Sunday, November 29, 2009

Spectacle: Elvis Costello With (Season 2)...

Sundance Channel will launch the second season of its critically acclaimed music/talk original series SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH... on Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 10:00pm et/pt with an episode featuring U2's Bono and The Edge. SPECTACLE combines the best elements of talk and music television and lets viewers in on intimate conversation and performances with host Costello and his guests, who range from legendary performers to promising new artists. The series, executive produced by Sir Elton John, includes one-on-one interviews, unprecedented pairings and group discussions, as well as extraordinary performances, from impromptu "illustrative" moments to full band (and even multi-band) productions. Among the confirmed guests for the seven-part season are: Bono, The Edge, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett, John Prine, Ron Sexsmith, Neko Case, Jesse Winchester, Ray LaMontagne, Nick Lowe, Levon Helm, Richard Thompson and Allen Toussaint.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Video: Tune-Yards 4AD Sessions...

Tune-Yards is the singular musical project of New England native Merrill Garbus. Possessing an expansive sound that marries a coarse folk ingenuity with the bold pop sensibility of an R&B siren, her debut record Bird-Brains, released on November 16, was assembled with a staunch DIY aesthetic, all dramatically on show in this inaugural showcase for the 4AD Sessions alongside fellow Tune-Yards maestro Nate Brenner.

Safe to say, you have probably never heard anything like this before.
Hatari takes funky folk to a new level.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

DJ Rekha Brings Beat to Ann Arbor...

DJ Rekha will be in Ann Arbor on January 27th at The Blind Pig.

Rekha Malhotra, aka DJ Rekha is a producer, curator, educator and activist based in New York City. Called the “ambassador of Bhangra” by the New York Times and named one of the most influential South Asians by Newsweek, Rekha is among the first DJs to merge classic Bhangra and Bollywood sounds into the language of contemporary electronic dance music. Since establishing herself on the New York club scene with her inaugural event, Basement Bhangra at SOBs nightclub in 1997, Rekha has produced some of the longest running and most successful parties in New York including Bollywood Disco, Mutiny,and Beat Bazaar.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fela! Shakes Up Broadway...

Enter the extravagant, decadent, rebellious world of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. A provocative hybrid of concert, dance and musical theatre, FELA! features arrangements by Aaron Johnson and Antibalas with direction and choreography by Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones.


BLAKROC Webisode #10...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ann Arbor Folk Fest Full Lineup...

The Ann Arbor Folk Festival, a fundraiser for The Ark, will celebrate its 33rd year with some of the finest in traditional and contemporary artists. The Festival returns to Hill Auditorium for two dynamic and different nights of folk and roots music on Friday, January 29, and Saturday, January 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m. each night.

Line up for Friday, January 29
Iron and Wine
Jay Farrar and Benjamin Gibbard
Band of Heathens
Hoots & Hellmouth
Po' Girl
Jer Coons
Nervous But Excited
Patty Larkin, MC

Line up for Saturday, January 30
Rosanne Cash
Richie Havens
Doc Watson
Raul Malo
The Hot Club of Cowtown
Enter The Haggis
Patty Larkin, MC

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Carolina Chocolate Drops on the Way...

From Nonesuch Records:
Nonesuch Records is set to release the label debut of North Carolina–based string band the Carolina Chocolate Drops on February 23. Produced by critically acclaimed recording artist and songwriter Joe Henry (Allen Toussaint, Elvis Costello, Solomon Burke), Genuine Negro Jig features string band interpretations of Blu Cantrell’s beat-box driven R&B single “Hit ‘Em Up Style” and Tom Waits’ “Trampled Rose,” as well as a pair of original compositions, alongside such traditional tracks as “Cornbread and Butterbeans” and “Trouble in Your Mind.” It is the band’s second record; their 2007 release, Dona Got a Ramblin’ Mind, was praised by Paste for “bravely and expertly reclaiming the string band tradition for modern African-American culture,” while NPR’s Weekend Edition calls the band “the hottest thing to hit the old-time music community in decades.”

The Carolina Chocolate Drops formed after band members Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens, and Justin Robinson met at the Black Banjo Gathering in Boone, North Carolina, in 2005; they have toured continuously since the band’s inception. All three trained in the Piedmont banjo and fiddle musical tradition under the tutelage of Joe Thompson, who, at age 90, is believed to be the last living performer from the Piedmont string band heyday. While old-time Southern string music is often associated with Caucasian musicians from Appalachia, Giddens pointed out in a recent NPR interview that “it seems that two things get left out of the history books. One, that there was string band music in the Piedmont, period. (And that) black folk was such a huge part of string tradition.” The Carolina Chocolate Drops seek to not only correct this misunderstanding, but to keep the centuries-old string music tradition alive and developing.

The members of Carolina Chocolate Drops all come from diverse musical backgrounds, sharing singing duties and swapping instruments throughout their sets. Flemons has immersed himself in the music of the past, with a prodigious record collection and an immense knowledge of the different playing styles of the blues, country, and string band traditions. In addition to her work with Joe Thompson, Giddens—a Piedmont native—studied opera at Oberlin Conservatory, performs with a Celtic band and is also an avid contra dancer and caller. Robinson, the group’s main fiddler, also plays banjo; he grew up in a house full of musicians—his mother is a classically trained opera singer and cellist, his sister a classical pianist and his grandfather a harmonica player.

2010 Tour Dates in the U.S. (so far)
1/8 Melting Point in Athens, GA
1/9 McCelvey Center in York, SC
1/10 The Pourhouse in Charleston, SC
1/16 Spaulding Auditorium, Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH
1/18 The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA
1/19 Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis, MD
1/22 Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA
1/23 Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA
2/25 Royal Theater in Danville, IN
2/26 Satin Louis Art Museum in St. Louis, MO
2/27 Fitzgerald's in Berwyn, IL
2/28 Schubas in Chicago, IL

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Weekly Fodder From Daytrotter...

Daytrotter is simply one of the finest music sites on this planet. Dishing up a steady dose of talented musicians and FREE downloads of in-studio versions of songs hardly a week goes by that doesn't catch my interest. Do yourself a favor this week and check out the site, so you can fill up your ears with the work of Bobby Bare, Jr. as well as Cory Chisel. Good stuff to snack on. Giddyup!

Get yourself some Bobby Bare, Jr.

Now chase that with some Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons

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R.E.M. Stipe Clips Appear on YouTube...

Here is a little web morsel about R.E.M. and their work on a new album (complete with brief random hand-held video clips from a bearded Michael Stipe).

As reported in Bertis' postcard from Copenhagen (see 11-8 entry), the band is currently in the studio with Jacknife Lee recording songs for the follow-up to ACCELERATE. Both Spinner and Consequence of Sound have reported on the band's return to the studio. Stick around for more news and photos from the studio as we get them...

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Video: Beck & Charlotte Gainsbourg...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Video: Monsters of Folk ~ Say Please...

David Gray to Play Windsor Ontario...

David Gray will be playing Windsor, Ontario Canada on January 2nd at The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor. Click here for details. This latest tour is in support of Draw the Line, the warm, fresh, organic sound of David Gray in a new, revitalised light. His eighth studio album and the follow up to the amazingly successful White Ladder, Draw The Line features 11 new recordings, including the lead single, "Fugitive".

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The Civil War Era in Music...

No need to pick sides for The Civil Wars, one of music strongest newer duos on the scene. They will be stopping in Toledo at Frankie's on December 9th as they play support for Seabird, a rising band that hails from the Cinci/KY area. Should be a good one.

Click here for a FREE album download of The Civil Wars Live at Eddie's Attic.

The Civil Wars ~ Poison & Wine

Seabird ~ Not Alone

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Beck Offers Skip Spence Record Club Tribute...

Record Club: Skip Spence "Little Hands" from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

We're 5 months into the Record Club project now, and it's time for our third installment.

This one took place last June when Wilco was in town for the release of their new eponymous album. They came by after a long day filming a TV appearance and still managed to put down 8 songs with us. Jamie Liddell was in the studio with me working on his new record. Leslie Feist happened to be in town editing her documentary and heard we were all getting together. Recording took place at Sunset Sound Studios in the room where the Stones did a lot of Exile On Main Street (and looking at the records on the walls it appeared that the Doobie Brothers recorded most of their output there too). Sitting in on drums, we had James Gadson, who's played on most of the Bill Withers records and on songs like 'Express Yourself' and 'I Will Survive.' Jeff Tweedy's son Spencer played played additional drums. Also, Brian Lebarton, from the last two Record Club sessions is back.

The record chosen this time was Skip Spence's 'Oar.' Running sequentially, the first song up is "Little Hands". Our friend Danny Kalb engineered.

For those of you who are wondering what the deal is with this Record Club thing, please read on below.


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BLAKROC Webisode #9...

RJD2 Strikes Back in 2010...

Hip hop/electronica act RJD2 is kicking off 2010 in a big way with the release of his fourth studio album, The Colossus, and a massive U.S. tour. The Colossus is the first album on RJD2’s recently launched record label, RJ’s Electrical Connection. The album is out Jan. 19 with the tour kicking off 10 days before that.

Motherboard’s Jordan Redaelli stops off in a magical realm known as Western Philadelphia, where he finds Ramble John Krohn, better known as the musician/producer RJD2 and the guy who helped write the theme song to Mad Men that everyone loves so much. In the time it takes RJ to assemble and bake his recipe for an apple-raspberry cobbler a la mode, Jordan gets a tour through RJ’s home studio, an enviable playground that includes the Holy Grail of analog synth technology, the Yamaha CS-80, as well as RJ’s enormous wall of home-made modular processors, amplifiers, filters, compressors, and pretty much anything else you can think of in relation to the creation of electronic sound.

Click here to view entire interview.

This came from RJD2 earlier in the week (11/9/09):
hey folks, so in case you arent aware, i started a thing last week im doing called "monday madness"-giving away something of considerable value every monday until my new record comes out in january. this week's freebie(an unreleased rjd2 song)and more details is up now at; check it out.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

"It Might Get Loud" in Ann Arbor...

Just a quick note to those in the area about the highly anticipated documentary, It Might Get Loud: The movie is playing in Ann Arbor at the State Theater next Monday, November 16th thru Thursday, November 19th. Tonight is the show's last night at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor.

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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Ann Arbor Folk Fest Initial Acts...

The Ann Arbor Folk Festival, a fundraiser for The Ark, will celebrate its 33rd year with some of the finest in traditional and contemporary artists. The Festival returns to Hill Auditorium for two dynamic and different nights of folk and roots music on Friday, January 29, and Saturday, January 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m. each night.

Friday Night Headliners:
Iron and Wine
Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard

Saturday Night Headliners:
Rosanne Cash
Richie Havens
Doc Watson

Full lineup is coming soon.

Here is some video I took of Jeff Tweedy doing Jesus, Etc. at last year's fest.

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Friday, November 06, 2009

BLAKROC Webisode #8...

Video: Monsters of Folk ~ Temazcal...

Video: U2 & Jay-Z Sing Sunday, Bloody Sunday...

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Black Keys to Play Hometown Benefit...

View outsider artist Alfred McMoore’s unusual pencil and crayon drawings and see the Black Keys live in a small venue. Alfred McMoore was a longtime friend of the band who often used the term “black key”, the inspiration for their name. He passed away this September but will be remembered on November 27th at Musica. Although he had mental health issues throughout his life, McMoore was able to live independently with the help of Community Support Services. Proceeds from this event will be used to benefit the 2,000 Summit County residents currently being aided by Community Support Services.

Buy Tickets.

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BLAKROC Webisode #7...