Thursday, March 19, 2009

Toad's Place update, Church Hill Irish Fest, Railroad Earth

Good day, good day!

The National has started to pick up some of the canceled Toad's Place shows including the sold out Lady Gaga show on April 3 and the Neko Case show on April 6. For the full rundown on moved or canceled Toad's shows, check out the Times-Dispatch story.

In other news, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails said that bands often scalp tickets to their own shows. Trent has been pretty adamant at trying to stop scalping. I wish he would have named names. Would love to know which bands. If I had to guess at a few, I would go with the Stones, Kiss, Britney Spears, Madonna, Motley Crue, The Eagles. Not that I have anything against those bands but those spring to mind as the most historically money hungry.

Been listening to the first Phish show from the Hampton run a couple weeks ago. Been realizing more and more that beyond the fact that they improvise and had a do-it-yourself business sense, Phish & The Grateful Dead are not as similar as some have claimed, or wanted them to be, or rivals. I always hated the Phish vs. Dead argument as I like both bands for what they are and besides, music is not a competition. Please, no wagering. Instead, Phish is really a product of 70s classic rock, with the most similarity to prog rock bands like Yes, ELP, etc. The music often involves abrupt tempo changes, ringing, melodic guitar tones and the jazzy piano of Page McConnell. Also, there are the surreal lyrics, meant to evoke mood more than tell a specific story. Of course, Phish's lyrics often tend to be a little goofy too, especially from the first half of their career, which was a big turn off for those looking for "meaningful" lyrics. The other big influence on Phish is funk, which is good for those that like to dance. Check out Mike's Song, Weekapaug Groove, their cover of Stevie Wonder's Boogie On Reggae Woman, and Tweezer, for just a few examples.

Speaking of Phish, the Hampton Police apparently took the opportunity to welcome Phish back by busting nearly 200 Phish fans "most for possession or distribution of narcotics (cops reported seizing $68,000 and illegal drugs with a purported street value of--exactly!--$1,213,882.80). " Surely there are more serious crimes being committed in the Hampton area than a bunch of Phish heads smoking pot and tripping? I mean come on. Busting Phish heads for drugs is like shooting phish in a barrel. Ha, ha, ha. But in case you couldn't make it to the Phish shows, here are some choice mug shots of those busted Phish fans courtesy of The Smoking Gun: I especially enjoyed numbers 3, 9, and 24. Was also glad I didn't see anyone I know in those photos.

Onto this week's fun and exciting events. Saturday and Sunday, one of the best Richmond street festivals takes place, the 24th Annual Church Hill Irish Festival in Church Hill (duh) at St. Patrick's Church on N. 25th Street between Broad and Franklin Streets. They have the moonbounce, jugglers and activities for the kids, Guinness and Irish coffee for the adults and good music (Celtic, bagpipes, blues, folk, classic rock) for everyone. The weather looks like it will be nice. I think we'll be bringing the whole family on Sunday so look for us there. A $2.00 donation will be collected at the gate; and the festival runs from 10am-7pm Saturday and 10am-6pm Sunday. Proceeds benefit the St. Baldrick's Society and their fight against childhood cancer, the Church Hill Association, the Church Hill Crime Watch, Richmond Hill, Child Saver's Clinic of Richmond, the St. Peter's Meals Program, and many other neighborhood causes. Proceeds also benefit the historic preservation of St. Patrick's Church, a "little church with a big heart".

Railroad Earth will be at The National on Saturday night. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9, with Jackass Flats opening. Tix are $21. Railroard Earth came about after the breakup of a band some of you may remember from the 90s, From Good Homes. They play bluegrass influenced Americana. You might dig them if you like Leftover Salmon, String Cheese Incident, Black Crowes, Widespread Panic, Blues Traveler or Little Feat.

Moshe Dayan headlines a show of hard rock at the Canal Club on Sunday. Also on the bill are Damiera, Chalkline Beauty, Searching for Timothy, and Thru the Rear View. Tix are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. This is an early show, starting at 6:20 and ending at 10.

I'm outta here! Gotta check my NCAA pool, watch VCU win, and load up my iPod for the first lawn work of the year this weekend. Have a great weekend and I'll see you at the Irish Fest!

Tony Jordan