Eric’s Best Albums of 2014 – The Second Twelve (2/3)

What’s up everyone?!? This is the second installment of the “Eric’s Best Albums of 2014” list. Same format as last time. Band Name: Album Title – Both of these are links. The first to the band’s website or twitter feed or something that describes the band. The second (to the right of the colon) is a representative video. So, without further ado, let’s get to work!

  1. Opeth: Pale Communion – Opeth has continued its drift in to the Sea of Prog rock, and they kill it. Musicianship is mind-numbing on this record. It reminds me a little of Tarkus, by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.  I know the traditionalists aren’t thrilled with Mikael Åkerfeldt’s movement away from harsh vocals, but I’m completely ok with it. They are stronger, tighter, and more cohesive as a songwriting unit than ever before. This album rips.
  2. Shellac: Dude Incredible – Steve Albini is a record producer in Chicago. If you watched the Foo Fighters series, Sonic Highways, you’ll recognize Steve from the Chicago episode. Shellac does not make records often, but when they do they are so worth the wait. Punk edge, messed up time signatures, no-filter lyrics. My pal Marshal turned me on to these guys, and it’s become one of my “can’t stop listening to records”.
  3. British Sea Power: From The Sea To The Land Beyond – Produced as a soundtrack to a BBC film about the British seacoast, it’s a beautiful, moving, sonic painting. This record is largely instrumental, but don’t let that steer you away, its huge, sweeping songs are immersive. I love this band, they run the gamut from shoegazey instrumental to powerpop indie, and do it all deftly.
  4. The War On Drugs: Lost In The Dream – This is on everyone’s top lists of 2014…for a reason. This is a stunning album! One YouTuber described “Under the Pressure” as having a “Bob Dylan goes ambient shoegazer vibe”. Others have referenced a Paul Simon, Springsteen, or Rod Stewart flavor to this record. Pretty good company, if you ask me.
  5. Kyng: Burn the Serum – Chunky, heavy guitar, LA-based stoner metal. This is a great record to mow the lawn to…true story! Eddie Veliz is a badass too.
  6. Future Islands: Singles – These guys are great. Their Twitter description is “too noisy for new wave, too pussy for punk”. Perfect. they made their TV debut on Letterman, and Herring did these crazy death metal vocals, while doing the whitest white guy dance, and looking like a young Dom DeLuise…outta nowhere. Blew my mind. They got legitimacy points for hanging it all out there.
  7. Bad Suns: Language & Perspective – I heard Cardiac Arrest on Alt Nation one morning on the way to work. I couldn’t stop singing the hook all day.
  8. Foxygen: …And Star Power – A little T-Rexy, a little Dylanish, a little Teenage Fanclub-like – this is the second record (the first was brilliant too, 2012’s “Take The Kids Off Broadway) from this duo of 24 year olds. They started the band in high school, when they were 15. Amazing talent, hooky tunes, and a vintage feel. It’s like finding that perfect orange sweater in the thrift store….to go with your green leather jacket.
  9. Tycho: Awake – Some of the best “I need to crank out some work” ambient music ever. Tycho gets compared to bands like Boards of Canada, and I can see that. I like his approach a little better though, usage of guitar, bass, and vintage synths is killer. Live, he uses real drums, and that makes such a difference. When you need to focus and get some stuff done, this is your go to record.
  10. Royal Blood: Royal Blood – I don’t know what it is with all the duos these days, but Royal Blood (a bassist and a drummer) are so good wyou’ll wanna slather this record all over yourself. Heavy freaking groove.
  11. KXM: KXM – George Lynch is BUSY these days. KXM record, Sweet/Lynch record, new Lynch Mob record. If you know me, you know my fascination with guitar tone, and Lynch is one of the archetypes of tone. He’s a master. Oh, and I’d listen to Dug Pinnick from King’s X sing the phonebook.
  12. Mastodon: Once More ‘Round The Sun – Probably the most “accessible” of the Mastodon catalog. Crushing guitar tones, singable choruses, solid hooks, and complex song structures that all hover around 5 minutes. Three of the guys sing, so that makes things interesting out front. This is probably my favorite act to come from the “sludge” movement.

Alright, that’s “the second twelve”! Two down, one to go.  See you guys in a week or so!!

Bootstrap Brewing Company – 12/27/14 – Show Recap

Full House at the Strap!

Full House at the Strap!

What up Rogues?!?

It’s a good thing the Fire Marshal didn’t show up, I’m quite certain that some fire code rules were violated at the Strap last night! As per usual, Steve and Leslie are fantastic owners and hosts, we love that place and always have a blast!

It was no nice to get back on the horse after a holiday hiatus! We pulled out some R2 standards that are always fun!

  • All My Life – Foo Fighters is always a jam.
  • It was a Seattle grunge fest with:
  • Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line“, blending right into Roger Miller’s “King Of The Road” is not something that you hear every day…we have fun with that one!
  • Oh, and you know you’ve won the crowd over when a bunch of bearded dudes get up to dance and sing to a mandofied version of Def Leppard’sPour Some Sugar On Me“! Step inside, walk this way, you and me babe….HEY HEY!

Last night was also “new instrument Saturday”. If you know us, you know that we keep a menagerie of instruments on stage. It’s a veritable pawn shop up there! You’ll likely find four guitars, two mandolins, a uke, a hollow body, a dobro, a tenor banjo, a 5 string banjo, a bass guitar, a cajon, a djembe, kick drum, all manner of shaky things, and last night we added a harmonica to the mix. In doing so, we added another Ryan Adams song to the catalog, Come Pick Me Up.

We’re toying with a few ideas and would love your feedback. How would you feel about:

  • Rogue 2 T-shirts – Any interest in having Craig on your back? =)
  • Rogue 2 Originals – We’ve got a few cooking. We have some old tunes to unleash. Wanna hear ’em?
  • Rogue Foo – We’ve talked about doing an all Foo Fighters set. Just one set from a given night. Cool? Not cool?

Let us know what you think by either responding on our Facebook page, Tweeting us up, or just email us directly.

We’ve got a couple weeks off before starting a show-a-week run for about 5 weeks. We’re back in the saddle at Odd 13 Brewing on Jan 17th, we’d love to see you there!

Eric’s Best Albums of 2014 – This Year Was A BEAST For Music! (Part 1 – The First 12)

I know that there are naysayers out there who say, “there’s no good music anymore”, “there are no true rock bands anymore”, “music sucks these days”. I’m not sure where these people live, or what Clear Channel radio station they are subjected to on a daily basis, but 2014 was a MONSTER year for new music. It was so good, in fact, that I wanted to compile a Top 10 list. Nope. Can’t do it. It’s too hard. There’s just way too much good stuff out there!

So with that, I’ll attempt to pull together a series of lists of relevant, solid, you-really-ought-to-give-them-a-spin albums released this year (probably about 36 albums total). I’ll also plug my favorite streaming service (because I love the interface), Rdio. If you don’t subscribe to a streaming service, consider this one. I’ve given it to myself every Christmas for 4 years running now. It’s a great way to check out these records….and you’ll probably still buy them. I’ve discovered (and subsequently purchased) so many records from my Rdio subscription.

Ok, let’s get started. I’ll try to link the artist’s website with the first link (to the left of the colon), and a representative video or audio from the album with the second link. Since I’m not “ranking” these records, that would be too hard – I’m going to span many genres here – I’ll start the numbering scheme with #1. #1 is #1 because it’s the first one I thought of. Yeah, science. That’s what we do here at R2. Science!

  1. Ryan Adams: Ryan Adams – When this album dropped I was in NYC. I spent hours walking the streets and listening to this record. To and from meetings and dinners and the gym and just aimlessly walking. Ryan Adams is one of the most prolific songwriters of my generation, and man can I relate to the songs that he writes. This album captures that analog, recorded to real tape, using vintage guitars and effects, and a kick drum with one head, a blanket and some duct tape vibe. One of my favorites of all time. Yes. All time.
  2. Bob Mould: Beauty and Ruin – I was in Boston when this one came out (I know, unanticipated travel theme). I was going for a run and scouting out places to have dinner. I was scanning Rdio for new stuff and saw this. I loved Mould’s Silver Age record from a couple of years ago, so I thought I’d give it a go. Wow. It was on this run that I officially asked Bob to join my imaginary supergroup with Dave Grohl and Ryan Adams.
  3. Speaking of Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways – Just watch the show. If you take nothing else away from this post, watch the show. Everyone knows I have a mancrush on Dave Grohl, and that the Foos can do no wrong, but this (really ambitious) project is amazing. As a stand alone album, it’s really good….as a part of the experience that is Sonic Highways, it’s phenomenal.
  4. Pink Floyd: The Endless River – Growing up a huge Floyd fan, this was exciting for me. It’s like a largely instrumental tribute to Rick Wright, and born of the Division Bell sessions. To hear the sonic tapestry that is PF one more time is awesome. Oh, and Gilmour’s tone. Wow.
  5. Gerard Way: Hesitant Alien – My buddy, Matt King turned me on to My Chemical Romance back in 2004. I loved the huge production, the Jellyfish-like harmonies (if you don’t know Jellyfish, stop what you’re doing right now and go listen to Spilt Milk), and the Queen-esque compositions. Way is the MCR frontman. He’s channeling his inner-Bowie here and nails it. Catchy, hooky, a little edgy, a little bubble gum. Great record.
  6. Restorations: LP3 – Randomly stumbled on this on Rdio while working late one evening. In the last few weeks it has become my FAVORITE record right now. These guys are from Philly. Punk attitude. Thick production. Great guitar tone…and the singer has an interesting voice. Well worth your time. Separate Songs made NPR’s best of 2014 list.
  7. Bahamas: Bahamas Is Afie – Afie Jurvanen is a Canadian singer songwriter, known as Bahamas. I read about him in American Songwriter magazine…checked out the record and was hooked. Solid songwriting on this one.
  8. Broken Bells: After The Disco – By now, you know about James Mercer (of The Shins) and Danger Mouse’s side project. This thick, resonant little post-disco-bee-gees record is fantastic.
  9. Real Estate: Atlas – Beautiful, hooky, singalong songs from this Aussie band. Talking Backwards reminds me SO MUCH of The Connells, and the track, Motel in particular. Their vibe is ethereal and infectious.
  10. Perfect Pussy: Say Yes To Love – Punk is harder and harder to do without sounding like a knockoff of one scene or timeframe or another…or worse like the series of Green Day clones that littered the 90s (I’m talking to you Blink 182, SR71, etc.). Meredith Graves *is* punk rock.
  11. Starset: Transmissions – Sci-Fi progpop a’la 30 Seconds To Mars…except these guys have built a complex backstory. It’s like an interstellar mindcrime. Digging!
  12. Overkill: White Devil Armory – Yes, Eric this list is great but where is the METAL??? Ok, here you go. One of the finest thrash bands in the history of thrash. These New Jersey boys always get left out of the “Big 4” discussions, but I’d argue that Overkill should be *in* the Big 4. I love Megadeth, but Overkill has been (a) more consistent, (b) heavier, and (c) stayed true to their roots without making the same record over and over again.

Okay, that’s the first 12. Check ’em out! I think I have two more sets of 12 to address. If you’re interested, look for the next one tomorrow or Saturday. So much good music this year!

Oh, and don’t forget….This Saturday 12/27 @ Bootstrap Brewing in Niwot, Colorado – come get you’re R2 on!!

Liquid Mechanics Brewing Company – 12/04/14 – Show Recap

What’s up Rogues?!?


KILLER show last night at Liquid Mechanics Brewing Company in Lafayette, CO! This is our second time in this room and we LOVE it! We have secured dates here through September 2015! Eric and Davin are fantastic owners and have welcomed us into the LMx family with open arms.

We mixed it up last night, eschewing some of our “standby” tunes for some songs we haven’t revisited in a while. We pulled out songs like:

…and because Eric used to live in Arizona (and Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers played in Denver last night and we couldn’t go), we hit Bury My Heart At The Trailer Park.

There was all manner of banjofied tunes:

  • Wheel In The Sky – Journey
  • Run Runaway/Cotton Eyed Joe – Slade/Rednex
  • Bad Romance – Lady Gaga

We had a boatload of requests and as things got more and more beer-soaked, we played a couple Bon Jovi tunes. We ripped through Add It Up by the Violent Femmes, surprised ourselves with Metallica‘s Enter Sandman (and about 32 bars of Queen’s We Will Rock You.) And we did our best to melt faces with our effect-laden rendition of NiN’s Head Like a Hole!

We’re already planning some surprises for our return to Bootstrap Brewing!

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

This Week @ Rogue 2 – 11/30/14

Hey Rogues!

We are superjazzed to be back at Liquid Mechanics Brewing Company this Friday (12/5)! We had an AMAZING 4-encore show at LMBC on 11/21, and we cannot wait to do this again! If you don’t have plans for Friday yet, let’s boogie!

We’ve got some new tunes in the mix:

  • An old Sponge tune about Molly Ringwald.
  • That Phillip Phillips tune that everyone likes to sing along with.
  • An original tune that we quite dig.
  • A banjofied Lorde tune. Yes, that one.

Have a great week everyone, and we’ll see you on Friday!