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 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:

Bruce's battle with Ticketmaster escalates. Give 'em hell, Boss:

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