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Eclectic Vibes - March 2015


CD/DVD Micro Reviews by Andrew Frey

Adam Levine of Maroon 5

The much-talked-about self-driving cars are lurking around the corners of invention and innovation. While they will undeniably take some time to integrate into our driving laws and overabundance of existing vehicles, when will they be able to become the preferred traveling companion of touring musicians? I haven’t heard much talk of driverless tour buses, but can they really be that far away?

GOOD LOVE
On the strength of a gifted ticket I made a last minute decision to attend the G. Love and Special Sauce show at the Majestic Theater in Madison on 2/12. This batch of well-seasoned professionals tipped their hat and played a fine selection of their music for the wide variety of ages and types of audience in attendance. Although the show ended by 11:30 pm, for the brief time they played we enjoyed G’s happy harmonica and sizzling guitar riffage that was complimented by the Sauce’s stand up bass and snappy drumming. After their first barrage of tunes, G. Love came back with some solo stuff and a couple more crowd-pleasers, but in the end the crowd had thinned considerably before the last notes were played. philadelphonic.com

MANIC FOCUS
Starting with the mid-tempo trip-tronica tunes from Madison’s Red Rose (see review below) the final day of February brought some outstanding electronica to the Majestic Theater in Madison. This duo did an admirable job starting the flow of the show, but all subtleties were cast aside when the DJ known as Marvel Years (aka Cory Wythe) hit the stage. He punched up the power levels, dropped the beats hard and continued his break neck barrage till set end, at which point he joined forces with Manic Focus to become a trio on stage. With DJ John “JmaC” McCarten at the helm of Manic Focus, they kept the night pumping with tons of smokin’ drops and funky hip hop bass explorations, continuously producing a dance floor frenzy that was further propelled by magnificent projection mapping visuals. What a great night! www.manicfocus.com

MAROON HARPOON
Too big for Madison or even Milwaukee, America’s pop darlings Maroon 5 will be out on tour in March with with Magic! and Rozzi Crane. Taken to new heights thanks to the talents of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Adam Levine and NBC’s smash singing show The Voice, Maroon 5 have enjoyed success beyond your wildest dreams. See all the sights on 3/19 at United Center in Chicago, IL or 3/23, at the Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, MN. www.maroon5.com

TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND
How many times do you get to see living legends perform? That’s exactly the scene when the husband-and-wife team of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks bring their marvelous 11-member collective known as the Tedeschi Trucks Band to The Orpheum Theater in Madison on 3/28. Featuring two harmony singers, a three-piece horn section, keyboards, bass and a pair of drummers, these legends and their band have been thrilling fans and critics young and old with their transcendent live performances and award-winning albums since joining forces in 2010. With special guests The Sharrows.
www.tedeschitrucksband.com

MICRO REVIEWS: This Month's Rating Scale is from 1 is Ramshackle 10 is Momentous
AtYyA - Aurical

AtYyA

Aurical
Record Label: Merkaba Music
Review published: March 2015
Rating: 9

Viscous rhythms bubble to the surface next to interstellar clips and catches while alien cascades of rhythmic simplicity are buoyed about by dreamy distractions, throbbing bass and other energetic quandaries on this brief yet beautiful electronic escapade from AtYya (pronounced “Ah-Tye-Ah”). One of the many amazing performers that can be found at the 2015 Infrasound Festival (infrasoundfestival.com).



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Blockhead - Uncle Tony’s Coloring Book

Blockhead

Uncle Tony’s Coloring Book
Record Label: Ninja Tune
Review published: March 2015
Rating: 9

Staying within the lines are the challenge and reward with any coloring book and therein lies the fun with this audio version. Here the space between the lines is filled with funky hip hop rhythms colored over smooth and flowing electronics. The soulful vocal samples and snippets are then accented with scribbles, burbles and quirks which ultimately makes for an entertaining ride across many song pages.



Red Rose - No Place Like Now

Red Rose

No Place Like Now
Record Label: self-published
Review published: March 2015
Rating: 9

Acts that sample instruments live then layer, sequence and assemble them into multifaceted multilayered creations are always intriguing to experience. This Madison duo compliments their synthetics with live looping from bass, guitar and drums, thus infusing analog instruments into the digital realm. The results are smooth and flowing psychedelic space jams crossed with dance friendly trip hop tantilizations amidst great ambient swells found in this delightful fusion of genres.



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