Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dark Star Orchestra, WRIR Benefit, Monte Montgomery & More

Got a couple concerts in town this week and some news to share so lets get into it.

Friday night, you can check out a benefit for local independent station WRIR. The "Party for the Rest of Us" starts at 7 PM at the Renaissance Conference Center, 107 West Broad Street. The line-up will feature Bio Ritmo, Horsehead, RPG and Hot Lava. The cover charge is $10. There will be complimentary food, birthday cake and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as a cash bar.
More information about the event can be found on WRIR's website,

For those of you who like the Grateful Dead but didn't want to spend $100+ to see them, go see Dark Star Orchestra on Tuesday night at The National. If you want to check out what they sound like before you go, they've launched a new live download site with The doors open at The National at 6:30, show starts at 7:30 and tix are $20 in advance, $25 day of show.

Coming to the National on Friday night is Austin TX blues artist, Monte Montgomery w/Darrell Scott opening. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 and tix are $15. You might dig Monte if you like artists like Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Wonder, or the Neville Brothers.

If you are more in the mood for World rhythms on Friday, check out Simon Shaheen at the Modlin Center for the Arts at the University of Richmond. The show starts at 7:30 and tix are $32. Here's what the Modlin site says about Simon: "Palestinian-American Simon Shaheen dazzles listeners as he deftly leaps from traditional Arabic sounds to jazz and Western classical styles. His soaring technique, melodic ingenuity and unparalleled grace have earned him international acclaim as a virtuoso on the oud (the traditional lute that his father also played) and violin. Shaheen and his band Qantara incorporate and reflect a legacy of Arabic music, while it forges new frontiers, embracing many different styles in the process."

At the Canal Club on Saturday night is Foxy Shazam, Dr. Manhattan, The A.K.A.s., Colin Healy & The Jetskis, and The Battle of Me. Show will go from 5 - 9 PM and tix are $12. Here's what Foxy Shazam says about themselves on their myspace site: "The self-proclaimed "Evel Knievel of Rock N Roll," Foxy Shazam is here to make a musical death defying stunt with their New Weathermen debut Introducing Foxy, to be released in January of 2008. The album, recorded with producer Casey Bates (Portugal the Man, Heavy Heavy Low Low) takes their piano propelled songs that layer spastic hardcore noise atop fractured Soul inspired pop to a new level, one that emphasizes…..well….good times, tells vocalist Eric Nally. "The whole point of the album is to be a feel-good dance party." You might dig Foxy if you like Panic At The Disco, Modest Mouse or My Chemical Romance.

In rock news, the bastards at Ticketmaster tried to swindle Bruce fans this week by switching people trying to get tickets for Bruce directly to Ticketmaster's scalping (er, secondary market) site, TicketsNow, when Bruce tickets sold out. Some people were confused enough that they accidentally bought tix at 2X - 3X the regular price. And somehow a lot of good seats were available on the the TicketsNow site within minutes of the onsale time. So if you don't think brokers, venues and Ticketmaster are all in cahoots to scam artists and fans, that's a point against you. Bruce fans got mad. Bruce got mad enough to write an open letter to Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster wrote an open letter to Bruce fans saying "Yes, we suck". In the meantime, Ticketmaster & LiveNation are talking merger which would lead to a ticket seller monopoly once again. For the full bloody war, here is the story from Rolling Stone: "Ticketmaster Apologies to Bruce Springsteen After Onsale Blunder ".

In other news, the first big music festival of the season, Langerado, is no longer the first music festival because they have canceled the gig. Whether this is due to the economy, or that they were moving the festival from a campsite to a park in the city of Miami with no camping, this doesn't bode well for festival season. We'll have to see what happens next. Bonnaroo meanwhile announced their schedule and ticket prices of about $225, including a layaway plan to buy tix. But with Bruce closing one night and Phish the other two, I suspect they'll sell a few tix. Its the smaller festivals that may go under.

After all this bummer news, I know you're sitting there thinking, "Man, if only a band would play my favorite Pink Floyd tunes in the style of a polka, all would be right with the world again". Well, friends, your prayers have been answered. I give you Polka Floyd! (thanks to Mike K.)

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan