still a staple on rock radio stations and it still seems to "work" fine. "Get Down" has a dj scratch right at the start and "get down" is sung over an echo. Everlast locks in to a more straight forward rap on this track. "Sen Dog" is a short phone message recorded skit before "Tired" beings. Keeping with the rap feel the song uses a little more full of a sample. The back beat still drives hard and Everlast goes at it pretty hard lyrically. "Hot to Death" is the first track that seems to use live electric instruments. The drums may be canned, but the guitars and bass feel live. In the liner notes, it appears only the bass was given credit as live instrument. Everlast seems to be on to something here, a little more urgent and grinding of a track it stands out amongst the straight up rap tunes, or acoustic ones. Using the feel of a plane arriving "Painkillers" begins. Everlast raps about being over tired and ready to use some "enhancements" to wake up. There is another short skit/phone message in "Prince Paul" before. "Praise the Lord" begins. The track uses samples from the Gang Starr track "Dwyck". Everlast name checks Darryl McDaniel (Run DMC) and settles in to a tight lyrical delivery on the track. The acoustic guitar returns, but is buried on the mix some, but still offers that punch. "Today (Watch Me Shine)" returns to more of the roots acoustic guitar style found earlier on the record. Everlast keeps an even keel on his vocal delivery and this is a front porch, foot tapper from the first verse. "Guru is another short skit that leads to "Death Comes Callin'". Everlast is even more laid back at the outset but as the first verse kicks off it locks in to a tighter groove. Casual fans would find this track easy to get in to, even with his break beat rapping and dj scratches. "Funky Beat" follows suit of the prior track, with a little less aggressive back beat. There is a little more of a bounce in the loop that is used. On this track Everlast uses another rapper (Sadat X) and he seems to take more of the lead on the track, but he and Everlast compliment each other nicely. "The Letter" is more of a heartfelt slower rap tune that uses the back beats, but with piano over the top. A full horn section is used on the intro of "7 Years" before Everlast comes in. Again, Everlast seems to be breaking out of the mold. With the piano and horns being as strong a focus as the lyrics. The album closes out with "Next Man" another darker, deeper track. Ends on sort of a low note, but still a solid collection.

Where are they now? - Everlast continues to write and perform. He has released a total of five solo records, the most recent being
Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford that was released in the fall of 2008.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- The only time I saw him live was May 28, 1999 at the Tweeter Center. He was the support act on the Lenny Kravitz tour (that also had the Black Crowes opening). I recall catching the later part of his set, but recall the stage being very full with musicians.

FDF Overall Take - There are some real shining moments on the record and I can see casual fans being really sort of hit or miss on his work. Either they'd like the rap stuff, or the acoustic stuff. Although they mesh well I can only assume that people bought this record and were sort of surprised with the content.


Everlast on myspace.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

The mp3's have been removed.

Seven Years
Death Comes Calling
What It's Like

All tracks taken from "Whitey Ford Sings the Blues" which you can buy here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.

Friday, October 23, 2009

FDF Volume 2 Issue 162: Deee-Lite - World Clique

By: March

Album - World Clique
Artist - Deee-Lite
Key Players - DJ Dmitry, Jungle DJ Towa Towa, The Lady Miss Kier Kirby
Produced By - Deee Lite

Release Date - August 7, 1990

What caused me to blow off the dust? - The cd never really had dust on it. The reason being is I had it on cassette tape. I got a promo copy of it when I worked in a record store. The cd I stumbled upon for 99 cents a few months ago. Makes it easier for me to listen to, and share a track or two from if I have on cd.

Overview - Formed in New York City in the late 1980's, Deee Lite released a debut record that blended deep funk and dance grooves that slowly climbed the U.S. Charts. The band would be much bigger on the dance charts vs. the "pop" charts and would release two more albums after this before disbanding.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - A track added to the cd release was "Deee-Lite Theme" track penned by Herbie Hancock. The looping deep bass track gives a solid back beat and the band introduces themselves as who they are, and where they are from. The spoken portions are repeated over delay and phase before fading out to "Good Beat". "Good Beat" has a heavy dance groove and has splashes of a piano at time. Kier just says she wants a "good beat" and the tempo keeps steady but tosses in various instruments but doesn't stray from the groove it locks in to. Kier has a strong voice and uses it at the right times to really showcase the fullness the band can emote. One can easily hear the sample lifted from "Pump Up the Jam", and the vocal portion of the track is far longer than you'd expect for a dance track. A piano works the opening of "Power of Love" but the bass groove comes up quick and Kier does the harmonies with herself via over dubs (at least according the liner notes). The strong suit of the band is finding a tempo and marking that time. Kier opens up solo right out of the gate on "Try Me On...I'm Very You". After 20 seconds of some soulful singing the back beats come in and the oohs and ahhs begin before the bass bumps once more. There is a horn section utilized on the track and the track rolls from funky beats to soulful based jams. A real solid track. The drums and piano match great on "Smile On" before the horn sections come in. The group is throwing us in an odd direction here. There is a guitar part over the first portion that Kier sings. This track, at least vocally, is less urgent and allows for a more smooth delivery. "What Is Love? - Deee-Lite, Deee-Lite" repeats the song title over a heavy keyboard "boop doop" (one or two notes played at a time). The drums are very canned sounding and its remains instrumental barring the spoken portions until close to the two minute mark. Kier comes in and sings in french from time to time. The track rolls perfectly in to "World Clique" a track with a very familiar back beat and groove. (Pump up the Volume again) Kier sings quicker on this than some of the prior tracks and it has a far more up tempo over all feel (even for a dance/pop record). This was also a single from the record that had some pop radio air play. "E.S.P." is another track that locks in to a deep groove with a catchy back beat. The big money track "Groove Is in the Heart" follows. Surprised the albums single is this deep in to the record but it rewards the new listener right away. The vocals are catchy and it has to be that slide whistle that gets everyone falling into the "Groove". Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest as well as Bootsy Collins over vocal support (Bootsy on bass as well) The bass intro grabs you from the start and you shake right along with the percussive instruments. "Who Was That?" continues with the strong/solid back beat and smooth vocal delivery. The guitar has a punch on it working with the bass and you'd swear it was a toss off from an old Stevie Wonder record. "Deep Ending" was the closer of the record "pre cd version". Again, we hit a steady looped back beat and drive with the bass and lock in to the tried and true formula. The cd version wraps up with the instrumental track "Build the Bridge" a track that has a few "whoops" from the singer, but is not an overly interesting track.

Where are they now? - DJ Dmitry lives in Germany and still performs live. DJ Towa Towa also works as a full time DJ and is also a producer. Kier also works as a DJ and solo artist, and performs live from time to time. According to her entry on Wiki there are talks of a solo record being recorded with a future release date.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - Never saw the band live.

FDF Overall Take - It might not be something I'd reach for every day, but this is a solid collection front to back. Really no "skippable" songs. If you were to play at a party you'd probably get pretty deep in to the record before people might notice, or ask who it is..then "Groove" will start and you'll be golden. It is too cheap to not grab. Do it today.

Lady Kier official and myspace pages.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

the mp3's have been removed.

World Clique
Try Me On..I'm Very You
Groove is in the Heart

Tracks taken from World Clique, which you can buy here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.

Friday, October 16, 2009

FDF Volume 2: Issue 161 Holy Barbarians - Cream

By: March

Album - Cream
Artist - Holy Barbarians
Key Players - Patrick Sugg - guitar and backing vocals. Scott Garrett - drums and percussion. Matt Garrett - bass*. Ian Astbury - lead vocals and percussion.
* in the liner notes Orlando Simms is listed as "bass on album"
Produced By - Matt Hyde and Ian Astbury

Release Date - May 1996

What caused me to blow off the dust? - The old random pan and scan of the cd rack.

Overview - Liverpool, England based Holy Barbarians released their lone album in May of 1996. The album was received pretty well by critics but it did not sell to larger audiences. Ian Astbury, largely known as the lead singer of the band "The Cult" formed the band with three American musicians and they'd tour extensively for the record. A very stripped down mix of psychedelic and garage rock found its way to Cult fans, but little others.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The single to American fans was "Brothers Fights" a dual guitar opener that quickly finds a grungy, rock groove. Ian shakes his tambourine and the band folds in to the mix. The band is never flashy, allowing only a quick guitar solo, but it is a "to the point" track. "Dolly Bird" keeps with the crunchy guitar but this time there is a layer of keyboard over the top. The band eases off some and Ian has a smooth, crooning vocal delivery. In the studio Ian always shines. The title track begins seamlessly and it much more laid back. The guitars have a lighter feel to them, and there are bursts of acoustic guitars tossed in the mix. "Blind" is a much more up tempo track and the band bears down. It is very similar to the sound of some of the Cults music at or about that time. Big guitar chords and driving bass and drum lines. "Opium" is another laid back track allowing the focus to be on the vocals. Percussive instruments fill in any gaps/voids and the song has an almost flamenco feel, but the guitars are not fast enough for that. The song slowly builds and gets more urgent, while seeming to keep a level field. "Space Junkie" opens with a heavily compressed guitar riff that appears at times during the song, but the song rolls into a sort of chanted/monotone vocal delivery for the verses before the chorus comes up and Ian pushes himself further. Later in the track one guitar solos while a second buzzes over it for a unique sound. "She" returns to a more mellow feel of some of the earlier tracks. It will perk up from time to time, leading in to the chorus, but it never really explodes by any stretch. There is a quick solo before the bass and drums drive the tune back to the verse. "You Are There" is the obligatory sort of power ballad on the record, but the music is a little more heavy for a ballad so its sort of a false claim I am making. Its sort of run of the mill. Acoustic guitars open "Magick Christian" and again we get sort of a mid tempo ballad hybrid of a song. It never really gets interesting musically or vocally and actually seems to go on just a bit too long. The album closes with "Bodhisattva" a middle eastern musical feeling track at the outset before the guitars get rolling. The back beat keeps the tune moving along and the percussive instruments get a work out. The guitar riff sounds like something the Stone Roses might have unleashed as well.

Where are they now?
- This was the lone release from the band. There were reports the band was going to work on a second album but Ian went on to work on a solo record, and eventually reformed with Billy Duffy from the Cult, and the two would write, record and perform live as The Cult.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I did see the band one time live. I don't have a ticket stub for the exact date but it was at Club Babyhead in Providence. I recall calling the club the day of the show and being told to "arrive early" since there were few tickets left. Raced down there with a buddy, and by the time the Barbarians took the stage there was maybe 75 people there. It was horribly undersold. We did meet Ian before the show, asking "why are you hanging out here" and he said "where else can I go?" He was pretty cool and we ended up walking backstage after the show and hanging out then too. This time we spent more with the band than Ian..Ian and some women around him so he was busy in that sense.

FDF Overall Take
- Honestly this record filled a gap for me. I have been a Cult fan for ages and this was the band that Ian did after disbanding the Cult, so I was curious for sure. It is not terrible, but listening now it has more valleys than peaks. I am glad Ian is back with Billy in the Cult, even if they say they may never release another record. If you see it for cheap, and you like Ian's voice, grab it.


Nothing for the Barbarians, so here is one for The Cult.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

The mp3's have been removed.


Tracks taken from "Cream" which you can buy here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Nothing forgotten this week...

Life sorta got in the way this week and a much over due trip to the local record shop poured in some new releases.

First up was two releases from Rodrigo Y Gabriela. I was shown a you tube clip and was hooked. Grabbed the two cds they had in stock, including the new one 11:11.

Daniel Johnston released a new cd, it was cheap, took a chance and its really great.

Legendary Boston band Mission of Burma released "The Sound, The Speed, The Light" and I am listening as I is a strong record.

It has been out for a few weeks but I still grabbed the latest from Arctic Monkeys.

A glowing review in Rolling Stone of all places piqued my interest in Alberta Cross. It was worth it for the song "ATX" alone.

Built to Spill released "There is no Enemy" for very cheap money. It didn't floor me on the first spin, but I can't think of any Built to Spill record that has, all of them for me have been "growers" and usually land in my top 20 of the year. They do a three night run at the Middle East in Cambridge this weekend.

Tossed in the ep from Jim James the lead singer of My Morning Jacket did a warts and all sort of tribute to George Harrison soon after he passed away. Treads some hallowed ground, but does a nice job.

Finally, the lone cd I still have yet to open is from Rain Machine, a new project that features Kyp Malone from TV On The Radio.

Got me some listening to do. We shall return to our regular program next least I think.

Friday, October 02, 2009

FDF Volume 2: Issue 160 - Eve's Plumb - Cherry Alive

By: March

Album - Cherry Alive
Artist - Eve's Plumb
Key Players - Michael Kotch - guitar. Ben Kotch - drums. Theo Mack - bass. Colleen Fitzpatrick - vocals.
Produced By - Fred Mahar

Release Date - September 19, 1995

What caused me to blow off the dust? - When I was looking for something to do recently, I came upon Everclear..and this was close by. It had been a while for sure.

Overview - Formed in 1991 in New York and taking a derivative of Eve Plumb (Jan Brady from the Brady Bunch) name, Eve's Plumb the brothers Kotch got together with Fitzpatrick and began to perform. The band would release two full length records, Cherry Alive would be the second and final record. The band would never really garner much chart or sales success and they'd disband in 1998

FDF Comments (aka the songs)
- The first single off the record was the album opener in, "Jesus Loves You (Not As Much As I Do)" which opens with a wall of guitar bass and drum before the guitar chugs with the occasional riff over the top. Fitzpatrick sets the tone early as a strong voice and pushes the band along. The song is a great power pop track and it was a wise choice as the lead single. There is a cool instrumental breakdown about 1:25 in to the song before the guitar solo comes in and Fitzpatrick howls over the top singing "life is good!". The looping riff repeats at the end and its all over in a perfect power pop time of 2:20. The band chose "Wishing The Day Away" as the second single for radio play. The guitar and bass are punchy and this time the band slows it down a little letting Fitzpatrick croon a little more. The guitar and bass line are simple and the drums keep a strong back beat. Once more there is an instrumental interlude and the band changes gears, but follows back into the initial tempo before fading out. "Want You Bad" is back to the rocking feel of the first track. The guitars are crunchy, but the bass and drums are up in the mix just perfect. The chorus is sung at a good clip and the guitar swoops over the back side of it. The end is top notch as well with a great short burst. Starting a little more dark and plodding is "Loved By You" before it perks up and locks in to the familiar groove. Fitzpatrick has more of a high/whiny voice on this track. It is pretty, but it has cracked the mold of prior tracks, this ends up really standing out. See for yourself in the down loads. "Fairy Princess" does a lot of quiet/loud moments. During the verse its semi laid back, but come the chorus (as well as the intro) the band is really hitting it hard. The chorus as a really great vocal hook, perhaps it is how it is sung but it will grab you. Half way into the album the title track "Cherry Alive" arrives. It was the third and final single released from the record. College radio played it some,but it didn't well otherwise. Fitzpatrick croons wonderfully and its a strong track as she plays off the guitar bass and drums for a perfect give and take. The band gets more urgent on "Lipstuck" a quick marching track that has the vocals going about as fast as they have been on the whole record. The bass is a little more prominent in "Sticky And Greasy" as it begins. The guitar is buzzy and then the band sort of eases up for the verse(s). The song is heavy and hard,but keeps a pretty low key pace. "Beautiful" is another song that is cut from the same cloth as prior tracks. Fitzpatrick sounds good and the band is tight. Opening with the buzzy guitars once more "Serious Stuff" opens up and the band wastes little time before the vocals cut in. The band has some good pop sensibilities for certain. "Dog In My Heart" has a great guitar solo and the album closes out with "Only Anger" one of the weaker tracks on the record honestly. Its slower than the prior, and is not really show casing the strong points of the band. Still, the whole collection is strong.

Where are they now?
- Fitzpatrick would have some success as a solo artist "Vitamin C" but that last solo record was in 2001. She appears to be doing some acting roles from time to time. From what else I dug up (Wiki) Fitzpatrick married Michael Kotch in 2004 and both Kotch brothers appear to be still making music. Mack has become a touring sound man.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - Never saw the band live.

FDF Overall Take - I don't have the first cd so I can't compare, but in listening there are a lot of strong power/pop rocking tracks on this record. Perhaps it was timing, but a female fronted rock band like this today would be on the cover of every glossy magazine. The record is cut out, and should be easy to find for less than a few bucks. Well worth it.

Links -
There was not a lot, a myspace page
appears to be inactive but here is their info on Wiki

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

The mp3's have been removed.

Loved by You
Jesus Loves You (Not as much as I do)
Cherry Alive

All the tracks taken from "Cherry Alive" which you can buy here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.