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By Andy Argyrakis
Weekend Report: Mid-Atlantic Blues and Music Festival
Friday, September 28, 2007
The blues may be rooted deep in the Delta, the south side of the Chicago and the smoky clubs of Memphis, but the historic genre invades Atlantic City this Saturday and Sunday. The Mid-Atlantic Blues and Music Festival sets up shop at Bernie Robbins Stadium for two full days of music, spanning the styles of down home blues, gospel, Cajun, New Orleans' brass funk and Windy City traditions. Saturday's line-up is loaded with artists spanning all those associations, including familiar favorites Tab Benoit, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Bobby Rush, Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials and Hubert Sumlin.
The latter performer also joins the same day's "Legends of the Chicago Blues" concert cast, which also features "Steady Rollin" Bob Margolin, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, George "Mojo" Buford and Calvin "Fuzz" Jones. Sunday is centered around the theme "Children of Blues Legends...The Next Generation," including Big Bill Morganfield (Muddy Waters), Johnny Lee Hooker Jr. (John Lee Hooker), Shemekia Copeland (Johnny Copeland), Bernard Allison (Luther Allison), Kenny Neal (Raful Neal) and Ronnie Baker Brooks (Lonnie Brooks).
More than merely the exhaustive musical line-up, the event benefits "Blues For Good" a new program established by promoters Bubba Mac to support United Way (with proceeds being distributed amongst the local community needs). In addition to lending a helping hand, full weekend ticket holders score free admission to a Saturday night after party at the nearby House of Blues, featuring The Radiators and a surprise all-star jam session led by Rooster & the Chicken Hawks. For additional information on the cause, concert schedule and ticket information, log onto www.BubbaMac.com and www.mycommunitymatters.org.
Spree, Rooney and Redwalls, Boss's double dose
Thursday, September 27, 2007
The worlds of symphonic pop and power pop collide as Dallas' The Polyphonic Spree team up with L.A.'s Rooney for a co-headlining tour. The outing also features Chicago's Brit-inspired rockers The Redwalls and is slated to kick off October 14 in Pontiac, Michigan before ending in Baltimore November 17. The always adventurous Spree is touring in support of its third disc The Fragile Army, while Rooney just released the retro inspired Calling the World. Despite parting ways with Capitol, The Redwalls recently regrouped with Mad Dragon Records for a self-titled release (dropping October 23).
It comes as no surprise whatsoever that Bruce Springsteen's latest reunion with the E Street Band prompted sell outs in pretty much every place tickets went on sale. And as is usually the tradition, multiple shows in the same city were added to satisfy fan demand. The rage comes in advance of next week's Magic CD release, which already found its way to several illegal internet streams and download services. But even letting the cat out of the bag early shouldn't affect The Boss' overall sales (though if they do, at least Columbia Records has an excuse already lined up).
In other Springsteen related news, today also marks the long awaited return of E Street Radio on SIRIUS Satellite Radio. The commercial free station dedicates its play list exclusively to the New Jersey-bred band and kicks off tonight at 6 p.m. Eastern (running through March 2008 to coincide with the new CD and tour). Outside of studio recordings, the station will feature several archival tracks, concert recordings and rarities dating all the way back to the band's 1973's beginnings.
Dr. Dre calling it a day?, Cure concerts rescheduled
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Dr. Dre recently told the Los Angeles Times that his forthcoming CD Detox is likely to be his last in solo contexts. The disc was originally supposed to release this year, but was pushed back to focus on a few more tracks, along with production on Eminem's upcoming album. The decision to step down (we'll believe it when we see it since that card's been played countless times before) stems from Dre's lack of interest in promotional campaigns associated with putting out a record these days, including the endless streak of interviews and public appearances.
Though fans of The Cure were undoubtedly disappointed by the postponement of its 2007 tour (mostly to finalize a new CD release), those shows are back on the books for spring 2008. While it may seem a bit early to get excited about next year, tickets are currently on sale in many cases, but patrons can still make returns if the new shows don't fit their schedules. Eighteen of the nineteen gigs have been re-booked in the exact same venues as before, but were shifted a little later in 08 than expected because of complications with sports playoffs and stadium availability.
One time Soundgarden and Audioslave singer Chris Cornell may have been met with mixed reviews of his latest solo offering Carry On, but it hasn't stopped him on the road. The grunge era icon added a string of American and international dates to his calendar, most notably a round of Australian shows with Linkin Park in Australia throughout October. He closes out that month and trickles into November for another U.S. return, once again focusing on career spanning set lists.
Street Date: Earthy Iron & Wine, Ferocious Foo
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
It's been two years since the last proper Iron & Wine release (aside from a collaborative project with Calexico), though the band doesn't loose a step in its folk/acoustic/organic footing. On The Shepherd's Dog (Sub Pop), group figurehead Sam Beam continues to weave rich and poetically vivid messages (reminiscent of apparent muse Tom Waits) with an instrumental undercurrent of banjo, guitars and subtle strings. Other influences span the diversity spectrum of Crosby, Stills & Nash to John Lennon, though the group simultaneously serves fans looking for the timeless melodies and current atmospherics.
After unplugging over the last year and releasing an acoustic CD and DVD, the Foo Fighters are ready to rock again and return to the seminal alternative roots found on 1997's now classic The Colour and the Shape. On today's Echoes Silence Patience & Grace (RCA), the band reunites with that disc's producer Gil Norton and turns in a new set that's just as aggressive as it is inventive. Expect continued evolution, emotive lyrics from fearless leader Dave Grohl and unpredictably that yield's another impressive notch in the Foo's already consistent catalogue.
Though Chaka Khan's been in the public eye as of late following Kanye West's sampling her hit "Through the Fire" during his own "Through the Wire," it's been a complete decade since the soulful songbird released her last project of entirely original material. Whereas her 1990s period was defined by various collaborations with Prince, her direction on Funk This (Burgundy) includes a return to the even more vintage sounds a la her previous band Rufus, coupled with occasional hip-hop influences. Whether covering The Purple One's "Sign 'O' the Times" or dueting with Mary J. Blige on "Disrespectful," Chaka is officially back with a groove oriented offering that amply showcases her booming pipes.
Ultimate Santana, Ultimate Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy
Monday, September 24, 2007
The track listing for the very first multi-label spanning Santana compilation was just announced, featuring the famed guitar slinger with a bunch of big gun backers. The October 16 release Ultimate Santana (Arista) features previously unreleased collaborations with Jennifer Lopez, Tina Turner and Nickelback's Chad Kroeger, along with already familiar tag team partners Steven Tyler, Everlast and Rob Thomas. Yet the disc also covers old school classics, including "Evil Ways" (off the band's eponymous 1969 album), plus "Oye Como Va" and "Black Magic Woman (both from Abraxas).
Also in the "ultimate" category, rock star hopefuls can turn to Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp (spanning November 7-11 at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino) to get primo clinic and concert treatment. Aside from hearing established talent tell stories and tips about the music industry, attendees can experience intimate educational sessions and the grand finale "Campapalooza" concert (at the nearby House of Blues). Guests thus far include Roger Daltrey, Joe Walsh, Slash, Jack Bruce and Vince Neil (amongst many others) though anyone and everyone could possibly show up unannounced (as previous participants ranged from members of the E Street Band to ex-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman). For complete details on this artistic boot camp of sorts, log onto www.rockcamp.com.
The bulk of summer festivals may be over, but that doesn't mean the sun stops shining in more temperate regions of the world. Miami, Florida serves as the winter destination for Bang! Music Festival, taking place at Bayfront Park Amphitheatre November 10 and 11. Co-headliners were just announced, starting with Kanye West on Saturday and Smashing Pumpkins on Sunday. Though additional acts will be announced as the concert date nears, current names include Spoon, The Bravery and The Roots.
Sept. 17 - 21
Sept. 10 - 14
Sept. 4 - 7
Aug. 27 - 31
Aug. 20 - 24
Aug. 13 - 17
Aug. 6 - 10
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
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May 14 - 18
May 7 - 12
Apr. 30 - May 4
Apr. 23 - 27
Apr. 16 - 20
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Apr. 2 - 8
Mar. 26 - 30
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Mar. 12 - 16
Mar. 5 - 9
Feb. 26 - Mar. 2
Feb. 19 - 23
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Feb. 5 - 9
Jan. 30 - Feb. 2