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: 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:
- Mike K. sent esteemed rock critic Robert Christgau's review of the Drive By Truckers latest album, Brighter Than Creation's Dark:
- 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: Her Casio keyboard totally rocks.

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