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By Andy Argyrakis
Weekend Report: Telluride line-up locked, Interpol
Friday, June 1, 2007
This year marks the 14th annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, which once again focuses on its core genre, plus funk, rock, and gospel. Several acts have been cemented including Los Lonely Boys, Keb' Mo', Robert Randolph & the Family Band, JJ Grey & Mofro, Joe Bonamassa, plus David "Honeyboy" Edwards. Single day tickets for the September 14-16 event (taking place in Colorado's Telluride Town Park) go on sale this morning at 9 a.m. MST at www.tellurideblues.com. Fans can also anticipate the announcement of a Sunday headliner, slated to be unveiled on June 25.
After several name changes that included the World Music Theatre and Tweeter Center, Tinley Park, Illinois' First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre kicks off its second season this weekend. The venue's opening show is a tag team between classic country guitar slinger Alan Jackson and honky-tonk duo Brooks & Dunn, which takes place tonight. Jackson released a pair of albums last year, including an old time gospel project and a production collaboration with Alison Krauss, the latter of which has given the singer a resurgence with younger generations. Aside from the double bill, the summer series will attract concertgoers from all across the country, including concerts by Gwen Stefani (June 8), Vans Warped Tour (July 28), the Projekt Revolution Tour (September 1) and Rush (September 8). Tickets to all shows are on sale at www.ticketmaster.com.
Though Interpol has graduated to much larger venues as of late (including many of America's most prominent festivals), fans will also flock to Chicago this Sunday for an exclusive club show. The Windy City's lauded Metro (home of the Smashing Pumpkins and just about every other alternative act in existence) hosts the band to preview selections from its July 10 release Our Love To Admire (Capitol). The disc marks the band's third official project and major label debut following an impressive run on Matador.
Spector trial gets sticky, Devo Springsteen's
Thursday, May 31, 2007
His constantly evolving (and expanding) hairstyle isn't the only action in the seemingly endless Phil Spector murder trial. The famed producer/wall of sound originator's case turns to forensic evidence this week, following throngs of testimony from character witnesses on both sides of the fence. The coroner (who examined the body of slain actress Lana Clarkson), along with crime lab technicians are all set to take the stand. Legal analysts suggest their commentary could be the make or break this case, either putting the musical icon behind bars or setting him free to resume an artistic streak that shaped the careers of The Ronettes, The Righteous Brothers and later The Beatles, plus many of its solo offshoot projects.
Just for the record, he didn't sing "Whip It," nor should he ever be confused with The Boss from New Jersey. Instead the Big Apple's Devo Springsteen is known for his Grammy winning production and songwriting who's stable includes Kanye West, Britney Spears, Aretha Franklin and now the brand new tune for Common "Misunderstood" (slated for July 10 release). In solo contexts, the multi-tasker recently released the mix tape disc The G.O.O.D., The Bad, The Ugly (Astor Place Media), which includes tunes from Kanye West, GLC, Consequence and Patti Labelle, amongst many others.
After hosting the annual SxSW and Austin City Limits, the Lonestar State can now add the country-focused Big State Festival to its resume. The line-up ranges between insurgent artists, a few commercial country stars and a handful of southern rockers running from October 13-14 at Texas World Speedway in Bryan-College Station. The exhaustive line-up features Tim McGraw, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lyle Lovett and his Large Band, Trace Adkins, Robert Earl Keen, Jack Ingram, Los Lonely Boys, Drive-By Truckers, The Wreckers and The Flatlanders.
Punk premiere, Record label woes
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Punk fans in the Hollywood area are flocking to the Henry Fonda Theater for tonight's premiere of "Punk's Not Dead," the new documentary tracing the genre's resurgence. The film includes candid insight and footage from old timers such as The Ramones, Billy Idol and Henry Rollins, plus Green Day, Rancid, Pennywise, Minor Threat, My Chemical Romance and Bad Religion. For those lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the red carpet, expect to see members from many of the aforementioned acts, plus performances by Channel 3 and The God Awfuls (amongst others).
Though it's no secret the record industry is suffering, a recent New York Times article pointed out some especially grim statistics. Not only are CD sales down by over 20% this year, but last week EMI agreed to be purchased for more than $4.7 billion by Terra Firma Capital Partners. And right on the heels of that somewhat shocking move came Universal Music Group's purchase of BMG Music, shrinking the industry to even smaller degrees. On top of being the world's biggest label, Universal is now also the globe's largest music publisher.
Even with the business crumbling on so many corners, Irish rockers U2 continue to weather the storm and transcend longevity trends. Last week, all four members paid a visit to Cannes Festival Hall for a short set and promotional appearance of the film "U2 3D." The project was filmed as part of the band's most recent tour and is said to feel so real that viewers find themselves reaching out to touch Bono on a regular basis. From a technological perspective, the flick ditches the unattractive red and blue 3D specs from yesteryear in favor of sunglasses-styled head gear that's said to elevate viewers much closer to the action (and perhaps even better than the real thing).
Street Date: Farrell throws a Satellite Party
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
He may be best known as the one time front man Jane's Addiction, though Perry Farrell is a man of many hats who's also recognized for overseeing the annual Lollapalooza Festival. In fact, the fashion forward entertainer debuted his latest project Satellite Party at that exact extravaganza in 2005, though it's taken two years to manifest itself in the studio. Though Farrell is the clear cut leader of the group, Ultra Payloaded (Columbia) is packed with a who's who of alternative, pop and classic rockers. The collaborative pool includes the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea and John Frusciante, Joy Division/New Order bassist Peter Hook, Black Eyed Peas' singer Fergie and even departed front man for The Doors Jim Morrison (who comes back from the other side to deliver a previously unreleased vocal on "Woman in the Window").
As sex allegations linger on for what seems like an eternity, R. Kelly continues making music and touring on a regular basis. Taking cues from Michael Jackson as to how to dodge a courtroom, he's had plenty of time to work on and turn in Double Up (Jive) today. The Chicago-bred bedroom soul man is up to his usual lusty tricks, turning in tunes titled "Sex Planet," "Havin' A Baby" and "Freaky In The Club." Special guests include Snoop Dogg, Chamillionaire, Nelly, Swizz Beatz, Usher, plus a rap fest with fellow bad boys Ludacris and Kid Rock.
Irish blues rocker Gary Moore returns following a stripped down affair last year to plug in for a combination of jump and urban blues. Close As You Get (Eagle) merges originals with classic covers, such as Chuck Berry's "Thirty Days" and Sonny Boy Williamson's "Eyesight To The Blind." The eclectic offering comes as the latest feather in Moore's cap, following time in Thin Lizzy to ongoing friendship and influence from a pre-Fleetwood Mac Peter Green to tag teams with Albert Collins, Albert King and B.B. King.
Waits' Buddhist benefit, Neo-soul surprise
Monday, May 28, 2007
Under normal circumstances, enigmatic rocker Tom Waits may have little in common with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, but the acclaimed artist and religious figurehead have indeed collaborated. On September 21, 2003, the unlikely pair appeared alongside sitarist Anoushka Shankar, the throat-singing Gyoto Tantric Choir, along with the Kronos Quartet and Greg Cohen to churn out Healing the Divide: A Concert For Peace and Recondition (Anti-). And despite the long wait between the recording and its actual release, the diverse bill finally hits streets as both a CD and DVD July 10. All proceeds from the projects go to Healing the Divide's Tibetan Health Initiative (which provides health insurance and medical care to poverty stricken Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns). Waits turns in several tunes including "Way Down in the Hole" and "Lost in the Harbor."
The pace is about to pick up for the already ambitious punk rockers The Heart Attacks. As June settles in, the band hits the road hard in support of Hellbound And Heartless (Hellcat Records), including tour time with label mates Nekromantix, Left Alone and Static Thought. From there, it turns in dates with The Queers, followed by a full summer run with Social Distortion. And we're not talking mall punk here, but rather a rowdy, true to form resurgence of the late 70s era that birthed the New York Dolls and Sex Pistols.
Singer/songwriter Erika Rose may be a relatively new name in soul circles, but she's already scored props from Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz, Common and Erykah Badu. On June 24, the world will have the chance to judge for itself on the independent outing Rosegarden. The troubadour cites influences as diverse as Stevie Wonder, Sade and Joni Mitchell, while her sonic map also includes jazz, funk, rock and pop. Rose is also backed by producer Om'Mas Keith (who also serves as lead singer of SA-RA, signed to Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music Imprint).
May 21 - 25
May 14 - 18
May 7 - 12
Apr. 30 - May 4
Apr. 23 - 27
Apr. 16 - 20
Apr. 9 - 13
Apr. 2 - 8
Mar. 26 - 30
Mar. 19 - 23
Mar. 12 - 16
Mar. 5 - 9
Feb. 26 - Mar. 2
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Feb. 12 - 16
Feb. 5 - 9
Jan. 30 - Feb. 2