Next up! Spooktacular!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Let's talk about new songs...

EDIT ---- I guess I did forget to mention the new songs... yup, 2 more new songs all bright and shiny, ready to go for next weekend. The first is a Steve Vai or Rush-like Prog rock epic, jack-hammer drumming and expansive guitar and bass runs. Again the guys really manage to push genre envelops and are not willing to be pegged as a "whatever" band. The second song is this real sultry and smoky number, maybe a little DMB-ish but not really, such a sensual writhing feel to the tune. So you can look forward to hearing at least one maybe both of these next weekend.. all you have to do is show up..

Saturday, February 27, 2010

An Important Programming Message...

So its 1 week until another of those “next step” weekends for The McLovins, an exciting FREE weekend of fun from the band. On Saturday March 6th, they will be broadcasting live on UStream from the intimate setting of New Vizion studios in West Hartford. The very next day March 7th, they will be performing a matinee show at one of the newest and hottest New York City venues, Brooklyn Bowl.

For the streaming show, the setting is perfect, an acoustically balanced room in front of a smallish crowd, the interaction between the band and the audience should be nice and cozy. Last weekend I went over to New Vizion with Jake and ran a test for the audio and video streams, and both came out much better than you could hope for. The band’s producer, David Colbourne has a very solid vision of the bands strengths and an intuitive feel for the UStream process. This performance may be the best balance of visual and quality audio yet in a McLovins’ streamed event and it should yield a true “you are there” experience.

Sunday’s show moves to the other end of the spectrum, Brooklyn Bowl is a new but very exciting venue catering to the jamband scene. Brooklyn Bowl is a raucous playland, a 18 lane bowling alley backed up to a 600 person capacity dancehall. Add in world class bar food by Blue Ribbon Restaurants, FREE admission to the show and you have all the makings for a magical day of fun. So if you choose to attend one or both of these, yo have only one job and that’s to show up.

The band has really gone out of their way to create an amazing accessible weekend of fun, both events are free and just require your attendance. This brings up another point, the band’s use of the social networks. The promotion of these 2 shows will be pretty intense, sort of like internet carpet-bombing.

If you get a link or a tweet to these shows, whether it’s on Facebook, myspace, Twitter or somewhere else, just lend a hand and repost the link, or re-tweet the link. The power of the network is in the numbers, what starts on Twitter, makes it to FB and lands on myspace and shows up on Phantasy tour. You should be excited when you see multiple posts of the same event, it means it’s all working and the network is growing stronger. You want to make sure that you’re a part of this now, so that in 2 or 3 years you can say “I remember when”.... its been a magical trip so far, so make sure you climb on now, McLovinsnation is growing strong.

Click on any of the pics, most are links and will give you all the info you need for next weekend, So whether it's Jake on Facebook, Tyler on Twitter or me here at OAOAOMT, help spread the word and enjoy the ride.

Friday, February 19, 2010

2/12/10 Nectars - Burlington Vermont

Mclovins rage it
In the house where Phish began
What an epic night!

- Julie Parker

Fans watch Basslovin
His quiet intensity
Moves with a rich groove

- Anonymous

Page McConnell Smiles
Revolution Hall is There
McLovins Rock Out

- Anonymous

Drumlovin takes us
On a bold journey, his voice
Wild and generous

- Anonymous

Smoke machine and Light
McLovin Generation
Welcome to Vermont

- Scott Decker

Listen to him play
Axlovin teaches us all
The zen of shredding

- Anonymous

There really isn't a whole lot to say about this show. The band responds to the pressure of playing at such an historic venue and pull out another spectacular set. The new songs are the backbone of their live shows, Milktoast Man continues to flesh out and beef up, Virtual Circle, Deep Monster Trance and a the return of 20 In a 35 help to up the emotional intensity. Purple Trees and Killing Time are just free-form freak jams..all the time waiting for the train to run of the tracks but time after time they find their way back to the core of the jam. Just a remarkable winter of performances so far and more to come.

Download now!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Saturday night's show is a big one for the band, they'll be deep in the belly of jam history, I'm not going to make the show so I'd like to assign some homework for any of you that would like to participate.

After the show if you could please write a haiku with your feelings about the concert, the historical nature of the venue, the band or any impressions you have about the night, I would be happy to publish them on the blog. Traditional haiku is 3 lines, each line featuring first 5 then 7 then 5 syllables. If you're feeling verbose, write one with 7 then 9 then 7 syllables. Or even if you just want to write a 3 line poem is fine, american haiku a forgiving art.
I'm hoping a few of you can play or I'll have a lotta white space here next week.

Trey had a Tab here
the ghosts dance and shake their bones
the walls drip with sound

Monday, February 8, 2010

...soihadto... 01/29/10 Boston

January 29th we marched on up to Boston to see The McLovins play at Café 939 opening for …soihadto…, a band fronted by Duff Goldman from Food Network’s ACE OF CAKES. My only exposure to the band had been through the songs they had up on their myspace page and I was pleasantly surprised by their live performance. Following the soundcheck I struck up a conversation with their drummer, (Honus?) and liked his low-key demeanor, after all, playing in a band with such a well known figure as Goldman has to be hard. The band does a nice of separating the music from the man, so it’s not an example of stunt-casting, their music is more than able to stand on its own so the connection to the Food Network show is ancillary.

The band took the stage and thanked the openers The McLovins, and started to plow through their set. The rhythm section is definitely post-punk, the drumming falling somewhere around early Joy Division / Buzzcocks era and with thick, ropy bass lines bordering on leads. The band is loud, Rahn and Yungwirth lead a 2 guitar attack that never overwhelms, and a lack of lead vocals surprisingly adds to the mélange of sound the band creates. As a part of this sensory assault, they have a Koyaanisqatsi -ish visual running on a screen in back of the band which is a real compliment to their audio punch. I really can’t put my finger on it, but the combination of images of Ganges river funerals, Mecca pilgrimages, chicken farms and Ghost in The Shell anime combined with the bands powerful sound gave me an almost apprehensive edge. The music pushes the visuals forward and it helps to develop a palpable emotional tenor.

Their songs are distinctive, they use a very layered approach to songcraft, also nice use of effects pedals but again, in a very textural way. Their sound is reminiscent of A Perfect Circle but less pretentious, they do remind me of the band Iceburn from their Hephaestus period. “Searching For a Cure” and “The Plumber and The Peacock” in particular were standouts. “Something About The Way We Parted” was just stunning, heavy and loping, almost predatory. They band played tight, everyone on the same page with a couple hiccups but that’s the joy of live music, I also have to give them props for the using a Theremin, adding a spacy vibe. I’m really excited to see what a couple months on the road will do for them, they have a very exciting sound and look to be just getting started.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

1/30/10 Rod & Reel Club, Stafford Ct

I awoke Saturday morning with a screaming migraine which forced me into a self-imposed quarantine consisting of copious applications of ice packs and Excedrin. Deb and Carol were sweet enough to write up their thoughts and observations on the party the band played Saturday night. Carol handled the introduction, and Deb more than ably tackled the setlist and review. Greg was also kind enough to supply some photos for the post. I better watch myself, it looks as though I could be esily replaced.

We arrived on the coldest winter night, to a small hunting house lit up by a full moon, in the middle of nowhere, which turned out to be the center of the universe for the family, friends and musicians invited by Bill and Andy. By all accounts, these 40 year old twins and all their friends had a very happy journey going Backwards Down the Number Line.

The boys opened with a great jam. It was clear Jeffrey loved the room - he played with abandon all night, loved the intimacy and the crowd's dancing and support, the whole band did. They then rolled into Pick Up the Pieces. The partygoers had alread been hooked from the first jam onwards. Jeffrey was on fire, Jason took a bass lead with pleasure, and Jake picked it up with a chunky, funky drum solo. This led into Guillotine Machine, where Jake's already-gravelly voice only enhanced the groove and delivery. Jeff was off the charts with flourishes and, what does one call them? , tremelos? This led into Virtual Circle, where Jeff continued to flame through, delighting the crowd. Cissy Strut was next, a real crowd pleaser with full, rich sounds and an impressive bass solo which signaled for us all that Jason was warmed up! This progressed into Cissy's Delight - Jake was the master of ceremonies here. The revelers sang along at one point; I think Jake teased a Happy Birthday rap-thing. Second-to-last before the break was Shakedown Street. The jam-part began predictably enough until Jeffrey went into a dreamy, rich groove with a haunting treatment of chords and pedal work. The first set finished off with Milktoast Man - equally rich. The pace was slower but not the intensity nor the attention to detail. Jake's vocals maintained, sustained the reggae groove.

After a short break (of course the boys weren't tired at all) Jason jumped into Break on Through which brought the revellers quickly back up from the downstairs food spread. Then, Deep Monster Trance. Jeff was relentless here with screams and trills. The male faction of the crowd kind of stood and stared - you know the stance. The boys were completely in tune with one another and gave Jeff freedom with his spooky, sparkly threads. Tokyo Tea was next. Big, broad brushstrokes here with funk in the middle and color all around. Jeff was reaching here with his siren guitar and Jason offered up sweet and steady harmonious progressions. Jeff even brought in a little teaser (Bach? Beethoven?). Jake wisely kept the pace slower and smoky. Three quarters through Toko Tea, the inevitable happened: Jason popped a string. A short commercial break lost the crowd for a couple of minutes, but they were back at it in full force for the trifecta: Killing Time, Purple Trees, and Backwards Down the Number Line. KT was the perfect way to suck the crowd back in. Jeffrey and Jake gave the expression "wall of sound" new meaning in this intimate lodge atmosphere. Purple Trees was a delight - clean but decorative delivery here. Lots of flourishes on Jeff's part, and Jake was tight as ever with his drumming. This led into Backwards Down the Number Line which turned into a big love fest. Here was Jeffrey's last chance to preach to the choir and he did so with the same abandon he'd displayed all night. It was, by an measure, a great show! A well-informed group of party-goers (many had done their youtube homework, etc.) really inspired the boys because they were so enthusiastic and receptive.