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By Andy Argyrakis
Feist Weekend Report: Feist at Ravinia Festival, A comeback for Cole
Friday, July 11, 2008

Highland Park's Ravinia Festival is regularly regarded as one of the Midwest's most diverse venues, but it earns extra kudos this weekend by expanding to one of the current classes' most acclaimed indie rockers. Singer/songwriter Feist continues on her marathon trek supporting her third solo CD The Reminder (Cherry Tree/Interscope), which comes balanced between her duties in Broken Social Scene. Expect the Canadian singer/songwriter to inject sophisticated folk, jazz and pop into a career spanning set that also features ambient/electronic opening act Juana Molina. (Bet your life - Friday at Ravinia Festival- Highland Park, IL: www.ravinia.org).

Though the soul/gospel glory of Al Green rarely disappoints, the rocker turned reverend has a brand new CD called Lay It Down (Blue Note) that could either be a triumphant comeback or ultimate embarrassment. The old school hero takes cues from today's crop, including duets with Corinne Bailey Rae, John Legend and Anthony Hamilton, plus production from Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson (of The Roots fame).Paula Cole While that material has yet to earn its stripes, classics like "Tired of Being Alone," "I'm Still In Love With You" and "Let's Stay Together" are generally dependable. (Worth a shot - Saturday at Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island- Chicago, IL: www.ticketmaster.com).

The alternative yet angelic voice of Paula Cole could first be heard backing up Peter Gabriel in concert behind staples like "Come Talk To Me" and "In Your Eyes." She's since gone solo, racking up a string of singles throughout the 1990s, including the haunting "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" and the tender "I Don't Want to Wait." The Grammy-Award winner recently released her first studio full-length in eight years entitled Courage (Decca/Universal), which finds the troubadour mixing her previous folk pedigree with a jazzy undercurrent. Up and coming indie duo KaiserCartel were recently added to the bill to pump up tunes from 2008's March Fourth. (Bet your life - Saturday at Morton Arboretum- Lisle, IL: www.mortonarb.org).

Beck Street Week: Beck is back, Smoking Popes from the studio
Monday, July 7, 2008

The back to back releases of 2005's Guero and 2006's The Information hinted that a 2007 Beck offering would be right around the corner (especially with the digital download "Timebomb" dropping in sequential order). But being the perfectionist that he is, another year passed in silence, resulting in Modern Guilt (Interscope) just hitting streets this week. The disc is loaded with nine new cuts, plus the aforementioned single, all produced with Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton. Though it's never easy to pinpoint what direction the multi-faceted indie rocker will approach, this collection is said to mix psychedelic sounds, folk, electronic minimalism and orchestration.

Nine years ago, the Smoking Popes recorded its most recent studio CD, but it was shelved by Capitol Records and didn't see the light of day until an independent release at the top of the new millennium. The brand new Stay Down (Appeal Records) comes on the heels of the recent reunion CD/DVD At Metro and finds front man Josh Caterer, guitarist Eli Caterer and bassist Matt Caterer being joined by drummer Neilthe Smoking Popes Hennessy (from The Lawrence Arms and several other Chicago acts). Expect the group to pick up right where its punk-spiked melodic pop left off, backed by a full-fledged tour that includes a yet to be disclosed Lollapalooza after party appearance.

Country hero Willie Nelson attempts yet another genre in expansive career thanks to the collaborative project with Wynton Marsalis Two Men With The Blues (Blue Note). Billy Joel releases his latest box set, this time focusing exclusively on the thirtieth anniversary of The Stranger (Sony Legacy), complete with a remastered original CD, bonus tracks and concert DVD. The Beatles' beat keeper also recalls his latest tour on Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band Live 2006 (Koch), featuring a mixture of legends and has-beens, including Rod Argent, Richard Marx, Sheila E., Billy Squier, Edgar Winter, plus Hamish Stewart.

The Dish Archives - 2008

June 30 - July 4
June 23 - 27
June 16 - 20
June 9 - 13
June 2 - 6
May 26 - 30
May 19 - 23
May 12 - 16
May 5 - 9
Apr. 28 & May 2
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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