Thursday, July 31, 2008

Live Webcast of Newport Folk Fest this weekend

We now have a third webcast to check out this weekend. The Newport Folk Festival (which is definitely stretching the definition of "folk" this year) will be webcast at NPR: Here's the schedule for the NPR webcast:
Sat., Aug. 2 (Harbor Stage)
12:30 p.m.: Jakob Dylan *
1:40 p.m.: Steve Earle w/ Allison Moorer *
2:50 p.m.: She & Him *
4:00 p.m.: Jim James (of My Morning Jacket) *
Sat., Aug. 2 (Main Stage)
11:30 a.m.: Cowboy Junkies**
12:40 p.m.: Richie Havens **
2:00 p.m.: Trey Anastasio **
3:30 p.m.: Stephen & Damian Marley **
Sun., Aug. 3 (Main Stage)
11:30 p.m.: Willy Mason *
12:15 p.m.: Brandi Carlile *
1:20 p.m.: Calexico *
2:40 p.m.: Gillian Welch *

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"Foreigner", CSN, Lewis Black, Jill Scott, Yes

I had to laugh when I got the email from Innsbrook today advertising the Foreigner concert on Wednesday night. Tickets are $15, $35 for the Gold Circle and the gates open at 6 PM. Its kind of an early bird special which is good because the show is sponsored by the AARP. These guys aren't that old, are they? And just a heads up, there is only one original member in the band, guitarist Mick Jones. The next longest member is the rhythm guitarist who has been with them since '93. This violates my 50% rule. At least 50% of the original band has to be in the band to still call it by the band name. You can get a flyer on the rule if the current members have been in the band longer than the original members but I don't think "Foreigner" makes it. Just call yourself "Mick Jones doing the songs of Foreigner". Really.

I also saw this on Wikipedia and had to put it in: "Foreigner has been referenced multiple times on the show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Most notably was the episode in which the Mooninites won the Foreigner Belt at a local carnival, which according to Ignignokt, gives the wearer of the belt "all of the superpowers of '70s supergroup, Foreigner." For example, whenever the wearer of the Belt speaks the title of the Foreigner song, "Cold As Ice," an adversary would suddenly freeze up, rendering him/her powerless. The character Carl is also known to be a big fan of Foreigner, having seen them at the Meadowlands in '83. During this concert he copped a feel off a passed out "broad" and now whenever he hears the song "Urgent" he thinks of "her boobs covered in vomit"."

On Thursday night, you can head out to the C'ville Pavilion to see Crosby, Stills & Nash. But unless you want to scalp you better have tix already because the show is sold out.

Though you may want to try this new site: FanPrice. This is kind of like a Priceline for tickets to concerts & sporting events. You choose the area you would like to sit, name your price and the seller either accepts or denies your request. Haven't tried it yet but its not a bad idea.

Also on Thursday, perpetually angry comedian Lewis Black is at the Landmark. Lewis is always funny. I love when he really gets going and his index finger is pointed and twitching and his head veins are throbbing. I'm sure he'll have some good material on the election. Tix are $55.50 - 65.50.

New soul goddess Jill Scott will play Fridays at Sunset at a special location, VA Union University's Hovey Field. Jill is a Philly girl and she is too freakin' cool. Tickets are $40 and gates open at 5 PM. The Fridays at Sunset site says: "This heartfelt Philadelphia native blends Jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop and spoken word into her songs, that sends fans into a whirlwind of diverse musical sounds." Just go to her web site and groove to some of her tunes.

Finally, if you are a fan of watching the big festivals on the web, as I am, you'll have two to choose from this weeeknd. Lollapalooza will be broadcast on the AT&T Blue Room. Lollapalooza is now a three day event in Chicago. They'll be broadcasting 8/1 - 3 starting at 1:15 ET each day. Bands include Gogol Bordello, The Raconteurs, The Ting-Tings, Wilco, and more. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that they scored the headliners Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Nine Inch Nails or Kanye West.

If you are more jam band than alternative, check out the webcast of Gathering of the Vibes in Bridgeport, CT. They will have live streaming video from the mainstage starting at 8 PM Thursday night and going through Sunday. That means you should be able to catch bands like Dark Star Orchestra, Black Crowes, Zappa Plays Zappa, Phil Lesh & Friends, Neville Brothers, Umphrey's McGee, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Soul Stew Revival, and Sam Bush. They'll also be broadcasting on Should be a good weekend for music on the Interwebs.

In this week's Tony Remembers the Spectrum segment we hit April 30, 1984 with Yes on the 90125 tour. I remember it being a very nice spring day and as I was getting ready to go, Mark Goodman from MTV was broadcasting on WMMR. It was WMMRs 15th birthday and they had some of the old jocks back including Mark. As for the show, the opening band was a Bugs Bunny cartoon. This was actually pretty cool as it was the one where Bugs is being chased around the castle by the mad scientist and they accidentally inhale ether. Needless to say, this went over the well with the Yes crowd.

(BTW, I'm very excited to find that a ton of Warner Bros. cartoons are on the site. You can't find these on TV anymore. I'll definitely have some fun turning my 3-year old onto Bugs and the gang.)

Yes was excellent, riding a new wave of popularity with "Owner of a Lonely Heart". They played just about everything off the new album and of course, some old "hits" with the highlight for me being "Starship Trooper". Chris Squire also did one of the few great bass solos I've ever seen. And the lasers were kick-ass especially when they made the updated Yes logo (from the cover of 90125) in mid-air.

Another exciting tidbit from the Remember the Spectrum web site: The cost of a regular beer on opening night, Sept. 30, 1967, was 10 cents. If you were a big spender, you could get a premium beer for 40 cents.

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Friday, July 25, 2008

David Sanborn, Black Cash, Hoots & Hellmouth, Old 97s

Let's jump right into this weekend's offerings.

Jazz saxophonist David Sanborn plays tonight at Kanawha Plaza as part of the Fridays At Sunset series. Tickets are $25 and the show starts at 6:30. David Sanborn started as a session player in the late 60s and played with some of the biggest rock artists of the 70s including Clapton, Springsteen, Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Little Feat, Elton, Billy Joel, Roger Waters, Steely Dan, The Eagles and more. In 88-89, he hosted a great show on late night NBC called Night Music that brought together great musicians from varied genres and they played alone and together. Click the link to see some of the people he had on the show. Hopefully they'll release it on DVD one day.

At 9:30 on Friday & Saturday at the Tobacco Company for FREE is Black Cash & The Bad Trips, the Johnny Cash cover band. They are always good.

At Toad's Place tonight, are Hoots & Hellmouth and three other bands. Show starts at 7:30 and tix are $12. Per the Toad's Place web site: "Hoots & Hellmouth are like a rocking revival meeting from hell, playing their unique, raucus blend of southern bluegrass and gospel-inspired rock. The Old Ceremony, of Chapel Hill, Richmond's own Prabir and The Substitutes and The Hotdamns round out the bill to create a full night of true musical talent."

At Toad's on Sunday night at 7:30, the Old 97's will perform with Sleepercar and The Cut Off. Tix are $20. Toad's web site has this to say, "Gaining acclaim in the mid-90's, the Old 97's, fronted by solo artist Rhett Miller, was the answer to the post-grunge fad that swept America. Touring in support of their new album "Blame It On Gravity", released May, 13, 2008, they will be touring through The House of Blues, Nashville's famous Mercury Lounge and of course, Toad's Place of Richmond on July 27th, 2008. Joining the Old 97's is Sleepercar, with At The Drive-In vocalist Jim Ward, and the Cut Off."

In this week's Tony's Spectrum Memories, I had a realization this week that The Cars were not my first Spectrum show. I was watching a recent Genesis concert on VH1 Classic. I was a pretty big Genesis/Phil Collins fan in 1983. I was turned on to them with Abacab and dug their '83 album, Genesis, with tracks such as "Mama" (still a pretty cool tune), "Home By The Sea/Second Home By The Sea", and "It's Gonna Get Better". By the time the Invisible Touch tour was over, I didn't like Genesis anymore and by the time they released "I Can't Dance" I despised them. I had moved into alternative/college and jam rock and they went pop, and after listening to their older albums, I felt that Genesis/Phil Collins had betrayed their roots. I did like the recent show I saw on VH1 Classic though as it touched on all of their periods and I've been reevaluating Genesis though still don't like that "I Can't Dance" crap.

Anyway, Genesis was doing a big three night run at the Spectrucm over Thanksgiving weekend in 1983 and my friend, Dave, and I figured we would got to try to scalp tix as the shows were sold-out. Genesis had always been huge in Philly since their early days thanks to WMMR. Dave and I scalped tickets for the exorbitant price of, get this, $40 for first level seats. That doesn't even get you a third of a ticket to see them these days, but back then it was probably $15 - 20 above the list. We bought them from an older guy who looked like Bob Hope (but a young Bob Hope) and I remember he got quite testy with us as we tried to pull our money together. The show was very good and I especially remember Mama with Phil lit from below in creepy orange lights still showing a flair for the drama that Genesis could do so well since the Gabriel days. And when you think about it he could look pretty child-molester-ish creepy witht he right lighting.

Next up: Yes on the 90125 tour.

Have a great weekend.

Tony Jordan

Thursday, July 17, 2008

80s rap, Pink Floyd, and Spectrum Memories

On this weekend's calendar, you can rock it or rap it old school. On Brown's Island on Friday night, 80s rappers KRS-One, Doug E. Fresh ("The Show"), MC Lyte, DJ Kool ("Let Me Clear My Throat") and E.U. ("Da Butt') will play in a show called "The '80's Was The Greatest". Tix are $15 - $40 and the show starts at 6:30.

If your taste runs more classic rock than classic rap, catch The Machine - Pink Floyd Tribute at The National. They bring the whole thing - lasers, lights, videos and of course, the music. They are as close as you'll get to a Floyd show because Floyd shows no signs of reuniting. Show starts at 8 (no opener!), and tix are $18.

If you're hangin' at home, you'll want to catch the VH1 Rock Honors The Who. I'm watching it now and there have been some great performances from Foo Fighters ("Young Man's Blues"), Flamin' Lips ("Tommy" medley and Wayne Coyne busts out the bubble in what may be its TV premiere), Pearl Jam ("Love Reign O'er Me", "The Real Me") and of course, The Who, or The Two as I think they should call themselves now.

In sad news this week, it was announced that the Philly Spectrum was going to be torn down after the hockey (the Flyers farm team, The Phantoms, play there) and indoor soccer seasons end. That may not be sad to you, but I grew up about 15 minutes from The Spectrum and while I went to a few Sixers games there (Flyers games were always sold out), The Spectrum is where I cut my rock n' roll teeth, where I saw some of the greatest concerts and had some of the greatest tailgate parties of my life. She's been around since 1967 and I guess she's getting on, but she'll be missed. So from now until the end of the old building, I'll have a weekly series reminiscing on Tony's Spectrum Concerts (catchy title).

We begin with my third show ever (Ozzy at the AC Convention Hall and The Police/Joan Jett/Madness/REM at JFK Stadium were the first two), The Cars with opener Wang Chung on July 16, 1984. (I didn't remember the date, I'm not that good, but I'm using the handy dandy calendar on the site Remember The Spectrum). I was a pretty big Cars fan at the time, listening heavily to what I still consider a great album, and a great summertime album especially, their first, The Cars. I was also listening to their latest release, the big hit (thanks to that newfangled MTV), Heartbeat City.

My friend's dad was picking me up (I think it was Chris G. but memory is slightly hazy there) at my local convenience store to take us to the show. I don't remember Wang Chung but I suppose we heard "Dance Hall Days" that night which is still a pretty cool song. As for The Cars, they were disappointing. Even at my third show, this one felt cold. The songs were played just as they were off the album and the "cool" stage that was designed by Andy Warhol was just some video screens on day-glo (it was the 80s) cranes going up and down. I remember at one point there was a weird burp or pop in between songs and Ric Ocasek said "I bet you're wondering what that was". I suspected the album had skipped. So not a good start for shows at The Spectrum. But never fear. Only eight days until my next Spectrum show, Roger Waters w/Eric Clapton on guitar!

Until next time, have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Friday, July 11, 2008

Worst Music Festivals of All Time

Hope things go better at All Good than it did for these festivals. The worst music festivals of all time:

All Good webcast, Ani Difranco, Chris Rock, Umphrey's

Hello, hello, helloooo!

The weekend kicks off with the All Good Festival web cast from, starting at 4:40 PM today, 11:30 AM on Saturday, and noon on Sunday. Click the link there for the schedule. I am unable to attend this year because I have no time off, no money, and an infant at home. Hopefully next year I can once again make the trip to Marvin's Moutaintop. Scheduled to appear on the web cast so far is Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (today at 6 PM), Phil Lesh & Friends (today at 10 PM), The Bridge (1:15 AM Sunday morn), Dark Star Orchestra (2 AM Sunday morn), and others. Iclips also posts the performances on their site after the festival is done. Watch the crowd closely and see if you can see our friends Phil & Angie there.

If you actually want to get out and see live music rather than watch it on your computer, you can head down to The National tonight. Agit-folk-rocker and righteous babe Ani Difranco will be there. Show starts at 8 PM with opener Kimya Dawson (from the Juno soundtrack). Tickets are $28.

The always funny Chris Rock will be at the Landmark Theater tonight. Show starts at 7:30 and tickets are $45.50 - 75.50. For some music reviews from Chris, check out the section on his web site called "Only Black Guy Concert Reviews" where he reviews the Coldplay concert at which he was the only black guy there.

Next up at Innsbrook is jam bands Umphrey's McGee and STS9. I would have been going to this but Bruce charges so freakin' much for his tickets that Umphrey's had to be sacrificed. Gates open at 6 PM and tickets are $15 GA in advance, $20 GA at the door and $30 for Gold Circle.

Have a great weekend and remember, its not the heat, its the humidity.

Tony Jordan