Upper Crust at Bowery Electric. Late Night Report Updated.

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UPDATE: Tech issues made posting last night a nightmare. Here are a few quick notes this morning before work.

Went out to dinner with Mrs. Rotoman and two friends, Lisa and Terry, at a tasty and crazy Bengladeshi place off Sixth Street. Good food, good fun.

Walked over to Bowery Electric in the cold, and got hands stamped (always fun). As showtime approached we met another friend, Walker, and headed into the charming room downstairs. The crowd was mostly middle-aged rockers, probably 150 or so souls. I didn’t feel old, for instance, but I did feel preppy.

The UC emerged at 10:47, two minutes late. Count Bassie kept his pinkie extended, politely. The crowd cheered. The band plugged in, Lord Bendover said, “we are here to roq-cue you,” and they played Let Them Eat Rock.

Another early fave was “Little Lord Fauntleroy.” Bendover introduced “Badminton” by saying it light of the impending summer they would play a song they rarely played live. It was a rare song in which the vocals weren’t crisp and clear, which was too bad, since they’re delightful.

Other highlights were the Duc d’Stortion-sung I Shall Winter Elsewhere, a lively ode to winter holidays set to a Chuck Berry riff, and Count Bassie on vocals for the Small Faces’ like Come Hither Fair Youth, followed by the stomper I’ve Got Class Up the Ass.

Yet another friend, another Lisa, had arrived a bit late. I found her upstairs on the mezzanine. The show wound down at midnight, with one encore that came after they took off guitars but didn’t leave the stage. “We must conserve our energy,” Bendover said while remounting.

It was a great fun show by a most unusual band. Who knows why they keep doing it, playing smallish clubs has to be a hassle and not that remunerative. But they are a tight rock band playing songs in a variety of hard rock styles with truly clever and funny lyrics and stage patter. That never gets old.

Here’s a bad clip (and big file that will take some time to load) to give just a taste. I’ll find more on the rocking web and post later.

Concert: Jake Bugg and Black Keys

As Lawr mentioned in an earlier post, I saw The Black Keys with opener Jake Bugg last week in Sacramento. This was a rare occasion when I saw a show where I love both the opener and the headliner. Bugg is about my age, but his age is apparent only in his appearance, not in his ability. His stage presence, though not riveting, was impressive for such a young guy in a huge venue. Both acts put on a great show. Though the Keys were more of a spectacle than they needed to be, there’s no doubt they know how to please a crowd.

Here was my favorite that Bugg played, and a favorite off the Keys’ new album that they played in the encore.

Breakfast Blend: Bob Dylan, “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”

Since Diane and I have been up in the mountains the past week, evening time has meant movies for the most part (don’t get me started on trying to stream the World Series or the NFL on a laptop or tablet or IPhone: to frustrating and worse than flying cos’ every keystroke costs something).

Diane had never seen the wonderful Martin Scorsese PBS film, No Direction Home, the American Masters documentary on Dylan covering his childhood up to the infamous Royal Albert Hall performance in 1966 (I still posses a vinyl bootleg that was called The Great White Wonder of the set).

What has always struck me about both the film as well as his autobiography, Chronicles, Volume 1, is what a normal guy Dylan seems to be despite all they hype and adulation and craziness that has surrounded the bulk of his career.

I particularly love the press conference scenes in the movie, like this one:

Anyway, Gene’s post on Louis, noting folk is not dead, sort of stirred it up in me as to just how amazing and prolific and ridiculously good Dylan was at everything folk before he led the charge to changing the rules and plugging in and pissing off the traditional folkies, for example, at said Royal Albert Hall gig.

There is a lot of footage in No Direction Home of Dylan at Newport in the early 60’s and he is just riveting, not just as a songwriter, but the dude is also a fantastic acoustic guitar player, and this showcases just how good he is!

Festival Finds: John Butler Trio

I attended Outside Lands music festival this summer and saw a lot of great bands, many of which I had never heard of previously, which is one of the best things about music festivals. One of these bands was John Butler Trio. One of my friends, a guitar buff, convinced me to see them and they ended up being one of my favorite acts the whole three-day festival.

I don’t know exactly how to classify their music. iTunes calls them alternative. There are certainly elements of rock but with a twist of bluegrass and sometimes a bit of funk. What really stood out, however, was the guitar stylings of John Butler himself. Man can he shred. Here is a taste of Butler solo, but check him out with the band too!

Happy Birthday To Me

Going to see Bryan Ferry at the Tower in Philly on my birthday Saturday and this is the probable set list:


Kiss and Tell
Slave to Love
If There Is Something
Oh Yeah
Stronger Through the Years
Loop de Li
Johnny and Mary
Take a Chance with Me
More Than This / Avalon
Love Is the Drug
Virginia Plain
Editions of You


Let’s Stick Together
Jealous Guy​

I’m not as old as Bryan but I’m every bit as sexy.

Lots of good ones here, but I’ll leave you with my favorite (out of these):

Patti Smith on Aftermath, and the aftermath

jan1973-creemcoverThe second half of this piece is Patti Smith’s review of the Stones show at Madison Square Garden on July 25, 1972. The only time I saw the Stones live on stage was during that series of shows, with Stevie Wonder opening.

But the first half tells the story of the pubescent Patti hearing her dad yowl at the TV because the greatest rock band in the world are on the Ed Sullivan show, supporting their album Aftermath, an event which apparently brought Patti to climax and caused her to reevaluate her relationship to her dad.

In other words, she creamed in Creem. Back when rock writing mattered.

Old Rock: Concerts for the people of Kampuchea

Concert for Kampuchea dvd cover and back Cambodia may not have a history of rock, but it does have a benefit concert in its past.

This is a pretty good lineup, a mashup of Stiff’s Live and the Concert for Sandy, kind of.

I’m attaching a Youtube of the whole concert, for the record, though I haven’t watched it all yet. But it starts with the Who playing old-style guitar-rock versions of Substitute and I Can’t Explain.