Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jammuary on Concert.TV

Check out Jammuary on Concert.TV: http://concert.tv/channels/#/11/video/867.

Live videos of Phish, Allmans, Black Crowes, My Morning Jacket, moe., Disco Biscuits, Phil Lesh and more.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Robert Randolph, Delaney Bramlett, New Year's Eve

Happy 6th day of Christmas! Hope you are all resting up to party on New Year's Eve or if you are like me starting Tuesday night with a great concert.

Robert Randolph & The Family Band come to the National on Tuesday night. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8, tix are $23. Robert Randolph is the best blues guitar player since Stevie Ray Vaughn and I do not use SRV's name lightly. Robert & the band opened for Eric Clapton, played at Clapton's Crossroads festivals and Clapton plays on their latest album, Colorblind. So he has been annointed by the king. Robert plays a 13 string pedal steel guitar and when I saw him last year at Innsbrook there were some literally jaw-dropping moments. He mixes rock, blues, funk and gospel and its sure to make you dance. So join me at the show on Tuesday night. You won't be disappointed. And thanks to Phil B. for the ticket, a most excellent Christmast present.

Speaking of Clapton, Delaney Bramlett passed away on Sunday at the age of 69. The name may not pop out at you, but Delaney was instrumental in getting Clapton grounded after star project Cream and Blind Faith dissolved. Clapton joined Delaney, Bonnie & Friends and was able to be part of a band again where he wasn't the center of attention. Bramlett also produced and co-wrote songs on Clapton's first album, Eric Clapton.

If you are looking for some music on New Year's Eve, you have a full range of options from gore theater metal to down-home bluegrass.

Richmond's own GWAR will be playing at the National. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 and tix are $25. Don't wear your good tuxedo to this show as GWAR has been known to spew fake(?) body fluids well into the audience. No word on whether you'll get a free champagne toast at midnight or will have to drink blood. Oderus Unrungus will make sure you have a splendid time.

On the opposite side of the musical specturm, the Canal Club will host a Richmond Roots Music New Years Eve Spectacular with Special Ed & The Shortbus, A Good Natured Riot, Jackass Flats and Fox Hunt. Show starts at 8 and tix are $20. No word on whether you'll get a free champagne toast at midnight or a jar full of moonshine. Note that this will be the final show for Special Ed & The Shortbus. Well, at least under that name. They are changing their name to the Hot Seats for these reasons (as posted on their website):
"Why The Hot Seats? A few reasons, thanks for asking! 1. This name still connotes the frenetic and jerky nature of the music we have chosen to play.2. The new name is not offensive to those who care about special needs issues.3. The band now is very different from the ragtag bunch who slapped together sets for a weekly gig at the Cary Street Cafe.4. "SEATS" is an acronym for Special Ed And The Shortbus, so, for any die-hard fans who care, the name remains intact, in spirit, anyway."

You can also head down to Carytown for the big Carytown New Year's Celebration. There will be a bunch of bands playing and the whole thing starts at 7 and ends with the ball "rising" over the Byrd Theater. It will cost you $2 to get in and bring your gloves. Its going to be chilly.

If you are still up to party on Friday, Moshe Dayan bring their hard rock to the National with three other bands. Doors open at 6:30, show time at 7 and tix are $13.

Have a Happy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year!

Tony Jordan

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Worst Band Names of 2008

AV Club has posted the worst band names of 2008: http://www.avclub.com/content/feature/2008_the_year_in_band_names. Thanks to the miracles of MySpace and YouTube, you can actually view some of the videos and hear the music of these bands and even more dreadfulness will ensue. Just check out the videos they have posted in the list. I think the longest I made it was 90 seconds with any one of them.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jazz Fest, Bonnarumors

Before you know it the weather will be warming up and festival season will be upon us. If you are looking to do some travelling to the Crescent City, the New Orleans Jazz Fest has announced their lineup of typical Jazz Fest artists and a decided trend toward mainstream/MOR. Though its usually the less heard of bands at this fest and the hardcore New Orleans stuff that make it worthwhile anyway. So while the masses are watching James Taylor warble "Fire & Rain" for the 8000th time, you can check out some more interesting stuff on the smaller stages.

April 24-26 & April 30-May 3, 2009
Tickets On Sale Now, Special Hotel Rooms & Rates Available!
Wynton Marsalis
Aretha Franklin
Dave Matthews Band
James Taylor
Wynton Marsalis, Aretha Franklin, Dave Matthews Band, James Taylor,
Sugarland, Joe Cocker, Ben Harper, Tony Bennett, Earth, Wind & Fire,
Kings of Leon, Neville Brothers, Wilco, Bonnie Raitt, Allen Toussaint,
The O'Jays, Erykah Badu, Dr. John
Among hundreds scheduled to appear at historic edition of Festival

In other fest news, Rolling Stone reports that Phish will be headlining two nights at Bonnaroo. Not much of a surprise there as Phish's yearly festivals paved the way for Bonnaroo and all the others that have cropped up in the last decade. This give Phish all the benefits of their own fest without the responsibility.

More interestingly, Bruce Springsteen is rumored to be Sunday night's closer. Bruce has dipped his toe in the festival waters recently playing the New Orleans Jazz Fest when he debuted his Sessions Band and closing his last tour at the Harley Davidson fest in Milwaukee. The NO Jazz Fest was somewhat unique as that band was playing NO and gospel influenced music and almost all covers. The Harley fest was a situation where it was easy for Bruce fans to go on a single day and not have to camp so not much different than a regular show. It would be interesting to see Bruce do a festival with the E Street Band where he wouldn't be the main attraction. I have no doubt he could and would pull it off brilliantly because rock n' roll is rock n' roll. But it would be interesting seeing him work a crowd who wouldn't know/sing every word or know the usual crowd participation spots of a Bruce show. That probably hasn't happened since he was opening for bands when his first album came out. Well, just a rumor for now. Whoever plays, Phish and/or Bruce lets hope they are on the webcast.

Tony Jordan

Tony Jordan

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bill Kirchen, with no brown M&Ms, Xmas Disco

Merry, Merry, Merry 8 shopping days until Christmas!

The concert scene is slowing down for a couple weeks while musicians head home for the holidays. Their roadies will set up the Christmas tree, their personal chefs will make wassail, they'll kiss (and do other things) to groupies under the mistletoe and they'll hope Santa brings them a new guitar and a spot on an iPod ad.

We do have a holiday show coming to town on Thursday. King of Honky-tonk & Dieselbilly Bill Kirchen brings his Honky Tonk Holiday show to Ashland Coffee & Tea. Show starts at 8 and tix are $25. Bill is best known for his work in the band Commander Code & The Lost Planet Airmen ("Hot Rod Lincoln"). He's also played with Nick Lowe. You'll dig bill if you like those bands, Dave Alvin, Joe Ely, Rockpile, Dave Edmunds, or J0hn Hiatt.

In other news, the Smoking Gun has found the Holy Grail of all concert riders. Yes, its the Van Halen concert rider that stipulated that they get M&Ms backstage and that all the brown M&Ms had to be removed. For years a legendary tale of rock star excess, VH later claimed that they put that in the rider because they would be able to tell immediately if the other items in the rider would be taken care of. If the brown M&Ms were gone, it looked good. If they were in the bowl, they knew other things might not be up to snuff. Whichever story you care to believe, here it is: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/backstagetour/1982vanhalen/1982vanhalen1.html.

Note that the Van Halen tour rider from the last tour contains demands such as a study room for Wolfgang, no liquor, and that David Lee Roth's dressing room be as far away from the other bandmember's dressing rooms as possible.

And just in case you weren't in the Christmas mood yet, here is some free Christmas disco courtesy of radio station WFMU: http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2008/12/more-christmas.html. Nothing gets me in the Christmas mood like a funky version of Hark, The Herald Angels.

Have a great weekend.

Tony Jordan

Flight of the Conchords returns, DMB returns to C'ville

You can find the Flight of the Conchords season 2 premiere on the Funny or Die site. Flight of the Conchords is one of the funniest shows on TV and has a gathered a large cult following. They return to HBO for season 2 on Jan. 18. If you haven't seen them yet, here is "Business Time":

Also, Dave Matthews Band comes back to John Paul Jones Arena. Here is the official type annoucement:
Dave Matthews Band returns to John Paul Jones Arena for two concerts, Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18. Old Crow Medicine Show will open both performances. Tickets will go on sale on Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 10 a.m. The band previously performed at the Arena as the Grand Opening Event in September 2006. Tickets will be available at John Paul Jones Arena Box Office, all Plan 9 outlets, the Charlottesville Visitors Center and www.johnpauljonesarena.com, or charge-by-phone at 1-888-575-8497. Tickets may also be requested through the Warehouse, the official Dave Matthews Band fan association, beginning Monday, December 15, 2008 through Sunday, January 4, 2008. New for the 2009 tour, Warehouse members may request up to four (4) tickets per show. The ticket request period is not first come-first serve, the time at which you place your ticket request does not matter. Warehouse confirmations will be issued by the end of the day on Thursday, January 15, 2009.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hamaganza, Ghost of Pop, Larry Keel, Parade of Lights

Hey there, hi there, ho there! Even though this is a music blog, I must give out a shout out to a movie and a TV show to start.

I watched "Children of Men" a few days ago and I'm still thinking about it. A haunting, troubling, moving movie with great action scenes too and a great soundtrack. It takes place in 2027 and humanity has been infertile for 18 years. All world governments have collapsed excpet for Great Britain ,where the movie take place, though GB is mired in decay, terrorism and the brutal round-up of illegal immigrants who are flocking to GB from the rest of the world. But in all that, a glimmer of hope appears and our hero must help deliver that hope from evil.

"The Wire: The Complete Series" is out on DVD. I'm not saying you buy it because its 23 discs. But set your NetFlix to pick it up or rent it. It is one of the greatest shows in the history of TV. Here is the review from Paste Magazine. They gave it a 96 out of 100 which is one of the highest ratings I have ever seen them give anything; TV, music, film or video game.

Now for this week's music. Ghost of Pop IV happens at Gallery 5 on Friday night. Gallery 5 is at 200 Marshall St in downtown Richmond. Ghost of Pop IV features a nice sampling of local bands: Prabir & the Substitutes, David Shultz and the Skyline, The Awesome Few, Palominos, Hot Lava, Orioles, and Zac Hryciak & the Jungle Beat. You get all that for just $5. The show starts at 7 and is an all ages show and it should be a cool atmosphere too.

Larry Keel & Natural Bridge come to Ashland Coffee & Tea on Friday night. Tix are $21 and the show starts around 8. Here is how they describe themselves on their web site: "Connecting traditional songs of yesterday with their own original and inventive sounds of today, Larry Keel and Natural Bridge create astonishingly powerful acoustic music rich in heritage, heart and hot picking!" Larry Keel & the band combine bluegrass, folk, jazz, and reggae into an excellent potpourri of music.

If you want some holiday stuff to do with the kids (or without) check out the James River Parade of Lights. This starts at Libby Hill Park around 6 and heads down river to the Varina-Enon bridge. The best viewing sites are Libby Hill and Dock Street in the City of Richmond, Osborne Park and Boat Landing in Henrico County, and Henricus Historical Park and Dutch Gap Boat Landing in Chesterfield County.

If you want to do something later without the kids, check out Hamaganza at the Capital Ale House Music Hall Downtown on Saturday night. This starts at 9 and I believe this may be the first time they are doing it somewhere other than Poe's Pub. While the atmosphere of Poe's will be missed (they are doing a friend and family of Hamaganza preview ther on Friday night) the larger venue means they can collect more money and hams (thus the name) for the Central VA Food Bank, a great cause. If you are wondering what Hamaganza is, its like a weird talent show in which you'll see music, poetry and some more bizarre acts (I remember seeing a champion whistler one year), all hosted by the hostess(?) with the mostess, and I do mean the mostess, the 500 lb. drag queen, Dirtwoman.

Alright, I'm outta here. I'm going to get the Christmas music out since we are officially 2 weeks from Christmas. But here, just the heck of it, Ween's "Mutilated Lips":

Have an excellent weekend!

Tony Jordan

Friday, December 5, 2008

IMDB for Music

I've been waiting for someone to do something like the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) for music. And now its here. Check out Soundunwound, the new music site from, well, IMDB & Amazon. The timeline feature for bands is pretty slick. Also, links to videos, web sites, member bios, etc. Me likee alot!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Grace Potter, Christmas Delights, Black Cash

After a little Thanksgiving break, we are back and ready for action. Though I'm still eating turkey sandwiches and I'm still enjoying it. Mmmmmm! Loves me some turkey!

There is a whole host of Holiday festivities in downtown Richmond this weekend. On Friday night, Celebrate Illuminate begins with the Grand Illumination at the James Center, the Holiday Market at the 17th St Farmer's Market, Main St. Station Holiday Open House, and the Capitol Square Tree Lighting. For the full dope on all the family friendly activities check out this site: http://www.venturerichmond.com/events/vrevents.html#illuminate.

Also Friday night, while you are downtown, you can check out First Fridays Artwalk on Broad St. Here is more info on that: http://www.firstfridaysrichmond.com/.

And finally on Friday, after all that holiday cheer, change into your black clothes, head to the Cary Street Cafe, grab a beer and enjoy Black Cash & The Bad Trips, the excellent Johnny Cash tribute band. That show starts at 10 and tix are $7. Perhaps they'll do Johnny Cash doing the "12 Days of Christmas":

If you are still in a holiday mood on Saturday, the Ukrop's Richmond Christmas Parade heads down Broad St from the Science Museum to 7th Street. We'll be down at the 7th Street end so if you are down there, be sure to look for us. Zach is pretty excited this year even for the large balloons. When he was 2, we went to the parade and this is what happened when he saw the giant Alvin (of Chipmunks fame) balloon:

Yes, we were there all of 10 minutes.

On Saturday night, the Hackensaw Boys play at the National. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 and tix are $15. The Hackensaw Boys hail from Charlottesville and play rollicking contemporary bluegrass.

Sunday night the beautiful and talented Grace Potter and her band, The Nocturnals, comes to Toad's Place. Doors open at 7, tix are $14 in advance and $16 day of show. Sons of Bill will be opening. If you are a fan of blues rock like Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, or Lucinda Williams, do yourself a favor and see Grace and the band. Just in case you missed it, here is my review of her show from the last time she played Toad's: http://handfulofbrains.blogspot.com/2008/03/review-grace-potter-nocturnals-11508.html.

And gentlemen, if great rock n' roll alone isn't enough to get you out to the show, here is a patriotic picture of Grace:

Finally, instead of me remembering the Philly Spectrum this week, how about Trey Anastasio, once & future guitarist for Phish and fellow Flyers fan, remembering the Spectrum:

I knew that Trey was a Flyers fan. In the late 90s, he was interviewed on a show on Philly's local Comcast sports station. The interviewer, Michael Barkann, seemed to have no idea who Trey or Phish was. However, once the interview started and Barkann saw that Trey knew the Flyers and hockey and knew what he was talking about, Barkann completely warmed up to him and the two of them had a great time. I think Trey had fun because he wasn't answering questions about the band, he was just talking hockey as a fan.

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan