Archive for February, 2011


Trey @ The Palace 2/19/11 Download Available! has just made the 2/19/11 TAB show in Albany, NY show at The Palace Theater available on their site.  Check it out; sadly it would appear that the code on my ticket does not seem to be redeemable for a free download like much of what LivePhish offers for Phish concerts; perhaps this is either in the works or an oversight.  If you know, please give drop us an email if you have had any success.

Update: Per the folks at there are NO free downloads of with this TAB tour.  So, the code on your ticket stub means zilch!!! Such a bummer.

The show was simply incredible and if Trey is coming to your town AND you have tickets (cuz’ there ain’t no more left to git!) you will throughly enjoy yourself.

You can see this download and many others at


Trey and TAB show review: The Palace Theater 2/19/11

“I have a few friends here tonight,” said Phish frontman Trey Anastasio at the Palace Theater in Albany last Saturday night. If by “few” he meant close to 3,000, he was right on. Smoke is still visible from the smoldering crater where the Palace once stood, thanks to Trey, along with his 7-piece band (collectively known as TAB, for the Trey Anastasio Band). They razed the venue to the ground on Saturday night, enthralling the sold-out crowd first with an acoustic set comprised of nearly all Phish songs, and then an electric set that was, well – electrifying.
Trey made a couple of references to being “home,” (he did spend some time in Albany during his drug court appearances and community service tasks in 2008) and if home is where the heart is, it sure rang true on Saturday. Trey looked truly excited and grateful to be playing a relatively intimate show with his die-hard fans, pumping his fists and smiling ear to ear after every song.
The crowd sang along jubilantly during the first set, with the opener “Free” setting the tone, and groovy acoustic versions of Phish songs like “The Wedge,” “Prince Caspian,” and “Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan” followed. But the most poignant moment of the entire show, for me anyway, came during “Backwards Down the Number Line,” which as a Phish song features prominent backing vocals. During Trey’s acoustic version, which he introduced by saying he wrote it during his stay in Albany, the audience provided the backing vocals (with perfect timing, I might add). In essence, 3,000 crazed Phish-heads weren’t just singing along with Trey – we were jamming with him. He sang his part, we sang the backing part. It created this amazing feeling of intimacy, of connection to the artist. And it continued with the next song “Limb By Limb,” which featured a couple of back-and-forth vocal verses between Trey and the crowd; again, it was an incredible thing to be a part of. The most interesting reworking of all the Phish songs Trey performed that night was Guelah Papyrus, a weird little jazzy tune. Trey changed up the timing and structure of the song for his acoustic version; sometimes in the grand scheme of Phish, Trey’s individual ability gets criticized because his songwriting now isn’t anything like it was 20 years ago. But to rearrange an older song like Guelah into something fresh and interesting is a testament to how talented the man really is. The last four songs of the set saw other members of TAB filter on to the stage. Vocalists/horn players Natalie Cressman and Jennifer Hartswick joined Trey for the sappy but beautiful Wading in a Velvet Sea, which Trey dedicated to his longtime songwriting partner Tom Marshall, seated in the crowd; then keyboardist extraordinaire Ray Paczkowski joined the others for the older Trey solo song Black; and for the last two songs the rest of the band appeared – Tony Markellis on bass, Russ Lawton on drums and Russ Remington on sax and flute. They did a great version of the relatively new Valentine, and then closed the first set with an amazingly different version of The Devil Went Down to Georgia. Trey introduced the song as a “klezmer blues” song, referring to that fast-tempo music usually heard at Jewish celebrations. It was unclear what he meant until the song began – the fiddle part in the original song was covered by the horn section, and it truly did sound like klezmer music (see the video at the bottom). The crowd went crazy and we were all pumped for the electric set after the intermission.
And that set began with a bang – the grand horn-driven funk of Money, Love and Change whipped the crowd into a frenzy of dancing, as Trey and the band jammed it out for a good 10 minutes. After the straight-up blues of Done Did It, the band presented a rearrangement of the Phish tune Ocelot; it was an interesting version with the added horns, but overall it didn’t add much to the original version. Then TAB pulled a crazy cover out of their bag of tricks, taking on the Gorillaz’ Clint Eastwood. The band played it perfectly, with Hartswick easily handling the rap portions – the crowd went bananas. A scorching Night Speaks to a Woman followed that, with another extended funk-rock jam that pushed the energy level to the limit. The Toots and the Maytals song Sweet and Dandy came next, a cool reggae tune that was fun to hear, followed by the Five Stairsteps’ Ooh Child, a somewhat boring version of a somewhat boring song. Going back to the reggae sound, TAB played the very rare Trey/Phish song Windora Bug, a quirky treat to hear. The other two highlights of the set were Sand and Push On Til the Day; TAB laid down a great groove for Sand and jammed it out extensively, while Push On brought the energy level to a new high, reaching a huge climax at the end of the long jam segment and sending the crowd into apoplexy.
The encore was Cayman Review, a solid funky tune that ended the show with the same enthusiasm as it began. All in all it was a fantastic show, and TAB seemed to be having a ton of fun, reflected by the singing and dancing of the audience. It’s the vibe of a Phish show in a much smaller setting, creating a whole new experience.
This show gets 4.5 out of 5 stars!


Print Mafia – Flogging Molly Print

I was checking out the local listings for upcoming shows and noticed that the February 20th Flogging Molly show at Northern Lights (Clifton Park, NY) is officially sold out.  It’s a bummer since I had thoughts of checking them out and clearly waited too long to make up my mind.

I have not seen Flogging Molly since I moved back from Boston and always felt they put on a good quality show.  Although they are not everyone’s cup of tea since they are more mellow and exemplify a contemporary blend of Celtic, rock, indie, and a wee bit of old school punk thrown in for good measure.  The band really can’t be catagorized as any one genre, but again, it’s also not for everyone.

I liked the print that the dynamic duo over at Print Mafia did for the band for a 2007 gig in Nashville.  The print is almost sold out and I think only two remain available on line; it sells for $100 and is signed and numbered.

If you want to purchase this print or want to check out some other very cool creations that Print Mafia seems to magically create on a weekly basis, click here.  The print is located in their SHOP under RARE POSTERS.  Enjoy!

To see if Flogging Molly is heading to your hometown, click here!


No Trey for You!

 At this time it can be officially said that Trey Anastasio and Classic Tab’s show at The Palace is SOLD OUT!  Sweet for us ticket holders, sucky for you lame-o’s who waited until the last minute.  Luckily, I’m sure you can scalp a ticket for around $120 the night of the show, ouch!

Last I checked there were only two shows (oddly both in Pennsylvania) that were still available for tickets, but all others are sold out as well.  I’m very excited for this Saturday’s show, I’m sure it will be well worth the wait. 

Check back on monday for a full review of the show.


The Grammy’s and a “Watershed Moment”

Usually there is one or two nights that I purposely avoid watching television; one is the MTV Music Awards and second is The Grammy Nominations, both in my subtle and humble opinion have become utter rubbish.

I find much of the performance trivial and pointless, far more of a popularity contest rather than one of talent.  This years was no different, except for one thing and perhaps a milestone in a rather mundane event; that “thing” was “true acnowledgement”, even if it was for one fleeting moment.  Actually, to be fair there were several surprising and deserving moments at this years Grammy event.

First, and what is the apparently all the literal rage with little “Beiber-ettes”, is the crime of the century of their prized little turd not getting the “New Artist of The Year” award.  I had the sit in my arm chair and smirk with the dissapointment (and I’m sure true tears of dismay for some little bubblegummer) that a little known (and VERY talented) young woman named Esperanza Spalding would win this catagory.  It is a bittersweet moment for those of us who enjoy more than just the Top 40 brainwash stations.  Ms. Spalding may just be the catalyst to interest younger listeners into incredible world of improvisational jazz, latin fusion, and afro centric rhythms and styles.  I think this would be called a “watershed moment” for the much needed change in direction of what award ceremonies should truly represent.  Remember folks, it’s not about popularity, but more talent and profound contribution. 

This years Grammy’s finally bestowed much deserved honors on other pioneers such as Herbie Hancock, Paul McCartney, and Neil Young.  Although they all had their “Beiber” moments in their career (except for perhaps Herbie Hancock) they have made very profound and unique contributions to music as an expression of self. 

Most of the artists that performed that night were rather dull and uninteresting, perhaps except Bruno Mars.  Mar’s I can’t quite figure out yet; he’s part James Brown, Terrance Trent D’Arby, Prince, and BB King all rolled into one, check him out if you have not yet, very interesting sound.  He gave a very entertaining and humble interview on NPR last month and I gained a respect for him and what he is trying to create. 

Other performers like Eminem, Rihanna, Lady Antebellum, and Arcade Fire were not my cup of tea and felt like blah filler for a rather boring show.  As for Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger, I’m not impressed any longer with their performances and think they both should retire and enjoy the days they have left on some warm beach.  Both of those two geezers have made great contributions to music, but clearly their time is over and perhaps saved for Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve show; an event where clearly washed up, boring, and barely living acts are still  featured.

When does Phish get their Grammy dammit?


Hockey Night DJ at HiFi?

Personally there is nothing more satisfying than going to a hockey game, eating a few hotdogs, downing a few cold beers and of course the entertaining score that plays during intermission.  Recently I was approached by one of the varsity hockey players at the prep school that I work at and was asked if I would DJ for their next rivalry. 

I thought about it for about 2 seconds and said that I would love to, but there was one problem; I don’t know if I had anything in my collection of music that would be geared towards hockey intermissions, warm up, penalities, etc.  Of course songs that came to mind initially were Van Halens “Hot For Teacher”, Rush’s “Freewill” and “Tom Sawyer”, and perhaps some Lamb of God, but I’m not sure I’m “with it” as the saying goes with the younger teenage hockey fan; actually I know that I’m not.

Well, after a few beers and some surfing on the web for hockey arena music I stumbled once again on a website that is the hockey DJ’s dream of downloadable Mp3 files that fit just about any genre of hockey game, whether old timers like myself or wee little Mites and Squirts hitting the ice for the first time.  The website is and it has a well organized collection of both snippets for goals and brief time outs and also full length songs for quality filler.

Everything is free and you can preview the music before you download it; a good thing too since some of the songs do contain profanity and although you may not know it at the time, you certainly will get an ear full from the parent that will complain to who ever is above you, so be careful.  I’m excited to DJ at the next hockey game and see if I can make these kids feel as if they are playing in the NHL; and perhaps gain a bit of “street cred” for my new found coolness factor.

Check it out and have fun by clicking here.


BBM (Baker, Bruce, and Moore) – Politician

Ok, ok, so I couldn’t resist with the passing of Gary Moore and my blurb about his playing with Cream alums Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce, that I had to post a very cool version of Politician they played in Germany on tour, check it out. Gary Moore was simply a madman jamming with these two geezers.  I love the Ginger Baker but man does he look like the living dead all gaunt and missing teeth hitting the skins!  I don’t know who the dude is with the righteous flaming shirt that cameos a brief vocal part, do you?


Moore no more – RIP Gary Moore

I would imagine that most people are not familiar with the name Gary Moore, but in the 1970’s he was very significant. Moore has had such an impact on many of today’s guitarists whether they know it or not.  Moore was a founding member of the successful but somewhat short lived 70’s rock group Thin Lizzy.  Thin Lizzy was a group that I never got into but always appreciated the few hits  they released.  The bands biggest hits were “Jailbreak” and “The Boys Are Back In Town”; these were huge hits during that era. Moores playing was strictly down and dirty, however he was heavily influenced in blues as a style. Moore had a very unique style and sound that complimented Lizzy’s lead singer Phil Lynott vocals. Sadly, Lynott past away at the early age of 36 in 1986.

Moore has been a well respected guitar player who continued to release albums as a solo artist after Lizzy disbanded.  Although I do not personally own anyof his albums there is one that I recall hearing and really liking; the album was a random one-time get together in 1994 with Cream alums Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce.  The band was BBM (Baker, Bruce, & Mo0re) and it was entitled Around The Next Dream.  The album is root rhythm and blues; for the purist it is everything but a Cream reunion (minus Clapton).   I’ve heard several tracks off of it and was blown away with Moore’s playing, top notch all the way.  I might pick it up this weekend and review it for a future post.

Thank you Mr. Moore for you contributions to rock, you will be missed.


Print Mafia – Liz Phair Limited Edition Print

The genius duo that make up Print Mafia are at it again and have released a very cool gig poster for indie princess Liz Phair.  I’ve seen Liz Phair several times when I lived in Boston and she always put on a good show; she never seems to hit the Albany, NY area which is a bummer.

I’ve highlighted prints by Print Mafia in past posts and always love the range of images and styles they use in their creations.  This print is signed and numbered, however they don’t post the specific edition size which would be helpful; it costs a mere $20!!!!! 

You can check out this print and others by clicking here; and don’t forget to tell us what you think!


Thank god for the “mute” button!

Here at HiFi Central we prepared gallon sized containers of French onion dip and mountains of munchies for the annual single largest male bonding event in America, da Supabowl!  Granted, I don’t like football on a regular basis but every year find myself drawn to this great American tradition.  Come to think about it, but nothing rivals it except Thanksgiving.

One of the main reasons I watch is for the half time show; often a stupid, over rehearsed,  over produced corny performance with canned music with cheezy costumes.  This years performance however “jumped the shark” in my opinion.  This year it was The Black Eyed Peas, not a band that I would personally choose for the half time show, but then again perhaps it was appropriate to keep the majority of viewers attention.  The visual effects in this years show were interesting and clearly hundreds of thousands (if not millions!) of dollars were spent for this production.  A waste of money in a time of great need in America, but hey, that’s how we roll here in the US.  I wonder if China got a luxury suite for this game?

The performance by the group I thought was poor, and their costumes probably the goofiest thing I’ve seen yet.  The thing that killed it for me was the duo with legendary Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash and Fergie; the two performed a version of “Sweet Child o’ Mine” and it was a plane crash!  I reached for the mute button immediately and held my head in my hands and wept.  My wife leaned to me and said “I bet Axl is in disbelief, this is terrible!”

From the news on the web I am clearly not alone in noticing how poor the half time show was this year.  In past years U2 and The Who actually pulled off a decent show, but with last years performance by “the walking dead” er..The Rolling Stones I mean, it has been all down hill so far.  I hope that the organizers reflect on their decision and put a bit more thought about the quality of the performers they pair up next time.  Of course there was one comment at HiFi Central about wondering if a “wardrobe malfunction” may occur with Fergie, but no boob popped out.  Actually if that did occur I think I would be writing a completely different entry this morning and would have  made a truly rockin’ performance for sure!

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