Monday, December 1, 2014

Special Feature || Let's Talk About TAUK

Let's Talk About TAUK

TAUK @ Brighton Music Hall, Boston MA 9.10.14
Grown out of Oyster Bay, New York, this four piece band of brothers are on the rise, and it’s only time till you catch them live. With Isaac Teel lockin’ down drum set, Alric “A.C.” Carter slingin’ keys, Charlie Dolan phunkin’ down the bass line, and Matt Jalbert stirrin’ it all up on guitar, the boys bring the beat. Having just released their third studio album, Collisions, this past July, and pairing up tours with some of the most legendary funk and jam groups on the scene today, TAUK is on the run to take over, and are already doing so.

I recently had the special opportunity to interview TAUK around the time of their last Boston show when they opened for The New Mastersound’s at Brighton Music Hall this past September. Discussing their new album, “Collisions”, artistic viewpoints, inspirations and more, let’s take a peek at what the boys had to say:

TAUK's Latest Album: Collisions (Released July 2014)

MB: Ya’ll just dropped a fresh new album, titled Collisions, this year working alongside producer, Robert Carranza, who’s worked with artists like Jack Johnson and Mars Volta and more. How was your experience working with him on the album? What direction has this album brought you all musically in compared to previous released albums? Who else would you like to work alongside within the future if given the right opportunity?

MJ: We've worked with Robert a lot in the past and he's become a big part of our band. It's rare to find somebody who you connect with so well on your music so our relationship with him helps our band grow a lot. He really knows our music and how to capture it in the best way. Collisions is definitely the next step for us. We've taken a lot of what we were doing in the past and focused it in. For me, this album is the best representation of what we do in a live setting that we've put out so far, but also with a few extra touches that we were able to add through the studio.

MB: Musicians relationships with music are constantly evolving, being influenced, challenged and compromised. Complex but addictive, everyone’s journey takes unexpected turns. Have you as a group taken any spontaneous unseen turns? How do you approach and handle these changes?

AC: Currently the biggest turn we've taken is the amount of shows we've added to our tour schedule. We're planning to finish this year having played approximately 175 shows so days at home are few and far between. This has been an adjustment for us but we couldn't be more excited as we continue to figure out the best way to tour. Playing shows and traveling is what we signed up for.

MB: Relationships within the band can be half the challenge of achieving success. Do you guys make sure of a healthy band flow? If so how do you approach this part of being a band? 

AC: One of the greatest things about being in this band is there's no egos. We understand what it takes to achieve our goals within this band and realized a long time ago that bickering and fighting is simply distracting. Having a healthy dynamic between people you see over 200 days a year is a must. Keep honest and have patience with each other!

MB: Ya’ll have been guest performing and collaborating with a wide selection of talented artists over the past few years. Who are some of your favorite artists you’ve paired up with? Artists you wish to work with in the future?

AC: Karl Denson has sat in with us on more than a few occasions, which was simply awesome. It’s humbling to have someone who we respect and is established in our scene want play music with us. We've had other fantastic collaborations/sit-ins with Craig Brodhead (Turkuaz), Ron Holloway (Gov't Mule), Rob Compa (Dopapod), Corey Henry (Snarky Puppy), and Robert Randolph. In the future we'd love link up with Flying Lotus, Lettuce, Umphrey's McGee, and Derek Trucks to name a few.

MB: Any new upcoming bands in the scene that you guys admire currently?

AC: There’s a few so I'll just list them: Snarky Puppy, Deaf Scene, The Nth Power, Consider The Source.

MB: Almost done: The music industry has been rapidly evolving over the past several decades. How do you feel about the current state of the industry? Anything you hope will change in the future? 

MJ: From what we can tell, the industry looks like its been shaken up and will continue to change. It's a very interesting time to be involved with music because right now there's no one right way of doing things. The door is open for bands to try different things. Different ways of promoting themselves or releasing their music. We're always thinking of ways to get the word out about the band and realize that things may never stop changing. You just have to stay on your toes and constantly be looking out for the new thing.

MB: Last question: Each of you, you’re dirty pleasure artist/band to listen to! 
Isaac- Anita Baker 
Matt- Spin Doctors
Charlie- Dio
AC- Boyz II Men

Full of fire and a bright future ahead of them, TAUK stands out as one of the grooviest upcoming bands in the funk scene today. With three studio albums under the belt and more to come, TAUK is walking into the prime of their career. Currently on tour with Dopapod, TAUK continues to pair up with jam and funk greats. Including upcoming shows with Dopapod, The Disco Biscuits, Umphrey’s McGee and Soule Monde, TAUK is staking down their ground.

TAUK was recently named New York’s Best Jam Band of 2014 by The Village Voice.

Upcoming Shows:
December 4th – 14th:  Touring w/ Dopapod (East Coast)
December 30th:  Opening for The Disco Biscuits @ Best Buy Theater (NYC)
January 29th- February 21st:  Touring w/ Umphrey’s McGee (East Coast)

Check TAUK Out & Their New Album “Collisions”:

Keep it funky!

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Motet || The Heavy Pets

The Motet || The Heavy Pets
Brighton Music Hall || November 22nd, 2014

            November is traditionally a slow month for shows, the change in season and the looming holidays usually tighten the show goers ticket spending. Yet as we groove fiends are always thankful for, funk shall always prevail, regardless to the time of year. This past Saturday evening, The Motet and The Heavy Pets tore up their sold out show at Brighton Music Hall’s late night set, filling me up with some holiday spirit. Special thanks to the hard-working hands at Crossroads Presents for bringing this line up to us!

            I truly enjoyed the pairing of The Heavy Pets opening for The Motet. Having seen both of these groups previously, I was pleased to see them team up together. Smooth and saucy, The Heavy Pets tickled everyone’s bones in the right direction. This five-piece group of groove comes from the far, far land of South Florida and brought up some sunshine to share with us here in frigid Boston. Composed of drums, bass, keys, two guitars, and multiple vocal lines, The Heavy Pets stay true to their name with a heavy backbeat. Presenting a locked in feel for the whole set, The Heavy Pets drizzled hints of reggae, soul, funk and rock lines all over the stage. Cool and collected yet packing the funk punch, The Heavy Pets were the perfect kick off for the evening. My only criticism is that they had a longer set!

(The Heavy Pets)

            Bringing down the house were hot dance cats of The Motet. From Denver Colorado, this seven-piece band of wonder (drums, bass, guitar, keys, trumpet, tenor sax, percussion and vocals) truly brought the fire late Saturday night. From beginning to end, their entire set was sassy and on point. The special dose of sass Saturday night came from The Motet’s vocalist and percussionist Jans Ingber. Boy must have eaten his Wheaties that morning because his energy was iridescent! Not to mention the fat beats he had to work with, The Motet’s sharp and deep-pocketed sound can carry any soul away to funky town.

(The Motet)

            A warm and delicious evening, both The Heavy Pets and The Motet put on a well played sold out show. These boys are constantly circulating the funk circuit- be sure to catch these two groups in action!

Get Familiar, Get Funky:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Top 5 East Coast Music Festivals to Catch This Summer

Top 5 East Coast Music Festivals to Catch This Summer

Fest fever is spreading and you can find a festival year round in any state. But with so many festivals, artists, and experiences to be shared, how do you choose which one is best? I threw together a little list of my top five fests to catch this funky season and why.

1.    THE HUDSON PROJECT July 11th-13th (Catskills, Saugerties, NY)

In its inaugural year, the Hudson Project delivers one of the most well-rounded, juicy fest lineups of the summer. Headliners including; Modest Mouse, The Flaming Lips, bass god Bassnectar, The New Deal (on their first tour since reuniting) and the funk guru’s of Lettuce, The Hudson Project has a little something for every musical interest. And with the absence of Camp Bisco on the fest schedule this year, Hudson conveniently occurs the same weekend Bisco usually did, not far from the old Bisco grounds.
3 Day GA Tix: $222

2.     PEACH MUSIC FESTIVAL August 14th-17th(Montage Mountain, Scranton, PA)

Not only is this fest tucked into the beautiful mountains of Pennsylvania, the lineup is completely jacked with rock and roll and jam band legends. With TWO NIGHTS of The Allman Brothers, blues powerhouse Tedeschi Trucks Band, jam band masters of the Trey Anastasio Band, and undeniably funk-tastic groups like George Clinton & PFunk, Lotus, Big Gigantic, The London Souls and DOZENS MORE, this fest lineup drips of the tastiest honey music can offer.
4 Day GA Tix: A delightfully modest price of $150!

3.     CATSKILL CHILL September 5th-7th (Camp Minglewood, Hancock, NY) 

Another jam-packed lineup of feel good jam, funk and soul music, Catskill Chill offers a beautiful venue for all to enjoy. Headliners including; Yonder Mountain String Band, The New Deal, The New Mastersounds, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Kung Fu, Lettuce, Alan Evan’s PlayOnBrother (2 sets, one playing a whole set of Cream tunes) and Turkuaz, Catskill Chill can’t get any funkier. Make sure you bring multiple pairs of dancin’ shoes, cause you’ll be burning thru all the soles in them groovin’ to this lineup.
3 Day GA Tix: Worth every penny $174

4.     GATHERING OF THE VIBES July 31st-August 3rd (Seaside Park, Bridgeport, CT)

A guaranteed good time fest to attend every year; Gathering of the Vibes is a delightful fest to catch. This year, GOTV’s lineup bustles full of jam/electronica and classic funk artists, including; Widespread Panic, The Disco Biscuits, Umphrey’s McGee, flamenco fire duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, Dumpstaphunk, Trombone Shorty & New Orleans Avenue, Deep Banana Blackout and more, Vibes lineup never fails to vibe.
4 Day GA Tix: $247

15.   ELECTRIC ZOO August 29th-August 31st (Randall’s Island Park, NYC)

This fest is for all the electronic junkies out there, covering your trapt, trance, dance, house, and anything else you need, Electric Zoo is a huge 3 day dance party. After having some technical issues last year, EZoo is coming back with a vengeance this season with a fiery electronic lineup. Including EDM hotshots like; Zeds Dead, Dada Life, Destroid, Datsik, Bonobo, Wolfgang Gartner, Zedd, Benny Benassi, Kaskade, Dash Berlin and Knife Party, this lineup is for the ravers out there.
3 Day GA Tix: $369

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


The last time Tinariwen was in town, about two years ago, I missed the show for absolutely no reason. So to put it simply, I was beyond ecstatic for last night’s performance by Tinariwen at the Paradise Rock Club, ending my two-year wait to experience the beauty of the world psychedelic rock group. Opener was South London based roots/folk group, The Melodic.

Unlike the majority of shows I attend, Tinariwen is more than just another band playing a show, trying to make it big. Not only has this band been performing for over four decades with numerous band member changes, they have also been active members in the uprisings and rebellions in Mali. A force of nature, this group is more than just a band, they are a public figure to their people. The band name “Tinariwen” roughly translates to “deserts” capturing their origin as men of the desert. Influenced by rock n roll legends like Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Dire Straits, Tinariwen also captures and reflects the culture of which they have risen from. To my delight there stage set up was as basic as it can get. All you found on stage was their amps set up on chairs (and let me tell you these guys weren’t playing out of custom made cabs and setups, the lead guitarist was rigged up into a 75w vox amp), and Tinariwen themselves, dressed in traditional Mali wear.


 Reserved and humble, the band carried an air of wisdom and age. Members switched instruments throughout the set, but always consisted of percussion, bass, rhythm & lead guitar, and everyone on vocals. Beautifully moving and undeniably grounding, Tinariwen touches deep to the roots of ones psyche. With traces of Carnatic rhythms dripping through their music, Tinariwen entrances their listeners into a spiritual journey. Extremely thankful to have experienced seeing this group, I highly recommend them to anyone who is in need of a heartwarming experience.


Catch up with The Melodic & Tinariwen here:

The Melodic:


Keep it real Boston  

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Funky AB's - The Beat Hôtel

Happy Mid-February Beaners! In spite of the brutal weather puncturing my lungs with frigid air on a daily basis, my soul is warmed by the constant accessibility to sweet, sweet music across town. This past Monday evening, a dear friend and I ventured out to Harvard Square’s new jewel, The Beat Hôtel, for some dinner and jazz. Having heard raving reviews thus far about the new hot spot, I had to see for myself what the fuss was all about. This speak-easy inspired restaurant not only has a tastefully crafted menu (try the fried buffalo cauliflower!), but is also the new center of live music seven nights a week.
            With a super groovy vibe, including an orange neon peace sign lit up right behind the bar and vibrant psychedelic paintings covering the walls, this restaurant/club time-travels oneself right into the 70’s. The band for the evening was The Funky AB’s, a four-piece jazz/funk group. Composed of tight and splashy drums, groove driven bass, contemporary yet classic keys, and smooth guitar lines, The Funky AB’s were the perfect accompaniment for the evening. To my gentle surprise, I realized the band of the evening was Wally’s Café’s Tuesday night house band, who I've enjoyed seeing many a time. Refreshing yet funky, the band entertained the nearly full house on this past Monday evening.
            My first experience overall at The Beat Hôtel was pleasurable in every sense. Service was on polite and on point, food was delicious, and the drink list is a fun venture (any spot with dozens of wines on TAP is inevitable to win my heart). Spacious yet cozy, the ornate and funky fresh decorations give the spot a comfortable and sensuous vibe. In short, get hip with The Beat Hôtel. It’s the perfect spot for a spicy dinner date, or for a night out with some good friends. I look forward to my future travels to The Beat Hotel, and recommend it to all!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Elephant Proof || Crooked Coast || Malabar

Welcome back and Happy New Year my fellow dancing beans! Now that winter break has passed and traffic is back in the fast lane, prepare for plenty of reviews heading your way! The Musical Bean is prepared for all the grooves that 2014 has to offer and simply cannot WAIT to begin sharing them with you.

Last night I challenged the winter chill and went down to Club Church to see their funk/soul/reggae Wednesday’s hosted by Eight Foot Elephant. On the bill was opener Malabar, Crooked Coast, and new bi-weekly residence holders, Elephant Proof. Sadly the draw last night was not suitable for the talent on stage. Most people probably ordered greasy takeout from their beds and watched a movie, BUT NOT I. I braved the weather and had my funk loving veins pulsing with tunes.

Opener was the seven piece reggae-soul group Malabar. Composed of multi vocalists, guitar, keys, bass, drums, and a feisty horn section (sax, trombone, and trumpet), Malabar’s fire burnt for all to see. Originally from New York and now holding down frequent residencies across Boston at venues like The Middle East and Darryl’s Corner Bar, Malabar sprinkles their island beats like fairy dust for all to enjoy. Upbeat, spicy, and soul food for your dancing shoes, Malabar kicked of the night on the right foot.

Next on stage were Cape Cod natives, Crooked Coast. The four piece indie-rock/reggae group brought their flavor to the club. With subtle influences of Slightly Stoopid and The Clash, Crooked Coast added a rock vibe to the night.

Headliner Elephant Proof closed down the house with a solid set. The Boston local band demonstrated their extreme versatility as a funk jam group. Composed of; super tight drummer Ben Atkind, jazz orientated and funk gushing bassist Shon Gordon, groove pushing keys player Chris Enright, and dance the night away guitarist Sean Cronin, I pulled my two steppin’ action out of the bag for the night. With evident influences from Phish, Umphrey’s McGee, Daft Punk, Led Zeppelin, James Brown and more, Elephant Proof had enough groove to make rocks move. Alongside their fat and funky originals, the electro soul crew tastefully teased the crowd with popular covers, including a well-delivered instrumental cover of Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song. A stellar group with limitless potential ahead of them in the scene, Elephant Proof will be holding down a bi-weekly residency at Club Church for the time being. I HIGHLY recommend to all my fellow funk/jam/dirty beat loving show-goers to head out to one of their upcoming shows and taste them for your self. Not only are they cool as cabbage on stage, these boys also know how to hang like orangutans outside the spotlight.

(Elephant Proof)

Get hip with the bands:

Next show January 24th at The Middle East Corner

Next show January 30th at Grumpy’s (RI)

Next show February 5th at Club Church

Keep if fresh Beantown