Next up! Spooktacular!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Today is the actual anniversary you know;

Today is the actual anniversary you know; Jeffrey pointed this out last night. 1 year ago tonight, the 3 of them gathered in the basement and pounded out what has become for this band a defining cover. This is the song that garnered them their reputation, undeservedly though, as a Phish cover band. This is the song that got them over 100,000 hits on Youtube. This is the song that drew throngs of fans to the Green Tent during Gathering of the Vibes following the piper’s call. YEM has been very good for The McLovins.

1 year later and they are not the same band, they still have their youthful enthusiasm but they now possess a sense of purpose, a new level of professionalism. They are a working band, playing whenever and wherever they can. The band is sharpening its craft, stretching themselves lyrically and musically. This year has seen a whirlwind of activity and change for the guys, they are now armed with an arsenal of originals, show-tested and crowd-proven. They go into the next year fearless, looking to hit that next level and all that requires is the band does what they’ve been doing for the past year. You can see it in their eyes, at every new venue they play that they are taking this seriously.

One of the most important keys to their success, if not the biggest has been their fan support. The online support the band has received proves how the paradigm has changed in the music industry. The McLovins have their destiny in their control, they produce their music, they create and sell their own merchandise, they book their own shows, but all the work they do could mean nothing if it wasn’t for their fan support. The fans are the ones who are buying the cd’s, they’re attending the shows and they’re helping to spread the word to their friends. So last night was a gift, a free concert streamed out so that fans all over the country could see the band live and could get a taste of what we who have the opportunity to see them regularly take for granted. Jake, Jason and Jeffrey are thankful for what this past year has brought them, and most of all thankful for all of you. So here’s some numbers from the last year:

100,000 YEM video views on Youtube
3,000 fans on Facebook
400+ attending the Gathering of the Vibes show
551 helping celebrate the 1 Year Anniversary

So again, thanks to all the Facebook fans, to all who watched them on YouTube and all those on Phantasy Tour who supported the band. We can all look forward to next year because The McLovins have just scratched the surface.

UStream McLovins YEM 1 Year Anniversay Show

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The sound keeper yelled be quiet.....

Happy Thanksgiving and a big thanks for all who came out and supported the band and VH1 last night @ Flatbread in Canton. The guys put on a great show, there were some volume issues but the place was packed and everyone had a great time. Thanks to everyone who participated in the raffle for VH1's Save The Music, the funds raised will go to help support restoring instrumental music education in American public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child's complete education.

The sound keeper yelled be quiet but the little boy refused

I’m so glad he refused..Made the right choice

So glad he refused

For what is a world with out sound

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Mabel Brown Room - Keene State 11/21/09

I’ve decided to focus on the idea of composition in relation to last night’s show. The McLovins stormed into Keene State last night, and in a growing sign of maturity, reset their paradigm yet again..they are now headliners and they have arrived. There have been a few game-changing performances in their short but prolific career, the first Sullivan Hall show, The Gathering of the Vibes 2009, The Barn Show and now Keene State. The Mable Brown room is on the second floor of a very modern student center building on campus with hard wood floors and a cavernous ceiling possessing a first class sound and lighting system. Ian Galipeau ran the board, and he was on the same page with the band, very responsive to the vocal effects and paying close attention to the levels. I'd also like to give a quick shout out to Dagan Broad, who along with Graham Miller spent the night running around and video-taping this show for a later broadcast on FACT TV Channel 8 Bellows Falls, Vt. The opening act was the local Keene group The Lake And The Lion.

Following the quickest stage turnaround I’ve ever seen, The McLovins bounded onstage and waded right into Deep Monster Trance. The sound system last night was just fantastic with Jason’s bass pealing clear through the mix, Jeff’s soaring leads led the way, Jake anchoring the rhythm with his vocals easily sounding the best I’ve heard in a month. The DMT was deep and expansive, really a very smart move coming out with a strong punch to lead off the set. This was followed by a gorgeous blues jam allowing Jeff to just rip some really soulful licks, Jason and Jake floating in-between the leads, a really emotive jam that led right into the best Summertime I’ve heard them play. Bri showcased a haunting vocal arrangement and just stuns the crowd. 20 In A 35 galloped along, growing ever more frenetic as it takes off. Shakedown Street was a nice first set surprise and toward the end of the extended jam, Jeff breaks out Hava Nagila, now this is a favorite of Jeff’s in rehearsal and he’s always threatened to use it! Dynne brings the vibe right back down, deep and with a ropy rhythm. Guillotine Machine follows, another showcase for Jason’s massive bass lines. The first set closes with a surprise cover of Voices by The Police, given a fine treatment focusing firmly on Jake’s vocals. The band slowly begin to drop and leave the stage one at a time. Jake pulls out first, then Jason, leaving Jeff alone on stage as his last sustained note evaporates away.

Now I mentioned composition before and I feel this is one of the secrets to the band’s success. The choice of a set-list is one of the easiest ways to control the composition of a show, and last night’s 2 sets were tailored for effect, a musical journey offering ample space for exploration and improvisation. How the band handles their choice and interpretation of cover songs is another way that they can exercise their control. I love how they take advantage of their strengths when interpreting a cover, they don’t have to ape another’s band style, and they can take the song and make it their own.

The 2nd set kicks off with another jam and I think the lyrics to another unfinished song are peppered through the tune and then they drop into the night’s second cover. Jason starts snapping off the opening riff to Break on Through by the Doors, and then takes over the lead vocals, the song just soars, Jeff nailing the guitar licks and emulating the keyboard part. Purple Trees has become the band anthem lately, allowing the pace of the set to slow and giving the audience a chance to catch it’s breath. They slide into Cissy Strut and halfway through the song, Jake all of a sudden starts in on Rapper's Delight by the SugarHill Gang, this is a 1979 rap song, one of the first, and just totally captivates the audience. I've heard him sing this in rehearsal but never thought it would work in concert, but now it's worked it's way into a set. Playing a rap song is a bit of irony, because the previous night, Asher Roth performed his preppy white-boy rap act in the very same room @ Keene State. They drift back into Purple Trees and band introductions and a nice vamp by Jake finish up the song; the next song is set up by Jake as “a little song about butterflies”. Killing Time languidly builds step by step and by the closing of the song the audience is awash in the thick sea of sound. Virtual Circle is up and it starts out speedy and just gains velocity, the audience is with the band dancing and jumping, twirling and bouncing.

YEM is the set capper, the crowd explodes, streamers and foam balls fly, people crowd surf, this was just magical stuff, the grins on the crowd’s faces were reflected back by those of the band. They pull the jam back into a reprise of Deep Monster Trance and breezily finish up the song. Conundrum and then Backwards Down The Number Line close out the set and the show.
This was a great and crowd-pleasing show, full of dynamic showmanship and amazing musicianship.

The Lake And The Lion was the opener and after a very easy sound check for both bands, they came onstage a little after 7:oo pm. Lead man George Barber took center stage alone and played solo acoustic guitar for the first 2 songs of his set, Tulsa Burmah and All You Ever. Barber is a confidant front man, a troubadour, avuncular and charismatic; he is a bundle of manic energy and passion on stage. Calling up the rest of the band, they proceed to charm and cajole a very attentive audience through a set of emotional and lush originals. The band features acoustic guitar, violin, cello, bass drums and piano, they call to mind ensembles such as Arcade Fire, but with the folksy charm of The Low Anthem or the solo work of Jim James, the singer songwriter of My Morning Jacket. They were a great opening act and really set a tone for the night’s show. Their set included Ocean Street, Explanations, Highest Hopes, Breather, 11/11 and Sing His Praise. I’d really like to see these guys again they have a new EP or Album on the way and are really working at making a go of it.

The die has been cast, the gauntlet thrown down, after the CafĂ© 939 show in Boston, and now Keene State, The McLovins are headliners. They have paid their dues and plied their craft, they are students of music and they are just rolling forward. This band is just killing right now, lean and hungry and absolutely on the top of their game, there’s no way to under-estimate this band now, if you do, it’s like bringing a knife to a gun fight…that’s The McLovin’s way.

This one's for Jake

Friday, November 20, 2009

Keene State Tomorrow Night!


You should listen to the pumpkin, Keene State College hosts The McLovins Saturday night 11/21 from 7:00 - 11:00 PM with special guests The Lake And The Lion. Come on up if you can and support the band they will be playing a long set so make the time and plan your jams!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

WPKN, Bridgeport - Sunday brunch 11/15/09


There are very few givens in my musical world, one is I love being able to go see live music and another is a hatred of 1 hour shows. In order to get the former, I sometimes have to deal with the latter. Now as I was winding my way down Route 8 on a gorgeous Sunday morning, I was assured in the knowledge that this would be an amazing show for them, and that they were going to deliver. David Golden hosts the Morning Maniac Music show on WPKN in Bridgeport and has been bringing live Sunday brunch concerts to his listening and streaming audience. This was the band’s 2nd appearance with David and he was very familiar with their music and instantly put them at ease in the studio. In David’s words “The first time they were here they were a young band with a viral video and some chops”, what the audience heard on Sunday was a maturing band playing a set of originals that delighted the nice contingent of fans that had made the trip in to see them.

David came on to introduce the band, and they dove headfirst into Deep Monster Trance, one of a trilogy of new songs they were to perform. DMT starts out thick and steady, loping along and then the pace quickens and the song drives forward building in tenor and strength. The climax of the song featured an extended tease of The Star Wars theme as it wound down. Guillotine Machine was next, a bass-driven bit of musical mayhem, this perfomance was very energetic and fluid. David comes back out and catches back up with the guys and taking some time to talk with Jason about his new bass. 20 In A 35 is where it all kicks in, the band is on a mission, just tearing this tune up. I am just really struck with the confidence they're playing with, a real sense of purpose and message. Virtual Circle continues the theme of the day another new song that they just punish. They are having a blast, stretching and pushing their music, fearless and so damn assured. It's not a cockiness, it's a swagger borne of a sense of knowing, not of boasting or bombast. The band again takes a break as David discusses their upcoming shows and the future course the band has plotted for itself.

Conundrum starts up and again Jake is the nucleus, tethering the rogue orbits of Jason and Jeff as they spin and spiral, now for my money this is the song that best showcases every facet of the bands talents. Purple Trees is a fit closer, as this has become the place for the band introductions, and as they play out the show, David closes out the broadcast thanking the band and audience. This band is on a roll and they really have an upward trajectory. I thought that after the amazing summer they had, the fall would be a more introspective time for the band but if possible they are playing more often than before, and really bringing an intensity and professionalism to every show, large or small. This dedication to the music and the performance is what is most telling about The McLovins, a perfect balance of responsibility and a love of the music and they always manage to remember that this music should be fun and it should be played loud!

Thanks so much to David Golden and Dave Schwartz who produced the show. Here's a link to the WPKN archive so you can relive this radio show.

The McLovins on the Sunday Brunch Concert


Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday The 13th : Basement Tapes on USTREAM

A Nice night of testing and working out the kinks. Here's a short set of high energy jamming, served up McLovins style. Looks as though everything is set for the 1 year anniversary broadcast, hopefully this will keep you satisfied until then.

The McLovins recorded Live on USTREAM

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Lake And The Lion

I was poking through the e-mail today, and Carol had sent me a copy of the poster for the upcoming Keene State show on the 21st. I had been meaning to check out the opening act, The Lake And The Lion and so I hopped on Facebook and was very surprised by what I found. Fronted by Lead vocalist and guitarist George Barber, the band has currently 7 members, Morgan Little on Guitar, Andrew Hodgdon on Cello, Chris Clark on Drums, Joe McConaughy on Viola, Dave Sudhalter on Keys & Accordion and Sunshine Rand on Bass. I loved their Arcade Fire cover and I hear a bit of The Low Anthem and the alt-country of Wilco in their music. I could only find a couple of their clips on YouTube, but I really enjoy what I see and hear.

So get your butt up to Keene State College next weekend to support The McLovins, and get ready to enjoy what I'm sure will be a great opening set. I can't wait to get a chance to spend a little time with this band up @ Keene and I'm really excited to see them live. Here's the video for their cover of Arcade Fire's Wake Up, instantly familiar to anyone who's been near a television for the past couple months. Extra credit to the band for listing "M. Ward" and "The Swell Season" as influences..

Here's a link to George Barber's Myspace page, he has couple more very lovely songs there for you to peruse.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


The band just launched their own website, check it out for all your McLovins needs and wants!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The McLovins Live at WPKN Studio on 5/03/09

Next up for the band is a return appearance on the Morning Maniac Music show, for a Sunday brunch show on 11/15/09. To quote host David Golden " The guiding philosophy is "mostly instrumental, mainly jazz," but that doesn't rule out any style. From jazz to jambands, raga to prog rock. Some conversations with guests." I'd like to re-vist the McLovins first appearance on David's show from Sunday 5/03/09. Now the archive on this show lists the date as 5/08/09, but the Facebook listing and the original station archive have the show occurring on 5/03/09, so I'll err on the side of caution and go with this date.

I've listened to this show many times, and I love how David deals with and interacts with the band. Most interviewers seem not to be able to get over the age factor and this limits the range and scope of the interview. David hits the age topic right off the bat and then just dives into the important thing, the music. The band sounds as though they are having a great time, the music is sharp and crisp with the Dynne, Bri and YEM performances coming off especially well. The show was engineered and recorded by Dave Schwartz and the sound is spot on.

David archived this show in loss-less SHN format for downloading, and in MP3 for the stream. Crank this one up if you haven't heard it yet, this is a hot show and a taste of what to expect when they return to Bridgeport on the 15th, come down early and be a part of the studio audience.

Live on WPKN's Sunday Brunch Concert.

1. Introduction
2. Jam
3. Purple Trees
4. Sea of Wisdom
5. Interview
6. Dynne
7. Guillotine Machine
8. Bri (in memory of)
9. Interview
10. You Enjoy Myself

Thanks to David you can download the show in the SHN loss-less format WPKN Mclovins 05-03-09