TBT: G. Love & Special Sauce, 2010

I’m going to start a new series of posts in honor of Throw Back Thursday (TBT). I will post one or two of the write-ups or reviews I did for the music for which I used to contribute.

The first one of the series will be my very first post for Breakfast On Tour (BOT). It was a G. Love & Special Sauce show. Here’s some helpful info: I wrote under “Cafe Con Leche.” This was originally posted on 4/18/2010. Enjoy!

G. Love & Special Sauce

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New Music: “The One That Got Away” by the Civil Wars

After a tour cancellation notice in November 2012 that sounded more like a divorce decree, the folk/country duo The Civil Wars are back with a new single, “The One That Got Away” and a new album dropping August 6th. The duo’s chemistry is electrifying to watch, and some suspect that this caused the hiatus as they are married, but not to each other. I am happy that they are back, and hope that more amazing music is to come. I have listened to their first record, Barton Hallow, more than any other album in the last year.

Enjoy the new single, look out for more as the summer rolls along.

The improved version of “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell & T.I.

I heard “Blurred Lines” last week on the radio and got “Call Me Maybe” flashbacks. A shallow, fun, catchy song that will pollute the air-waves and Interwebs the whole damn Summer. I’m guilty of liking it, or was, until I saw the video. Nothing but… actually, just nothing (If you’re at work, don’t look up the unrated version of the video. Just don’t.) There’s a SFW version, which is not that much better, but I wasn’t expecting so.

And then, something pretty awesome happened. Jimmy Kimmel and Guillermo improved the video about 1000x.

Check it out:

This might be my quintessential Summer song

It’s been a year (oh, Summer 2012) since I discovered (read “ran into it somewhere around the Interwebz”) M A U S I and their single “Sol.” I found it in video format, so I can’t really listen to it without picturing the kitty at sec. 48. In fact, that’s how happy I get when I hear this song. I don’t know if I love the video or the song more, but I know it makes me think of Summer.

You know what is very intriguing about M A U S I? They only seem to have this song (and a bunch of remixes of it) and another one called “Move” and that’s it. I cannot find anything else by these guys. ANYTHING. Hurts my feelings a little bit, I’m not gonna lie. I want more M A U S I.

I want to know everyone’s quintessential Summer song and make a playlist. Yessss.

Enjoy the heat!

Wakarusa 2013

Wakarusa 2013

All photos by @begt

The Wakarusa Music Festival took place May 31 – June 2 in my neck of the woods. And I’m quite literal when I say that, I’m talking about bear sightings here, people. The festival has taken place at the Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, AR since 2008 (just about 1 hour 15 min drive for me), after moving from The Clinton State Park near Lawrence, Kansas, where it was born in 2004.

I’ve held Wakarusa close to my heart since 2010, when I attended the first time. I’ve always enjoyed the beauty of Mulberry Mountain and appreciated the eclectic atmosphere. A lot of new music has made its way into my life through Waka. I’ve always loved it. All of it. Including the near sunburn I’ve gotten every year, despite all the sunscreen. But this year was different. After only a day at Mulberry Mountain, I bailed. No shame, no apologies. Let me tell you why. Continue reading

The Barenaked Ladies are Me

My wife jokes that I love “dad rock” music. The number one band of “dad rockers” is Canada’s own Barenaked Ladies (of whom my wife is a big fan). I have no qualms loving the Barenaked Ladies. I have been a fan since 1995 when a classmate shared with me “If I Had a Million Dollars”. Since that day, I have been hooked. I’ve grown up with BNL and they have grown up with me. Their songs have gotten more mature, the band has changed (Andy Kreegan (Jim’s brother) left in 1995 to be replaced by the amazing Kevin Hearn, founding member, primary song writer and singer Steven Page left in 2009) but their spirit has remained.

I’ve seen them live more than 10 times over the last almost 20 years. Each concert is a unique and exciting experience.  They are known for the live adlibs and raps which are audience favorites. I’ve never heard the same adlib more than once. It is evident that they love what they do. This summer they are kicking off the “Last Summer on Earth” tour with Guster & Ben Folds as support. Last summer, on their first “Last Summer on Earth” tour they were joined by Cracker, Colorado’s own Big Head Todd and the Monsters and Blues Traveler. This show was the 4th I’ve seen since the departure of Steven Page, and I can say that the band is better than ever. The four members seem more like brothers than anything else. Despite losing their most prolific songwriter, their last two albums have been packed with introspective songs as well as the fun upbeat songs that they are known for.

My personal favorite of theirs is “For You”.

Make sure to check out the Last Summer on Earth for dates and locations near you. The tour starts on June 17th in Dallas. I am heading to the June 23rd date in Los Angeles, and will make sure to provide a review of this year’s tour.

The first single off of their newest release, “Grinning Streak” (released on June 4th) is “Boomerang”. Check out this performance of the song from Live with Kelly & Michael. 

Last Summer on Earth Tour photography contest


Vote by clicking “support Bertha” on the right column.

I’ve mentioned already how I love photographing live music. Well, there’s this contest (shameless self promotion coming up) in which the winner will get to shoot the Barenaked Ladies on their Last Summer On Earth tour.

I submitted this photo above that I took at the Wakarusa Music Festival in 2012. I’d love to get this pass, not only because it would be a lot of fun, but also it could open doors or windows or something, right?! Voting starts today. I’d appreciate the support! Here’s where you can vote: CLICK.

Check Out: Matrimony

I spend many hours surfing bands on Spotify. On one such night, I stumbled across the band Matrimony. The song that I heard was instantly stuck in my head, “Obey Your Guns,” has a nice rockabilly feel to it, with an undertone of good old fashioned Americana. After further digging, I discovered that the name of the band is not without meaning. The band is actually a family affair. After meeting brothers CJ & Jordan, the Ireland born Jimmy was introduced to the younger sister and talented singer Ashlee. The romance spawned this Charlotte, NC based band. Many of their songs have an Americana roots feel  and include strong piano influences.

The band will be playing Bonnaroo later this month and  then will primarily be touring across the southeastern part of the US over the summer. They will not be making out West this time, but from the videos of their live performances, they are not to be missed.

You will like them if you like: The Civil Wars, Of Monsters & Men and The Lumineers

Check out: Swear And Shake

Back in early February, I went to a G. Love & Special Sauce show at George’s here in Fayetteville. I was running late and was only able to catch the last song of the opening band, Swear And Shake. That one song alone made me regret not making it to the show in time to catch their whole set, so I looked them up. As I suspected, their music is sweet.

Swear And Shake is a New York-based indie-folk-rock band made up of singer-songwriters Kari Spieler and Adam McHeffey, bassist Shaun Savage, and drummer Tom Elefante.

Shout out to G. Love, who usually has really great new bands opening for him on the road. Last year he introduced me to The Belle Brigade, and the year before he introduced me to Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad (don’t make me try to say that name too fast cause I might end up confused, speaking Spanish).

These guys and gal are very talented and a delight to see live.  You can find their 2010 Extended Play EP and 2012 full album Maple Ridge on Spotify. Here’s their song “These White Walls” off Maple Ridge.

You will like them if you like: Tristan Prettyman, The Lumineers, and Of Monsters And Men.