Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cinema Tent Schedule

Along with the usual movies and live sports they've been showing in the Cinema Tent, Superfly has also added a cool new feature called Filmmakers in Focus. Here's some info, along with the full tent schedule....

This year, we are proud to add the "Filmmakers in Focus" series, featuring screenings and interviews with some of the most creative minds in the movies. Jim Jarmusch will host a showing of his film "Coffee & Cigarettes," and sit for an up-close Q&A. In honor of the fortieth anniversary of the Monterey Pop festival, director D.A. Pennebaker will be presenting the classic "Monterey Pop" documentary. Also, Oscar-nominated animator Bill Plympton will participate in a 90 - minute presentation about himself and his work.

The Cinema tent has comfortable seating so festival attendees can enjoy movies around the clock. It's an experience you couldn't have imagined. Believe your eyes.

Thursday, June 14

Noon Commando
1:30 PM SNEAK PEAK...HBO Presents Flight of the Conchords
2:05 PM Current_tv
2:40 PM Little Miss Sunshine
4:25 PM Monterey Pop
5:45 PM FILMMAKERS IN FOCUS - D. A. Pennebaker
6:50 PM Current_tv
7:25 PM SNEAK PEAK...HBO Presents Flight of the Conchords
8:00 PM NBA Finals Game 4
10:30 PM Dont Look Back

Friday, June 15

12:10 AM Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
2:00 AM Blue Velvet
6:50 AM Wild Style
8:15 AM Music is the Weapon
9:10 AM SNEAK PEAK...HBO Presents Flight of the Conchords
9:45 AM Commando
11:25 AM North Mississippi Allstars: Keep On Marchin' DVD Preview
11:50 AM Pan's Labyrinth
1:45 PM Current_tv
2:20 PM Down By Law
4:10 PM Go Further
5:35 PM SNEAK PEAK...HBO Presents Flight of the Conchords
6:10 PM Electric Apricot: Quest for Festeroo (a Les Claypool movie)
7:45 PM Little Miss Sunshine
9:30 PM Current_tv
10:05 PM Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
11:35 PM Commando

Saturday, June 16

1:10 AM Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
3:10 AM 4AM FELLINI FREAK OUT: La Dolce Vita
6:55 AM Go Further
8:20 AM Electric Apricot: Quest for Festeroo (a Les Claypool movie)
9:55 AM SNEAK PEAK...HBO Presents Flight of the Conchords
10:30 AM Current_tv
11:05 AM Coffee & Cigarettes
12:45 PM Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
2:35 PM North Mississippi Allstars: Keep On Marchin' DVD Preview
3:00 PM FILMMAKERS IN FOCUS - Bill Plympton
5:00 PM Current_tv
5:35 PM Monterey Pop
7:00 PM Before The Music Dies
8:30 PM SNEAK PEAK...HBO Presents Flight of the Conchords
9:05 PM Wild Style
10:35 PM Blue Velvet

Sunday, June 17

12:35 AM Pan's Labyrinth
2:35 AM Monterey Pop
7:00 AM Dont Look Back
8:40 AM Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
10:10 AM SNEAK PEAK...HBO Presents Flight of the Conchords
10:45 AM Current_tv
11:20 AM Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
1:20 PM Coffee & Cigarettes
3:00 PM FILMMAKERS IN FOCUS - Jim Jarmusch
4:00 PM Down By Law
5:50 PM SNEAK PEAK...HBO Presents Flight of the Conchords
6:25 PM Music is the Weapon
7:25 PM Current_tv
8:00 PM NBA Finals Game 5 (if neccesary)

*Times subject to change. Please check schedule at the tent and in the Bonnaroo Beacon

Bonnawho's Who - Michael Franti & Spearhead

Official Bio:

Two years ago Michael Franti decided to ‘walk his talk’ and traveled to the war zones of Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This wasn’t a USO green zone sponsored visit – Franti and his team organized a trip that would take him to the core of the red-zoned, war torn neighborhoods of Baghdad, the West Bank and Gaza Strip with his guitar, video cameras and the intent to experience first hand the human cost of war.

Out of this journey, Franti has created a compelling documentary film titled I Know I’m Not Alone and a searing, reflective new album of original songs titled Yell Fire! recorded in Kingston, Jamaica and Franti’s hometown of San Francisco, California.

Ironically, Franti’s journey to the war-ravaged Middle East inspired his most uplifting set of songs to date. He explains, “The thing that I found when I was in war zones was that nobody wants to hear songs about war. They want to hear songs about connection to people, and songs about love and life, songs that make them dance.” It was legendary Island Records founder and Franti cohort, Chris Blackwell, who suggested that Kingston, Jamaica would provide the perfect backdrop for translating these impulses to tape.

The Kingston sessions brought in the godfathers of riddem Sly and Robbie on live drums and bass, percussionist Sticky Thompson along with Spearhead bassist Carl Young and guitarist Dave Shul. The tracks were recorded at Anchor Studios with Mario Caldato Jr and Robert Carranza (Beastie Boys, Jack Johnson) engineering. Franti continued to write and record upon his return home to San Francisco before handing mixing duties over to Brian Malouf (Eric B, Ziggy Marley, Pearl Jam).

Franti has always spoken his mind through his music: from his early punk rock band Beatnigs, to the industrial-noise of Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, to the thinking-man’s hip-hop of Spearhead. “In the past, we’ve touched on a lot of genres of music,” Franti says, “but this is an album where all those things have been rolled into one. I feel this is our best record yet.” Songs like ‘Yell Fire!’ and ‘Time To Go Home’ are calls to action: in the streets, at home, and in our own hearts. Other songs such as “I Know I’m Not Alone,” an uplifting blast of hope, “One Step Closer To You” featuring a soulful backing vocal by Pink, and the beautiful “Is Love Enough?’ featuring reggae star Gentleman, tap into the album’s compassionate side.

While seeing Yell Fire! to completion back in San Francisco, Franti began editing the hundreds of hours of footage from his travels in the Middle East. What emerged was an intimate telling of how war affects the individual: the cab driver, the soldier, the aspiring young musician. It was during this process that the film and album became inextricably linked. Franti recalls “my editing studio for the movie was upstairs and my recording studio was downstairs, so I would constantly alternate from one project to another. The process was like a catharsis for me, moving through this journey I had made.”

In addition to his groundbreaking recordings and globally acclaimed live concerts, Franti is a renowned speaker for social justice and human rights. He has lectured at many of this country’s top universities, including Yale, Georgetown and Stanford, and shared the stage with the likes of Mohammad Ali, Bill Clinton, Michael Moore, Ralph Nader, and Gloria Steinem. In 2005, Franti became the first recording artist since Johnny Cash to perform at the maximum security, level 4 section of Folsom State Prison.

Live On Stage:

I've just recently started listening to Michael Franti and his politically charged (at times) brand of roots, rock, reggae. Check out this clip from a music festival in Ireland - someone might want to start making lot shirts with slogan similar to this Red Stripe commercial - Michael Franti Helping White People Dance. Here he is with "East Meets West"....

Franti has been a staple of the jam scene for awhile now, though I'm sure he reaches far beyond that too. Here's a few shows for your downloading pleasure....

Michael Franti & Spearhead - 2007-03-16 - 9:30 Club - Washington D.C.

Michael Franti and Spearhead - 2006-10-12 - McDonald Theater - Eugene, OR

Michael Franti & Spearhead - 2005-07-21 - Prospect Park Bandshell - Brooklyn, NY

Music Videos:

This song may not make a grand socio-political statement, but it's just a great summer tune - here's Michael Franti with "Everyone Deserves Music"....

Got a few more you might want to check out....

I Know I'm Not Alone

Rock The Nation


Time To Go Home

To find out how Michael Franti is feelin head on over to his official website.

Bonnawho's Who - STS9

Official Bio:

The past two years have been nothing short of amazing for STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9). The band released two albums on their independent 1320 Records, “Artifact” and “Artifact: Perspectives” to critical acclaim and commercial success such as inclusion in iTunes’ “Best of 2005”. The band also released the “1320 MixTAPE” as well as a live concert DVD titled “Live As Time Changes” that earned them a great deal of nods in the press including Urb Magazine declaring it “FOUR STARS!” On the touring front, ticket sales for the band’s undeniably stellar live shows increased dramatically and earned the band a spot on Pollstar Magazine’s PULSE charts as the #29 touring artist in the country for their “Artifact” tour and #30 for their “Perspectives” tour. The band played over 150 shows including appearances at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Winter Music Conference, the Vegoose Festival and a sold out headlining show at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The band toured Japan and Europe in 2005 and 2006 as well.

The press accolades for STS9 have been countless. XLR8R proclaimed "...this unique collection of artists and musicians has become one of the country's most intriguing, innovative outfits around,” Remix Magazine announced “This band is making electronic music relevant again, and people from all over the musical map are taking notice, as they did when such acts as Chemical Brothers and Prodigy brought something new to the table back in the 90's.” Both of STS9’s studio albums released in 2005, Artifact and Artifact: Perspectives, saw a considerable amount of critical acclaim. Regarding Artifact, Amplifier commented, “...proof positive that technology and soul can work together in a single musical form without sacrificing the personality of either in the process." Pitch Weekly urged "Don't wait until the end of the year for critics to tell you that STS9's latest album, Artifact, ranks up there with feed-your-head classics from Floyd and Radiohead." In regards to the live show, DRUM! Magazine may have summed it up best when they urged “…catch STS9 live and bring a bandage for when your chin hits the floor."

STS9 combines varied musical influences, genius live instrumentation and the latest in music technology. As Electronic Musician described, “STS9’s music – an eclectic stew of electro-acoustic pop, funk, drum ‘n’ bass, hip-hop, ambient, dub and, and more – integrates rhythm-section instruments with samplers, drum machines and soft synths.” This unique blend of musical angles has earned the band and its music numerous features on television and radio, notably CSI and NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Another benefit of STS9’s incredibly diverse music is the artists who want to share the stage with them. The past year alone has seen such acts as Jurassic 5, Tortoise, Digable Planets, RJD2, The Brazilian Girls, Prefuse 73, Blackalicious, Soulive, Cut Chemist and Xavier Rudd support STS9 across the country.

Always wanting to give back to the community, STS9 have been endlessly devoted to their humanitarian efforts. They work closely with Conscious Alliance and organize food drives for the hungry at every show they play. The band often play benefit concerts as well, helping the Hurricane Katrina victims by raising over $20,000 as well as supporting programs like Mariposa’s Art in Northern California, helping to raise $10,000. The bands 2006 “Live As Time Changes” tour raised nearly $20,000 alone with a per ticket fee that was dispersed to a handful of organizations including Habitat for Humanity’s New Orleans project and the Jef Jel Foundation’s drive to help third world villages gain clean water access.

STS9 recently wrapped up their 2006 touring season with sold-out shows averaging 1,000’s per city in San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Denver, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Chicago, Washington DC, Las Vegas and dozens more. The band wrapping up 2006 in Atlanta with nearly 8,000 fans celebrating New Years Eve. Obviously, the future is sure to bring the band to bigger and better venues to accommodate their ever-growing fan base and live production. In response to the demand of their live performances after the fact, STS9 launched in 2005, a digital download site that releases dozens of shows per tour that has seen 1,000’s upon 1,000’s of high quality soundboard recordings downloaded just days after each event. The band also releases a number of shows from their archives as well as original tracks via STS9Music.

Fans of STS9 can look forward to continued touring in 2007, a long awaiting studio album and numerous film and TV projects.

Live On Stage:

Ah STS9 they seem to be quite a polarizing band - people either seem to love or loathe this band crystal loving hippies. If jam-tronica is your thing I'm sure you've got them already penciled in for their late night set. Here they are with a pretty ripping "Aimlessly" from their New Years show a couple of years ago at the Tabernacle.....

No problem finding live stuff to download, here's a few worth checking out (at least according to the folks on

STS9 - 2007-04-27 - Headliners Music Hall - Louisville, KY

STS9 - 2004-09-24 - Mississippi Nights - St. Louis, MI

STS9 - 2003-25-03 - Higher Ground - Winooski, VT

Let's go with one more from that New Year's show since they don't have any real music videos - here's "Music, Us"....

For more on STS9 head on over to their official website.

Bonnawho's Who - Tortoise

Official Bio:

Throughout their 10-year history, Tortoise have been one of the most singularly dynamic bands in modern music. With each record they have not only redefined their own sound, but helped to nudge music itself in unique and exciting new directions. Their members are perpetually involved with multiple projects, thus it is quite noteworthy that It's All Around You, Tortoise's fifth full-length, is the first album that the band has ever made without a single lineup change. The results of this are a record that is the product of five distinctly visionary musicians who are able to synergistically unite like never before. This consistent lineup also allowed the band to move forward in directions that were previously unexplored, and It's All Around You contains a number of Tortoise firsts.

It's All Around You was written largely in the studio, in the midst of recording, over the course of a full year. This allowed Tortoise to use John McEntire's Soma Electronic Music Studios (whose clients include Wilco, Stereolab, and many others) not just as a state-of-the-art recording facility but as a compositional tool as well. It took months of continuous writing, recording, tinkering, mixing, and perfecting to bring It's All Around You to its finalized state. Tortoise are one of the only bands of their size and status who have always produced their own records, and it largely because of this that they are able to achieve and maintain such a distinct and precise sound. The band's extensive knowledge of the studio's equipment allows them to use it for composing, editing, and coloring their compositions. The band are very at home in this environment, and without a restrictive deadline (normally present with hired producers/studios), the band can explore a multitude of approaches. The results of this process are clear in the lush, orchestrated tones, intricate melodies, and densely elaborate rhythms that make It's All Around You Tortoise's most adventurous and thoughtful record to date. These songs build deliberately and consistently, amassing music of great detail; exploring their layers is both exciting and infinitely rewarding.

Over the past decade, Tortoise have produced some of the most innovative and influential albums in all of music. From the deep and understated rhythms and tones on their 1996 landmark, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, to the bombastic rock of 2001's Standards, Tortoise have always been ahead of their time. It's All Around You finds Tortoise doing what they do best; building and rebuilding upon melodies and rhythms with their own remarkable touch. A song like "On The Chin," born of a guitar line that Jeff Parker and Doug McCombs wrote, is transformed into a something delicately complex, fiercely catchy, and unmistakably Tortoise.

Contributing to and resulting from Tortoise's diverse musical talents are the multitude of other musical projects that each member pursues. In between the recording of Standards and It's All Around You Tortoise's members have kept extremely busy. John McEntire has recorded/mixed bands such as The Sea and Cake (of which he is also a member), US Maple, Beans, Radian, Chicago Underground, Neil Michael Hagerty, Savath & Savalas, and many others. Future projects include Tuxedomoon, Fred Anderson & Hamid Drake, and Teenage Fanclub. John Herndon made his first solo album as A Grape Dope (Missing Dragons, on Galaxia), recorded with Savath & Savalas, The Aluminum Group, The Eternals, and Beans. John also toured as A Grape Dope, opening for Prefuse73, and playing drums along side Scott and DJ Leb Laze in the P73 live band earlier this year. Doug McCombs released his third Brokeback album (Looks At The Bird, on Thrill Jockey), and played shows with Eleventh Dream Day (of which he is a founding member), and Abeliene. Jeff Parker has played in a large number of jazz and improvising ensembles (alongside players such as Josh Abrams, Guillermo Gregorio, Chad Taylor, Nori Tanaka, Michael Zerang, Kevin Drumm, and others. He released a solo album (Like Coping, on Delmark). He recently recorded with Joshua Redman and Azita, and is writing horn arrangements for the next Aluminum Group album. Dan Bitney has produced a number of "mutant home studio jams" for AV band Spectralina, in which Bitney provides digital musical manipulation and drumming for Selina Trepp's poetic, political, and abstract visuals. In addition to all of this, McEntire and Parker will be contributing short audio pieces to the "1%" project, a permanent sound installation which will be set up in the elevators of the new Paris Ministry for Culture and Communication. McEntire, Herndon and Bitney will be producing an album of original breakbeats, samples, and grooves this winter, intended for DJ and music production use. The group will also be contributing an original track to the upcoming feature film "Moog," a documentary about the life and times of electronic music pioneer Robert Moog.

Live On Stage:

Tortoise falls somewhere in the realm between rock, jazz and electronica - it's a bit of a gray area, but one that makes for some dynamic music. If you're a fan of MMW, you're sure to dig these guys. Here they are with "Magnet Pulls Through & Eden"....

Couple of shows you might want to check out....

Tortoise - 2006-09-14 - Great American Music Hall - San Francisco CA

Tortoise - 2005-07-17 - Intonation Fest - Union Park - Chicago, IL

Music Videos:

Check out this very arty video for "Salt The Skies" - the visuals seem to fit perfectly with the moody music....

Few more for you...

Glass Museum


Four Day Interval

For more on Tortoise make your way over to their official website.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bonnawho's Who - Junior Brown

Official Bio:

Armed with a witty sense of songcraft and high-octane guitar skills that encompass Western swing, honky-tonk, rock and roll, blues and more, Junior Brown has spent the past decade crafting entertaining records that have attracted a broad audience by eluding any and all of the aforementioned categories.

Born in 1952 in Cottonwood, Arizona, Brown showed a musical affinity at an early age, banging out little melodies on the family piano before he could even talk. His parents hoped he might become a classical musician, but he had other plans. He discovered a guitar in his grandparents’ attic at age seven, and spent the next several years woodshedding with records by the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Kinks and other high-profile rock bands of the mid-‘60s. But Junior, whose father taught at a liberal arts college, was also able to tap into what was playing on campuses during that same period – Mississippi John Hurt, Lightnin’ Hopkins, John Lee Hooker and other country blues artists whose collective reemergence had fueled the folk movement of the early ‘60s. Armed with this broad spectrum of source material, he developed some formidable guitar chops by the end of his teen years.

Brown’s passion for country music had intensified by the early ‘70s. “I liked what Merle Haggard was doing at that time,” he recalls. “I liked Ray Price. I loved Ernest Tubb, because I’d watched him on TV as a kid back in the mid-‘60s.” With these and other prominent country figures as his inspiration, Brown spent the entire decade further sharpening his guitar skills in tiny little country bars along the Southwest border. “I played more nights in honky-tonks during the ‘70s than most people will in a lifetime,” he professes. “All of the ‘70s were spent in hardcore, six-nights-a-week house-band stuff. I did ten years of that, night after night, four sets a night. I mean, after that, you gotta get good. You have to, just to keep from going nuts.”

Although he maintained his sanity, the heyday of country had waned by the early ‘80s, and the gigs were drying up. “But then this dim little light bulb started flickering over my head,” Brown recalls. From strictly a technical standpoint, he knew he could play anything by anyone, but he had yet to explore his potential as a songwriter. “I realized that no one was going to walk into a club and discover me. I had to do something and become something for them to discover. So I started hanging out with some songwriters that I’d played some gigs with. I figured, ‘Well, if I write, it will make me more of an individual. I’ll be a singer-songwriter, and I won’t be thought of as just a guy who does covers.’”

With his songwriting coming together by the mid ‘80s, Brown upgraded his gear in a way that no guitarist had ever done before. Struggling though each gig with the awkward back-and-forth switch between the six-string guitar and its steel counterpart, he had a dream one night about the two instruments mysteriously melting into one. He took the idea to guitar maker Michael Stevens, and the result was Brown’s now-famous “guit-steel,” a double-necked guitar combining the standard instrument with the steel.

In the early ‘90s, Brown and his band – including his wife, Tanya Rae, whom he’d married in 1988 and enlisted into his band as rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist – relocated to the fertile Austin, Texas, music scene and landed a gig as the house band at the city’s Continental Club. His tight and entertaining combination of songwriting and instrumental skills led to a record deal with Curb that began with 12 Shades of Brown in 1993, followed by a string of critically praised albums and EPs throughout the remainder of the decade.

Brown joins the Telarc label in the summer of 2004 with the August 24 release of Down Home Chrome. Produced by Brown, the 12-song set maintains the same eclectic and highly entertaining approach that he has taken throughout his career. “I don't have any boundaries,” he says. “The only boundaries are defined by what I like to do. The bulk of the album is what I guess you would call traditional country. But there are so many little things that I throw in here and there that you can't really call the album a country album."

Live On Stage:

Junior Brown plays an instrument he calls "guit-steel" - a double-neck guitar that combines standard six string with a steel guitar - it looks funky, but makes for some interesting music. Check out his funky contraption, here's Junior with "My Wife Thinks Your Dead"....

Not much of a singer, but he can sure play that thing pretty damn well. Here's some show to check out (via Dimeadozen)....

Junior Brown - 2007-05-09 - Mystic Theatre - Petaluma, CA

Junior Brown - 2004-08-08 - Rams Head Tavern - Annapolis, MD

Junior Brown - 1995-10-28 - Laurel Theater - Knoxville, TN

Music Videos:

Can only seem to find one from Junior, here he is with "Highway Patrol"....

For more on Junior Brown head on over to his official website.

Bonnawho's Who - RX Bandits

Official Bio:

RX BANDITS thrive on playing live, and have become well known for putting on both physically and musically explosive shows. For them musicianship is paramount and is always the top priority which is why the band's 5 th album 2006's "...And the Battle Begun", and their previous release 2003's "'The Resignation' were both recorded live. RX BANDITS then make it a priority to go about making sure that they create a unique and different experience from those recordings for their live shows. RX BANDITS have become more than just a band, they have started their own musical community of sorts, a matrix of music and art with all of it's members participating in various side projects including: The Sound of Animals Fighting , Apotheke , Love Me Moon, Technology and many others. Stemming from this 'community" came the record label Mash Down Babylon (MDB) Records, that will release the RX BANDITS New Album "...And the Battle Begun ".

Live On Stage:

Seems like the RX Bandits brand of ska-infused, punk-pop would be more at home on the Warped Tour then on the Bonnaroo bill, but I guess that's the beauty of this festival. I guess I'm just too far removed from being of high school or college age to be into this sound. Here they are with "In Her Drawer"....

Music Videos:

Here's RX Bandits with "Analog Boy"....

Couple more for you...

And The Battle Begun

Mastering The List

For more on the RX Bandits head on over to their official website.

Bonnawho's Who - Mavis Staples

Official Bio:

For over fifty years, Mavis Staples has been a national treasure, working her vocal magic on the highways and byways of gospel, folk and soul music. With both her family group, the Staple Singers, and as a solo artist in her own right she has helped to define much of what is righteous and soulful in American music. In the early 1960s, the Staple Singers began to work with Dr. Martin Luther King singing in support of the Civil Rights movement.

Mavis Staples recently completed work on We’ll Never Turn Back, the most personal and polemical album of her career. Set for April 24, 2007 release, the album was produced by Ry Cooder, and marks Mavis’ debut for Anti- Records.

We’ll Never Turn Back combines raw, emotional, contemporized versions of some of the freedom songs that provided the soundtrack to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, along with other traditional songs, and new originals written by Mavis and Ry.

“Like many in the civil rights movement, The Staples Singers drew on the spirituality and strength of the church to help gain social justice and to try to achieve equal rights,” says Mavis. “With this record, I hope to get across the same feeling, the same spirit and the same message as we did then—and to hopefully continue to make positive changes. Things are better but we’re not where we need to be and we’ll never turn back.”

A Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee and one of VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll, Mavis has blazed a rhythm & blues trail while never relinquishing her gospel roots. Her voice has influenced artists from Bob Dylan to Prince (who calls her "the epitome of soul") and she has appeared with everyone from the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Bill Cosby, Presidents Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton, to Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd, Santana, Bonnie Raitt and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and has recorded with Bob Dylan, Los Lobos, Aretha Franklin, Marty Stuart and many others.

Live On Stage:

Mavis Staples' most recognizable work has come as member of the legendary Staples Singers - I'm sure most of you out there have heard this song, just probably didn't know who it was. She's also had quite the solo career as well. Here's Mavis on her own doing "Have A Little Faith"....

Also going to throw in this performance from The Last Waltz, since Mavis just kills on this version of The Weight....

Got one show for you...

Mavis Staples & The Staple Swingers - ??-??-1995 - Live at Ohne Filter Extra - Baden baden, Germany

Music Videos:

Mavis has just released a brand new album called We'll Never Turn Back, here's the first single off that album "Eyes On The Prize"....

And here's her only other video that I can find, it's from way back in '93 - "Here's The Voice"....

For more on Mavis check out her official website.

Bonnawho's Who - Xavier Rudd

Official Bio:

For so many artists, the divide between their live shows and their albums can be enormous. And for an artist like Xavier Rudd, who utterly thrives in front of audience, and feeds off its energy, capturing that live electricity has always proved a wee elusive—that is, until now.

With White Moth he’s finally harnessed that spirit, thus realizing a goal of combining the acoustic warmth offered by a studio with the adrenalin of the stage. Yet the disc, the Australian roots music star’s fourth album (and third to be released in the U.S.), isn’t all about sound techniques, fidelity and the stuff that keep soundman chatting into the middle of the night.

Rather, it’s just the opposite, as White Moth charts the spiritual journey multi-instrumentalist Rudd has been on over the past few years, during which he’s traveled the globe and built a devoted following drawn to his amalgamation of folk, reggae, rock and world music. Featuring guest vocals from Aboriginal singers, it finds him paying respect to Australia’s indigenous people, from whom the Yidaki (didgeridoo) virtuoso has drawn bottomless inspiration.

Lyrically, it pays homage to those same people, and also to his wife and children, environmental activists—whom he refers to as the “better people”—and to the people who make this life possible, his fans, who fuel the spirit of White Moth.

Co-produced by Rudd and Dave Ogilvie (David Bowie, Marilyn Manson and N.E.R.D.), most of the album’s tracks were captured in the woods of British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast at Gggarth Richardson’s studio, The Farm. It was there that Rudd, in order to capture the bigness of his live sound, plugged into a P.A. system, which was then mic-ed. Rudd set up various instruments in different rooms, from which he and Ogilvie could capture woody tones that could be fused to the electric tracks.

“On quite a few of songs, it sounds like there’s bass, but that’s just me playing live,” says Rudd. “I have a technique that I figured out, where I’m playing basslines off my thumb while I play the melody with my fingers—finger picking. It sounds like a bass player playing, but it’s just me. So it’s great, I’m especially stoked with how we captured that.”

Within the songs composing White Moth, Rudd takes you on a personal tour of his world. The title track and the song “Stargaze” come from time spent with his wife and their two children. The former remembers a night they spent sleeping under the stars, while “White Moth” recalls a particularly special moment on the day of his wife’s 30th birthday, when the family was vacationing on an island off the coast of Sri Lanka: “That day, a white moth came to our six-year-old, a beautiful white moth and stayed with him for about three hours. We thought it was the spirit of my wife’s grandmother, which is often with her. It sort of reflects that day, which was a really positive day, and my wife, who has been the backbone of this whole career of mine for years.

“This album,” Rudd notes, “feels like an amazing recording. It’s been a really good space and a really good time, and it’s just sort of a nice, positive reflection of our whole journey over the last seven or eight years.”

Featuring appearances by members of the esteemed Aboriginal musical group Yothu Yindi, percussionist Dave Tolley, Panos Grames, and First Nations Cree elder Kennitch, White Moth is representative of Rudd’s entire life, ranging from those snapshots of life at home on Australia’s south coast (in the town of Jan Juc), and meditations on friends (“Twist”) and the family bond (the cancer victim in “Choices”) to emotional and literal trips to Australia’s historic Arnhem Land, an Aboriginal territory whose people are the subject of the song “Land Rights.” Rudd recorded some of the guest vocals on White Moth here, and with an elder in Canada, where his wife was born.

“These people are the special people, who, as human beings, have been connecting with this land for thousands and thousands of years in their family lives,” says Rudd. “I feel like these people have been denied a voice in the white settlements in Australia. We live in a time where we’re rapidly deteriorating the environment—in a manner of a couple hundred years. They’ve been on the planet for 60,000 years without leaving a stone unturned environmentally. So I feel like these people should be given a voice.”

With the music building into a storm-like squall at song’s end, “Footprint” examines the damage being done by global warming, while “Better People” is Rudd’s tribute to the people who deserve more credit for their environmental activism than he: “I feel kind of guilty sometimes because I’m getting highlighted for those things, while, in my busy life, I’m constantly touring, constantly playing through these power-hungry P.A. systems in a time when global warming is so critical, so I feel a little toxic in the existence that I live in. So that song is like a respect song to the people who should be doing those interviews, the ones who are strapping themselves to trees, out in the ocean saving whales and feeding kids in Africa. They’re the real heroes.”

A one-man-band/multi-instrumentalist who plays guitars, Yidaki’s (didgeridoos), Weissenborn slide guitars, stomp boxes, djembes, harmonica, and a bunch of different percussion and drums, Rudd made his U.S. debut in 2004 with Solace. In the three years since, his popularity and reputation have begun to mushroom for a string of conscious, heartfelt songs and, maybe more so, for a rather impressive stage show that often finds him performing those songs’ guitar, didgeridoo and various percussion parts simultaneously—using a unique set-up that finds him literally surrounded by his various instruments and singing from behind a stand holding three Yidaki’s (didgeridoos of different keys).

A bona fide star in Australia, Rudd grew up in Bell’s Beach in Southern Victoria, notable for its cameo in the memorable surf film Point Break. Reared in a music-friendly environment, where his parents spun records by the likes of Neil Young and Paul Simon, as a child Rudd played guitar, clarinet, saxophone and Yidaki (didgeridoo), the 50,000-year-old wooden trumpet of the Aborigines.

In 2002, Rudd released his debut album in Australia, To Let, which was followed by Solace and in 2004 by Food in the Belly, his debut for Anti-, for which he has trekked across the U.S. several times supporting—amassing a burgeoning grass-roots fanbase and the admiration of the likes of Ani DiFranco and Jack Johnson, while hitting many of the country’s top festivals, like Bonnaroo.

Both Solace and Food in the Belly have been certified platinum and gold sales certifications in Australia, while his 2006 DVD Good Spirit (2006)—filed at a sold-out 2004 show in Sydney—was also recently certified gold in Australia.

Of White Moth, he says, “I think the record is just a reflection of my journey and my journey is amazing. It’s a reflection of a connection with powerful people around the world—powerful spirits—but also connections with the energy that people bring to my show. You know, I’m really lucky that I have such a good and amazing support base everywhere I go. Great people come to my gigs, and they bring beautiful energy, and that energy flows through me everywhere I go, every show I play.

“It all shapes what I do. So I feel like everyone that’s been part of this journey to me, down to everyone who comes to the gig has helped shape what this album has become. And it’s a really positive one for me. It’s the most positive recording I’ve done, in terms of sitting back and saying, ‘Wow, what a journey, here it is, I hope it reflects it.’”

Live On Stage:

With Keller Williams forming his own band, Xavier Rudd will be the only one-man band at this year's festival. Rudd emerged from the '04 version of Bonnaroo as one of the more buzzed about acts - probably didn't hurt that most people had never seen someone play a didgeridoo before (doesn't anyone out there remember Dr. Didg - he seemed to play the Lion's Den about every week). Rudd does evoke the spirit of Bob Marley as well as justified comparisons to his country mate John Butler and a healthy dose of Paul Simon too. Here he is with "The 12th of September"....

Some shows to check out....

Xavier Rudd - 2006-10-06 - Das Haus, Ludwigshafen

Xavier Rudd - 2006-08-02 - Belly Up Tavern - Solana Beach, CA

Xavier Rudd - 2005-06-19 - Wakarusa Festival - Clinton State Park - Sun Down Stage - Lawrence, KS

Music Videos:

Here's Xavier with "Messages"....

Couple more for ya...

Let Me Be

Better People

Head on over to Xavier's official website for more info.

Bonnawho's Who - Clutch

Official Bio:

So, you think you know Clutch, right?

They’re a little punk? Well, yes, but there again…they’ve a hint of metal? True. However, don’t they also have a touch of the stoner about them? Sure. And while we’re at it, let’s not forget the southern rock influence. Come on, you know what that means. Clutch are genuine individuals, icons for musical excellence who confound the modern desire for putting everything into neat boxes. They’re a classic rock band with an ultra modern sweep.

In the virtual two decades, since they first came to everyone’s attention, the Maryland marvels have constantly evolved and revised their music, never standing still long enough for anyone to put a critical saddle onto their thoroughbred ideals – this bronco ain’t ever been broken in, nor broken down.

From the ‘Pitchfork’ EP in 1991, Clutch have set standards, never followed trends. They’ve released a succession of urgently inspirational albums, from 1993’s ‘Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes And Undeniable Truths’ through ’95’s ‘Clutch’, onwards to ‘The Elephant Riders’ (1998), ‘Pure Rock Fury’ (2001), ‘Blast Tyrant’ (2004) and ’05’s ‘Robot Hive/Exodus’. But their moment has truly arrived with new album ‘From Beale Street To Oblivion’ – a record that won’t so much fit into a new era in rock, as confidently define it.
“This is probably the most ‘live’ album we have recorded,” enthuses vocalist Neil Fallon. “We went out for a few weeks, and played the music on the road. So, when we went into the studio, all f us knew exactly what was going to happen - a first for Clutch. I don’t know why we haven’t done it this way all along, it’s so much easier.

”We also recorded the basic tracks directly onto tape. Nothing digital in there at all. We haven’t done that since ‘The Elephant Riders’. And this record has a few more bluesy elements than has been the case in the past, but nothing so blatant that it could be called alien to what we do.”

Together, Fallon, guitarist Tim Sult, bassist Dan Maines, drummer Jean-Paul Gaster and organist Mick Schauer have created a masterpiece, one that certainly hugs the band’s illustrious past, but takes it even further. It has a retro warmth, wrapped up in a contemporary blaze.

“This time we chose Joe Barresi to produce the album,” continues Fallon. “Why him? Because he has produced some great sounding records in the past, for bands like Kyuss, Tool, Melvins, Queens Of The Stone Age, to name but a few. We were based at Sound City Studios in Los Angeles. It took three weeks to record, and one week to mix. Joe actually mixed ‘From Beale Street To Oblivion’ without us being there, as we had to bail to support Motorhead in the UK and Europe. That’s an indication of how much faith we had in the guy.”

It’s a faith that’s been remarkably well rewarded. Here’s an album that floods the room with riffs, melodies, vitality - and grooves so monstrous they reduce The Grand Canyon to an egg cup.

“Musically, we’ve become much more of a rock ’n’ roll band now, as opposed to being a metal or hardcore one,” reveals Fallon of the way Clutch have developed. “Our style is riff oriented, with a swing. It’s never been a calculated move; we just followed our instinct, and that is leading us closer to those bands to whom we listened in our childhood. Bands which are now termed as ‘classic rock’.”

When you listen to this album, those names will be obvious. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Faith No More, Kyuss, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blue Cheer, Motorhead...all are referenced, but never emulated. This is heritage music re-distributed by a 21st Century attitude. Further proof of a continual growth, as this band plot its course by the stars, not by every passing light.

Clutch now deservedly belongs among the elite. And they’ve got a crucial sense of humour. Be honest, great rock music should make you smile – that is mandatory.

It also helps that there’s been a business stability around these five guys for some while, as Fallon explains:

“This is our third album for DRT Entertainment (following on from ‘Blast Tyrant’ and ‘Robot Hive/Exodus’). We’ve never previously done more than two records in a row for any other label, so this is a new territory for us! A lot of that is because this is a smaller company, and they understand what the band is about.”

While their past is impressive enough, the present and future for Clutch suddenly looks even brighter.

“Where do we fit into today’s scene?” laughs Fallon. “I really couldn’t tell you!”

With this new album, it’s more a case of where everyone else fits in with Clutch. ‘From Beale Street To Oblivion’ is gonna take them to greater heights than ever before. Welcome aboard – enjoy the trip. The wheel is about to be re-invented..

Live On Stage:

Clutch is another band I know very little about, but a lot of people over on the Bonnaroo message boards seem to be excited about. Seems like these guys were booked just so a lot of the Tool fans will have another band they'd want to see, but that just may be a fairly inaccurate judgment call on my part. Here they are with "Escape From Prison Planet"....

These guys combine elements of punk, with hard rock and metal so if that's your thing here's a few shows to check out (via Dimeadozen)....

Clutch - 2007-04-15 - Corporation - Sheffield, England

Clutch - 2006-11-26 - Het Burgerweeshuis - Deventer, The Netherlands

Clutch - 2007-10-05 - Birmingham Academy

Music Videos:

Here's Clutch doing their best imitation of ZZ Top with "Electric Worry" off their recently released album From Beale Street To Oblivion.....

Few more that I think are a bit more representative of their sound....

A Shotgun Named Marcus

Burning Beard


The Mob Goes Wild

For more on Clutch head on over to their official website.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bonnawho's Who - T-Bone Burnett

Official Bio:

Born Joseph Henry Burnett in St. Louis, Missouri, T Bone grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, where he first made records in 1965, producing Texas blues, country, and rock & roll bands and, occasionally, himself. In the early 1970s, he relocated to Los Angeles, where he still lives and works as a producer and recording artist. In 1975, he toured with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Review tour before forming his own group, the Alpha Band, with other musicians from the tour.

Burnett returned to recording solo in the late 1970s and has gone on to record numerous critically acclaimed albums--including 1992's Grammy nominated Criminal Under My Own Hat--under his own name. He has written music for two Sam Shepard plays--"Tooth of Crime (Second Dance)" and "The Late Henry Moss"--and composed music for a production of Bertolt Brecht's "Mother Courage and Her Children" by Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

A prolific and versatile producer, T Bone Burnett has helmed highly successful recordings for Elvis Costello, Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, k.d. lang, Alison Krauss, Counting Crows, the Wallflowers, Sam Phillips, Gillian Welch, and Ralph Stanley among numerous others. Burnett was musical director for the concert film, "Roy Orbison and Friends: Black and White Night," which featured Orbison and an all-star band of Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Bonnie Raitt, Burnett and many others.

In 2001, he served as Composer and Music Producer for the Coen Brothers' film

"O Brother, Where Art Thou?," scoring the film and producing a soundtrack of "old-timey" American music performed by musicians relatively unknown to the public at large. That soundtrack album became nothing less than a cultural phenomenon, selling nearly 9 million copies and dominating the Billboard album chart for more than a year. In 2002, Burnett took home four Grammy Awards: Producer, Album of the Year for O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Producer, Best Traditional Folk Album for Down From The Mountain; Producer, Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media for O Brother, Where Art Thou?; and Producer of the Year for his work on the above projects and Sam Phillips' Fan Dance.

He was Executive Producer, along with the Coen Brothers, of the "Down From The Mountain" concert documentary, filmed at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in 2000. The success of that concert and film, along with the phenomenal success of the "O Brother" soundtrack, led to T Bone and the Coen Brothers producing two highly-successful concert tours featuring the music, musicians and spirit of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?": "Down From The Mountain" in 2002 and "The Great High Mountain" in 2003.

Burnett and the Coen Brothers joined forces again in 2002 to form DMZ Records, a joint venture with Columbia Records, and produced the new label's inaugural releases: a new album by the legendary bluegrass musician Ralph Stanley and the "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" soundtrack. DMZ has since released several critically-acclaimed soundtrack albums, produced or executive-produced by Burnett, including Cold Mountain (2003), A Mighty Wind (2003), Crossing Jordan (2003), and The Ladykillers (2004), a personal favorite of T Bone's which reunited him with the Coen Brothers on a film for the first time since "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" One of his songs for "Cold Mountain," "The Scarlet Tide," co-written with Elvis Costello and sung by Alison Krauss, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song and won the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music.

He earned a fifth Grammy for his production on 2003's A Wonderful World album by Tony Bennett and k.d. lang.

T Bone Burnett also served as executive producer for the highly-lauded debut album from Ollabelle, released on DMZ/Columbia Records in March 2004. He produced the debut album, Future Perfect, from experimental band Autolux for DMZ/Columbia which was released in October 2004, as well as the new album by Cassandra Wilson, Thunderbird, which will be released in March 2006. He also wrote the score and several songs for the Wim Wenders and Sam Shepard film, "Don't Come Knocking," collaborating with Bono and Andrea Corrs and Cassandra Wilson, which will be released in the spring of 2006.

He most recently served as Executive Music Producer for the highly-acclaimed Johnny Cash biopic, "Walk The Line," produced the film's RIAA gold-certified soundtrack album and composed its score. Burnett's work on that film earned him another BAFTA nomination in 2006.

Live On Stage:

People probably know T-Bone Burnett more as a producer then as a performer, he's pretty much the man responsible for the bluegrass/Americana boom with his O, Brother Soundtrack - but this guy logged time with Bob Dylan on his Rolling Thunder Revue Tour as well as putting out albums of his own. Look for him to be an asterisk as a sit-in on a number of setlists this year. Unfortunately not too much out there of him performing on his own, but check out this vintage clip of him performing "Rive Of Love"....

Here's a couple of shows to check out...

T-Bone Burnett - 1984-10-24 - Rockefellers - Houston, TX

T-Bone Burnett - 1983-07-05 - Wolfgangs - San Francisco, CA

Music Videos:

Only have one for you, here's "Earlier Baghdad" the first single off of his brand new album The True False Identity....

For more on T-Bone head on over to his official website.

Bonnawho's Who - James Blood Ulmer

Official Bio:

James Blood Ulmer is in the midst of a career revival—an artistic renaissance if you will. A new generation of music fans have discovered his music, while simultaneously longtime fans from throughout his 40-year career have shown a renewed fascination with the iconoclastic genius. His previous two recordings, Memphis Blood: The Sun Sessions and No Escape From The Blues: The Electric Lady Sessions led to much recognition, including a Grammy Award nomination, Rolling Stone Magazine “Best Album” honors, a performance at Martin Scorsese blues celebration concert at Radio City Music Hall and high profile appearances with the likes of Government Mule, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks. On Birthright, his latest studio album, Ulmer goes it alone. It’s just he and his guitar singing and playing 12 of the most stark, personal and spellbinding songs he’s ever recorded. The blues hasn’t sounded this fresh in a long, long time. It’s clearly the work of an American music legend continuing to reinvent himself, while remaining as relevant today as at any point in his long and distinguished career.

In a review of Robert Johnson: King of The Delta Blues Singers for Downbeat Magazine in 1962, music critic Martin Williams wrote: “The best blues deal in their own way with basic human experience, with things that all men in all times and conditions try to come to terms with.” And here, nearly 70 years after Robert Johnson’s mythical recording sessions that bared those infamous sides, James Blood Ulmer continues down the path that Williams quite eloquently described. Birthright is James Blood Ulmer’s first ever solo album. Just James Blood, alone, singing and playing his blues with his fears, demons, prayers and history all laid out before him. Once revered as a free jazz, black rock guitar master, Ulmer has come full circle, acknowledging the boy he once was who grew up playing guitar on his father’s knee in the segregated South, singing gospel in the Baptist church and struggling to find the balance between the Lord’s word and more earthly matters of the flesh. The 12 songs featured here, in each and every instance, are indeed James Blood Ulmer’s Birthright.

“I’m gonna take my music back to the church where the blues was misunderstood, some people think that it’s the song of the devil, but it’s the soul of the man for sure,” moans Ulmer on the album’s opener “Take My Music Back To The Church.” A precedent is immediately set. Ulmer is not about to take a lighthearted romp through tired blues clich├ęs, but is instead committed to a soul-bearing transformation. If Ulmer’s two previous records, Memphis Blood: The Sun Sessions, and No Escape From the Blues: The Electric Lady Sessions, found him finally confronting history and exploring the songs of the great American blues forefathers, then on Birthright, Ulmer is submerging himself in a life’s worth of living the very experience, exploring its depths, searching for resolve and often reclaiming the music as his own.

The tale’s been told time and again of Ulmer’s ongoing conflict between his love for the raw, primal release offered by the blues and the deep-rooted guilt instilled by his mother who made clear to him while growing up that the blues was the devil’s music. This is a subject that’s referenced throughout Birthright. Ulmer is continually searching for a way to impart the blues with the notion of sanctity and redemption. On the snarling, slashing and guttural stomp of “The Evil One,” he declares “God called all of the Angels to show him what he had done, and they all bowed down to man except the devil, the jealous one.” It’s a story of Adam & Eve, God and the Devil, but where most post modern blues of the present day cites the devil because it’s a mainstay of the vernacular, Ulmer addresses it with no pretense. He means every word he sings.

James Blood Ulmer does not suffer fools gladly who spend countless hours in the studio trying to procure the perfect recording. Every track on Birthright was recorded in one and two takes. Fortunately, producer Vernon Reid (back to produce his third album for Ulmer) was a proponent of this approach. Ulmer would run the tune down once before letting the control room know he was ready to record. From that point on he’d seemingly transport himself to a different existential plane, rocking back and forth, audibly groaning, while excavating magical shards of tangled guitar notes from his black Gibson Birdland. The pairing of Ulmer’s voice and guitar, with all other instruments stripped away, is revealing in itself. His vocal phrasing, often behind the measure of his own rhythms, creates a counterpoint as distinct as any in the history of the blues—as timeless as Son House, Leadbelly and Lightnin’ Hopkins, yet informed by the past half century of jazz theory and set within his own inimitable guitar tuning.

Live On Stage:

This is going to be a short post, only have two things for you. Here's James Blood Ulmer with Allison Krause performing "Sitting On Top Of The World".....

And here he is Buck Cherry, Veron Reid (who is producing his new album) and David Barnes doing "Down In Mississippi" from the Scorsese documentary The Blues: Soul Of A Man...

For more on James Blood Ulmer head on over to his official website.

Bonnawho's Who - Dierks Bentley

Official Bio:

“I think every album has been a snapshot of where I’ve been at that moment in time,” says Dierks Bentley. “This album is a conscious effort to tie in the road and the studio. There’s a vein throughout the whole album of the bigger thoughts and questions that you have when you spend too much time on the road, and you grow up a little bit and start thinking beyond songs about beer and little white tank tops. From the outset, this record was always going to be really different than the previous records.”

The last few years have seen Bentley emerge as the hottest young star in country music. With two Platinum® albums – 2003’s DIERKS BENTLEY (with the #1 debut smash “What Was I Thinkin’) and 2005’s chart-topping MODERN DAY DRIFTER (with the back-to-back multi-week #1 hits “Come A Little Closer” and “Settle for a Slowdown”) – and a long list of honors, he has established himself as one of the most acclaimed artists in music today. In just one year, he jumped from winning the 2005 CMA Horizon Award to a 2006 CMA Male Vocalist of the Year nomination. He also won the ACM Top New Artist Award in 2004 and went on to receive a nomination for the 2005 ACM Top Male Vocalist Award. After two tours of duty on the George Strait tour and three for Kenny Chesney – he makes the leap to the next level as a
touring artist when he launches his first major headlining tour sponsored by Bud Light (who have only sponsored tours for two other artists – George Strait and Tim McGraw).

Meanwhile, his blistering live show and marathon touring schedule – he spent over 300 days on the road last year – has earned him a reputation as one of the hardest workers in the business. With the release of LONG TRIP ALONE, Bentley keeps that momentum rolling, building on the rock-solid base he’s been amassing while expanding his music with newfound range
and depth.

“We aren’t scared to have albums that are always a little different from the ones before,” he says. “We want to break people’s expectations, without straying too far from who we are. I put a lot of pressure on myself as far as upping the ante on every show. Every night’s gotta be better than the night before, and every record has to be a step up from the one before.”

“Every Mile a Memory,” the first single from LONG TRIP ALONE (which shot straight to the top-10 of the country singles charts after only six weeks and is currently still climbing), serves as a starting point for the album’s journey. “My last four years have been spent on the road,” says Bentley. “I’ve traveled a lot of miles and made a lot of memories, so that’s a good way to
kick off the album, talking about where things have been and where they’re going.”

The album’s eleven songs tell the story of a young man being pulled toward both the far-flung work that he loves and those at home who make it possible for him to keep on moving. From the raucous road stories of “That Don’t Make It Easy Loving Me” to the contemplative “The Heaven I’m Headed To,” LONG TRIP ALONE brings a new sense of maturity to the songs of a performer known for keeping a tapped beer keg flowing onstage during his show.

Of course, life has gotten a little bit different for the Phoenix-born guitar slinger in the last few years. Aside from reaching new sales heights, touring with the likes of Kenny Chesney and George Strait, joining the Grand Ole Opry, and collaborating with such heroes as George Jones, Bentley also experienced some changes on the home front.

“For one thing, I got married last year,” he says. “Certainly that’s reflected in this record – the idea of missing someone back home, and starting life a little bit. Songs like ‘Long Trip Alone’ and ‘Soon As You Can’ are all about the relationships in your life and how important they are. Other songs are very inspired by new feelings I’ve experienced from being married. Good
thoughts and bigger ideas, but also different tensions and pressures. Balancing the two has made for some songs that have a little deeper meaning.”

If all of this makes it sound like LONG TRIP ALONE shares some themes and feelings with old-school country music, well, that’s no accident. Bentley says that he stills draws on the lessons he learned when he first moved to Nashville and spent long hours logging tape for his job at The Nashville Network, filling notebooks with his own study of the genre’s masters.

“The great thing about country music is it truly reflects life,” he says. “There’s the sinning mixed with the asking for forgiveness. You’re drinking a beer at night and then you’re working out in the day trying to sweat out the beer you drank the night before. There’s all this balance, and I think with an album, you should reflect all the sides of life.

“Country music is such a wide umbrella,” he continues, “and we really feel tied to where it came from, to Johnny Cash and Waylon and Willie, Merle Haggard and Buck Owens and Ray Price – the stylists. So we try to take that hillbilly spirit and bring it somewhere new.”

To help him translate these ideas into sound, Bentley once again turned to the two men who have been by his side since his first studio recordings – producer Brett Beavers and co-producer Luke Wooten. “This little team here, the three of us, have really spent a lot of time developing a sound that we think is unique,” he says. “This time, Luke and Brett came out on the road to see the live show to help get some of that edge across in the record. There’s an energy and a magic to songs when they’re played a lot on the road, sometimes that is missing when you go in to record.”

The sweep of “Every Mile a Memory,” the urgency of “Soon As You Can,” the spirited “Free and Easy Down the Road I Go” – LONG TRIP ALONE is filled with evidence of a new, more hard-charging approach to recording that builds on the power of such recent hits as “Settle for a Slowdown.” The greatest challenge, though, was getting anything on tape around Bentley’s breakneck touring schedule – so jam-packed that on one very rare off day, he flew from Chicago to Nashville, recorded vocals for “Trying to Stop Your Leaving,” and got back on a plane to rejoin the band the next day.

“When you’re in country music and you’re trying to make it,” Bentley says, “my philosophy is that you’ve got to tour non-stop to separate yourself from everybody else and lay a foundation. So when it comes back to making records you kind of lean on the team that you have. Once you lock into a sound, you try to keep a team together and grow. And it seems to be working - you can see the growth in each record, and it’s probably because we know where my music has been and we know where we want to take it.”

Not that Bentley is complaining about his life on the road. “The way I stay focused is the live show,” he says. “Everything revolves around being on stage. And the busier it gets, the more important the show is to your sanity. That’s what keeps everything else in check.”

To document the live Dierks Bentley experience, he recently shot a DVD at Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium to be released in early 2007, “a kick-ass rock bar with four thousand people standing up with a beer in one hand and a fist up in the other, just to capture that moment before we move up to playing arenas.”

LONG TRIP ALONE catches an artist in transition. Dierks Bentley is no longer a rookie dreaming of stardom, but he’s still waiting to find out what heights he can reach. He’s grown up enough to get married and think about life’s bigger meanings, but still young and carefree enough to enjoy the ramble of the road and the new experiences it brings. Most of all, he’s still pushing himself as a singer, a songwriter, a musician, and a performer, becoming not just a promising talent or a rising star but a true career artist.

“When we have to call a rare meeting to work things out, I tell the guys in the band and the crew that I’m not satisfied with where I am,” says Bentley. “We haven’t reached the point I’m trying to reach. I don’t think I’ll ever find out who I truly am as a songwriter, as a singer, as an entertainer. Those are all areas I’m trying to get better at.

“We’re always looking for new songs, new sounds, new melodies. And if someone thinks we’ve reached the right place – some plateau – then they’re in the wrong gig.”

Live On Stage:

Maybe it's because I live in New York City, but I've never heard of Dierks Bentley and according the bio information I just read this guy has sold a ton of albums - I guess I'm quite out of the loop when it comes to contemporary country music. Bentley has probably sold more albums then most of the artists at Bonnaroo combined (besides say The Police). So bust out your big belt buckle and cowboy, here's Dierks performing at the 2006 CMA with "Every Mile A Memory"....

I don't know maybe it's just me, but I think I'd rather see Dirk Nowitzki on guitar singing some German folk tunes - I guess I just not Red State ready yet.

Music Videos:

So now that I've pissed off all the country fans out there, I'll make nice. The one thing I can say is this guy has some great country music song titles, here's Dierks with "Settle For A Slowdown"....

Few more for ya....

Every Mile A Memory

What Was I Thinkin'

Long Trip Alone

For more on Dierks head on over to his official website.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Bonnawho's Who - Girl Talk

Official Bio:

Gregg Gills has built up a party-obsessed cult following as Girl Talk over the past 5 years. The project began with Gillis tearing apart mainstream music using digital signal processing (DSP) and re-piecing various songs back together into glitchy avant-garde renditions of pop music. This cut-and-paste train wreck style is what comprises Girl Talk's debut release Secret Diary (Illegal Art, 2002). He also developed the initial incarnation of his self-proclaimed "over the top" live show during this era, complete with synchronized dance squads, outfit changes, and plenty of crowd interaction/participation. These flashy performances were a response to the increasingly widespread sit-behind-a-laptop-and-look-bored-while-simultaneously-boring-the- audience-style laptop shows.

On his sophomore release Unstoppable (Illegal Art, 2004), Girl Talk took a step away from the DSP/noise of his first release and instead fixated on tightly edited beats and melodies with pop music hooks and samples. As described by Adam Strohm of Dusted Magazine, "Gillis proves to be a masterful arranger of samples; there always seem to be a million things happening at once, and every little snippet of sound seems to be perfectly in place. Gillis warps the pitch and speed of the original sound source when needed, and adds his own IDM beats and squiggles, but the samples he uses are every track's main ingredient and, subsequently, the decisive stars of Unstoppable." With a growing fan base, Gillis began to work crowds into a frenzy at venues ranging from rowdy college house parties to art museums to dive bars with rock bands.

For his latest album, Night Ripper, Gillis has developed a style strictly for the dance floor. Pounding beats are mixed with an endless flow of familiar Top 40 samples. Gillis currently lives in Pittsburgh and actively participates and collaborates with other "on the verge" Midwest and East coast artists such as Grand Buffet (Fighting), Drop the Lime (Tigerbeat6), Chris Glover (Interscope), and Hearts of Darknesses (Schematic/Asphodel). Gregg also tours regularly, which has included previous performances in Europe and Japan. He has done shows with a variety of artists such as Prefuse 73, Wesley Willis, Soft Pink Truth, Wolf Eyes, Luke Vibert, Japanther, Cex, and Otto Von Schirach.

As Night Ripper samples some rather current hits, it is being released immediately upon completion on the Illegal Art website (before it officially hits retail). Illegal Art is also launching an exclusive digital download club that will feature post-Night Ripper tracks, further shortening the turnaround of Girl Talk's super-current sampling habits. Other sonic outlaws, such as The Evolution Control Committee, will likewise be contributing sample-heavy mixes to the download club.

Besides releasing albums on Illegal Art, Girl Talk has issued a 12" on 12 Apostles (UK), a 7" on 333 Recordings (Deerhoof, Drop the Lime, Sagan, etc.) and appeared on various compilations. One noted compilation was Spasticated Record's Ministry of Shit (2003), which was quickly litigated for its mockery of the trendy UK danceclub, Ministry of Sound.

If Night Ripper falls under legal scrutiny, Illegal Art has prepared a Fair Use legal defense. The Fair Use factors of Copyright Law allow for appropriation under certain circumstances. Most Illegal Art releases fall into a Fair Use gray area, but regardless of legal interpretation Illegal Art maintains that artists should be allowed to liberally sample in the creation of new works. One of the key factors that weigh in Illegal Art's favor is that their releases are dramatically different from the originals and therefore would never encroach on the sampled artists' markets. Nevertheless, Night Ripper has already been "ruled infringement" by a CD manufacturer who refused to complete the project. The label took a partial refund and is now using a different manufacturer. No disrespect is intended, though, as the liner notes contain a thank you list of 164 artists who "contributed" to what is easily the most comprehensive and exhaustive mix-type album ever made.

Live On Stage:

Girl Talk makes what he calls "party jams" - basically songs with tons of recognizable samples that will get you dancing. Is the term mash-up passe already? He's the warm up act for Sasha and Digweed on Saturday night, though they're at pretty opposite ends of the electronica genre. Here check out this clip where he samples Yes, Tag Team and Rick Ross....

Music Videos:

Not sure if this is an official video, but here's "Touch 2 Feel" off of his Unstoppable album....

And here's an "unofficial" video for "Friday Night"....

For more on Girl Talk head on over to his official site.

Bonnawho's Who - Ween

Official Bio (via AllMusic):

Ween was the ultimate cosmic goof of the alternative rock era, a prodigiously talented and deliriously odd duo whose work traveled far beyond the constraints of parody and novelty into the heart of surrealist ecstasy. Despite a mastery for seemingly every mutation of the musical spectrum, the group refused to play it straight; in essence, Ween were bratty deconstructionists, kicking dirt on the pop world around them with demented glee. Along with the occasional frat-boy lapses into misogyny, racism, and homophobia, the band's razor-sharp satire cut to the inherently silly heart of rock & roll with hilariously acute savagery; fueled by psilocybin mushrooms and an all-consuming craving for hot meals, Ween created its own self-contained universe, a parallel dimension where the only sacred cow was their own demon god, the Boognish.

The duo formed in suburban New Hope, PA, in 1984, when 14-year-olds Mickey Melchiondo and Aaron Freeman adopted their respective fraternal aliases, Dean and Gene Ween, and cut the first of literally thousands of home recordings. At about the same time Freeman -- working under the name Synthetic Socks -- issued an eponymous 1987 solo cassette on the fledgling TeenBeat label, Ween released its own debut tape, The Crucial Squeegie Lip, on their own Bird O' Pray imprint. After a pair of 1988 self-releases, titled Axis: Bold as Boognish and The Live Brain Wedgie/WAD LP, Ween signed to the Minneapolis-based independent label Twin/Tone, which in 1990 issued the double album GodWeenSatan: The Oneness, a sprawling, often brilliant release which careened from the headlong hardcore rush of the opening "You Fucked Up" to the helium pop of "Don't Laugh I Love You" to the -Xeroxed funk of "L.M.L.Y.P."

A move to the Shimmy Disc label followed prior to the release of 1991's The Pod, another masterpiece of dementia recorded on four-track under the influence of inhaled Scotchgard; darker and more deranged than its predecessor, The Pod expanded the Ween palette to include Beatlesque pop (the sublime "Pork Roll Egg and Cheese"), oddball folk ("Oh My Dear [Falling in Love]"), and mystic hard rock ("Captain Fantasy"). Against all odds, the record won the Weens a deal with major-label Elektra; against even greater odds, the leap to the big leagues did nothing to alter the duo's mindset. 1992's Pure Guava, their Elektra debut, was their most consistently weird and wonderful outing to date. Highlighted by the disturbingly infectious single "Push th' Little Daisies" (a Top Ten hit in Australia), Pure Guava found the group as snarky as ever on self-explanatory workouts like "Reggaejunkiejew," "Hey Fat Boy (Asshole)," and "Flies on My Dick"; "Springtheme" mocked love songs at their queasiest; while the climactic "Don't Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy)" distilled the overblown excesses of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and Queensr├┐che's "Silent Lucidity" into an epic art rock portrait of child molestation.

Dedicated to the late comedic actor John Candy, 1994's Chocolate and Cheese -- its title a perfect summation of the duo's blend of R&B and schlock -- upped the ante yet again. Widening the net to ensnare cowboy songs ("Drifter in the Dark"), Philly soul ("Freedom of '76"), Afro-Caribbean funk ("Voodoo Lady"), and Sergio Leone -inspired spaghetti Western epics ("Buenas Tardes Amigo"), Chocolate and Cheese also featured "Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)" and "Mister Would You Please Help My Pony," two of the creepiest tales of childhood trauma ever committed to vinyl. Having taken their anything-goes aesthetic to its logical extreme, Ween took a sharp left turn for 1996's 12 Golden Country Greats, a ten-track concept album recorded in Nashville with Music City session luminaries including the Jordanaires, Bobby Ogdin, Russ Hicks, Hargus "Pig" Robbins, and Charlie McCoy. While the song titles alone -- among them "Japanese Cowboy," "Mister Richard Smoker," and "Help Me Scrape the Mucus Off My Brain" -- served notice that the group's lyrical attitude had not altered one whit, the music was remarkably evocative of Nashville's golden era, and performed with skill and affection.

A tour with Ogdin and a backing unit dubbed the Shit Creek Boys (which included steel guitarist Stuart Basore, guitarist Danny Parks, fiddler Hank Singer, and bassist Matt Kohut) followed prior to the release of 1997's The Mollusk, a concise, mock-progressive semi-concept album that proved to be one of Ween's strongest efforts. The follow-up was a double-disc concert compilation, Paintin' the Town Brown: Ween Live '90-'98, issued in 1999. In the spring of 2000, the duo resurfaced with White Pepper, their first new studio effort in three years; it peaked at 121 on the Billboard charts, their highest placing to date.

In 2001, Ween began releasing a series of live albums through their internet-based independent label, Chocodog. The first of these, Live In Toronto Canada, captured a show with the Shit Creek Boys. Around this time, the band and Elektra parted ways, and Ween was without a record label as they worked on their eighth studio album. After a wait of two years -- during which time, they released another live album, the triple-disc Live at Stubb's -- they signed with Sanctuary records in 2003, releasing Quebec in August of that year. It was the first Ween album to crack the Top 100, peaking at 81. A few months after the release of Quebec, another independent live album followed (Live By Request), and then in the spring of 2004, they released Live In Chicago, a combination DVD and CD set, on Sanctuary, heading back into the studio to work on their ninth studio album.

Live On Stage:

I'll be the first to admit I just don't get Ween - for every song that are melodic and just have smart quirky lyrics there are twice as many that test my patience. With that being said there are a lot of people that are hardcore fans and eat up everything these guys do. I don't really know their material very well at all sorry if this isn't the best one to pick, but they are with "Banana's & Blow"...

Here's some shows both and new stuff....

Ween - 1996-10-04 - 328 Performance Hall - Nashville, TN / 1996-10-05 - The Masquerade - Atlanta, GA

Ween - 2000-05-18 - The Roxy Theatre - Atlanta, GA

Ween - 2007-04-26 - Sterling Hotel - Allentown, PA

Ween - 2007-04-30 -Thomas Wolfe Auditorium - Asheville, NC

Music Videos:

Check out this fantastic tongue in cheek video for "Even If You Don't".....

Some more videos for you to check out...

Push Th' Little Daisies

Roses Are Free

Transdermal Celebration

I Can't Put My Finger On It

Pollo Asado / Captain Fantasy / Pork Roll Egg & Cheese

For more head over to Ween's official website.