Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Feist on Sesame Street

If there was ever a song that should be on Sesame Street, its Feist's "1, 2, 3, 4". Of course the words need to be changed to incorporate monsters, penguins and chickens.

Tony Jordan

Monday, June 29, 2009

"Beatles Rock Band" intro

Whatever you may think about The Beatles becoming a video game when their version of RockBand comes out in September, the animated intro to the game is really cool. Check it out here:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Live Wilco webcast Saturday night

Wilco will webcast their show from the Greek Theater in Berkeley on Saturday night. From Wilco HQ: "We’re webcasting this Saturday night’s show live from the sold-out Greek Theatre in Berkeley. It’ll be available in Quicktime on http://wilcoworld.net and via the iPhone app. Tune in around 10 pm cdt sat. night."

Thanks to the Live Music Blog.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Umphrey's McGee, Toubab Krewe, James King Bluegrass Fest

Jam band Umphrey's McGee comes to Groovin' in the Garden at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens on Thursday night. Doors open at 5:30, show starts at 6 with opener, The Transmitters. Tickets are $25. Though they touch on a lot of different musical styles, they do like some of the more technical, art-rock aspects of the jam band genre. Here they are doing their song "Wizard Burial Ground", which wouldn't sound out of place on an old Rush or Joe Satriani album. And this video has fireworks, pyrotechnic and musical.

Friday its the last Friday Cheers of the year with Toubab Krewe. The show starts at 6 with Crucial Elements, and is FREE. As always, Cheers is on Brown's Island. I've been wanting to see these guys for a while so I'll be heading down there with Zach and my mom, who is visiting from NJ. They definitely have a cool, unique and danceable sound. Toubab Krewe that is, not my mom & Zach.

From the Toubab Krewe press release: "Blending American and West African influences into a sound all its own, Toubab Krewe has set "a new standard for fusions of rock 'n' roll and West African music" (Afropop Worlwide).

Since forming in 2005, the magnetic instrumental quintet has won a diverse and devoted following at performances around the world. They developed their unique sound over the course of numerous extended trips to Mali, Guinea, and Ivory Coast, where they immersed themselves in the local culture and studied and performed with luminaries.

But the group has its roots in Asheville, NC, where many of its members were childhood friends and long-term musical collaborators. And it was there, at home in the Appalachians, where the band chose to record their sophomore album, Live at the Orange Peel. All of the songs are previously unreleased and continue to mix American rock 'n' roll with the West African musical traditions the band fell in love with on their travels. Along the way, they explore the worlds of surf and zydeco, fusing it all together into what the Village Voice describes as "a futuristic, psychedelic, neo-griot frenzy" and Honest Tune hails as "one of the most innovative voices in music today."

Here's some video from their performance at Capital Ale House in January:

This year's Virgin Fest will be absolutely FREE. You will have to drive up to Meriweather Post Pavilion outside of Baltimore. But its FREE. The show is August 30. Bands include Weezer, blink-182, Franz Ferdinand, Public Enemy, Jet, The National, Girl Talk, The Bravery, The Hold Steady, St. Vincent, Wale, and Taking Back Sunday. Dance tent favorites include Holy F*ck, Pete Tong, Danny Howells and Lee Burridge. Not a bad lineup for FREE. You can get tickets on ticketmaster.com on June 27 at 10 AM. Previous Virgin Mobile Festival ticket buyers and Virgin Mobile customers will have first dibs on the tickets with an invitation to a “free-sale” (like a pre-sale but it’s free) on Thursday and Friday.

Here's what Phish had to say about playing with Bruce last weekend at Bonnaroo. Sounds like a splendid time was had by all: http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/phish-revels-in-glory-day-of-springsteen-1003985647.story.

Bruce's battle with Ticketmaster escalates. Give 'em hell, Boss: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090622/music_nm/us_springsteen.

If you want to take a 45 minute ride out to Rockahock Campground in Lanexa, they'll be having the 5th Annual James King Bluegrass Festival this weekend. Its $65 for the whole weekend, or you can pay $25 for just Friday or $30 for just Saturday. This year’s entertainment features The James King Band with special guest Sierra Hull, Bradley Walker, Lost & Found, Randy Waller & The Country Gentlemen, Blue Highway, Country Fried Grass, Code Blue Bluegrass Band, Bill Emerson & Sweet Dixie Band, Lawson Creek Band, Goldwing Express and many more.
Finally, I'll leave you with 60 Ridiculous Christian Music Album Covers. My favorites are The Faith Tones (how do they get their hair that big?), Bryan Duncan (or is it Michael J. Fox?), Chuckie P (Rico Suave called. He wants his look back.), Country Church (ah, 70s fashion. Are those vests or are they sewn into the shirt?), Jerry Irby (who has a hotline to Heaven and an awesome plaid jacket), Mike Crain (Karate Preacher. Hi-yah!), and lots of big 80s metal hair everywhere!

Have a great weekend! See you at Friday Cheers.

Tony Jordan

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Triumph The Insult Comic Dog Visits Bonnaroo

In case you missed Bonnaroo or the Conan O'Brien show last week, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog visited the giant music festival. Here are links to his unique and hilarious updates:

Part 1

Part 2

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lucero, Webb Wilder, Three Sheets to the Wind, Yonder Mountain String Band

Friday Cheers continues this week with Lucero. Friday Cheers is on Brown's Island, is FREE and starts at 6 PM with opener Farm Vegas. Here's the blurb on the Cheers site about Lucero: "Lucero is a Punk/Country music infused Rock & Roll band that is based in Memphis, Tennessee. Their punk rock roots flavor their now "country-ish" music, while their southern roots give them the twang that they have come to be known by. The band played for the first time in Spring of 1998. Since 2001 they have played between 150 and 200 shows a year across the United States and Canada. They have released six full length albums to date (Fall 2006), the latest entitled Rebels, Rogues, & Sworn Brothers. The members of Lucero are Roy Berry (drums), John C. Stubblefield (bass), Brian Venable (guitar), and Ben Nichols (guitar and vocals), with Rick Steff (piano, organ, accordian). Ben Nichols previous band was Red 40 in which he played alongside Colin Brooks and Steve Kooms."

AllMusic says you might dig these guys if you like The Replacements, Drive-By Truckers, Johnny Cash, The Hold Steady, and Springsteen. I'll probably be down to Cheers to check them out and see what they're all about. I'll have my mini-me, Zach, there with me. He likes to rock out. Here is Lucero doing their song "The War" in Minneapolis on June 9th:

Saturday night, Webb Wilder plays at Capital Ale House Music Hall downtown. Tix are $10 and the show starts at 9 PM. Webb is a little bit hillbilly country, a little bit surf, a little bit good ol' rock n' roll and he throws in some humor too. Here's Webb with an acoustic version of "King of the Hill".

If you're in the mood to get f'in smooth on Saturday night, you can catch the self-proclaimed #1 Yacht Rock tribute band in America, Three Sheets to The Wind. They'll be at The National, doors open at 6, show starts at 6:30 and tix are $13. I mention this primarily to show another episode of Yacht Rock. In this episode, Yacht Rock investigates the feud between Steely Dan and The Eagles. What? You didn't know they had a feud? Well, watch this. Beware, the language is NSFW.

Wednesday night at the Snaggletooth Pavilion at Innsbrook, Yonder Mountain String Band bring their bluegrassy (bluegrassish?) music to town. The opener is Martin Sexton and he's pretty damn good too. Gates open at 6 with Martin starting at 6:30. Tix are $15 in advance, $20 at the gate, and $35 in the Gold Circle of Death. You'll dig YMSB if you like Aquarium Rescue Unit, Del McCoury, Nickel Creek or Bela Fleck. Here's YMSB doing the Talking Heads' "Girlfriend is Better":

The big news out of Bonnaroo on Sunday night was Bruce Springsteen joining Phish for three songs ("Mustang Sally", "Bobby Jean", "Glory Days") at the end of Phish's first set. In true Phish phasion, "Mustang Sally" was ten minutes long. When I first saw that Bruce joined Phish, I thought it must be a hoax like when I saw "Bruce Springsteen" join Phish at the Garden State Arts Center on 7/16/99. Trey went into a big buildup that he and Page are "from around here," and that someone else grew up around here, "the greatest songwriter of all time". The crowd figured NJ + great songwriter = Bruce and the buzz started to grow. Trey then proceeded to introduce their lyricist, Tom Marshall (who grew up with Trey in the Princeton area). Tom then sang lead vocals on "Born To Run", in full Springsteen style (red bandanna, etc.).

I would love to see Bruce & Phish try one of Bruce's jammier early songs like "Kitty's Back", "Thundercrack", "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd St.?" or "Prove It All Night". Maybe next time. If you don't think "Prove It All Night" can jam, check out this amazing version from 1978:

Anyway, haven't found a great video yet, but this one has decent sound, the guy filmed the video screen so you get good shots and you get the whole version of "Mustang Sally". They get a pretty nice groove going on this and Trey and Bruce play off each other nicely and it must have been pretty fun and cool to see.

That's it from here. Have a great weekend and I'll see you at Friday Cheers!

Tony Jordan

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bonnaroo webcast, literal "Total Eclipse of the Heart"

Bonnaroo will be webcast on http://music.att.net/ this weekend for free. As of now, no Phish, Beastie Boys or Bruce but there at "to be announced" slots in the webcast schedule at the times they will be on stage. The webcast will go from 1:45 PM Eastern time to approx. 1 AM on Friday, and 12:15 to around 1 AM on Saturday & Sunday. Highlights include Gomez, Animal Collective, & Ani Difranco (Friday); Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (with some tunes from their upcoming album hopefully), Lucinda Williams, Del McCoury Band (Saturday); Booker T (of the MGs) with the Drive-By Truckers & Ben Harper and Relentless7 (Sunday). I will be watching whenever I am at home and my almost 2-year-old isn't watching garbage truck videos on YouTube.

Lia K. and Vince B. both sent me links to this video and its pretty damn funny. Its the "literal video" of "Total Eclipse of the Heart". Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sam Bush, Waybacks, Old School Freight Train, Big Head Todd

Thursday night, Sam Bush & The Waybacks bring their newgrass sounds to the Science Museum of VA. The show is a benefit called Music for Massey and will benefit the VCU Massey Cancer Center. Tix are $25, gates open at 6, show starts at 7, and this is a rain or shine event. Here's The Waybacks, Sam Bush & Emmylou Harris at this year's MerleFest doing the Stones' ""Wild Horses". The Waybacks, Sam Bush & John Cowan teamed up to perform the Stones' "Sticky Fingers" album in its entirity. The camera works is a little shaky but the sound is very good.

Indigo Girls will be out at Groovin' In The Garden on Thursday night. If you are going be sure to bring some people or pet food for the food drive for Central VA Food Bank (people food) and the Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (pet food). Doors open at 5:30, tix are $25.

Friday, you have two, count 'em two FREE shows to choose from, each with great bands. Friday Cheers at Brown's Island has Old School Freight Train with opener NO BS! Brass Band. Show starts at 6. Old School Freight Train certainly comes with some good recommendations. Here is what their press kit says: "Old School Freight Train, from Charlottesville combines thought provoking lyrics with captivating melodies, soulful vocals, virtuosic instrumentals and imaginative arrangements. Blending folk, jazz, soul, pop, bluegrass, Latin and Celtic, OSFT offers a unique musical experience leading the Boston Globe to call them "the Next Big Thing." Bluegrass innovator David Grisman says, "After forty years of recording acoustic music, it's not very often that a new band catches, and keeps, my attention. Old School Freight Train has done that and more."
"Shades of Jack Johnson, Ben Harper... even a kiss of Van Morrison... Old School Freight Train is off on a timeless new track blending roots and rock to create a sound that's all their own." - Tim Dickinson, National Affairs Correspondent, Rolling Stone "

Here they are performing "Memphis" in Vienna VA in March:

Innsbrook (or as I like to call it Snagletooth Pavilion) has a free show with Big Head Todd & The Monsters and Tonic. Gates open at 6, Tonic starts the show at 6:30. I haven't seen Big Head Todd in a long time but they were always good. Their biggest success came back in the early 90s with songs such as "Bittersweet", "Circle" and "Broken Hearted Savior". Tonic had a couple hits in the late 90s - early 00s with "If You Could Only See" and "Take Me As I Am". Here's Big Head Todd & The Monsters performing the blues classic "Hoochie Coochie Man" in April 2009:

In the battle of the FREE Friday live shows, the nod for me goes to Old School Freight Train, because the venue is nicer (river, skyline, breeze, geese for the kids vs. field in an office park) and because I haven't seen OSFT before. But you can't go wrong with either show. I'll see you on Brown's Island.

I'll leave you with Johnny Trash, er, Cash playing Nasty Dan with Oscar The Grouch on Sesame Street.

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Jerry Douglas, Atkinsons, Steve Earle, TV on the Radio

Friday Cheers this week features newgrass (primarily bluegrass mixed with jazz, folk, blues & country) dobro player Jerry Douglas. Friday Cheers is on Brown's Island, it costs nothing (FREE!), and starts at 6 PM with opener The Atkinsons. Get there early because they are pretty good. The bio on Jerry Douglas on the Friday Cheers web site says he has played with musicians like Bela Fleck, Emmylou Harris, David Grisman, Ricky Skaggs, Peter Rowan, Alison Krauss, Del McCoury, Garth Brooks, and Dolly Parton. Here's Jerry playing solo doing the "Little Medley". Nice.

If the rain holds off, I'll be there.

Cracker will be doing an in-store performance at Plan 9 in Carytown on Friday evening. That will start at 6:30 and go about an hour.
The Decemberists play at The National on Friday night. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with opener Blind Pilot and tix are $30. You might dig their Indie Pop if you like stuff like Rilo Kiley, Of Montreal, Belle & Sebastian, Robyn Hitchcock, or The Smiths. Or even Heart (see below).

Here they are from a few nights ago with the lead singer telling a silly story about the worst song he ever wrote then going into "O Valencia!" (not the worst song he ever wrote).

And just for fun here they are playing Heart's "Crazy On You":

Saturday night, Dark Star Orchestra brings their Grateful Dead reconstruction to Innsbrook Pavilion. Tix are $15 in advance, $20 at the gate and no Gold Circle (yay!). Gates open at 5 PM and the music will start around 6:30. There is no opener. For those of you that were disappointed with The Dead's performance in Charlottesville (and that was just about everyone I spoke with) go to this and get your Grateful Dead groove back. It also helps that tickets are 80% cheaper.

BTW, Dark Star's show Friday night in Fredericksburg has been postponed due to all the rain. The show has been rescheduled for July 7.

Sunday, if you're hungry, check out Broad Appetit on the 100 through 300 blocks of W Broad St. It'll go from noon until 5 PM. More than 50 of Richmond's top chefs will be creating $3 mini-dish favorites for you to enjoy. Should be yummy.

Tuesday night, the great Steve Earle will be at The National. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8, tickets are $18.50. This is a reserved seat show. Steve's new album, "Townes", is a tribute to his mentor, Townes Van Zandt. Here's Steve last night on Letterman:

TV On The Radio is at The National on Wednesday night. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 and tix are $20. TV on the Radio is a well-derserved buzz band. Here is their cool and creepy video for "Wolf Like Me": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTy-e6qEWRE. Really, check this one out because the song rocks. David Bowie loves these guys and has performed with them which is recommendation enough for me.

Finally, jam band veterans Blues Traveler come to Innsbrook on Wednesday with Virginia folk band eddie from ohio. Tix are $12.50 in advance, $15 at the door, Gold Circle (boo!) $30. Gates open at 6 and get there early to see eddie because they are a lot of fun. Here's Blues Traveler doing "Mullin' It Over" at the Trenton War Memorial Arena in '06:

Well that's a full week for you. Have fun!

Tony Jordan

Medeski, Martin & Wood @ Groovin' In The Garden

Medeski, Martin & Wood bring their jammy jazz-funk to Groovin' In the Garden tonigh at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Doors open at 5:30. Concert starts at 6 with opener The Wood Brothers. Tix are $20. You'll probably dig these guys if you like Booker T. & The MG's, The Meters, Duke Ellington, Col. Bruce Hampton, John Coltrane or Bob Marley. Yes, they are all over the place musically and that's a good thing.

Here's the music video for "Amber Gris", the first single off of MMW's new album, Radiolarians II.

"Amber Gris" Music Video from Medeski Martin and Wood on Vimeo.

Tony Jordan

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

This Just In: Old People Hate New Music

A great article on Crawdaddy written by James Greene, Jr. in response to Little Steven Van Zandt saying new music sucks: http://crawdaddy.wolfgangsvault.com/Article/This-Just-In-Old-People-Hate-New-Music.html.

I think the author makes some great points about wanting to see original music rather than bands playing cover tunes. I also think that there is always good new music around but you have to look for it. Good new music has rarely been played on mainstream radio except in those rare instances when something breaks through. (For those who wish to argue about rock radio in the early 70s, I would contend that most of those stations weren't mainstream yet. Once they went that way in the late 70s - early 80s, they were just as prone to suckitude as any pop station.)

In fact, with satellite radio, the ability to access every radio station in the world on the Interwebs, file sharing sites, band web sites and the fact that you can download any album that is for sale and be playing it within 5 minutes, we are living in a golden age for finding and listening to new music.

Tony Jordan