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By Andy Argyrakis
Alanis Morissette Weekend Report: The Jam minus Weller?, Matchbox's triple team
Friday, February 1, 2008
If the calendar didn't read 2008, it could very well be 1998 all over again thanks to the tour teaming of Matchbox Twenty and Alanis Morissette. After embarking on a Santana-fueled solo career, Rob Thomas returns to the group that first made him famous, plugging the double disc collection of new tunes and hits Exile on Mainstream (Atlantic). Though Morissette doesn't have anything new at the moment, a studio follow-up to 2004's So-Called Chaos is on the way, plus there's always the promise of tunes from her breakthrough disc Jagged Little Pill. Yet the evening's true treat is the debut of Mute Math on a major stadium scale, following a club run from SxSW to CMJ and just about every other initialed event in between. (Worth a shot/ Friday at Sears Centre- Hoffman Estates, IL: www.searscentre.com).

Though the players have rotated on numerous occasions, the legacy of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band continues to be preserved on the touring circuit. Just in time for Mardi Gras, the famed Crescent City troupe takes a road trip sharing a party infused slice of the Big Easy with the Midwest.From the Jam This particular run is part of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra series, adding additional spice to the traveling Hall's already seasoned show. (Bet your life/ Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Marcus Center for the Performing Arts- Milwaukee, WI: www.marcuscenter.org).

The idea of The Jam touring without Paul Weller seems as ludicrous as The Doors minus Jim Morrison, Queen lacking Freddie Mercury or INXS with no Michael Hutchence. (Oh wait, those outings have all already happened!) However, that trio of legendary acts all share a deceased front man in common, which isn't the case of these iconic Mod rockers, who are touring under the slightly shifted banner From the Jam. Outside of original bassist/vocalist Bruce Foxton and drummer Rick Buckler, the band includes vocalist/guitarist Russell Hastings and guitarist/keyboardist Dave Moore. (Fan club only/ Monday at Abbey Pub-Chicago, IL: www.abbeypub.com).
Dave Gahan Gahan's remix record, Memphis Challenge
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Last year Dave Gahan released his second solo project Hourglass in traditional CD and online mediums, though a remix edition of the same album takes cues from his early days in Depeche Mode. The March 11 release Hourglass- Remixes (Mute/Virgin) turns up on vinyl, available exclusively through www.thinkindie.com. Guests include Juan Maclean, Booka Shade, Kap10Kurt, Maps, T. Raumschmiere, Digitalism, Onur Ozer and Sebastien Leger, who transform the familiar sounds of songs like "Kingdom" and "Deeper & Deeper" into fresh contexts. And for those still hoping to spin the songs in their cars, the record will be bundled with a free CD boasting eleven tweaked tracks.

Memphis will always be considered a Mecca for the blues, though today through February 2 finds the town highlighting the genre even more than usual. The 2008 International Blues Challenge (IBC) kicks off tonight throughout several venues across town, boasting 159 acts from 36 states,A.K.A.s 10 countries and 6 continents (split between 99 competing in the band division and 60 in the solo/duo contest). A complete listing of the festivities (which also include the Keeping the Blues Alive Awards) can be found at www.blues.org.

Earlier this week, Metropolis recording artists The A.K.A.s launched a full-fledged tour throughout America with the Vincent Black Shadow and Creature Feature. The outing comes in advance of the March 18 release Everybody Make Some Noise!, featuring production by Alex Newport (At the Drive In, The Mars Volta) with special guests Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), JT Woodruff (Hawthorne Heights) and Chris #2 (Anti-Flag). "We have a really bizarre set of guest appearances on our record," says vocalist Mike Ski. "Having three people that would never be in the same room together appear on our album and each bring something incredible to the songs is a proud moment."
Panic! At the
Disco Louis XIV headlines, Honda Civic Tour finalized
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Last year's Honda Civic Tour was anchored by Fall Out Boy, but this season finds its protégés Panic! At the Disco in the headlining position. Others on the pop/punk centered bill include Motion City Soundtrack, The Hush Sound and Phantom Planet, all revolving around an environmental theme (with a buck from each ticket benefiting Reverb and Global Inheritance). The outing kicks off April 10 in San Francisco and winds through June 14 in Anaheim, while fans along the way have the chance to win a pimped out car from the corporate sponsor.

Following a winter outing supporting Editors and Hot Hot Heat, Louis XIV is taking to the headlining route in support of Slick Dogs and Ponies (Pineapple/Atlantic). The jaunt launches March 4 at Tucson's Club Congress and continues through Toronto on March 19 Louis XIV(with additional dates being unveiled sometime in February). Atlantic label mates Carolina Liar open all shows, previewing a forthcoming debut disc along similar lines as those in the top spot.

Touring titans Tapes 'n Tapes finally took a break from the road long enough to record its sophomore effort. Walk It Off (XL Recordings) hits streets April 8 under the production of Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Sleater Kinney, Weezer). The project marks the follow-up to the Minneapolis-based band's blockbuster debut The Loon, which sparked global awareness thanks to a series of prominent festival dates. While no official trek in support of the CD has been announced as of yet, the band will debut new material at this year's SxSW.
Willie Nelson Street Date: Mars, Jackson, Nelson hit studio
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Even as an elder statesmen of country music, Willie Nelson shows no signs of slowing down keeping on target with his yearly release stream. Unlike last year's old school oriented collaborative project with Merle Haggard and Ray Price, today's Moment of Forever (Lost Highway) takes a contemporary twist at the hands of commercial country's current leading cowboy. Kenny Chesney is the unlikely knob twirler on this project, which also features the pair's duet "Worry B Gone." The rest of the disc is a cross between originals and covers, including Nelson's take on Dave Matthews' "Gravedigger" and Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody."

In keeping with the tradition of his seminal releases Look Sharp, I'm the Man and Beat Crazy, Joe Jackson hunkered down in a Berlin studio with just only unmistakable pipes, a piano, bass and drums. The resulting Rain release is peppered with sophisticated story telling and an insistent pub rock centering that'sThe Mars Volta caused him to endure since the late 1970s. Aside from a standard single disc, a deluxe edition includes a DVD of live tracks and an inside look at making this album.

Modern day prog rockers The Mars Volta turn in its fourth studio album The Bedlam In Goliath (GSL/Universal), produced by band member Omar Rodriguez Lopez. As has been the case of previous projects, this effort is highly conceptual in nature, including (but not limited to) murder victims, supernatural influences and Ouija-board styled imagery. It may seem a bit over the top, but as with everything related to the band, expect grandeur (albeit sometimes self-indulgence) every step of the way.
Stevie Wonder Yaz is back, Jazzfest line-up locked
Monday, January 28, 2008
Not only has New Orleans' Jazz & Heritage festival rebounded since Hurricane Katrina but it's thrived in recent years with the 2008 edition serving as the most ambitious outing since the tragedy. As is the event's tradition, the celebration will be spread throughout two weekends, starting with April 25-27 and resuming May 1-4. Weekend one includes the diverse cross section of the highly anticipated tag team between Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, plus sets from Billy Joel, Sheryl Crow, Tim McGraw Dr. John, Al Green, Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint.

The second installment also features a wide array of Crescent City regulars and international acts such as the Neville Brothers, YazooAaron Neville, Santana, Jimmy Buffett, Randy Newman, Widespread Panic, plus the event's overall headliner Stevie Wonder. "Over the past 20 years, he hasn't really been touring, so we feel really fortunate," promoter Quint Davis told Pollstar, citing the death of Wonder's mother as the catalyst for a road return. "His mother always told him 'you should get back up there and do what you do.'"

Speaking of performers who haven't taken the stage in over two decades, British duo Yazoo (also known as Yaz) is reuniting for a series of UK dates this summer to honor its twenty-fifth anniversary. Even with the duo's absence, members Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet have been busy with plenty of other projects, including the former's days with Depeche Mode and now Erasure, while the latter's fostered a successful solo artist. Thus far no American dates have been announced, though the box set In Your Room will be released in conjunction with the outing to compile the group's studio songs, b-sides, rarities and DVD footage.

The Dish Archives - 2008

Jan. 21 - 25
Jan. 14 - 18
Jan. 7 - 11
Jan. 1 - 4
Daily Dish Archives - 2007

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