Rosen, who as DSO’s “Phil Lesh” is its longest-tenured current member, has held down bass duties for the beloved Grateful Dead spirit band for more than 2,000 shows. He will sit out the first five shows of DSO’s spring tour, which begins May 9 at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY. He will then return to finish out DSO’s string of May dates, including the Dark Star Jubilee May 24-26, with his last show with the band scheduled for June 1 at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom.
Bassist Skip Vangelas, who has played with DSO guitarist/vocalist Rob Eaton in the band Border Legion and was briefly in DSO himself in 2001, will fill in for Rosen during the first five shows of the May run, May 9-14 in the New York City area.
A representative from Dark Star Orchestra confirmed Rosen’s pending exit and the upcoming schedule to Hidden Track. In a note to Dark Star Orchestra fans and band mates scheduled for posting to DSO’s site Friday and viewed by Hidden Track, Rosen writes the following:
Last year both myself and HT contributing editor Ryan Dembinsky stumbled upon the music of rock fusion act Tauk independently of each other and we each offered our raves about the instrumental quartet’s inventive sound and relentless live show. In Ryan’s interview with Tauk’s Charlie Dolan that we ran last fall the bassist broke the news that Tauk was entering the studio with producer/engineer Robert Carranza (Mars Volta, Jack Johnson) to begin work on their first entirely instrumental full-length album. The result of those sessions, the 10-track Homunculus, is set for a April 30th release.
We’re excited to premiere the first single off Homunculus this afternoon – Dead Signal. This song starts off innocently enough like the soundtrack to a spaghetti western before the bass and drums come in. Within 45 seconds the quartet is locked into a silky groove with a futuristic-sounding melody. We love prog-heavy acts that can “swing” and Tauk fits that billing to a T. Check out the debut of Dead Signal…
Tauk will celebrate the release of Homunculus on April 24th at Sullivan Hall in NYC.
Today we continue our series of posts featuring the exclusive premiere of video from GSW’s reunion shows in 2010, lovingly shot and edited by Mike Wren. As with our last posts, God Street Wine guitarist Lo Faber tells the tale of the song in the video. Here’s Lo’s take on Electrocute as well as the video of GSW performing the tune at the Gramercy Theatre on July 9, 2010.
“Electrocute” is the earliest-written God Street Wine song. I wrote it in the spring of my senior year in high school, 1984. At that time I was very much under the influence of David Byrne and Talking Heads, and, through them, of Brian Eno, especially his solo albums “Another Green World” and “Before and After Science.” Check out those beautiful albums, simultaneously exploring sonic experimentation and thoughtful songwriting, if you want a deep musical experience.
So my school, Princeton Day School, allowed you to take your spring semester of senior year to do some creative project. I performed that spring in an adaptation of “Waiting for Godot” and also wrote a one-act play of my own. I loved not having regular classes for the first time in my life and was feeling very creative, also doing a lot of oil painting at that time. And I wrote two interesting songs, “Electrocute” and, shortly after that, “Morning Cigarettes.”
Both songs were based on this cool bass sound I made with my stepfather’s Gibson SG, a Boss octave pedal and a Dunlop Crybaby wah. They were also demoed using an interesting home recording technique. Some of you know that many early GSW tunes were written and demoed with my old Fostex 4-track cassette recorder. But this was before even that technology. So I multi tracked by using two home cassette decks, simply bouncing back and forth between them. In other words I’d record bass and drum machine, then play that back while adding guitar and recording the total onto a second deck, and so on and so forth back and forth. Of course it was noisy as hell, but nonetheless sounded really cool, at least to me at the time.
Both “Electrocute” and “Morning Cigarettes” were about the idea of drug use, in different ways. Although many GSW audience members seem not to believe this, I have never been very into drugs of any sort, and aside from the occasional Jameson (and back in the day, lots of nicotine), usually like to keep my head clear and “natural.” In high school, of course, like everyone I tried a few things, so in these two songs you hear youthful me trying to make sense of why people wanted to voluntarily alter their brain chemistry. Electrocute uses the idea of a character who gets high from applying electric shocks, possibly in conjunction with other chemical forms of stimulus. It uses some impressionistic imagery to convey his altered state of mind. It also contains some phrases I heard real people use, like a somewhat altered line originally spoken by a close friend of mine & Tom’s, Jeff K., about “liquids and solids combining.”
In a switch to our bi-weekly video series, in which we premiere a clip from God Street Wine’s 2010 reunion shows at the Gramercy Theatre accompanied by an essay penned by GSW guitarist Lo Faber, we’ve brought in the band’s other guitarist, Aaron Maxwell, to provide this week’s essay on Call It Love. Thanks, as always, to Mike Wren for putting these sensational videos together.
Call It Love
Back in the late 1980’s I met [future GSW guitarist and bassist] Lo Faber and Dan Pifer while we were attending Manhattan School of Music. We were all Jazz Performance majors, which basically meant that we took theory classes, learned jazz standards, played in ensembles with other students who were also interested in learning about Jazz music and took private lessons. Lo and I were both guitar majors and we studied with the same teacher, Jack Wilkins. Jack lived in the Village, which was where you went to have your lesson each week.
[Photo by Adam Kaufman]
I remember always looking forward to trekking down from the Upper West Side to Jack’s place, guitar in hand. Jack had an encyclopedic knowledge of the jazz guitar and had an extensive vinyl record collection. Each week he would turn me on to a new recording or artist that I had not known before. Artists such as Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Tal Farlow, Pat Metheny and Grant Green, to name a few. Lo and I shared in this experience and we often spent a lot of time talking about some of our favorite players.
Around this time, Pat Metheny released the album, Still Life Talking, which had some interesting songwriting and impressive guitar playing. Pat and his band’s ability to construct melodies and create specific moods spoke to me and is something that I think influenced a handful of God Street Wine songs over the years, like 6:15 and Other Shore.
Today we continue our series of posts that feature the exclusive premiere of video from GSW’s reunion shows in 2010, lovingly shot and put together by our pal Mike Wren. As with our last posts, God Street Wine guitarist Lo Faber tells the tale of the song in the video. Here’s Lo’s take on Thirsty as well as the video of GSW performing the tune at the Gramercy Theatre on July 9, 2010.
This one’s a little bit personal, so I’d prefer not to say much about the meaning of the lyrics. What I will tell you is that the chorus, “and it rained” etc, was drawn–borrowed?–stolen?–directly from a passage in a Tom Robbins novel, either “Still Life With Woodpecker” or “Another Roadside Atttraction”–I think the latter. It was Bevo who got me into Tom Robbins and I think on a long cross country tour in the winter of 1993-1994 I read most of his early novels. I can also report that “Thirsty” was written in Fort Collins, Colorado, mostly at my friend Lynn’s house. East Coast people, by the way, might not realize that “Conoco” is a gas station chain that becomes ubiquitous once you get west of the Mississippi River.
How did this tune fit into our career saga? That’s easier to explain. It was the last new tune written before we began pre-production for the album that became $1.99 Romances, and the lovable music biz tycoon brothers who signed us to our first major label deal were quite convinced that this one was going to be our big runaway breakout single.
They found a tune like “Thirsty” quite accessible, whereas stuff like “Stupid Hat” and “Cheap Utah Blues” left them somewhat nonplussed. I remember them particularly at one college show they had flown out to see, shortly after signing us, and breathing a visible sigh of relief when we played this–”ah, here’s something I can recognize as a pop song.” For our fans it was a bit different. They usually seemed more interested in faster shimmy shake kinds of grooves and more extended jamming explorations. “Thirsty,” being musically pretty much derived from Van Morrison’s Moondance album, sometimes felt like a bit of an anticlimax.
Nonetheless because of the tycoon brothers’ fondness for it–and because we liked it too, of course–it ended up on our most popular album, and for that reason, it eventually became a well known favorite, despite its lack of funkiness or long jams. Strangely it did not become the single from that album, after all–Nightingale was eventually deemed more God Street Wine-like.
Upcoming God Street Wine Shows:
August 9 – TRI Studios (Free Webcast)
August 10 & 11 – Sweetwater Music Hall, Mill Valley CA
August 16, 17 & 18 – Gramercy Theatre, NYC NY
Thanks to Lo for sharing the story behind the tune and Mike for his work on the video.
Today we continue our series of posts that feature the exclusive premiere of video from GSW’s reunion shows in 2010, lovingly shot and put together by our pal Mike Wren. As with our last posts, God Street Wine guitarist Lo Faber tells the tale of the song in the video. Here’s Lo’s take on When She Go as well as the video of GSW performing the tune at the Gramercy Theatre on July 10, 2010.
WHEN SHE GO
I have two quick remarks about When She Go. One is that this tune, like Driving West, The Ballroom and Strange as it Seems, is a product of my long-standing love of reggae. It’s a love I first discovered through my stepfather Steve, who brought a complete collection of Marley albums to our house when I was 13. (By the way, When She Go has always been Steve’s favorite GSW song.) It’s a love I’ve shared with Tom Osander, ever since our high school days, years before God Street Wine, when (having become too cool for Marley) we avidly listened to all the Augustus Pablo, Burning Spear and Wailing Souls LPs we could get our hands on. In several bands (where I played bass) we used to turn everything we played into a roots dub groove. We also loved the Police’s reggae-flavored pop, and Stewart Copeland’s drumming in particular. At times we would fantasize about moving to Jamaica and trying to break into the recording scene as a reggae bass-and-drums combo for hire; I leave the reader to imagine how two nice boys from Princeton, New Jersey would have fared on the streets of Kingston.
When She Go was actually an attempt to do a more Steel Pulse or Black Uhuru type reggae groove, with the kick drum on the downbeat (as opposed to the roots feel of Driving West, with a more shuffle vibe and the kick on the backbeat). It also has those sections of hits inspired by the Wailers (they were actually an awesome band) on tracks like I Shot the Sheriff or Is This Love?
My other comment about When She Go is that it reminds me powerfully of the Wetlands, and it always makes me miss that amazing place. In fact I remember writing When She Go with this exact question in mind: what sort of music would it be cool to play, first thing, to a good crowd, just as we walk out onstage at the Wetlands? I loved the thought of doing those big hits, then pausing a couple bars on that E chord, then shaking the whole room with that slow, heavy, B major groove. This was back in 1991, I think, when playing at the Wetlands was, to us, the absolute peak of rock’n'roll success. Blues Traveler had been playing there for about a year before we got in the door, and when we finally started to do well there it was very exciting and tons of fun.
Today we continue our series of posts that feature the exclusive premiere of video from GSW’s reunion shows in 2010, lovingly shot and put together by our pal Mike Wren. As with our last posts, God Street Wine guitarist Lo Faber tells the tale of the song in the video. Here’s Lo’s take on Who’s Driving as well as the video of GSW performing the tune at the Gramercy Theatre on July 10, 2010.
Who’s Driving by Lo Faber
The year was 1991, George Bush I was President, Silence of the Lambs was Best Picture, and five guys were making the daring leap from New York City bar band to full time touring band. We moved from various NYC apartments and jobs to a big, ramshackle house in Ossining, an hour to the north, and began booking as many gigs as we could. The shows became farther away and more frequent, the overall hygiene level declined, the time spent in our white Chevy Sport Van increased dramatically, and the question of “Who’s Driving” was always of paramount importance.
Our home life in Ossining was soon pervaded by an insecure, gnarly sort of spookiness. Late nights when we were home were spent in manic grudge-generating poker games or watching VHS tapes of “Twin Peaks” episodes. Sixteen different types of mustard occupied much of the refrigerator. Random girlfriends, acquaintances, and who-knows-who-that-is types were usually sleeping in various places (“Where’s that thin girl — practicing her magic tricks again?”) Personal possessions were jealously guarded and initialed with magic marker — no communal sharers we (“Who smoked all my cigarettes?”) Our possibly-mob-connected landlord poked around at odd hours (“Why is that man outside with a flashlight in his hand?”) There were snakes in the walls. There was a cat named Bob who tortured the house’s many mice for pleasure, until he became too fat to chase them. There was a little boy next door who hit Jon with a badminton racket.
There was always something to do, band-related, and often no clear sense of what was whose responsibility (“Did you make that phone call? Did you mail that package?”) There were tons of gigs, and when there was no gig there were tons of rehearsals — yet somehow it always felt that there was lots of bored time sitting around doing nothing. In spite of all this (or perhaps because of it) these were the years we really matured as a band and developed a sound and feel of our own, despite the some-might-say disgusting circumstances in which we lived. In particular we knew singing was a weak point and worked very hard, day after day, to improve our vocals.
We are very proud to present the first episode of a new in-studio performance webseries running exclusively on Hidden Track. The series will focus on intimate performances by talented artists from every genre, all in a live setting. Hidden Track’s goal is to bring you stripped-down versions of great songs, with a feeling of closeness not possible at a typical concert. We were lucky enough to get Sam Roberts Band for our first episode and we couldn’t be happier with the results.
In the vain of a long line of Canadian singer-songwriters, Sam Roberts only wields his voice and his guitar. In this performance of Without A Map, a song inspired by encountering several polar bears in a national park, Sam and band mate Dave Nugent harmonize over dense and droning acoustic chords. The power of Sam’s voice is the most striking thing about this performance, but the musicianship present between Sam and Dave is perhaps more impressive. Enjoy Without A Map and check back for more great performances on our new series in the coming weeks and months.
Shortly after Hidden Track launched, our site’s founder Slade Sohmer posted an article about the killer Leeds-based funk band The New Mastersounds and we’ve been covering the four-piece’s comings and goings ever since. On August 9, The New Mastersounds will release their first studio album recorded on American soil, and first to incorporate band vocals, when Breaks From The Border comes out.
TNM invited a camera crew to film the recording process and have used the resulting footage for a series of behind-the-scenes videos called Breaks From The Border. The first episode of Breaks From The Border gives some background on the group, while the second episode – which we’re honored to premiere below – discusses the studio in El Paso where the album was recorded, Sonic Ranch. Take a look…
Tomorrow night The New Mastersounds will take the Green Vibes Stage at Gathering of the Vibes 2011 in Bridgeport, CT’s Seaside Park for a late-night set that’s scheduled to start at 1:15AM. Head over to newmastersounds.com for more tour dates and to pre-order Breaks From The Border.
The summer of 2009 has treated our friends The McLovins really well. Not only did they turn heads at Gathering of the Vibes, released their debut album and picked one helluva first Phish show to attend at Hartford but they’ve written a new, fantastic tune called Virtual Circle.
The young trio recently had a live performance of Virtual Circle videotaped and we’re proud to bring you the world premiere of the clip. Take a look…
We’re honored to host the World Premiere of McLovins’ latest video, Bri (In Memory Of). The McLovins are making their New York City debut next Friday night at Sullivan Hall where they’ll be opening for Strange Design. Please head out to Sullivan Hall to support our friends who may be young but are insanely inventive. Let’s take a look…
This song was written by request and here’s the story behind it…
The boys were asked by Jerry if they’d write a song for Brian, who was an important part of the fabric of the Phish community and recently passed away. The song is a celebration of the life, love and deep friendship that Brian had with his Phish brothers and sisters, who felt fortunate to also reunite for two last Phish concerts together in Hampton. His friends were most amazed that he even made it to Hampton at all. Jerry believes that it “is a testament to the power of Phish and more importantly, music in general…”
Jerry wrote that: “Brian was a wandering, free spirit and at his memorial I read a poem that I wrote that explained how his ability to really, truly LISTEN to his closest friends and family was his greatest asset.”
Jerry is in the process of working with either the Mimi Fishman Foundation, Waterwheel or The Mockingbird Foundation to raise some money in his name with the goal afterwards to begin the process of his personal Foundation with his family.
Last week, Ticketmaster took some major heat for an unplanned and accidental presale for tickets for Phish’s four performances at Red Rocks this summer. Fans that thought they had stumbled onto a surprise jackpot had their orders canceled and received an email from David Butler, President of Ticketmaster North America, explaining why.
In an exclusive Q&A with Hidden Track, Luke Sacks spoke with Butler, who is responsible for Ticketmaster’s primary ticketing business in the US and Canada, via phone about the cause of the error, how Ticketmaster is working to thwart scalpers, what band he has seen nearly 50 times himself and more.
LUKE SACKS: Let’s start with the incident last week when tickets for the Red Rocks shows went on sale early. Speculation among fans has ranged from a simple computer glitch to Ticketmaster secretly activating that link so scalpers could get in and do their thing. From your perspective, can you walk me through what happened?
DAVID BUTLER: Absolutely. It was fundamentally human error by an employee of Ticketmaster in our Rocky Mountain region. An experienced person, who has been with us for years, accidentally, in releasing the show to be visible on the website that the on-sale was coming, accidentally made it appear to be on sale against the desires of the promoter or the artist. It was really just human error. She was trying to set it up so the show would be apparent with the future on-sale date so the fans would know it was coming. She just goofed.
LS: So that happened, all these orders were filled and eventually the decision was made to cancel these orders. Who made the decision to cancel the orders and subsequently to send out the $50 credit? Were those solely Ticketmaster decisions? Was the band or their management involved?
DB: To be clear, the mistake was totally ours at Ticketmaster and that’s why we sent out the gift certificates. Our policy is, if there is ever an error and the event goes on sale prior to the on-sale date, even if its on our website, that we will invalidate all the orders and if any money is taken we will refund it because we have to protect the integrity of the artist and the promoter that the show goes on sale as announced to the fans. So that’s exactly what we did.
READ ON for more of our exclusive interview with David Butler…
McLovin? What kind of a stupid name is that, Fogell? What, are you trying to be an Irish R&B singer?
Well, they’re not exactly Irish R&B crooners, but this trio of young musicians from the Hartford, CT area, Jake (Drumlovin), Jason (Basslovin) and Jeff (Axlovin), have certainly gained a lot of attention in a hurry with their raw talent, impressive chemistry and wise-way-beyond-their-years musical tastes.
In a genre of music that normally requires a good three years of 100+ shows and slow burn word of mouth publicity, the McLovins appear to be the first band in the jam scene to actually blow up. We see it almost every day in the realms of indie rock and pop music, but it sure is fun to see the internets buzzing with fury over the threesome of musical whiz kids because they tackle Phish covers like YEM and Harry Hood as well as plain old virtuoso material like Eric Johnson’s Cliffs of Dover, songs that most players stumble over for months (or years) just to get through a few sections.
Having already made big waves by gracing Rolling Stone’s Smoking Section, igniting the blogosphere, appearing on the local news and making a new friend in Phantasy Tour, we thought it’d be great to get to know a little more about the three J’s: Jake, Jason, and Jeff. The boys were kind enough to collaborate and shed some light on their friendship, the new found internet fame and their plans for a first album. Hopefully, this will help tide you over until we get to see the McLovins live in action.
Hidden Track: Let’s start with a little background on the McLovins; how did you guys all get to know each other and come to realize you shared a common interest in heady stuff like Phish, Eric Johnson, and Weather Report?
McLovins: We met last summer. (Jake and Jason met at Jazz Camp and Jake and Jeff met at Rock Camp). We started playing together in the basement, sharing the songs we already knew and learning new songs we’d heard that we were interested in. We started sitting in together for a few songs every Wednesday night at a restaurant in Collinsville. People started to come to hear us play, even though it is a small place and we could get pretty loud.
READ ON for more of the first print interview with The McLovins…
Welcome to Day Two of the Umphrey’s McGee Virtual Tour. Yesterday, Higgins from Lollapalooza 8/4/2006 kicked things off over at ilike.com. Hidden Track has the pleasure of debuting the video of Wappy Sprayberry from August 31st, 2008 from the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre. This Virtual Tour is another effort of the UM team in its promotion of their 2009 release Mantis, which debuted this week at #64 on The Billboard Top 200.
READ ON after the jump for a full history of the song Wappy Sprayberry…
With album sales continuing their steady decline, artists have had to think outside the box to market their new releases. Umphrey’s McGee came up with a number of innovative ways to get their fanbase excited about their latest disc, Mantis, and their latest ploy could mark the start of a new trend for the industry: virtual tours. Each day this week the group will unveil a high-quality video from their vaults at five different websites including a preview of their February 5 appearance on Soundstage.
The virtual tour kicks off this afternoon at UM’s iLike page before it moves to our hallowed halls for tomorrow’s clip. The action picks up on Wednesday at AltSounds and WNEW on Thursday before Pop Culture Madness! unveils the final video on Friday. We’re honored to be part of something that’s clearly the wave of the future.
Here’s a look – in no particular order – at the videos the five sites will be debuting as part of the virtual tour…
07.30.06 Fuji Rock Festival, Japan — “Bridgeless”
08.04.06 Lollapalooza, Chicago, IL — “Higgins”
08.31.08 Red Rocks, Morrison, CO — “Wappy Sprayberry”
10.28.07 Vegoose, Las Vegas, NV — “Wizard Burial Ground”
08.21.07 Soundstage — “Morning Song”
Be sure to keep your eyes on HT tomorrow for our exclusive clip.