Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Donna Jean, Blind Boys, Toubab Krewe, Van Halen, Cracker

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We are still eating leftovers from the weekend which isn't a bad thing. I loves me some turkey with all the fixins!

BTW, I think I'm going to post to the blog little items as I come across them during the week. I try to remember when it comes time to do the weekly one, but I inevitably come across something the next day that I wanted to put in that week's blog. I'll only send out one weekly reminder when I do the big blog, so if you want to be completely up to date, subscribe to the blog using your RSS or whatever. Or you could just scroll down a little more after reading the big blog to find the baby entries. Or you could check daily, even hourly, to be sure you don't miss one exciting entry!

Onto this week's exciting Richmond shows. Donna Jean & The Tricksters play the Capital Ale House Downtown Music Hall on Wednesday. Doors open at 8:30 and tickets are $10. Ms. Donna Jean Godchaux McKay was and always shall be the only female member of that boys club known as the Grateful Dead, performing with them in their peak 70s years (71 - 79). She also sang backup with Elvis (your Elvis-Dead, or Dead Elvis connection), Percy Sledge and Box Scaggs. They'll be bringin' those good Dead vibes and I'm sure will put on a good show.

Also on Wednesday, if you are in the mood for some blues & gospel but Christmasy, check out The Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show at Toad's Place. Doors are at 7P, show at 8:30P, tickets are $25. The Blind Boys are 4 time Grammy winners, Gospel Hall of Fame inductees and play that good blues gospel that you can find on the high end of your AM dial.

On Thursday at Capital Ale House Downtown, Toubab Krewe will be playing. Doors open at 9 and tickets are $10. I've heard some tunes from these guys and they are very intriguing. I'd love to check them out live. Look at their web site to hear some of their music. Its hard to describe, so here is their description:

Blending Malian, American, and "Dirty South" influences into a genre all its own, Toubab Krewe "has set a new standard for fusions of rock 'n' roll and West African music," says Banning Eyre at Afropop Worldwide. Members of the group developed their unique sound over the course of numerous extended trips to West Africa, where they immersed themselves in the local culture and studied and performed with masters such as Lamine Soumano, Vieux Kante, Madou Dembele, and Koungbanan Conde. The magnetic instrumental quintet formed in early 2005 and has attracted a diverse and devoted national following, captivating crowds everywhere from the Bonnaroo Music Festival and the Blue Note to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The band's energetic performances and acclaimed self-titled debut have won them praise from the New York Times, Global Rhythm, and Afro pop Worldwide.

For those of you looking to recapture your 80s youth, Van Halen tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 AM for their show at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville on February 22. (If the often rumored and probably never happening Led Zeppelin reunion takes place, they must play there for obvious reasons.) Van Halen played an integral part of my high school years, from walking around our development with the "1984" album blasting out of my friend's boom box, to listening to the song "Unchained" over and over again on the boardwalk in Sea Isle City, to driving around in my friend's big green 70s LTD with our VH, Police and Cars tapes accompanying us through the suburban NJ nights. I didn't get to see them on the 1984 tour. The tickets probably sold out too fast and/or I didn't have the cash. So I never go to see them with David Lee Roth. Until now. I'm starting to grow the mullet out now. I wonder if I'll still look good in the spandex zebra stripe pants.

VH took on Sammy Hagar in 1986 and I went to college and started to listen to too cool for you indie rock bands. One of those bands was Camper Van Beethoven led by David Lowery. CVB broke up, David Lowery started a new band called Cracker, which found some fame in the 90s and David Lowery and myself both ended up living in Richmond somehow. No foolin, David runs Sound of Music recording studios right here on Broad Street in downtown Richmond. And Cracker will be playing at Toad's Place on Saturday night. Tix are $18, Doors at 7 PM, opening band The Gaskets start at 8 PM. Start brushing up on the words to "Eurotrash Girl" now so you can sing along.

BTW, if you want a really cool free iTunes plug-in, check out iConcertCal. iConcertCal looks at the music you have loaded into your iTunes and then shows you a calendar which shows when any of those bands are coming to your area. Neato!

Speaking of iTunes, I was drifting off there for a moment listening to "Brothers On A Hotel Bed" from Death Cab For Cutie on my iTunes, a sad, spacey little tune about the death of a relationship and of innocence and youth. Sigh.

OK, melancholic haze has been lifted. "Dupree's Diamond Blues" is on now. And I am outta here. Have a great weekend, Richmond! G'night!