Chris MeyerRAQ, the progressive rock quartet hailing from Burlington, VT made a semi-cryptic message last night that stated, “We may be BAQ soon!! BEWARE!!” For RAQ fans, this is some seriously good news. With the future of the band uncertain since disbanding in late 2008, and various side projects from members becoming some legitimate touring machines, it was anybody’s guess as to when the RAQ boys would get back together, if at all.Since that time, RAQ has only performed a handful of shows together, most notably at The Bowery Ballroom in April of 2010, and last year at Brooklyn Bowl. Keyboardist Todd Stoops has a solid foundation with Kung Fu, the funk-fusion quintet that he began with Tim Palmieri (The Breakfast), which has garnered a fair amount of national attention and seen them hit the festival circuit hard.Guitarist and master-shredder Chris Michetti has found the most success while becoming a full-time member of Conspirator, a band that features Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner of the Disco Biscuits with KJ Sawka on drums. The last two years have seen an almost non-existent touring schedule from the Biscuits, which has given Conspirator the ability to gel as a band and become a legitimate touring act. They have been busy writing new material and debuting much of it during the extensive summer and fall tours.Jay Burwick (Bass) and Greg Stukey (Drums) have both kept much lower profiles during RAQ’s hiatus. Burwick plays the occasional gig at Nectar’s in Burlington, while Stukey played with Michetti for a bit, and has most recently enjoyed being a new father.Early on, RAQ received quite a bit of recognition. They were chosen as “A New Groove of the Month” by Jambands.com, and nominated for a “Jammy” award for Best New Band. Relix also named the band as one of the top bands to look out for in 2005. The last album that RAQ released was 2006’s Ton These, which was recorded at Trey Anastasio’s Barn in Vermont.RAQ was chosen as a ‘New Groove of the Month’ by Jambands.com, and nominated for a ‘Jammy’ Award in the category of ‘Best New Band’. Relix Magazine featured the band in its Spotlight section, saying “RAQ has the ability to captivate an audience, dropping jaws with hyperkinetic improvisational splendor.” The band was also highlighted by Relix as one of the top bands to look out for in the summer of 2005.There are many questions as to what is the impetus for this reunion. Are the Biscuits planning on doing some heavy touring in 2013, which would then put Conspirator on the backburner for the time being? Is Michetti feeling that it is finally the right time to get back with his old band mates, after gathering a strong following from his recent work with Conspirator? Or, if they do actually play together again, will it be a short-lived string of shows, or an extensive tour that will see them playing in various locales across the country?Whatever the reason, let’s just enjoy this recent news that our RAQ may be BAQ!!! It’s been a long time coming, and one thing is for certain….if these guys get back on stage together, expect some explosive shows.
(Thanks again to my good friend Cody Silay for all his help at the show. It is greatly appreciated.) Having never been privy to seeing the Grateful Dead live in concert, I’m only left with several alternatives. There’s nothing wrong with a Phil & Friends performance or an appearance by the Rhythm Devils, but it’s not quite in the same vein as the Dead, whether it be Weir’s jazzier takes on Dead tunes in RatDog or Lesh’s blending of musicians and song arrangements in Phil & Friends. For what some may call a “pure” approach to the Dead’s legacy, Dark Star Orchestra might be the most straight forward representation of the music being played today. The band revels in Grateful Dead lore and thrives on finding their own voice through the vehicle of the Dead’s well-documented catalog. This past Friday night DSO treated the Stage AE crowd in Pittsburgh, PA to a healthy dose of some classic Dead material, electing to play the San Francisco syndicate’s first set from the night of April 3, 1990 at the Omni in Atlanta, GA (this show will appear as a part of Dead.net’s new Spring 1990 (The Other One) box set), followed by a set filled with selections of their own. Opening up with the powerful strums to “Shakedown Street,” the audience knew right away they would be in store for a real Friday throwdown. From the outset, the band was very focused, leaving little time for crowd interaction, only pausing to tune in between numbers. They came to take care of business, and business was good.After moving through a rousing “Hell in a Bucket” the band moved into the sultry tones of “Sugaree.” In my opinion, this is where lead guitarist Jeff Mattson shines most. He has a wonderful knack for channelling Jerry in these slow moving blues numbers, moving patiently and precisely, expending no more energy on notes than necessary. It is a thing of beauty.Following “Sugaree,” DSO called on keyboard player Rob Barraco’s number for Brent Mydland’s “We Can Run,” and he did not dissapoint. From the few times I have seen DSO play I have always been amazed at Barraco’s ability to change styles between the Dead’s Pigpen in the 60s and early 70s to Mydland in the 80s and early 90s. He is a true virtuoso.Moving towards the end of the first set, and having already figured out what show DSO was playing, I was really looking forward to hearing the band’s take on Chuck Berry‘s “Promised Land.” This version sizzled, with Rob Eaton doing his best Bobby impression. His manerisms and playing are eerily similar to Weir’s. With that, the first stanza ended on a high note, leaving the Stage AE crowd anticipating what would come next.Although we had been expecting the band to come out with an “Estimated Prophet” as the Dead did to open their second set on 4-3-90, DSO threw a curveball and launched into a beautiful rendition of “Terrapin Station”. It was around this time that the band and crowd became one, chanting in unison the classic lyrics, “INSPIRATION, MOVE ME BRIGHTLY!” It is in these euphoric moments where one gets a brief taste of the a Grateful Dead concert experience. Dark Star Orchestra is a great facilitator of these moments.The biggest highlight of the night though was the large sandwich of songs DSO threw out at the crowd second set, beginning with “Scarlet Begonias.” An instant mover and shaker, this “Scarlet” gave the good people of Pittsburgh a chance to put on their best dancing shoes and cut a rug. However, “Scarlet” did not segue into it’s usual pairing of “Fire On The Mountain,” but rather made a departure into “Going Down The Road Feeling Bad,” a punchy version that once again conjoined band and audience to one another.From there the band morphed their set into a sleek “Drums > Space” section feauturing drummers/percussionists, Rob Koritz and Dino English, that kept most of the crowd in a trance. I have come to really enjoy DSO’s “Drums > Space” sections. They’re more precise and fluid than you might encounter when listening to a random Dead show, and at times have more direction which makes them a little more listenable, per se.After rounding out “Space,” DSO launched into a great home stretch of songs, playing a sequence of “Uncle John’s Band”, a cover of Traffic‘s “Dear Mr. Fantasy” that had the crowd dangling in the band’s palm, and finishing up with “Comes A Time > China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider.” The “China Cat > Rider” combo is always a crowd favorite and can fit anywhere into a set, as is evident by the placement on this particular night. So what else was left to do?Dark Star decided to play what I would consider one of the most fitting encore/closing songs in the Grateful Dead’s repetoire, “Brokedown Palace.” It’s slow tempo and lyrical sentiments are an appropriate note to end any show on.Here are the full set list details, via Dark Star Orchestra’s website: Set One: Shakedown Street ; Hell In The Bucket > Sugaree ; We Can Run ; When I Paint My Masterpiece ; Row Jimmy ; Picasso Moon > Tennessee Jed > The Promised Land Set Two: Terrapin Station > Blow Away ; Scarlet Begonias > Going Down The Road Feeling Bad > drums > space > Uncle John’s Band > Dear Mr. Fantasy > Comes A Time > China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider Encore: Brokedown Palace
Check out the entire interview below: Atlanta-based hip-hop artist and occasional actor Killer Mike, made an appearance on the Fox Business Network program The Independents (which is hosted by former MTV VJ Kennedy). The rapper made very well-executed points, spoke eloquently, and also brought some ideas to the table that are left out in the cold when looking at the heated debate about race relations and the use of force by local police forces in the United States, as well as the war on our Constitutional Rights.The son and brother-in-law of Atlanta police officers, Killer Mike is openly conservative, and a staunch advocate of Second Amendment rights. He began his interview by explaining that his name is based on the fact that “I kill microphones, if that is not gettable within the first 5 seconds, stop listening now because you won’t be happy….I have never been arrested, I don’t have a felony on my records….”.Here are a few excerpts taken from the interview, with regards to what he sees as the real issue of the Ferguson protests, how to bring the police back into the community in a positive fashion, his astonishment at the use of tear gas on American citizens, and more:“This is a constitutional issue. I believe that that young man [Michael Brown] was killed before due process happened. I believe that that young man’s Constitutional Rights were violated, and based on that, I am in support for further investigation of what happens.”“To keep police safe, we are going to have to have police be a part of our community again, not just occupy our community. With that said, as an American, we have to stay vested in making sure our Constitutional rights are not being violated. So, I would encourage everyone to vote locally, to engage your police departments. Know your local policemen, know your police sergeants and chiefs…”“I will tell you what really scared me….because I thought initial mistakes were made over and over…..what really scared me is the use of tear gas on American citizens. We can’t use tear gas on Iraqi citizens, it is illegal to use tear gas at war, yet tear gas was used on the streets on the streets of American soil against American citizens. That frightens me. That doesn’t just frighten me for people in Ferguson, or the people that were white, black, or other nationalities; it frightens me because this could happen at your mother’s house, my mother’s house, this could happne on the streets of Texas, Georgia, New York, Los Angeles….and if we, in the name of safety, keep being complacent and not showing outrage when Constitutional rights are broken, then eventually we will all live in an occupied community, and it won’t be the least of us.”“We need black police officers. We need people that look like the people they are policing. I have encouraged people [via Twitter] to go out and sign up for the police force because they are hiring right now [in Atlanta].”Checkmate, Killer Mike!
Rocker Jack White has expanded his early 2015 touring, adding two shows at the Austin Music Hall in Austin, TX. The shows will take place on January 24th and 25th, just days before White plays in Nashville on January 28th and in New York (MSG) on the 30th.A limited number of pre-sale tickets will be available to Vault members tomorrow, November 11th at 10am CT. Tickets go on sale to the public at 10am CT on Friday, November 14th. For more information, head to White’s official site.White is currently in the middle of a European tour, performing with Dead Weather and Queens of the Stone Age keyboardist Dean Fertita for some of the first shows since the untimely passing of Isaiah “Ikey” Owens last month.
L4LM is proud to debut this exclusive video of The Motet’s New Years Eve celebration at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, OR. The band brought the house down with a great set, playing “Keep On Don’t Stoppin’” from their eponymous 2014 release before breaking into “Get Down Tonight,” the KC & The Sunshine Band classic, to usher in 2015. They were joined by Jennifer Hartswick, of Trey Anastasio Band and Everyone Orchestra fame, for what was a fantastic show.Check out the awesome funky celebration below:The Motet just wrapped up a tour with Keller Williams, sponsored by O.PenVAPE. Check out our review of their show in West Hollywood, CA. The band has an exciting road ahead, with stops in Colorado and New Orleans on the books.[Above photo credit: Brian Spady]
[Via Gothamist] Holy moly! The iconic Roseland Ballroom, which closed its doors last April after 95 years as a premiere music venue, is currently being gutted to make way for probably a Starbucks or a Whole Foods or something. Some birds-eye photos of the demolition have emerged that are chilling! (And not just because of the snow).The historic venue, which was located at 52nd street and one of the last big rooms left in NYC, was around since the 1950s, but the building itself has been there since the 20s, and was once a rollerskating rink.
The Green River Festival has announced their initial lineup! Held from July 10-12 at Greenfield Community College in Greenfield, MA, the festival will see performances from Steve Earle & The Dukes, Punch Brothers, tUnE-yArDs, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and more. The festival also includes hot air balloon launches and a night balloon glow!The full lineup promises performances from Rubblebucket, Marco Benevento, The Wood Brothers, J. Mascis, Milk Carton Kids, Booker T. Jones, Elephant Revival, Red Baraat, Antibalas, Langhorne Slim & The Law, and so many more.You can consult the full lineup poster below, or head to the official website for tickets and more details.
“Clear some room, lay on the music and let the high times commence!”Off the back of several highly successful touring seasons, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood are back with another live installment, Betty’s Blends, Volume Two: Best From The West. Recorded under the guidance of former Grateful Dead audio engineer, Betty Cantor-Jackson, the seven-track selection offers a pristine slice of the CRB’s romp through the west coast in the summer of 2014.Beginning with a dynamic, cascading version of “Vibration & Light Suite,” the CRB prove (again) why they are among the leading purveyors of contemporary psychedelic rock. The songs moves with an effortlessness and an ease that is reminiscent to a mid-70s Grateful Dead jam vehicle. And like a classic GD jam vehicle, the songs can stop and turn on a dime into a different dimension. They wade through light and dark, with many shades of grey sandwiched between. Fan favorite “Rosalee,” recorded at Big Sur’s Henry Miller Library, follows. A downright fun and funky tune, keyboard player Adam MacDougall takes a journey intermingling his signature sound with the stylish guitar of Neal Casal until the jam reaches an ambient, dream like state, finishing up with a rocking outro that has band-leader Chris Robinson inquiring, “Is the air getting thinner? Are we getting high?”Chris Robinson Brotherhood Rocks Intimate Revolution Hall Show In PortlandOne of the great things about Betty’s Blends Volume Two is the inclusion of two excellent covers amongst the Brotherhood’s originals, the first being the Grateful Dead’s “They Love Each Other.” A staple of the CRB repertoire since the get-go, this sweet, sultry version had to have put a smile on Betty’s face. After all, this was the woman who aided in the recording of the Dead’s infamous Cornell ’77 show. The second cover tune, “Driving Wheel,” comes via Tom Rush. A love ballad no doubt, this song plays to Robinson’s strength on vocals and sounds like something that could have easily come out of the CRB’s catalog. When the CRB player a cover they own it 100%.Watch Widespread Panic and Chris Robinson Brotherhood Cover Joe Cocker“Tumbleweed In Eden” makes an appearance on the new release, a song from a previous Robinson project, The New Earth Mud. Originally released on 2004’s The Magnificent Distance, the song has found a proper home in the Brotherhood and gains some serious steam towards the latter half of the song. “Shore Power” recorded at Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, CA and “Burn Slow,” recorded at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver from 2014’s Phosphorescent Harvest round out the second installment of Betty’s Blends and provide CRB fans a great dichotomy of material. The former, a punchy, head-bobber is contrasted against the soothing, melodic tones of “Burn Slow.” All in all, Betty’s Blends Volume Two is a solid offering from a still relatively young band. The sky is the limit for this group of veteran musicians.Due out on June 2nd, Betty’s Blends Volume Two: Best From The West will be issued by Robinson’s label Silver Arrow Records as a limited edition release, with only 2000 2-LP sets, 2000 CDs and 2000 downloads available. Be sure to get yours while they’re still in stock!
Both Leftover Salmon and Breckenridge Brewery are celebrating their 25th anniversaries this year. In honor of their silver anniversary, they will be teaming up to release a ‘Silver Salmon‘ India Pale Style Lager, which will be debuted at the brewery’s annual Hootenanny on June 18th at the newly opened 12-acre brewery campus in Littleton, CO.The Hootenanny will feature performances from Leftover Salmon, Anders Osborne, Zach Deputy, and MilkDrive, who will all play on the main stage. The second stage will feature local and regional bands. Those attending the event will be the first to sample the Silver Salmon commemorative beer, which will be released in the fall in special 22-oz. bottles along with a free 25-song live album (via a special download code) from Leftover Salmon at select stores across the country.Purchase tickets to the event HERE.
From the desk of Keller Williams: “Thanksgiving is a time to reflect with friends and loved ones on the things and people you are most grateful for. But the weekend after that Thursday is for straight up face-melting bluegrass. Thanksforgrassgiving is just that.”Face-melting bluegrass indeed. Williams will be joined by an all-star ensemble of Larry Keel, Jason Carter (Del McCoury Band), Jay Starling (Love Cannon), Travis Book (Infamous Stringdusters) and Chris Pandolfi (Infamous Stringdusters) for two nights, on November 27th and 28th. The first night will be at The National at Richmond, VA and the second at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. Both shows will also feature Cabinet as opening support.Keller Williams Announces New ‘AcousticDanceMusic’ Project With Wasserman & SipeDon’t miss out!