Sunday, July 28, 2019

Spotlight on Beth Bombara

It's hard for me to imagine a musician on the road with a bigger heart than Beth Bombara and that shines through in her live performance. In the last few short years Bombara's dreams of reaching audiences around the country have come true. 

And with each journey, experience and show Beth becomes better-armed with life material for new songs. Her quietly amazing self-titled debut was the launching point for me. Bombara deftly followed it with a stellar collection of songs called Map & No Direction in 2017. Today, she's still touring like her music heroes before her and making new traditions to follow.

July 31- Ripon WI, The Heist
Aug 1-3-Appleton WI, Mile of Music
Aug 6- Columbia MO, The Blue Note 
w/Old 97's
Aug 8- Nashville TN, City Winery 
w/Erica Blinn
Aug 9- St. Louis MO, Old Rock House 
w/Lilly Hiatt
Aug 11- Madison WI, The Winnebago 
w/Sway Wild
Aug 13- Minneapolis, 7th Street Entry 
w/Sway Wild
Aug 15- Chicago IL, Hey Nonny
Aug 16- Holland MI, Park Theatre
Aug 17- Muskegon MI, Unruly Brewing
Aug 29- Kansas City MO, Knuckleheads 
w/Kevin Galloway

IN HER OWN WORDS - With a folksinger’s head and a rocker's heart, Beth Bombara has built her career on an evolving sound that blurs the lines between genres. To those who make their living onstage, she's a musician's musician — a road warrior who writes her own exemplary material, plays multiple instruments, and fronts her own band, often a duo with her husband - guitarist and producer Kit Hamon.

Beth Bombara
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Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Claypool Lennon Delirium

“Ideas always come quick for us, and I think that’s why we like working together. But playing with Les is like knowing you’re gonna be playing tennis with Rafael Nadal – it makes you wanna brush up on a few things before you get on the court,” Sean Lennon on playing with Les Claypool of Primus. 

The pair have been making music for a couple years now during Claypool's available dates with Primus. But now The Claypool Lennon Delirium are at center stage. The psychedelic Batman and Robin, Claypool and Lennon are touring dates with Flaming Lips in support of CLD's sophomore album, South of Reality. The duo unveiled the animated music video Little Fishes this week.

The Claypool Lennon Delirium
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Friday, July 26, 2019

RIBS drop Too Long

FIRST LISTEN - Chris Oquist and Keith Freund - the dark rock duo RIBS unexpectedly dropped another new song today. Too Long is a mesmerizing, mechanical beauty with a creative lineage that reminds this listener of both vintage Deftones and NIN. Pay attention. The fact that another track has dropped and so soon is a positive turn for the act and could mean a full album is on the way.

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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Five Songs from Jesse Malin

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT - Long one of my favorite singers and songwriters, Jesse Malin just announced dates with Justin Townes Earle. If you're in the path of one of these shows, you are advised to arrive early!  Jesse's new album, Sunset Kids (which was produced by Lucinda Williams - who sings with Jesse on new song "Room 13") has an August 30 release. 

IN THEIR OWN WORDS - Already a veteran of the NYC hardcore scene by the time he was a teenager, Jesse Malin first rose to fame with the influential punk band D Generation, a group Rolling Stone called "the best thing to happen to New York noise in the Nineties." Malin traded in his electric for an acoustic in 2002, though, shedding his skin and embarking on an acclaimed solo career with his Ryan Adams-produced debut, ‘The Fine Art of Self Destruction.’ Hailed by Uncut as “an instant classic,” the record was stripped-down, raw, and intimate, earning comparisons to Neil Young and Tom Waits for its ragged, poetic beauty.

In the decade-and-a-half that followed, Malin would go on to blur the lines between singer-songwriter and punk rocker with a string of similarly celebrated solo albums, including his most recent back-to-back releases, ‘Outsiders’ and ‘New York Before The War.’ Malin has recorded with Bruce Springsteen and Green Day, performed on The Tonight Show, Conan, and Letterman, and shared stages with everyone from The Replacements and The Hold Steady to Bob Weir and The Gaslight Anthem. A prolific writer and relentless road warrior, he continues to circle the globe with his band and has finished his seventh studio album, a collection produced by American roots icon Lucinda Williams.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Rutger Hauer RIP

A tip of the hat to actor Rutger Hauer who passed away this week. Hauer is best know for his portrayal of replicant Roy Batty in the Ridley Scott sci fi masterpiece Blade Runner. We honor him by sharing Hauer's legendary delivery at the end of the film. Hauer rewrote the script for this scene himself and executes it perfectly. This is one moment that will never be lost in time.

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

All those moments will be lost in time,
like tears in rain.

Time to die.

Rutger Hauer & Blade Runner
RH Wiki / BR imdb / BR rotten tomatoes 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Actual Goners

THE MAILBAG - Everyone has a chance to shine. A couple of times a month, I spin fate's wheel and listen to unsolicited music from the inbox. Today I found "Temptation" the new single from a Toronto duo The Actual Goners and - wow, this track is pretty much magic! I closed my eyes and within moments the track had transported me back to 2002 when Ryan Adams was playing songs from three different new albums at the time. ("Temptation" could have easily been plucked from Rock N Roll, Demolition or Love is Hell.) This is a band you need to know!


IN THEIR OWN WORDS: The Actual Goners are award winning Canadian songwriters Tristan Armstrong and Duncan Symonds. With a passion for live performance that drove them across the country from Vancouver Island to their current Toronto home base, the long time collaborators deliver personal and ageless tunes that capture and celebrate the compelling moments found in the unglamorous day-to-day.  

“Temptation” was recorded at Toronto’s Lincoln County Social Club with John Dinsmore. "We always have such a blast in the studio – always track live off the floor, always an opportunity to learn," writes the band. "The song describes someone who is walking home through oppressive heat, wearing the prior night’s clothing, experiencing the aftermath of the decisions that were made while in an uninhibited state of mind. The refrain speaks to the conflicts we confront in knowing that indulgence goes hand in hand with consequence."

The Actual Goners
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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Bandits On The Run

THE MAILBAG - A couple of times a month, I spin fate's wheel and dip my blogger chalice into the river of electronic mail.* And so long as the stuff is potentially of interest to our music-crazed audiences, we'll publish it. Today we win really big. This particularly band completely blew me away! Proving once again, I may be crazy but I'm crazy like a fox..

Bandits on the Run have a vibrant presence here on 'Potted Plant.' This is a really fun track and a bit of a big break from what I've been listening to - which is also so refreshing (and ultimately, satisfying.) This one is the perfect scene to accompany any summer breeze. And bands with alter egos?? (Need I say more?)

Bandits on the Run - Potted Plant

Produced by William Garret
Engineered by Ian Kagey
Mastered by Oscar Zambrano at Zampol Productions

IN THEIR WORDS - Bands On The Run was born out of a chance encounter in the subways, when cellist Sydney Torin Shepherd encountered guitarist Adrian Blake Enscoe busking on an L-train platform. The group fully formed when Shepherd’s longtime music collaborator Regina Strayhorn moved to NYC and Enscoe invited the two down to the subways to try their collective hand at busking. 

All three actors in their own right, their dynamic quickly coalesced around the romantic whimsy of old school outlaws, and they took on the Bandit alter egos (Shepherd going under the moniker Bonanza Jellyfish, Enscoe as Roy Dodger, and Strayhorn simply as “Clarissa.”) 

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OMG this band is great.

Editor's Notes
* In this way Tron and I (a user) are like brothers.
choose your reaction game: "I get it!" or No idea.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Brett Newski this week with Better Than Ezra

Brett Newski is a rambling punk poet and a guitar-player with a big heart. Having just played with Courtney Barnett, the singer (who played this March's Outlaw Roadshow in Austin, TX) embarks this week on some large rooms with Better Than Ezra. Newski is a total gamer. He relentlessly tours the country, regularly posting videos for fans and friends. His sets are dynamic, vibrant and fun. 

The full name of the band (a duo) is Brett Newski and The No Tomorrow. The later of which is comprised entirely of gifted drummer Matt Spatola. The pair knocked 'em dead at SXSW this year, all the while a VH1 video truck wasn't far behind. There's a lot going on here on that stage. Definitely One To Watch!

7/10 - Paradise Rock Club

7/11 - The Paramount

7/12 - Baltimore Soundstage

IN HIS OWN WORDS - Known by many as the first band ever to be kicked out of Wal-Mart for playing an illegal show, Brett Newski has certainly kicked his own ass over the past 6 years, touring infinitely (mostly alone) and wandering down the rabbit hole of anxiety, depression, and wallowing self-doubt. All of these negatives have blossomed into positive creative energy on his third LP."Anxiety can actually be a good thing. If you use it right, that nervous energy can be channeled into motivation or creativity," explains Newski. "Even the most seemingly confident people have self doubt."

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Monday, July 08, 2019

Knives Out

VIDEO FROM THE WEEK - In a world where crossover summer movie extravaganzas have become expected fair, how about something a little different. Looper and The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson looks to have something on his hands with the dark comedy Knives Out

It's a murder-who-done-it with an all-star cast. And based on the first trailer, it looks like Captain America (Massachusetts' own Chris Evans) gets to break out of the role in a big way. He steals the show here. 

This is a real tease. Film won't see the silver screen for another four months - in November. Consider this a running start. (Big tip of the cap for the knife throne - whoever is responsible deserves a dragon egg!)

Knives Out stars Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana De Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Noah Segan, Edi Patterson, Riki Lindhome, Jaeden Martell, and Christopher Plummer.

Imdb / Rotten Tomatoes / Wiki

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

July 3 is Mark Sandman Day

September 24, 1952 – July 3, 1999

I spent all day yesterday watchin' the grass grow
what I learned is that grass really grows slow
now I that I know there's no reason left for me to stay
I only wish I never heard you say
Have patience
everything will be alright
have patience
give it just a little time
everything will be alright
I spent half my afternoon sittin' at a stop sign
thinkin' about how good you look even when you're lyin'
then I lost my car in a parking lot
I bought a newspaper and I decided to walk
You said have patience
everything will be alright
have patience
give it just a little time
everything will be alright
I spent all day long just listenin' to the doorbell ring
must have been a Sunday I could hear the choirs sing
down in the graveyard they're listenin' to the underground
they're the only ones that ever learned to calm down patience
everything will be alright
have patience
it's really such a beautiful lie
everything will be alright
everything will be alright
everything will be al-
everything will be alright

Spotify / Web / ArchiveWiki

Monday, July 01, 2019

Club Passim drops an impressive lineup for their Jerry Garcia tribute

Ken Friedman photo, 1991

Cambridge, MA) In honor of Garcia’s 77th birthday, a stellar group of songwriters and acoustic instrumentalists will come together at Club Passim on August 1st to celebrate his spirit and legacy—as a guitarist, as a songwriter, and as an interpreter of American roots music. Performers joining the celebration include:

Leslie Mendelson. Leslie is an acclaimed singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn whose debut, Swan Feathers, was nominated for a Grammy. Her 2017 release Love and Murder features a duet with the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir. She has opened for Roger Daltrey on two U.S. tours, and in May 2019 opened for the Who at Madison Square Garden.

Jefferson Hamer. Jefferson is a songwriter, guitarist, and traditional musician based in Brooklyn. He performs with Eamon O’Leary in the Murphy Beds, featuring harmony vocals backed by intricate guitar and bouzouki, and with the roots-rock ensemble Session Americana. Hamer’s 2013 Child Ballads album with Anaïs Mitchell earned a BBC2 Folk Award and was named one of NPR’s top-ten folk releases of the year.

Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers. Jeffrey is a grand prize winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and founding editor of Acoustic Guitar magazine. He interviewed both Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir and is author of a video series teaching Grateful Dead songs for acoustic guitar. Joining him is multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Wendy Ramsay, his partner in the duo Pepper and Sassafras.

David Surette and Steve Roy. David and Steve are two stalwarts of the New England folk/bluegrass/roots music scene. They will team up as a duo to explore the music of the Grateful Dead on acoustic guitar and mandolin. Surette has performed with his wife, singer Susie Burke, for more than 30 years. Roy has toured internationally with acts such as Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum, Molly Tuttle, Joe K. Walsh, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, and Joy Kills Sorrow.

Ryan Fitzsimmons and Laurence Scudder. Roy and Laurence are fixtures of the Boston roots-rock scene and frequent collaborators. Fitzsimmons has steadily built a reputation as one of the Northeast’s most compelling songwriters and, in the words of Red Line Roots, “a brutal force of nature on acoustic guitar.” Violist/singer/songwriter Laurence Scudder performs with Spotted Tiger, Danielle M and the Glory Junkies, Thank God for Science, Brothers McCann, and other Boston-area bands.

Tickets are $20 ($18 for Passim members)
Club Passim is located in Harvard Square 
47 Palmer St., Cambridge, MA 02138.

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