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Jazz Is Dead feat. Alphonso Johnson, Jeff Pevar, Tom Constanten, Rod Morgenstern & Chris Smith
Wednesday 08/19
Jazz Is Dead feat. Alphonso Johnson, Jeff Pevar, Tom Constanten, Rod Morgenstern & Chris Smith @ The Howard Theatre
$30 / $35
"JAZZ IS DEAD promises to be one of the year's highlight events for the DEAD and jazz communities." - Ian D'giff/Long Island Village Voice "I haven't witnessed such a vibrant DEAD scene since JERRY's passing." - Steve Bloom/High Times on the Variety Playhouse show in Atlanta, GA "JAZZ IS DEAD not only exceeded my expectations (the crowd went wild!) but so did ticket sales. The show sold out and I hope we have JAZZ IS DEAD back to the House of Blues in the near future." - Michael Yerke/House Of Blues, Chicago, Ill "JAZZ IS DEAD would not normally be the first show I would choose to go to, or at least drive two hours for. I was, however sucked in. It is definitely a creation worth seeing, no matter what your musical taste." - Big Shout Magazine on the Keswick Thr. show in Phil., PA "You don't have to be a Deadhead to dig this musical event." - Natalie Davis, Baltimore City Paper "It was awesome to see such incredible musicians taking the DEAD'S music and spinning it into their own magical expression, putting a hip jazz twist into it." - Neil Wigenbach/KPFT, Houston, TX I. A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MUSIC: Led by highly stylized, virtuoso guitar player JERRY GARCIA, San Francisco’s GRATEFUL DEAD formed in 1965. Their music was a unique amalgam of bluegrass, folk, blues, motown & rock and roll, evolving to later include elements of jazz - the latter particularly, as regarded their penchant for free-form improvisation. In their time, GRATEFUL DEAD were the highest grossing concert attraction in the history of the touring talent industry, an unexpected statistic, when measured against ‘mediocre’ record sales. There are two reasons to explain this: First, GRATEFUL DEAD performed more than anyone else - three major tours (approx. 100 shows) a year since the advent of ‘arena rock’ circa 1972. Whereas THE ROLLING STONES or U2 for example, easily out grossed THE DEAD in any calendar year, the latter two (as with any major attraction) chose to tour every three to five years on average. Beside the physical demands of the road, no arena/ stadium sized attraction would dare tour in consecutive years, fearing depletion of market demand from overexposure. Second, GRATEFUL DEAD played long shows (3 to 6 hours), consisting of two sets with an intermission - working from an active repertoire of over 100 original compositions and cover material ... reprised differently from show to show, in off times bizarre & unexpected medleys - segue ways interwoven with lengthy, jazz-like, ‘psychedlic’ improvisations & dynamic drum solos. Over the course of a thirty or forty city tour, no two shows would be alike. On top of all of this, the band allowed ... even encouraged the fans to tape record the performances - unheard of in a record industry whose chief fear was ‘bootlegging’. Yet, instead of 'bootlegging' (selling the clandestinely recorded tapes for profit), the fans codified the phenomenon ... recounted orally from fan to fan, musically from tape to tape. II. BACKROUND: On August 9, 1995, at the age of 53, JERRY GARCIA died from heart failure in Northern California, where he was born and began an American musical legacy that is sure to reverberate down through the generations. A short time thereafter, GRATEFUL DEAD announced that it's existence as an ongoing, performing entity, was at an end. In the wake of these events, some remaining DEAD members and close musical associates that had played with GARCIA in other projects endeavored to continue the journey. In 1996, the DEAD's BOB WEIR and MICKEY HART created "Further Festival," a revolving retinue of Artists that had admired GARCIA and the spirit his music embodied. This ensemble featured JAZZ IS DEAD co founder, WEATHER REPORT bassist ALPHONOS JOHNSON (who had previously toured and recorded with BOB WEIR). At the beginning of 2015, the surviving members of GRATEFUL DEAD announced historic “Fare Thee Well” (farewell) concerts) … inspiring JAZZ IS DEAD to reform and likewise celebrate GRATEFUL DEAD’s 50th Anniversary. III. OVERVIEW: JAZZ IS DEAD, "Explorations Into the Music of GRATEFUL DEAD” embarks from the compass point of GARCIA and company's most complex and audacious material, culled from many periods of their storied history. From there, the musical heading is unknown ... each performance, promising inspired improvisation and new discovery ... crafted by a line-up of stellar players.
Reverend Horton Heat & The Adicts
Friday 08/14
Reverend Horton Heat & The Adicts @ The Howard Theatre
$25 / $30
Reverend Horton Heat Loaded guns, space heaters, and big skies. Welcome to the lethal littered landscape of Jim Heath’s imagination. True to his high evangelical calling, Jim is a Revelator, both revealing & reinterpreting the country-blues-rock roots of American music. He’s a time-travelling space-cowboy on a endless interstellar musical tour, and we are all the richer & “psychobillier” for getting to tag along. Seeing REVEREND HORTON HEAT live is a transformative experience. Flames come off the guitars. Heat singes your skin. There’s nothing like the primal tribal rock & roll transfiguration of a Reverend Horton Heat show. Jim becomes a slicked-back 1950′s rock & roll shaman channeling Screamin’ Jay Hawkins through Buddy Holly, while Jimbo incinerates the StandUp Bass. And then there are the “Heatettes”. Those foxy rockabilly chicks dressed in poodle-skirts and cowboy boots slamming the night away. It’s like being magically transported into a Teen Exploitation picture from the 1950′s that’s currently taking place in the future. Listening to the REVEREND HORTON HEAT is tantamount to injecting pure musical nitrous into the hot-rod engine of your heart. The Reverend’s commandants are simple. And no band on this, or any other, planet rocks harder, drives faster, or lives truer than the Reverend Horton Heat. These “itinerant preachers” actually practice what they preach. They live their lives by the Gospel of Rock & Roll. From the High-Octane Spaghetti-Western Wall of Sound in “Big Sky” — to the dark driving frenetic paranoia of “400 Bucks” – to the brain-melting Western Psychedelic Garage purity of “Psychobilly Freakout” — The Rev’s music is the perfect soundtrack to the Drive-In Movie of your life. Jim Heath & Jimbo Wallace have chewed up more road than the Google Maps drivers. For twentyfive Psychobilly years, they have blazed an indelible, unforgettable, and meteoric trail across the globe with their unique blend of musical virtuosity, legendary showmanship, and mythic imagery. “Okay it’s time for me to put this loaded gun down, jump in my FiveOh Ford, and nurture my pig on the outskirts of Houston. I’ll be bringing my love whip. See y’all later.” - Carty Talkington, Writer/Director Rev your engines and catch the sermon on the road as it’s preached by everybody’s favorite Reverend. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the 11th studio album from REVEREND HORTON HEAT, boldly titled Rev, due out January 21st. The Adicts The Adicts began life as the Afterbirth & The Pinz, in their hometown of Ipswich back in late 1975. They scored many Indie Chart hits in the Eighties, and are unbelievably still together, and still making great music, with the same line-up - Keith 'Monkey' Warren, vocals; Mel Ellis, bass; Pete Dee Davison, guitar; and Michael 'Kid Dee' Davison, drums - to this day. Newer members are John Scruff Ellis (Mel's brother) guitar & Dan Gratziani on violin. "I think we all started for different reasons," recalls Monkey, of their distant origins. "Pete and Kid moved to Ipswich from Sunderland were already playing on their own, using pillows for drums in the front room. Mel had just failed the audition for Nick Kershaw's band (too tall apparently) and I was a punk without a cause. Exactly what year that was may vary depending on who you talk to. Some say '75, some say '76. I think I have a flyer from March '76, but before that we had played our first show in a scout hut in Aldburgh, Suffolk - not exactly top of the list for all time top punk venues! We strung a rope across the room to keep the 'crowd' back and had a motor bike for a lighting rig. As far as our musical education goes, I think Pete took music at school, and Kid just liked to hit things. I don't know where Mel got his 'talent' from but it seems to run in the family. I still can't play anything." They soon changed their name to The Adicts and became known for their distinctive Clockwork Orange 'Droog' image, which, along with their urgent, uptempo music and light-hearted lyrics, helped set them very much apart from the rest of the genre. "We became The Adicts because The Pinz was such a shit name," deadpans Kid. "At the early gigs we just used to wear punk clothes, but never anything bought, like those posers who went down to Kings Road. After a while though, black came in and it all became boring, so we started to dress in white to be different, and 'Clockwork Orange' had been a major influence on us, though not for the violence, more the teenage angst..."
Musiq Soulchild
Saturday 10/24
Musiq Soulchild @ The Howard Theatre
$37.50 / $45
Philadelphia native Taalib Johnson a.k.a Musiq Soulchild, is a soul artist whose unique style blends R&B, Soul, Funk, Rock, Blues, Jazz, and Hip Hop, creating a sound unlike any other. “I consider myself a soul artist because it encompasses all genres of music!" Musiq states “I like to make music that means something to people, nowadays there are so many categories and labels, I just wanna make music that matters!” Musiq is the eldest of nine children “I always saw myself as the black sheep of the family; I was always doing my own thing!” At a young age Musiq decided he would not continue his high school education, this proved to make his road to success much more difficult "I really wish I stayed, cause even though I didn't like it that much I still could've taken advantage of the many resources that being in school has to offer!” When Musiq was 17 he left home to live life on his own terms, finding himself having to depend on the kindness of friends, and sometimes strangers, as he struggled with everyday survival "Man, I did what I had to, I slept on couches, the bus, the train, the park, whatever, it didn't matter, I just knew things wasn't gonna be that way forever!” It was during that time Musiq started to build a reputation for being musically gifted, beat boxing for MC's, free styling on the open mic circuit, scatting at a jazz club, or just performing a cappella in the streets of Philadelphia, which is where he got the name " Musiq " and later he added " Soulchild " which is intended to respect and represent the legacy and traditions of past great soul stars. Musiq was introduced to the world in 2000 with his platinum debut album, Aijuswanaseing (I Just Want to Sing), which included the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop single, “Just Friends”. Musiq’s second single, “Love”, spent 22 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and has been described by many as a classic. Musiq’s 2002 album, Juslisen (Just Listen), debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Charts and quickly went platinum with hit singles, such as “Halfcrazy” and “Dontchange”. By the drop of his third album, Soulstar, in 2003, Musiq had established himself as one of the top R&B/Soul artists of his time. Soulstar included the hot singles “Forthenight” and “Whoknows”. A fter a four year break and changes in Managementto: Solqi Management and record label to: Atlantic records, Musiq knew that, in order for his success to continue, his sound would have to reflect his personal growth and journey. In 2007 Luvanmusiq (Love and Music) was released and included the hit singles “B.U.D.D.Y.”, “Teach Me”, and “Make you Happy”. Musiq Soulchild has had 2 platinum albums, 2 gold albums and 7 hit singles. He has received awards from Billboard, BET, ASCAP, BMI, and Soul Train. Musiq has also earned award nominations from MTV, American Music Awards, NAACP, and 9 Grammy nominations, including 3 for his 2007 album Luvanmusiq. Besides being a successful recording artist, Musiq is notable for his creative and unique way of titling his albums and songs. In addition to being a platinum selling artist, Musiq has garnered TV and print ads from Mc Donald’s, GAP, Coca Cola, Levi Strauss, and Nike. All of this talent, hard work, and determination have allowed Musiq to flourish into one of the few R&B soulful artists that still exist.
Mac DeMarco
Wednesday 10/14
Mac DeMarco @ The Howard Theatre
$25 / $30
In 2015, the talent for creating a prolific output of exceptional music is almost a curse. Press people will tell you that there’s a bottleneck of too many artists covered by too few media outlets who always want to talk about something new. Managers will tell you that there’s too much money to be made on the road, so the album cycle goes on and on to support that. Artists may even feel pressured by reviewers and themselves to go into a deep stasis, only to emerge again when they’ve reinvented themselves into a newly revamped and retooled model, as opposed to just capturing time in a bottle and offering more to their catalog. At times, even fans have adopted this rule as well and are almost shocked when their favorite artist is able to release an LP already after two and a half or three years of waiting (let’s call this the MBV-effect). Lucky for us, Mac DeMarco is old school in his approach: when Mac wants to make a record and he has the songs ready, he makes it. Like the days of Steely Dan, Harry Nilsson or Prince releasing a classic every year (or less) comes Mac DeMarco’s Another One, a Mini-LP announced almost one year to the date of the meteorically successful Salad Days. The album was conceived and recorded entirely by Mac in a short period of time between a relentless tour schedule. At his new place in Far Rockaway, Queens — a neighborhood as east as you can possibly be before hitting Long Island — you can live in relative isolation despite technically still being in New York City. This left Mac with nothing more to do with his down time than to make music. Another One is an eight track release of brand new songs, freshly written for this release and each of which expand the arsenal of Mac’s already impressive catalog. Centered around a pump-organ riff and lilting vocal melody that is somehow both haunting and warm, “A Heart Like Hers” is a track that shows the maturity of Mac’s progression as songwriter. It’s a little bit more refined, a little bit more sophisticated, but nonetheless still retains the guts and soul of any classic Mac track. Opener “The Way You’d Love Her” has a playful swing to the chords and a guitar solo that wouldn’t be out of place on a mid-period ‘Dead’ LP, Mac’s new favored listening past time. The overall feeling of the LP is lost love, or perhaps love never found, a topic that the world never tires of and one Mac can move through without it being a dour and somber experience. Title track “Another One” and stand out “Without Me” exhibit this bittersweet sensibility in lyrical and musical context, both melancholic and romantic, blurring the line between happy or sad nostalgia. The record leaves you with the same satisfaction as an old Bogart movie: he’s still the hero, but he doesn’t quite get the girl. It’s odd that despite working at the same pace as artists like Creedence, The Byrds and The Rolling Stones, coupled with an equally unending schedule of touring, press and recording, Mac is still labeled as a slacker. With two full-lengths and two EPs released and hundreds of sold out shows performed in the last several years, a recent late night television debut on Conan following a special guest performance on The Eric Andre Show, it seems, as Mac DeMarco nears his 25th birthday, there’s not a slack bone in the man’s body, besides maybe his a penchant for wearing comfortable clothes. You need comfortable clothes to work this hard anyway. Great singer/songwriters (Elton, Joni, Neil) don’t need to reinvent themselves; they just need to keep going and let the songs out in the world. If you’re like me and don’t think it’s been too soon since Salad Days – and you’re actually about to freak if you don’t hear more — here’s Another One.