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Posts Tagged ‘Eric B. & Rakim’

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

(179 McDougal Street)

(w/ Higher Nebulae, D.V.S., & Orchard Lounge)

Show Pamplet

Show Pamplet

In my mind, I consider myself just beginning to learn about (and possibly appreciate) these late night NYC music scenes.  A scene where the music doesn’t start until 11:00pm, maybe.  A scene where, unless you asked for help, you can’t find the door to the establishment, a scene hidden under the bowels of the city streets.   I normally rage a live concert where the doors open at 6pm and the show start at 8pm.  And THEN, if I have the energy (if?…who are we kidding?), I end up in a dark and grimy basement venue for the remainder of the night.  Most of the time it’s because a friend has talked me into raging harder and not because I feel as though there will be true talent on a stage.  To me, these are the times to mingle and dance till your a puddle of water on the floor.  I have no idea what is going on music wise as…how do I put this….it doesn’t register to me as live music.  It just doesn’t.

Rage Equipment!

Rage Equipment!

Dj-ing is clearly an art.  Sampling music, producing sounds, splicing tunes, putting them back together like a puzzle.  I get it.  I can see the DJs gears working in my mind’s eye when I hear some of the get-down beats we dance too.  And when they rage, I stop dancing and I embrace the lift in the room’s energy, nodding my head in recognition that they just mixed a dope track that got the floor jumpin’.  So, I love it, don’t get me wrong.  I do dance into a puddle and I have fun but it’s not the same thing if it’s just a person and their turntables.  It doesn’t drag me in and make my jaw drop.

Now, take that atmosphere, with that talented puzzle maker and throw in a live instrument.  Like Break Science who has Adam Deitch on the drums bringing forth that extra layer that makes it intoxicating, or The Sullivan Street Shakedown, which combines DJs with numerous live instruments rotated each month.  It lies in the fact that it’s alive to me at that moment.  It’s organic.  I can see it being created.  Tonight, I would be enjoying the performance of Jeff Bujak and he brought me exactly what I needed to have my jaw drop.

Rage equipment!

Rage equipment!

The show was held at Club Love.  Never having been before, I immediately was drawn to the name, wondering what it must look like.  I imagined it being dimly lit, a loungy-vibe with bright tones like purples, yellows and reds.  Slightly Disco-esque with plush couches and anything you would find in a Austin Powers movie.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

With no sign to the establishment and the entrance being a door hidden by on of those large gate walls that businesses pull down when they close up shop, I only knew I was in the right spot thanks to the store owners around the area.  The show was to start at 10pm but I don’t think the doors even opened until 11pm.  I went across the street for a beer with the three other people foolish enough to come so early…see, I am still learning.

Rage Equipment!

Rage Equipment!

Upon entering Love, you head down the stairs into a dark, concrete floored, cavern-like basement and are forced either left or right.  If you choose right, you are met with the room that would be throwing us the get down grinds.  Probably holds about 250 (??) comfortably, one wall had bench style seating but that was it.  This was a room for dancing.  Period. There was a bar set up with caution tape around it, I assumed to give the waitress some room?  Flat out, not cool waitress.  I bought a $7 beer, gave her a $10 and she just ran with it.  When I asked her for my change, she was like “What? You want me to give you back 2 bucks?”  First of all, take a math course and Poor Service!!!  Seriously? Does it matter?  I used to be a waitress and I was a friggen princess even when I wanted to kill someone.  I will NEVER get used to the poor customer service practices in New York City.  There is TRULY nothing comparable in terms of shitty attitude .  Needless to say,  I was not amused.

Dancing and Hula Hooping

Dancing and Hula Hooping

There was no “stage” per say, just a portion of the floor that had been utilized for the equipment.  As well, there was an elevated portion that held the DJs booth.  I got to be sadly honest and admit that the front of the DJ booth was so high, I could barely see the tops of the DJ’s heads, let alone see them do their thing.  That made me sad.  But I am sure the rest of the world saw the Dj’s as they are all over 5 foot zero!!

If you took a left from Love’s entrance, you are taken to the restrooms, another bar and a separate room that looks cave-ish, like the walls were made of crappy styrafrom, the other walls were glass so that the patrons in the room were viewable from the bar area.  This room was for those who might need to take a rest from the intensity in the other room.  It is small but with stadium seating, more like concrete stairs.  It’s always good to have one of these rooms to retreat into when you have partied to hard.

Higher Nebulae started the night off with some dirty dance beats. There was some gospel layers and rock layers all with some deep whoomping bass.  When the bass beats were dropped we were given some familiar rock favorites and unexpected old school gems such as Metallica‘s “For Whom The Bell Tolls.”

D.V.S.

D.V.S.

Like I said, it’s hard for me to focus on the music when it’s just the DJs so I was wondering around trying to catch a buzz with the $10 beer in hand and attempting to get in the right frame of mind to dance into that puddle I was talking about.  The Banana Mafia was out in full force greeting what appeared to be half the venue who had come under his list.  He brought the energy, he brought in the dancers.  I appreciated that!  However, this Mafia member was without his Banana Suit?  Is that even allowed?  Am I supposed to be outing him over the internet?  Opps.  Either way, he raged all over that dance floor, as well as his friends, and we all had a blast together!!

D.V.S. was up next, his real name being Derek VanScoten.  Where as Jeff Bujak uses a piano to layer on top of his electronic beats, D.V.S. uses a Telecaster guitar.  I stopped my mingling and started focusing on D.V.S..  His music mixed Hip-hop, Soul and even Motown.  He sampled Jimi Hendrix‘s “Foxy Lady” and raged a great guitar during his samples.  He has recently toured as a solo artist supporting Ana Sia, Big Gigantic, Beats Antique, Boombox, Lynx & Janover, JFJO, and M80 Dubstation.  Honestly, not sure if I cared for him that much.  It didn’t do anything for me.

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Let’s talk about Jeff Bujak, the man of the hour!  Duuuuude.  Having just discovered him earlier this summer at Rock The Resort, I was VERY eager to see him again live.  Jeff Bujak is a true musician.  A truly technically talented piano player who, from the moment I stepped foot into his performance at RTR, has had me hooked.  To me, when I listen to his music at home, Jeff reminds me of a mix between Tori Amos and Bruce Hornsby. I could come up with a ton of combination but seriously, his music is beautiful and quirky and demanding with organized chaos and it is all his own! He has coined his music “Intelligent Dance Music.”  Intriguing, no?

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff comes armed with everything needed to run his one-man show including light, sound, and smoke.  Cables and pedals everywhere, there is a laptop, a sound deck and his dual level keyboard at the helm of his personal electronic monster.  There is a row of lights above his left shoulder flashing us the light show in various colors and mixed to rage with the beat. His shoes were off and the show began.

The set list:

SET 1
Utopia > Kicker > Crowd > Machinist > Slimmy > Cascadation > Sunny’s Song* > PUTV > Mutator

* written by Benevento-Russo Duo (section of)

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Utopia got it started with a synthesizer drop and a deep beat. Very quickly the layering of faster beats were released and right away it was a dance party.  His songs have catchy samples, this one, sampling Cake’s The Distance by using the lyrics “Reluctantly crouched at the starting line…”  After a while, amid the heavy beat of smashing cymbals, I feel a reggae vibe that quickly turns back into a deep electronic beat.

Kicker into Crowd brought us the classical, straight out gorgeous technical chamber piano skills that I adore him for.  These gorgeous notes layer over the rest of the dance worthy beats.  They are hit hard, there are sounds of electric guitars playing but I know that is Bujak manipulating the keys.  The sequenced drum loops made it sound like the drummer was in the room with us at times.  Then we got a little more of the pure keys, nothing manipulated, just beautiful piano sounds.  It’s a gorgeous mixture of electronic and organic.  I mean, there is just GORGEOUS composition amongst his hectic beats.

So, being that I am a romantic female, I found it to be just lovely music and I was pleased to see mainly men in that basement dancing.  In reality, I wondered if these wookies heard what I heard.  They were certainly dancing to the beats but I wonder if they realized just how good he sounded in that basement.  Club Love is rumored as having one of the best sound systems, so perhaps that helped.  There are parts of the songs that got so slow and so sensual.  Preferring to be a stand alone dancer at most shows I attend, it was my pleasure to dance intelligently with some dudes that night to this intelligent music.  A real pleasure. 😉

The music pierced my ear drums and so my ear plugs remained in the entire night.  I love my ear plugs because they helps break down the sounds and I can hear the music very clearly.  I recognized that I was in a grimy basement but being raised on Broadway shows and Classical theater and concerts, I was able to close my eyes and get thrown into the plush seats I imagined earlier.   The raging beats faded away and all I could hear was the gorgeous classical technical training he was throwing at us.

The music sounded like this (around 5:15ish mins he busts out the chamber piano):

But my mind would shut out parts and I would just hear something that sounded like this, beats faded away…just gorgeous:

Machinist is a song that amuses me. I imagine being at an Insane Clown Posse  or 311 show raging out and then Jeff layers some beautiful unmanipulated organized piano playing over it.  That is what does it for me.  I know I always say I love my horns, but I grew up listening to my father plays his piano every night after dinner while I cleared the table and did the dishes.  This fact also makes me overly critical towards keys players and I don’t have a single negative thing to say about Jeff’s work. It was a complete package, a complete pleasure.

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Slimmy was mainly a synthesizer song and pretty sure I heard some Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller” in the mix.  It was HEAVY, deep, and a raging dance song.  This producer/composer really does delivers a vibrant sound so full of melodic energy it stirs even the most timid of dancers. No one was sitting. I make my way up to Jeff’s side, watching him play…oh the essence of a musician when they are in the zone.  Sometimes I swear can feel their energy radiate off them.  It’s what brings tears to my eyes sometimes.  We stand in the audience in love with these musician’s music but what we have to remember is they either love or hate what they are playing as well and you can fell it, you can see it.  The lights and the music and the venue were helping big time.  It was so beautiful and overwhelming.  One man was making all this happen.

I stepped outside for an adventure during Cascadation so I can’t tell you anything about that song. That is one you will just have to go and see to experience 🙂  I came back in towards the end of Sunny’s Song, partially written by Benevento-Russo Duo. Pretty, melodic, slower then the rest.  PUTV gave us a manipulated synthed start to the song with samplings from Eric B. & Rakim’s “Pump Up The Volume” gently layered on top of the rest of the tune.  He goes back and forth between the manipulated sounds and the organic sound the ivories make.  Again, the looped drum beats are stellar and fast forcing Bujak’s fingers to go full blast.

Mutator was last for the evening. To be honest, I wasn’t sure when one song ended or began.  My notes are full of lines where I believe one ends and another beings, arrows shooting up the page because I felt as if he had gone from one song to another and back again, not sure.  Sometimes it was clear and other times it was so well-played that if the change occurred, I had no clue where it was.

Here is the video I took of Jeff @ Club Love…sorry for the sound quality. I had my ear plugs in and it sounded GORGEOUS and crisp in my ear…you get the point 🙂

Orchard Lounge raged our faces off for the rest of the evening but I will have to review them another time.  Jeff was what had brought me here tonight. I had come with the intentions of leaving after Jeff’s set but there was NO WAY. Not only was I one of the first people to arrive that night, I ended up being one of the last people to leave.  Jeff hung out a bit and, when we weren’t dancing, I wandered with my dance partner, getting in to trouble here and there, totally full of energy.  It was a great night and all thank to Jeff….thanks Buj 🙂  Be sure to check out Jeff Bujak’s newest full-length released on Harmonized Records:  “Alive Like the Spine

And as I hit PUBLISH, the irony is not lost on me as I listen to my neighbor begin giving one of her lovely piano lessons…..life is magnificent!

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Oh, Big Sam!!  You ripped us up GOOD!!!!

Big Sam's Funky Nation's New Cd: King of the Party

New York City was NOT prepared for what hit it Friday night.  How do I know this?   Because EVERYONE I know who attended Friday’s show was crying from the pain on Saturday after we danced OUR ASSES OFF!!!!  Big Sam’s Funky Nation rolled in hard and strong to Sullivan Hall for the Album Release Party of their fourth studio album, King of the Party this past Friday.  OK! I am just going to say it: Big Sam is…STRAIGHT UP…the  King of the Party. What an amazing, fun, fantastic performance!

H&MBB

I was unable to make it for the opening acts as I had a previous engagement uptown with a group of my favorite girlfriends.  Yes, just sometimes, I make room for things other then music in my life.  S0, I quite literally arrived at the venue as the The High & Mighty Brass Band was wrapping up.  SORRY H&MBB!!

As I entered the venue, I walked up to the right front of the stage and there they all were; the lovely members of the NYC Funk Live Group who were able to make it out that night.  I was immediately bombarded with hugs,  introductions and smiles.  Apparently, I had missed a hell of an opener as they all seemed energized.  My good pal, Russ, says “I wasn’t sure of the set list, but I got this for ya,” as he hands me The High & Mighty Brass Band‘s set list from the stage!!! Enjoy:

High and Might Brass Band’s Set List:

1. Cerole Love Song

2. Ol Girl

3. St. James

4. We Rock, We Roll

5. It’s Alright

6. Island Tune

7. Why Don’t Cha?

8. Baby

9. Big Draws

10. Lil Mary


Big Sam @ Sullivan Hall

Big Sam @ Sullivan Hall (04.16.10)

The first thing I recall about the scene is that it was SUPER hot, as per Sullivan Hall’s usual.  The venue had unloaded into the street during the set break and I was able to make my way up front and put my things down after the lovely greetings ceased.  At that time The High and Mighty Brass Band decided to make their exit…or was it their segway in for Big Sam’s entrance?  Similar to Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra, out came a parade of horns, parasols and tambourines from the side of the stage.  They paraded all the way through the venue and out the front door…and then there was Big Sam on stage!

Poor Big Sam started to melt the second he stepped foot on stage but it did nothing to hinder his performance.  Wearing a navy blue button up shirt over jeans with a pageboy cap, he was stylin and lookin’ fine…Big (very in shape) and fine!!!  Big Sam, on vocals and trombone, was joined on stage that night by his Funky Nation, consisting of:

THE FUNKY NATION:
Danny Abel – Guitar
Eric Vogel – Bass
Drummer Boy Milk Williams – Drums
Da Phessah Drew Baham – Vocal/Trumpet

Big Sam @ Sullivan Hall (04.16.10)

Big Sam @ Sullivan Hall (04.16.10)

For his fourth studio album, King of the Party, Big Sam has combined rock, jazz and hip-hop into his already intensely funky styling.  Being that this was an album release party we were very excited to hear the new music that Big Sam was ready to fling at us.  And he brought an arsenal of music.  First things first, a trombone RAGE!  Blowing on his trombone as hard as he can, holding the note out and commanding the stage, Big Sam got all our attention.  Each musician on stage took thier turn giving us a little samples of their instruments before it was time to get the dance party started.

More cowbell @ Sullivan Hall

More cowbell @ Sullivan Hall

With a introduction of Up in Here, Lil Liza Jane, a Jazz standard, started us off.  It reeked of tradition and the 1920’s, which was lovely.  Without stopping a beat, Feelin’ Kinda Funky was getting us all to dance.  “I’m feelin’ funky! Are you feelin’ funky,” asks Big Sam.  The venue erupts with a scream.  Danny Abel caught my eye at this point.  What is it about the guitar players that join these horn bands? They are always AMAZING! Danny Abel was good! He was no (insert name of my favorite guitar player here) but he really gave it up when he was let go to solo.  FKF ended with a bass rage from Eric Vogel.

Krunked Up! was our first taste of music from his new cd.  This song is very modern, a little dirty, and very much not at all what I was expecting to hear that night.  It started out a nice little jammy tune, horns and guitar in a nice little jammy beat.  The bass was vibrant in this one!  “We’re gonna get krunked up tonight!!  While we’re dancing on the dance floor, everything is feeling right!”  And then BOOM!!   Into a rock driven chorus where Big Sam’s voice was converted with a machine sounding similar to T-Pain.  Big Sam had definitely dipped his hands in the pool of funk-rock jam with this one.

Da Phessah Drew Baham @ Sullivan Hall

Da Phessah Drew Baham @ Sullivan Hall

Covers followed with Sexy M.F. by Prince and Crazy by Gnarls Barkley.  Danny stood out again playing the guitar again on these.  I honestly can’t stand a sloppy guitar player or one who doesn’t fill all the space with the notes when the time calls for it.  Danny put on a smile and he just shredded it when it was his turn to shine and I loved it.  There was a great horn battle during Crazy, that had the entire venue jumping.  They were turning in circles and dancing around each other; all while playing Prince and Gnarls Barkley. It was funny to me.

Mark Williams @ Sullivan Hall

Mark Williams @ Sullivan Hall

So, we were then given a phat tease from Eric B. & Rakim’s Paid in Full, which brought us into the Otis Retting cover, Hardle to Handle. This is also number 7 on Big Sam’s new cd!   Upbeat and funk driven, there was a wonderful dance off here between Big Sam and Da Phessah Drew Baham.  Without missing a beat, “Who Dat! Who Dat!” was being shouted from the stage.  The Saints Chant was next with a great trumpet vs. trombone battle.  There is something about that song too!  It just makes you want to look to the heavens and smile! Even in that dark, grimy, exhaustively hot Sullivan Hall, my smile was blasting and I felt sunshine in my heart.  It’s time like these when I take a look around and I see all my favorite people smiling, laughing, dancing…the real reason music was created…to bring happiness.

It’s on like Donkey Kong,” someone screams! And Sam returns, “Yeah, You Right!”  We were given a second line tease into number 8 off the new cd, Big ‘Ol Booty! And then the horns were alternating blasts, sounding off and leaving way for the guitar and bass to pick it up.  “Shake that Big ‘ol booty for me. Shake it, shake it! Don’t you stop!” was Sam’s chant in what was yet another rock laden jam.  And yet another a horn heavy song asking us to shake our big ‘ol bootys.  Oh, irony!

Treme Logo

At this point Big Sam steps up to the microphone and gives a shout out to Treme, a dramatic television series based in New Orleans and meant to take place three month after that bitch, Hurricane Katrina.  I have not had a chance to sit down and watch ANYTHING, let alone something that would demand my attention so deeply.  I don’t even have HBO, but I will watch this show as I suggest you all do.  Aside from the gorgeous story of survival, the soundtrack to the show incorporates different musicians from NOLA.  I don’t think I want any distractions when I sit down and watch this one!

BSFN & H&MBB @ Sullivan Hall

BSFN & H&MBB @ Sullivan Hall

The stage begins filling with members of The High & Mighty Brass Band and it was back to tradition with Rebirth Brass Band’s Do Whatcha Wanna horns and drums. And I hear COWBELL!!!  It was the perfect segway into Everybody Needs Somebody To Love. I believe this is when I was noticed the High & Mighty Brass Band dancer in the audience with a tambourine. She set it down to dance!  Oh yeah, it was on.  I always want the tambourine 🙂  I grabbed that son-of-a bitch and then it became just a general RAGE fest.  Seriously.  I am just going to post Russ’s amazing set list section here:

Chameleon intro —> It’s Your Thing (Isley Brothers) —->Just Kissed My Baby (Meters) —-> Chameleon (Herbie Hancock) —-> Shake What Yo Momma Gave Ya —> Flashlight (G.Clinton) tease during solos —-> Sam teases Freedom Jazz Dance (Miles Davis) during his solo —> No Diggity (Blackstreet) —-> Rebirth of the Slick (Digable Planets) —–> Hip Hop Hooray (Naughty by nature)—–>Rebirth of Slick

Seriously?  How does one remember all of that?  BIG BIG SHOUT OUT to my funky fine friend, Russ Adgren, who put together a wonderful set list for me, all as the show went down.  This man is a music encyclopedia and is a major reason I was able to just kick back and enjoy myself at this performance without taking copious notes!!  He will also be hookin the site up with his review of Sharon Jones and the Dap King’s newest CD, I Learned the Hard Way!  Keeps your eyes peeled.

Ok, back from our regularly scheduled plugs…

RAGE!!!!!

RAGE!!!!!

During that whole time of FUNKY NATION raging, The High and Might Brass Band members were taking turns ripping solos.  In particular, saxophonist Chad Gales really pulled out a nice one. During It’s Your Thang, 5 horns fronted the stage and blasted in our faces.  Big Sam brought the heat for Flashdance! The dancer girl, Jamie Neumann was all over the stage and at some point gained control of the tambourine again.  Then Big Sam had it and they danced with each other.  Then it was time to sing…Big Sam and Da Phessah singing most of the lyrics and Da Pessah sticking the microphone in my face for parts of No Diggity No Doubt.  I got to tell them all I liked the way they worked it!!  Hip Hop Hurray brought Danny back into the forefront with another guitar shred.

And the cowbell made it way back into the songs haha.

Drummer Boy Milk Williams @ Sullivan Hall

Drummer Boy Milk Williams @ Sullivan Hall

This whole time I had been focusing on the horn players. Because why not, wouldn’t you?  But raging like a monster behind Big Sam and Da Phessah was Drummer Boy Milk Williams! There is a reason your momma tells you to drink your milk.  Yes sir!!  And his shirt had come off, as had many peoples. I wanted to take off mine but alas, ladies don’t strip in sweaty nasty dance halls….or do they?  Man, that sexy, shirtless glass of chocolate milk raged a drum solo that went on for days and days and days. And damn, it kept the dance party going with out all the other musicians.  Eric backed him and teased him on the bass and so it went on and on for a good five minutes of solid drumming rage.

Everbody Get's Down @ Sullivan Hall

Everbody Get's Down @ Sullivan Hall

Honestly, I don’t ever remember them leaving the stage. I truly don’t. But if Russ says there was an encore then there was.  I don’t have the separation into my notes, thanks again for the help my man!!  My notes do say, that in that T-Pain style voice, Big Sam said, “Everybody on the dance floor,” and he didn’t mean dancing.  He meant down.  And down the band went, on their backs kicking their legs in the air.  And down we went some on their knees, some on their backs, some legs in the air, most just bent in a squatting position, all smiling!

Big Sam and Friends Get Down

Big Sam and Friends Get Down

Big Sam and his Funky Nation, with the help of The High and Mighty Brass Band really whipped the floor clean with us that night.  I was not kidding when I said earlier that all my friends were sore the following day.  I, myself, had company coming in and another show to attend and the second I tried to stand the following morning my back and legs yelled at me fiercely.  There are dance parties and then there are dance parties.  The entire venue never stopped dancing for the entire set.  It was a rock laden brassy night.  A little unexpected, a little expected…all in all, it was a WONDERFUL dance party with friends and I encourage you all not only to buy this fourth album, but the previous three Big Sam and his Funky Nation have previously released!!!!

Big Sam’s Funky Nation Sullivan Hall Set List

1) Up in Here —> Lil Liza Jane —> hey hey hey hey —->Feelin Kinda Funky
2) Krunked Up
3) Sexy Muthafucka (Prince) —> Crazy (Gnarles Barkley)
4) Paid in Full tease into Hard to Handle
5) Saints
6) Second Line Tease into Big Ole Booty
7) Do whatcha wanna   —> Everybody Needs Somebody to Love —-> Lighthouse
8) Chameleon intro —> it’s your thing (Isley Brothers) —->just kissed my baby (Meters) —-> chameleon (Herbie Hancock) —-> shake
what yo momma gave ya —>flashlight (G.Clinton) tease during solos —-> Sam teases Freedom Jazz Dance (Miles Davis) during his solo —>
No Diggity (Blackstreet) —-> Rebirth of the Slick (Digable Planets)
—–> Hip Hop Hooray (Naughty by nature)—–>Rebirth of Slick
9) “Long Ass Drum Solo” by Chocolate Milk
10) Up in Here
11) Second Line(!!)

Encores:
Dance Floor
See Me Dance

—————————————————————————————-

Robert : Oh I loved it! And whenever I see you, I know the evenings gonna rock.

Best drunk note of the night : BF in NYC = WOOKIE

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