Tuesday, June 10, 2008

moe., Dirty Dozen, Fireworks!, Adventure!, Robert Randolph & more

This great week of music starts out with one of my favorite bands from the last 10 years, moe. moe. will be playing at Innsbrook on Wednesday. Tickets are $20 at the gate for general admission and $35 for stupid Gold Circle. Gates are going to open at 5:30 with opener Disco Biscuits starting at 5:45. moe. come on at 7.

If you have ever been a fan of moe. or have ever wanted to check them out, you may want to go see them now. After this summer tour, they are going to take a break until some time in 2009. Hopefully, it will only be a one year break and not a break like The Police took (24 years). moe.'s albums are consistently high-rated because they know how to write a song as well as jam, with their latest "Sticks & Stones" getting 3 1/2 stars in Rolling Stone. They can go from blues to country to electronica to hard rock within the space of a few songs. The guitar duo of Chuck Garvey and Al Schnier was named as one of the 20 New Guitar Gods in Rolling Stone a couple years back.

Hope you can go. I'll be there. Let me know if you're going or look for me. I'll be the guy in the dark blue moe. shirt with the guitar-playing monkey on the front.

Thursday night, more great guitar as pedal steel expert Robert Randolph comes into The National with his Revival show. Show starts at 8 with opener Eli Paperboy Reed & The True Loves. Tickets are $23. The Revival show features his normal band, The Family Band, with some special guests. There will be some new stuff played, some old stuff played, and they'll interpret some gospel standards as Robert gets in touch with his gospel roots.

Saturday night at The National, more great guitar as long time Allman Brother Dickey Betts & Great Southern ramble into town. Show starts at 8 with opener The Dirty Truth and tickets are $22.

Friday at Friday Cheers on Brown's Island, its not great guitar but great....sousaphone? Its the raucous, joyous New Orleans funk of Dirty Dozen Brass Band. As always the show is FREE! and starts at 6:30 with opener Southside Funk. I'm hoping to hit this one up. Dirty Dozen takes the classic brass band line-up and updates it with funk, jazz and rock. Not only have they made great music on their own, but they have also recorded with Elvis Costello, Widespread Panic, Modest Mouse (who they are touring with this summer), Dr. John, Dizzy Gillespie, Branford Marsalis, Norah Jones, Black Crowes, and the aforementioned Robert Randolph. This show should be a lot of fun and if its hot and sticky it will be that much easier to pretend you are in New Orleans.

Also on Friday, new bluegrass band The Waybacks (who recently covered all of "Led Zeppelin II" at Merlefest) will be playing a benefit for the VCU Massey Cancer Center at the Science Museum of VA (where I took Zach to see "Kung Fu Panda" on the IMAX last weekend. Good flick for kids and adults alike.). Music begins at 7 with opener Danny Barnes and tix are $20.

As if that weren't enough on Friday, legendary blues man Taj Mahal plays at Toad's Place. Doors open at 7:30 and tix are $25 for general admission, $37.50 for (blah!) Gold Circle.

When you aren't out seeing live music live, you can tune into the Bonnaroo webcast at the AT&T Blue Room this weekend. The exact schedule hasn't been announced yet, but they will be starting the webcast at 1:30 PM on Friday. At Bonnaroo this year is Pearl Jam, Metallica, Jack Johnson (why is this guy headlining all these festivals this year? His music is pleasant but kind of dull and I can't see him keeping 50,000 people enraptured.), Widespread Panic, Kanye West, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Phil Lesh & Friends, My Morning Jacket, The Raconteurs, Willie Nelson, Death Cab for Cutie, and much much more.

On Saturday at Brown's Island will be the FREE James River Adventure Games featuring athletes competing in seven different outdoor sports events and tons of stuff to see and do. Events start at 9 AM and go until 3:30. Then at 6:30 PM there is a free concert with The Coal Men & DJ Williams Projekt and then at 9:30, FIREWORKS! We went to this fireworks display a couple years ago and it was excellent.

Why Richmond doesn't do fireworks on the James for July 4th is a mystery to me. It would draw people to the riverside, downtown and to Brown's Island from both side of the river and provide a true community event. Instead, you either have to pay for the Braves game or brave the side streets and traffic surrounding the Diamond (though I guess we won't have to worry about that after this year) or get to the Carillon by about 6 PM because you can't see those fireworks unless you are right there. With the Braves leaving, this would be an excellent time to start a new Richmond tradition. Richmond, are you listening.

Anyway, put some music into your life this weekend either live or on the web. I hope to see you at either moe., Friday Cheers, the Adventure Games or the fireworks this weekend.

Tony Jordan