Saturday, March 31, 2007

Allman Brothers at the Beacon - 3/30/2007

I just got back to DC after witnessing my first Allman Brothers concert at the historic Beacon Theater. I've seen them many times before, but never indoors like this. I will post a full review shortly, but I wanted to jot down some quick thoughts and get the setlist posted. The show was excellent despite the fact that Warren Haynes was noticeably restrained in his singing and guitar playing. Rumors were swirling inside the venue that he wasn't feeling well, and the message boards back that up today:

Skydog, Yes Warren was very, very sick. He wasn't even supposed to play last night but showed up at like 8:10. They designed the setlist for the whole show under the impression he wasn't going to be there. They even had a Puke bucket on the side of the stage for him. Amazing he made it through the whole show, i'm sure the energy from the crowd is what kept him going. Hope it's just a 24 hour thing and he's feeling better by the time tonight's show rolls around.

Whereas Warren's usual soulful vocals and emotional guitar leads were missed in the way that we've come to expect from a susperstar such as him, this provided an opportunity for Derek and the other guest musicians to step up and fill the void. Don't get me wrong, Warren was definitely in the mix and sounding great, but I did feel that he was not as prominent as usual. Sit-ins from guitarists Eric Krasno of Soulive, Greg's son Devon, and Jr. Mack ensured that there was never a lack of six-string firepower on each song. And filling in for Warren's usual vocal offerings was wife of Derek, Susan Tedeschi. She has one of the most beautiful, soulful voices I've ever heard. Listen to her sing anything, and you'll believe that she is in a select class of top female vocal talent. This was most evident on their performance of The Weight, which was clearly an attempt to recreate the Aretha Franklin/Duane Allman version of the song rather than the original version made famous by The Band. Derek, as he normally does, nailed the Duane leads.

Listen to the excellent Aretha/Duane version of the The Weight by visiting the Hype Machine and searching "Aretha, The Weight". Click 'Listen' and enjoy!

3/30/2007 Beacon Theater, NYC

Set 1:
Don't Keep Me Wondering
Trouble No More
Ain't Wastin' Time No More
Hot 'Lanta
Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever1
Lost Lover Blues1
Statesboro Blues
Les Bres In A Minor4

Set 2:
Midnight Rider2
You Don't Love Me2
Key To The Highway2,3 (no Warren)
The Weight1,4,5 (Oteil is on Butch's kit)
Mountain Jam4
Lovelight4 (Oteil on Vocals, no Gregg Allman, Butch Trucks, or Warren Haynes) > Drums (Oteil on Butch's kit)
Mountain Jam (reprise)

Encore: Anyday1 (Jaimoe /drum Tech in for Jaimoe)

1w/ Susan Tedeschi - Vocals/Guitar
2w/ Devon Allman - Guitar
3w/ Junior Mack - Guitar
4w/ Eric Krasno - Guitar
5w/ Mike Merritt - Bass

Photo Courtesy of Charles Ton, Beacon Theater, 3.30.2007

Friday, March 30, 2007

Name That Hair Band

Check out Entertainment Weekly's 'Name That Hair-Metal Band' trivia challenge.

The CD is Dead, Right?

We've been reading for a couple years now about how CD sales are declining in double-digit numbers. Certainly with the increase in popularity of digital downloads, the sale of hard goods was going to suffer. I used to buy at least a couple CDs a month, but now I get just about all of my fill from Internet radio, blogs, XM, and iTunes. So I can certainly understand why the headlines read that the CD is dead.

This article from Slate magazine however takes an interesting stance in proclaiming that the CD is not dead, the old business model has died.

West Virgina - Your 2007 NIT Champs

Congratulations to West Virgina for winning the 2007 NIT Championship.

I'd say thats a pretty fierce backhanded compliment. I know I wouldn't celebrate winning 66th place out of all men's D1 college basketball programs. I think the facial expressions of the players in the picture kind of say it all, don't ya think. And as if hoisting the loser's, ahem...I mean winner's trophy, isn't enough of an embarrasing photo op...Did you catch the wonderful mispelling of the state of West Virginia on the team's t-shirts. Thats V-I-R-G-I-N-A. As Bill Simmon's would say (Bill, who writes for, is by far the best sports writer/blogger out there) this is WAY HIGH on the Unintentional Comedy Scale. To whomever is responsible, thanks for brightening my day!

Cold War Kids Leave Crowd Cold

Cold War Kids - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC - March 28, 2007

Much thanks to BaldB for sending in the review!

I kept looking around for the two way mirror last night at the 9:30 Club. I never discovered its location, but I remain positive that a couple of Downtown Records reps were eyeing me from afar. That is the only possible explanation for what took place on stage. Despite acknowledging having “never played a show this big,” Cold War Kids ripped through a set list that omitted many of the band’s better songs in favor of new material. The focus group did not go well.

The sold out show with fans up to the rafters followed only a few months after one in a backroom just blocks away at the Black Cat to about thirty people. Since then, the band has been signed and released a record combining a pair of EP’s and been on tour constantly. Unfortunately for patrons last night, the result of the time seems to be that the Kids have grown tired of their stock songs and eager to test their fresh stuff. While this is an expected and often enjoyable part of any concert, there is a fine line that needs to be tread carefully.

After garnering comparisons to any number of acts from Dylan to the White Stripes, Cold War Kids came out firing. Their affinity for percussion was immediately apparent with an onslaught of maracas, tambourines, and cymbals. At one point, 14 people filled the stage as members of the opening bands grabbed noisemakers of their own and lent their hands to a raucous version of “Saint John.” Shortly thereafter, the crowd was lost.

I am at a loss for why a band would ostracize their largest audience to date. One moment, you have hundreds of people shouting along, and the next, they are yawning in second tier. However, that is exactly what happened, and its disappointing. Cold War Kids have written some terrific stuff since their inception in 2004, and there is no doubt that they will continue to do so in the future. However, they need to learn to pick their spots on tour because their songwriting talent can actually work against them when they leave crowd favorites in the bag.

New Chapter For Page

Phormer Phish Pianist Page McConnell is bringing a few new companions on this ride.

Page will hit the road at the end of May for a string of dates, dipping into mid-June. The tour begins with a hometown show at Higher Ground in South Burlington, VT and will make stops across the east to the mid-west at favorites such as Atlanta's Variety Playhouse and The Vic Theatre in Chicago. Tourdates are below. For ticketing info, please visit

Page's band includes Adam Zimmon, Jared Slomoff, Rob O'Dea, and Gabe Jarrett. Tickets will be available through a real time presale beginning Friday, March 30th at 5:00pm (Eastern Time) and ending Friday, April 13th at noon (Eastern Time) at


05/30 - Higher Ground, Burlington, VT
05/31 - Avalon, Boston, MA
06/01 - Lupos, Providence, RI
06/02 - Theatre of Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA
06/04 - Irving Plaza, New York, NY
06/05 - 9:30 Club, Washington, DC
06/07 - Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA
06/08 - The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC
06/09 - Bogarts, Cincinnati, OH
06/10 - The Vogue Theatre, Indianapolis, IN
06/12 - Majestic, Detroit, MI
06/13 - The Vic Theatre, Chicago, IL
06/14 - Pantages Theatre, Minneapolis, MN


Take a listen to my favorite Page song, from the catalog of Phish, 'Strange Design':

Newsflash: Drugs Found At snoe.down

This is just getting ridiculous. I found another news story about drug arrests at a concert. Next thing you know, there will be articles written about how they found ice in Alaska...

LAKE PLACID (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) -- A weekend music festival at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, once home to the storied victory by the underdog US hockey team over the dread menace of Soviet Hockey expansionism, attracted more than 4,000 music fans and apparently drugs as well. According to Police officials, more than 30 attendees were arrested with a wide variety of illicit adulterants. Everything from LSD laced toothpicks and designer drugs like MDMA (ecstasy) to old favorites such as marijuana and 'shrooms.

"Snoe.down brought a high amount of drugs to the village. We never find those types at other times during the year," Lake Placid Police Sgt. Bill Moore told The Press Republican "It was a big concern, especially so close to the school."

The festival, hosted by granola rockers moe. This year's lineup included The Disco Biscuits, Little Feat, Brazilian Girls, The Slip, Tea Leaf Green, Vorcza, Brother's Past, Moonboot Lover's Peter Prince, Sam Kininger Band, Gordon Stone Band, and The Brew. Late night shows will feature Brothers Past, Lucy Vincent, and the return of Gratefully Deadicated Sound System, among others. - CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

How Does It Feel: Dylan Returns to the Guitar!

Whether you realize it or not, this is HUGE news. Bob Dylan, in recent years on his never ending tour, has stuck solely to playing an electric keyboard that may or may not even be plugged in. I have been reading reviews of his shows for years now, and they all mention the disappointment of Bob not playing any guitar. Having seen Dylan twice since 2004, I have left these shows with the same complaint, eventhough I knew to expect it. With these setlists from just two and three nights ago, they document that Dylan has returned to playing guitar in concert. If he continues to play the strings, I will take back my statement that I never need to see him play live again. I will now do it just to see him play the way we all want to see play, with a guitar strapped around him.

Stockholm, Sweden
Debaser Medis

March 27, 2007

1. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)(Bob on electric guitar)
2. Not Dark Yet (Bob on electric guitar)
3. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight (Bob on electric guitar)
4. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) (Bob on electric guitar)
5. Tears Of Rage (Bob on electric guitar)
6. Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on electric guitar)
7. Lay, Lady, Lay (Bob on electric guitar)
8. Rollin' And Tumblin' (Bob on electric keyboard)
9. To Ramona (Bob on electric keyboard and harp)
10. Country Pie (Bob on electric keyboard)
11. Tangled Up In Blue (Bob on electric keyboard)
12. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (Bob on electric keyboard)
13. Summer Days (Bob on electric keyboard)

14. Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on electric keyboard)
15. Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on electric keyboard)
16. All Along The Watchtower (Bob on electric keyboard)

Stockholm, Sweden

March 28, 2007

1. Cat's In The Well (Bob on electric guitar, Donnie on violin)
2. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
(Bob on electric guitar, Tony on standup bass)
3. Watching The River Flow (Bob on electric guitar)
4. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
(Bob on electric guitar, Tony on standup bass)
5. When The Deal Goes Down (Bob on electric guitar, Stu on acoustic guitar)
6. Honest With Me (Bob on electric keyboard)
7. Girl Of The North Country (Bob on electric keyboard and harp)
8. Tangled Up In Blue (Bob on electric keyboard and harp)
9. Country Pie (Bob on electric keyboard)
10. Nettie Moore (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on violin)
11. Rollin' And Tumblin' (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin)
12. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
(Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin)
13. Summer Days (Bob on electric keyboard)
14. Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on electric keyboard)

15. Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on electric keyboard)
16. All Along The Watchtower (Bob on electric keyboard)

Artist Profile: Larry L.V. Sanders

Larry "L.V." Sanders. is an R&B singer, whose initials stand for "Large Variety". He has been best known for his collaboration with rapper Coolio on the hit single, "Gangsta's Paradise". He has been featured on multiple soundtracks since then, and has released two albums to date.

L.V. grew up with a father who sang gospel music along with the radio every morning, and this helped hook him on singing. He won a high school talent contest by performing L.T.D.'s "Concentrate on You," joined the Los Angeles City College choir, and contributed R&B vocals to a neighborhood rap group, the South Central Cartel.

According to sources, L.V. survived gunshot wounds in a case remarkably similar to 50 Cent. L.V. not only survived being shot nine times at close range, but he spent eight months in the hospital and a year and a half in a wheelchair. He eventually recovered completely and has been able to walk without a noticeable limp ever since.

"Gangsta's Paradise" was a song written and performed by rapper Coolio. It was featured on the soundtrack to the 1995 hit movie "Dangerous Minds", and later was featured on Coolio's sophomore album, Gangsta's Paradise the same year. The song contained a sample of Stevie Wonder's 1976 song, "Pasttime Paradise".

On this single, L.V. sang the chorus: "We've been spending most our lives living in a Gangsta's Paradise". The song, which was a crossover hit on many Top 40 stations in late 1995 and early 1996, earned Coolio and L.V. a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance (Solo performance because the Grammys didn't consider Coolio and L.V. to be a group or singing a duet).

Following his success with "Gangsta's Paradise," L.V. landed a fat contract with Tommy Boy Records, which released his debut album, I Am L.V., in 1996. This album didn't spawn many singles, except for "Gangsta's Boogie". The album does feature, however, a version of "Gangsta's Paradise" without rap lyrics.

How Long was L.V.'s follow up album to I Am L.V., which didn't garner very much attention upon its release in 2000. It was also released on Loud Records instead of Tommy Boy Records. Unlike L.V.'s last album, this album features guest appearances by the likes of Raekwon and Shari Watson.


Listen again, for the first time:

Gangstas Paradise
Coolio ft. L.V.

Hi, My Name Is . . .

How well do you know your hip-hop? Match the artist to the name their momma gave 'em.

___1. Eazy E
___2. DMX
___3. Ice Cube
___4. KRS-One
___5. Mystikal
___6. Nelly
___7. Rakim
___8. RZA
___9. Redman
___10. Juvenile

A. Cornell Haynes Jr.
B. O'Shea Jackson
C. Terius Gray
D. Lawrence Krisna Parker
E. Michael Taylor
F. William Griffin
G. Reggie Noble
H. Robert Diggs
I. Earl Simmons
J. Eric Wright

Find the answers, along with many other birth names here

Thursday, March 29, 2007

10,000 Lakes Festival: The Lake Gets Deeper

The Tragically Hip, Zappa Plays Zappa, Particle, and Blueground Undergrass Confirmed for 10,000 Lakes

A slew of artists have been added to the fifth annual 10,000 Lakes Music Festival. Artists now making the pilgrimage to Detroit Lakes, MN, are Canadian sensations include The Tragically Hip, Zappa Plays Zappa, Particle, Blueground Undergrass, Outformation, The Lee Boys, Big Organ Trio, That 1 Guy, Kinetix, Stealin' Strings, Down Lo, White Iron Band, Hobo Nephews, The Smokin' Bandits, Unity, and Madahoochi. These acts join an already stacked lineup which already includes Bob Weir and RatDog, Trey Anastasio, moe., the Disco Biscuits, and Umphrey’s McGee. As previously reported the festival will take place July 18-21, 2007.


Shave the Date...

Now this is buzzworthy news. It was recently announced that real-estate mogul Donald Trump and WWE CEO Vince McMahon (both billionaires -- although Trump is self-proclaimed), will each back a wrestler for the upcoming Wrestlemania 23 event appropriately dubbed "Battle of the Billionaires." The catch -- the loser will have his head shaved. Trump, 60, will back the 6-3, 273 pound Bobby Lashley, while McMahon, 61, will back the 6-4, 348 pound Umaga.

During a phone interview with the AP, Trump had the following to say about the April 1st (April Fool's Day, hmmm) event:

A lot of people want to see it shaved. I do get criticized, there's no question about it, although I've never had any problem with it. It certainly has seemed to work.
That's right Don, keep telling yourself that...Now the real question is, how do we get Sanjaya involved in this friendly wager?

Source: CNN

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Richie Havens vs. Pink Floyd

From The Weight's Instant Feedback department, check out Richie Havens' passionate live performance of Pink Floyd's "On The Turning Away". I've seen him perform this on several occasions and it has always been an amazing experience. He consistently sings this song as if its the last time he will ever sing it.

The clip begins with an outro to the prior song. "On The Turning Away" starts at the :45 second mark.

UK Festival News: Glastonbury

The Glastonbury Festival will have an increased capacity this summer. Mendip Council in Somerset has agreed to a new four-year licence for the event, which also allows the capacity to rise by 27,500 to 177,500. Almost 400,000 fans have registered for tickets, which go on sale on Sunday.

The Arctic Monkeys, the Kaiser Chiefs and The Who have all been lined up to play at the event from June 22 to 24. Conditions will apply to the bigger capacity, as the additional tickets will only be sold in conjunction with coach travel to and from the event.

Festival founder Michael Eavis is hoping the pre-registration system introduced this year will stamp out ticket touts.


UK Festival News: Reading

The Reading and Leeds Festivals, officially called the Carling Weekend, are a pair of annual music festivals that take place in Reading and Leeds in England. They used to be strongly folk-oriented festivals, now more alternative/indie/punk/metal. For the 2006 festival, capacities were increased at both sites with 80,000 at Reading and 70,000 at Leeds.

Check out what the Brits are listening to based on the Reading Festival lineup just announced today:







Friday night headliner Razorlight is one of my favorite bands out there right now. They released their second, self-titled album, 'Razorlight' on July 17 2006 in the United Kingdom and it debuted at #1 in the Albums Chart a week later. It received mainly positive reviews, with Q magazine giving it a rare 5/5 rating. The leading single from the album, "In the Morning" was released as a single on July 3 2006 which peaked at #3 in the UK Singles Chart. To date, it is their third biggest single after "Somewhere Else", which peaked at #2, and "America", which peaked at #1. In 2007, Razorlight were nominated for two Brit Awards - one for 'Best British Band' and the other for 'Best Song', "America".

Check out the video for Razorlight's first #1, "America":

Rolling Stones Are All Wight

The Rolling Stones will return to live duty with a June 10 headlining appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival, according to U.K. reports. The Stones have not played a U.K. festival since the Knebworth Fair in 1976.

Mick Jagger is expected to conduct a live Webcast Thursday (March 22) on the Stones' Web site, likely regarding more European concerts for this summer, including make-ups for dates canceled in Europe in 2006.

At Isle of Wight, which begins June 8, the Stones will be joined by Snow Patrol, Muse, Amy Winehouse, Keane, Kasabian, the Feeling, Paolo Nutini, James Morrison, Groove Armada and Wolfmother.

In other Stones news, frontman Mick Jagger is teaming with director Martin Scorsese to produce the music business-centered film "The Long Play." Meanwhile, Scorsese's as yet-untitled Stones documentary, including footage filmed last fall at New York's Beacon Theatre, is due for release in the fall.


I've also found this additional piece of news related to the Stones not playing Glastonbury this year:

Mick Jagger has spoken of his disappointment at not being asked to play this summer's Glastonbury Festival. However, it seems the rock'n'roll legends would have played the Somerset event if Michael Eavis had approached the band.

Jagger explained to the BBC that his group never got the call, with The Who now confirmed to fill the traditional Sunday evening 'legends' slot. "Glastonbury would have been a good one, but I was never really offered the Glastonbury Festival to do this year, but the Isle of Wight was offered, so that is why I decided to do it", he told the BBC.

Groove Armada vs. Richie Havens

Groove Armada - An electronic music group from Cambridge, England. One of their most popular works is their 2000 international hit "I See You Baby", remixed by Fatboy Slim in the Big Beat style, with the repeated chorus line "I see you baby....Shakin' that ass."

Richie Havens - An African American folk singer and guitarist from Brooklyn, NY. He followed up the success of his opening performance at the Woodstock music festival in 1969 with a rendition of George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun".

You're probably asking yourself what these 2 seemingly disparate artists are doing in the same post.....Well, since you wondered -

Released on September 11, 2001, Groove Armada's album Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub)contains the track "Little By Little" featuring vocals by none other than folk legend Richie Havens. I was thrilled to have learned of this pairing a few years back and immediately went searching for the song online. Let's just say, I was not disappointed.

From Richie's website - "This collaboration with Groove Armada presented Richie to a whole new audience, and sold out tours of Ireland and England were soon to follow, including a return to England's legendary Glastonbury Festival, where he played with his own band and then joined Groove Armada on stage for a performance the BBC would call one of the highlights of the three-day festival."

Check out this track, found online courtesy of Look for Richie's vocal to come in just after the 2:00 mark.

For another Groove Armada/Richie Havens collaboration, check out "Hands of Time".

...this one should work

Ornette Coleman Is Alive!

Am I alone in thinking that Ornette Coleman was no longer with us? I didn't think there were any jazz greats still alive. He must play alot of European festivals because I can't remember ever seeing his name in any concert listings. I'll have to check out his set at the 'Roo just for historical reasons. He is a legend....a living legend.

Celebrated free jazz innovator Ornette Coleman is among the latest artists to join the Bonnaroo line-up. The additions to the 2007 festival include: David Bromberg and Angel Band, The New Orleans Klezmer Allstars, El-P, Flight of the Conchords and Yard Dogs Road Show.

Bonnaroo will return to Manchester, TN on June 14-17 with a line-up that also features The Police, Widespread Panic, Tool, Bob Weir & Ratdog, The String Cheese Incident, Gov’t Mule, Ween, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Keller Williams, STS9, North Mississippi Allstars and The White Stripes.



Gibson Foundation the philanthropic division of Gibson Guitar was the headline sponsor of the Teenage Cancer Trust’s opening night concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The week long set of sold-out concerts now in its seventh year kicked off with Oasis’s Noel Gallagher headlining for the first time as a solo artist.

When Noel Gallagher finally took to the stage at 9.15 p.m. armed with his Gibson J-200 acoustic guitar, the 5,000 strong audience was ready for something special. Noel didn’t disappoint, with an acoustic set littered with vintage Oasis tracks including “Half The World Away”, “Slide Away”, “Cast No Shadow”, “Wonderwall” and “Don’t Look Back in Anger” which he dedicated to “the kids” benefiting from the Teenage Cancer Trust’s work.

Halfway through the set, Noel was joined on stage by the legendary Paul Weller to perform an acoustic version of The Jam’s classic “The Butterfly Collector” and The Beatles classic “All You Need Is Love”. Noel rounded off the evening with a rendition of The Beatles hit “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

Noel played:

'(It's Good) To Be Free'
'Talk Tonight'
'Fade Away'
'Cast No Shadow'
'Half the World Away'
'The Importance of Being Idle'
'The Butterfly Collector'
'All You Need Is Love'
'Don't Go Away'
'Listen Up'
'Sad Song'
'Slide Away'
'There Is a Light That Never Goes Out'
'Don't Look Back in Anger'
'Married With Children'
'Strawberry Fields Forever'

For more information on the Teenage Cancer Trust and the annual Royal Albert Hall concerts please visit

Source: Modern Guitars Magazine

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


In honor of Sir Elton John's (aka Reginald Dwight's) 60th birthday and his record setting 60th performance at New York City's Madison Square Garden on Sunday night, please enjoy this video footage of the birthday boy performing "November Rain" alongside Guns n' Roses at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards. Epic performance from GnR.

November Rain trivia:
Axl Rose was working on this as early as 1983. Former L.A. Guns guitarist Tracii Guns said: When we were doing that EP for L.A. Guns, like in 1983, he was playing November Rain on piano. Way back then. It was the only thing Axl knew how to play, but it was his. He'd go: 'Someday this song is gonna be really cool.' And I'd go: 'It's cool now. But it's not done, you know.' And like anytime we'd be at a hotel or anywhere there'd be a piano, he'd just kinda play that music. And I'd go: 'When are you gonna finish that already, you know?' And he'd go: 'I don't know what to do with it.' [Source:]

They Bought The Farm

NASHVILLE (Billboard) - The promoters of the annual Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee have paid $8.7 million for the 530-acre farm where the event takes place, the Nashville Tennesseean reported. According to the report, which cited official records, Bonnaroo producers A.C. Entertainment and Superfly Presents bought the Manchester tract for $8,686,482 from owner Sam McAllister.

The deal works out at $16,374 per acre, well above the $8,000-$10,000 per acre the Coffee County Property Assessors office says land is selling for in the area. The investment would seem a good one. Bonnaroo grossed more than $14.7 million last year from ticket sales alone, with money from sponsorships, concessions, and other ancillaries sweetening the pot considerably. Producers have also said they plan to stage other concerts and events at the site.

"We always felt the land would be a good long term investment for us," Superfly President Jonathan Mayers told Billboard in an earlier interview. "It's a big investment for us, but we believe in the long term of the festival and other events we can create on the property, and the fact that we're going to be able to put permanent infrastructure there. We're really excited about that."

The festival is set for June 14-17 this year, with headliners the Police, Tool and Widespread Panic on the bill.

2006 Festies Winners Announced

Did you vote?? is the destination for music festival fans nationwide, featuring the FestivalFinder , a searchable database of thousands of music festivals, live coverage, breaking news a network of festival bloggers, and many more festival related features and tools.

2006 Festies Winners:

Best US Music Festival- Bonnaroo,
Best US Music Festival Performance- Bruce Springsteen, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage, Best International Music Festival- Leeds/Carling (Carling Weekend),
Best Midsize/Large Festival- High Sierra,
Best Rock Festival- Bonnaroo,
Best Jazz Festival- New Orleans Jazz & Heritage,
Best Blues Festival- Chicago Blues,
Best Country Festival- CMA,
Best Bluegrass Festival- Telluride Bluegrass,
Best Folk/Roots Festival- Newport Folk,
Best R&B/Hip-Hop Festival- Essence,
Best Indie/Emerging Artist Festival- South by Southwest,
Best Reggae Festival- Bob Marley Movement,
Best Electronic/Dance Festival- Detroit Electronic,
Best Christian Rock Festival- Creation,
Best Festival Website- Coachella,
Best Festival Production Company- Superfly/AC Entertainment,
Most Scenic Festival Setting- Telluride Bluegrass,
Best Festival Newcomer- The Raconteurs,
Festival Road Warrior- The Flaming Lips,
Best Post Festival Scene/Nightlife- New Orleans Jazz & Heritage,
Best Combination Festival- Telluride Blues & Brews,
Best Emerging Festival- Langerado,
Most Fan Friendly Festival- 10,000 Lakes,
Festival Producer/Promoter of the Year- Quint Davis,
Festival Productions, Best New Festival- V Festival (Baltimore),
Best Free Festival- Hardly Strictly Bluegrass,
Best Mobile Festival- Jam Cruise,
Best Traveling Festival- Warped Tour

Altamont: I Was There

Uncut Magazine's website is very quickly climbing the ranks of one of my favorites. What other publication is still covering historical events such as the December 6, 1969 free concert at the Altamont Motor Speedway. Their post reads:
As part of a new series of 'Your Say' features, Uncut will be looking at personal accounts from regular people who have attended great events in Rock History. Read Marcia Heinegg's account of the Altamont disaster, then tell us your own story.

"Marcia Heinegg, then 22, was living that fall of 1969 with her friend Joanne Brady in Sacramento, an hour north of San Francisco. She doesn't remember how she heard about the free concert the Stones were going to play at Altamont - probably from friends, she thinks now. Anyway, she and Joanne and Marcia's future husband Chris and his friend Nicholas Rosenberg, who'd just arrived from New Zealand, drove out to the festival in her 1952 Studebaker.

"I remember masses of people as far as the eye could see," she recalls now. "I think we got there in the early or mid-afternoon. We dropped psilocibin...."

Read the rest here ---- photo © 1969 Photo: Robert Altman

Monday, March 26, 2007

Milestone Monday: The Weight Reaches 1,000!!

Jan. 12, 1966 - Arnold "Red" Auerbach notches his 1,000th win as head coach of the Boston Celtics with a 114-102 victory over the Lakers, becoming the first NBA coach to win 1,000 games.

June 25, 1988 - Cal Ripken, Jr. plays in his 1,000th consecutive game as a member of the Baltimore Orioles.

December 12, 2006 - Marvin Harrison becomes the fourth player in NFL history with 1,000 catches, doing it in his 167th regular-season game to make him the fastest ever to reach 1,000 catches. It took Jerry Rice 181 games to reach this milestone.

March 26, 2007 - After 57 days and countless posts (actually its more like 142), reaching 47 states and 41 countries, The Weight attracts it's 1,000th unique visitor.

We can honestly say that we had no expectation of reaching such a milestone, not just this quickly, but ever. To the rest of the WeightStaff, I feel that I can best sum up my appreciation for your hard work thus far by relaying my feelings about your contributions in a song:

Cause I need you
And I miss you
And now I wonder
If I could fall
Into the sky
Do you think time
Would pass me by
Cause you know
I'd walk a thousand miles
If I could just see
you tonight

---Vanessa Carlton

Cheers mates.

Zodiac / Donovan

Zodiac is one the best movies I have seen in a long, long time. The movie, set in the San Francisco Bay area in the 70's and based on the self-named Zodiac serial killer, feels so real and alive, and the acting is so spectacular, that I felt like I had a window into the mysteries, fact finding, public hysteria, and general essence of the times from this priceless movie. Directed by David Fincher (Seven, The Game, Fight Club), and including a cast of Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr. (is there anyone cooler in movies today?) plus a bunch of phenomenal character actors including one of my faves of all time, Philip Baker Hall (Boogie Nights, Magnolia), I couldn't get over how intriguing and spellbinding the movie was. It clocked in at 2 hours and 40 minutes so it certainly isn't short but its well worth the time investment.

The whole time I couldn't help thinking about the snipers in DC and how I was in the death zone (including a shooting at my local Home Depot at the time, which was about a mile from where I lived). It's not fun running in a zig-zag pattern every time you need to go buy toiler paper. While the snipers terrorized the greater DC area for a matter of weeks, Zodiac haunted and taunted Northern California for (arguably) over a decade.

Once you've seen the movie, you'll never be able to listen to Donovan's Hurdy Gurdy Man the same way. If you haven't seen the movie...listen to the song now, check out the flick, listen to the song again, and then leave your comments. Enjoy.

What a Joakim!

I hate the University of Florida. I hate that the Gators annihilated my alma mater in the 2002 Orange Bowl. I hate their "holier than thou" fans. I used to hate Steve Spurrier when he coached at UF and I'm starting to hate Billy Donovan's faux-humility (he's the Melinda Doolittle of the NCAA). Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the State of Florida -- hell, I even lived there for 3 years. But, there is something evil, something overly annoying that perpetuates my hatred of the school; something I couldn't quite put my finger on until this weekend. Enter Joakim Noah.

I HATE everything about this guy. First off, he's way overrated from purely a statistical standpoint. According to, a widely-accepted source for NBA draft information/predictions, Noah is currently slated at number 6 overall. No disrespect to the NBAdraft writers, but this is a VERY generous prediction. In fact, many of Noah' statistics (in the categories that matter for a power forward) are DOWN from last year (ppg, blks, FG%, and FT%). There was no change in steals or assists, he averaged only one more rpg (8.5 -- which isn't jaw-dropping for a 6-11 PF) and perhaps most notable, he practically doubled his turnovers/game in just one more minute of p.t. this season. YIKES! There is little argument that his offensive game is horrendous -- he has no signature move, he lacks finesse around the basket and has no mid-range jump shot --all of which a guy like Noah NEEDS to succeed at the next level. In basketball, they call Noah "intense;" in reality, he's just "hyperactive." Compare how Mark "Mad Dog" Madsen played in college to his career in the NBA (Madsen's '06-'07 stats: 8 mpg, 1 ppg and 1.4 rpg). I predict a similar fate for Noah. Indeed, his only saving grace is that he's on the Gators. Otherwise, he's just another guy with at best, decent statistics for the college game.

But there is something more that ticks me off about Noah -- his primal urge to scream and yell like a 9-year old EVERY TIME he gets a rebound, draws a foul, or even gets his opponent to call a time out. Such conduct might be amusing in college, but there is no room for that sort of behavior in the NBA. Take for example the top players in the league today -- Nowitski, Nash, James, Howard, Arenas, Bryant, etc. These guys make SPECTACULAR plays EVERY NIGHT. They have class, they know they are good; they don't act like complete asses everytime they hit a shot or force a turnover. Why? Because they know NBA fans don't give a shit about the song and dance -- that isn't why we pay $110 per ticket and $20 bucks for a hot dog and beer. We want to win. Good or bad, only college kids get off from watching guys like Noah -- it pumps the frat boys up hours before the keg party at the ZBT house. In college, it doesn't matter whether you win or lose -- it's about comraderie, team spirit, and bragging rights.

Mr. Noah, a word of advice: if you want to make it at the next level, take a Ritalin, learn the fundamentals, and GROW UP!

And by the way, congratulations. You're now in the company of Bono, Angelina, Beyonce, the entire New York Yankees team, Fergie, Rachael Ray, Mel Gibson, The Cameron Crazies, Donald Trump, Jessica Simpson, Sanjaya, Tuan Le, Tyra Banks, Terri Hatcher, and Katie Couric as the people I hate most.

Go Bruins!

D.S., Weightstaff

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Live from the Archives: Papa Mali

Treasure trove of live streamable/downloadable music,, has been one of my favorite resources for years. Searching unsuccessfully for Thom Yorke's cover of Neil Young's "After the Goldrush", I happened upon this live set from Malcolm "Papa Mali" Welbourne. I'd only heard his name before, but knew nothing about the guy. I immediately found the artists and songs he chose to cover during this show very intriguing. This set from 8/5/04 includes Young's "After the Goldrush", Dr. John's "I Walk On Guilded Splinters", Dylan's "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues", Bill Wither's "Ain't No Sunshine", and Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks." Just based on reading that list, I'm already a fan. Fortunately, the performances sound great too. Papi Mali begins a spring tour with Galactic on 3/26/07 in Boston.

Check these tracks out and let us know what you think.

Stream the whole show here

MMJ ft. Eddie Vedder -- It Makes No Difference -- 6/1/2006

If you havent stumbled upon this live gem from My Morning Jacket's opening set for Pearl Jam at Continental Airlines Arena in Jersey last summer, you must take the time to listen to it. PJ's Ed Vedder joins MMJ on stage for their cover of The Band's 'It Makes No Difference'. The original Rick Danko-sung version can never be surpassed, but the alternating verses sung by Eddie and Jim James make this a version that falls firmly in second place.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Ryan Adams and Phil Lesh to Tour?

Having witnessed Ryan Adams performing as a member of Lesh's rotating cast of Friends for two nights in Colorado a couple years ago, I would be very excited to have a chance to see these two talents paired up again. Reaction to their 2005 collaboration in Denver that summer was, to put it lightly, mixed. But I felt that Adams brought an exciting, fresh, young element, to an otherwise elder group of musicians.

Blogger, the music slut reports:

The folks over at Ryan fansite, To Be Young, are speculating on a joint tour between Ryan and former Grateful Dead bassist, Phil Lesh, sometime in the middle of the year. It wouldn't be the first time that these two worked together; the rumor may just have some truth to it. Phil said the following about Ryan Adams to another Ryan fansite, Answering Bell, just last year:
I love playing with Ryan because he’s fearless; because he doesn’t have to do anything the same way twice; because every idea he throws out in a jam is a little gem that cries out “polish me”; because he has about nine hundred voices that he can use like a Bene Gesserit; because of his huge heart and enormous talent. I like it that we deconstruct the songs so that verses are transposed,or the bridge comes in early, or the jam leads back to a verse instead of a chorus. I like it that we have to be on our tippy-tippy toes to make the acute left turns and abrupt changes that Ryan likes to spring on us. I like to spring those kind of changes too- what do you think I’m doing when I talk into my mike and you can’t hear me? I love playing with Ryan because he takes me back to when the Grateful Dead were young, fearless, crazy and didn’t give a shit about what other people thought we should do. If what you desire is the perfect rendition,there are many excellent bands that perform Grateful Dead songs- but I have never been about perfection and never will be. I do promise that I will always do my best to follow my weird. I hope you will join me, but I do understand if your path takes you elsewhere. I will also say with no hesitation that Jerry would have loved Ryan and his fearless interpretations of his songs. It’s funny, but I feel Jerry close to me whenever I am around Ryan. — Phil Lesh (January 2006)

Holyfield Wins Comeback Fight

I guess Dancing With the Stars just wasn't enough for him. Former heavyweight champion of the world and current friend of MC Hammer, Evander "Real Deal" Holyfield, won his first fight last Saturday night after coming out of retirement at the age of 44. If George Foreman can do it, I don't see any reason why Holyfield can't come back at this age. I mean, how long can this really last, but I'm going to enjoy watching it. I will even root for him.

Holyfield's promoter, Kathy Duva, has him lined up to fight again on June 30 in Canada and expects a title bout to follow in the fall.

Current Holyfield trainer Ronnie Sheilds is quoted recently as saying:

"You can look at tapes of him before Saturday -- I'm talking when he fought Tyson ['96, '97], and go back further than that, when he fought Riddick Bowe['92, '93, '95]," the trainer said. "And then you can look at him Saturday night. You saw the same guy. He was exciting. I don't think anybody in the crowd was disappointed.

Point of fact, as I watched a tape of the bout on Monday, I fixed on a sequence late in the first round. Holyfield put together a multi-punch combination and I needed to use the super slo-mo on my DVR to count how many blows he threw. For the record, it was a six-punch combo he unleashed to cap the first, and that sort of activity would be a pesky slew to negotiate for several boxers who hold titles right now."
So this being a music blog and all, I was trying to come up with a song that I could send out to EH as he travels the comeback trail. A song that would really motivate him to work hard, train hard, and fight hard. And I came up with the perfect song (and video).

This one goes out to the best around, my boy Evander.

Brothers of the Road: Beacon Setlists

Allman Brothers Beacon run setliststs are starting to come in. Check them out here

Friday, March 23, 2007

An Acoustic Evening With The All Stars

North Mississippi All Stars (Acoustic) -- The Birchmere -- Alexandria, VA -- March 22, 2007

The Birchmere concert hall in Alexandria, VA was the perfect venue for the opening night of the North Mississippi All Stars almost acoustic tour. One of a small number of fully seated venues in the area, patrons watch the show from waitress-serviced tables that edge right up to the stage. It makes for a very intimate setting despite the 500-capacity room. On this night, NMAS were loose, laid-back, and ready to not only play their southern-tinged psychedelic blues/rock, but also tell stories, converse with each other, and interact directly with the quiet, attentive crowd.

Luther Dickinson, clearly the leader of this band, played both acoustic and electric guitar throughout the night, finger-picking and sliding in his signature style. Bassist Chris Chew, playing comfortably seated, provided a solid backbone to Luther's leads, with his electric bass and soulful vocals. Highly underrated and virtuosic brother of Luther, Cody, started off complimenting his sibling on his own acoustic guitar, but then showed off his diverse talents by moving on to grand piano for a set of tunes, and then to his drum set for the final portion of the show. Cody's movement between instruments served to divide the show into three segments that each had their own unique feel. It was in the classic configuration of guitar/bass/drums that the band really brought the energy of their typical concert. Each segment was excellent, but it was in the final set of songs that we were all reminded of why this band receives the praise it does from fans all over the country.

The setlist chosen by the group ranged from blues and folk classics to R&B covers to band originals. The All Stars were in high spirits throughout the night, clearly enjoying the atypical format that they'd chosen to perform in. Whereas we were all fans of the band's music before the night started, we left with an appreciation for the boys, not just as talented musicians. but also as three guys who really enjoy making music with each other.

One of the highlights of the concert was the Chris Chew-led cover of the Otis Redding classic, 'Dock of the Bay'. This short video clip of that song, captured last night, will give you a taste of what we all were lucky enough to witness up close and personal. [video courtesy of Charles Ton]

Sly Wants to Take Us Higher

I can honestly say that the most jaw dropping music moment I witnessed in many years came with Sly Stone's awkward, uncomfortable, yet magical appearance at the Grammy Awards in March 2006. On that historic night, having seemingly fallen off the face of the earth, the one-time icon of the Woodstock generation, made one of a very very small number of appearances since 1987, when he was arrested for posession of cocaine and subsequently became a recluse. His last major public appearance until 2006 was during the 1993 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony where Stone, much to the surprise of everyone (including his former bandmates), showed up onstage to be entered into the Hall of Fame along with the Family Stone. In 2003, the other six members of the original Family Stone entered the studio to record a new album. Stone was invited to participate, but declined. Coming out from the side of the stage during the Grammy tribute to his own career, Sly spent only a number of seconds in front of the band before disappearing offstage and out of our sights yet again.

This news story was released today detailing what might be a small-scale comeback for ol' Sly:

Following on from the renewed interest in the group, reports are in that The Family Stone are back in the recording studio - making their twelfth album - and with Sly Stone onboard too.Sly Stone, whose last appearance wirh the original Family Stone was a bizarre short vocal performance at the 2006 Grammy Awards, has reportedly been writing, recording and producing songs at his home studio in California.His Grammy appearance was the first time Sly had sung onstage with the group since 1987, and the tribute show was impetus for original group members minus Sly Stone and Larry Graham to reform as The Original Family Stone for a reunion tour.The tour is schreduled to arrive in Europe later this year.News that Sly Stone has rejoined the group in the studio, follows on from raptuous acclaim that the Sly & The Family Stone remastered reissues have gained.The group's eleventh and final album was 1983's "Ain't But the One Way" - a collaboration with George Clinton.

Cigarettes and Alcohol

No surprise here folks. A recent study published in today's edition of The Lancet magazine reports that tobacco and alcohol are significantly more dangerous than some illegal drugs, including marijuana and ecstasy. Too bad the Grateful Dead lobby isn't as powerful ($$$) as Philip Morris...

Read the full article here

Newsflash: Drugs Found At Langerado

SUNRISE, FL (AP) -- Authorities are vowing to beef up enforcement at a popular three-day South Florida music festival after "flagrant" drug and alcohol violations led to 216 arrests. Drugs were used and sold in front of uniformed officers at the Langerado Music Festival last weekend, said Capt. Carol Owsiany of the state division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco.

"The deals were going down in front of them to the point that all they had to do was just turn around and make the arrests," Owsiany said. Most of the arrests were for misdemeanor possession of marijuana or underage drinking. She said additional agents could have made many more arrests.

About 15,000 people attended the festival. Festival organizers attributed the problems to a small group of troublemakers. "Unfortunately, a handful of people, many of whom did not have tickets to the event, chose to break the law and were either ticketed or arrested," festival co-founder Ethan Schwartz said in a written statement. "Langerado organizers are already working with the City of Sunrise, Broward County and the State of Florida to ensure that the festival remains the safe environment it has been since its inception."

Top 10 Classic Rock Instrumentals


1) Black Mountain Side - Led Zeppelin

This is the instrumental version of a traditional folk song titled Blackwater Side. It appeared on the group's self-titled first album, and showcases guitarist Jimmy Page's considerable skills. The arrangement is reminiscent of "White Summer" which Page wrote when he was in the Yardbirds. Zep often combined the two in their live performances.

2) Jessica - Allman Brothers

More so than most Classic Rock bands, the Allmans weren't shy about working instrumental tracks into their albums and live shows, with titles usually containing a woman's name (Little Martha being another example.) Jessica, from the group's Brothers and Sisters album captures the slide guitar, piano and percussion combination that defined their sound.

3) Frankenstein - Edgar Winter Group

Their 1973 album They Only Come Out At Night features one of their best known vocal hits, Free Ride. It also contains something of a rarity: an instrumental that was a commercial success. Frankenstein showcases Winters on keyboards, Rick Derringer and Ronnie Montrose on guitars, Dan Hartman's bass guitar and Chuck Ruff's amazing percussion. You'll have to listen several times to catch everything that's going on in this classic.

4) Steamer Lane Breakdown - Doobie Brothers

The Doobies were a hybrid of Southern Rock and Heavy Metal, but it is their Southern side that dominates here. This cut is on 1978's Minute By Minute and features the use of fiddle, banjo, and slide guitar elements that were characteristic of Southern Rock. I defy you to listen to it without tapping your feet, hands, fingers, or all of the above

5) Anji - Paul Simon

As a kid trying to learn to finger pick an acoustic guitar, I heard this cut and decided that if I could ever play it, I could consider myself hot stuff. I never came close. Anji was written and recorded by guitarist Davey Graham in 1963, then recorded by Bert Jansch in 1965. Simon & Garfunkel's second album, 1966's Sounds Of Silence, contained Simon's flawless arrangement of this haunting, multi-layered melody. It is a testament to his virtuosity.

6) Toad - Cream

Ginger Baker is why kids daydream about how cool it would be to play drums. Then they discover the intense physical and musical demands that are required and opt for something easier, like bench pressing 500 pounds. Baker's solo on this live version of Toad leaves no doubt as to his ranking as one of rock's greatest drummers.

7) Wring That Neck - Deep Purple

Also known as "Hard Road," this cut first appeared on the band's Book of Taliesyn album, and was a fixture in their early live performances. It was composed by, and features, all of the band's members.

8) Soul Sacrifice - Santana

Carlos Santana electrified the crowd at Woodstock with his performance, which featured this song from the band's first album, 1969's Santana. The CD includes both the studio and Woodstock performance versions.

9) Outa Space - Billy Preston

He collaborated with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton, to name a few. This track shows why he has long been a highly sought after keyboard virtuoso.

10) Glad - Traffic

The opening track on their 1970 John Barleycorn Must Die album is cited by many Traffic fans as their favorite song of the group's fairly extensive catalog.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Clapton Returns to the Crossroads

Eric Clapton will be surrounded by esteemed guests at his second Crossroads Guitar Festival, to be held July 28 at Toyota Park in Chicago. B.B. King, Jeff Beck, John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson and Vince Gill lead the lineup for the event, which follows the inaugural Crossroads in 2004 in Dallas.

The bill will also feature Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Steve Winwood, Albert Lee, Derek Trucks, Alison Krauss & Union Station, John McLaughlin, Sonny Landreth, the Robert Cray Band, Hubert Sumlin, Doyle Bramhall and Jimmie Vaughan. Tickets go on sale March 31. Proceeds from the event will benefit Clapton's rehab facility, the Crossroads Centre.

The Police to Raid Pimlico

Looks like the second annual US Virgin Fest is stepping up its game with the announcement today of three headliners. I'm still not sure why Richard Branson and Co. chose Baltimore for this event, but I'm happy they did. If the rest of the bands are mostly decent, this will be an event worth checking out.

The Police, The Smashing Pumpkins and Beastie Boys have been announced as the headliners for the US Virgin Festival.The bash will take place between August 4-5 in Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.Producer Seth Hurwitz said the line-up would be made up of big bands. He said: "We only have 12 slots a day on two big stages and our concept is to fill our slots with the absolute best talent available."The dates of the festival will coincide with the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago. Hurwitz said of the clash: "Given the choice of booking The Police or not we had to go for it. If anything it's probably helped us because we were able to book some bands that were out already for Lolla. Hopefully both festivals will be strong enough that it doesn't matter."A full line-up is yet to be announced, reports Billboard.

Fun Lovin' Criminals: Glastonbury '99

The Glastonbury Music Festival, taking place in Somerset, England, UK, is the grandfather to American equivalents Bonnaroo and Coachella and has taken place almost every year since 1970. Anyone who's anyone has played this british festival over the years. The 2005 version completely sold out its allotment of 112,500 tickets in 3 hours and 20 minutes. That is impressive.

The 2007 festival will take place between June 22-24 with tickets going on sale April 1st at a cost of £145. Purchasers will have had to have pre-registered, including submission of a passport photo, during February. The registration process was extended to March 5th, as a reported 1,200 new registrations occurred every hour on February 28th, the original last day to register. I expect that we'll see similar measures taken here in the States pretty soon to help curb ticket scalping on the secondary market. People sneaking into the gates, counterfeit tickets, and outrageous prices have been a top news story coming out of Glastonbury for years.

Take a look at this live clip of the Fun Lovin' Criminals performing "Scooby Snacks" at Glasto in 1999. Even the too cool for school lead singer Huey can't help but smile at the unbelievable mass of people going mental and singing his lyrics back to him. This is the power of live music. If you've never heard this band's debut album Come Find Yourself, do yourself a favor and come find it. It's outstanding.

Hey Hey, My My

I don't know whether this news is a function of lagging record sales in general or an increase in popularity for Neil, but I think this is to be celebrated either way. It's not every week that an artist as talented as he is makes it into the Top Ten.

Neil Young has been a consistent presence on The Billboard 200 since the late 1960s, but only once has he ever debuted higher than the No. 6 position enjoyed this week by the Reprise set "Live at Massey Hall," taped in Toronto in 1971. Young previously reached No. 5 with the 1995 album "Mirror Ball," a collaboration with Pearl Jam.

The Crying Game

As we suspected here on The Weight, it was finally revealed that "cry-baby" Ashley, the emotionally disturbed girl who was demonically possessed by Sanjaya's trainwreck performance, was planted by Idol producers. According to the Chicago Tribune:
The family had tickets to attend a taping of "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" which allowed them to attend a dress rehearsal of "5th Grader" or "Idol." The mother and daughter found their way to the "Idol" rehearsal, where Ashley's waterworks began. Producers summoned the two to a ringside seat at the final taping.
On a related note, according to, an Idol insider has confirmed that the banter between Simon and Seacrest is indeed scripted. Although we figured as much, it's still a shame to hear that Simon, of all people, has finally sold out to "the man." (I suppose $43 million pulls a lot of weight)

So, parting words for today -- don't believe ANYTHING you see on TV...and will someone get that damned girl into therapy, FAST!!!

p.s. Ashley wasn't the first person to shed a tear on Idol...does this refresh any memories?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Running Idol

So for some reason today, while thinking about the incredible popularity of reality/game show American Idol, I couldn't help but draw parallels between that show and the reality/game show The Running Man featured in the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie of the same name. Both are wildly popular reality TV shows where contestants try to "stay alive" while competing live on camera. Ben Richards had to survive Buzzsaw and Fireball whereas Sanjaya Malakar has to survive British Invasion Week and Country Music Week. Both shows have arrogant, condescending hosts that the public adore, in Damon Killian and Simon Cowell, and contestants on both shows are paraded in front of all of America for the sole purpose of their humiliation. Whereas I thought I had to be alone in thinking of this connection between the two shows, searching online today revealed otherwise. I found the following excerpts on other web sites:

"My seat was way up high in the furthest balcony, though it was at least nicely centered. Once I found my seat, the visual of the stage really blew me away. There were two giant, spiraling American Idol logos on either side of the stage, and neon and lights everywhere. Add in the ramps coming from the sides of the stage, and the screaming crowd, and I couldn't help but think of one thing, which stayed on my mind all night: The Running Man. Sure, we weren't going to watch people get hunted for sport, but still, that film seemed to nicely capture the spectacle and rabid fandom a reality/game show like American Idol would prove could actually be achieved, and the production design of the stage sure seemed to take a cue from that Ah-Nuld classic. I kept expecting girls in skimpy outfits to begin a dance routine, followed by Richard Dawson taking the stage and announcing, "it's time to start ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunning!"

"American Idol is sort of like Stephen King's The Running Man. Its premise is a little more benign in the blood and gore department but the similarities are eerie. Contestants desperate for fame and fortune compete before a television audience numbering in the millions each week. Think Circus Maximus. A panel of three judges chums the water and gets the voting viewers in a feeding frenzy. It's Darwinism at its best. The strong survive and the weak get eaten alive by a merciless, faceless mob."

"People love a car wreck. The more weirdos thrown to the wolves the more entertaining the show becomes. It's a classic set-up. It also makes me wonder how far away we are from a Running Man type of future. Hey, why not watch someone who's been convicted of a crime get whacked on TV? Let's see what happens if maybe we have him fight a grizzly bear. Yeah, that's taking it to an extreme but after watching enough people sing and dance for the man only to be destroyed it doesn't feel too far off. These people are held valueless by "American Idol" and by us as a viewing audience. Couldn't criminals deserve even worse than them? "

The Strat Man

While browsing notable deaths that occurred on today's date (I know, how macabre), one particular individual stood out -- Leo Fender. For those who don't know, Mr. Fender was the creator and master luthier (always wanted to use that word in a sentence) of the eponymous Fender brand guitar and amplifier. He went on to found the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company k/n/a The Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, which became one of the most prominent and influential musical instrument companies in the world.

Here is a short list of some of the Fender faithfuls:
Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Robbie Robertson, Kurt Cobain, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Holly, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Jerry Garica, George Harrison, and yours truly.

Just think, without the Fender guitar, we might not have Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner," Gilmour's "Time" solo or Stevie Ray's "Pride and Joy."

So, hats off to Leo Fender -- the music world wouldn't have been the same without him.

NOT a Fanjaya

I'm still dry-heaving from last night...

WARNING: Avoid this clip if you consumed large amounts of shellfish in the last 24 hours

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Allman Brothers: 2007 Beacon Run

It must be springtime because the Allman Brothers annual Beacon Theater run is about to begin. This is the first year that I'll be attending one of the nights of this now infamous yearly residency. I finally decided I ain't wastin' time no more. I wasn't going to miss it again.

I have been seeing the Allmans in concert for the past decade. Over that time, I've witnessed many incarnations of ABB and I think that most would agree with me in saying that the current lineup featuring the dual guitar leads of Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks is the best lineup they've had since they reunited in 1989. I would love more than anyone else to have Dickey out front, playing smokin' leads on Blue Sky and Jessica, but the harsh reality is that those days are lost and gone forever. And Derek is one of my favorite guitar players out there today. His playing gives me goosebumps. Dickey never did that for me.

This years NYC dates are:
3.22 - 24 Beacon Theatre New York, NY
3.26 - 27 Beacon Theatre New York, NY
3.29 - 31 Beacon Theatre New York, NY
4.02 - 3 Beacon Theatre New York, NY
4.05 - 7 Beacon Theatre New York, NY

I just recently read a interview with Allman's drummer Butch Trucks. It got me even more pumped for the upcoming run. In it, Butch describes an emotional moment during last year's Beacon shows:

"I’ll also say that I have never been through an experience like last year. You play a group of shows and, normally, out of 10 or 12 shows maybe 3 or 4 click and just really hit the note---everybody is right there. Last year we had 15 in a row, I’m talking every single one of them. For instance, one night we started with “Mountain Jam.” It was in such a powerful pocket that I was just playing my body was just doing it and I wasn’t thinking at all. And it was just right in the pocket. We finished a song, and I cut off the timpani and I just broke down and started crying, it was so powerful. And, I sat down my drum, with tears running down my cheeks, and I looked up at Marc [Quinones] and said, “Now what the fuck do we do?” It was the first song of the night. And he said, “I guess we go home.” And it was like that all 15 shows. Every single night was just, just hitting the note. I’ve never ever had a musical experience like that in my life."
Read the full interview here

Quote of the Day

“It was just a complete, damn sellout of The Band – its reputation, its music; just as much disrespect as you could pour on Richard and Rick's tombstones.”
---Levon Helm, on BBDO Worldwide's use of "The Weight" in a recent Cingular commercial.

Gee Levon, we hope you don't think that about us! We're behind you!

Tribute: Working Class Hero

I just read a new article on stating that Green Day would be covering John Lennon's lyrical masterpiece "Working Class Hero" on 'Instant Karma', a tribute album of artists covering Lennon songs. This is certainly an admirable project with all proceeds from the album will go to Amnesty International's campaign to end genocide in the Darfur region.

What the article immediately reminded me of, however, was a Lennon tribute album that I purchased many years ago called, "Working Class Hero: A Tribute to John Lennon." It was released in October 1995 and looking back on the artist/track listing, I am realizing just how star-packed it was. I remember playing that CD over and over again, just getting off on how good Lennon's songs were. I paid much less attention to who the participating artists were because I didn't know most of them...I wasn't really into music at the time.

Take a look at the tracklist:

1. I Found Out - Red Hot Chili Peppers
2. I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier - Mad Season [featuring Layne Staley of Alice in Chains, Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, and Barrett Martin of Screaming Trees]
3. Steel And Glass - Candlebox
4. Imagine - Blues Traveler
5. Working Class Hero - Screaming Trees
6. Power To The People - The Minus 5
7. How Do You Sleep? - The Magnificent Bastards
8. Nobody Told Me - Flaming Lips
9. Well, Well, Well - Super 8
10. Cold Turkey - Cheap Trick
11. Jealous Guy - Collective Soul
12. Isolation - Sponge
13. Instant Karma! - Toad The Wet Sprocket
14. Grow Old With Me - Mary Chapin Carpenter
15. Mind Games - George Clinton

I've since lost this CD, like so many others I may not be reminded of in the future. The standout tracks for me were Candlebox's "Steel and Glass" (a song I still have never heard the original version of), the Flaming Lips' "Nobody Told Me," and George Clinton's "Mind Games." God, his version of "Mind Games" was so damn good. And the Atomic Dog actually sings this song. Unfortunately, the only version I could find online of it is the 30 second Amazon tease. But I'll take what I can get for now. I think I may need to repurchase this one.

I was able to find full versions of:

The Lips' Nobody Told Me from seven years before they would blow up with Yoshimi.

Toad The Wet Sprocket's very well played version of Instant Karma!.

Monday, March 19, 2007

I Love the 90's, Pt. 2

Continuing our tribute to 90's alternative, this next clip includes one of the few supergroups of the decade -- Temple of the Dog. Comprised of Soundgarden's Chris Cornell and Matt Cameron (now of Pearl Jam) and then Mother Love Bone bassist Jeff Ament and guitarists Mike McCready and Stone Gossard, "The Dog" actually existed before Eddie Vedder's formal acquaintance with the band, which of course later evolved into Pearl Jam. In fact, it wasn't until 1992 when A&M records decided to re-release the 1990 album in order to capitalize on the recent success of both Soundgarden and Pearl Jam -- typical!!
Source: All Music Guide

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Such A Night

On Saturday, March 17, 2007, I witnessed the greatest concert event of all time...well, at least of my lifetime. Just a week after seeing Bob Weir and Ratdog grace NYC's Beacon Theater, I was fortunate enough to attend yet another monumental live performance on that very stage -- this time, The Levon Helm Band. More than thirty years after The Last Waltz, Levon Helm took the audience on a rollercoaster of special guests, rock 'n roll standards and Band classics. Helm, who just ten years ago was relegated to mere whispers due to a bout with throat cancer, regained his familiar southern swagger and was in old form once again.

The band led by Levon on drums/mandolin and guitar icons Jimmy Vivino (The Max Weinberg 7) and Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Phil Lesh and Friends), barrelled through a trove of Band hits including: "Ophelia," "Tears of Rage," "Evangeline," "Rag Mama Rag," "The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show," "Up On Cripple Creek" and of course, "The Weight." A personal highlight for me was when Mac Rebennack b/k/a Dr. John, limped onto the stage and manned the keys for crowd favorite and Last Waltz standout, "Such a Night." Throughout the evening, other notable guests joined Levon on stage including Little Sammy Davis, The Alexis P. Suter Band, Allen Toussaint, and Warren Haynes -- who mightily led the band and the audience through the climactic "I Shall Be Released." But perhaps most memorable was when original "Band-mate" Garth Hudson timidly appeared, accordian in hand, to join his old friend and comrade for one last song. It was quite a scene -- no words can really describe what we experienced.

I suppose it's unfair to compare last night's show to past shows that I've seen. I'm not sure any really come close, or ever will for that matter. It was THAT GOOD. At the end of the day, I realize that this is as close to The Last Waltz as I'll ever get...and I can live with that.