Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dynamites feat. Charles Walker, Guggenheim Grotto, Steve Martin, Fly on my martini

I had a really weird thing happen last night.  I was preparing my martini in a shaker and the outside of the shaker developed a nice layer of frost on it from all the ice.  A fly landed on the shaker and, obviously not having seen "Christmas Story", proceeded to get his tongue stuck to the frozen metal of the shaker.  He tried in vain to escape from the shaker but his tongue held fast.  In short time, he froze to death on the shaker.  Froze to death on a 100 degree day.  There is probably a moral to that story but I don't know what it is.  "Don't stick your tongue on a frozen martini shaker"?

Anyway, on to this weekend's shows.  We have our last Friday Cheers this week.  Its $2 to get in, kids 12 & under are free, the show starts at 6:30 with opener Whirlybird, a local band playing the funky, jazzy soul.  I can't say that I had heard of the headliner, The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker, prior to the announcement of the Friday Cheers schedule but what I heard on their web site sounds like they could be a good band to see.  They've got that new funk-soul-R&B sound going on like Amy Winehouse or Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, and like SJ & TDK, they have a soul veteran on the vocals in Charles Walker.  Here's what the Cheers said said about them: "Walker deserves his due after decades as an unsung musical hero. He first became a professional entertainer in his native Nashville in the late 1950s, recording with hit producer Ted Jarrett and appearing nightly at the New Era Club, one of the South’s leading black nightclubs. Walker spent most of the 1960s and ‘70s in New York, performing frequently at the Apollo Theater and Small’s Paradise when the original funk scene coalesced. Fronting various bands, including the criminally underrated Little Charles & the Sidewinders, Walker released singles for Chess, Decca, and a number of smaller labels. The records failed to hit the big time but their quality endured and are now prized among collectors. After the recordings gained notice in Europe’s Northern Soul scene, Walker found steady solo work overseas, and he lived in England and Spain before returning to Music City in the 1990s."  Here they are playing in Nashville a few years ago:

By the way, grab yourself a pair of 3D glasses and check THIS out.  I borrowed a red/cyan pair from my kid's SpongeBob 3D book.  This is pretty cool.

The Guggenheim Grotto will be at Ashland Coffee & Tea on Saturday night.  The show starts at 8 PM and tix are $15 in advance, $20 day of show.  Here is what the AC&T web site says about them: "heady mix of pop, folk and soaring melodies around ever present vocal harmonies : “With debts to both Radiohead and The Beatles, this is modern, intelligent, lyrically potent pop.” – The Boston Herald

Over the past three years Mick Lynch and Kevin May of pop/folk act The Guggenheim Grotto have touched U.S. and U.K. audiences in a way the duo couldn’t have imagined. From setting out as Dublin songwriter circuit regulars alongside artists like Damien Rice and Glen Hansard, to building a devoted cult following in the U.S. with warm embraces from media and competitive iTunes charting, the band has captivated audiences and tastemakers on both sides of the pond with its mix of poetic, often literature-inspired lyrics set to timeless, soaring pop melodies."

Here they are performing the title track from their new album, "The Universe Is Laughing":

That's about it for this week.  I'll see you at Friday Cheers tomorrow night.  Try to stay cool.

I'll leave you with this.  By now you may have checked out some of the concert riders with artists demands for their backstage areas on sites like Smoking Gun.  Some of you may also know that Steve Martin, the comedian, is currently touring with bluegrass band, Steep Canyon Rangers, and he/they are apparently quite good.  But Steve's concert rider was leaked today and I've never seen anyone more demanding.  "A tiny Icelandic horse"?  HERE it is if you want to check it out yourself.

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan