Thursday, July 31, 2008

Terminator Salvation

We like to cover more than just music here, so I was more than happy to post our friend Brian's thoughts on the new Terminator movie.

I can't tell you how excited I was when I stumbled across a link last night that led me to an article about the new Terminator movie titled "Terminator Salvation." I remember hearing rumors about another possible Terminator movie but I wasn't sure how they would pull off "Ah-nold" attempting to prevent California from falling into the Pacific Ocean. Low and behold one of my favorite websites Wikipedia, had an up to date article about the movie.

The first 2 Terminator movies in my book were instant classics. When the second one came out, I must have watched it over 100 times. James Cameron mesmerized me with amazing special effects and a pretty good continuation of the original story. I also credit the Guns N' Roses soundtrack song You Could be Mine for inspiring me to pick up and learn guitar...thank you Slash! Anyway, when Terminator 3 came out, I was excited, but a little skeptical. The story ran a little sour and Arnold's performance just didn't really do it for me. I figured that this was the end of the Terminator franchise and we wouldn't see any other attempts to finish the story.

I had always wondered in the back of my mind why they didn't do a Terminator movie about the war between Skynet (the machines), and John Connor and the resistance? With today's technology and CGI I thought, "that would make an awesome movie"! The only glimpses we got of this war was a few flashbacks and dream sequences from the first 3 movies. Well, Hollywood finally woke up and realized it was time to dig in and finally show us what will happen during this post apocalyptic war. Christian Bale has been picked to play John Connor, which is probably a good choice. Schwarzenegger does not appear in this movie as he's really not needed at this point anyway. The movie is set to release on May 22, 2009 and I'm hoping it will measure up to its soon to be hype.

For a flashback to GnR's Use Your Illusion II, here is You Could Be Mine filmed from their 1992 World Tour (live from Tokyo):

Further On Up The Road: The Last Waltz Ensemble

The Last Waltz Ensemble is back on tour, bringing along with them a playlist of favorites from Bob Dylan and The Band, many of which were featured in the legendary concert The Last Waltz. I've already seen them live once before and I plan on doing so again next month. The tour will focus on the Southeast, but will bring them as far north as New York, with a show at BB King's in Times Square on Saturday, August 9th.

To get a taste of what this band sounds like, check out their show from Jacksonville, FL on 3/15/08 featuring Susan Tedeschi on The Weight, Up On Cripple Creek, and Don't Do It.

The full tour is as follows:

Fri 08/01/08 Atlanta, GA Smith's Olde Bar
Sat 08/02/08 Augusta, GA Surrey Tavern
Wed 08/06/08 Richmond, VA Ham's
Thu 08/07/08 Bethlehem, PA Musikfest Grounds
Fri 08/08/08 Fishkill, NY The Keltic House
Sat 08/09/08 New York, NY B.B. King's Blues Club
Sun 08/10/08 Arlington, VA IOTA Club & Cafe
Thu 08/14/08 Rockton, PA Over The Mountain
Fri 08/15/08 Cuyahoga Falls, OH Rockin' The River
Sat 08/16/08 Warren, OH Warren Community Amphitheatre
Thu 08/21/08 Raleigh, NC Lincoln Theatre
Fri 08/22/08 Wilmington, NC Kefi
Sat 08/23/08 Statesboro, GA The French Quarter Cafe
Thu 08/28/08 Tuscaloosa, AL Jupiter Bar & Grill
Fri 08/29/08 Auburn, AL Sigma Nu
Sat 08/30/08 Auburn, AL Bourbon Street
Fri 09/05/08 Baton Rouge, LA Chelsea's
Sat 09/06/08 Hattiesburg, MS The Bottling Co.
Thu 09/11/08 Starkville, MS State Theater
Fri 09/12/08 Tuscaloosa, AL Univ. Of Alabama
Sat 09/13/08 Huntsville, AL Crossroads
Fri 09/19/08 Oxford, MS Proud Larry's
Fri 09/26/08 Auburn, AL Sigma Chi
Sat 09/27/08 Auburn, AL Bourbon Street
Fri 10/03/08 Charleston, SC The Pour House
Sat 10/04/08 Remerton, GA Charley O'Corley's
Fri 10/10/08 Fayetteville, AR George's Majestic Lounge
Sat 10/11/08 Jonesboro, AR Brickhouse
Fri 10/17/08 Tuscaloosa, AL Sigma Chi Frat House
Fri 10/24/08 Jackson, MS Hal & Mal's
Sat 10/25/08 Baton Rouge, LA Sigma Chi
Sat 11/01/08 Beaufort, SC Beaufort International Chalk Fest
Thu 11/06/08 Tuscaloosa, AL Jupiter Bar & Grill
Fri 11/07/08 Auburn, AL Bourbon Street
Fri 11/14/08 Tuscaloosa, AL Univ. Of Alabama
Fri 11/21/08 Starkville, MS State Theater
Sat 11/29/08 Tuscaloosa, AL Univ. Of Alabama

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gadiel's Triumphant Return (from HT)

Here at The Weight we have had the distinction of being linked by some of our favorite sites out on the Interweb and its time to return the favor. Scotty B over at Hidden Track very eloquently stated that Andrew Gadiel's PHiSH page is back in existence with the following statement:
For all four years of my college experience I never changed the “homepage” that loaded when I would start Netscape. Andy Gadiel’s Phish Page was always the first thing I wanted to see when I booted up the ol’ 486. Mr. Gadiel took down the page shortly before Phish broke up, but, in what has to be the surest sign yet of the brahphacy, Andy Gadiel’s Phish Page returned this morning with that same old look and exciting new material.
Gadiel's page, and specifically his Phish rumor page, was constantly being refreshed throughout my college years also. Every time a setlist was posted it was like Christmas morning. I couldn't agree more with Scotty when he says this could be the sign that we are all heading back on tour.

::Purchases station wagon off Craigslist and digs out old tapes::

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

From The Bargain Bin: Stephen Stills

If I told you that there was a studio album featuring Stephen Stills, Ringo Starr, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Booker T. Jones, David Crosby, Graham Nash, John Sebastian, and 'Mama' Cass Elliott, you probably wouldn't believe me. ....And I probably wouldn't have believed me either, except for the fact that I found it in a crate of vinyl in my local record store....for three whole dollars.

The album is Stephen Stills' self-titled solo debut and it was released on November 16, 1970, shortly after the breakup of CSNY and their success with Deja Vu. The track 'Old Times Good Times' features Jimi Hendrix on guitar and is the last released studio material that he recorded before he died on September 18th, two months before the albums' release. 'Go Back Home' finds Stephen trading licks with Eric Clapton and was recorded within a few months of Clapton meeting and recording with Duane Allman in Derek and the Dominos' Layla sessions. Ringo Starr appears on two tracks, credited only with the single name "Richie" on the album sleeve. Presumably, this was due to record labels issues that would have precluded him from recording on the album without his label's consent. Less than a year earlier, George Harrison recorded guitar parts for Delaney, Bonnie, and Friends under his pseudonym L'Angelo Misterioso for the same reason. The second track that Ringo plays on is titled 'We Are Not Helpless', which is Stills' musical reply to Neil Young's 'Helpless' (featured so beautifully in The Band's The Last Waltz). Mama Cass' appearance on the same track is significant in that she was the one who invited Graham Nash over to Joni Mitchell's house to meet Stills and David Crosby for the first time.

The full Stephen Stills album runs just under thirty-nine minutes, but in that time one hell of a historic artifact was produced, featuring some of the most important figures in modern music. It doesn't hurt that the concert staple 'Love The One Your With' opens the album and starts things off strongly. The track's name was inspired by the one and only fifth Beatle, Billy Preston. The album peaked at #3 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums in the chart in the week of December 5, 1970.

Take a listen to 'Old Times Good Times' featuring the legendary Jimi Hendrix on guitar and Stills ripping it up on organ.

Related: Stills has recently found an albums worth of rare tracks recorded by Hendrix and himself in 1970, which is slated to be produced by Graham Nash and released.

For Those About To Rock . . .

According to Billboard, AC/DC has annouced plans for an 18-month world tour to commence in rOctober. I've been talking about wanting to see these guys live for years now, so I'll be on the lookout for tourdates and onsale information.

According to the article, other artists soon to be on tour include:
Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Depeche Mode, Shakira, Green Day, Kid Rock, Usher, Robin Williams, Mylie Cyrus, Slipknot, John Mayer, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and Daft Punk.

Missed the Memo: Pemberton 2008

What the hell is the Pemberton festival and why was I not made aware of it? Well, most likely it was off my radar because it is took place in the land that exported Steve Nash, Avril Lavigne, and John Candy. That's right folks, this show was above the border in the pop culture breeding ground of Canada.

With a diverse line-up of Bonnaroo proportions, the first ever Pemberton festival rocked Canada's Upper West Side over the weekend, otherwise known as British Columbia, with such headliners as: Coldplay, Jay-Z, Tom Petty, Nine Inch Nails, and Canada's own version of The Grateful Dead: The Tragically Hip. Also on the bill were My Morning Jacket, Interpol, Death Cab, festival whores The Flaming Lips, Vampire Weekend, and MGMT. Although the show was put on by the evil empire, Live Nation, I'm sure Canada was rockin' like Nickelback was back home.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Weight Presents: The Lynx ft. Rick Rubin

Rick Rubin is set to produce the new ZZ Top album. According to the band's manager, Carl Stubner, the new album "would recall the one-chord blues of ZZ Top's 1973 hit La Grange, rather than the glossy hard-rock the band is now known for."

Rick Rubin is set to produce a new covers album by Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Stephen Stills has stated that Rubin wants the band to make "an album of all the songs we love, all the songs we wish we've written."

Rick Rubin is set to produce a track on the new Clipse album, their third.

Rick Rubin is set to produce the new Avett Brothers album, having signed the bluegrass punk band to his American Recordings label. Their longtime manager Dolph Ramseur states, " wasn't until we talked with Rick Rubin at American/Columbia, that we heard anybody talk about the band in musical terms. This wasn't American Idol."

Rick Rubin already produced Jakob Dylan's new album.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dead Symphony To Premeire On Friday, 8/1

Lee Johnson's musical project of orchestrating a symphony of Grateful Dead songs will have it's live debut at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore next Friday, on what would have been Jerry Garcia's 66th birthday.

The event was conceived and organized by our friend Toby Blumenthal, Manager of Facility Sales for the Meyerhoff, the home of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Toby sat down for a recent interview, which you can read here.

The WeightStaff is very excited about making the trip to Baltimore for this world premiere event. I saw the BSO perform with Ben Folds a couple years ago at the same venue and it was a treat to see and hear the power of the full orchestra in person. Look for our review shortly after the show.

Listen to audio samples and order Dead Symphony No. 6, as performed on record by the Russian National Orchestra here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Homecoming Kings: The Bridge Returns to Baltimore

Thank you to Brian for submitting this recap of the first night of The Bridge's annual summer residency at Baltimore's 8x10 Club.

The Bridge has certainly come a long way in its quest to spread its music ideology and show fans that they're in no way slowing down. If you look at the history of this young band, it is quite amazing too see how far they progressed in such a short period of time. I myself am fortunate to have known 3 of the band members for a long time. I first met Cris Jacobs (guitar/vocals) at the age of four; we later graduated high school together. For a guy who didn’t start playing guitar until the 11th grade, it’s incredible to see how amazing he is as a musician. I also went to high school with Kenny Liner (mandolin/beatbox) and we have spent much time hanging out and jamming together on several occasions. Dave Markowitz (bass/vocals) and I played together in the band Black-Eyed Susan before he made the switch to bass and served as BES’s rhythm guitarist (yours truly played the bass). So, I guess I'm somewhat lucky to have had more of an insider's perspective in the development of The Bridge. I can remember the first jam sessions involving Cris and Kenny at friends’ apartments in college where we would sit up until 4am just pickin’ on the acoustics. After months of these late night jams, they finally decided to plug in and fill in the bass and drums and perform at local spots in Baltimore and surrounding areas. That was really the birth of the band. The rest is history.

Last night, The Bridge was back in Charm City (Baltimore for those in the dark), at their favorite home-field venue, The 8X10. This was the first of their six-week Wednesday night residency that the band has booked every July and August for the last few summers. Anyone that lives on the east coast knows that last night we got pounded by mother nature with dumping rain that forced me to sit in my car for 20 minutes before getting out and walking to the venue. Well, the rain did not prevent anyone from showing up. When I arrived at the club in Baltimore’s trendy Federal Hill neighborhood, there was a sign on the door that read, “The show is sold out, we have no more tickets. No, not even just one.” I was glad I purchased my ticket over the phone just 6 hours prior.

I strolled into the venue at around 9:30pm expecting to see lots of familiar faces as I usually do at Bridge shows. Their fan base started as close friends within our circle as most bands’ fan bases usually do. As I made my way around, I found something somewhat odd. I didn’t really recognize anyone. I was thinking to myself, “who are these people”? Occasionally I would catch a familiar face or run into a friend, but the majority of the crowd was new to me. I began to realize something about The Bridge. Their fans are no longer just old friends and family that have supported the band over the last few years. Rather, The Bridge has established themselves as one of the hottest Mid-Atlantic bands to hit the "jamband" music scene. Coming off their solid performance at All Good with guest Mike Gordon, The Bridge is attracting folks from all over. The age range of their fans is just as diverse. There were kids fresh out of senior week and older folks who are probably retired. I think this is a sign that the band has exploded and has nothing but great things ahead. Today, they are heading to Switzerland to play a music festival before heading back to the States for a tour that runs through mid-October. Throw in the 6 shows where they will open for Mike Gordon, it's safe to say their future looks bright.

The show itself last night was tight and groovin’. This band has so much energy and the connection between the six guys on stage molds together better than most bands do today. You would think that they have been playing together for 20 years. The crowd welcomed the band with a heartfelt cheer which almost felt years in the making. A sit-in performance by Mookie Siegel of the David Nelson Band on the keys, made the night that much more memorable.

For anyone who has not seen this band, definitely make it a priority to hit up one of their shows when they are in your area. I guarantee you will walk away having experienced a great performance full of solid playing, catchy tunes and leave you begging for more.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Weight - Fan Site of The Month

Jamband news/reviews super-site '' has anointed 'The Weight' as it's Fan Site of The Month for August 2008. To give this recognition some context, The Weightstaff have been avid readers of for many years, since its inception in 1998. It was one of the first sites to exclusively funnel news and content related to improvisational/live music in the post-Grateful Dead world. So we were rightfully very excited to be contacted by the site's editor Dean Budnick offering us this feature. Thanks also to contributor and blogger Mike Greenhaus for the nod.

The Weight Presents: The Lynx

B.B. King is releasing a new album, his 24th, on August 26th, featuring the songs that influenced him back in the 1950s. It is titled 'One Kind Favor', a reference to a Blind Lemon Jefferson song that Widespread Panic has covered since 1997. The track does not appear on the album though.

Fleetwood Mac is set to tour in early 2009 for the first time since 2004. Despite the rumors started by Sheryl Crow herself a few months back, she will not be joining the band on this tour.

Oasis was allowed to record parts of their new album at Abbey Road Studios despite being told they were no longer welcome there after "blasting out Beatles records at four in the morning" and "doing loads of drugs" during their 'Be Here Now' sessions in October 1996.

The Bernard Shakey directed "CSNY: Deja Vu", a documentary chronicling the anti-war themed Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young 2006 tour, premieres in theaters this Friday.

Keith Godchaux: Unsung Hero

The Grateful Dead never had much luck with the keys. Talent yes, luck no. Twenty-eight years ago today, the Dead lost (in my opinion) their most distinguished piano man and keyboardist, Keith Godchaux.

Anyone with a cursory knowledge of the band is familiar with the apocryphal Grateful Dead keyboardist "curse." First to depart was Ron "Pigpen" McKernan in 1973, then Keith in 1980, Brent Mydland in 1990, and lastly, Vince Welnick, who tragically passed away in 2006.

Each of these guys contributed to the Grateful Dead family and experience in their own way. But I'm a Keith guy. His technique was masterful. His fervor was unmatched. His influence on the band is everlasting. Have you heard the Winterland shows from 11/9/73-11/11/73? Or Boston Garden 5/7/77? These were historic performances and Keith was an integral part of these shows, as he was for countless others during his tenure with the band.

Not surprisingly, his style and soul was rooted in jazz and improvisation (in his early days he played with Traffic's Dave Mason). It is a fact that Keith's ability on the Fender Rhodes was unrivaled in comparison to the other Dead keyboardists. Keep in mind, this was before the era of digital instruments that were prominent during the Mydland/Hornsby/Welnick years. If you isolate his work on the Fender Rhodes (e.g. Row Jimmy, GDTRFB, or Wharf Rat), you can hear how much of the band's groove was born from Keith's genius. And of course with Keith came Donna -- an underrated but complimentary member of the band during their most important decade.

As were most of the Dead's keyboardists, Keith was enigmatic and withdrawn -- the most creative artists usually are. He rarely (if ever) sang, and frankly, I'm not sure I've ever heard his voice. During his eight years with the band, he only authored the music to one song - "Let Me Sing Your Blues Away." Most certainly this was more a result of modesty than inability. Keith will never be a household name -- that much is for sure. But Keith is a hero...perhaps better left unsung.

Trey Presale Tix Harder to Get Than Destiny Unbound

Phish frontman Trey Anastasio's ticket presale this morning for his upcoming 8/7 Trey Band show at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn proved to be the impossible dream. With the entire venue holding approximately 500 people, my best guess was that they would sell upwards of 200 tickets this morning. I guess when your band can generally sell 20,000+ tickets all over the country, 200 seats is miniscule in comparison. But I've had nothing but luck getting tough seats lately: My Morning Jacket at Radio City, 20 rows back for Billy Joel at Shea, Wilco at McCarren Pool...Yes, these shows were much bigger in scale, but my confidence was at an all time high regardless. I guess I am losing my touch because within 3 seconds of attempts I was brought to a page to select how many tickets I wanted. Success? Maybe so/maybe not! I mean, if you see this screen on Ticketmaster's site, you've pretty much reached nirvana: an opportunity to buy seats. But over at Trey ticketing, this was a serious tease...kind of like Phish playing a riff from your favorite song and then returning right back to the jam.

But, I'm a resilient person. I take this as a challenge. And when the estimated 300 remaining seats go on sale to the general public on Saturday, I'll be waiting. Did anyone out there actually get tickets?

Phish Lesson: For the uninitiated, Destiny Unbound was the ultimate Phish concert-going prize as it was the elusive holy grail of Phish tunes. Having been played sporadically between 1990 and 1991 and then retired, the song became the ultimate unattainable tune for the Phish phaithful. Although crowd chants for the song would randomly appear, practically begging the band for its return. It finally was revisited on 2/28/03, approximately 12 years later, sandwiched between Birds of a Feather and Horn and those in attendance would never stop talking about that night again. [Thanks to Zzyzyx for the stats!]

Sunday, July 20, 2008

End of An Era:

The definitive resource, on the Web or otherwise, on all things related to The Band has shutdown after 14 years online. It was with great sadness that I realized this tonight while looking for some lyrics. I have been aware of this Norwegian site for probably ten years and it had been consistently updated with news, videos, reviews, and much more.....all for a group of musicians that had not performed as a unit for many many years.

I'm not sure why the site has been shutdown, but the URL is still working for now, with only a white page, a basic list of links, and a simple message remaining:
An extensive website dedicated to the legendary rock group The Band started at this location in October 1994, and was closed down in June 2008. Most of our massive archives will probably be back on-line soon, after some much-needed cleaning up. Thanks to the musicians, to all our friends, to everyone who contributed, and to the millions of visitors that made The Band web site bigger and better than in our wildest dreams.
--Jan Høiberg
I know how hard it has been to update just this blog semi-regularly for 18 months. I can't imagine what it took to keep that site running for 14 years.

Don't Forget The Lyrics, Vol 1

Warren Zevon
Back In The High Life Again
Life'll Kill Ya

I have been thinking about introducing this new feature for a while now and I'd even come up with a few ideas for it along the way, but I hadn't yet pulled the trigger on actually writing something. Well, I just received my inspiration. My local rock radio station (94.7 The Globe) is presenting a "low voltage weekend" featuring a mix laid back, soft rock, and acoustic songs and the one they just played combines one of my favorite singers with one of my favorite songs. And with this particular singer paired with this particular song, it's all about the poignancy of the lyrics.

Much like how Johnny Cash lent a new meaning to Nine Inch Nail's 'Hurt', which he recorded for the Rick Rubin-produced American Recordings series shortly before he died, the not-yet-diagnosed Warren Zevon performed Steve Winwood's 'Back In The High Life Again' for his own 'Life'll Kill Ya' album in 2000 and he gives new meaning to its words fourteen years after it originally hit #1. Despite having not yet received his diagnosis of inoperable mesothelioma at the time, Warren was already suffering the symptoms when he recorded the song. The underlying theme of the entire 'Life'll Kill Ya' album is the pain and suffering that he had to deal with on a daily basis. Also featured on the album are the tracks 'My Shit's Fucked Up' and 'Don't Let Us Get Sick.' With his phobia of doctors preventing him from seeking medical treatment for most of his life, it was not until 2002 that he received an official diagnosis and learned that he was dying. Warren Zevon died on September 7, 2003.

What makes this performance of this song by this singer so special is the optimism in the lyrics, coming from someone who, though undiagnosed, was dying of the disease that would eventually kill him. There is almost no one else in music, who could have sung both figuratively and literally about living the high life in their past and wanting to get back there once again, and have it mean as much as it does, than Warren Zevon. With his lifelong battle with addictions, he lived the high life. They may not be his own words, but when he sings "When you're born to run / It's so hard to just slow down" there is no doubt that he means it from the bottom of his heart. When he sings "I'll be back in the high life again / All the eyes that watched me once will smile and take me in", he sings of a career that skyrocketed him to fame, which was squandered away due to his battle with alcoholism and a number of record label issues, as well as a hope that things will get better. And in singing "All the doors I closed one time will open up again", he dreams of another chance at redemption for his past mistakes.

Please watch this video montage of Warren Zevon's performance of Steve Winwood's 'Back In the High Life Again' and don't forget the lyrics.

It used to seem to me
That my life ran on too fast
And I had to take it slowly
Just to make the good parts last

But when you're born to run
It's so hard to just slow down
So don't be surprised to see me
In the brighter part of town

I'll be back in the high life again
All the doors I closed one time will open up again
I'll be back in the high life again
All the eyes that watched me once will smile and take me in

And I'll drink and dance with one hand free
Let the world back into me
Oh I'll be a sight to see
Back in the high life again

You used to be the best
To make life be real to me
And I hope that you're still out there
And you're like you used to be

We'll have ourselves a time
And we'll dance 'til the morning sun
We'll let the good times come in
We won't stop 'til we're done

We'll be back in the high life again
All the doors I closed one time will open up again
We'll be back in the high life again
All the eyes that watched us once will smile and take us in

And we'll drink and dance with one hand free
Have the world so easily
Oh we'll be a sight to see
Back in the high life

We'll be back in the high life again
All the doors I closed one time will open up again
We'll be back in the high life again
All the eyes that watched us once will smile and take us in

Back in the high life......

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Beatle/Joel - Sir Paul Helps Billy Joel Say Goodbye to Shea

Due to the unlikely pairing of Billy Joel and Paul McCartney, July 18, 2008 will go down as a very special entry in the concert-going history books of my life. I will have the pleasure of telling my kids about the day their daddy saw Paul McCartney give Shea Stadium a proper send off. After all, Shea has become as synonymous with The Beatles as it has with The Mets (at least as far as I'm concerned) due to that fateful show back in 1965 when The Beatles played the first proper stadium/rock concert at the same ballpark. And tonight, Shea was given the gift of one more musical footnote. After the numerous Beatles teases and full blown cover songs were played at Wednesday night's Billy Joel show, he brought the real deal out when Sir Paul was introduced late into the three hour show after reportedly just landing from a transatlantic flight. Paul McCartney made his way to the microphone and sang a rousing rendition of 'I Saw Her Standing There' with his Hofner bass in tow.

The night had many other phenomenal guest vocalists. So many, in fact, that it would have made Live Aid blush. Well, at least Live 8. We got Tony Bennett reprising his take on 'New York State of Mind' from Wednesday, Garth Brooks singing 'Shameless', Steven Tyler doing 'Walk This Way', Roger Daltrey singing 'My Generation' with Billy smashing a guitar, and the aforementioned Sir Paul who later came out to also play 'Let It Be'.

Even without these rock (and country) behemoths on hand, it was obvious that Billy Joel had a canon of songs that can rightfully fill a stadium on their own. Scenes From An Italian Restaurant, The Entertainer, She's Always a Woman, Captain Jack, and Innocent Man brought me right back to high school and growing up. Speaking of growing up, Billy looked every bit of his 59 years...but he damn sure belted out songs and worked the crowd like a man half his age.

For everyone there, this night will ultimately be remembered for the appearance of Sir Paul. In deference to him, Billy even allowed Paul to close out the night and therefore play the last ever song at Shea Stadium. The song was very ironically Let It Be...with the impending demolition and all. But I don't think anyone read too much into that, I doubt Paul was sending a subtle message to save the place, and after all, its the memories that will continue on.

Billy Joel said it best:

This is the time to remember,
Cause it will not last forever,
These are the days,
To hold on to,
Cause we won't
Although we'll want to

Quick Clip I Shot:
I Saw Her Standing There
Billy Joel/Paul McCartney
Shea Stadium, Final Concert

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Bridge To Join Mike Gordon on Tour

The Bridge must have left some impression on Mike during their brief collaboration at the All Good Festival last Saturday night (early Sunday morning). Three short days later, the Baltimore band was lined up as Gordo's opening act for six shows in August. It's a real testament to The Bridge that this invitation was bestowed upon them with such minimal interaction with Mike. It will be yet another exciting chapter in their story.

Both bands will appear at The Gathering of The Vibes before beginning their short trek together. The shared tourdates are as follows:

Tuesday. August 5, 2008
Toad's Place of Richmond - Richmond, VA

Wednesday. August 6, 2008
The Lincoln Theatre @ Lincoln Theatre - Raleigh, NC

Thursday. August 7, 2008
Neighborhood Theatre - Charlotte, NC

Friday. August 8, 2008
The Music Farm @ Music Farm - Charleston, SC

Tuesday. August 12, 2008
The State Theatre @ State Theatre - Falls Church, VA

Wednesday. August 13, 2008
Highline Ballroom - New York, NY

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Radiohead Laser A New Video

Take a look at this making-the-video video for Radiohead's new video for "House of Cards". They utlilize what I will call a "laser" to capture the depth of an object. And with these "lasers" they store a digital representation of the real image without the use of cameras.

Enjoy the video of the making of the video.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Bridge Jam With Mike Gordon At All Good

Baltimore's #1 band and burgeoning national force, The Bridge, played the All Good Music Festival in Masontown, WV last Saturday night in a set sandwiched at 1:15 AM between Widespread Panic and the Dark Star Orchestra. They have consistently taken advantage of their opportunities to play this festival by delivering high energy sets that overshadow performances of much more well known acts. This year, they had the pleasure of inviting one of their idols to perform on stage with them, bass player extraordinaire, Mr. Mike Gordon of Phish. Mike was on hand to perform with his own band earlier in the day. As I understand the story, Bridge guitar player Cris Jacobs approached Mike sometime during the day and asked him to sit in with his band during their late-night time slot. Without receiving a definitive yes or no, it was unclear whether the collaboration would happen. As the band was performing, Mike was noticed side stage by Cris, taking in his band's performance. During a break in the action, Cris approached Mike and asked him to join his band mates, with regular bass player Dave Markowitz stepping aside for the jam band hero. Mike participated in a jam that segued out of the band's 'Bad Locomotive'. The rest as they say is history.

I am a huge fan of the Bridge. I have known a couple of the guys in the band for over 15 years and I am honest in saying that I would rather seen them perform live than a huge number of other bands that I would consider myself to be a fan of. They keep getting better and better every time I see them and I was thrilled to read this news of their being able to play with someone that I know they have looked up to for many many years.

Leaving All Good, The Bridge will go on to play Camp Bisco on 7/19, The Gathering of the Vibes on 8/1 (another festival featuring Mike Gordon and his band), and moe.down on 8/31. Keep an eye out for these guys as I expect they will be playing your town soon.

Check out a short video of Mike sitting in with The Bridge:

Thanks to troylaur for uploading the video.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Weight Hits The Links

At the age of 69, bluegrass icon Del McCoury is releasing a new album with appearances from Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, and Patty Loveless.

At the age of 89, folk icon Pete Seeger will be headlining Brattleboro, VT's Strolling of the Heifers.

Coldplay holds onto the top spot in the UK Charts for a fifth straight week.

Elvis Costello will be the host of a music-themed talk show coming later this year, slated for 13 episodes.

Comedy Central is bringing back The Gong Show hosted by Dave Attell, premiering on July 17th at 10 PM.

Introducing: Seasick Steve

Appearing to be about in his mid-60s, blues guitarist Steve Wold, better known as Seasick Steve, has taken the UK by storm, just last year claiming the MOJO Award for Best Breakthrough Act. Playing as a one-man band, with a three-stringed electric guitar on his lap and a glorified wooden box/drum at his feet, Steve is the definition of stripped-down blues. Clearly gaining popularity due to the resurgence of electric blues fronted by The White Stripes and The Black Keys, along with his intriguing personal story of leaving Mississippi at 13 to travel on trains a real-life hobo, Seasick Steve went on to play more festivals in the UK in 2007 than any other artist that year and he played the Glastonbury main stage last month. He is currently signed to Warner Brothers and had previously been signed to two independent labels in 2004 and 2005 - 2007 respectively. I'd first read about Steve maybe a year ago, as he was garnering attention on the British festival circuit, but I never got around to writing about the guy.

I don't know if Seasick Steve has any plans to come back to America (he currently resides in Norway), but if his popularity continues to rise, I imagine that it will happen. Please enjoy this video of Seasick Steve performing on December 31, 2006 on the UK TV program Later with Jools Holland. This is the appearance that elevated him from obscure unknown to an overnight sensation. Look for Paul Weller smiling in approval at 1:52:

Related: Seasick Steve played Scotland's T in the Park Festival this weekend.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Breakestra: Comin' to Break You Off

Why haven't I heard of these guys before? Why hasn't this band appeared at any festivals that I've read about? Someone is dropping the ball by not getting the word out ... so I'm just going to have to do it myself.

They're called Breakestra and they're a ten-piece funk "orchestra" from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1996. If you're a fan of Houseman-era Galactic, The Meters, Maceo Parker, Jurassic 5, and the Roots, you should absolutely give them a listen. They lay down some hard funk and smooth soul that would make the JBs get up and dance. I was pleasantly surprised to read, after discovering them through Pandora, that this band is still together and touring. They just wrapped up a European run of shows that took them from Dublin to Naples. I bought their 2005 album Hit The Floor today on iTunes and it's as good as I hoped it would be.

Jambase wrote a review of one of their shows back in January 2006, which included the following:
Their sound and style has been aptly described as the fusion of the essence of the breakbeat, the apex of a funk song that when looped together by pioneering DJ's in the South Bronx in the 70's became the foundation upon which all hip-hop was constructed, and Sun Ra's Arkestra, which injected funk and musical exploration into the traditional concept of a strait-laced orchestra. His vision was to assemble a band that could seamlessly rock the essential breakbeats to the supreme satisfaction of every rap aficionado, vinyl archeologist, and b-boy and b-girl who was listening.
Take a listen to my favorite song from Hit The Floor entitled Hidin'.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Not Yet: Mike Gordon Joined by Trey and Fish at Rothbury

Before the news of a Mike Gordon sit-in for Trey's acoustic set had sunk in, Mike welcomed Trey AND Phish drummer Jon Fishman to the stage during his Rothbury set for a take on The Beatles' "She Said, She Said." Trey appeared without his signature handmade Languedoc electric guitar, sporting a Fender Strat, with reports of the 'doc having been stolen. Fishman performed with Yonder Mountain String Band at the same festival on Friday afternoon.

Trey Anastasio Joined by Phish Bandmate At Rothbury (Setlist)

During Trey's one-hour acoustic set at the Rothbury Festival in Michigan this afternoon, the former Phish frontman played Phish tunes almost exclusively. Joining him on stage for the set's final 3 songs was Phish bassist Mike 'Cactus' Gordon. Two new songs were played, but I hestitate to call them Phish songs just yet. Mike is playing his own set right now, with Gov't Mule and Phil and Friends to come on after Mike. Word is that Trey turned down the opportunity to have his Rothbury set appear on the webcast, but you will be able to see Mule and Phil live and online tonight. I would expect to see Trey make another appearance on a stage before Rothbury comes to a close.

Rothbury Music Festival
July 6th 2008

Get Back on the Train>
Brian and Robert
Water in the Sky
Inlaw Josie Wales
Let Me Lie (GRAB)
Sample in a Jar
Banter- Joke about being arrested
Mountains in the Mist
Sleep Again
Wading In The Velvet Sea
Backwards Down the Number Line (New Song #1) *With Cactus
Alaska (New Song #2) * With Cactus
Chalkdust Torture * With Cactus