1WedJune 1, 2016Fishbone
Andy Frasco and the UN
Composing, creating, recording, releasing and performing original music together for over two decades, mass critical appeal appears to be returning to the band, fueled by their critically acclaimed full-length feature documentary; Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone. Narrated by Laurence Fishburne, the film earned LA Weekly's Critic's Choice Award at the Los Angeles Film Fest in 2010, has been called "effortlessly Entertaining" (Variety), "Brilliant and Groundbreaking" (Pop Matters), and hailed as "more than a documentary about rock 'n' roll. It's a documentary about the American spirit and one that shows the life of one of its most influential creative forces." (Encore Magazine). In addition, FISHBONE has been featured in a variety of national press recently including Rolling Stone, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, MTV Hive, Spin Magazine, E! Entertainment, Rotten Tomatoes and more.
The documentary features celebrity testimonials from an A-list cast of rock icons such as Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), who calls the band "an important musical institution" and "the band that gave us the inspiration to be a band" by Gwen Stefani (No Doubt). The film also includes similar admiration from the likes of Perry Farrell (Jane's Addition), Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains) Rob Trujillo (Metallica), Questlove (The Roots), Chuck D (Public Enemy), Tim Robbins (Grammy Winning Actor) and many more. The film not only highlights the bands substantial legacy in contemporary music of all forms, but also the struggles, adversity, and inner turmoil that has surrounded the bands career. Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone has already premiered in over 60+ theaters across the country, and many of the dates have sold out. The documentary aired on Public Television's AfroPop Series as well as Encore early 2012, and still continues on air. The DVD is currently available for purchase nationwide at all major retailers, and on NetFlix.
To date, FISHBONE still continues to tour all over the world, turning heads at some of the most noteworthy festivals around the globe. They've recently been seen "Skankin To The Beat" at Coachella Music Festival, Riot Festival, Lockn' Festival, California Roots, Afropunk Festival, Gathering of the Vibes, Outside Lands Music Festival, Ottawa Blues Fest, Montreal Jazz Festival, Bumbershoot in Seattle, Riot Fest in Chicago, IL, Voodoo Festival in New Orleans, LA, Fuji Rock Festival in Tokyo, Japan, Wakarusa in Ozark, AK, Sunset Junction in Los Angeles, CA and many more. The band also appeared on late night television performing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Angelo Moore sat in with The Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in 2012. They have also toured with numerous bands recently such as Jane's Addiction, Primus, and Slightly Stoopid.
Fishbone's latest newest musical adventure Intrinsically Intertwined (Controlled Substance Sound Labs/Zojak Worldwide) was released in 2014. Shortly after their EP dropped, the band premiered Part 1 of their 5-Part "mockumentary" webisode series called "The Fishbone Reality: Intrinsically Intertwined" on Vevo.com.
3FriJune 3, 2016
The follow-up to 2014's Horizons, Letting You In builds off the soulful musicality Allen first showcased with his platinum-selling 2009 single "Live Like We're Dying." But with its sophisticated songcraft and vulnerable lyrics, Letting You In reaches a new depth of feeling that infuses each track with undeniable emotional power. "Looking back, I think I tried to put off dealing with my feelings around the accident for as long as I could," says Allen. "But in the past year I've realized how much it all affected me, and that definitely came out in the writing of this album."
Allen recorded in Nashville with producers Konrad Snyder (Mat Kearney, Owl City, Milo Greene), Ian Fitchuk (James Bay, Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors, Griffin House), and Grammy Award-winner Brown Bannister (Amy Grant, Kenny Rogers, Steven Curtis Chapman) and made a point of exploring both the bright and dark elements of everyday life. "There's almost two different sides to the record," Allen notes. "On one hand you've got these happy love songs, because that's my life--I'm a happily married guy, everything with my family's really great. But internally I was going through some things and trying to figure out my life, and the rest of the album very much came from that."
The latter category of songs includes "My Time Will Come," whose lyrics reflect on Allen's struggles with self-doubt ("Lately I've been making friends with the doubts in my head/Hanging on every word that they've said"). But with its lilting guitar melodies and soaring vocals, the song ultimately emerges as an anthem of gritty perseverance. On "If We Keep Doing Nothing," Allen offers a poignant look outward. Written in the wake of the mass shooting at Oregon's Umpqua Community College, the song's throwback-soul arrangement of stark guitar tones and stirring organ lines provide a powerful backdrop for a determined meditation on gun violence.
While Letting You In takes on its share of weighty matters, the album radiates a hopeful spirit that's got everything to do with Allen's easy warmth and open-heartedness as a songwriter and vocalist. One of Letting You In's most uplifting tracks, "Way Up High"blends cascading guitar lines, breezy melodies, and slice-of- life storytelling that came to Allen while flying back home after spending days away from his family. "Usually when I'm writing a song I start with the music, but with 'Way Up High' the lyrics all came to me in poem form," he says. "I just tried to get down all these thoughts that were rolling through my head at the time, in a very stream-of- consciousness sort of way, and it all felt really natural." And among the love songs that make up much of Letting You In is "Waves," whose gospel-inspired harmonies and spirited piano work perfectly capture the tenderness in Allen's opposites-attract serenade to his wife.
Allen first picked up the guitar at age 13, after spending much of his childhood singing in church in his hometown of Jacksonville, Arkansas. Writing his first song in his late teens, he self-released an album at age 22 and auditioned for the eighth season of American Idol the following year. Several months after his Idol victory Allen put out his self-titled major label debut, with lead single "Live Like We're Dying" climbing to the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. In addition to releasing his sophomore album Thank You Camellia in 2012, he spent the next several years sharing stages with such artists as Maroon 5 and Keith Urban, as well as landing Billboard, Teen Choice and People's Choice Awards nominations.
In the aftermath of his accident, Allen devoted himself to relearning guitar, adjusting his technique to adapt to the lack of movement in his wrist. "At first I thought I'd never be able to play again," he recalls. "But once I got my cast off, I spent more time playing than I ever had in my life. Through all that I realized that I shouldn't take my craft for granted, so I really focused on developing it and becoming even stronger as a guitar player than I ever was before."
Along with rebuilding his guitar skills, Allen revamped his approach to songwriting and soon saw a resurgence in his creativity. "When I've made albums in the past, there've always been other artists and songwriters that I was using as reference points," says Allen, who names Stevie Ray Vaughan and Stevie Wonder among his earliest inspirations. "But this time I shut myself off from all that, and just focused on making music that was completely true to me."
That process proved both thrilling and daunting, but in the end instilled him with a new sense of purpose as an artist. "When I first started making music, it was very much coming from a place of 'Are people gonna like this?'" he recalls. "But as I was making this album, it really became more about being genuine and writing songs that feel good. My hope is that if those songs mean a lot to me, they'll mean a lot to the people listening, and that they'll get some of that hopeful feeling too."
4SatClosed for private partyJune 4, 2016Closed for private party
9ThuJune 9, 2016
10FriJune 10, 2016
Eliot decided to shed her previous band name in favour of her actual name: "I'm proud of the music I'm making now," she said at the time, "and I want to take ownership by putting my real name on it." After putting out the blistering, three-track EP 'Information' last August, Eliot embarked on a European tour with Swedish songstress Lykke Li. The tour was captured in a two--part, behind-the-scenes documentary that featured on i-D : 'On the Road with Eliot Sumner and Lykke Li'.
"We have been friends for a few years and always wanted to collaborate on something," says Eliot of the joint tour. "This was cool timing cause I had the EP out and she was touring so we just made it happen. The homecoming show in London was most memorable; we played the Hammersmith Apollo and I didn't expect so many people to be there but it was fully packed."
Eliot had the luxury of recording her second studio album directly after coming off of the tour, meaning that the band felt tight musically, and that the tracks were -- as she puts it -- "well refined". The album, also titled 'Information', will be released on the 22nd of January 2016. Its sound marries the hauntingly-low-register vocals and upbeat electro-pop that have always been Eliot's hallmark -- however, this time, there are new, Krautrock-inspired inflections. "It's the kind of music that I would probably listen to myself," says Eliot.
The resultant sound is digressive and experimental, but also familiar. The record shows of a range of sophisticated influences, from Eliot's favourite band as a teenager, the Bad Seeds, to bands like Cluster and Faust, as well as iconic German electronica four-piece Kraftwerk. "The album is very motoric, with hypnotic beats," says Eliot. "I use a lot of drum machines and snares. I like noise. There are some industrial sounds on there too. There's definitely no swing or jazz!"
Eliot's new band line up features Nick Benton on guitar, old friend Jan Blumentrath on synthesizer and Adam Gammage on drums, with the four-piece arranging songs together as a team. "There's a lot more organic energy with this group", Eliot says, smiling, "It feels like a nucleus." During their live sets, the band's closeness is palpable.
All of the tracks on the album were produced by Duncan Mills, who has worked with The Vaccines, Spector and Crocodiles. This lends it coherency, says Eliot, although from first listen it's obvious that each track could stand alone as a single release. Mills gave Eliot the space to experiment, meaning that the album also tells of psychedelic influences -- it's heady, with whirling guitar sounds, unusual song structures and unpredictable synths.
Information is the single that leads the album, a bracing six-minute synth-and-strings song that plays out with a long, confident instrumental passage. "It's a break-up song," Eliot explains. "It's about not understanding the situation." The video, which premiered via Dazed Digital, features a supernatural Eliot doing battle with two muscle cars at night in the desert outside LA. "It's slightly self-destructive," she smiles, "I'm being chased by this car, then you work out that it's me driving it."
Following Information, Eliot and the band have released four tracks from the forthcoming album one-per-month over the Summer of 2015. The first was Dead Arms and Dead Legs. "This is my favourite track on the album," says Eliot, "Lyrically it was very easy to write because I was in a very vacant state of mind -- I was going through an adjustment period. It's about walking through something robotically making decisions." The song debuted on The Fader.
The next, After Dark, was an anthemic ode to having one too many. "It's a little bit about me not knowing when to cool it," Eliot laughs. She wrote the song with friend and ex-Kaiser Chiefs drummer Nick Hodgson, who makes guest appearance elsewhere on the album: "He's playing tambourine somewhere -- you'll have to listen out for it!"
After Dark was followed Firewood, an apocalyptic song about how everything is temporary. Inspired by the song Don't Fear the Reaper by Blue Öyster Cult, it's not about anything specific, just living in the moment. "It started just off as a guitar riff, then we decided to put some acid synths on it and it really worked." Stereogum premiered the video.
Species was the fourth track to be released in anticipation of the album, and has stronger techno influences than the rest. "It's about how we're evolving into this new species where things can be totally genderless and unidentifiable," says Eliot. The song, its composition and its lyrics are futuristic and genre-defying, something Eliot says she was pushing for.
Upon release of these four tracks, the band shot an intense four-part video performance for which lighting design mavericks Flat-E -- the creative brains behind the visuals for Jon Hopkins' live sets -- created a conceptual installation. The band wanted to do something experimental to reflect the fact that these singles are, as Eliot puts it, "the most left-field songs on the album".
Come Friday, one of the tracks from Eliot's EP, is also uplifting, and musically sets the tone for the whole album. "When I took that song to Duncan he said, 'you have to write a whole album like this!'" A more guitar-driven track with an anthemic chorus, its pace and soaring melodies disguise a darker subject matter. "It's one of my favourites," says Eliot, "It's about still being in love with someone but not allowing them to have another life. It's very selfish."
The process of writing the album wasn't easy, says Eliot, between sighs. It was a labour of love. "I tried to write it maybe four times, from 2012 to more recently," she says. "The stuff I wrote back in the Lake District was so depressing no one could have listened to it, but there are happier moments on the album now." Let My Love Lie On Your Life is one of these moments: "It's about being distracted," says Eliot cryptically, before adding: "in a good way."
The hazy charm of Cheerleader first shimmered into existence at a Hartford, Connecticut middle school. Here, Joe Haller and Chris Duran cut their musical teeth in Duran's parents' basement, and their friendship and musical chemistry sparked a connection that survived the 2000s and colleges in separate states. Reconnecting in their hometown in 2012, Haller and Duran decided it was time to devote themselves to their music. "We sort of realized that, crazy pipedream or not, we owed it to ourselves to give it a shot," Duran says. On a whim, the duo moved to Philadelphia to start compiling new material.
In 2013, Joe Haller and Chris Duran self-produced and recorded a three-song demo in their apartment in downtown Philly under the name Cheerleader. To their surprise, the release of that three-song demo on SoundCloud led to features in NME and Nylon, some radio play, and a slew of SxSW invitations. Doors were opening quickly, but the duo was suddenly faced with the technical challenges of recreating their music live with only two members.
Haller and Duran already knew local studio manager and multi-instrumentalist Josh Pannepacker from Philly's music scene, while mutual friends introduced the new trio to Carl Bahner (drums) and Paul Impellizeri (bass). The prospect of performing Cheerleader's music live had always been daunting for Haller and Duran, who had trouble imagining how to replicate their recordings. But Pannepacker and Bahner's production backgrounds helped realize their live show.
After a gig in New York, one of the first that Cheerleader played as a five piece, they were approached by Mark Needham, who invited them to record with him in Los Angeles. Haller and Duran were at first overwhelmed by the absurdity of the situation. "All of a sudden, we're in New York having dinner with this guy who has mixed some of the biggest rock records of the past decade, and he's talking to us about the lo-fi songs we recorded in our apartment at 3 am," Haller says.
Eventually, the band embraced the experience of working with a ten-time Grammy nominated producer. The resulting album, The Sunshine of Your Youth, balances the intimacy of the original demos with a lavish ambience worthy of rock musicians with several albums under their belt.
While the album title, The Sunshine of Your Youth might seem to convey pure anticipation, a longing for the emotion and the heat of summertime, Haller and Duran shrug off the significance. "[F]or us the title is more about a state of mind than a particular time in your life -- how, no matter what's going on, life can be full of wonder and beauty, as long as you're open to these things."
The album's 10 songs are like floating on a cloud through an extended dream sequence. But delving deeper into the music brings out the darker, deeper notes of truth in the dreamy yet anthemic songs. From the hook-driven "New Daze," through the forlorn whistling of "Do What You Want," to the nostalgia of "Little Bird," the band's freshman effort indeed strikes those chords of hope, wonder and beauty.
11SatJune 11, 2016
The missteps and failures that followed, the collapse of an industry that once embraced him as its next sensation, are troubles and travails that either ruin a person completely, or they force a change of attitude and staunch determination to gather one's resolve to not only survive, but overcome. McDermott vowed to do both. Ten albums in, it's resulted in Willow Springs (Pauper Sky, June 17, 2016), one of the most honest, daring and defiant recordings of McDermott's career. Named for the small town where he now resides with his wife and young daughter, it reflects a certain circumspect about his life, the situations he's encountered, while realizing that ultimately, his fate resided in his own hands.
"This is an album of reckoning I suppose," McDermott reflects. "There was a real cacophony of change going on in my life at the time... being a new father, losing my own father, leaving the city for the country, dealing with sobriety, grief, death, mortality, shame and forgiveness. It was a veritable emotional tsunami and yet somehow I had to navigate through it all. That journey is reflected in these songs. Willow Springs is the name of the place where I took refuge and had to confront a lot of things".
Recorded at his home in the country and fan-funded, Willow Springs finds McDermott behind the boards as producer for the first time with longtime producer and collaborator, Lex Price doing the mix. Having enlisted a stellar support group of musicians -- including multi-instrumentalist, Price; guitarist, Will Kimbrough; keyboard player, John Deaderick ; sax player Rich Parenteau; and McDermott's wife, Heather Horton on backing vocals - McDermott found himself able to craft the unassuming yet cutting sound he envisioned.
Indeed, the results bear out the fact that Willow Springs is the most honest and expressive album of McDermott's extraordinary 25 year career. Songs such as, 'These Last Few Days', 'Getaway Car', 'Half Empty Kinda Guy', 'One Minus One' and the title track, convey all at once, a sound that's both reflective and confessional - borne by stark emotion and a tattered, battered delivery that's both sobering and sublime. McDermott remains more determined than ever, and Willow Springs is the result. "My enthusiasm is only matched by my desire to continue to evolve as an artist" he insists.
Accolades and kudos can be accumulated one minute and quickly dissipate the next. After all, the music biz is a fickle beast and it doesn't matter how much you pleased the masses last year, last month or even last week, but rather, about what you offer today.
Today, McDermott has offered his best.
Kudos to Michael McDermott - overnight success.
17FriJune 17, 2016The Marcus King Band
Andrew Koenig Band
"I guess I knew I was born to play guitar when I was seven," King says. "That's when I got my first electric guitar, and while all the other kids were outside playing, I'd be inside on that guitar. When I got in trouble in school, my daddy said I could choose between a spanking and getting my guitar taken away for a week. I took the spanking."
Soul Insight is the explosive result of that dedication, magnified by another dozen years and more than a thousand nights playing in clubs -- initially alongside his father, bluesman Marvin King -- since the age of 11, just two years before Marcus formed his own group and stepped into the role of leader.
King's talents and trajectory have already led his band across the country, and he's opening shows for the Foo Fighters, Johnny Winter and, of course, Gov't Mule and its leader, Warren Haynes. King emerged from his native Greenville, South Carolina, and its sister city Asheville, North Carolina, where Haynes was born. King hit Haynes' radar thanks to the reputation the young artist has earned with his incendiary live performances. In December 2014, King and his band were invited to perform as part of Haynes' annual Christmas Jam benefit, which occurs in Asheville's U.S. Cellular Center Arena, the prestigious club the Orange Peel and other rooms around the musician-and-artist-heavy mountain city. A few months before that, the Marcus King Band had recorded Soul Insight at the Compound Studio, just south of Los Angeles in Signal Hill, California.
"Recording the album was a really organic experience," says King, who also produced Soul Insight. "Whether I wrote the song or, in the case of the instrumentals, we developed them together as a band, we'd played them long enough so we were really comfortable with the material. And we lived at the studio while we were recording, so it was really laid back and comfortable. That let me relax and play my best."
How good is King's best? Good enough that Haynes picked up the album for his Evil Teen label and has signed on to produce its follow-up.
The proof of King's developing virtuosity and vision is in the tracks. Soul Insight opens with "Always," a riff-driven rocker about a spurned lover that brings King's big burnished tone to the fore. "Boone" displays King's acoustic side and reveals his talents as an arranger, opening with his singing slide resonator guitar and voice, and building to an explosive crescendo that echoes the influence of his own guitar heroes, including Haynes and his Allman Brothers Band foil Derek Trucks, and Jimi Hendrix. Soul Insight's first single and album's closing song, "I Won't Be Here," also echoes the Allman's in King's gorgeous, arcing vocal melody and the blend of King's acoustic and electric guitars as he sings about the bittersweet experience of moving past an old romance into a new relationship."
Warren and Derek were big influences on me," King relates, citing the 2003 Allman Brothers' album Hittin' the Note and Trucks' Grammy-winning Already Free as particularly inspiring. "That's the level I aspire to with my own music," King adds.
The instrumental "Fraudulent Waffle" channels those aspirations in a daring five-minute journey into the elegant, expansive jam world that was the Allmans' forte and remains a hallmark of Gov't Mule. King double tracks his instrument to emulate the Allmans' signature twin guitar harmonies and then launches into a solo that embraces elements of jazz and blues before an exploratory duet with the album's organist Alex Abercrombie.
Of course, King's singing is every bit as potent as the sweet and surly voices of his guitars -- a mix of his main Gibson SG, a Les Paul Deluxe and an ES-345 plugged into a pair of Fender Super Reverb amps run in stereo and teased by only one effect: a Tube Screamer overdrive pedal. King's warm, soaring tenor reflects a variety of soul and blues greats he considers fuel for his songwriting and performing that includes Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Ray Lamontagne and Haynes.
But King's first musical well was his father, a guitarist and singer whose Marvin King & the Blues Revival remains a staple of the Carolina music scene.
"My father is still my biggest musical hero," King says. "I'd see him coming home in the early morning hours after gigs when I was a little kid, and I thought my dad had the coolest job ever. I wanted to carry on the lineage. His father played fiddle and guitar, and his grandfather played fiddle. So when he took me to play my first gigs with him when I was about 11, it already felt completely natural."
"Natural" and "organic" are words King uses often. He puts a premium on writing songs that share his perspective on the world and in letting arrangements come to life in rehearsals and on the stage, evolving as the group plays them.
King says he's already recorded more than two-dozen varied demos for Soul Insight's follow-up. "The band's current line-up is really perfect for me," King explains. "With a trumpet and trombone we can have a really interesting instrumental color along with the guitar. Having an organ lets me get into the zone of classic jazz and blues. And with a percussionist and a drummer, we can do more elaborate rhythms and explore Latin music. So I have all I need to really take the music anywhere.
"Off stage, I'm a very introverted person," he continues. "Making music is how I speak my mind and let people see the way I view the world -- as a big, rich and colorful place with so much in it and so much to offer. And with Soul Insight, I think me and my band have come out kickin', showing everybody who wants to listen what I'm all about."
18SatJune 18, 2016Mark Lanegan
Lanegan has also collaborated with various artists and bands throughout his career, including with Kurt Cobain of Nirvana prior to the group's breakout success with their album Nevermind, Mad Season and became a member of Queens of the Stone Age, featuring on five of the band's albums.
20MonJune 20, 2016
Playing for fifty people one night in a smokey bar, and the very next night opening up and playing for eighteen thousand in an arena was inspiring and eye opening to say the least. Opening up for the likes of Zac Brown Band, Barry Gibb, Boy & Bear, Run River North, Della Mae, Cake, Joe Pug, Horse Feathers, Flogging Molly, The Killers, Allen Stone and others while touring alongside bands just getting their start like us was a real honor. We certainly gained invaluable experience from all those shows and all those trials, but something else happened out there on the road for us, something we have a hard time explaining, but anyone who's spent some time out there on the interstate understands; we became not just friends, but family.
Being out there changed our lives, it changed how we thought about things, it changed how we wrote about things. Those miles molded our music and molded our souls and it made our bond even stronger. Life gives to you and it takes from you, and we have written about that give, and that take. We've written about getting older, about those friends and those loved ones and those things that never leave and about those that do; about those sweet things and those bitter things, and that struggle to keep the course as you try your best to carve yourself into a good man. We have written about our desert home we so very often miss. Our music has been called, compared and regarded by a number of different names and genres, and we've been influenced and shaped by many different events and people, but more than anything, we'd like to think that some shred of the Southwest -- of our home -- can be found in the heart of our music.
It ain't blues and it ain't country. It ain't bluegrass and it ain't indie rock. It's something in-between like most things here in the Southwest, and that's just the way we like it. So here we are, with a new EP to record and a busy year ahead. We've got some new tunes and a sound that has grown, and we're eager as hell to share it with all of you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for listening.
22WedJune 22, 2016James McCartney
"It's all been an evolution," James says. "This set of songs definitely has a harder edge, but it's a continuation of the last album. The main thing for me is to not conform or compromise."
James' panoramic artistry is inspired by such diverse musicians as Kurt Cobain, The Smiths, Radiohead, PJ Harvey, The Cure, The Beatles, Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix, and Hank Williams. His fingerprint aesthetic has earned him plaudits from Rolling Stone, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, and The Daily News. He's earned a strong following the old fashioned way, through tirelessly touring the US, Europe and the UK, and playing bigger and bigger shows with each go around.
The Blackberry Train is an epiphanic co-mingling of aesthetics. James sought out the distinct audio stylings of Steve Albini to conjure a grungier sensibility. He welcomed the engineer's gifts for capturing music with a raw clarity, and Steve Albini's reputation for not impinging on an artist's vision. The results make for an eclectic album with fastidiously crafted songs documented in the studio with glorious purity.
"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."
The Blackberry Train manages to be both diverse and cohesive. The album opens invigoratingly with the jangling rocker, "Too Hard" and closes with the stately and aptly named folk song "Peace and Stillness." Between these bookends, 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.
This summer and fall James will embark on extensive tour dates in the U.S. 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 realized 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."
show detailsJune 23, 2016Ceiling Spirits9:00pm FreeCeiling Spirits is guitarist Mario Quadracci's live film scoring project. Combining found footage with dramatic compositions, Ceiling Spirits pulls from the musical ideas of classical minimalism, various ethnic traditions, ambient music, post rock and, even, electronic music. By utilizing cutting-edge technology and unconventional techniques, Ceiling Spirits pushes the boundaries of what the guitar can sound like and accomplish in the context of live performance. Nothing is prerecorded. Everything is generated in real time. Eschewing both musical and filmic narrative, Ceiling Spirits deals in mood and texture, impression and emotion. Expect dense drones, drifting grooves, soaring compositions, blistering solos and unexpected turns.
24FriJune 24, 2016
Sugar Blue is known as the Jimi Hendrix and Charlie Parker of the harmonica for his astonishing technical mastery. His style is melodically fluid, instantly recognizable for its soaring trills, flamboyant flourishes and swooping glissandos that bring the tiny dynamo's remarkable sonic and emotional range to life.
Born in Harlem, New York he spent his childhood listening to performances by some of the finest show people of the day, including Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Dexter Gordon and James Brown, at the famous Apollo Theatre where his mother was a singer and dancer.
His fate was sealed when an aunt gave him a harmonica for his tenth birthday: it was instant love and he began playing along with Bob Dylan (with whom he would later record...) and Stevie Wonder songs on the radio as well as Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson. It was this diverse background that gave birth to his own unique sound.
A Greenwich Village street entertainer, Blue found his distinctive nick name amongst some 78s in a box thrown out of a window on hot summer night... . "The box almost hit me...I picked a record up," he remembers, "and it said 'Sugar Blues' by Sidney Bechet. And I went -That's it! " He made his first recordings in the mid 1970s with pioneering blues figures Brownie McGhee, Roosevelt Sykes, Victoria Spivey and Johnny Shines.
On the advice of pianist Memphis Slim, he moved to Paris, France where he met the Rolling Stones who used his unmistakable sound to good advantage on three of their albums: that's Sugar Blue's harmonica blasting on their '78 platinum disco hit "Miss You".
He waxed a pair of albums, Crossroads and From Paris to Chicago, in Europe before moving to Chicago to learn more from the giants of the blues harmonica. He toured with Willie Dixon's Chicago Blues All Stars, formed his own band and won a Grammy in 1985 for his contribution to the album Blues Explosion recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival. He also played on Willie Dixon's Grammy winning album Hidden Charms in 1989.
Blue has made a few appearances on the big screen too: he performed in the Cinemax special, Fats Domino and Friends, (with Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis and others) in the 1987 thriller, Angel Heart starring Robert DeNiro and in the recent years in "The Perfect Age of Rock'n'Roll" along with Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Ruby Dee and Peter Fonda.
After a brace of albums, Blue Blazes (1994) and In Your Eyes (1995), on the prestigious Alligator label, Blue took a 12-year hiatus from the studio, returning in 2008 with the highly acclaimed Code Blue., followed by Threshold and his latest work, a powerful live double album "Raw Sugar Live".
Sugar Blue is currently working meticulously on a studio album always mindful of the advice of his mentor Willie Dixon to write about subjects you are passionate about. "That's the key," Blue says. "We all feel deeply; it's part of the human experience. I just put music to it."
25SatJune 25, 2016
27MonJune 27, 2016King's X
King of Spade
Since being signed to Megaforce Records in 1987, King's X has released twelve studio albums, one official live album, and several independent releases. The band is currently recording for the InsideOut Music label, and continues to tour with each new release. Early in their major label career, they had many opening slots on arena tours, but lately, the band for the most part headline their own shows playing mostly clubs and smaller venues. Each member of the group has recorded solo albums and has made numerous guest appearances on other artists' albums and compilation projects. Doug Pinnick and Ty Tabor also have albums released with side bands that they participate in.