I am Guilty Your Honor…

Guilty pleasures.

We all have them.

But as of right now, I’m putting an end to that term. There is no such thing as a guilty pleasure when it comes to music. From here on out, if you like a song… no matter what anyone says about it.. step up and be fine with liking the song. I think for years on end, people put such a negative stigma on guilty pleasure songs. You’d only listen in your room, by yourself.. or hide cds under the couch that you don’t people to know you have… or put albums you shudder for people to know you have for fear of ridicule in sleeves belonging to the “in band” of the moment…so that people THINK you listen to what’s hip. But here’s the thing folks.. Whatever you listen to should be hip. If you want to listen to Prodigy or electronica, or Taylor Swift (not MY cup of tea but if you want to be a fan go for it), or Fergie, go for it. Despite what Eminem said in Without Me “Nobody listens to technooooo” is so not true. We listen. And we have no problems telling people that. If Kelly Clarkson is who you love… or even Backstreet Boys, then turn the stereo or ipod up and go for self. You’re in your own world. And that is what matters.

That’s the best thing about music. It’s a run of the gamut. There is no rhyme or reason to it. It doesn’t judge. People judge but music doesn’t. I wish the world was more like music. But unfortunately, we do not live in that world. Too much like right I reckon. Guilty pleasures make us giddy. They make us smile. They make us dance, even if you don’t dance, they’re still fun to listen to. Even the Kenny G lovers.. I know you all are out there. The Michael Bolton fans.. yeah I’m speaking to you too. Crank it up and don’t give a fuck. If you like the music, go for it.  As a kid, I certainly got flack for listening to the chili peppers while everyone else was listening to say wu-tang clan. Now I listened to the wu too. I mean come on..they’re the wu. But I also looooved Under the Bridge by the peppers. It made me feel better about me.  That’s all that counts for guilty pleasures.. making you feel better. And while I have been experiencing problems for the past 9 years that haven’t made me feel better at all.. about myself or otherwise.. I at least have the guilty pleasures to get me through the day.

So on that note, here are some of my favorites. Say what you will. You know when the door’s closed..or you’re in the shower.. you sing them. Don’t judge. Just enjoy.

Dubbin’ it up with Black Dub and Rocco DeLuca at 9:30 Club 6.14.11

I have seeeeeen the glory..

…and it’s name is Black Dub.

I have respected producer Daniel Lanois for a lot of years. He’s produced everything from Bob Dylan, to Emmylou Harris, to U2, etc., etc.. So I when I found out that he was forming a band called Black Dub, I didn’t hesitate, I was so in like Flynn it was ridiculous. I trust him. Together with Brian Blade, Daryl Johnson, and powerhouse Trixie Whitley, who is another Joss Stone with fire if you can imagine that, they mix rock, blues, r&b, and a little dub and all heart. This is a band that is not meant to be missed. So when they decided to drop by our nation’s capitol at the well known 9:30 Club, you KNOW I had to witness such genius in person.

And man did they deliver from the musical heavens..

They started out with one of my particular favorites, “Where Love Is” which is packed with drums, wicked bass, and vocals that make the hairs on my neck stand out. Trixie is a true sight to behold. Such a tiny little thing with a voice dipped in pure gold. Hey I just made a rhyme. Lookie lookie. She will make you want to stand up and slap your Mama. And even if your mom slaps back, to hear Trixie.. it’s definitely worth the punishment. This band made my top album list of 2010 and it’s easy to see why. The whole band was on point from beginning to end. Daniel’s playing is phenomenal. He makes playing look so easy. As a player of 5 years, I can definitely say, it’s NOT easy. I would love to be his student for a few months (just don’t tell my teacher;-). He sashayed his guitar back and forth, making it cry and wail and just when he had us hooked, he jumps to the sitar and uses his glass slide and and rocks out to a long jam session with equally fantastic drummer Brian Blade go back and forth from boom boom to wailing. It’s really a sight to be seen. Trixie’s vocals are so sweet and strong, particularly on the track “Surely” which is a slow love song about her convincing her love that they were meant to be together. She also plays the drums.. not too shabby if I do say so myself.

Daniel, Trixie, and Daryl harmonize too, which is something that seems to be rarely seen in music nowadays. The three of them brought the house down with gospel and tambourine. So perfect. If you don’t know of their music, please check them out: http://www.blackdub.net/

Black Dub’s opener, Rocco Deluca, is a sight to behold.  With his dobro, he can do no wrong as well. I first started listening to Rocco probably around 4 years ago. I’ve been a fan ever since. His vocals are haunting, his playing is just phenomenal. While I was used to seeing him rock out with a full band, last night he was on the stage, by himself, and his dobro. He sang his heart out with nothing but one light on the stage. It was pretty overwhelming to see him play and have this giant shadow of himself behind him. Very beautiful. He is a pure artist through and through and the impressions his face makes when he sings convey a sense of pain and hurt but his voice gives off a glimmer of hope. I wish more singers could do what Rocco does. But then again, what he does is what makes him one of a kind. A true thumbs up from this True Music Junkie. It is mandatory that his music is shared with the world. We all need it. He makes me feel safe. He makes albums that need to be shared. And I thank you for that Rocco. You are amazing. Check him out if he comes to your town:  http://www.roccodeluca.com

Podcast #7: Booty shakin, cocaine takin’, rockin’ out….

Alright folks back by popular demand… You know the drill. A new Podcast for all you music fiends..

http://www.mediafire.com/?ed90w72n7cjbajy    <—copy that. download. enjoy..

This session has me all over the map. But you have to understand, it’s all in good fun. Take it or leave it.  Happy Sunday..

As usual, here is the collage.. double click for a bigger version. Come on.. you know you wanna.

1. Moby- James Bond Theme

2. Prince- Black Sweat

3. Toro y Moi: New Beat

4. Tegan and Sara: Sheets

5. Cut Copy: Where I’m Going

6. Peter Bjorn and John: Breaker Breaker

7. Blockhead: The Prettiest Sea Slug

8. Thievery Corporation: Lebanese Blonde

9. Goldie: Inner City Life

10. Starfucker: Bury Us Alive

11. Charles Bradley: The World is Going Up in Flames

12. Take That: Kidz

13. Cornershop: Natch

14. Bass Drum of Death: Heart Attack Kid

15. Escort: Cocaine Blues

16. The Mynabirds: Ways of Looking

17. Those Darlins: Be Your Bro

18. The Budos Band: Unbroken, Unshaven

19. Veronica Maggio: Jag Kommer (A CopyCat Remix)

20. Deep Dark Robot: Fuck You, Stupid Bitch

21. Dengue Fever: Cement Slippers

22. The Sounds: Something to Die For (Skitsnygg Remix)

23. Verses: Settle Down

24.. Mystery Track..

As always, follow me on twitter: @joelygabs – you’ve been warned:-)


New Kids. Old Sound. All Greatness….

New Kids on the Block.

I was obsessed with them when I was 11.

I am still obsessed way into adulthood.

I was over the moon when I found out that my favorite Boston boys were to reunite AGAIN. This time with Backstreet Boys, also a band I enjoyed. Not as much as NKOTB, but still, a great entertaining band. Both sets visited DC last week and neither one of them disappointed. They brought it. BAD. They haven’t lost a step. They might be older. They might have less hair, but they were on key, on point, on everything. And I put that on everything. It amazes me that Jordan Nathaniel Marcel Knight (yes, he was one of my favorites), still hits those high notes like he was 19. Amazing. The highlight of his performance was a medley of slow jams “If You Go Away”, “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind,” “I’ll Be Loving You Forever” and my particular fav, “Valentine Girl.” They harmonized so well, with Jordan as the standout. His face portrayed one of pain actually, as if to say he REALLLLLLY wanted his girl back. But the high falsetto floored everyone. No talk singing here folks. All singing. All night long. Donnie Wahlberg was the usual hype man, equipped with the six pack and the beard stubble that made me do a double take. 41 years old and he looks like he has the body of a 20 year old. Amazing. Just….amaaazing. The crowd sang along with every word.

Not to be outdone, Joey McIntyre also brought it hard with “Please Don’t Go Girl.” Of course he’s older, and his voice isn’t as high, but he sang his heart out. I always thought of him as the Frank Sinatra of the band. Hat in tow, jacket over his shoulder, he walked the swagger of an old timer, meeting the crowd in the middle of the platform and dropped to his knees while begging the object of his desire to stay. He is still cute. Still adorable. Still the everything of fans everywhere. Very impressive Joey Mac, very impressive indeed.

These guys can throw down like any other dance troupe. Not a bad dancing foot amongst them. I can’t even imagine what practices were like with all of them. Their work ethic is phenomenal.

NKOTB didn’t have to do much. They all could have just stood on stage, not saying a word, and the women would have lost their minds. It was hysterical to see. As a fan, I couldn’t have been more proud to be around that period of time where they were clean cut, minus pelvic thrusts, no cursing, just fun. A lot of singers and bands could really take a page out of their book. Positivity everywhere. It was a great sight to see. So I thank you NKOTB for entertaining all of us in the Nation’s Capitol. You did us proud. I left the show with a smile on my face, a pep in my step, and a sudden craving for Boston Baked Beans, the candy..:-)