Featuring the works and commentary of Andrew Bruss

Friday, August 3, 2012

Photos: The Black Keys, TV On The Radio and more!

While reviewing the first day of the Catalpa Music Festivalfor Glide Magazine last weekend, I took plenty of photographs that Glide didn’t have space for. I felt like it would be a shame for good shots of acts like The Black Keys, TV On The Radio, Umphrey’s Mcgee and more to go unseen so I’ve plastered them to the digital walls of andrewbruss.com. I hope your summer has been rocking as hard as The Black Keys did on Randalls Island.
Kip Malone of TV On The Radio
Tunde Adabimpe of TV On The Radio
Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys
Umphrey's Mcgee

The Sheepdogs
The Sheepdogs
Hercules and Love Affair
Hercules and Love Affair 
Hercules and Love Affair 
Hercules and Love Affair 
Jake Cinninger of Umphrey's Mcgee
The Black Keys
Patrick Carney of The Black Keys
The Black Keys
The Black Keys
The Black Keys

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Radiohead Owns Boston

Thom Yorke moaned out the lyrics to “Pyramid Song” from behind a piano, looking like 1984’s Big Brother as a half dozen video screens dangled over him showing his face through an orange filter. The take on the tune off 2001’s Amnesiac sounded even better than the studio version and the performance in Mansfield Mass might have been the best Radiohead has delivered to the Bay State in almost a decade.

While the addition of Clive Deamer as a second drummer was a logistical necessity in order to perform the material off their latest album, 2011’s The King Of Limbs, Deamer added some serious swagger to pre-Limbs material like “15 Steps”

The lights were perhaps the most impressive Radiohead has ever played in front of. Using an LED display behind the band, in addition to hovering video screens projecting footage of the band, they effectively combined the best parts of the stage schematics they used on their last two summer tours

The bulk of the set list was the same as it has been on every other stop of the tour, starting off with “Bloom,” the opening track off Limbs. However, fans got a rare treat when Yorke played a verse of Neil Young’s “After The Gold Rush,” as a lead-up into “Everything In It’s Right Place.” Material from their first two albums, 1993’s Pablo Honey and 1995’s The Bends, didn’t make the cut. But Radiohead performed a handful of newer unreleased tunes that the crowd roared in approval of. “The Daily Mail” is a mellower piano-based tune that has a gradual build up and “Supercollider,” arguably the best of the recent batch of new tunes, sounds like the start of a whole new phase in their musical evolution. 

The sound mix was incredible from every corner of the venue, although during guitarist Jonny Greenwood’s solo on “Lucky,” his guitar was hard to hear over the rest of the band.

Radiohead were firing on all cylinders and sound better than they have in years. If their tour is coming through your town, get tickets. Now. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

NOLA Jazzfest 2012

This photo ran with the review on Jambase
I was in NOLA for the first weekend of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on behalf of Jambase.com and my review went live not too long ago. Scott Fleishman got some great photos and I went as far as to say Bon Iver was better than Bruce Springsteen.

What I didn't get to write about was how great the food was and that NOLA Jazzfest is the only festival in the Union that will sell you a 24-rack inside the fair grounds. Who Dat Indeed. 

Friday, May 4, 2012


Photo from my review.

The hip-hop community lost a true pioneer in Adam “MCA” Yauch of The Beastie Boys today after a bout with cancer that began in 2009. He lived a healthy lifestyle and should have lived to see his daughter grow up.

The Beastie Boys are one of the most commercially successful hip-hop groups of all time and if he hadn’t started the then-punk trio, the history of pop culture would be very, very different.

MCA’s love affair with Buddhism is known the world over as a result of the Tibetan Freedom Concerts he put on and his work as an activist and philanthropist is a major blow to communities that are in no way related to hip-hop.

On a personal level, MCA really showed me what a white Jewish boy could accomplish. Since I got License To Ill in 6th grade, I’ve always been proud that a guy with such a similar background to me was capable of breaking free from what was expected of him and followed his heart.

I met MCA once, in the basement underneath the Opera House in Boston, and told him that as a Hebrew school drop out, it was an honor to meet him, and he joked that the honor was all his. Even as one third of a group that painted itself as intentionally obnoxious, he had a calming aura to him that I will never forget.

I don’t know enough about Buddhism to know where his spirit has gone, but wherever he is, he’s made the place a lot livelier. http://www.andrewbruss.com/2012/05/rip-mca.html?spref=fb

Sunday, March 25, 2012

St. Paddy's with the Dropkick Murphy's

The fine folks at Glide Magazine recently published a review I wrote of the Dropkick Murphys annual Saint Patrick’s Day concert. This year, it seemed as though they’d outgrown Bostons House of Blues so they took the festivities to Lowell, Mass, which tripled crowd capacity and made things that much more blue-collared. I could keep going but then you wouldn’t click this link

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bon Iver Wins Awards He Doesn’t Want!

It's going to be a while before a guy like this wins another Grammy

When I first met Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon on Cape Cod a few years back, he was just breaking out on the national scale and was doing his best to avoid the spotlight that comes with that kind of success.

While Vernon’s genuine modesty has remained in place, his stature as a recording artist has skyrocketed in the past year following the release of his sophomore self-titled release. Unfortunately his ability to remain anonymous behind his music is a thing of the past.

The Grammys tend to award artists who play by industry rules, and even though Bon Iver refused to perform at this years ceremony, the group still won the Best New Artist award. I never have, and still don’t place much stock in these types of award shows, but to celebrate the fact that both shallow record executives, ringtone producers like Will.i.am. and Vernon's talented peers consider Bon Iver to be the cream of the crop, I’ve linked all you Andrewbruss.com readers to my feature interview with Mr. Vernon from before most of you had heard of him.

I never thought he’d win a Grammy and I couldn’t be more pleased to be wrong. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

We Love Bjork and We Don’t Care Who Knows

Bjork is bringing Biophilia to the United States and I couldn’t be more stoked. Her ten-night run through NYC will feature two-dozen vocalists, instruments she literally created for this tour, and a giant Tesla coil to light things up. I wrote a preview of the tour for Glide Magazine that will give all you loyal andrewbruss.com readers a better idea as to what you can expect…