Archive for March 2009
The Mile High Music Festival is back for its second year, and continues to draw big name bands with Tool, Widespread Panic and Denver’s The Fray headlining.
Other bands announced for the July 18-19 festival at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City includes: Incubus, Ben Harper & Relentless 7, Gov’t Mule, Buddy Guy, G. Love & Special Sauce, John Butler, Matisyahu Guster and Boulder’s own 3OH!3 to name a few.
In 2003 when The Fray released its Reason EP I was able to see them at the Soiled Dove in Denver. The intimate venue with no more than 100 people sitting at tables sipping mixed drinks, shows how far this local Denver band has come in such a short time.
In 2002 I saw Tool live in Boulder and will simply give the same advice that comedian Jim Breuer gave me before I went to the show – make sure you don’t do any hallucinogenic drugs.
More acts are to be announced in the coming weeks.
Last year’s inaugural show was the ninth biggest selling festival of 2008, bringing in $7 million and more than 90,000 people in two days, according to Billboard.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Dave Mathews Band, John Mayer, O.A.R and the Black Crowes were some of last year’s headliners.
Last year the festival got off to a shaky start when poor organization and planning left many fans stuck in traffic for hours or without water under the summer’s blazing heat. Reports of long lines for restrooms and concessions also detracted from the show.
AEG Live isn’t cutting ticket costs at all in this down economy. Tickets, which go on sale Apr. 3, are $162.50 for a two-day pass or $90 for one-day.
Saturday July 18, 2009
Ben Harper & Relentless7
G. Love & Special Sauce
The Black Keys
The Greyboy Allstars
Rocco DeLuca & The Burden
The Band of Heathens
Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam
Sunday July 19, 2009
Robert Randolph & The Family Band
Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons
Good music deserves to be heard.
Thus the new website twt.fm is a spectacular way for the masses to share what they are listening to via Twitter. Twitter, the social networking blog that enables users to post messages of 140 characters or less, can now be used to stream songs.
Simply go to twt.fm enter your twitter name, band and song and boom you can post any given song to your profile for users to listen to without leaving your feed. It’s brilliant, simple and could add a new way bands and music are presented to the public.
Another useful feature is the “next” button on the upper right side of the page that lets users skip to another twt.fm page and listen to a new song creating a new age jukebox type setup.
Check out the latest tunes I’m listening to at twitter.com/young_david and share your new songs with me. Because, in the end, finding new music is really what makes the world go round.
In the world of concert news there are a couple notable bands that will be hitting the road soon.
Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction have announced a North American tour, which includes a May 26 stop at Englewood’s Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater.
NIN is touring on their recent album The Slip, a free album offered on NIN’s website. Jane’s Addiction is releasing a four-disc completion set called a cabinet of curiosities spanning their carrier from 1986-1991.
Another big band reuniting is The Pixies who have announced a European tour for this summer. It will be the first time the band has performed together since 2007. The tour, which includes the Isle of Wright Festival, doesn’t include any U.S. dates yet.
The group, which inspired Nirvana, has had a rocky past that has included some ugly breakups and each member has had their own personal issues.
The band’s history is documented in the fantastic documentary “loudQUIETloud: a film about the Pixies” which goes behind the scenes and provides a personal look at the band’s 2004 reunion tour.
Going to a Les Claypool concert is like entering an alternate reality.
In a Claypool reality, it is commonplace to see a man wearing a pig mask, juggling chainsaws, swallowing swords or riding a bike pulled by a tiny monkey.
Those were just a few of the highlights from the 2009 Oddity Faire, a “Mutated Mini Fest,” that hit Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium Saturday night. The eclectic faire, composed by Les Claypool, featured Yard Dogs Road Show, Saul Williams and Secret Chief 3.
Claypool’s inspiration for the faire, and what he accomplishes, is a full on experience inspired by the show circuses of old. As he calls it: a show for the freaks by the freaks.
All antics aside, Claypool put on a fantastic set that showcased why he is one of the world’s leading bass players. He kicked off with the Primus classic “Fisticuffs” that sent the capacity crowd into a frenzy.
From there Claypool launched into “High Ball with the Devil” before delving into new material off his new album, Of Fungi and Foe, to be released Tuesday.
The album is based off of songs Claypool composed for two soundtracks. One was for an interactive game where a meteor hits earth and all the mushrooms in the fallout zone acquire intellect. The second score was for a film about a three-thousand pound wild boar that ravages the marijuana fields of northern California.
“This music became the foundation of the songs that fill this collection. With a few added tidbits and a bit of gypsy sauce, I inflict upon you…Of Fungi and Foe” -Claypool
Needless to say, the show spiraled into a massive jam session with Claypool slipping into numerous different trademark costumes including: a pig, monkey, Elvis and a hunter’s hat.
For one new song called “Red State Girl,” which is about Sarah Palin, Claypool emerged with his upright bass and proceeded to pluck and thump the strings while wearing a pig mask.
A final highlight of the show was when Saul Williams came out and read a poem. Through the show Claypool waddled around the stage flailing his legs doing a duck-like walk while slamming the bass beat out. And his trademark low rolling voice echoed through the hall.
Without so much as a sign of effort, Claypool unloaded some of the most complex bass riffs composed. His unique percussion driven style painted an ominous sonic soundscape which was accompanied by drums, cello and xylophone.
Of the opening acts, Saul Williams brought the most energy to the stage, whereas the Yard Dogs contributed a heavy dose of theatrics.
Secret Chief 3 came out wearing dark hooded cloaks and unleashed a nearly hour jam session on the audience to open up the show.
Williams followed providing his politically charged rhymes combined with some lyrical levity at points. He finished off the set with his hit “List of Demands.”
The Yard Dogs created an almost circus-like atmosphere with its cabaret featuring Las Vegas-style showgirls, sword swallowing, magic tricks, vaudeville, burlesque and sideshow antics. All combined with their special brand of music that carried the entertainment.
All the groups are some of the most progressive acts in the music industry today, and are rarely ever mentioned in the mainstream music industry. The entire show, which included knife and chainsaw juggling in the intermissions, lasted more than four hours. Patrons left assured they had gotten more than their money’s worth.
A couple weeks ago a DVD buried in my Netflix queue from years back turned up in my mailbox.
The DVD in the little red sleeve, which I had clearly forgotten about since I arbitrarily placed it in my queue, was Rock School, a documentary filmed in 1995 about a group of kids in taking music lessons from a guy named Paul Green in Philadelphia.
Essentially picture the Jack Black film School of Rock, and you have the premise for this documentary. Except Green, who teaches kids from ages nine to 17, is a huge Frank Zappa fan and teaches his students how to play Zappa’s songs by yelling at them.
It’s hard to tell how much of Green’s antics are for the cameras and how much of it is him just being himself, but majority of the film is him yelling at and chastising his students for not practicing and basically being bad musicians.
Green’s students are an eclectic mix of miscreants who want to grow up to be legitimate rock stars. The students are really the redeeming aspect of what would otherwise be a pretty dreary hour and a half.
Some of the kids, like 8-year-old guitar prodigy C.J. Tyoniak who is simply amazing on the guitar, are solid musicians who shine.
The film culminates with the kids going to Germany for Zapanale, a Zappa cover band festival, where they perform.
The best quote of the documentary:
Green: Don’t look at your fingers! Do you want to know why? Because girl guitar players look at their fingers. Do you want to be a girl guitar player?
Green: Do you want to be in The Bangles?
While I wouldn’t recommend rushing out to rent this one, I would say it’s worth throwing at the bottom of the Netflix queue for some entertainment on a random winter’s eve.
Watch the trailer here.