Tuesday, April 29, 2008

VH (maybe), Cinco de Mayo, Defender, shows at Capital Ale House

Shows this weekend:

Van Halen will be coming to the John Paul Jones Arena in C'ville on Friday. Or should I say MAY be coming to the JPJ on Friday. Well, maybe the third time is the charm. I'll be there. Hopefuly, Eddie will be there. Hope to see you there. I've talked enough about VH in previous blogs so check those out.

If you are in Richmond on Friday night, you can check out former Kiss guitarist, Ace Frehley (Space Ace, of course), at the National. Doors at 8, show at 9, with two opening acts. Tix are $22.50.

At the Capital Ale House Downtown, the Friday free Happy Hour show is with The Dirty Truth. They start at 5.

The Cashmere Jungle Lords start their CD Release Party there at 9:30. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 day of show. Here's what the Capital Ale House site says about them:
"This is the band that College Music Journal called “one of the South’s best kept secrets”, the band that Mel Oberg of the Richmond Times-Dispatch said “ought to put Richmond on the Rock N’ Roll map”. Cashmere Jungle Lords is a dynamic trio from Richmond, Virginia who describe their sound as Southern Fried Salsa Surfabilly or Western Surf Jungle Rock. The current line-up includes Dominic Carpin (the inventor of amp-surfing) on guitar and vocals, "Jungle" Jim Kaylis on drums and backing vocals, with Bryan Martin and John Dacey sharing duties on bass and backing vocals.

The Lords’ hybridized rootsy sound gives the group far-reaching appeal. They perform electric music in a somewhat standard bass guitar & drum format, but also deliver an acoustic “swamp set” incorporating double bass fiddle, congas, bongos, tambourine and maracas. The swamp set has graced the airwaves numerous times live on college radio across the nation."

The Illbillys are at the Capital Ale House Saturday starting at 9 and tickets are $5.

Reverend Payton's Big Damn Band is at Capital Ale House on Tuesday starting at 7 and tix are $8. Here's what the Capital Ale House site has to say about them or actually Mike Breen of Cincinnati City Beat: "THE REVEREND PEYTON'S BIG DAMN BAND actually isn't that big. It's kinda like your husky pal everyone calls "Tiny." The young, modest three-piece, from rural Indiana, makes up for its size deficiency with a high-energy sound steeped in classic Blues tradition. With just acoustic guitar, the occasional dobro, a minimal drum kit and the always reliable washboard, the trio concocts a rousing, hyper and authentic brand of Blues that sounds like what might come out of that secret meth lab nestled deep in the backwaters of the Mississippi delta. But the pumping adrenaline doesn't take anything away from the trio's virtuosic grasp on the genre. The Rev. Peyton has a stirring voice dripping with the hallowed, life-worn distinctiveness of the masters, while brother Jayme Peyton (drums) and The Rev's wife, "Washboard" Breezy, stir up a tornadic rhythmic whirl (the Rev's acoustic guitar work is as equally frenetic and skilled). See, size doesn't matter, especially when it comes to from-the-soul, gutbucket Blues music." - MIKE BREEN, Cincinnati CityBeat."

On Saturday on Brown's Island from noon to 7 is the Cinco de Mayo fest with no Mexican bands as far as I can tell. But they do have Joan Jett who can still rock the house, or the island as it were. There are a few other bands who I've never heard of playing, but it won't matter if its a nice sunny day and you can get your pasty white skin sunburned while quaffing some brews. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate, and the show is a benefit for SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) so you can rock out for the kids.

My first memory of Joan Jett was at a pizza parlor about a mile or so from where I lived when I was 12. We used to ride our bikes up there to blow our paper delivery money on pizza and the classic arcade game, Defender. Though there were closer pizza parlors, only this one had Defender. We would play as a pair, with a friend manning the Hyperspace button in case you got into trouble. Anyway, we were up there one gray day, and this tough looking older chick was hanging out playing "I Love Rock & Roll" over and over on her boom box. I walked up to her and asked her what the song was and with a disdain that only a 14 year old rocker chick can show for a dorky 12 year old boy, she told me. That's it. End of story. Its not very eventful, but I just like to remember a time when the only thing on my mind was playing Defender and eating pizza.

And don't forget that the New Orleans Jazz Fest will be on at AT&T Blue Room on Saturday & Sunday this weekend starting at 2 PM ET each day. Here' s the link: http://www.attblueroom.com/music/New-Orleans-Jazz-and-Heritage-Festival/more-information.php.

Speaking of webcasts, I caught a little bit of Coachella last week and saw two new bands that I dug: Architecture in Helsinki, who have a real 80's, Talking Heads, Thompson Twins, B52s vibe going on and the Bird and the Bee, a band fronted by three 60s housewife looking type ladies who did some cool harmonizing and had a somewhat loungey pop feel.

That's it. Have a killer weekend. "You'll get some leg tonight for sure."

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bruce's eulogy for Danny Federici

Bruce Springsteen's eulogy for Danny Federici has been posted on Bruce's official site: http://www.brucespringsteen.net/news/index.html. Even if you aren't a fan, check it out for Bruce's funny, moving tribute to a friend since they were teenagers. At the end of the eulogy, you can also view the tribute video to Danny they have been playing before Bruce's concerts.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Coachella and New Orleans JazzFest Webcasts

You can see live music from two major festivals this weekend and next weekend.

You'll find both at http://www.attblueroom.com/music/.

The Coachella Festival will be broadcasting starting at 5:50 PM - 3 AM on Friday, 6:05 PM - 3 AM on Saturday, 6 PM - 3 AM on Sunday. Artists scheduled include Slightly Stoopid, The Raconteurs, Serj Tankian, Portishead, Brett Dennen, and Love & Rockets.

Music from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will be webcast on May 3rd & 4th starting at 1 PM. No artist listing yet.

If you miss any of it, ATT Blue Room usually posts a lot of the music within a week after the event.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lou, Bruce, Widespread, The B-52s and more!

I've been really lax lately about doing the blog. Been busy at work, busy at home, and the Flyers are in the playoffs which has taken up many an evening. They just suffered a devastating loss tonight in the first game of their series with Montreal but I'm moving on. Tomorrow is another day and game 2 is coming soon. I may start trying to do shorter blogs so I can keep more up to date. I know I've said that before, but this time I really mean it! No, really. Onto this week's shows.

Saturday night at The National is rock icon, Lou Reed. The show starts at 8 PM and tix are $40. Lou's live album, "Rock n' Roll Animal" was an early influence on me. I used to deliver newspapers when I was 12 and I got a Walkman. Well actually my mom got a Walkman and I just borrowed it all the time. At the time, I didn't have too many cassette tapes and radio on Sunday mornings, when I would be delivering the Sunday paper, was pretty boring because that was when the stations would play all their public service shows. I had read about Velvet Underground and Lou Reed in one of my rock music books and one of the few cassettes my mom had was "Rock n' Roll Animal". The album opens with an absolutely amazing intro featuring the guitar work of Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter into "Sweet Jane". The music soars and flies and as I would ride out on my bike on a sunny Sunday morning to pick up my papers, it always made me feel on top of the world and would get me going, even if I'd stayed up until three in the morning watching MTV, "Night Flight", or some cheesy horror flick on HBO.

Also on Saturday, Feist ("1, 2, 3, 4") is playing at Charlottesville Pavilion. Show starts at 7 and tix are $25.

On Saturday at Highwater Restaurant at Toad's Place is A New Dawn Fades. I'm not familiar with the band but they sound pretty interesting. Here is what Toad's writes: "This instrumental Richmond duo have gained a reputation for their improvisational and experimental performances. No stiff limbed scarecrows on stage, the band forces the audience to take an interactive part in the music by throwing out makeshift instruments, the clamor of which, influences the direction of the band’s improvisational pieces. The boundaries between the performer and the audience are further blurred as both musicians often walk among the crowd, playing along with, and conducting the makeshift orchestra."

Sunday night, the now elder statesmen of jam bands, Widespread Panic, play at the Landmark Theater. Show starts at 7 PM and tix are $36.50.

Sunday at the National is The B-52s. Show starts at 7 PM and tix are $40. They have a new album out, "Funplex", which has been getting pretty good reviews. I'll bet they'll play some of their classic party numbers like "Love Shack", "Planet Claire", "Private Idaho", "Legal Tender", "Wig" and "Rock Lobster". If you want to hear a recent show, they will do the Live Friday show on WXPN this Friday, April 25 at noon. Click here to listen: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89820897.

Wednesday, I'll be seeing the man, the myth, the legend, the Boss, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, at John Paul Jones Arena. Its sold out but if you check you may be lucky as they often release seats as it gets closer to the show date. Hope to see you at the show. I can't wait to get a Bruce fix. And Bruce, if you read this, please play "Kitty's Back". I've been waiting 20 years to hear it live.

If you can't make it to Bruce, you may want to check out Slightly Stoopid at Innsbrook. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the gate. They play reggae rock ala Sublime and are playing a lot of the major music festivals this year.

Finally, one of the worst named rapper in history, Flo-Rida, will be at Toad's on Tuesday night at 7:30. Tickets are $25. I only mention this because he had a huge hit "Low" and to mention his horrible name. Soon he'll be touring with Nort Dakota and Ok Lahoma.

Oh and there is the James River Wine Festival and some chocolate festival also this weekend. Check out the Weekly Rant blog for info (see the blogs in the sidebar).

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

All the weekend shows and some Loose Ends

A bunch of shows this weekend so let's get started.

Ben Folds, formerly of Ben Folds 5, now I guess he's just Ben Folds 1, comes to The National on Friday night. Show starts at 9 with opening act Eef Barzelay of Clem Snide, tickets are $35. Ben had a big hit with "Brick" about taking his girlfriend to get an abortion the day after Christmas, probably one of the most depressing songs of all time but very moving. He was in a much better mood when he wrote the soundtrack to the animated film, "Over The Hedge", which is good because its a kids film and a pretty funny one at that. The songs had much more depth than you would expect from a kid's film soundtrack. Here's "Rockin' The Suburbs" from that.

Larry Keel & The Natural Bridge are at the Capital Ale House downtown on Friday night. Doors open at 9:30, tix are $10 in advance, $12 day of show. You can check out their web site to hear some selections. Here's what the Capital Ale House site says about them: "Connecting traditional songs of yesterday with their own original and inventive sounds of today, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge create astonishingly powerful acoustic music rich in heritage, heart and hotlicks! With a style that evokes both atomic rock energy and dynamic tonal purity, Keel and hisensemble are intent upon taking their instruments and their voices to their fullest potential for emotion and amazement."

Monday night, classic reggae band Toots & The Maytals come to Toad's. Doors open at 8, tix are $20 in advance and $23 day of show. Toots Hibbert helped write the blueprint for reggae/ska along with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Jimmy Cliff. Here's what the Toad's site says: "
Legendary ska and reggae group, Toots and the Maytals are credited with coining the word "Reggae" on their 1968 single "Do the Reggay." Until that time Reggay was a dance fad in Jamaica and was not associated with the style of music played by bands we now consider Reggae musicians.

In 2005, Toots and The Maytals won the Grammy award for Best Reggae Album, True Love, an album consisting of re-recorded versions of their classics alongside popular and legendary musicians such as Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton, and Keith Richards, as well as popular artists today such as No Doubt, Ben Harper, The Roots, and Shaggy.

Light Your Light album was nominated in 2007 for a Grammy Award in the Best Reggae Album category. This makes the 4th nomination for Toots since the grammy has had a reggae category."

Queen of 80's rock, Pat Benatar, comes to The National on Tuesday night. Tix are $35 and the show starts at 8. She'll play all the hits, I'm sure. Note her Richmond connection, from Wikipedia: "After graduating in 1971 from Lindenhurst High School Benatar married her high school sweetheart Dennis Benatar that same year and took his name. Benatar immediately moved with her husband to Richmond, Virginia where she worked as a bank clerk and sang at night. She would later remark her time at the bank was unpleasant partly because of her obsession with keeping all the bills face up and turned in the same direction, causing her to be one of the slowest tellers." Did you know her video for "You Better Run" was the second video played on MTV? She was totally hot and the song still rocks.

On Wednesday night at The National, much hyped Iron & Wine are there. Iron & Wine is the stage and recording name of folk rock singer-songwriter Sam Beam. He has a dreamy, folk-blues sound that I like and has gained much critical acclaim. If you like Sufjan Stevens, Ray LaMontagne, or Nick Drake you may want to check him out. The show starts at 8 PM with Califone opening. Tix are $23 in advance, $25 day of show.

Finally, jazz-funk-jam band, Greyboy Allstars play at Toad's on Tuesday. Toad's site says: "The Greyboys borrow funk's urgent rhythms, jazz's sophisticated improvisation, and the polished, easy-flowing groove of soul. Their funk is not "nasty" as much as it is "tasty."" Doors open at 8 PM, tix are $18 in advance, $20 day of show.

Some Loose Ends:
-Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine joined Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band for a killer version of "Ghost of Tom Joad" on Monday night. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJT1EdKRF2g. The video isn't the best but the sound is surprisingly good.
- Check out the "Everyday Normal Guy Rap Song". NOTE: This is not safe for the work or the kids. He drops the f-bomb regularly because he's rappin' and its needed for comic effect.
- The Friday Cheers line-up was announced the other day. Here it is: http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/search.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2008-04-08-0172.html.
- Mike K. sent esteemed rock critic Robert Christgau's review of the Drive By Truckers latest album, Brighter Than Creation's Dark: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89146776.
- Mike K. also sends this crazy version of Back in Black by Wing. Wing is a middle-aged (at best) Chinese woman. Find it here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88670991. Her Casio keyboard totally rocks.

That's all. Have a great weekend!
Tony Jordan

Friday, April 4, 2008

Jorma, Martin Sexton, Jukebox Hero

Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna fame plays at The National tonight. Doors at 7 PM, show at 8 PM and tickets are $20.

Singer-songwriter Martin Sexton plays Toad's on Wednesday night. Doors at 7:30, tickets are $20 in advance, $23 day of show. Here's what Rolling Stone said about him: "His outstanding taste in songwriting as well as a soul marinated voice that can easily be compared to the likes of a young Steve Winwood or Van Morrison." I've heard some stuff by him and he sounds pretty good. I especially liked his song "Happy".

This week, I also intended to have a review of the Drive-By Truckers show at The National. However, like the protagonist in "Jukebox Hero", I "couldn't get a ticket / It was a sold out show". Yes, after all my blathering on about them, I waited until the last minute to try to get a ticket and was DENIED! I had underestimated the size of their audience, but in retrospect shouldn't be surprised since their new album did get into the top 40 and got up to #2 on the Americana charts and they are getting talked about in glowing terms by critics and bloggers alike.

I had my reasons for holding out. With a 6 month old and a 3 year old, things happen and I didn't want to plunk my $20 down and then not be able to go as happened with VH (saved by Eddie's mystery illness) and almost scuttled the Zappa Plays Zappa concert (the 3 year old turned into the spawn of Satan that evening).

But I did check on Ticketmaster on Thursday to see about buying tickets. They still had tickets at that point, but after we saw the 40%(!) mark-up on the tickets that Ticketmaster was charging in "service" fees, we decided to check elsewhere. I called my wife, who works downtown, but she said she couldn't get over to the National by the 3 PM box office close time. It would have been nice if The National sent out an email warning that the show was close to selling out. I don't expect that, but Toad's does that and that's a nice thing for the people on their emailing list.

On Friday, I did get to see the Truckers at Plan 9. They played a ten song, mostly acoustic set that was very good. Highlights included "9 Bullets", "Bob", "Bulldozers & Dirt", "Monument Valley", and "Opening Act". You can find video of much of the show here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Drive+By+Truckers+Plan+9&search_type=.
Thanks to emmylunatic and jonicont for capturing that.

After the show, I inquired at Plan 9 as to whether they sell tickets to The National to pick-up my DBT ticket. Plan 9 doesn't sell tix to The National. At that point, I had taken a very long lunch break and, though I thought about heading down to the National to pick up a ticket, thought it more prudent to head back to work so I would continue to have a job that would provide me with money for concert tickets. Oh and mortgage payments, food, clothes for my kids and all that other stuff too.

That fateful decision led me to standing outside the National with about 20 other people who got shut out of the show. No biggie, I'm sure they'll be back, maybe even on this tour since the album is doing so well. Next time, I'll buy tickets in advance.

Speaking of tickets in advance, I'm buying my tickets for Phil Lesh and Friends at Innsbrook today. He'll be there on Tuesday, June 17th.

I'm outta here.

Tony Jordan