Album Review: Paul Mccartney + Wings – “Wings Over America” Reissue
The legendary 1975 Wings tour, Wings Over The World, lives on through this reissue, more clear and in better quality than it ever has before. This is one of the finest live recordings I’ve ever listened to, and it’s all the better for being one of Sir Paul McCartney and Wings.
The album includes most of the greats from Sir Paul McCartney. The mix between classic Beatles tunes, work from McCartney’s solo career, and the hits of Wings creates the ultimate musical experience. On the first disc alone, one can find “Medicine Jar,” “Maybe I’m Amazed,” The Long and Winding Road,” and the list goes on and on.
Of course, Sir Paul McCartney had, even in 1975, a massive body of work from which to draw. It’s for this reason that the album is almost exceedingly long. The two disc LP amounts to just shy of two hours of rock ‘n roll.
Crowds can often have a detrimental effect on the purity of live recordings, but I find that the crowds for Wings Over The World do nothing if not augment the quality of listenership. They cheer when you cheer, and are tame when you’re tame. Many of us have experienced concerts with unruly fans, but the impression of the fanbase that one gets from these records is that of the perfect audience. They, like us, are here to enjoy the music, and bask in the glory that is Sir Paul McCartney and Wings.
Having said that, I can understand how some fans might be turned off from the numerous renditions of Beatles songs. It’s impossible to capture the essence of The Beatles, which I believe forced McCartney to adapt a number of the tracks. It’s true that “Lady Madonna” doesn’t sound like The Beatles’s version, but it still has that Paul McCartney feel. For the most part, The Beatles renditions show a maturity that Sir Paul McCartney had gained in the five years since he was a member of The Beatles. His voice quivers just so on tracks like “The Long And Winding Road,” in a way that adds layers and intricacies to already brilliant pieces of music.
Recommended Tracks: “Medicine Jar,” “Maybe I’m Amazed,” Lady MAdonna,” “The Long and Winding Road,” “Live and Let Die,” “I’ve Just Seen A Face,” “Blackbird,” “Yesterday,” “Silly Love Songs,” “Band on the Run.”
Album Rating: 9/10
Album Review: The Features – “The Features”
The Features are a Southern American indie rock band from Tennessee, first releasing The Beginning EP in 2003, the Nashville-based combo has now released their new album The Features on May 14th of 2013. Falling somewhere in the middle between mainstream and indie-rock, their sound is an amalgamation of influences and inspirations—spanning elements of psychedelic rock, indie, and alternative rock. In 2010, The Features opened for Manchester Orchestra. The band then went on to Have their song “From Now On” appear on the movie Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Soundtrack, released in November 2011. Now, with the release of their fourth album The Features, the band is touring as well as playing in Summerfest 2013 and Bunbury Festival 2013.
The Features have always neared a line between indie/rock and psychedelic/electronic rock, and their new album “The Features” doesn’t disappoint this expectation. The album starts off with the song “Rotten”, a whimsical yet dark slow-ish song, picking up into an upbeat, foot-tapping rhythm, allowing the listener to strap in for the ride that is the album. “Ain’t No Wonder” is particularly electric, with rocking undertones. The entire album gets the listener engaged, and rocking. Now, you don’t have to start headbanging to enjoy this album, you could easily blast this whilst chilling on your fouton, and be just as engaged and attached to the music in this album. Tracks like ““This Disorder”, “Fox On The Run”, and “Won’t Be Long” are definitely the beacons of this album. All three songs give off different vibes, yet are cohesive, as is the rest of the album. The track “This Disorder” released as an EP and found popularity as it is catchy, with flakes of pop peppered into its depths of rock. This song is easily the best song on the album. The track “Won’t Be Long” is especially psychedelic, giving off reminiscent vibes found in the legends that are The Doors and The Rolling Stones. If you are chillin on a fouton, this is the track for you. If you are simply here because you heard that one song on that Twilight movie, perhaps you shall explore another venue. “From Now On”, easily one of their most popular songs, is an excellent song, however, it is much more pop/electric than this album. This album touches the very root of The Features, which is a new genre in the midst of psychedelic, electric, alternative, and indie rock.
Recommended Tracks: “This Disorder”, “Fox On The Run”, “Won’t Be Long”
Album Review: Sterile Jets – “Barlights at 2am”
In today’s music scene, it seems that we are flooded by a constant rain of pop and indie songs. Every new band seems to be based around an acoustic guitar and soft lyrics. So when I popped this disc into iTunes, and the label “Pop” appeared under genre, I was dismayed. However, the picture of three rugged men sitting at a bar piqued my interest so I decided to go on. Luckily, it seems that iTunes went fubar and mislabeled the album; the heavy drum beat, groovy bass, and guitar licks were more reminiscent of punk music.
Indeed, Sterile Jets list Black Flag and Velvet Underground as major influences of their sound. Formed in Long Beach, this trio is composed of Bly (guitar/vocals), B. ILL (bassist), and Bean (drums). They were started to fulfill an artistic interpretation of music, Sterile Jets definitely do not care what you think, they will rock one way or another. Only officially one year old, they remain local to Long Beach and Orange County, playing at those venues hipsters are too cool to go near.
“Barlights” is the Jets’ first album and it shows. I know that they are trying to go for the minimalist DIY approach that the Ramones tried in the late 70’s, but they oversimplify it to a fault. It seems every song starts or ends with noisy guitar feedback and the structure is an 8-bar phrase repeated over and over. While this may be good for one or two songs, building an entire album over this idea is probably not a good idea. If that were not enough, the vocals are merely belted out with little semblance to tone or melody. Additionally, the level is so low I can barely hear them.
However, the main saving point is the instrumental virtuosity. While the main structure is somewhat bland yet gritty, there are gems in the guitar solos and bass grooves. Actually, the mix of guitar and bass are what intrigued me in the first place. Since this is Sterile Jets’ first album and they are barely a year old, it is safe to say they will change and adapt to the reception of “Barlights”. While this album just misses the mark, it shows a lot of potential and might be worth checking out if you feel angry. Plus, it is a much needed relief from the one direction that pop is headed: down.
Recommended Tracks: “Beerspit Night of Cursing”, “Sequestered”
In Studio Review: NO
by Lexi Cary
Today the scruffy, tattooed foursome known as NO came into the station and unpretentiously filled our station with sincerity and soul. Three guitars, a bass, and a little casio keyboard they bought for three bucks at a garage sale made up their sound, along with their voices, which ranged from gruff to melodic with the occasional whistle thrown in.
Devendra Banhart @ The Fonda 5/16/13
Devendra Banhart, a Venezuelan-American singer and song-writer made his stop in Los Angeles this past Thursday night. With his eighth album Mala being release earlier this year in March, Banhart’s tour was sought-out more than ever before. Fans anxiously awaited Banhart on stage. Opening his show was Rodrigo Amarante, a Brazilian guitarist who is known for his singing and songwriting in the bands Los Hermanos, Orquestra Imperial and Little Joy. Rodrigo’s voice was captivating and songs sung in Portuguese created a set that was welcomed well by the audience. Dawning a plaid shirt and a cardigan, Banhart walked on the stage with the strong reverb of the first song on Mala, “Golden Girls”. With Mala’s electic mix of cowboy pop, Spanish, French, English and German lyrics, some lo-fi electro-pop, and well some groovy old disco-like intros the crowd was kept engaged and entertained all night. Swaying bodies and head –bobbing to the second song played “Fur Hildegard von Bingen” got the night started right. Banhart was accompanied on stage by a full band for most of his performance. Fab Moretti, drummer for The Strokes was one of the members along with Banhart’s collaborator/producer, Noah Georgeson. (more…)
Show Review: Tom Odell at The Troubadour 5/7/13
In general, I’m not always immediately drawn to modern acoustic or folk artists but every once in a while I’ll have the pleasure of running into one who transcends any misgivings I may have about that kind of sound. This was certainly true for me and British born singer-songwriter Tom Odell. Not having read much about him before the show, I was ready to walk into the Troubadour with a fresh unbiased perspective. What I got to witness that night was truly an emotionally charged performance.
I had only given his EP “Songs From Another Love” a single spin, and I guess in that time it didn’t really hit me that his instrument of choice was the piano, so watching as the crew set up his piano right in the middle of the stage got me very excited to see what would be of the performance. I was actually thrilled to see this, since I’ve gotten so used to seeing a guy and his guitar with some other guys with guitars around him. While I can still appreciate this, Tom Odell and his piano showed me a great time. (more…)
Advanced Screening: The Hangover Part III on Wednesday, May 22
UCLAradio wants to send you to an advanced screening of the last installment of the Hangover movies, The Hangover Part III! We have front of the line tickets to see what happens when the wolfpack goes BACK to Las Vegas. The film is officially released on May 23rd, but you win tickets to see it early! The advanced screening will take place at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatre at 6:30pm on Wednesday, May 22nd. We’ll be giving you the opportunity to win these tickets over on our Facebook page beginning on Sunday!
It’s been two years. Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) are happily living uneventful lives at home. Tattoos have been lasered off, files purged. The last they heard from disaster-magnet Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong), he’d been tossed into a Thai prison and, with him out of the way, the guys have very nearly recovered from their nights prowling the seamy side of Las Vegas in a roofie’d haze, and being kidnapped, shot at, and chased by drug-dealing mobsters in Bangkok.
The only member of the Wolfpack who’s not content is Alan (Zach Galifianakis). Still lacking a sense of purpose, the group’s black sheep has ditched his meds and given in to his natural impulses in a big way—which, for Alan, means no boundaries, no filters and no judgment—until a personal crisis forces him to finally seek the help he needs.
And who better than his three best friends to make sure he takes the first step.
This time, there’s no bachelor party. No wedding. What could possibly go wrong? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off.
“The Hangover Part III” is the epic conclusion to an incomparable odyssey of mayhem and bad decisions, in which the guys must finish what they started by going back to where it all began: Las Vegas. One way or another…it all ends here.
NBA Votes Down Relocation Deal for the Sacramento Kings
The two year saga of the relocation of the Kings and the most lucrative deal in NBA history ended Wednesday when the NBA Board of Governors, comprised of the owners of the NBA teams, voted down the deal to move the Kings to Seattle. The final vote was 22-8 in favor of keeping the franchise in Sacramento
This story has taken many twists and turns since the Seattle purchasing group, headed by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, announced their intentions to purchase the Kings in October of 2012. The group hopes to bring back the Seattle Super Sonics after the devastating loss of the team to Oklahoma City in 2008. The deal includes a new arena in Seattle’s SoDo district where Safeco Field and Century Link Field currently reside. (more…)
Recap: 2012-2013 Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
What started off as 16 teams embarking on the long, arduous journey on the road to winning Lord Stanley’s Cup, has now been reduced to 8. This season’s quarterfinals included upsets, unlikely heroics, multiple game 7′s, and overtime – lots of overtime, 17 overtime contests to be exact. Here’s a look back at how things panned out in the Eastern Conference during the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Recap: 2012-2013 Stanley Cup Western Conference Quarterfinals
What started off as 16 teams embarking on the long, arduous journey on the road to winning Lord Stanley’s Cup, has now been reduced to 8. This season’s quarterfinals included upsets, unlikely heroics, multiple game 7′s, and overtime – lots of overtime, 17 overtime contests to be exact. Here’s a look back at how things panned out in the Western Conference during the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.