Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Olive, Eddie, Bruce, Weng Weng, Spin Doctors & The Dirty Dozen

Well, the holidays have begun and with it comes my favorite new Christmas special, "Olive the Other Reindeer". Olive will be on Cartoon Network on Thursday, 12/6 at 8 PM and Sunday, 12/16 at 3 PM. Set you TiVos now. Olive tells the story of a little, sweet, kind dog who believes she must save Christmas from being canceled. Why Olive? She mishears a news report asking for help from "all of the other reindeer" as "Olive the Other Reindeer" and thinks she must be a reindeer. With help from her con-man, penguin friend, Martini, (get it...Olive, Martini) she begins a trek to the North Pole. Olive is voiced by the perennially cute Drew Barrymore, and Martini by Joe Pantoliano. It also features Michael Stipe as a tough reindeer (Michael Stipe as a tough anything is a stretch but that's part of the joke) and a song by REM. It was produced by Matt Groening, creator of "The Simpsons". It is great for kids but also features some jokes aimed at the adults (not dirty, mind you) and some creative animation which makes it great for all ages. Along with "Robbie the Reindeer in Hooves Of Fire", this is a new Christmas classic.

Onto my usual music happenings. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band plays at the Canal Club on Wednesday night. Doors are at 8 and tix are $17. Dirty Dozen took the New Orleans brass band concept and moved it forward with elements of jazz, funk and hip-hop. They are a blast to see live. They've played with people like Dizzy Gillespie, Elvis Costello, Widespread Panic, David Bowie, Dr. John, The Black Crowes and Modest Mouse. Check 'em out if you can.

Friday night at Toad's, Eddie From Ohio is playing. Eddie is a group, not a guy. They call themselves neo-folk which means mainly acoustic instruments, great harmonies and intelligent, often witty, lyrics. If you are one of those people that can't stand standing at a concert (as compared to me, who can't stand sitting, at least at a rock show), this show will be all seated. Doors at 7 PM, show at 8 PM with an opener, tickets are $25. These guys and a lady are kind of local too, hailing from Northern VA.

On Friday at 10 AM, tickets go on sale for Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band at John Paul Jones Arena in C'ville. Ticket limit is 4. Price is something like $67 for general admission on the floor (with a chance to get in the pit in front of the stage) and $97 for seats. Bruce is troubling me as he rises toward the $100 tickets range. If you throw in the $13 or so in added charges from the ticket service, you're looking at $110. Bruce is probably the last and only band that I will pay that much for, but if the price creeps up too much more, there may have to be some reconsideration. I guess he can do it because he has such a rabid fan base, but when bands start to price tickets that high they are basically conceding that the casual fan will no longer be attending. I begin to look at spending $100 on one show or $100 for 5 shows at the local clubs at a place that serves beer and that I don't have to drive an hour to. But its Bruce and as one of his faithful minions I will be on the computer at 10 AM on Friday in the hopes of getting tickets and finally seeing him play "Kitty's Back".

Saturday at Capital Ale House Downtown, Chris Barron, vocalist of the Spin Doctors, brings his solo band in. Doors are at 9 PM and tix are $10. I always liked the Spin Doctors, even before they got famous. They put on fun shows and were pretty good musicians and you could bring a girl who didn't like deep spacey jams but loved to dance but still get some good improv jams at the show. They were poised to become the next big jam band after Blues Traveler and then had the fortune or misfortune of writing a really catchy song, "Two Princes". They became completely overexposed on MTV, bringing in new fans and causing the fan base they had spent a few years building to leave in disgust, through no fault of the band. By the time the next album came out, the new fans had moved onto the next one-hit wonder and their jam band fan base had moved onto Phish and Dave Matthews Band. Then Chris Barron got vocal cord paralysis killing any chance they had of a big comeback. To their credit, they have continued to play together, and apart, because they are musicians and its what they do. I suspect this will be a fun show on a Saturday night in a place where you can get good beer. And what more could you really ask for.

Finally, on Sunday at Toad's is Cake's Unlimited Sunshine Festival, with quirky alternative band, Cake, and four other new bands. Doors are at 7 PM, show starts at 7:30 and you get to see five bands for just $35. What a bargain!

Finally, some of you have already seen it, but those of you haven't, I bring you the biggest, small detective in the world and my new hero, Weng Weng: http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/2620. This gets better every time I watch it.

Have a great weekend and stay classy, Richmond!

Tony Jordan