Category — Music Festivals
Call me naive but I feel as though Les Paul should have already had about 20,000 Tribute shows given to him. I’m not sure about the actual number that have occured, but I couldn’t be more pleased about the news I just stumbled upon.
Looks like Les Paul, guitar-legend, amazing guy and “Father of the Electric Guitar,” is being honored again, and most rightfully so, at this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame annual American Music Masters series. The concert, to be held this coming Saturday, November 15, and ends a weeks worth of festivities that started yesterday in Cleveland, Ohio. The best news, for all you guitar fans, is that in addition to having the 93-year-old Guitar God play at the concert, he’ll be joined on stage by Guitar Titans Slash, Duane Eddy, Billy Gibbons and the Ventures. Clearly, if you’re at all a guitar fan, this is not a concert you would want to miss.
Les Paul has always been half artist and half inventor, doing more to advance the technology of the electric guitar than almost anyone else in the entire world. Many people believe that the work he did in developing hard-bodied electric guitars is what “made Rock & Roll possible.” That is a compliment worth getting your little butts down to Cleveland for, if you ask me!
November 11, 2008 1 Comment
This past weekend My Bloody Valentine took the stage in New York as the headliner of the All Tomorrow’s Parties music festival, their first show in the US in 16 years. Other artists performing included Shellac, OM, Dinosaur Jr, The Meat Puppets, Thurston Moore, Les Savy Fav, Built To Spill, Tortoise, Yo La Tengo, Mogwai and many others.
I wish I could’ve gone, but I couldn’t make it, so once again Stereogum saves the day with great coverage. Their coverage is worth checking out as they have amazing photos and video. Judging by the photo’s, MBV had their usual array of Fender guitars, including Jazzmasters and Mustangs. They also had a lot of Marshall stacks so I’m sure the show was deafeningly loud.
Regarding Stereogum’s review, its nice to see a music site that has honest writers (ahem…pitchfork). It’s not that I think pitchfork writers aren’t honest but it seems that their level of fan-boy excitement tends to leave out certain details. From Stereogum’s piece on the set…
“The Stardust Ballroom sound, which sounded flawless for Shellac and others, crapped out here/there: MBV’s vocals were occasionally too low, the bass fuzzed out, and it was a bummer that so many of the riffs and accents were pre-sampled (Kevin and Belinda often strummed power chords). But! It was undeniably great to hear “Only Shallow,” “Sue Is Fine,” and “When You Wake” at massive volumes.”
It is kind of a bummer that the band is using pre-sampled stuff, but I’m sure any MBV show would be a good time if you’re a fan. Maybe I’ll catch ATP NY next year.
September 22, 2008 1 Comment
This year in Minehead, UK, All Tomorrow’s Parties is hosting Nightmare Before Christmas, a festival curated by none other than The Melvins and Mike Patton.
The festival starts on Friday, December 5th and goes through Sunday the 7th. The lineup, (at least for my tastes), is awesome.
The Melvins, Fantomas, Isis, Squarepusher, Butthole Surfers, Big Business, Dalek, The Black Heart Procession, Mastodon, The Damned, The Meat Puppets, Os Mutantes, Joe Lally and Monotonix are all bands I would love to see, especially on one bill.
The only problem with the festival is that a lot of fans here in the states aren’t going to be able to make it. As soon as this event occurs and other sites start to get some coverage up I will try and compile it here.
September 19, 2008 No Comments
Now, you might be asking me why I am posting about the Virgin Music Festival in Toronto (yes, I know it’s In Canada) when I never mentioned the one in Baltimore. You might also be wondering why I would bother calling it a music festival when I know full well that Jack Johnson isn’t on the lineup. But then you would have just answered your own question. At just a little more than halfway through the fest, we’ve already got an array YouTube videos to sift through. Check out footage of Foo Fighters playing Learn To Fly . And don’t forget the customary drunk guy who climbs a tree and gets kicked out . With an arguably better lineup than the Baltimore fest, I wouldn’t mind traveling the extra mileage to Toronto. All I can say is, maybe next year you’ll be seeing footage of me up in that tree.
Here are some more videos from the fest to check out:
September 7, 2008 No Comments
As you sit here reading this, the 2008 Democratic convention is well underway in Denver. To some, Denver may seem out of reach. But fortunately for Obama, the indie rockers are on his side. After all, what better way to infiltrate the youthful minds of America than through music? On Wednesday, bands like Silversun Pickups, Cold War Kids and Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah joined forces with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom to bring you Unconventional ’08 and, of course, show support for Obama.
Videos of these performances are beginning to pop up on YouTube. You can check out some of them here:
Later in the evening, when all the guitar amps and distortion pedals were put away, indie artists such as Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, Zooey Deschanel of She & Him and Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley gathered at the Manifest Hope Gallery for some acoustic jams. Drawing out hipsters in record-setting numbers (which I can only imagine resembled an endless mirage of flannel shirts, unwashed hair and super-tight pants), this is the event that has been receiving the majority of attention in music blogs. See for yourself here.
And if you aren’t jealous enough yet that you missed this once-in-a-lifetime chance to shotgun PBR with the guy who plays Jin on Lost, then why not rub it in a little bit more and check out the awesome artwork that was on display in the gallery.
August 30, 2008 No Comments
Metallica just played two of England’s biggest rock festivals, Reading and Leeds. A live soundboard version of their new single “The Day That Never Comes” from Leeds is available online via YouTube. The band’s “MetClub” series lets fans download soundboard versions of live shows for a fee, this one apparently leaked to youtube.
The sound of the song is a little muddier than the studio version, but overall it’s decent. From what I’ve seen it appears James Hetfield has been playing a lot of Gibson Explorers and also Les Pauls recently. I personally like the way these sound a lot more than the ESP’s he plays a lot. The structure of the song is kind of dangerously close to the band’s classic track “One” but its probably better than most of the tracks currently on Modern Rock radio.
August 25, 2008 No Comments
An initial list of bands have been confirmed for CMJs Music Marathon in New York City (October 21-25). Among them are Broken Social Scene, Deerhoof, They Might Be Giants, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Virgins, Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, A Place To Bury Strangers, Beach House, Cool Kids, Crystal Castles, Del McCoury Band, Donavon Frankenreiter, Gang Gang Dance, Jay Reatard, Lykke Li, Minus The Bear, Roisin Murphy, the Dears, Juliana Hatfield, Annuals and Yo Majesty.
There are some good bands playing this year. Also, this seems like a great mix of electric guitar based indie music as usual and more dancey and hip-hop focused artists.
Also of note is the panel discussions that will be taking place. If you’re a in a band, run a label or manage an artist, these could be really informative and worthwhile.
“Among the early confirmed panels are Essential Resources For Independent Labels, Internationally Licensing the Future, Artist Managers: The New Labels?, A New Media Fat Trimming Session and Bands As Brands.”
I probably will not get the chance to go to this as its in NYC, but I hope to hear about the panels in more detail after the event takes place.
August 14, 2008 1 Comment
The first edition of the Pemberton Festival ended the other day, and while I didn’t mention the festival here previously I was interested in finding out how it went.
The main acts playing were Coldplay, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Jay-Z, Nine Inch Nails, The Flaming Lips and Death Cab For Cutie. Organization wise the festival seems to have suffered, as reported by several publications. Festival organizer, Live Nation (formerly Clear Channel) claimed that the festival was a “triumphant success.”
No matter who you believe, you can still check out some great photo’s from the event at Stereogum.
July 29, 2008 No Comments
Last week I posted about Green River’s reunion show at Sub Pop’s 20th anniversary bash in Seattle, WA. Now Billboard has a full review up for those not lucky enough to attend the event.
“This seemed to be a firm consensus. Some rock’n'roll reunions fall flat when musicians can’t regain the spark of youthful energy and DIY not-quite-incompetence. But Green River’s anthems sounded better with a touch of polish and precision. The 1985 classic “Swallow My Pride” (re-cut by the band in 1988, and also covered by Soundgarden, Fastbacks and Pearl Jam) sounded almost pop.”
Billboard also notes that they heard a fan say “If they were that good back then, they never would have broken up.”
This is a good thing in my opinion, most reunions fall short because the band isn’t as good as they once were, in this case its the opposite.
The article also has coverage of a lot of the other bands playing the Sub Pop anniversary festival.
July 14, 2008 1 Comment
Record label Sub Pop, famous for releasing records by everyone from Nirvana to The Postal Service are going to be having a 2-day festival in Seattle, WA to commemorate their 20th anniversary.
Besides playing host to The Vaselines first U.S. performances ever and seeing many older Sub Pop bands re-unite, one of the most anticipated acts to play is Green River. If you don’t know, Green River was one of the first bands to release a record on Sub Pop and featured future members of Mudhoney and Pearl Jam.
Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament spoke to Billboard.com regarding the reunion show…
“Bassist Jeff Ament tells Billboard.com the group re-learned two unreleased songs from its early demo, “Baby, Help Me Forget” and “Leech,” for the occasion, which will mark Green River’s first show in nearly 21 years.
“Green River, which also includes Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard, Mudhoney principals Mark Arm and Steve Turner and drummer Alex Vincent, rehearsed twice in late April but has reconvened three additional times to relearn the material.
“Last night, felt like we were 95% there,” Ament says. “We had a go at 16 or 17 songs and we have 14 right now, but we may need to get that down to 11 or 12 for Sunday. We have a 40-minute slot.”
The band is reportedly having fun playing together and there is talk of a possible Green River reunion tour.
July 9, 2008 1 Comment