Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Go & See...

This is the easy part...Follow the steps below:
1. Read the List below
2. Pick a show that seems interesting
3. Check your availability
4. Secure funding (preferably legally)
5. Buy a ticket
6. Confirm mode of transportation
7. Put on your most comfortable clothes
8. Enjoy the show

Here are some noteworthy shows coming to the lovely Midwest:

3/27 Mute Math @ St. Andrews
4/1 Neko Case @ Beachland Ballroom
4/1 Snow Patrol & OK Go @ State Theatre Detroit
4/2 Nas @ House of Blues (Cleveland)
4/5 Eric Clapton @ The Palace
4/7 Ben Folds @ Michigan Theater
4/9 Jet @ Clutch Cargos
4/10 Mason Jennings @ Blind Pig
4/11 Martin Sexton @ Michigan Theater
4/11 Page France @ Beachland Ballroom
4/12 Tragically Hip @ State Theatre Detroit
4/12 Andrew Bird @ Majestic Theater
4/13 VietNam @ Lagerhouse
4/13 Blonde Redhead @ Magic Stick
4/14 Josh kelley @ Blind Pig
4/15 Lucinda Williams @ Michigan Theater
4/16 Sean Lennon @ St. Andrews
4/17 Josh Rouse @ Magic Bag
4/18 RJD2 @ Magic Stick
4/18 Yo La Tengo @ Majestic Theater
4/19 Nas @ State Theatre Detroit
4/19 RJD2 @ Grog Shop
4/26 Patty Griffin @ Michigan Theater
4/27 Paul Thorn @ The Ark
4/28 Antibalas @ Blind Pig
4/28 G. Love @ Bogarts
4/29 Richard Buckner & Six Parts Seven @ Beachland Ballroom
4/29 Trans Am @ Magic Stick
5/3 Wolfmother @ Bogarts
5/4 M. Ward & Norah Jones @ Michigan Theater
5/5 Ben Gibbard @ Majestic Theater
5/6 El-P @ magic Stick
5/7 Catie Curtis @ The Ark
5/7 LCD Soundsystem @ Majestic Theater
5/7 Peter, Bjorn & John @ Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus)
5/8 Arctic Monkeys @ Clutch Cargo's
5/8 Daniel Johnston @ Magic Stick
5/9 Brandi Carlile & Cary Brothers @ The Ark
5/9 The Killers @ The Fox Theatre
5/11 Elvis Costello @ State Theatre
5/11 Mando Diao @ Blind Pig
5/12 Daniel Johnston @ Grog Shop
5/12 Bjork @ Auditorium Theatre (Chicago)
5/14 Morrissey @ Michigan Theater
5/17 Damien Rice @ State Theatre Detroit
5/18 - 5/20 Arcade Fire @ Chicago Theater
5/19 Keane @ State Theatre Detroit
5/20 Bright Eyes & Gillian Welch @ Wexner Center
5/21 Bright Eyes @ Royal Oak Music Theater
5/23 Tapes n Tapes @ The Basement (Columbus)
5/25 Black Rebel Motorcycle Club & The Fratellis @ St. Andrews
5/27 Lily Allen @ Majestic Theater
6/3 Dinosaur Jr. @ Blind Pig
6/5 Steely Dan @ Toldeo Zoo
6/6 The National @ Magic Stick
6/7 Voxtrot @ Magic Stick
6/12 Bela Fleck @ Michigan Theater
7/1 Mountain Stage @ Power Center
7/5 John Mayer, Ben Folds & Brett Dennen @ The Palace
7/5 & 7/6 The Police @ Wrigley Field
7/17 The Police @ The Palace

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Bubbles & Bullets...

I had the chance to see Explosion in the Sky last night at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit. Seeing (& hearing) this band is a bit like watching an approaching storm...first you are hit with a slight breeze, that builds steadily...distant thunder, darkness creeps in and surrounds you, lightning strikes and the action begins. Explosions in the Sky have an amazing ability to offer up the soft, subtle and delicate that make all feel peaceful (the bubbles) and then deliver some of the hardest, most aggressive and destructive beats that feels like machine gun fire ripping up the venue (the bullets). Instrumental bands are a difficult experience to summarize, as the music hits everybody in a different way, but this band seems to play with one pulse, one brain and one central nervous system...this is not an exercise in experimental noise...this feels like a living organism that is quite a sight when you see it live. In mere moments, you are taken from inner peace and a feeling of floating to an assault on your eardrums, led by a phenomenal drummer who can play the hell out of a drum kit with a rhythm that seems to be the glue that holds it all together.

Here is an interesting time lapse clip on YouTube that someone set to this amazing music style...somehow it captures what this band is about.

And check out this great Screenprint poster that the good folks at Madhouse created (designed by Alana)...they sold really well at the show. Spend some time on the Madhouse site...all kinds of interesting stuff going on there.

Bjork is Back...

Bjork has not toured in four years, but she is back in support of her sixth release, Volta (image is her new album cover). The album is scheduled to be released on May 7th. Bjork has also begun scheduling concert dates and is rumored to be working on a stage production that includes 30 musicians on stage all at the same time.

Here are the dates that are known at this time:
May 2 - New York @ Radio City Music Hall
May 5 - New York @ United Palace Theater
May 8 - New York @ Apollo Theater
May 12 - Chicago @ Auditorium Theatre
May 15 - Denver @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
May 19 - San Francisco @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
May 23 - Vancouver @ Deer Lake Park

With creativity that knows no boundaries, Bjork can stun visually and vocally...this is one of my favorite Bjork songs & videos, Human Behavior.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Mic Test #20: Stars of Track and Field...

Stars of Track and Field:
*Note: The music featured in the Mic Test is typically new to me, too. Just throwing out some info. about bands that seem to be offering something exciting. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Real Grace...

May, 2007 will mark the 10th Anniversary of singer songwriter Jeff Buckley's untimely death. In honor of the occasion, Columbia/Legacy will be releasing So Real: Song of Jeff Buckley. Old favorites and some new, unreleased material will be included in this first attempt at a greatest hits compilation. Buckley fans will also be interested to know that a documentary called Amazing Grace will also be released in May on DVD. An enormous talent and an emotional force who was taken too soon. His first album, Grace, remains one of the most critically acclaimed works of the last three decades.

Here are some interesting clips from a Dutch Documentary from 2000.

Part 2 of 5
Part 3 of 5
Part 4 of 5
Part 5 of 5

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Classic Clips: U2...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Mouse That Roared...

Spring has sprung and times are good for Modest Mouse fans the world over. The new album, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, is out now and all is right with the world. And still more exciting is the fact that the band has announced a bunch of tour you can get down in person with these "humble rodents."

Here are some North American tourdates:
April 2007
15 - Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theater
16 - Vancouver, British Columbia @ PNE Coliseum
17 - Boise, ID @ Big Easy Concert Hall
20-21 - Minneapolis, MN @ The Orpheum
22 - Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theater
24 - Toronto, Ontario @ Hummingbird Centre
25 - Montreal, Quebec @ Metropolis
26 - Rochester, NY @ Main Street Armory
27 - Boston, MA @ The Orpheum Theater
29-30 - New York, NY @ United Palace

May 2007
2 - Providence, RI @ Lupo's at The Strand
3 - Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
4 - Greensboro, NC @ Special Events Center
5 - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
6 - Birmingham, AL @ BJCC Arena Concert Hall
8 - New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
9 - Austin, TX @ The Backyard
10 - Grand Prairie, TX @ Nokia Live
12 - Mesa, AZ @ Mesa Amphitheater
13 - Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre
14 - San Diego, CA @ Cox Arena
16 - San Jose, CA @ San Jose State University

...Check out this video for Dashboard, the first single off the new album...quite a "Fish Story." (Take it easy, cheesy)


All kinds of interesting music festivals shaping up for the summer...get on it. Here are a few.

Pitchfork Music Festival
Chicago, IL
July 13th - 15th
Initial performers include: Cat Power, Clipse, Iron & Wine, Professor Murder, Of Montreal

Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival
Chicago, IL
July 28th
Initial performers include: Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Steve Winwood, Willie Nelson, Jeff Beck, Sheryl Crow, John Mayer, Alison Krauss, Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph & many more

Virgin Festival 2007
Baltimore, MD
August 4th & 5th
Initial performers include: The Police, Smashing Pumpkins, Beasties Boys

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mic Test #19: Antibalas...

*Note: The music featured in the Mic Test is typically new to me, too. Just throwing out some info. about bands that seem to be offering something exciting. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Strongest at The Roots...

So many concert experiences start the same way...after a lengthy wait, the room goes silent for a moment, the lights go down, the fans scream in anticipation of a band's performance. The Roots show last night in Pontiac was no different except for the excitement of a seeing such a big band with a big sound in a small venue. This was a rare nightclub gig for the Legendary Roots Crew that was sponsored by Tanqueray at Sevin. And The Roots did not disappoint as they snaked their way past their fans then up onto the stage. ?uestlove leading the way, each member was keeping the beat on cowbells, tambourines, etc. All 10 members made it to the stage and from there, the jam began.

Game Theory, Everybody is a Star, Long Time & Love of My Life. Next came a look back with a medley of hip hop favorites from days gone by...Award Tour (Tribe Called Quest), Apache (Sugar Hill Gang), Just a Friend (Biz Markie), Push It (Salt 'n Pepa) and Planet Rock (Afrika Bambaata). Hearing all those old favorites got the crowd sufficiently hyped and reminded us all why we love hip hop so much. You Got Me featured some guitar work that would make Eddie Van Halen blush, while the group's take on Kool & The Gang's, Jungle Boogie featured ?uestlove's crazy percussion skills. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince's Summertime provided a nice intro vibe that the group slowly transformed into the recent hit Don't Feel Right. From there a few more crowd favorites...The Next Movement and a reggae dance hall version of The Seed.

Cristian Rios captured some nice images of the show, including ?uestlove's late night DJ Session in Detroit. Check out his Photobucket images here. Here is a good shot of Black Thought early in the night (I even snuck into the background of one of his sly, Thanks Cris). Take some time to check out Cris' other photos, he has some shots of the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame's newest inductee (and first from the world of Hip Hop), Grandmaster Flash. Flash, one time! Makes me feel better knowing the Okayplayer family tree is getting stronger by the day...and everybody knows a tree is strongest at "The Roots" (never a doubt).

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Legends On Deck at Wrigley Field...

Wrigley rumors have turned to reality...It is a fact that Wrigley Field will be the site for two concerts for the reunited Police Tour 2007. The Chicago Press is talking about this like it is going to happen on July 5th and July 6th. What a great venue to see a momentous reunion...instead of Home Run balls on Waveland, you know the die hard fans will be hanging out to feel the streets shaking. Now the hard part...getting tickets...and you thought finding good seats for a Cubs game was a challenge?

God, it Looks Like Daniel...

Daniel Johnston is scheduled to make some rare appearances at this week's SXSW. The curious and the reverent clamor at the chance to see this man, who some call a genius and others call exploited, deliver his unique musical creations. If you haven't heard Daniel Johnston, he may be one of the most difficult musicians to define...but what you can take away from his performances is true expression. The Devil and Daniel Johnston, a critically acclaimed documentary, which came out in 2005 may represent the best peek into Daniel's strange and special world. So many notable people are fascinated by his art, his music, his words and his mind...take a peek inside. You be the judge...and maybe you can catch him performing live. There are other Midwest dates that seems to be shaping up. Keep an eye out for these possibilities.
This fansite should be a good source of updated information.

May 8th in Detroit
May 9th in Indy
May 10th @ Chicago lakeshore Theatre
May 11th in Columbus
May 12th in Cleveland
May 13th in Pittsburgh
May 15th - 18th @ David Bowie's Highline Festival in NYC

Here is a trailer for The Devil and Daniel Johnston.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Classic Clips: Uncle Tupelo (1989)...

Shining Right in Your Eyes...

Bright Eyes is back on the road with an extensive U.S. tour. But that is not all...Gillian Welch will be his opening act for many of the shows. Amazing simplicity & purity in both of these performer's voices. Tickets for the Roayal Oak show go on sale Saturday, March 17th.

Here are the 2007 dates:

22 - Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theatre
23-24 - Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
25 - Minneapolis, MN @ State Theatre
26 - Omaha, NE @ Holland Performing Arts Center
28 - Denver, CO @ Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre
29 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kingsbury Hall

May 2007
1 - Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
2 - Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
4 - Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre
5 - Santa Barbara, CA @ Arlington Theatre
6 - Los Angeles, CA @ Walt Disney Concert Hall
8 - San Diego, CA @ Soma
9 - Mesa, AZ @ Mesa Amphitheatre
11 - Dallas, TX @ Palladium Ballroom
12 - Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom
13 - Austin, TX @ Bass Concert Hall
14 - New Orleans, LA @ Republic
16 - Tampa, FL @ Tampa Theatre
17 - Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
18 - Atlanta, GA @ Fox Theatre
19 - Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
20 - Columbus, OH @ Wexner Center For The Arts
21 - Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
22 - Toronto, Ontario @ Massey Hall
24 - Boston, MA @ Wang Center For The Performing Arts
25-26 - New York, NY @ Town Hall
28-31 - New York, NY @ Town Hall

June 2007
1 - New York, NY @ Town Hall

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Shocking the Monkeys...

Shake off the cold...concert season is heating up. So many bands are starting to announce dates for 2007. Pre-sale tickets for The Arctic Monkeys at Clutch Cargo's go on sale Tuesday, March 13th at 10:00 a.m. The actual show will take place on May 8th.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Learn Your Lessons...

Detroit Rock City earns the title with bands like The Hard Lessons. Hailing from the Hamtramck area, these road warriors are aptly named as they criss-cross the U.S. (& Europe, too) playing just about every little club along the way...earning rave reviews the "hard" way. The have built up quite a hometown reputation, as well as a solid following in the Toledo area. This trio (guitar, drums & keys) will be bringing their driving force to Culture Clash Records this Friday, March 9th at 7 p.m. for a FREE in-store performance. You do not want to miss this show...this band plays with the energy of 6 year olds at recess and they never leave a crowd disappointed. The are on the front end of an extensive tour of North America, which includes several SXSW shows in Austin, Texas next week. They have lots of clips on YouTube, but I chose this one because I thought it captured their spirit.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

It's a Wilco World...

...and we are just living in it. Last night was another reminder why Wilco fans love their band. We all know that the new album, Sky Blue Sky is going to drop on May 15th...but really, who can wait that long? So the band & the fine people who run Wilco's official website decided to stream the entire new album from start to finish (for one night only)...the true definition of "throwing your fans a bone." The album was a slight departure, but definitely delivered that deeply textured, rich sound that has become familiar...Tweedy's thoughtfully crafted lyrics along with some pleasantly powerful guitar work make this an album that won't disappoint. I'm not the best music critic, but (at first listen) I felt some Beatles influence coming through...Abbey Road or White Album. Somehow, there are some blogs out there streaming some of the new know how the internet works...get to work! OK, lazy..try clicking here.

Here is the tracklist & cover art for the new album:

1 Either Way
2 You Are My Face
3 Impossible Germany
4 Sky Blue Sky
5 Side With the Seeds
6 Shake It Off
7 Please Be Patient With Me
8 Hate It Here
9 Leave Me (Like You Found Me)
10 Walken
11 What Light
12 On and On and On

And while you are waiting to wrap your ears around Sky Blue Sky, head to their website and check out the Roadcase link. There have two shows for your listening pleasure...Wilco live from the 9:30 Club in DC last fall and a Jeff Tweedy solo show in Charlottesville a few weeks back (this show is coming soon).

A Taste of the Motor City...

The Comerica CityFest is a FREE five-day outdoor food and entertainment festival in Detroit's New Center during the Fourth of July weekend. The event is a family affair which offers Free national and local talent on four stages, over 40 Michigan restaurants selling "tastes" of their specialties, free stage shows, activities for children, and a marketplace of unique Detroit products and memorabilia. This year the Comerica CityFest is Wednesday, July 5 - Sunday, July 8, 2007. Keep an eye on the participating musicians...Femi Kuti is the only confirmed act so far...not a bad start, I'd say.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Roots in DET on the DL...

After a serious search on the World Wide Web, I was able to dig up some information about a "secret" show that The Roots are playing in Detroit on March 16th. It seems that Tangueray & Tony Style Sessions are bring the Legendary Roots crew to a small nightclub in Pontiac (close enough to Detroit) called Sevin The Nightclub. It is not exactly clear how to get on the guest list, but a call to the club convinced me that the general public will have a chance at getting in. Stay up on this one.

Martin Sexton, Sowing the Seeds...

Here is a behind the scenes look at Martin Sexton working on his latest album, Seeds.

Mic Test #18: Ryan Shaw...

Ryan Shaw:
*Note: The music featured in the Mic Test is typically new to me, too. Just throwing out some info. about bands that seem to be offering something exciting. Enjoy.