Arguably one of the most buzzed about sets from this year’s edition of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival was Saturday night’s Rock n’ Soul Dance Party SuperJam. The all-star band, led by My Morning Jacket front man Jim James and John Oates, offered up a 20-song set that featured a variety of covers from the likes of Bill Withers, Sly & The Family Stone, Curtis Mayfield and Sam Cooke. As they did with last year’s SuperJam, that saw D’Angelo play on American soil for the first time in 12 years, the fine folks at Bonnaroo365 were on hand to chronicle all the on-stage and behind-the-scenes action from interviews to rehearsals and more.
Yesterday we got our first taste of what’s to come, when a trailer was uploaded to Bonnaroo’s YouTube page. Check it out…
As always, we’ve got a pipping hot batch of links fresh out of the HT kitchen…
Unless you’ve been completely off-the-grid for the last week or so, the story about Mumford & Sons having to cancel their Bonnaroo headlining spot last minute and Jack Johnson getting the proverbial call to the bullpen to step in last minute is old news by now. The mellow-grooving singer-songwriter was en route to Manchester for a sit-in with his longtime friends ALO, where he planned to to preview some material from his upcoming studio album From Here To Now To You, when fest organizers reached out asking if he would like to spend a little more time on-stage than originally planned. Johnson, who is no stranger to the various tents and stages, having played the ‘roo four previous times – including its inaugural edition in 2002 and as a main stage headliner in 2008, obliged despite the fact that he hadn’t played live with his band in over a year.
For his impromptu headlining set Johnson got into the Bonnaroo spirit mixing material from throughout his career, inviting out ALO’s Dan Lebowitz and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to collaborate with him and throwing in a handful of covers for good measure. While both Steve Miller Band’s The Joker and Sublime’s Badfish have been staples in his set lists, Johnson did debut a new cover tune – an island-vibed take on the Mumford & Sons song The Cave. The abbreviated version of the song, which was quite the classy move, received a very enthusiastic response from the crowd. Let’s check it out, as well as new tune that Johnson wrote about the entire surreal weekend…
At roughly three o’clock Central Time this afternoon, HT faves Nikki Bluhm & The Gramblers will have the distinction of officially kicking off the the 12th installment of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, when they take to the stage at That Tent. For those of us that were unable to make the trip to Manchester this year, there is no need to fret. As has become the norm, we will be able to experience the sights and sounds of the fest from the comfort of just about anywhere you can find a wi-fi connection thanks to the folks at Ustream.tv. Beginning tomorrow afternoon some 40+ sets will be streamed live for your viewing pleasure.
Amongst the acts that you’ll be able to catch will be headliners Paul McCartney and Mumford & Sons, as well as sets from HT faves likes Wilco, Jim James, Gov’t Mule, ALO, Father John Misty and The National. Also of note Ustream.tv will broadcast Friday night’s all-star hip-hop Superjam, which features Lettuce backing the likes of RZA, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Schoolboy Q, Earl Sweatshirt, Solange and Chad Hugo with the promise of special guests. Check out the full schedule below.
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Since returning to the music venue business with the opening of Brooklyn Bowl back in 2009, Pete Shapiro has continued to add to new rooms to his growing portfolio over the last few years. Shapiro’s latest venture is aimed at a slightly different audience, as he has announced the opening of The Rock And Roll Playhouse – a kid-friendly space at 280 Bond Street in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn.
The venue will feature “20 different programs for the different age groups including: Beatles for Babies, Little Rockers, Rockers, and Big Rockers; Reggae for Babies and Little Rockers; Rock and Roll Storytime for Little Rockers; a theatrical Rock and Roll Stories for Rockers; World Music for all age groups; Drawing Rock and Roll; and Introductory programs focused on Songwriting, Guitar, Percussion and Keyboards.” The Rock And Roll Playhouse, which is slated to open this winter, will include classes for adults, a full bar and food courtesy of the folks at Blue Ribbon Brassiere.
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Finally, last year David Byrne and St. Vincent teamed up to release Love This Giant, a twelve-track collection that received a heap of critical praise. The duo, who mounted an extensive world-tour that featured a slew of musicians and dancers, will once again head out together for a lengthy world tour that kicks off with a gig at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, New Jersey on June 12. Prior to all that though, Mr. Byrne and Ms. Clark have announced the release of Brass Tactics – a new five-song EP that you can download for free. The EP features a previously unreleased tune that didn’t make the album, as well as two live tracks recorded last year and two remixes. Here’s the track list…
David Byrne & St. Vincent – Brass Tactics EP
Cissus (previously unreleased) / I Should Watch TV (M. Stine Remix) / Lightning (Kent Rockafeller Remix) / Marrow (live) / Road To Nowhere (live)
The track, which appears on The Boss’s mega-selling 1984 record Born in the U.S.A., is a classic unapologetic 1980′s bar rock anthem, and famously featured a young Courtney Cox in its music video. For their take, the duo stripped the tune down to its bare bones, turning it into a gorgeous acoustic folkie-dirge with the assistance of an accordion and violin player. Let’s check it out…
The Clash were easily the most commercially successful band to come out of the 1970′s punk scene, with their potent brand of punk rock that mixed elements of ska, reggae, funk and rockabilly, all set to Joe Strummer’s socio-political lyrics. On September 9, the iconic and influential punk act will release Sound System, a massive nine-disc box set that comes packaged in a vintage boom box designed by Clash bassist Paul Simonon.
The set, which will feature remastered versions of the band’s five studio albums, will include three discs of demos, non-album singles, rarities and B-sides. The box will also come with a DVD containing previously unseen footage of the band, original promo videos and live footage, as well as reprints of the band’s original ‘Armagideon Times’ fanzine plus a brand new edition curated and designed by Simonon and merchandise including dog tags, badges, stickers and an exclusive Clash poster.
Finally, back in the fall we mentioned that Dogfish Head Brewery was teaming up with the fine folks at Grateful Dead Productions for the latest in their line of music-inspired beers that they dubbed American Beauty. The Milton, Delaware-based craft brewery reached out to fans asking for their input in selecting the final ingredient and their Dead-inspired story for the imperial pale ale. After getting some 1,500 suggestions, which ranged from red grenadine to jalapenos to sassafras root, the winning ingredient came courtesy of Thomas Butler. Butler, who attended his first Dead show at the Oklahoma City Zoo at age nine with his dad, suggested using granola – stating in his entry that “the components of granola – honey, toasted grains, oats and fruit – offer a lot from a beer perspective, the idea is to have a sessionable ale that highlights the oats and honey with a nice ‘dank’ hop selection.” American Beauty hits stores and taps throughout Dogfish’s 27-state distribution network this October.
This fact may be hard to believe, but throughout their long and storied career the Preservation Hall Jazz Band have never released a studio album consisting entirely of their own original compositions. The legendary New Orleans act will change all that come July 9, with the release of That’s It! via Sony Legacy. The 11-track record, which was recorded at the band’s home-base at 726 St. Peter Street in the French Quarter, was co-produced by Pres Hall’s own Ben Jaffe and My Morning Jacket front man Jim James, who has been championing the band over the last handful of years.
In advance of the record’s release, Preservation Hall has released this behind-the-scenes look at the making of the album. Let’s check it out…
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Finally, it appears that we may finally have an answer to ongoing “are they” or “aren’t they” story surrounding the relationship between former Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant and rootsy songstress Patty Griffin, who have been romantically linked since 2011. The pair, who appear together on Griffin’s new studio album American Kid, had been previously thought to have eloped last summer, despite conflicting reports to the contrary. Earlier this week in an interview with Billboard Griffin set the record straight, telling the industry rag “We’re not legally married, no,” while also going on to speak about their musical connection, “We get a lot of energy from each other’s singing. We both have similar places that we come from as singers-a lot of emotion, and sometimes the emotion overrides technique. He inspires me. He goes far and deep.”
For the past two weekends the Crescent City has played host to the annual New Orlean’s Jazz & Heritage Festival. During their first-weekend set, Calexico paid tribute to one of New Orleans’ native sons – the severely under-appreciated Bobby Charles. The late singer-songwriter, who likely best known to HT readers for his appearance on The Last Waltz soundtrack, began writing and recording songs at the age of 17. While he never quite achieved success as a solo artist, Charles’ songs have been recorded by an impressive list of musicians including Ray Charles, Bo Diddley, Joe Cocker and Fats Domino – whose recording of Walking To New Orleans (a song Charles wrote specifically for Domino) sold nearly two-million copies.
Charles, who drifted in and out of music, released his highly recommended self-titled albumin 1972, which was co-produced by Rick Danko and features nearly all of The Band, as well as Dr. John. Last Sunday afternoon the Tuscon, Arizona based band treated the crowd to a version of Charles’ most recognizable tune Later Alligator. The “swamp-pop” song, which Charles originally recorded in 1955, was made famous a year later when Bill Haley & His Comets released it as the single See You Later Alligator. Let’s check it out…
We’ve been big fans of Bob Weir’s fantastic Weir Here since it debuted last year. The semi-regular web variety show, which is broadcast live from Weir’s TRI Studios, has featured members of the Grateful Dead and its extended family swapping stories and performing a mix of tunes. During a recent episode, the former Bobby & The Midnights lead singer revealed that he will take the show on the road this fall, where he will be joined by Dave Schools (Widespread Panic), Jonathan Wilson, Jay Lane (Primus), Jason Crosby and Jeff Chimenti (Furthur, RatDog), as well former Dead crew member Steve Parish. According to Jambands.com the tour is currently scheduled to make stops at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, New York, Philadelphia’s Tower Theater, Richmond, Virginia’s The National, San Rafael, California’s Terrapin Crossroads and Mill Valley, California’s Sweetwater.
Finally, it’s been roughly two years since The National dropped the news that they would be curating a Grateful Dead covers record for the AIDS charity Red Hot. While we still await some sort of update on that project, the band is seemingly taking a page out of the legendary psychedelic rock act’s Acid Test days, as on May 5 the Brooklyn-based act will play one song for six straight hours at the finale of MoMA PS1′s Sunday Sessions. The band will perform the High Violet track Sorrow as part of Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansso exhibit – A Lot of Sorrow. Tickets for the one-time only performance, which explores “potential of repetitive performance to produce sculptural presence within sound,” are currently on-sale for $15.
This past weekend music festival season went into high gear as thousands descended upon Indio for the 12th installment of the Coachella Music & Arts Festival. Earlier this month fest organizers Goldenvoice and the town of Indio reached a long-term deal that would keep the event, along with its country music cousin Stagecoach, there through 2030. According to the LA Times, in addition to the 17-year deal for the April event, Goldenvoice would also be allowed to host two additional concerts each fall starting in 2014, with capacities of 75,000 and 99,000 people respectively. While there are no immediate plans, Goldenvoice Vice President Skip Paige told the Times, “If U2 wants to play a show, I don’t want to not be allowed to. We don’t have plans to do shows, but it is very possible.”
Finally, we’re roughly 36-hours away from Record Store Day, and we couldn’t be more ecstatic about the bounty of great releases that are headed into our local retailers this year. We’ve also loved the fact that organizers tapped Jack White to be RSD’s official ambassador. White, who has taken to his role, has something special in store for those that will be visiting his Third Man Records’ Shop in Nashville this weekend, as he will debut of the Third Man Record Booth. The booth, a refurbished 1947 Voice-o-Graph machine, will allow folks to record up to two minutes of audio and walk away with “a one-of-a-kind 6″ phonograph disc”. Check out how it works…
This year marks the 25th anniversary of venerable indie-label Sub Pop. The Seattle-based record label helped defined the sound of the Pacific Northwest in the late ’80s/early ’90s putting our records from the likes Mudhoney, Soundgarden, TAD and Nirvana. Over the last decade, the label that was once known almost exclusively as the home to grunge, has reinvented itself bringing us critically acclaimed albums from the likes of Fleet Foxes, The Shins, Band of Horses, Iron & Wine, The Head & The Heart and Flight Of The Conchords.
Sub Pop has announced that it will celebrate their milestone anniversary with what they are dubbing Sub Pop’s Silver Jubilee. The free all-day event will take place on Saturday, July 13 in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, and will feature art exhibits, a record fair and of course lots of bands. The initial lineup includes the likes of J. Mascis, Father John Misty, Shabazz Palaces and Shearwater, with more to be announced.
Finally, we’d like to give a big shout out to former HT contributor Daniel Schneier, whose band King Stork has just released their sophomore EP – Wash Away The Countryside. The six-song effort, which you can stream below, showcases the Brooklyn-based band‘s affinity towards the rowdy sounds of 1970′s outlaw country-rock, mixed with contemporary indie influences. The band will celebrate the EP’s release with a special headlining gig at The Bell House this Friday night dubbed the “Brooklyn Country Jamboree,” where they will be joined on the bill with like minded acts Whale Belly, Six Deadly Venoms, I’ll Be John Brown and The Newton Gang. Tickets are currently on-sale now, and will feature free beer courtesy of Sixpoint Brewery from 8-9 PM.
Yesterday the folks over at Funny Or Die decided to reinterpret that pivotal scene by recasting it with Huey himself and Weird Al Yanokvic – whose 1983 album Dare to Be Stupid featured I Want A New Duck, a parody of Lewis’ I Want A New Drug. Check it out…
Earlier this week the music world lost Jason Molina, who passed away at the all too young age of 39 from organ failure stemming from his long and well-documented battle with alcoholism. The singer-songwriter, who had been putting out records since the late ’90s for Secretly Canadian, is best known as the front man for the psych-folk project Songs: Ohia and more recently the fantastic Neil Young-influenced country-rock act Magnolia Electric Co.
Brittany Howard must have to pinch herself from time to time to make sure that she’s not dreaming. The Alabama Shakes have been on quite the hot streak of late – making their SNL debut, earning three Grammy nominations and they have a monster summer tour lined up. Next up for Howard will be her solo first release on Jack White’s Third Man Records label, which sees the Shakes front woman teaming up with Ruby Amanfu (White’s duet partner on Love Interruption from his solo album), for a very cool sounding Blue Series Single that will be released on March 12. The A-Side will feature a cover of HT fave Rodriguez’s I Wonder from his debut album Cold Fact, while the B Side will see the duo taking on Memphis Minnie’s When My Man Comes Home.
Finally, while The Rolling Stones seemed to largely ignore their 50th anniversary in 2012, choosing to celebrate the milestone with a handful of anniversary shows on both sides of the pond instead of a major world tour, the band’s enduring influence and legacy will be the subject of a new exhibit opening at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame this spring. Set to open on May 24, the comprehensive exhibit dubbed Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction will take up two-and-a-half floors of the museum. According to the LA Times some of the items that will be on display include “the black leather bomber jacket Keith Richards is wearing on the cover of the 1966 Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass) compilation album; a 1970 letter from the Stones requesting Santana’s permission to include their performance in the concert film from Altamont that became ‘Gimme Shelter’ (Santana declined); Mick Jagger’s 1981 stage costume made from British and American flags; and a 1963 publishing agreement for ‘Stoned,’ one of the first songs the band members ever wrote.”
With the volume of tweets that ?uestlove sends out on a daily basis, it’s not surprising to find out that he has channeled some that energy into something that can be consumed at more then 140 characters at a time as yesterday it was announced that he will be publishing his memoirs this spring. The book, entitled Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove, will chronicle the drummer’s life from growing up in West Philadelphia in the 1970′s to founding The Roots to his various collaborations in the world of music. According to a press release for the book, which will hit retailers on June 18, the tome will touch on music criticism, the state of hip hop and “also questions the nature of memory and the idea of a post modern Black man saddled with some post-modern Blues.”
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Finally, while it took nearly two days for the full lineup of Wilco’s third installment of their Solid Sound Festival to be announced, we’re thankful that organizers decided to avoid that drawn out approach when it came to revealing the daily breakdown of when each of the acts will play. Now a three-day affair, the fest will see host band Wilco headline on both Friday and Saturday night, with support from a mix of eclectic acts including alt.county singer Neko Case to indie-rockers Yo La Tengo to jam-prog-rock act White Denim to psychedelic-gospel band The Relatives. Early bird single-day tickets and three-day passes are currently on-sale now.
Here’s the breakdown of what to expect over the course of the weekend…