Thursday, August 27, 2009

Unknown Hinson, Outside Lands Webcast, Hat Factory Website

Our computer crashed this week and we had to do a whole system reboot which means we lost everything we had saved. Luckily, I had backup for all the important stuff and most of the not so important stuff. But its amazing how long it takes to get the computer back to where you had it, reloading applications, redoing settings, downloading updates. I still don't feel like I'm back to normal.

There is a web site up for the Hat Factory (formerly Toad's Place): The opening show will be The BoDeans on 9/11. Check out the web site for the full schedule.

Not a whole lot going on this weekend. Summer tours are ending and fall tours haven't begun yet. Horror rockabilly artist Unknown Hinson will be at the Canal Club on Friday night. Doors open at 8, there will be an opener (tba), and tix are $17 at the door. Unknown Hinson has a new live album out called "Live And Undead". You might dig this guy if you like ZZ Top or Webb Wilder. Here is the man a few weeks ago in Birmingham AL doing his song "Hippie Girl":

On the World Wide Internets this weekend you can catch the Outside Lands Music Festival live on YouTube. Yes, YouTube. This is the first time, to my knowledge, they are webcasting a music festival. The web site is The site isn't showing a schedule but just says they'll be "highlighting live performances from Dave Matthews Band, Built to Spill, Thievery Corporation and more!" The festival starts at 3:40 PM ET on Friday and 3 PM ET on Saturday & Sunday. Other bands include Incubus, Tea Leaf Green, Q-Tip, Tom Jones, Pearl Jam, TV On The Radio, Conor Oberst, Bettye LaVette, Robert Randolph, Avett Brothers, Modest Mouse, The Dead Weather, Lucinda Williams, Ween, Brett Dennen and Tenacious D.

I will leave you now with a song that will haunt your very dreams:

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Dylan's Gonna Tell You All Where To Go

Here is a story from the Guardian (UK) about Dylan doing the voice for a GPS system. I just hope the voice doesn’t turn into mumbly Dylan at times: “ ‘ake a tgaoa heeeee on to Wooothreoo Blvd..” What?

I’d like to have an Axl Rose on my GPS. He would just keep saying “You know where you are?!? You’re in the jungle, baby! You’re gonna diiiiiiiiiie!”

Here is the article:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Free tickets for Skynyrd tribute at The National

Just got this from The National:

"*** FREE TIX *** As a thank you to all of you who have continued to support The National. TONIGHT at The National at 8pm is TUESDAY'S GONE - LYNYRD SKYNYRD Tribute and the tickets are 100% FREE no purchase necessary. Just come down to The National, walk in and enjoy some Legendary Sounthern Rock for FREE !!!"

So if you got a hankerin' for some free Free Bird tonight, head down to the National.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Drive-By Truckers, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Tribute Bands

A good weekend of music coming up at the National this weekend. Saturday is my beloved Drive-By Truckers, the best American rock band of the decade. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show, doors open at 7, and show starts at 8 with opener Tift Merritt. If Bruce Springsteen, William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams had a baby who grew up watching 70's B action movies and listened to AC/DC, 80s punk and metal, Skynyrd, The Stones & Neil Young, that baby would be named Drive-By Truckers. The people love 'em. Get your tickets early because the show will probably sell out. The critics love 'em. Scores for the last four albums on Metacritic: 83 (out of 100) for "Brighter Than Creation's Dark", 78 for "Blessing and A Curse", 87 for "Dirty South", 87 for "Decoration Day" and Rolling Stone gave their epic "Southern Rock Opera" four stars. And to top it off ,it will be a Saturday night show with the crowd that a bartender at The National said is the biggest drinking crowd they get. Its gonna be hot, its be sweaty, its gonna be drunk and its gonna be rock n' roll.
Here they are on their recently released show from Austin City Limits doing "The Righteous Path":

On Sunday night at The National, Michael Franti & Spearhead come riding in on their biggest success so far, "Say Hey (I Love You)". Michael appears to be recovered from his emergency appendectomy last month and they'll be bringing their positive vibrations to the stage. Tix are $23.50 in advance, $26 day of show, doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with opener Aquabatics, a band from Richmond. Here is the article on Michael Franti in Thursday's Times-Dispatch. You always leave a Spearhead show high off the positivity and the only reasone I'm missing this one is because I'll be hitting up the DBT show the night before. Here is the video for "Say Hey":

If you want to get your 80s on for FREE on Saturday night, you can head to Innsbrook for the Season Finale featuring tribute bands Bruce in the USA- Tribute to Bruce Springsteen with Limelight- RUSH Tribute and Even Better than the Real Thing- U2 Tribute. If you really want to buy Gold Circle seats for this (Bah!), you can for $25. Otherwise the show is free and gates open at 4 PM.

I'll leave you with this video that I saw on BuzzFeed that I found very moving. No joke. It reminded me that life is full of little moments that may seem inconsequential at the time but you'll sometimes remember little moments like this more than you remember what are supposed to be the "big" moments in your life. For example, one of the few memories I have of my grandfather (who died when I was nine) was walking up to Dunkin Donuts one morning when he was visiting my house. On our way up to the store, he stopped and pointed out a mockingbird on a wire. A minor thing, nothing really "happened" but somehow its stuck with me. Now I am beginning to wonder what little moments my kids will remember when they are 40.

I'll see you at DBT on Saturday night. Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bruce Hornsby at The National

Here's another one: *** Just Announced *** BRUCE HORNSBY Saturday October 3rd @ 8pm ... Reserved Seat and General Admission Tickets on sale August 21st at all Ticketmaster outlets,,, and The National box office.

Bruce H. puts on a fun show, taking requests from the audience and improvising.

The National web site indicates he will be with his band, The Noisemakers. Here he is solo working some requests into his song "Spider Fingers":

Gogol Bordello at The National

*** Just Announced *** GOGOL BORDELLO Wednesday October 28th @ 8pm ... Tickets on sale Friday August 21st at all Ticketmaster outlets,,, and The National box office

This band has insane energy. I love watching them on the festival webcasts. I missed them at Toad's when they played there last. Hope I can catch them this time.

I mean who doesn't like crazed gypsy punk?

Here they are at The Norva a couple weeks ago:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Toad's Place Is Back!, Dar Williams, Derek Trucks, White Rabbits

Toad's Place is finally back in business and will now be known as the Hat Factory. Maybe all the artists who play there will wear a silly hat in honor of the name. Or not. Or maybe they'll let anyone who wears a silly hat in for free. Or not.

They'll be opening in early September under new management who sound like they should know what they are doing. The article in Style also says they'll be doing live music outdoors on Friday afternoons as if we need another reason to leave work early and start the weekend. Hopefully, they can overcome some of the fears people have about going downtown and specifically to the canal at night. It doesn't help much that nothing else has really materialized in that area along the Canal Walk. Looking forward to see what these guys can do with the place. Here is the article from Style: CLICK HERE.

Pollstar shows the first show there (as of now) is the Ten out of Tenn tour on Friday, 9/25. When I Googled to see if the Hat Factory has a web site yet, I also found out that Robert Earl Keen is booked there on 11/17 and that is confirmed on REK's web site.

Onto what is happening this week. Neo-folkies Dar Williams & Stephen Kellogg play at the Capital Ale House Downtown on Thursday night. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8, tix are $30. Here's what the press release on the Ale House web site says about Dar:

"Williams' growth as a person over her 15-year career has gone hand-in-hand with her evolution as an artist. Raised in Chappaqua, NY, and educated at Wesleyan University, Williams spent 10 years living in the thriving artistic community of Northampton, MA, where she began to make the rounds on the coffeehouse circuit. An early fan of her music was Joan Baez, who took Williams out on the road and recorded several of her songs. Williams self-released her debut album, The Honesty Room in 1993, then signed with Razor & Tie Entertainment in 1995, which has been her label home ever since. She has released one live album — Out There Live (2001); six studio albums — The Honesty Room (1993), Mortal City (1996), End of the Summer (1997), The Green World (2000), The Beauty of the Rain (2003), and My Better Self (2005); and one live DVD — Live at Bearsville Theater (2007).

Through it all, Williams' motivation as an artist is to "experience meaning without fooling myself," she says. "There are these moments where everything feels connected, and I think my art is about trying to find the stories that make us feel connected. That's the verve of my life. It's what keeps things interesting."

I saw Dar many years ago at an outdoor festival in Philly. I liked (and still do) hearing here tunes on the radio but that day she was just OK. It was hot, it was a fairly large amphitheater on the river and I was probably waiting for Los Lobos to come on so it may have been me. I would definitely give her another chance, especially indoors in a smaller venue, which I think would play to her strengths, and having a couple fine microbrews, which would play to my strengths. And she's kind of cute, so seeing her close-up would definitely add to the experience. For me anyway. Here she is doing her song "The One Who Knows" earlier this month:

Guitar great Derek Trucks and his band will play at The National on Friday night. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with opener Jesse Chong Band. Ticket prices are Orchestra 1 seating $35, Orchestra 2 seating $30, Balcony seating $25, Standing genral admission $20. Since Derek is usually associated with jam bands which are usually associated with dancing, I was a bit surprised to see this as a reserved seats event. Though he can get pretty jazzy with his band so perhaps he wants to allow people to chill. If you like blues guitar and you haven't seen Derek, be sure to check him out. I guarantee you a few absolutely jaw dropping moments. Here's a little video to tell you all about Derek Trucks Band while you groove:

The Low Anthem will be at The Canal Club on Friday night. Doors open at 7:30 and will open with Alex Enggist, Cannery Row, and Nathan Moore. Tix are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. You can check out the full set The Low Anthem played at The Newport Folk Festival on August 1 courtesy of NPR HERE. You might dig these guys if you like folky/country Neil Young, Dylan, or Ray LaMontagne.

Fiery Furnaces and White Rabbits play at The National on Sunday night. Tix are $15 in advance, $18 day of show, doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with opener "a Special Guest". Both bands are of the Indie Rock variety so you'll probably dig them if you like White Stripes, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Velvet Underground, The Who, Dylan, The Stones, Patti Smith, or PJ Harvey. Here's the video for White Rabbits' "Percussion Gun":

Wanted to throw in a couple reviews of recent shows from special correspondent, Mike L. "Had a great weekend of rock’n’roll. Soulive [opened for Wailers at Innsbrook last Friday] was really great with 2 sax players, drummer, lead guitar and keyboardist. The keyboardist played the bass line with his left hand and it was phenomenal. They’re out of NYC and were all instrumental until they brought out a guest singer for the last two songs. He reminded me of Al Green. Wailers were OK, not as good as two years ago. They’ve got a new lead vocalist who just didn’t’ have the energy level of the last time around. Their lead guitarist who I stood in front of was soaring off in the heavens. Not a bad night for $15 entrance fee and $4 beers.

DMB keeps getting better with age and I felt the new sax player was my MVP for the night. They had a full video screen behind the band that was outstanding technology - high definition. The place was packed and all the kids around me knew all the words to all the songs. I went with 3 - 17 year olds and boy do they know their music. Only downside is getting out of the parking lot at the Nissan Pavilion in Bristow which is an exercise in futility as you prepare for the 2 hour ride home. All in all a great weekend."

I'll leave you this week with a song my kids are lovin' right now. Even little Willie (almost 2!) asks for "Yoda":

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Jason Isbell review, Wailers, Soulive, Groovin' At Granite, B-52s

Had a good time at the Jason Isbell & 400 Unit / Sons of Bill show. To those of you who wouldn't take me up on my extra free ticket (thanks, Plan 9 contests!), I say get your priorities straight! "Oooh, I have to work early", "Oooh, I have to work late", "Oooh, I have too much work", "Oooh, I have to go somewhere for work." Come on people, a year from now will you remember a good rock and roll show or that you went into work an hour early so you could catch up on email?

Anyway, the show opened for me with Sons of Bill (I missed the first opener). This band is from Central VA and have a pretty good following as evidenced by the number of people singing along with them and that they are currently at #35 on the Americana Top 40 chart. (Please, would someone start an Americana station here in Richmond? It would absolutely KILL! If anyone wants to start one, I'll be happy to help.) They play alt-country and reminded me at times of The Silos and Steve Earle. Their originals featured good songwriting and some fine musicianship. They threw in some covers from Mississippi John Hurt and Alice In Chains (unexpected, but worked great). I would definitely like to check these guys out again.

Jason Isbell & 400 Unit were excellent. The new songs sounded great. When he played "Goddamn Lonely Love" for his Truckers days, they stretched it out and solidified its standing in my top songs of the decade (coming in December!). Here's their performance of that song in Cleveland in March:

Other highlights included a cover of Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer", another Truckers' fave "Danko/Manuel" and the next to last song (sorry couldn't find a setlist and didn't know the name but it was an original)where the whole band jammed and really took it to another level, especially with the guitar interplay between Jason Isbell and Browan Lollar.

Onto this week's shows. Friday night at Innsbrook's Snaggletooth Pavilion, The Wailers play with Soulive opening. A pretty good double bill. I saw the Wailers a few years ago and they were fun to see, mixing the songs you'd expect them to play with some more obscure tracks. The lead singer was himself and wasn't trying to imitate Bob, which is welcomed. Soulive is a great funk band, so if you can stand the heat, the rain should be over and you can get out there and have a good time. Tix are $15, no Gold Circle (yay!), and the gates will open at 5:30 which means the show will start around 6. Here's the Wailers performing "Get Up, Stand Up" in Atlanta in January:

And here is Soulive at their 10th Anniversary Show in Brooklyn on 7/31/09 doing Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up" with Nigel Hall and John Scofield:

On Saturday, you can boogie down and help the kids at Good Shepherd Episcopal School. They'll be holding "Groovin' At Granite" at the Granite Swim Club at 6423 Glyndon Lane in Richmond. It'll start at 8:30 and go until midnight. Here's what it's all about: "Bring your swim trunks and dancing shoes for a night of fun to support Good Shepherd Episcopal School. "Groove Spot" will be providing dance music spanning from the 60's to now. Beer and food will be available. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at the door or in advance by emailing . All procedes will be donated directly to GSES. This is a great cause! Please help us out."

If you are at home trying to beat the heat this weekend, watch other people sweat their asses off by watching the FREE webcast of Lollapalooza from Chicago. It'll be here,, starting Friday aftermoon, and then on Saturday & Sunday too. As usual, iClips doesn't have the schedule up yet because they are usually negotiating with bands to show them right up until the show starts. The first band comes on at 12:15 ET on Friday so check out the site then and see who they have lined up. Playing at Lollapalooza but not guaranteed to be on the webcast: Sound Tribe Sector 9, Ben Folds, Fleet Foxes, The Decemberists, Peter Bjorn & John, Of Montreal, Depeche Mode, Kings of Leon (Friday), Robert Earl Keen, Perry Farrell, Gomez, Coheed & Cambria, Arctic Monkeys, TV On the Radio, Ben Harper, Animal Collective, Tool, Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Saturday), Vampire Weekend, Neko Case, Lou Reed, Snoop Dogg, Jane's Addiction (Sunday).

Finally, on Wednesday, at Innsbrook, one of the greatest party bands of all time makes an appearance, the B-52s. Get you wig on and head on down that Richmond highway to the Love Shack in the middle of an industrial park. If you are really cool, you will wear a lobster costume. Or maybe a rock costume. "But it wasn't a rock! Was a ROCK LOBSTER!" Gates open at 6, no word on an opener. Tix are $12.50 in advance, $15 at the door, $35 for Gold Circle (boo!). Here they are in early years doing "Rock Lobster". Love Fred's cheesy mustache. He also provides more cowbell.

And finally I'll leave you with The Simpsons 10 Funniest Trips. Remember kids, don't do drugs. That'll leave more for me.

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan