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By Andy Argyrakis
CrackerWeekend Report: Cracker concerts, Ray DVD
Friday, November 9, 2007
Throughout 17 years in action, Cracker scored four gold records, performed in 21 countries and continues to boast the deliciously true tag line "a country band within a rock band." To celebrate the odd anniversary and simultaneously support last year's Greenland CD, the band is embarking on the Tornado Alley Tour, also featuring Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit (of Drive-By Truckers fame). The current Cracker line-up consists of co-founding front men David Lowery (also co-founder of Camper Van Beethoven) and Johnny Hickman, plus bassist Sal Maida (Roxy Music, Sparks) and drummer Frank Funaro (The Dictators, Joey Ramone). Tonight the guys set up shop at Indianapolis' 8 Seconds, followed by Saturday's two stops at Chicago's Reckless Records (for an in-store performance)Ray Charles then Cubby Bear, plus Sunday's weekend wrap-up at St. Louis' Pageant.

Bon Jovi fans are sure to be glued to their TV sets Saturday night as The Lost Highway Concert airs at 10pm ET/PT on A&E prior to its DVD release November 13. The show encompasses selections from its latest country focused Lost Highway CD, which despite the change of direction topped the Billboard album chart. Outside of new tunes, expect to see a handful of hits, such as "Wanted Dead Or Alive" and "Who Says You Can't Go Home."

Renters or buyers can also pick up Ray Charles' latest archive release at their own leisure and chances are they won't be disappointed. The recently unearthed Live At Montreux 1997 features the famed piano player pounding on those pearly whites alongside a full orchestra and The Raelettes. The set list is comprised of nothing but classics, including "I'll Be Home (Sadie's Tune)," "You Made Me Love You," "What'd I Say," plus his ultimate calling card "Georgia On My Mind."
P.J. HarveyPierce The Veil teams with Chiodos, P.J.'s promo show
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Teaming up with a major internet portal like Yahoo! Music and a mammoth corporate sponsor may not exactly give P.J. Harvey any additional indie cred, but it's not like she needs any extra cool points. Though not the ideal setting, Nissan's new "Live Sets" webcast series recently captured the troubadour's new album White Chalk (Island) earning American treatment on stage. After only announcing shows in New York and Los Angeles, these concert clips (available at are certainly better than nothing and at least something to tide fans over until a proper tour is routed. Relatively new alternative rockers Pierce the Veil just returned from the U.K. with The Blackout, but are also giving American fans dose of A Flair for the Dramatic (Equal Vision). The band just scored the coveted opening spot on tour with Chiodos (this summer's Warped darlings) winding throughout November and December. Pierce the VeilOutside of these opportunities, the group's resume includes road time with Portugal the Man, Poison the Well, Alesana and Fear Before The March of Flames.

The British Nokia Music Store may have just celebrated its online opening, but the glee was short-lived following the announcement that Warner Music Group will possibly opt out of selling its songs on the site. As a result of that decision, bands as a diverse as AC/DC, Genesis, Linkin Park and Red Hot Chili Peppers (along with countless other acts of prominence) could be absent from anyone's shopping carts for the service. According to the Associated Press, the move comes as a protest from Warner over Nokia's affiliation with the file-sharing site Mosh, demonstrating yet another online battle in the ever evolving industry mindset.
The CribsCancellations from The Cribs, Hayward's homecoming
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Between The Decemberists calling its current tour a day (due to illness) and Led Zeppelin's recent reunion postponement (because of Jimmy Page's finger fracture) there sure are a lot of disappointed concertgoers this month. Add fans of The Cribs to that list now that the British buzz band canceled its fall tour of North America as well, citing scheduling problems. At this point, attendees are encouraged to hang onto their tickets until the dates can be rearranged (as the same seats will be valid). In the event a show doesn't get back on the books, full refunds will be available at the point of purchase.

A fully healthy Hayward Williams just returned from his first ever tour of The Netherlands, including a date at the annual Take Root Festival (where he was backed by Machine label mates Cabin). Now that he's back in America, the Milwaukee-based Hayward Williamstunesmith heads out on a Stateside journey starting this week and wrapping at the top of December. His MySpace page includes a few recent live recordings, from the original "Devil's Lament" to a cover of Bruce Springsteen's seminal "Thunder Road."

Prog rock faithful are also rejoicing over the announcement of Neal Morse's upcoming double disc release Question: Live (Metal Blade/Red). The one time member of Spock's Beard also turns in a smattering of band and solo smashes encompassing his storied, two-decade career on the November 16 release. Morse is also known for his tenure in progressive super group Transatlantic, also including members of Dream Theater, Flower Kings and Marillion.
Sigur RosStreet Date: Sigur Ros round-up, Beatles reissue
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
In 1965, The Beatles' film "Help!" hit the silver screen as the much anticipated follow-up to "A Hard Day's Night." Though the witty musical was often released in VHS editions and a few DVD pressings, they've all since gone out of print, leading to a long awaited reissue by Capitol. As a result, the Fab Four's record label drops a standard double DVD edition, featuring one disc of the newly restored film (and subsequent soundtrack), plus another with several documentaries (including various trailers and radio spots). A deluxe edition also drops at a much more costly fee, loaded with memorabilia and additional bonus features.

Iceland's Sigur Ros fills the product gap after a two year break with Hvarf-Heim (XL), an odds and sods collection geared towards its die-hard audience. The disc features several previously unreleased songs, along with acoustic studio versions of familiar favorites. The DVD Heima is also in the works, chronicling last summer's tour of the band's homeland.

Speaking of DVD releases,HELP sardonic pop/rockers Barenaked Ladies also turn to concert documentation on Talk To the Hand: Live In Michigan (Shout! Factory). Expect a mixture of newer tunes, plus college rock classics "One Week" and "If I Had $1000000" (complete with a hearty dose of slapstick). Though Tom DeLonge maintained a similar (and sometimes dirtier) sense of humor when serving as Blink-182 guitarist and vocalist, he's attempting a more astute artistic direction on Angels & Airwaves' second CD. Today's I-Empire (Geffen) also includes Atom Willard (The Offspring), David Kennedy (Box Car Racer) and newest member Matt Wachter (30 Seconds To Mars).
Jimmy PageAimee's Christmas outing, Page's finger fracture
Monday, November 5, 2007
The intense international press attention continues to flair up surrounding the forthcoming Led Zeppelin reunion. As if the hysteria surrounding ticket sales wasn't insane enough, those handful of rapid (and remarkably lucky) fans will have to wait even longer to catch the classic rockers in concert. Turns out guitar slinger Jimmy Page fractured his finger, making it impossible for him to join the scheduled rehearsals. As a result, the November 26 concert at London's 02 Arena is moved to December 10, though the opening acts remain unchanged. Aside from seeing a hopefully healed Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham, the event features sets by Bill Wyman, Bonham's other band Foreigner and Paolo Nutini. Ticket refunds are available (until November 14) to those who can't make the new date, but that leaves those with flights and hotel reservations from all across the globe flocking to find resolutions.

For the second year, Aimee Mann resurrects her holiday tour in support of One More Drifter in the Snow, a CD that also features Rachel Yamagata, Nellie McKay and Grant Lee Phillips (to name a few). "I wanted to do a Christmas record that reflected the whole range of emotions that people have around Christmas," Mann said in a statement.Aimee Mann "I thought a lot about the feeling I had about Christmas as a kid, the almost spooky beauty and mystery that the holiday has, and wanted to do something that echoed that musically." The outing kicks off in the not so snowy confines of Solana Beach, CA on November 29 and wraps up in Alexandria, VA on December 18.

Halloween weekend's Voodoo Music Experience just celebrated its ninth year with an all-time attendance record throughout its tenure thus far. According to recently tallied tickets, over 150,000 people walked through the gates throughout those three days to catch glimpses of a fully reunited Rage Against the Machine and the patchily reconvened Smashing Pumpkins (plus over 120 other acts). Last year's post-Hurricane Katrina comeback also drew an impressive 93,000 spectators across two days.

Daily Dish Archives

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