1SatApril 1, 20178:00pm $8.00Pundamonium is a slam-style pun contest. One by one, 15 contestants make puns based on prompts. Then they do it again.
Each contestant is immediately judged by five members of the audience, who have been selected before the show to be judges. They rank each punner on a scale of 1 to 10, often with hilariously long decimals and other commentary.
The top four contestants go head to head in a final pun-off.
Want to compete? Just show up! It's first come, first served.
6ThuApril 6, 2017Jared James Nichols
7FriApril 7, 2017Tift Merritt
The Suitcase Junket
On the ranch, I wrote about the long straight roads in west Texas: the ones that make sense, that make you feel like what is behind you is indeed behind you and that good things are up ahead. 'Wait For Me' is a wish that life would run like that. Watching the ranch hands keep their daily routine, I wrote about keeping my own head down, pressing on, and the way that love persists and pushes forward no matter what happens, 'Love Soldiers On.' I watched birds learning to fly and bathe in the driveway dust at dusk in the front yard and wrote 'Icarus' about what they taught me. In my California cabin, I wrote every morning and hiked every afternoon, up the mountains to the East and along the rocky coast, farther than I had ever hiked, one exhausted foot after the other. 'Heartache is an Uphill Climb' began in the red mud on one particularly impossible incline. Once, having hiked farther than I realized, dark fell on me. The white lilies in a meadow began to glow like evening dresses as the moon rose in the changing light. 'Proclamation Bones' is a tribute to that unexpected beauty, to nature's secret nightlife. On return to NYC with Raymond Carver's All of Us: The Collected Poems in hand, his poem 'My Boat' leapt up like lightning; it wanted to be sung. In a hungover moment of joy coming out of a subway, 'Something Came Over Me' seeded itself. And the heavy sadness of memory washing over me as I looked out at the East River became 'Eastern Light'.
Look, everyone knows that album bios are usually full of crap. How about this: This album weathered no doubt, Marlon Brando's ghost played bass and a fire-breathing dragon co-wrote the songs! Let's be clear about something -- What made my time off special was that I had a regular writing routine. I was private. I followed my heart and my craft. The story of being a writer is the story of being devoted over a long time. What I hate most about bios is that they trade the small virtue of the writing life for pretending that artists and albums spring forth fully formed, trimming the tale to fit the spotlight. I'm more comfortable being real about things. I took my life and synthesized it through my writing with an intensity that no one but the birds saw but that hopefully you can feel. And life continued. Let the real story here be that there is love and beauty in the mess of dedication.
And life did continue. In Fall, my friend MC Taylor asked me to be a part of his new Hiss Golden Messenger album. About the same time, to my delight and surprise, I realized my boyfriend and I were expecting a child. I performed with HGM just as I began to show; MC and his band talked on and on about how North Carolina was a place you could actually raise a child AND be a musician. My roots and my friends pulled. In an airport, I bumped into my friend Sam Beam. He said I could send him my songs, and when I did and he said, "I can tell you've been working hard on your writing," I was filled with the gratefulness which comes from being heard. I couldn't believe he wanted in on the record making party, along with my favorite musicians, for four days because that was what I could afford. One long night before leaving for the studio, I stared at the ceiling of my NYC apartment. The leaves, the streetlights, and the sirens drew a shadow vine. I cried for dreams that were gone, and I gathered myself for those to come. I recorded in Los Angeles six months pregnant and then set off for home to figure out what a onesie was. I showed up back in my hometown knocked about a little by the world thinking maybe my life was a country song, but maybe it was a really good country song.
What strikes me most when I am writing these days is the changing nature of things. Sometimes sex matters deeply, sometimes family eclipses all; sometimes aloneness is hell, sometimes it is a refuge. Sometimes hometowns are constricting; sometimes they are a sight for sore eyes. We do our damnedest. For all the times we are watered down and compromise, we can become rigid and impossible just as easily. We right ourselves as best we can and carry on. It is a loose thread that holds us best together in this life. Not too tight, not too planned, enough give to stand what tangles us but ties us nonetheless. Ties us to each other in some unseen pattern, to our actions, to the songs that come out of us, to the seasons that pass through us. We press on, love persists, and we must trust the unknowable pattern we are making. My little daughter is sleeping beside me now, and what I hope for her is what I will tell you now. May these threads be joyful; not heavy chains, but light like wings, like starlight, like laughter. Empty your pockets of stones, that light-hearted you may go (for you must go), with the stitch of the world, into the stitch of the world.
8SatApril 8, 2017JC Brooks
Mood Vertigo are an American rock band formed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1995. The band currently consists of Kirk McFarlin (vocals, guitars, keyboards, electronics, and drums) and Mike Hoffmann (drums, guitars, keyboards, bass). They have worked together in various recording and live bands dating back to the late 20th century.
It is hard to brand the music created Mood Vertigo. The map is wide and the influences are many. Fusing organic Americana, slinky synthesizers and confessional songwriting into a cohesive and altogether unique concoction, Mood Vertigo's sound creates a presence far larger than you'd expect from a duo, one sure to impress in any live setting.
9SunApril 9, 2017
His career has always been about moving forward and carving a place for himself in the imposing terrain of the music business, overcoming odds to continue growing and maturing as a creative force. He has built a constantly increasing base of fans across the world, where in many territories he is a star. A native New Yorker, Horowitz's first gigs were in the NYC punk scene as a guitarist for what he reflects was a "crazy Japanese special effects performance artist in a kimono called Screaming Mad George who had a horror-movie inspired show." Right from the start he was immersed in rock 'n' roll as theater, and learned from George and others playing CBGB's at the time that included the Ramones, the Cramps, Richard Hell, whose band, the Voidoids he joined that rock 'n' roll should be dangerous. He reflects, "Musicians like the Ramones and the Sex Pistols weren't just bands. They were a threat to society."
The Blues however was the foundation of his playing style. He recalls, "Since I'd grown up on Hendrix, Cream and Led Zeppelin, when I started playing blues in New York clubs I understood that the blues should be dangerous, too. It wasn't just from playing in punk bands. Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters were dangerous men. They'd cut or shoot you if they thought it was necessary, and Little Walter packed a gun and wouldn't hesitate to use it. That danger is a real part of the Blues and I keep it alive in my music."
Popa Chubby is his own man for better or worse. He reflects, "I'm living in a wild time, and that is where the inspiration is drawn from. There are my issues, but the picture is much bigger than me and my situation. Everything is breaking down in the world. The lines are being redefined. We all need something."
12WedApril 12, 20178:00pm $25.00Taylor Hicks is one of the most beloved and popular AMERICAN IDOL winners of all time.
From the start, Hicks' material on the mega-hit show set him apart, with a unique take on Southern soul, R & B, country and blues. Sixty-four million votes were cast and nearly 37 million American viewers and more than 200 million viewers worldwide tuned in to crown Hicks the Season 5 winner of AMERICAN IDOL, making it one of the most-watched TV events of the last decade.
Hicks' star continued to rise after he stepped off the IDOL stage. Less than three weeks after his IDOL victory, his debut single, "Do I Make You Proud," entered at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100, Pop 100, and Single Sales Charts. Coinciding with the single's release, a cover story named him People magazine's "Hottest Bachelor of the Year." His self-titled album (Arista), debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 and was quickly certified RIAA Platinum. In 2007, Hicks penned a brisk-selling autobiography "Heart Full of Soul" (Random House). Hicks is the first male IDOL winner to be featured on a Grammy Award-winning album, Jimmy Fallon's "Blow Your Pants Off," which took home the 2013 Grammy for Best Comedy Album.
On Broadway, Hicks starred in the hit musical, GREASE as Teen Angel, and when asked to join the national tour, happily agreed. The 18-month tour connected him with fans across North America.
In June 2012, Taylor Hicks began his residency at Bally's Las Vegas. As a testament to his musical talent and showmanship, Hicks will continue to bring the roadhouse to the Las Vegas Strip with a year-long extension through 2013 at a larger venue, Paris Las Vegas, making him the first Idol winner in history to secure a long term residency in Las Vegas. Hicks has since rapidly evolved into one of the most popular acts in the city. He will have an exclusive commitment to Caesars Entertainment, bringing his soulful ballads to other Caesars properties across the country throughout the year.
On August 30, 2012 Hicks performed at the closing night of the 2012 Republican National Convention, playing to a crowd of 18,500 delegates in Tampa, Florida, and a national TV audience of over 30 million viewers.
Hicks, who hails from Birmingham, Ala., had music on his mind from childhood. As a young adult, he became a fixture around the Southeast, playing concerts and club dates with visiting stars like James Brown, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, Robert Randolph, Keb' Mo' and Widespread Panic, among others. Hicks also released the independent albums "In Your Time" and "Under the Radar." Later, these albums were compiled and released by Vanguard Records as "Early Works."
Hicks has also performed with artists like Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Gladys Knight, Earth Wind and Fire and The Allman Brothers, appearing in concerts worldwide.
In addition to headlining at Paris Las Vegas and other Caesars Entertainment properties all over the United States in 2013, he is currently in studio working on his first country album.
Dana Erlandson has been making his homegrown "Americana" music for more than 30 years. He has opened for and in many cases played with..... America, Brewer and Shipley, Jackson Browne, Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart, Steve Forbert, Richie Furay, Nanci Griffith, John Hartford, John Hiatt, Lucy Kaplansky, Leo Kottke, David Lindley, Pat MacDonald, Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys, Kevin Montgomery, the Nashville Bluegrass Band, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Todd Snider, Al Stewart, Greg Trooper, and Jerry Jeff Walker . Dana celebrates a new decade with a brand new CD release called "Coming Home".
14FriApril 14, 2017
James has built a robust international profile through tirelessly touring the UK, Europe and the US, including a sold out three show residency at The Islington in London. Having gained critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and The Daily News, James toured the US in 2016 playing 44 shows in 25 states in just over 6 weeks.
James released his first full-length album Me in 2013, describing it as an, "Intimate, deeply personal, and honest" album that would say, "This is who I am... both musically and personally". Since then, James has remained fiercely dedicated to his musical vision of melding smart hooks and feral alt-rock with the grandeur and spiritually centeredness of psychedelic music.
The Blackberry Train, engineered by Steve Albini (Nirvana, The Pixies and PJ Harvey), is both a diverse and cohesive album with an eclectic mix of delicately crafted songs. It opens with the jangling rocker, 'Too Hard' which features Dhani Harrison on guitar and vocals and closes with the aptly named folk song 'Peace and Stillness'. The album blends indie-rock, alt-rock, feel-good music, great melodies and catchy hooks. Highlights include the rough- edged and urgently melodic 'Unicorn', the anthemic 'Peyote Coyote', and the soulful ballad 'Prayer'. One very personal song is the winsome and reflective 'Waterfall' which was inspired by memories of his mother.
"I like the music to have elements of the avant-garde, psychedelic, and be just a little against the grain," James reveals. "But in the end, it's about having as much emotion as possible for me, musically and lyrically. It's all about the music being cathartic, heartfelt and true."
Thinking ahead, James says: "I just want to keep on going, keep working, and improving as a songwriter. I'd love to feel that I realised my full potential both as a person, and as a songwriter. That feels like a great, fulfilling goal to shoot for. Making a lot of music, and striving for more depth artistically -- those are my goals."
James shows no signs of slowing down and continues to hone his craft as a songwriter, musician and performer.
Local "electro-pop queen" LUXI has been creating electronic music for the past decade, pulling from multiple genres that cross over between experimental, indie, and electro-dance. Using music as a tool for self expression and healing, her most recent full-length release Geometric Universe has been described as an "Electro-Pop Masterpiece" by writer Evan Rytlewski of Shepard Express, and will be available on vinyl this Spring via the local MKE label Radiograffitti.
15SatApril 15, 2017
19WedApril 19, 2017
Their latest album, Sin to Sin, is their first studio recording since 2008's If You Should Ever Fall on Hard Times, and its release coincides with their appearance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
"The title for the new album," says sax player/vocalist Joe Cabral, "comes from one of the tracks we cut during the sessions that didn't make it onto the record." At this point, the band's guitarist and vocalist Rod Hodges picks up the trail. "It's a line from a tune called 'Blues for Juarez,'" he says, "that goes, 'We rode the back roads from sin to sin.'"
The Iguanas' two-decade road may not exactly have driven them from sin to sin, but it's taken them all over the map, both figuratively and literally. While bassist Rene Coman is the only member of the band who is a native of the Crescent City, a languid swampiness so deeply suffuses their sound that you can almost smell the peanut shells on the floor. But there's far more depth to it than the N'Awlins patina that rests, sometimes lightly, sometimes heavily, on anything the city touches. It's almost as if the Iguanas dragged sand up from Juarez and mud from the Mississippi Delta, threw them both into the white-hot crucible of rock, and built their foundation from there, with drummer Doug Garrison anchoring their sound deep in the groove.
"Spanish was spoken around the house when I was growing up," says Cabral, "but I was listening to all kinds of stuff: Herb Alpert, Boots Randolph, country music, rock, polkas... The area of south Omaha where I grew up was the classic American blue collar ethnic melting pot of Irish, Italians, Poles, Mexican-Americans, who all sort of brought these pieces into the mix."
"How could we not wind up in New Orleans?" asks Rod Hodges, a little rhetorically. "I mean, at Tipitina's they might have Doug Sahm one night and Fela Kuti the next." And sure enough, even on their first album (The Iguanas, Margaritaville/MCA 1993), the band was comfortable planting Allen Toussaint's oft-covered "Fortune Teller" cheek-by-jowl with cumbia master Celso Pna's "Por Mi Camino (Along My Way)," leading Entertainment Weekly to conclude, "never have accordions and saxophones been so much in love." People echoed that sentiment in their review of Nuevo Boogaloo (Margaritaville/MCA 1994), saying "any group that can turn on a dime from a gorgeous R&B ballad like "Somebody Help Me" to the steamy tropical funk of "La Tentacion" is clearly here to stay.
And stay they have, through half a dozen studio albums, countless tours and JazzFest appearances, and a flood that did it's best to take their adopted city with it. It's a testament to the band's longevity and endurance that they're still configured pretty much the way they were 20 years ago, while their onetime label, MCA, has gone the way of mousse-abused coiffures and Hammer pants.
Joe Cabral is pretty philosophical about the band's persistence in the face of challenges that would have felled -- indeed, have felled -- lesser bands. "First of all, this is all we know how to do; we're musicians. But more than that," he continues, "we respect the power of the band as an entity, and each individual in the band steps up to play his part. When it's good, that's really what it's all about.
Rod Hodges agrees. "I don't want to get all heady and mystical about this, but it's not really an outward reward we're looking for. We still all enjoy playing music, we all get along, and finding a group of people who can say that after all this time is a pretty rare thing."
20ThuApril 20, 2017
With the addition of vocalist Salvatore Marrano, bassist Greg Colacino, drummer Odin Alvarez and violinist Ben Karas, Thank You Scientist's lineup of virtuoso musicians was complete. The band would go on to self-release an EP, The Perils of Time Travel, in 2011 followed by their debut full-length, Maps of Non-Existent Places, in 2012, which caught the ear of Sanchez, a fellow purveyor of progressive stylings, and led to his signing of the band.
Bent Knee is a band without frontiers. The Boston-based group seamlessly connects the worlds of rock, pop and the avant-garde into its own self-defining statement. On its globally-acclaimed Cuneiform release Say So, the band focuses on the sound of surprise. It's rock for the thinking person. The group's lyrics are dark and infused with themes focusing on the emergence of personal demons, unwanted situations and the difficulty of conquering them. Its mercurial sound matches its subject matter. It's a thrilling aural roller-coaster ride with arrangements designed to make listeners throw their arms up in wild abandon as they engage with them.
The album has received glowing reviews across major media, including The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, NPR, Consequence of Sound, and Prog. BBC Radio 6 and BBC Radio 3 have also playlisted and championed the band across Europe.
"Say So resoundingly demonstrates the increasing refinement and confidence of a group that doesn't quite fit any conventional pigeonhole, with emphatic crunch, a knack for complexity, mixed with lively wit," said Steve Smith of The Boston Globe. "Live, the band projects visceral glee, exactingly harmonized and wholly infectious."
Founded in 2009, Bent Knee is a true collective. The band operates as a democratic entity with sky-high standards and a determination to push boundaries. Frontwoman and keyboardist Courtney Swain's acrobatic, multi-octave vocals are nothing less than extraordinary. Guitarist Ben Levin morphs between the hauntingly melodic and extreme, dissonant sonics--sometimes within a single verse or passage. Bassist Jessica Kion and drummer Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth deliver deep and thunderous grooves, full of engaging, intriguing ornamentation. Violinist Chris Baum's driving melodic overlays and atmospheres further take the band's sound into wild territory. And all of it is brilliantly processed and produced by sound designer Vince Welch.
Bent Knee has remained on a skyward trajectory since forming. Its last two albums, 2014's Shiny Eyed Babies and its self-titled 2011 release, were hailed as significant art-rock achievements. The group has performed more than 375 shows across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Japan to date. They've also headlined at major festivals and venues including Lincoln Center, ROSfest, Tulsa Center of the Universe, Burg Herzberg Festival, and Campbell Bay Music Fest. During the fall of 2016, they opened for The Dillinger Escape Plan on the U.S. leg of their farewell tour.
"What Bent Knee does is fuse the most extreme ends of pop and avant-garde music together," says Welch. "We feel those things aren't nearly as mutually exclusive as most people think."
"When I listen back to Say So, I think it's the most accessible thing Bent Knee has ever done," continues Wallace-Ailsworth. "But other times, I think it's the strangest thing Bent Knee has ever done. For instance, 'Leak Water' is a relatively linear rock tune by our standards, whereas 'Eve' is a sprawling, epic with radical twists and turns. I think the album reflects the full spectrum of our diverse musical personalities."
Those extremes are also mirrored in the album's lyrical themes.
"On Say So, we're looking at the bigger picture and figuring out where we as individuals stand and how we carve out meaning in this giant universe," explains Baum. "The album art captures that idea too. It's why it features a figure lost in the woods, surrounded by darkness but looking out into the light."
Even with those signifiers and aims, the band prefers its lyrics to be wide open to interpretation. It feels both listeners and the group itself benefit from that perspective.
"I've had listeners come up to me and say 'Good Girl' from Say So is a strong statement against women being patronized or oppressed and that hit me really hard," says Swain. "It's possible to consider those lyrics in that context, and that perspective helped me connect even more closely with the song. How people perceive our songs helps enrich and refresh the pieces for us as we perform them over time."
One of the elements that significantly distinguishes Bent Knee is its adventurous arrangements. Each track is a true journey. In fact, pieces like 'Eve' and 'Counselor' are so diverse they reflect an almost "songs-within-a- song" approach.
"We try not to repeat ourselves within our structures," says Kion. "If we find we're creating a pattern such as ramping into a loud section and landing in a soft section right after it twice in a row, we'll break it as soon as we notice it. We don't want to bore ourselves. We also want to surprise and intrigue listeners. We're always trying to do new things with arrangements."
"Another thing that stands out for us on Say So is that there are more dynamics within the sections of each piece," adds Levin. "On previous albums, there were huge dynamic differences between sections. You'd hear songs that alternate between quiet passages, explosions, grooves, and long builds. On Say So, within a section, you'll hear a lot more variety of loud and quiet, fullness and emptiness, ambience and dryness, and timbre changes. If you drew the dynamic arc of some of these pieces, it would look kind of like a Rorschach inkblot."
Adding to Say So's intrigue is the group's decision to record some of the album in an unconventional space.
"A friend of ours pointed us to an empty, unlocked, million-square foot industrial complex in Boston," says Baum. "We went in there to record so we could explore its unique sonic atmosphere. It felt like zombies were going to jump out anytime. It was a foreboding locale and gave the session a distinctly dark vibe. We captured some wild, reverb-drenched background vocals there."
Prior to hitting the studio, the band road-tested Say So's material at more than 50 gigs.
"It was extremely valuable to see how the pieces went over with audiences," says Swain. "Playing live also gives all six of us a comprehensive understanding of where we sit in the registers of the songs, enabling us to adjust where the instruments fit in the mix. It's also important for us to see how the lyrical motifs go over. The songs would be presented 70-80 percent finished to the audiences, leaving us with room to evolve the approach before finalizing them."
Say So is a world-class album on every level. The band collectively obsessed over every detail in its determination to set a new standard for itself and the universe of ambitious songcraft.
"We now live in a time in which pretty much anyone in the Western world has access to the vast majority of recordings online," says Welch. "So, the competition for musicians isn't just the band down the street anymore. The competition is bands as big as Radiohead. To have a shot at success you have to aim to be that good. But even that's not enough. You have to be patient and work at building up your audience like we've done for the last seven years. One of our mentors, the producer Susan Rogers, said to us 'Slow growth is real growth.' It's advice we've taken to heart across this journey."
21FriApril 21, 2017The Right Now
The Lilies8:00pm $10.00There are only so many times you can take back that cheating lover or accept excuses from a lazy scrub. It's easier said than done, but one soul band is taking a stand. The Right Now isn't going to take it anymore. The Right Now is fed up. And on their second record, The Right Now Gets Over You.
The challenging title is a reality check, but delivered with a smile from singer Stefanie Berecz. "It's just a representation of the stories in the songs. Nearly every track has a cheating character, or someone who's had enough of their lover. It's a mixed bag of empowerment and regret." Gets Over You continues the "it's complicated" theme of 2010′s Carry Me Home, although this outing shows Berecz in a darker, seedier role.
Recorded in a cathartic, week-long session in Los Angeles with producer Sergio Rios (Orgone), Gets Over You takes the Chicago septet's soulful sound to the warm, crackling world of analog tape and vintage instruments. Berecz's voice, often compared to those of Chaka Kahn and Joss Stone, takes center stage. The band shines with raw, gritty performances and elegant arrangements that are the result of countless hours of performing, rehearsing, and traveling together.
Berecz's emotionally-charged vocal performance has been the band's calling card at over 200 shows in the past two years. The Right Now's electrifying live show has earned them a reputation as "dynamic, complex, hip and just downright fun" (Gapers Block).
The past two years saw immense growth for The Right Now, including a sold-out release party at Chicago's Lincoln Hall; tour dates throughout the Midwest, East, and South; festival appearances at SXSW, North Coast Festival, and Summerfest; and opening stints for George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic, John Legend, Fitz & The Tantrums, Bettye Lavette, Otis Clay, Orgone, Kings Go Forth, The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker, The Jayhawks, Soulive, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Ryan Shaw, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Escort, Chali 2na of Jurassic 5, The Bo Keys, Tortured Soul, Bernie Worrell Orchestra, JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Dan Dyer, and Jamie Lidell. USA Today, MP3.com, MySpace Music, and eMusic.com have featured the band as a favorite, and live TV appearances (WGN) put the Chicago act on the national stage. Placements in 90210 and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and promos for Gilly Hicks and other national retailers also broadened the band's appeal. In 2014 their song "He Used To Be" was placed in the multi-million selling video game Watch Dogs.
"It takes a man to admit that it's over," Berecz confidently croons on "Half As Much." "But if you can't, I can do it for sure." While Stefanie Berecz may have gotten over the man in this song, audiences won't be getting over her any time soon.
22SatApril 22, 2017
Born on October 27, 1949 in Detroit, Michigan, Tallent and his family eventually relocated to Neptune City, New Jersey. Inspired by such bassists as Motown Legend James Jamerson, Booker T & the MG's Donald "Duck" Dunn, and the Beatles' Paul McCartney, Tallent took up the instrument himself.
By the late '60's, Tallent befriended two future major players in the New Jersey bar band scene - Johnny Lyon (aka Southside Johnny) and Springsteen - and soon after began playing alongside the latter. Subsequently, Tallent's bass playing could be heard on nearly every single Springsteen album from 1973 through 1987 - 1973's Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ and the Wild, the Innocent, & the E Street Shuffle, 1975's Born to Run, 1978's Darkness on the Edge of Town, 1980's the River, 1984's Born in the USA, 1985's Live: 1975-1985, and 1987's Tunnel of Love.
Since the early '80s, Tallent played with and produced other artists (including Gary US Bond's 1981 comeback album, Dedication), and when Springsteen decided to take a break from the E Street Band by the down of the '90s, Tallent kept himself busy by continuing to work with others.
Throughout the decade, Tallent's production/session resume expanded rapidly, including work with Sonny Burgess, Julian Dawson, The Delevantes, Steve Earle, Steve Forbert, the Hoopsnakes, Evan Johns & His H-Bombs, Robert Earl Keen Jr., Greg Trooper, and his old pal Southside Johnny, among others. During this time, Tallent relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, where he opened his own recording studio, Moon Dog, in addition to co-forming a record label, the D'Ville Record Group. But the decade also saw Tallent appear on Springsteen's 1995 release, the Ghost of Tom Joad, which lead to a full-on Springsteen/E Street Band reunion by the end of the decade - resulting in further sold out tours and the group's first studio album in 15 years, 2002's the Rising.
Shun Ng was born in Chicago, raised in Singapore now based out of Boston. At 24 years old, he is already an international star, a soulful, world-class guitarist, vocalist, and electric performer who in a short period of time, has caught the attention of the top players in the music world including Quincy Jones who said: "When you see Shun Ng, you won't believe your eyes nor your ears - he belies all stereotypes, all premonitions. I was simply blown away by both his soul and his science - his creativity and his uniqueness is astounding."
24MonApril 24, 2017
2016 proved to be a productive year for The Boxmasters. "Boys And Girls...And The World" was released in August, followed closely by "Tea Surfing" in late November. Joining The Boxmasters on this album are friends such as Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, Kevin Eubanks and longtime collaborators Jon Rauhouse, Brad Davis and Kirk McKim. The 21 songs showcase the band's love of English Mod bands and bands from Southern California in the '60s.
The "Tea Surfing Tour" starts in Southern California on April 4th at the Belly Up Tavern in Solano Beach and runs through May 9th in Palmer Lake, Colorado. Highlight stops include The Washington Correspondent's Jam in Washington D.C., The Exit Inn in Nashville, The Douglass Theater in Macon, Georgia and band favorite The Merrimack Hall in Huntsville, Alabama. There the band donates the proceeds from the concert to programs at Merrimack Hall that benefit special needs children and adults.
After 10 years, The Boxmasters show no signs of slowing down, and are actually more productive than ever. A new album is almost completed which should be available in the fall of 2017.
John Sieger has led two popular midwest bands, The R&B Cadets (in collaboration with Paul Cebar), who recorded for Twintone Records in the R&B Cadets (1980-86) and the critically acclaimed band Semi-Twang (1986-91). In 1988, "Salty Tears" by Semi-Twang was released with much praise and even landed the band a major label with Warner Brothers. whose Warner Brothers debut "Salty Tears" was hailed by critics as precursor of alternative country.
Artists who have found their way to John's songs include country star Dwight Yoakam, (I Don't Need It Done), The BoDeans, (The Strangest Kind), Talking Head Jerry Harrison (Rev It Up and two others), the late Tex-Mex superstar Flaco Jimenez, (I Found Out), alt-country tricksters Robbie Fulks, (You Break It You Pay) and Phil Lee (Neon Tombstone) and folk-rocker Greg Trooper (My Blue Belle and many others).
25TueApril 25, 2017
Fusing the rock outfit of drums-bass-guitar with the traditional sounds of Malawi's marimba, thumb piano, and percussion, Mawanga's Afro-vibes is a modern African sound that is intrinsically Malawian. He has the premier band in Malawi to boot who has been making headlines ever since their debut release Paphiri ndi Padambo (2009).
Peter Mawanga & The Amaravi Movement have performed alongside many African musical luminaries including Zimbabwean legend Oliver Mtukudzi, Malawi's Wambali Mkandawire and South African diva KT. Performing at live music venues around the world and at festivals such as the Lake of Stars, Peter Mawanga has garnered respect in the music industry at large. The synergy of Peter Mawanga & The Amaravi Movement inspired Rhythm of Life to sign Peter as the first artist on their new record label in Malawi in 2008. They were hand-selected from a national bid to perform at the unveiling of Malawi's new telecom network. Peter's songs have even been quoted by former President Bingu wa Mutharika in his speeches.
27ThuApril 27, 2017
You may think "this ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no foolin' around" music, and you're right: this is serious... as in seriously good! A non-stop, fun-loving musical journey that's as good for the head as it is for the soul. So get ready to get up, get set and get down as Talking Dreads take you joyriding in their tour-de-force debut!
Talking Dreads began as a project born from the audacious notion that hardcore Heads-lovers wouldn't mind a tinkering or two with their favorite Talking Heads tunes, and there is a lot of great music here that will make you stop, listen and smile a little bit more as you're grooving along to the joyous rhythms and jubilant spirit of the island vibe.
Talking Dreads is the brainchild of Head Dread, Mystic Bowie, a Jamaican artist whose long and close relationship with Chris Franz and Tina Weymouth, founding members of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, began when he joined the latter group as a singer in 1996. He then recorded and performed with Tom Tom Club for nearly twenty years and continues to bear fruit from their unending collaborations.
This inaugural effort from Talking Dreads features an amazing lineup of stellar reggae stalwarts including Freddie McGregor ['Rastaman Camp', Bobby Babylon], ska-guitar master Ernest Ranglin (session player and arranger of Millie's smash 'My Boy Lollipop', the Melodians 'Rivers Of Babylon', and countless other tracks], and Tarrus Reilly ('Start Anew', 'Good Girl Gone Bad') as well as a little help from punk-pop diva Cindy Wilson of The B-52s ('Rock Lobster', 'Love Shack').
Talking Heads' music was a formative influence on Mystic Bowie since childhood. The marriage of Talking Heads jagged, Rhode Island art school punk with bouncing, sunny Caribbean rhythms appealed to him because "reggae's dance-inspiring, feel-good vibe is universal as are many of Talking Heads' songs. And don't forget their intelligent, powerful lyrics! I'm convinced that there are a lot of music lovers who will appreciate this fusion as much as I do".
Mystic Bowie determined what songs he wanted to record before going into the studio, but added one more song to the list at the suggestion of a Talking Heads insider. "I had all of the songs decided before going into the studio except for 'Love Building on Fire', which was added at the request of Sire Records founder Seymour Stein. Seymour told me that that song really influenced him to give Talking Heads their deal."
In addition to these livelied-up re-takes of Talking Heads' classics, Talking Dreads' debut recording also includes two timeless pop bonuses: "Piece of My Heart", so often attributed to Janis Joplin thanks to her famous cover with Big Brother and the Holding Company, and "Shakedown Street", a song near and dear to all those in Deadhead nation. "If audiences have even a fraction of the fun listening to this as we had making it, we'll return to the studio to skank-ify more great songs in the near future", says Bowie.
Talking Dreads has sold out performances under their belt including shows at High Times Magazine Cannabis Cup Festival in Negril, Jamaica and Fairfield Theatre Company (FTC) -- The Warehouse in Fairfield, Connecticut.
28FriApril 28, 2017Beta Fusion, Brian Dale Group8:00pm $10.00Beta Fusion is the premiere jazz fusion group in the greater Milwaukee area. With an unstoppable line up including Aaron Gardner on saxophone, Theo Merriweather on keyboard, Mike Standal on guitar, Ethan Bender on bass and Brian Dale on drums. The group was founded in 2015 by bassist Ethan Bender. The band's playlist includes music from John Scofield, Herbie Hancock, Marcus Miller as well as original music written by the band.
Singer, songwriter and drummer, Brian Dale is sought after for his ability to deliver music as passionate as it is intelligent, evident on his CD, "Sticks and Stones." The disc is a culmination of Brian's rare musical presence and creativity. A song from the disc was chosen for the film "Sawdust City." Brian has performed with Ambrosia, Streetlife, Midnight Groove, Uprising, Joe Puerta and many other cover and original artists. He is a seasoned session drummer and vocalist with numerous CDs and jingles to his credit.
With her unique blend of pop, jazz and R&B, Donna Woodall presents lush, intimate vocals with every performance and has established herself as a skilled singer, bandleader, and songwriter on the Wisconsin music scene.
29SatApril 29, 20178:00pm $10.00Straight out of the Midwest from a little town in WI, only miles away from where Stevie Ray Vaughan lost his life, comes a blues/rock guitarist named Tallan Noble Latz.
Tallan first picked up the guitar at age 4 and hasn't put it down since. Tallan founded his first band at age 7 and at age 15, he has no intention of stopping anytime soon.
Tallan has been blessed to have the opportunities to perform at festivals and venues all over the US. Tallan has performed over 600 shows and is always working on making his performances a magical event for all those in attendance. Tallan gives 110% at every performance and that's what has people talking and driving miles to see him perform.
Steve Duchrow, the Director of Performing Arts at Elgin Community College talks about Tallan this way:
"If I were you, I'd see Tallan Noble Latz perform now. Off-stage he's a nice, humble young man, but on-stage he transforms into an emergent, potent musical force. He's that growing storm front that is picking up hurricane strength every time he climbs onto the stage. He's in rare company too, not many musicians open up or share the stage with B.B King, Buddy Guy, Joe Bonamassa and Les Paul this early in their career. By the way, that sound you hear, is Tallan carving out a potential future place among the giants in the blues and rock world. He has the dedication, work ethic and ability to make it happen. Go see him, I think you'll love him; our audience certainly did!"