Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Fun: Lego album covers quiz

Here's some Friday Fun for you:  Try to guess all the album covers depicted here in Legos.  Answers are at the end.  Click the picture to move to the next cover.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

John Mellencamp, GWAR, Leon Russell, Marathon Bluegrass Jam, Puddleduck

The newly single and dating Meg Ryan (will she be in town?) John Mellencamp will be here on Thursday night at the Landmark Theater.  Good tix are still available which is not surprising when tix run from $44.50 for the balcony to $128 for orchestra.  You do get a free download of JM's new album, the T-Bone Burnett produced (that guy is everywhere) "No Better Than This", which is getting very good reviews, the best for a Mellencamp album in this decade (though all his albums have been good).  The show starts at 7 PM and opens with a short film, "It's About You" which profiles the making of the new album.  Then Mr. Mellencamp will perform a mix of old and new songs in a more than two hour show.  Here's JM playing "Easter Eve" from his latest album at Radio City Music Hall on 2/19/11:

On a completely different note, GWAR brings their horror rock to The National on Friday night.  Tix are $18.50 in advance and $21 at the door.  Doors open at 7 and show starts at 8 with openers Cannabis Corpse and Mensrea.  If you don't know much about GWAR this video should help you out.  Heavy metal, awesome costumes and gor-gor rises and attacks:

After the mayhem of GWAR, you can chill out the next day, Saturday, with the Marathon Bluegrass Jam at Grandpa Eddie's Alabama Ribs & BBQ.  The jam runs from noon until midnight and is a 12 hour non-stop bluegrass jam to benefit the Fisher House - an organization that lodges families of American soldiers recuperating at McGuire Veterans Hospital.  The bands particpating are East of Afton, Churchyard Grass, Leather Britches, Highway 249, Copper Ridge, Shockoe Bottom Boys, The Cary Street Ramblers and Shelton's Mill.  Musicians of all levels are invited to come and jam with the bands.  There is no cover charge for participating jamming musicians or the spectators but you better damn well give a donation.

Saturday night at Alley Katz, (Alley Katz, please stop that bang and music that comes on when you first go to your site.  It always makes my jump, I have to hurriedly turn down my volume, you've had it for 10 years now, and its just really f'in annoying) Puddleduck and opener Hazeltones will perform for your pleasure from 9 PM until 2 AM.  Tix are 8 in advance, $10 at the door.  Puddleduck play "funkin' southern rock", mostly original, though they've been known to cover Phish, Floyd, and Allman Brothers.  Here they are performing "Carolina" a couple years ago at Alley Katz:

Sunday afternoon, you can enjoy great beer and fine music at Legend Brewery's 17th Anniversary Party.  The party Starts at 3 PM and goes till 9 PM. Admission is $20 at the door and will include 3 live bands and 3 tickets for food and refreshments. Music by: Cyrus McCormick and the Reapers (50s & 60s rock n' roll), The Remnants (classic rock & R&B), Wade Reynolds and The Greater Richmond Pipes & Drums.  Guests under 21, $12 & Children under 12 are $5.

Tuesday night, Leon Russell, superstar of the 70's who is enjoying a comeback right now thanks to his new album with old friend Elton John, will be at The Hat Factory.  Tix are $20 in advance for standing, $30 in advance for seating.  Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with opener TBA.  Leon will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in June along with John Bettis ("Human Nature", "Crazy For You", "Slow Hand"), Garth Brooks, Billy Steinberg & Tom Kelly ("Like a Virgin", "True Colors", "I Touch Myself"), and New Orleans great Allen Touissant ("Working in the Coalmine", "Ride Your Pony", "Sneaking Sally Through The Alley").  Leon wrote such songs as "This Masquerade", "Delta Lady", and "Tight Rope".  Here's Leon performing his current hit with Elton, "If It Wasn't For Bad":

And as a bonus my favorite Leon performance, "Jumpin' Jack Flash/Young Blood" from the Concert for Bangladesh.

In our continuing review of the 25 Best Music Videos of 2010 as chosen by Paste Magazine, this week we check out Nick Cave's band Grinderman and their video "Heathen Child".  This is one seriously f'd up video with Nick and the band as Gods of War who have the ability to fart nuclear explosions, werewolves, voodoo and a little dog who conducts the band.  I have no idea if the video is supposed to "mean" something other than being a nightmarish, yet sometimes humorous, collection of images.  Its pretty cool.

I'm outta here. Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Friday Cheers=$5, Umphrey's McGee, Lotus, Crossroads from Richmond to Nashville

Saw THIS ARTICLE in the Times-Dispatch on Saturday (OK, actually Mike L. brought it to my attention) about the admission cost of Friday Cheers going up to $5 this year and maybe even $10 for select shows.  A bit of a gamble by Cheers.  On the one hand, this will allow them to book better acts which is a plus.  This may also eliminate some of the crowd that would just come down to drink and talk which sometimes socialized to the point that it distracted from the music.  On the other hand, that crowd that was coming down just to drink was buying a lot of those oh-so-profitable $5 beers ($4.50 profit?) so Cheers is taking a gamble that the better acts will pull in more people at the higher admission and offset, if not surpass, what they were making on the socializers. 

This change may have been in response to last year when the first couple Cheers I attended (Grace Potter/Robert Randolph @ Dominion Riverrock (5/14 & 15) and Railroad Earth (5/21)) were packed.  By the time, I got to the last two with Deer Tick (6/18) and The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker (6/25), the combination of the novelty of Cheers wearing off, the heat and lesser-known bands let to very sparsely attended Cheers.  So perhaps if they load the best-known bands at the end of the Cheers season and book better bands in general, they'll keep steady attendence despite the weather.  I know $5 is still cheap enough for me to go take a chance on a band that has a good reputation that I may not necessarily be familiar with.  So far the only bands confirmed for Cheers this year (thanks to Pollstar) is New Orleans band Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue on 5/20, who should be a lot of fun and definitely worth your $5, and Corey Smith on 6/3, who I don't know too much about but seems to fall into that amiable, acoustic Jack Johnson category that makes me go "meh".

Onto this weekend in Richmond.  Yacht rock superstars Three Sheets to the Wind will be doing their regular gig at The Republic on Thursday night.  The show starts at 10 PM and its FREE.  Ok, maybe superstars is too strong a word but if you likes you some Christopher Cross, Steely Dan, Kenny Loggins and the like, this band is for you.  They'll be debuting two new yacht rock tunes at this show which is called the Love Boat Luau.

At The National on Friday night, The Velvet Marias, The Venture Rays and The Word Brown will perform for your pleasure and also to benefit Commonwealth Parenting, whose mission "is to build a stronger community by teaching proactive parenting skills to parents and caregivers in central Virginia through quality education, communication, and support".  Per their web site, "The Velvet Marias play classic country from Patsy Cline to Steve Earle, rock covers from Buddy Holly to the Band, and deep R&B cuts from Dr. John to Sly Stone, and back again.
Their original songs are hook oriented snapshots that tell a story while everyone sings along."
Here's Velvet Marias doing Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues":

Also on Friday night, The Hot Seats (formerly known as Special Ed & The Shortbus) will be at Poe's Pub (which has its own theme song on their web site).  The show starts at 10 PM and its $5 to get in.  Here they are playing their brand of bluegrass at the Music City Roots show on Groundhog Day this year:

On Saturday night at The Canal Club there will be a whole bunch of Richmond Americana with the "Crossroads from Richmond to Nashville" show featuring Barrelhouse, Allen Thompson Band, The Atkinsons, and Relacksachian.  Doors open at 8, tix are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.  Here are the Atkinsons performing "Her Mind's On Other Things" at Ashland Coffee & Tea in December:

On Saturday night at The National , Lotus will play with doors opening at 8 and the show starting at 9 with opener Daedelus.  Tix are $20 in advance, $22 day of show.  Lotus is an up and coming jamtronica band.  Here's a sample of Lotus playing "Blacklight Sunflare" at Roseland Ballroom in NYC in August:

Through the Mirror Episode 10 from LotusVibes on Vimeo.

Sunday at The National, Umphrey's McGee will jam your face off starting at 7:00 (doors) with opener Zach Deputy hitting the stage at 8. Tix are $20.  You'll dig the Umph, who lean more toward the prog-rock side of jam bandia, if you like Phish, Zappa, moe., Yes, Dream Theater, or Genesis (pre-Invisible Touch).  Here they are performing "Much Obliged - Bridgeless" on 12/29/10:

Out next installment in the 25 Best Music Videos of 2010 as chosen by Paste Magazine leads us this week to the David Crowder Band's "SMS [Shine]".  Paste says that "With a LITE-BRITE board and 700,000 pegs, this self-made video took 2,150 man hours from 83 of the band’s friends."  All I know is I was never able to make anything quite this heartbreaking with my Lite-Brite.  But then again I didn't have 83 friends to help me.

All the big summer festivals are beginning to announce their lineups. Coachella and Sasquatch festivals out on the West Coast sold out in one day each. Here is the lineup for Coachella. Sort of. Look closely.

That's it.  I'm outta here.  Have a great weekend.

Tony Jordan

Thursday, February 10, 2011

David Allen Coe (again), David Lowery, Cornmeal, Jackass Flats

Well, let's start with a screw-up and that would be mine.  David Allan Coe is actually at The Hat Factory this Friday night February 11.  So see last week's blog where I talked about DAC.  I'm guessing none of you actually went on Saturday or noticed the screw-up since I had no comments about what I jackass I was for leading you wrong.  But now you have a second chance to see him.  Doors open at 7, show starts at 8.

David Lowery of Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven is coming out with his first solo album, "The Palace Guards" after 27 years with those two bands.  Don't worry, he says he will continue recording and playing with both of those bands.  To celebrate the release, our homeboy Dave will be doing a FREE performance in-store at Plan 9 in Carytown on Friday night at 7 PM.  Here's David singing "Raise 'Em Up On Honey" from his latest album:

Wednesday night at Capital Ale House downtown, Cornmeal & Jackass Flats will perform beginning at 9 PM.  Tix are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.  Here is what the Capital Ale House site says about Cornmeal: "Formed over 10 years ago, Cornmeal has grown from humble beginnings into a nationally recognized live music institution. 10 years together is no simple task these days, especially when the last five have seen the band spending over half the year on the road. Heavily influenced by American roots and folk music, Cornmeal blends lightning fast tempos and impeccable harmonies into an unrivaled live performance that continues to expand upon the five-piece acoustic-electric groups’ vast musical repertoire. While steeped in the tradition of the past, Cornmeal continues to forge their own path, pushing the boundaries of bluegrass, Americana and folk for a whole new generation of music lovers. With a rapidly growing fan base and ever-evolving sound, Cornmeal challenges the recipe of the bluegrass sound and live performance." Here is Cornmeal performing "Rain Your Light" in Denver last May:

Next on our run of the 25 Best Music Videos of 2010 as chosen by Paste Magazine is The Black Keys' "Tighten Up". Filled with kids who smell like ranch dressing and love as the dirty little playground game that we know it to be (just in time for Valentine's Day, too). In the end, you just gotta remember guys, "bros before hoes".

Hope your Valentine's Day works out better for you than The Black Keys.

Have a great weekend.

Tony Jordan

Widespread Panic Live Simulcast (FREE) Thurs, Fri & Mon

Widespread Panic will be doing a free live simulcast of their 25th Anniversary shows on Thursday, 2/10 & Friday, 2/11 shows at the Athens Classic Center and the Monday, 2/14 Atlanta Valentine’s Day Show at the Fabulous Fox Theatre.  All shows start at 7:30.  The shows will be simulcast HERE.  The simlcasts are free.  The prices displayed on the page are if you want to purchase audio and/or video of the shows to keep.

More on the weekend shows in Richmond later tonight!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Flaming Lips, WRIR, Papadosio, David Allan Coe, Jimmy Eat World,

Quite a few shows this week but let's start with a show going on sale tomorrow for The National. Flaming Lips will be coming to The National on Sunday, May 15.  Tix will be $46.75 (including all charges) and go on sale Friday Feburary 4 at 10 AM.  If you like your rock n' roll shows to include psychedelic music with a bit of punk inspired by Pink Floyd (if they were happier), Yes, The Who, The Cramps, Hawkwind, Sonic Youth, then go see this show.  If you like your rock n' roll shows with dancers dressed like Yo Gabba Gabba's DJ Lance Rock, giant hands that shoot lasers, mirror balls, artsy videos, confetti/streamer guns and a guy walking over the crowd in a giant plastic bubble, then go see this show.  If you like your rock n' roll shows with a bunch of mopey, shoe gazers, with three lights who mumble something to the crowd every third song or so, then go see the Flaming Lips show so you can see rock n' roll extravaganza at its finest.

Onto this weekend's shows.  WRIR's Party for the Rest of Us will be held at the Roosevelt Ballroom of the Renaissance Conference Center, 107 West Broad Street in Richmond on Friday night from 7 PM til midnight.  You can get in for just a $10 donation at the door which gets you not only the entertainment, but also some birthday cake to celebrate WRIR's 6th birthday.  I dig what WRIR does but I can't say I listen too much for a few reasons.  My main radio listening hours (terrestrial or internet) are from 7:30 AM - 6 PM when I'm working and driving in my car.  Unfortunately, for most of that time WRIR is playing news/talk which is nice to have because its hard to find new/talk of a liberal bent on the conservative dominated talk radio airwaves.  But I can't listen to talk radio of any sort while working.  It must be some left brain/right brain kind of thing.  And then when I'm in my car WRIR only comes in if you're near the station (say within 2 miles) and the wind is blowing just right.  But don't let that stop you from supporting them because maybe they can use some money to petition the FCC to boost their signal.  Here is the lineup for the evening's entertainment:

7:15-7:45 Opening ceremony by YoughTaNund Native American drum ensemble
8:05-8:50 Marionette
9:10-9:55 Pennyshaker
10:10-10:55 The Diamond Center
11:15-12:00 Ultra Dolphins

Variety Room:
7:00-7:30 Richmond Youth Jazz Guild
7:40-8:10 Spirit Winds flute ensemble
8:15-9:00 Slam Poetry
9:15-10:00 Stand-up Comedy w/ David Garland, Joe Hafkey, John Reaves
10:00-11:00 Hip Hop showcase w/ Black Liquid, Ms. Proper, Artik Phreeze, Dothepaperboy
11:00-12:00 Turnstyle Sounsystem w/ Jesse Split & JoAnna O

On Friday night at The Canal Club, the Camp Barefoot Recovery Jam will feature Jackass Flats, DJ Williams Projekt, No BS Brass, LarJar and DJ Ricochet Red.  This is an 18 and over show.  Doors open at 8:30.  Tix are $7 in advance, $10 at the door.  A pretty good local band lineup for just $10. 

On Saturday night, Papadosio will be at The National.  Tix are $12.50 in advance, $15 at the door.  Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with opener The Silo Effect.  Papadosio is a jam band that is starting to make a name for themselves on the festival circuit playing Jamcruise recently and Wakarusa, Camp Barefoot, and Summer Camp this summer.  Here they are doing "Unparalyzer" in October of 2010:

Also on Saturday night that alt-country rascallion, David Allan Coe, will be at The Hat Factory. Tix are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8. No opener is listed. DAC has been known for his bad behavior but here he is keeping it clean with his song "The Ride":

Our favorite local 70's smooth rock band, (hell the only local 70's smooth rock band), Three Sheets to the Wind will be at The Tobacco Company on Saturday night.   The show starts at 9:30 and there is no cover.

Tuesday night, Jimmy Eat World will be at The National.  Tix are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.  Doors open at 8, show starts at 7 with opener David Bazan & Band.  Jimmy Eat World managed to shed off the emocore label by embracing some power pop attitude. You will probably dig them if you like Foo Fighters, blink-182, Weezer, Nirvana, Offspring, Rancid or Green Day. Here they are performing their latest hit, "My Best Theory" with a video that reminds me of 70's sci-fi movies:

A little bit of music news. The Rolling Stones are apparently gearing up for a 50th Anniversary World Tour.  But with tickets probably starting at a minimum of $150 and even my friend, Mat, the biggest Stones fan I know saying, "I would pay big bucks to see them in a club but I don't think I'd do a stadium again", especially to see them play the same songs they play every time you see them, you have to wonder, what if they gave a Stones show and no one came? Can they still command top dollar in this economy? Will regular Stones fans get to go or will it just be a bunch of poseurs in the front, taking crappy video on their iPhones the whole show so they can impress their friends with how close they sat and tell them "I think they played that Puerto Rican girls sang but I didn't know too much of the rest. But I did sit near Kim Kardashian!"

OK now its time for the next video in our review of Paste Magazine's 25 Best Music Videos of 2010. This one is from Hanson. Yes, that Hanson. And you know what, I kind of like it. It's a happy, soulful tune with some nice horn riffs in it. No, really try it, its pretty good. And they do a nice parody of the Ray Charles part in "The Blues Brothers" movie. And Weird Al (who has a new album coming out soon) is playing tambourine. So this video really has a lot going for it, though the high-five at the end is pretty freakin' cheesy. Why did they have to go there? Anyway, this is Hanson, "Thinking 'Bout Somethin'":

That's it. I'm outta here.  Have a great weekend.

Tony Jordan