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By Andy Argyrakis
Weekend Report: Way Out West's diversity
Friday, August 10, 2007
Genre cross pollination is a common characteristic of most major festivals, but Gothenburg, Sweden's Way Out West takes the cake as one of the most delightfully diverse (and sometimes downright bizarre) line-ups of the summer. Friday's roster is stacked with Celtic punk heroes The Pogues, fresh faced rapper Lady Sovereign, naughty rock n' rollers Eagles of Death Metal, garage rockers The Hives and hyped up dance act The Go! Team. Saturday's tide turns in an even wider spread of styles, including bad boy Kanye West, indie staples Spoon, emo kids Sparta, piano sultan Regina Spektor and soul crooner Erykah Badu. The full line-up and ticket information is available at www.wayoutwest.se.
Speaking of The Go! Team, the high octane troupe's weekend also includes a Saturday slot on the enormous Middelalderparken in Oslo, Norway (which also features Nine Inch Nails, Roky Erickson and The Hold Steady, amongst many others). The U.K. based sextet is gearing up for the early September release Proof of Youth (Memphis Industries), once again keeping dance at the core, but incorporating funk, hip-hop and indie rock. The first single "Grip Like a Vice" dropped in July, while "Doing It Right" is slated for early street week. The project also features a collaboration with Public Enemy's Chuck D on "Flashlight Fight."
On the blast from the past front, Eric Burdon returns to the road with his latest incarnation of The Animals to revisit classics like "House of the Rising Sun," "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" and "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place." Aside from those golden oldies, the seminal British songwriter also released the blues disc Soul of a Man (SPV) last year, which maintains his immediately familiar, smoke and gravel filled pipes. Both career periods come to life throughout a run of Canada this weekend, including a headlining slot at Kitchener Blues Festival in Ontario on Saturday.
New Gilmour DVD, Beatles on tour
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Any Pink Floyd fan who caught David Gilmour's 2006 solo tour can attest it was almost the next best thing to seeing the original band reunited (or at least Roger Waters' recent individual outing). Though the first half of the show was a sleeper set comprised of songs from On An Island (Columbia), the second half focused on several of the band's most memorable hits, complete with its signature light show. Pigs literally and figuratively flew, especially as the guitar god dusted off Syd Barrett's "Dark Globe" for the very first time. All of the above, plus appearances from David Bowie, Robert Wyatt, David Crosby and Graham Nash are captured in "Remember That Night- Live At The Royal Albert Hall" (Columbia) a double DVD set that drops September 18."
Though no amount of pigs with wings could get all four Beatles reunited for a concert trek, there's no reason why fans can't take a walking tour through the band's actual steps. Attendees of Hamburg Germany's upcoming Reeperbahn Festival score a free sightseeing trip through the Fab Four's old stomping grounds, including clubs and places of personal residence. The festival runs throughout a dozen of the city's clubs September 27-29 with indie rockers The Pigeon Detectives, Say Hi To Your Mom, Architecture In Helsinki and Young Soul Rebels, amongst many others.
Following an explosive set at this year's Lollapalooza, dance flavored punk rockers !!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk) added another dose of American tour dates. The group is making the rounds behind the new Myth Takes (Warped Records), visiting Europe the remainder of the summer before returning to the States on September 26 (at The Avalon in Los Angeles). Presale tickets for most dates can be purchased through the band's fan page http://chkchkchk.ducatking.com (and based on all the buzz as of late, they're likely to sell out fast).
Has Robert Plant gone crazy for country?
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
No one can accuse Robert Plant of staying confined in the same artistic box since his days fronting Led Zeppelin. His solo years have spread across the diverse likes of collaborations with Phil Collins in the early years through The Honeydrippers midway through to Egyptian influenced reworkings of old hits with Jimmy Page. The latest step in a different directions comes with a decision to team with alternative country/ bluegrass queen Alison Krauss and rootsy producer T Bone Burnett. The troupe's tag team will surface on the October release Raising Sand (Rounder) and features covers of Tom Waits, Mel Tillis, Townes Van Zandt, Gene Clark and Little Milton Campbell, amongst many other classic country/roots rock acts. And speaking of Page, also expect an organic reworking of the pair's "Please Read the Letter" from its 1998 reunion record.
In support of the recent It's a Bit Complicated (Downtown Records), Art Brut is making the festival rounds including Seattle's Bumbershoot, Chicago's Hideout Block Party and Red Rocks' brand new Monolith Festival. From there, the alternative pop/rockers will be announcing a full-fledged "secret" fall tour sure to feature material from the sophomore CD. The band's most prominent opening slot was with Oasis, while a spring and early summer outing found the gang headlining a bill with Maximo Park.
Having just wrapped up a tour with The Fray and OK Go, Norfolk, Virginia foursome Mae put the finishing touches on its major label debut Singularity (Capitol). The former Tooth & Nail experimental rockers aren't taking a moment's break, launching a full-fledged record release tour (to correspond with the August 14 release date) and also a slot at Bumbershoot. The group's name is an acronym for Multisensory Aesthetic Experience, which is exactly the kind of quotient members have kicked up since debuting in 2000.
Street Date: True Colors Tour to CD
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Though no DVD is on the immediate horizon, cuts featured in this summer's highly successful True Colors Tour are coming to CD with several of the acts featured on the remarkably diverse bill. The cast includes figurehead and founder Cyndi Lauper alongside Erasure and Debbie Harry, plus a wealth of rising indie talent such as The Dresden Dolls, The Gossip and The Cliks. A buck from each copy of True Colors: The Tour (Tommy Boy) benefits an array of charities such as the Human Rights Campaign, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays and The Matthew Shepard Foundation.
Sometimes it takes a disc of remix to introduce a classic artist from the past to a new generation (such a recent re-working of Yoko Ono's catalogue from the likes of Basement Jaxx and Pet Shop Boys). The latest to follow in that tradition is leading jazz lady Billie Holiday, who's Remixed & Reimagined (Sony Legacy) traces several of her classics in club contexts. It may sound like an usual prospect, but acts such as DJ Logic and Daniel Y maintain Holiday's original spirit, while simply forcing listeners' hands to snap their fingers at a faster pace.
Speaking of jazz, piano man Bruce Hornsby is covering traditional aspects of the genre on the new Camp Meeting (Sony Legacy). Long gone are his days of sleepy adult contemporary radio, a departure that began in the 1990s during collaborations with The Grateful Dead, and most recently, seminal bluegrass figure Ricky Skaggs. Along with bassist Christian McBride and drummer Jack DeJohnette, he explores Miles Davis' "Solar," Ornette Coleman's "Questions and Answers" and Thelonious Monk's "Straight, No Chaser," along with several other unexpected gems.
The Fratellis tape "Soundstage," Road bound Wonder
Monday, August 6, 2007
While in Chicago for Lollapalooza, buzz band The Fratellis taped an episode of "Soundstage" at the local PBS studio. The up close and personal performance featured the Glasgow-bread alternative rockers performing most of the cuts from last year's Costello Music (Cherry Tree). For those who couldn't catch the taping firsthand, the program will air during the show's fall season, joining the list of previously lauded episodes from Robert Plant, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Steve Winwood plus the double bill of Wilco and Sonic Youth. Lifehouse visits the same venue for a concert filming Wednesday, August 22 with additional details and airtimes at www.pbs.org/wttw/soundstage.
The legendary Stevie Wonder isn't exactly the most prolific in the recording studio and is even harder to catch on a cross country tour. But the soulful/funk/R&B innovator comes out of hibernation for an August and September tour of America featuring his classic catalogue and cuts from his most recent disc A Time To Love (Motown). Dubbed "A Wonder Summer's Night Tour," the trek will hit some of the country's most cozy outdoor concert halls. "I am looking forward to performing in these venues under the stars," says Wonder. "We are going to have some wonderful nights of intimate excitement."
After co-headlining with Anberlin and hitting main stage of this summer's Vans Warped Tour, punk-tinged alt-rockers Bayside launch a leading stretch in support of the recent The Walking Wounded (Victory). The outing also includes several of the label's other breakout bands, including The Sleeping, A Day to Remember, June, and Driverside Impact. The action starts October 25 at Ram's Head Live in Baltimore, running through December 1 at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit.
July 30 - Aug. 3
July 23 - 27
July 16 - 20
July 9 - 13
July 2 - 6
June 25 - 29
June 18 - 22
June 11 - 15
June 4 - 8
May 28 - June 1
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
Feb. 19 - 23
Feb. 12 - 16
Feb. 5 - 9
Jan. 30 - Feb. 2