J.J. Grey & Mofro: Pure Florida

jjgrey2To me, there’s no band out there that epitomizes what old-school Florida’s all about better than J.J. Grey & Mofro.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they perform a song entitled “Florida”, a wistful remembrance of all that’s good about the old days of this state.

Nor does it hurt that they have a lead singer like Grey, whose raspy voice and songwriting style makes fans feel like they’re hanging out on his front porch, rather than a nightclub.

Enjoy this Florida treasure at City Limits this weekend and have a great holiday!

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Choice concerts: G. Love & Special Sauce

Please don’t say, “I love that kind of music” if you’ve never heard of me before because, not to sound like a jerk, but I’m the only one who plays the hip hop blues.

— G. Love
G. Love heads to Pompano on Saturday
G. Love heads to Pompano on Saturday

Amen.

I’ve seen G. Love twice, both times at Langerado. Once it was a performance for a podcast, just him and a guitar. Last year, it was on stage with the full band.

Both times, G. Love showed a great deal of easy charm and magnetism. He’s a Pied Piper leading his fans with a mix of hip hop and blues.

G. and the Special Sauce boys have a new album, “Superhero Brother” coming out soon. If “The Hustle” and “Lemonade” are any indication, this should be a fun listen.

John Butler Trio opens Saturday at the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre.

Watch “Superhero Brother” live in Nashville:

Also worth a show: Let’s not forget the Thank God It’s Honey show — this week it’s Cat Shell, Kelly Christy and Robot Swan — Friday at The Lounge in West Palm.

Choice concerts: Gabriela, been meanin’ to tell ya…

Aug. 13, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Fillmore Miami Beach

At first blush, the acoustic sound of Rodrigo y Gabriela, Mexican-born guitar-playing duo currently residing in Ireland, is a mix of classical and Latin styles. But you begin to realize that these two really like metal.

And not just because they do a very good cover of the Led Zep chestnut “Stairway to Heaven.” Give a listen to “Diablo Rojo” from their first album and you get the general idea: parts of the song can only be described as shredding.

Alternatively nicknamed Rodgab and RyG, this is a duo worth seeing live.

Watch “Diablo Rojo”:

ALSO THIS WEEK: The Honeycomb introduces Thank God It’s Honey!, its Friday-night music party at West Palm’s The Lounge. Scheduled to appear: Summer Blanket and Fire Zuave.

Choice concerts: Not “cover band”!!!

Tribute bands are all over the place these days. It seems like any given weekend you can catch a group paying grand homage to the Eagles or Led Zeppelin or AC/DC. 

But 3 One G, a four-man group from Winter Haven who’ll be appearing at Respectable Street on Aug. 9, made an interesting choice — Joy Division. Named for a bit of the chorus of “Warsaw”, 3 One G has gained a good reputation for equating the sonic experience of something that was lost in 1980 when Joy Division’s lead singer, Ian Curtis, committed suicide. 

Watch “No Love Lost”:

 

By the way, don’t ever call a band like 3 One G a “cover band” — biggest mistake you can make for one of these groups. Think of tribute bands as unfilmed biopics — equal parts musicians playing what they love and sonic actors.

 

Also this week: Something like Peter Gabriel-era Genesis cross-pollenated with modern metal, Coheed and Cambria (Thursday, Revolution) has built their entire career around the telling of one story, called The Amory Wars. Also appearing, one of my favorite live bands of the last few years, The Secret Machines.

Brilliantly beautiful: Radiohead, “House of Cards”

The Daily Swarm alerted me to yet another Radiohead video from “In Rainbows”. This one — unlike the others, which kind of left me a bit cold — has gained a special spot for me very quickly.

First off, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard Thom Yorke in finer voice. Maybe it was the sparseness of the song which forced him into a quieter style. Whatever the reason, it’s a great song.

Secondly, the video is brilliant. Through Daily Swarm’s work in picking these articles up, I’ll let Creativity Online give you the lowdown:

Radiohead’s latest video, for the track “House of Cards” from the In Rainbows album, uses real time 3D recording instead of cameras, utilizing highly technical structured light and Lidar laser-enhanced scanners to model lead singer Thom Yorke and provide an otherworldly narrative accompaniment to the song.

Blip Boutique creative director and Zoo director James Frost took us through the exceedingly complex, innovative process, which used on-set engineers and technology support instead of a film crew and required massive amounts of rendering and the sculpting of mountains of data in post—not to mention 64 lasers (on the Lidar system alone).

All I know is that it’s brilliant.

My Music: The Afghan Whigs, “Black Love”


When acquired: Not sure, but I think 2007 through Lala.com.

Why: Liked “Gentlemen”, thought it would be good too.

What do you think? I don’t know anyone who’s a fan of The Afghan Whigs. I have to wonder why. I mean, hipsters won’t like the fact that Greg Dulli has literary aspirations and is bold-faced about them in his lyrics. That he and his bandmates have no problem lowering themselves into the grit and nastiness of humanity if that’s what the song calls for. But to me, that’s what makes The Afghan Whigs so good. It’s the fact that Dulli isn’t writing the most appealing, sunshine-and-puppy-dogs songs in the world, that John Curley’s bass doesn’t mind kicking you in the teeth or that it’s just not very nice music. I mean, come on, folks, it can’t all be pretty.

Rating: B

Fate in your collection: Keeper

Listen to this: “Going To Town”