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By Andy Argyrakis
Stevie Wonder Weekend Report: Sly returns to Stone, Another shot of Jazzfest
Friday, May 2, 2008
After launching last weekend, the second installment of this year's New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival takes flight with yet another diverse gumbo of artists. Friday's performance highlights include headliner Stevie Wonder, plus inventive under card acts like John Prine, Art Neville and Richard Thompson. Though Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band heads the heap on Saturday, the evening's true treats range from The Roots to Bobby McFerrin in a collaborative set with Chick Corea. Sunday rounds out the marathon event with local legends The Neville Brothers, indie heroes The Raconteurs, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. (Bet your life Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Fair Grounds Race Course- New Orleans, LA:

It's certainly a belated return to the touring trail, but Sly & the Family Stone are attempting to capitalize on the attention surrounding its 2007 appearance at the Grammy Awards. Though the broadcast only featured the mohawk-clad front man for a matter of seconds, it spiked a surge in sales for the soul/funk figureheads, leading to resurgence on the road under the FamilySly & the Family Stone Stone Experience banner. Anyone who caught that tour of backing players can attest to their fine form, but this will be one of the first full shows featuring Sly in ages, which based on his erratic behavior, could either be a triumph or tragedy. (Worth a shot Saturday at Vic Theatre- Chicago, IL:

Spilling over into the top of next week, singer/songwriter Landon Pigg swings through the Windy City for a solo show after recently appearing alongside fellow troubadour Gavin DeGraw. The RCA recording artist first found national fame with 2006's ultra catchy single "Can't Let Go" (think a vocal cross pollination between Jeff Buckley, Thom Yorke and Pete Yorn), while recently lighting up iTunes thanks to the track "Falling In Love At a Coffee Shop." Though undeniably catchy, the current track leans a little too close to commercial confines to fully engage fans of his muses, though there's still plenty of future potential for this otherwise adventurous fresh face. (Worth a shot Monday at Schubas- Chicago, IL:
Madonna Street Week: New music from Madge and Mollys, Lennon on DVD
Monday, April 28, 2008
In the assembly line known as Madonna, it's been a little over a year since her last release, which means it's about time for yet another new one. The supreme pop diva strives for reinvention (yet again) on Hard Candy, which marks her eleventh proper studio project and final for Warner Brothers. Whereas 2005's Confessions On A Dance Floor adapted a Euro-pop orientation, the new project hits the club circuit under American/urban flavors, thanks to collaborations with Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams and Nate "Danja" Hills. Though the groundswell of hype makes it unclear whether or not this project will be amongst her most praised, the lead single "4 Minutes" has predictability shot straight to the top spot.

For the more indie-minded audience, power poppers The Black Mollys drop Ignorance Is Bliss (High Def Records), marking the follow-up to 2007's The First One on the same label. Merging the older appeal of Queen and David Bowie with the more recent likes of Foo Fighters or Velvet Revolver,John Lennon the project is poised for cross generational appeal. Add in mixing under Michael Wagener (Queen, Ozzy Osbourne) and mastering at the Beatles' Abbey Road Studios, and its an impressive leap forward for the Chicago natives.

And speaking of the Beatles, John Lennon fans can savor the sounds (and accompanying sights) of a treasured solo album thanks to the DVD Classic Album: Plastic Ono Band (Eagle Vision). Expect to hear exhaustive analysis about all aspects of the title, from the primal scream therapy that inspired the recording through assessments of the original multi-track masters (backed by interviews with Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono). Outside of its historical importance for being his first project after the Beatles broke up, it's also known for several classic tracks (interspersed within the dialogue) like "Mother," "God" and "Working Class Hero."

The Dish Archives - 2008

Apr. 21 & 25
Apr. 14 & 18
Apr. 7 & 11
Mar. 30 & Apr. 4
Mar. 24 & 28
Mar. 17 & 21
Mar. 10 & 14
Mar. 3 & 7
Feb. 25 & 29
Feb. 18 & 22
Feb. 11 & 15
Feb. 4 & 8
Jan. 28 - Feb. 1
Jan. 21 - 25
Jan. 14 - 18
Jan. 7 - 11
Jan. 1 - 4
Daily Dish Archives - 2007

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