Thursday, August 30, 2007

Rocket Queen, Cosmic Charlie, Flight of the Conchords

Its Labor Day weekend in Richmond and as usual the town pretty much shuts down while everyone barbeques and hits the pool for the last time.

Only two cover bands to tell you about this weekend. Rocket Queen, the Guns N' Roses tribute band featuring Blaxl Rose, will be at Alley Katz on Friday night starting at 10 PM. Tix are $10. Blaxl is a very large, black man, quite the opposite of the real Axl, who is a skinny, crazy white man, though they sound amazingly similar.

On Saturday at Alley Katz, you'll find Grateful Dead cover band, Cosmic Charlie. These guys get the Phil Benton stamp of approval as he & Angie stumbled upon them on a recent trip to Savannah GA and said they were very good. Doors open at 9 PM and tix are $10.

Finally, I want to bring your attention to one of my new favorite shows, "Flight of the Conchords" on HBO. This is a series about two New Zealanders who have formed a novelty rock band and are trying to make it big in NYC (or at least get a gig) with the help of their hapless manager (also a Kiwi). Think Tenacious D, but not as loud or crude and more subtle. The shows are a half hour long and have a story with a couple "videos" in the show that roughly have something to do with the plot. This is the song and video that sold me on the show, "It's Business Time": While you're there, you can also check out, "Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros": and "If You're Into It":

That's it! Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Pietasters, Good Beer, Webb Wilder, Thorogood

Howdy, howdy, howdy!

Listening to my iTunes right now. The artist is the Funky Meters, the song "Jungle Man". Deeeeep fonky bass.

Let's get right into it. Thursday night at the Canal Club, its The Pietasters. I saw these guys at All Good this year and they are a good time ska band. As I watched them play on the second stage during the day, I thought to myself, "These guys would be fun to see in a bar like the Canal Club with everybody drinking and dancing and getting sweaty." So now is your chance. Doors open at 8:30 and tix are $5.

On Friday from 5-10pm and Saturday from 12-7pm is the Third Annual Shockoe Craft Beer Festival at Kanawha Plaza. Kanawha Plaza is located between E. Byrd St and E. Canal Street between 7th and 8th Streets in downtown Richmond. This is the good beer fest as compared to the crappy one on Brown's Island in June. Real craft brewers and plenty o' good brew. Nary a Bud to be found. Admission is $15/One Day Pass (mug and 5 beer tickets) - $25/Two Day Pass (mug & 10 beer tickets). They'll have some good bluegrassy/alt-country music for you to listen to while you quaff your beers. I know there is some shade and a fountain in the Plaza so even though it will be damn hot again this weekend, you may want to brave the heat.

Friday night at the Capital Ale House Downtown, Webb Wilder will be playing. Here you can check out some Webb here on YouTube. Door time is 9:30. $7 in advance, $10 the day of the show. Webb had some minor hits in the early 90's with his Texas blues/honky-tonk style of play, most notably "Tough It Out". As they say on the YouTube description: "He mixes British invasion rock, Hank Williams country, Elvis soul, Screaming Jay Hawkins theatrics and Dick Dale surf punk (with a bit of rockabilly thrown in) who Rolling Stone says "flat out rocks."" Also, since its the Capital Ale House, you'll get to drink more good brews (especially if you went to the beer fest prior to this) while you watch him. If you went to the beer fest before this, you may want to think about getting a cab home that night.

On Sunday night, George Thorogood & The Destroyers play at Toad's Place. Show starts at 7:30 and tix are $25 in advance and $30 day of show. George will probably be doing what George has been doing since the late '70s. Playing the blues. I bet you'll hear "Bad to the Bone" and "I Drink Alone" and of course, the classic "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer". I saw George a lot in the early days because he is from the Philly area so he was a hometown boy. I believe I last saw George on St. Pat's Day at Lehigh's Stabler Arena while I was in college, oh, about 1987. George Thorogood and him multitude of drinkin' songs, St. Pat's Day and lax security at the arena made for a potent combo as my fraternity brothers and I snuck about 3 bottles of Southern Comfort into the show and we were not alone. Needless to say it was complete drunk fest and a quite enjoyable one if my hazy memories serve me correctly.

Here's some other stuff at the Canal Club:
Friday August 24 - Drowning Pool with The Exies, Separation and Fallen
Under. Doors open at 8:00, tickets are $15.00 in advance or $17.00 at
door. A portion of every ticket goes to The USO to support their efforts
our troops in Iraq. You can purchase tickets at our web site, Plan 9
or Richmond Music Center.

Saturday August 25 - The 26th Annual Colgate
Showdown. Presented by 93.1 The Wolf. This year, the Colgate Country
Showdown celebrates their 26th Year in 2007 (this is the 3rd one hosted
The Canal Club). Over the years, it has grown into the largest country
talent search in America with over 450 local radio stations
50,000 artists competing each year and over $300,000 in cash prizes
throughout the 4-level competition. As a testament to this fact,
every major country music entertainer of the past 26 years has
in the Showdown. They may not have won the Grand Prize, but it was often
first time they experienced the thrill of performing before a live
audience.Admission is free and this, as is all of our events, is all
Doors open at 5:30 and the Showdown starts at 6:30.

Here's some other stuff at Toad's Place:

Bruce in the USA
Thursday, August 23rd - 8:00PM
“If Matt Ryan and his band, American Dream, took the stage at a Springsteen concert ...few people would be able to tell the difference.”
18 & Up - General Admission: $12.00 tickets

Stone Sour
Saturday, August 25th - 6:00PM
“The intensity. The drama. The emotion. The colors. The darkness. The melodies. The anger. The honesty. The drive. The new. All of the above and more.” According to Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor, those are the things that define Stone Sour’s passionately pulsing second album, Come What(ever) May (Roadrunner).

Keep an ear out on 102theX (WRXL) for a chance to win an autographed guitar!

Advance: $25.00 / Day of Show: $28.00 tickets

I don't know if I'll be hitting anything this weekend, as we must prepare for the new arrival (potentially arriving earlier now) and because the 100 degree temps may keep us away from the beer fest. Considering Kathy can't drink and can't stand the heat, she is highly not motivated to go.

Have a great weeekend!

Tony Jordan

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Alison Krauss, GWAR, Sam Bush, Erykah Badu

Watching the Phillies try to hang on and beat the Nats tonight. I'm also doing well in fantasy baseball, picking up a point so far tonight. But this isn't a baseball blog, its a rock 'n' roll blog so let's get down to it.

Wednesday night, Alison Krauss & Union Station will be at Richmond Coliseum. Show starts at 8 PM and tix are $39 - 48.50. Alison has got it goin' on. She can sing beautifully, play a mean fiddle and she's cute to boot. You could even take your mom to this show and both of you would enjoy it.

If your mom is completely twisted and doesn't have a weak stomach, you could take her to a completely different show on Wednesday night, which would be GWAR at Toad's Place. GWAR created the genre of grotesquely costumed, sexual prosthetic wearing, fake blood splattering, heavy metal. In fact, they are the entire genre. Doors are at 7:30, show at 8:30, tix are $20. GWAR is truly a unique concert experience. I do want to see them someday. I've been told by friends that if you do go, not to wear a nice shirt as you may be covered in fake blood by the end of the night. You have to love a band that titles their web site, "The Official Cyber-Fortress of Your Lords and Masters, GWAR!" and who has a member of the band named "Balsac The Jaws Of Death". BTW, GWAR is from Richmond, yet were banned by the City Council from playing here for many years because of their outrageous shows.

Yay! The Phils won!

On Friday, Sam Bush is playing at Toad's. Doors are at 7:30 and tix are $20 in advance, $22 day of show and $25 for the evil Gold Circle. Sam Bush is one of the originators of the "Newgrass" style of music, blending bluegrass with folk and rock. I've seen Sam a few times now, most recently at All Good, and I'm liking him better every time I see him. He's got a fun, upbeat show and features great musicians including Sam himself on the mandolin.

If you are in a soulful mood, check out Erykah Badu on Friday at Kanawha Plaza. Show starts at 8 PM and tix are $30. Yes, Erykah has some crazy hair but she can sing and I've seen some live video and she usually has a great band with her.

I will not be attending anything this weekend though. I can't take any more days off because of the impending arrival of the new dude (Sept. 21) and my mom is coming this weekend so I'll be spending Friday evening tidying up the house.

Here is some other stuff going on this weekend at the Capital Ale House Downtown Music Hall. I didn't write these comments. I'm just copying them from the newsletter because I'm lazy and don't know these bands anyway.

Friday: Pure & Sinful - Friday After Work Brews & Blues - 5 - 8 PM - FREE. Since 1997, Pure & Sinful have been entertaining Richmond, Virginia audiences with their mix of Roadhouse Rhythm & Blues and classic Rock ‘n Roll.

Friday: Crucial Element - 9:30 PM - $5. With a style that sticks to a Roots approach while bringing an aggressive attitude; Crucial Elements endeavors to bring some fire back to reggae music.

Saturday: Fully Loaded - 9 PM - $5. The Fully Loaded Band is a Virginia based blues power trio steeped in red-hot Texas blues, Chicago shuffle, greasy Memphis twang, and diesel powered rock and roll.

I'm outta here. Have a great weekend.

Tony Jordan

Update 8/17 - 4 PM - Rhonda Todd emailed me and took me to task for not including Keith Urban's show in the blog. He is playing at the Richmond Coliseum on Sunday, 8/19 at 7:30 PM. Tix are $46.50 - $56.60. Since I don't know any of his songs, I'll let Rhonda speak for Keith: "The man is not only fabulous to look at, but he can play guitar with the best of them. His musicianship ranks up there with guitar legends, country or not. We can't let a little rehab bias get in the way of supporting true talent, now can we?! 'nuf said!"

Monday, August 6, 2007

Buddy Guy, Wailers, Yardbirds

Coming to you early this week because Tuesday night is Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and probably a bunch of other Hall of Fames guy, Buddy Guy. Buddy Guy is one of our greatest living blues guitarists and has influenced Hendrix, Clapton and Stevie Ray among others. He's one of the last living links to the Chess blues masters like Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters. I've seen him twice and he puts on a great show. The only knock on Buddy is sometimes he may resort to "tricks" like playing behind his back, doing medleys, etc. to the point where you just want him to shut up and play guitar. But the show at Toad's Place will hopefully see a minimum of that since the crowd will be there to see him and won't be a festival crowd. Buddy plays Tuesday night at Toad's Place. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door, $40 for Gold Circle. Doors open at 7 PM, show starts at 8 PM. DJ Williams Projekt will be opening.

The Wailers are at Innsbrook on Friday night. Gate opens at 6 PM. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. There will be no Gold Circle at this show, thank God. Sometimes, I think the Golden Circle can suck the life out of a show. The Goldeners are more likely to sit on their ass and give nothing back to the band. Outdoor Rock and Roll shows weren't meant to have seats. You want to sit, go see some freakin' smooth jazz. You want to get in the front row, get there early and stand your ground. The Wailers were, of course, Bob Marley's back-up band. I saw them last year around Christmas and they were a lot of fun. The lead singer doesn't try to be a Marley imitator and just does his own thing. The band can still kick it.

On Saturday night, the Yardbirds are playing at the Capital Ale House downtown in their new Music Hall. Phil reports that the Music Hall is a very good venue. And the beer selection should be better than your average place. The Yardbirds were the band that gave a start to Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck, the holy triumvirate of British blues rock. However, I don't think any of them will be playing on Saturday night. There are two original members in this version of the Yardbirds, Chris Dreja - rhythm guitar, backing vocals and Jim McCarty - drums, backing vocals. Their track record would lead one to believe that they may have a good lead guitarist. Doors open at 9. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

On TV, you can check out Grace Potter on August 7th - Good Morning America (ABC) and August 10 - Craig Ferguson (CBS). Set your TiVos.

I went to the web site and this is me as a Simpsons character:
I think its a pretty good resemblance. They actually base it on a photo though I had to make the nose a little bigger. And they got the circles under the eyes right.

Until next week.....
Tony Jordan

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Black Crowes, Beach Party Wine Fest, Lollapalooza, Virgin Fest

Hey now! Watching "Classic Albums" on VH1 Classic as I write this. If you haven't seen this show, its pretty cool. They pick a classic album (hence, the name) and speak with the musicians and producer that made it. They break the album down song by song and the coolest part is when they break down the parts of the songs themselves. For example, on "The Dark Side of the Moon" episode, they go back to the original master tapes and will isolate the slide guitar on "Breathe". Dave Gilmore and Alan Parsons then will talk about the sound of the guitar (but not too technically), overdubs and then show how they mixed in the other parts of the song. Its quite amazing how the choices and creativity of the artists come together to make a song, whose parts you may have taken for granted before.

Tonight's episode is on Deep Purple's "Machine Head". I'm not familiar with the whole album, but it definitely features two all-time classic songs. "Highway Star" is an awesome driving song, one of those songs that will play on the radio and you look down at your speedometer and all of a sudden you're doing 85. And then of course, the ultimate guitar riff of "Smoke On the Water". Everyone plays air guitar when that one comes on.

Onto this weekend's Richmond events. Brave the heat on Saturday night and come out to see the Black Crowes at Innsbrook. Gates open at 6 PM and General Admission tix are $16.50 in advance, $20 at the gate. Some band called Buffalo Killers is opening. The Black Crowes can still bring that loose Stonesy rock as well as anyone out there. When we saw them at Brown's Island last year, their guitarist had left three days before the show and even with the new guitarist, they were excellent. Now that the guy has been in the band for a year they should be even better. I won their recent live album "Freak & Roll - Live at the Fillmore" from the Grateful Dead Hour (thanks, David Gans!) . I put the tunes on my iPod and then the CD itself kind of got buried in my pile. Whenever one of the tunes would come on the iPod, I would be totally intrigued by the jamming and I'd look and ever time I would go "Wow! That's the new Crowes CD." So I'm looking forward to this show very much.

At Innsbrook on Friday will be Nickel Creek on their farewell (for now) tour with Fiona Apple. General Admission is $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. Fiona comes on around 6:30. I have liked what I have heard from Nickel Creek and Fiona Apple is always interesting.

For you winos, you can check out the Beach Party Wine Festival at James River Cellars. That is Saturday & Sunday from 11 AM - 5 PM. There will be wine and food and wine and music and more wine.

While you are at home, you can watch Lollapalooza, now a single fest not a traveling one, on the web, live from Chicago. Here is the address: They'll be on 1:30 PM - 11 PM Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They'll be on XM's Ethel station too. I'm looking forward to seeing Amy Winehouse on the web Sunday night at 8:15 PM.

The Virgin Festival is also taking place this weekend in Baltimore. Much to chagrin of the horses that wanted to step on me again, I will not be attending this year. I haven't found a webcast of it, but it will be on XM's The Move on Sunday from 6 PM - 10 PM.

Hope to see you at the Crowes on Saturday. Until next week, sayonara.

Tony Jordan