Rocket Juice & the Moon
Rocket Juice & the Moon
Damon Albarn is a man who has worn many hats. In the last ten years, he has released albums with four different bands (most notably Gorillaz and Blur), all projects which have been more than respectable. Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers fame is another person who has started spreading his wings, having played with Thom Yorke’s super group Atoms for Peace and now with this new project with Albarn. Rocket Juice & the Moon is a space funk super group from Damon Albarn, Flea (bass), and Tony Allen (drums) from Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti’s band. For their self-titled debut release, the funk trio also pulls in plenty of guests from rappers to brass bands to world music artists, for what is no doubt a fun listen but not much beyond that.
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October 15th, 2011
Five years ago, Todd and I had the pleasure of seeing the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, James Brown, three months before he passed. The show was astounding, as even in his very old age (73) Mr. Brown could still kill it, personified by his 12 minute show-stopping performance of “Sex Machine” to close the night with his lively band. Now five years after his passing, the spirit of James Brown still seemed alive on that stage with an energetic, theatrical performance from relatively newcomer Janelle Monáe, a Neo Soul talent and Outkast protégé who clearly models her music and performance style after the Godfather of Soul as well as Prince and the King of Pop, not a bad group of rock royalty to emulate.
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Red Hot Chili Peppers
I’m With You
Of all the alternative rock bands that made a name for themselves in the 90’s, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have had better longevity and commercial viability than almost any of their other counterparts. I suppose Green Day has done alright for themselves commercially including creating their own musical but their music has been worthless since the mid 90’s and Pearl Jam has continued to pump out albums and put on strong live shows, but their albums have been recycled material for the last decade as well. My theory for the Chili Peppers continued success- the chemistry of the four band mates that came with the return of phenomenal lead guitarist John Frusciante from drug addiction for 1999’s Californication and the following albums that embraced pop melodies and feverish guitar and bass play. But now, following Frusciante’s second and likely final departure from the band, the band regroups but can’t recuperate with I’m With You, their latest exercise that finds the Peppers recycling their sound in redundant and uninspired ways.
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