Thursday, June 30, 2011

On the Road for Vinyl

In my work travels I have some opportunities to go to great cities, and when the work is done do some exploring.  One of the things I've started doing is checking out the the local independent record stores. 

In Las Vegas there are many things to do and all day and night to do them, so that's why I ventured over to Record City.  They had a great selection of vinyl and it was a fun store to spend some time. It was packed with vinyl and even had CDs.   Since I was travelling the shopkeeper was very cool and gave me a travel case for the vinyl I bought. 


The last few days I have spent in Baltimore and what a fun city that has so many interesting areas.  One area I really liked and caught a cab over to it.  Its called Fells Point and its right outside downtown Baltimore.  What a great part of town to visit.  There are many rooftop bars, shops and lots of people just walking around enjoying the old stone walkways and views of the bay.

The Sound Garden

The Sound Garden sells new and used CDs and DVDs and also has some vinyl.  It was recently voted the 2nd best record store in the United States by Rolling Stone.  The selection and prices on CDs and DVDs were excellent and its the largest selection of Blue Note jazz CDs that I've seen in a store in a long time.

The staff was excellent and when I mentioned I'm from Knoxville and that we have an indie record store here he already knew it was The Disc Exchange.

If you love music and love exploring a city then definitely hit Fells Point in Baltimore and check out the coolest record store in Baltimore...and the 2nd coolest store in the entire United States!

Mike Smith-The ShowBiz Kids

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Showbiz Kids' Summer Playlist

Summer's finally here. Crank it up and crank it out!

What are some of your favorite summer tunes? Let us know in the comments.

Super Ball IX to be broadcast on Sirius/Contest

Tuesday, June 27th, 2011 - Posted by PHISH

The Bunny is back and will be broadcast on SIRIUS XM's Jam_On channel. The Bunny (and Sirius XM) will be broadcasting not just Phish sets, but the full mix of eclectic music, festival reports, archival Phish audio and much much more. In addition, for those driving in to the festival without satellite radio, The Bunny will be rocking it old school on WRCE 1490 AM as well.

The Bunny will begin broadcasting on WRCE at 8 AM on Thursday, June 30 through 8 AM on Monday, July 4. Sirius XM will join us at Thursday at 3 PM and broadcast all the way through Monday morning. And now a note from the Bunny's chief announcer, Mr. Tad Cautious:

Everyone here at Bunny central are exceptionally, embarrassingly psyched for this year's radio station. Imagine the Blues Brothers meets The Seven Samurai with a dash of Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants and you might get a whiff of our panache.

Thanks to the digital wizardry of DJ Rickshaw, we have been an increasingly "interactive" Bunny in recent festivals -- and before your minds stray too far into how bunnies "interact", please know that we mean computers (and sex). More than ever, we are equipped with the Twittlers, the Facesbooks, and the online websites. But this year we want to take it to a new level with our listeners.

For Superbollocks (phonetically speaking), we want YOU to submit your own homemade station IDs for The Bunny. For those of you not hip to radio lingo, station IDs are those short pre-recorded pieces which announce the official name of the station for FCC purposes. They largely fall into two stylistic categories: 1) overly enthusiastic a capella choirs or 2) deep, gravelly voices accompanied by laser & explosion sounds. Neither of these styles are required by law.

If YOU would like to submit a station ID for The Bunny, please read the following 5 guidelines carefully. If YOU would like to submit a station ID for The Bunny, please read the following 5 guidelines carefully. See what just happened there? I just wrote that twice to make sure you're reading closely, because submissions that do not meet the following 5 guidelines will not be considered not be considered.

The Following 5 Guidelines:

1. They must somewhere include the following phrase verbatim: "The Bunny, broadcast on WRCE, Watkins Glen, on SiriusXM and online at" 

2. They must be no longer than 15 seconds. Shorter is better, shortest is bestest. 

3. They absolutely cannot break, bend, or even blithely approach the boundaries of FCC regulation with regard to obscenity. This is a family show we got here. 

4. The sound files must be in MP3 format, 16-bit, 44.1 Khz, with a bit rate of 192. 

5. They cannot, either directly or by implication, promote your business, band, Canadian yarn art, political party, house party or any other suchlike.

Now that we're through with the nasty mellow-harshing DON'Ts, here are the lovely open-ended DO's

1. DO make them awesome. 

2. DO include music, sound effects, echo, lasers, explosions and all manner of audio tomfoolery. 

3. DO feel free, if you so choose, to say who you are and where you're from. Make Mom proud. 

4. DO have fun with the fact that for the first festival ever, we're broadcasting on an AM station. Carpenters! Bee Gees! Crazy talk radio! Many different ways to go with this. 

5. DO email them to ASAP. 

6. DO know that while we treasure each and every submission, whether or not they are played is up to the completely fickle and indefensible whims of Bunny staff. If we receive 5 awesome IDs, we may play them all weekend. If we receive 200,000, we may play the aforementioned 5 all weekend. That's how she goes.
Most of all, just know that we are superly excited to interface with you radiophonically and will be broadcasting directly from our hearts to yours.

Love, DJ Tad Cautious

PS - Please know that the preceding sentence is meant purely metaphorically: current radio technology does not support heart-broadcasts. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review of Widespread Panic @ Red Rocks (REVERB)

Live review: Widespread Panic @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Day 3

Widespread Panic finished its three-night run at Red Rocks Sunday afternoon with a bizarre, yet fitting show that offered a little bit of everything, and then some.
Sunday Red Rocks shows always start early at 4 p.m., which means if you went Saturday night, it almost feels like you turn around and drive back as soon as you get up. Add in the fact that if it’s hot (as it was this Sunday), you feel like wilting and running for cover, and the mood can be a bit more subdued. Fans hid in the shade where possible, and threw water on each other frequently to keep cool. Cheers greeted any small passing cloud that hid the sun for a minute or two.

The band came on with little fanfare, all sporting sunglasses, and launched into a smooth groove on “Wondering.” Bassist Dave Schools got the crowd bouncing with a rolling bass line, while John Bell’s voice showed no effects from three nights at altitude. When guitarist Jimmy Herring started the joyous intro riff to “Surprise Valley,” it seemed the band was reveling in being in its second home, especially when Bell sang “Kiss the mountain air we breathe.”
Schools stepped up again on “Stop-Go,” taking a bass solo before the song shifted into a reggae-ish beat. They followed with the hazardous-to-your-health, duck-and-cover, “Big Wooly Mammoth.” Keyboardist John “JoJo” Hermann funked up the piano rolls a little, getting the song to lift off to a dizzying crescendo. However, when he sang “Somebody throw me a fire,” many in the audience threw lighters to the stage, and I saw at least one person who got beaned in the head with one of the thrown lighters who needed medical attention because he was bleeding from the wound.
There are a lot of rumors floating around in Panic land that the band is going to do its annual Halloween extravaganza up in Broomfield this year, a first for Colorado, which is one of only two states to host Panic’s New Year’s shows. The band may have teased the fans a little last night with that rumor, as they usually will play a few off-the-wall covers at Halloween.
The second set kicked off with “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature,” which got off to a slow start. After Schools shook the rafters with some bass bombs on the opening to “Bowlegged Woman,” Herring ripped into a dirty, sultry blues line on the main melody.
Next up was a fiery “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” with Herring giving a twangy take on the main riff on his Fender Telecaster. At this point, the astute in the audience noticed a trend: covers. In fact, the entire second set and encore consisted of cover tunes. Some of the covers were played almost straight up, such as “Can’t Find My Way Home.” Others, such as the James Taylor song “Knockin’ Round the Zoo,” were bent into Panic’s own style, with Herring and Schools looking into a rocking groove.
Herring took some songs into new directions. His gritty distortion on Neil Young’s “Walk On” propelled the song to a frenzy. Not to be outdone, Hermann dominated “Red Beans” with rolling barrelhouse piano. Panic even got a little metal going with an almost, but not quite, straight up cover of Black Sabbath’s “Fairies Wear Boots.”
What’s great about the Panic guys is they don’t take themselves too seriously. After doing a reprise of “Wild Thing” to start the encore, Schools stepped up and said “Be sure to tip your bartender on the way out.”
In a show of the regard they have for Colorado, the band launched into “Sultans of Swing” on the encore, which it has only played once before, at a show in February 2011 in Atlanta. Even if the band doesn’t return for Halloween, it’ll surely be rocking Colorado again soon.
Set 1: Wondering, Surprise Valley > Drums > Surprise Valley, C. Brown, Little Kin, Picking Up the Pieces, Stop-Go, Big Wooly Mammoth, Worry, Love Tractor, Conrad
Set 2: No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature, Bowlegged Woman, Lawyers, Guns and Money, Can’t Find My Way Home, Mama Told Me (Not to Come), Knockin’ Round the Zoo, Walk On, I Walk on Gilded Splinters, Red Beans, Fairies Wear Boots, Sharon, Wild Thing
Encore: Wild Thing Reprise, Sultans of Swing, Goin’ Out West, End of the Show
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Candace Horgan is a Denver freelance writer/photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. When not writing and shooting, she plays guitar and violin in Denver band Black Postcards.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Trey Anastasio Says Phish Likely to Start Recording This Winter

Article Orginally Published in Rolling Stone
By Patrick Doyle
"Everything seems to be dialed in right now," Phish front man Trey Anastasio told Rolling Stone while on the road with the band. They're currently on a massive summer tour, and they're having a blast: At a recent gig, they lost themselves in a blissful 25-minute spin through 1994's "Down with Disease," and have been breaking out stellar covers of Beatles, Stones and Zeppelin songs (on Sunday, they paid tribute to E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons with Bruce Springsteen's "Thunder Road"). We spoke to Anastasio shortly after the tour kicked off about the band's three-day Super Ball IX festival, which starts July 1st in Watkins Glen, New York; his love of the band Beach House; and Phish's next studio album.

How does it feel to be onstage again after the break? 
It feels great. The sound onstage is killer, partially due to some fine-tuning we've been doing over the last two tours, and partially due to this badass new sound system we broke out in Bethel. I always try to listen to the sound coming back from the room, and this new system is so tight. It really helps. The band feels loose in all the right ways, and it's just so cool looking out and seeing all of these people that I haven't seen in a while. It's a pretty tight-knit community. You'd be surprised how many people I recognize when I look out there.

You've played some Zeppelin and Beatles covers on this tour, among others. Have you heard any great songs lately you want to cover?
I went through an obsession with Beach House recently, and I actually found myself trying to copy that gorgeous pattern picking style of guitar during one of the jams in Bethel. I've been listening to a record by the Grates called Teeth Lost, Hearts Won that I love. I haven't heard a song screaming to be covered recently, though I did learn "Zebra" by Beach House on the guitar because I love the way Alex Scally picks so cleanly with a pick, as opposed to finger picking patterns. In terms of rock songs, I've kind been toying with this idea of covering "Master of Puppets" for quite some time.  

When do you hope to record a new Phish album? Any idea what it will sound like yet?
We are talking about opening the door to some kind of new album this winter. Next year is looking like it will be a less busy touring year, mostly because of family obligations for some of the band members.  We want to get together in the winter and start working on something new. What that thing is undefined, and we're keeping it that way on purpose. We just want to get together and see where it goes.

The Super Ball IX is coming up July 1st. Any big plans you can share with us? 
We have loads of plans for Super Ball IX!  The four of us have a backstage brainstorming meeting tonight with the artists about the festival. That's all I can say though.

Phish are pioneers of the self-curated festival – something Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band and others are doing this summer. It must take a lot of work and planning – what is the appeal of having your own festival? Why do you think more bands are doing it now?
The festivals grew organically out of our early scene in Vermont. We were always a party band and we used to play outside a lot. People always seemed to show up. I remember a big pig roast at our friend Ian's farm one summer – everyone came and slept in the field. We did a gig at our friend Amy's farm in Maine and suddenly it was 5,000 people. Then we went to Plattsburgh and it was 50,000. You have to keep in mind, though, that there were no festivals to speak of when Phish was doing those early ones. I remember hearing about Burning Man, but even that was just getting going in the Nineties. Now there are tons, but it all felt very cutting edge in the mid-Nineties. There was no playbook. We were making it up as we went along.
We always felt like we were throwing a party for our friends, regardless of the size or the place, because we actually were throwing a party for our friends. We've always had a very tight knit community. We talked about what we would want if we were going. The four big ones in the Nineties – the Clifford Ball, the Great Went, Lemonwheel and Big Cypress – were some of the best times I can remember with Phish. Indescribable.  I'll never forget them.

Now that Phish has been playing for 25-plus years, do you get tired of playing long sets? Or has time made it easier?
Not only isn't it getting tiring, but it's getting harder in some ways to kill the time between gigs. Music has always been my protection against the world, from a very young age.  I feel safe inside of a jam.

What's you're favorite all-time summer song?
Hmmm... How about "Wipeout." Now that's a summer song.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

On The turntable this Sunday...Waiting For Columbus

Waiting for Columbus is the first live album by the American roots-rock band Little Feat, released in 1978. It was recorded during seven performances, four at the Rainbow Theatre in London 1-4 August 1977, and three at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium inWashington, D.C. 8-10 August 1977. Local Washington radio personality Cerphe Colwell can be heard leading the audience in a "F-E-A-T" spellout on the first track of the album.
The band decided to bring onboard the Tower of Power horn section whom they had used in previous studio sessions. The result was one of their biggest selling albums and is considered one of the most acclaimed live rock albums in the same vein as The Band's Rock of Ages and The Allman Brothers Band At Fillmore East.
Many of their more well-known songs were either re-worked or extended. For instance, one of their signature songs, Dixie Chicken, was heavily extended to include a lengthy piano solo by keyboardist Bill Payne, a Dixieland horn arrangement and finally a dual guitar jam between George and Barrere. Other songs such as Rocket In My Pocket and Mercenary Territory were re-worked to include the horn section as well. Songs they covered such as Don't Bogart That Joint and On Your Way Down were also performed.
The band recorded and mixed enough material from these performances for a triple LP, but for marketing reasons kept it to a double album. Three of the unused tracks were included on their 1981 album Hoy-Hoy!. All were eventually released on the 2002 "Deluxe edition" CD.  (Wikipedia)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Los Lobos: Greatest American Band?

Quick: Name another American band that's had the same lineup for 37 years. Seriously, though? Greatest American band? I think the argument can be made. Ok, hear me out.

First, though I'd like to take credit, this is not my original idea. I've seen it posted in various places around the 'net recently, but the question is asked: "If your criteria for greatest American band is consistency, superior quality, and longevity, who else stacks up?"

As for longevity, Los Lobos have been creating their unique blend of rock and roll, 50s soul, blues, country, folk, and traditional Spanish and Mexican music for 38 years, and have been releasing records since 1978.

And those records have been of consistently high quality, are extremely enjoyable, and in some cases are groundbreaking and essential to your music collection.

The band self released Los Lobos Del Este De Los Angeles in 1978, but it was their 1983 album, ...And a Time To Dance, that gained them national attention. They followed that album with How Will the Wolf Survive and By the Light of The Moon, and while they had garnered critical success, the hit single proved elusive.

That is, until their contributions to a soundtrack to a film called La Bamba. Los Lobos recorded six of Richie Valens' songs for the album including the title track which gave them a number one single in the US.

"La Bamba," while notable, and undoubtedly influential in the development of their career may also be a bit of an obstacle for reaching new audiences. When my appreciation of the band  comes up in conversation, the reply is almost invariably, and with a note of derision, "You mean the "La Bamba" guys?"

For a band that's never gotten commercial airplay, I can sort of understand the sentiment, though I believe it to be very misinformed. Most people may not even be aware that the band is still around, much less that their best work was after the soundtrack to the movie.

With Kiko in 1992, the band may have produced their masterpiece. It's an experimental album that takes a different approach to production and to the instrumentation. And it consistently delivers. It is commonly regarded as their crowning achievement and is considered by some as the most rewarding album in their catalog.

For sheer thrills and inspiring musicianship, Live at the Fillmore never fails to deliver.

And just last year, they released Tin Can Trust, an amazing record that finds Los Lobos in familiar territory, documenting the stories of those just trying to get by on determination or luck, and finding themselves occasionally coming up short or finding room to celebrate and be joyous.

The opening track, "Burn it Down," is the perfect kick off for the rest of the disc. It defines the mood, it's one of those rockers the band is known for, and it's delivered with an easy confidence of guys who have seen this before.

"Yo Canto" is one of the more traditional songs by Los Lobos. Sung in Spanish, it still grabs attention (for those of us who don't speak the language) through the song structure and vocal delivery.

"Jupiter or the Moon" was a surprise for me recalling Low Spark of High Heeled Boys era Traffic.

There's even a cover of a Grateful Dead tune, "West L.A. Fadeaway."

Over almost 40 years, Los Lobos have seemingly done it all. They've toured the world, have inspired countless bands, performed for presidents and for children, contributed to more soundtracks, collected three Grammys, and continue to cut great records.

Who else could you count in the category of greatest American band? Sound off in the comments below.

U2 Go Back to the Nineties With Massive 'Achtung Baby' Reissue (RS)

JUNE 23, 2011 5:10 PM ET
On the most recent dates of U2's 360° Tour, the band members have been showing grainy footage of themselves hanging out in Berlin during the recording of Achtung Baby — a rare moment of unabashed nostalgia that also hints at what's next from U2. This fall, the band will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the album that hit the reset button on its sound — along with the LP's accompanying Zoo TV Tour and its 1993 follow-up,Zooropa — with ambitious reissues, complete with unseen video footage and rare recordings.
"I'm blown away listening to some of the rough mixes and the outtakes," says the Edge. "There's some very interesting alternative versions that we discovered of songs that wouldn't have seen the light of day, alternative lyrics, different arrangement styles — it's like Achtung Baby out of focus."
It's likely there will be separate reissues of Achtung Baby and Zooropa, along with a deluxe box set that incorporates both albums as well as video and/or audio from Zoo TV. "There will be multiple formats," says U2's manager, Paul McGuinness. "If you pile a lot of extra material and packaging and design work into a super-duper box set, there are people who will pay quite a lot for it, so you can budget it at a very high level and pump up the value." The band is also working on a U2 app for the iPad and other tablets that could be involved with the releases.
The group recently filmed a new performance of songs from the period in a Canadian theater, reportedly for use in a documentary directed by Davis Guggenheim, who worked with the Edge on the guitar doc It Might Get Loud. The band has also discovered substantial unseen footage from the early Nineties. "We were filming everything," says McGuinness. "There's a lot of material that has never really been seen, and seeing it will be quite startling."
This story is from Rolling Stone issue 1134/1135, available on newsstands and through Rolling Stone All Access on June 24, 2011.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Overzealous with The Young-Thursday, June 23rd

Join us at the Relix Variety Theatre Thursday June 23rd for Overzealous with The Young. Doors Open at 6pm. Show begins at 7pm

$5 Advance / Door.

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