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Classic Rock Magazine

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    It’s time to celebrate spring by turning our attention to the music of the good old Grateful Dead, specifically the 1981 spring tour. Early ’80s shows can be hit and miss, but when the band was on, it was really on, such as this complete first set from May 9th at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.

    It opens with a blistering Half Step > Franklin’s Tower > Stranger, and closes in similar form with a fantastic Looks Like Rain > China Cat > Rider. In between is a real nice version of Birdsong, an early Rooster and Candyman. It’s just about 90 minutes of vintage Dead to please your ears, so as always, enjoy!

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    HT fave Beck had already been announced as one of the headliners for this year’s Newport Folk Festival, but that won’t be the only gig he plays in the Northeast this summer. Beck has just revealed three additional dates that will take place in Portland, Maine; Boston and Brooklyn. In addition Beck will perform as part of the Jones Beach date of the AmericanaramA traveling festival on July 27th.

    The singer-songwriter’s brief Northeast tour starts with a set at the Jones Beach AmericanaramA date with Wilco, Bob Dylan and Ryan Bingham on July 27th. After that, Beck will offer an acoustic performance at Newport on July 28th. He’ll also play a special acoustic set at the State Theatre in Portland, Maine on July 30th. Then, on August 2nd, Beck will appear at Boston’s Bank Of America Pavilion before the solo acoustic run concludes on August 4th at Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park.

    Here’s the full list of shows and on-sale dates…

    July 27 Wantagh, NY – Jones Beach – AmericanaramA – on sale May 4
    July 28 Newport, RI – Newport Folk Festival (special acoustic set) – on sale now
    July 30 Portland, ME -State Theatre (special acoustic set) – on sale Friday, May 3
    August 2 Boston, MA – Bank of America Pavilion – on sale Friday, May 3
    August 4 Brooklyn, NY – Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park – on sale Friday May 10

    Keep your eyes on Beck’s Facebook page for pre-sale info.

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    Primus front man Les Claypool brought his Duo De Twang acoustic duo to New York City last night for a gig at the Gramercy Theatre. Claypool welcomed his friend and reality TV show co-star Mickey “Dean Ween” Melchiondo out for a cover of Battle of New Orleans.

    [Photo via Larry Ferrari of Ween Forum]

    Deaner returned later to provide backing vocals during a raucous version of Pipeline and finished the night by adding some solos to the Duo’s take on Cocaine Blues. Lo-res videos of Battle of New Orleans and Pipeline have already surfaced thanks to ZumicNews

    [Hat Tip -]

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    While Broadway musical Hands On A Hardbody didn’t last long on the Great White Way, the show has been holding its own in award season. Following a number of nominations for the Outer Circle Awards, Hands On A Hardbody has garned nine nods for the Drama Desk Awards. More specifically, Trey Anastasio – who penned the music for Hands On A Hardbody with Amanda Green – is up for the Outstanding Music Award as well as the Outstanding Orchestrations Award. Trey shares the nomination with Green for the former and with longtime collaborator Don Hart on the latter.

    Hands On A Hardbody itself is up for the Outstanding Musical Award. Anastasio and Green face still competition in the Outstanding Music Award category including David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s Here Lies Love. The awards will be handed out at a ceremony in NYC on May 19th. We’ll see what happens tomorrow when noms for the Broadway Award Seasons biggest prize – The Tonys – are announced.


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    American Babies, ALO & Ryan Montbleau Band @ Highline Balllroom – April 24

    Words and Photos: Andrew Blackstein

    The Ryan Montbleau Band, ALO and American Babies entered the Highline Ballroom on April 24th with an apparent excitement to be playing before a New York City audience. This Wednesday night gig saw the American Babies open the bill. Led by Tommy Hamilton’s insightful songwriting approach, the Babies showcased a vibrant mesh of thick drum driven improvisation that displayed David Butler’s versatility. The 55-minute opening slot allowed guitarists Nick Bockrath and Hamilton to feed off each others’ parts with great energy and precision. The Babies are working on a studio record that will be out this fall, the new tunes should be a welcome addition to their already impressive live show.

    [All Photos by Andrew Blackstein]

    After a quick turnaround, California’s ALO was greeted by many audience members who shared their recent Jam Cruise vacation. Overhearing a dozen different requests to “get back on the boat” or “I can’t wait ’till next year’s Jam Cruise” proved that the power of music and a shared experience can long after be recalled for present pleasure. ALO shined on this night from the opening notes of Maria to their cover of Prince’s 1999. Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz’s acoustic guitar work has the ability to range from a Grateful Dead styled funk, to a Beach Boys infused rhythm. Zach Gill and Steve Adams sported smiles as they took turns on lead vocals. Having the first few rows of fans singing along probably helped those smiles move wider as well.

    ALO’s long set was the most attended performance of the three, thanks in part to the band’s focus on funk-filled. As an added treat, Ryan Montbleau Band percussionist Yahuba Garcia sat in for most of ALO’s set. He was able to compliment Dave Brogan’s laid back drumming nicely, as he added some extra depth in the rhythm department. Also guesting during ALO’s set was Berkeley-based jazz saxophonist Mitch Marcus, who sat in on I Love Music and Plastic Bubble.

    Ryan Montbleau was the headlining name on the ticket, but one would never guess that by the size of the crowd. Maybe it was because it was a weeknight, yet the bulk of the crowd cleared out after ALO’s set. This by no means indicates that the place was empty, however it was noticeable. Not bothered by that observation, Montbleau brought his coffee shop style folk tunes into the Highline with grace and comfort. Ryan was at ease as he told stories, jokes and requested audience participation with a “Stop/ Start” cheer. The Boston bred singer/songwriter invited Zach Gill from ALO up to play the ukulele and Dave Brogan to play drums (as he explained that Dave learned most of the songs earlier in the day because RMB drummer James Cohen had to be taken to the hospital due to dehydration). Cohen was fine and played most of the show, but it was indicator that these two bands got along pretty well with one another.

    Towards the end of the Ryan Montbleau Band’s set, Ryan welcomed all of ALO to the stage for a cover of This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) by Talking Heads. All of ALO and the Ryan Montbleau Band also collaborated on Paul Simon’s Graceland as the encore. The mutual respect and talent all three bands possess were on display this night, for those who were lucky enough to make the early spring show in Manhattan.


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    Set: Maria / Falling Dominoes / Blew Out the Walls / Wasting Time (Isla Vista Song) / Dead Still Dance / Walls of Jericho / I Love Music (feat. Mitch Marcus) / Bizarre Love Triangle / Haji Memashite / Plastic Bubble (feat. Mitch Marcus) / Barbeque > 1999 > Barbeque


    Set: Head Above Water / Pacing Like Prince / Songbird / I Can’t Wait / Lovin’ You / Daydream (feat. Zach Gill) / You Crazy You (feat. Dave Brogan) / 75 & Sunny / Hot Coffee in a Paper Cup / Heartbreak Road / Yeah Man / Inspired by No One / Dead Set / This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody) (feat. ALO)

    Encore: Graceland (feat. ALO)

    [Setlists via Dry Paint Signs]

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    In the decade-plus since the release of their self-titled debut in 2001, The National have become the model of what it means to be a successful indie-rock band. The Brooklyn-based act have slowly grown their audience through of a series of critically acclaimed albums full of their brand of dark brooding rock, anchored by lead singer Matt Berninger’s unmistakable baritone voice. On May 21, the band will release their sixth full-length effort Trouble Will Find Me. The self-produced 13-track effort was mixed by longtime collaborator Peter Katis and features guest appearances from likes of Sufjan Stevens, Sharon Van Etten, Annie Clark (St. Vincent) and Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire).

    In conjunction with the release of the new record, The National are also the subject of the new documentary, Mistaken For Strangers, which opened this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. The 80-minute film, which has been receiving rave reviews, had its origins when Matt Berninger decided to invite his younger brother Tom to join the band on their 2010 as a crew member. The doc chronicles Tom’s interactions with the band on and off-stage, which eventually led to him being fired from his crew duties, while also looking at the relationship between him and his brother as the band became bonafide rock stars. Let’s check out the trailer…

    The National will head out for a lengthy summer world tour, which features a huge hometown show at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on June 5, and includes a slew of high profile festival appearances at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Outside Lands.

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    As they’ve done in previous years, HT faves Umphrey’s McGee interspersed parodies of a famous movie among four sets of music at their annual UMBowl concert on Friday night. This year the band offered their version of Forrest Gump dubbed “Forrest gUMph” starring keyboardist Joel Cummins.

    This afternoon, the band has posted the first vignette they filmed which aired just before the band took the stage on Friday night at Chicago’s Park West for “Q1″…

    Head over to JamBase to read my full recap of UMBowl IV.

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    Our St. Louis readers are in for a treat this September, when HT faves Wilco, Jim James, The National and Alabama Shakes head up the lineup for this year’s LouFest. The event takes place in St. Louis’s Forest Park on September 7 – 8.

    Other bands on the bill include The Killers, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Toro Y Moi, WALK THE MOON, Local Natives, Trampled By Turtles and Jukebox The Ghost.

    Here’s the complete lineup announced today…

    The Killers, Wilco, The National, Alabama Shakes, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Jim James, Local Natives, Fitz And The Tantrums, Toro Y Moi, Twin Shadow, Trampled By Turtles, WALK THE MOON, Ra Ra Riot, Court Yard Hounds Icona Pop, Youngblood Hawke, Robert DeLong, Jukebox The Ghost, Wild Belle, The Mowgli’s, Brick + Mortar, Desert Noises, Space Capone, Wild Cub, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, Andrea Davidson, Modoc, The Lonely Biscuits, Kentucky Knife Fight, Tef Poe

    Early-bird general admission tickets for LouFest go on sale this Friday.

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    Last month the initial lineup for this year’s Gathering Of The Vibes festival came out with Phil Lesh and Friends and The Black Crowes a top the bill. Today, Vibes organizers have announced additions to the lineup that include HT faves Blues Traveler, the Steve Kimock Band and von Grey.

    Kimock will perform at the fest with legendary keyboardist Bernie Worrell. Other additions to the lineup are the Jason Crosby Band, Twiddle and local festival favorites The Kind Buds. A “major artist” will be added to the bill on June 10th. Gathering Of The Vibes 2013 will take place at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, Connecticut on July 25th – 28th.

    In other Vibes news, Single-Day Tickets have just gone on sale.

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    Early in Fleetwood Mac’s current tour Lindsey Buckingham broke the news that the band would soon be releasing a new EP. That EP, titled “Extended Play,” was released today on iTunes marking the first new release of music from the Mac since 2003′s Say You Will. Extended Play contains three new tracks penned by Buckingham as well as a resurrected track from the Buckingham Nicks project.

    You can stream Sad Angel off the new EP right here on Hidden Track…

    Speaking of Fleetwood Mac, we came upon impressive fan-shot video of the band’s entire April 26th performance from Pittsburgh. The footage was shot by YouTuber ClubDoc and shows The Mac in fine form. We’ve compiled a playlist of the 23 songs Fleetwood Mac performed in Pittsburgh…

    Here’s the setlist from Fleetwood Mac in Pittsburgh…

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    Back on Dec. 1st the Rex Foundation threw a benefit at The Fillmore in San Francisco to honor the memory of former Grateful Dead manager Jon McIntire. Members of ALO kicked off the memorable night of music, followed by a Bob Weir solo acoustic set and a performance by The Mickey Hart Band with Widespread Panic’s Dave Schools. Today, a compilation of tracks culled from that night dubbed “A Buck Dancer’s Choice” is available for download at and iTunes, and on CD at .

    Here’s the tracklisting and more information on the compilation:

    Disc One: Opening Set features ALO members Lebo, Steve Adams and Dave Brogan with Lesley Grant, joined by Bob Weir for Tracks 4 and 5, followed by Set 2 of Bob Weir Solo Acoustic for Tracks 6-9, and on Tracks 10-11, the first two songs of the 3rd Set featuring the Mickey Hart Band, with Mickey Hart, Dave Schools, Crystal Monee Hall, Joe Bagale, Ben Yonas, Sikiru Adepoju, Inx Herman, and Gawain Matthews.

    1. Listen To The River 6:38 (Dan Lebowitz) 2. Easy 4:37 (David Brogan) 3. Falling Dominoes 5:24 (Steve Adams, David Brogan, Zach Gill, Dan Lebowitz) 4. Me And My Uncle 5:24 (John Phillips) 5. Dark Star 9:25 (Robert Hunter, Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Ron McKernan, Mickey Hart) 6. Loose Lucy 8:25 (Robert Hunter, Jerry Garcia) 7. Playin’ In The Band 8:20 (Robert Hunter, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart) 8. Peggy-O (Traditional, Arranged by the Grateful Dead) 9. Black Throated Wind 8:02 (Bob Weir, John Perry Barlow) 10. Samson and Delilah 7:16 (Traditional, Arranged by Bob Weir) 11. Cut The Deck 9:25 (Robert Hunter, Mickey Hart, Cliff Goldmacher, Ben Yonas)

    Disc Two: Mickey Hart Band, with Bob Weir joining in on Tracks 1 and 2.

    1. China Cat Sunflower 8:03 (Robert Hunter, Jerry Garcia) 2. I Know You Rider 12:21 (Traditional, Arranged by the Grateful Dead) 3. Heartbeat Of The Sun 18:21 (Mickey Hart, Ben Yonas, Crystal Monee Hall, Sikiru Adepoju, Giovanni Hidalgo, Zakir Hussain) 4. Jersey Shore 6:03 (Mickey Hart, Andre Pesis, Dave Schools, Ben Yonas) 5.Franklin’s Tower 9:10 (Robert Hunter, Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann) 6. Time Never Ends 8:31 (Mickey Hart, Ben Yonas, Crystal Monee Hal, Tim Hockenberry) 7. Not Fade Away 7:53 (Charles Hardin & Norman Petty) 8. band intros 1:15 9. Brokedown Palace 7:41 (Robert Hunter, Jerry Garcia)

    You can stream the entire album below…

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    The annual MerleFest bluegrass-heavy music festival took place this past weekend in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. This was the first installment of the prestigious event since the passing of founder Doc Watson last May. The Avett Brothers, Gov’t Mule and Steep Canyon Rangers were just a few of the HT faves to play MerleFest this year.

    We want to share a clip uploaded by YouTuber Josh Daniel of an incredible bluegrass arrangement of The Who’s Baba O’Riley from MerleFest’s Super Jam. The performance features The New Familiars and festival favorites Scythian, Donna The Buffalo’s Dave McCracken and the amazing John Cowan.

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    This week, I have a handful of great gadgets to review that I have been using over the last several weeks. If you’ve ever run out of power on a mobile device – then you’ll definitely want to read on. Likewise, if your fingers have ever gotten tired of tapping on hard glass, then you’ll also want to check out a couple of great mobile accessories. There’s five devices in total and I bet at least one would be great for you! Read on and see!

    Item: Monoprice External Battery Pack 9531

    Price: $38.92

    What It Is and Why I Love It: External, portable battery back with 9,000 mAh of power for any mobile gadget needing USB power. This thing is a beast, packing tons of power and 2.1A which is enough for high-speed charging of even power hungry devices like large tablets. Considering most mobile phones have battery capacities of around 1,500-2,000 mAh, this packs enough power to charge most phones four full cycles from completely dead. LED lights indicate remaining power and it comes with a fantastic carry case. This is a solidly built battery and looks great as well. Offering almost as much power as the Jackery Giant ($60) that we reviewed a few weeks ago, on a per mAh basis, you can’t beat the price tag of this Monoprice offering. Not only does the battery charge your devices quickly, it can be recharged itself in a relatively short time period.

    But… There’s a couple things to know about this battery pack. There’s only one USB out so you are limited to one device charging at a time. Also, unlike the Jackery Giant, the battery is not recharged with the USB cable. There is an AC cable that comes with the devices so you have to keep that with you to recharge it. It fits nicely in the travel case but just something else to remember. At about 10 oz, it is not exactly heavy, but not something you’d likely want to carry in your pocket.

    Bottom Line Fantastic battery and great value packing tons of power in a well built package perfect for long trips, festivals, camping, or when away from power for extended periods.

    [Monoprice External Battery 9531]


    Item: Monoprice Battery pack 9752

    Price: $15.96

    What It Is and Why I Love It: Another external battery pack that can power your mobile device. This is almost the same size and weight as the Jackery Mini ($30) but half the cost at $15.96 and same power of 2,600 mAh. This should get you a full cycle of a phone charge, basically doubling the life of your phone. The beauty of this one is the form factor and weight – small enough to slip in your front pocket or travel bag. (About the same size as a stick of lipstick).  It recharges with a standard USB cable so there’s no additional cable to carry. My kids have been happily using 9752 for a few weeks with pretty rough and tumble handling and it seems to be holding up perfectly fine. There’s a small carrying pouch included but it is so convenient to carry that you’ll likely not even use it. Like the Jackery Mini, this sports an extremely bright LED flashlight that can light up a room or a dark path for hours on end.

    Bottom Line: Again, the bang for the buck is tough to beat on this one making it a great companion to bring along to concerts, day at the beach, hiking or any other event that taxes your battery life on your phone. With the reasonable price, may as well grab two!

    [Monoprice 9752]


    Item: Zero Lemon Battery

    Price: $30

    What It Is and Why I Love It: Extended battery for select mobile phones. WHOA! This thing is AWESOME! Remember the halcyon days when you never really had to  think about charging your phone? And you only had to charge it every few days? Welcome back to those times with the ZeroLemon battery. Currently it is only available for Samsung Galaxy SIII, Galaxy Nexus and Note II with plans for other devices such as Samsung Galaxy S4 and LG Optimus Pro G. These batteries offer a massive increase in built in capacity. For example, the SGSIII battery has 7000 mAh which is more than triple the factory installed battery. The battery comes with a TPU case that acts as both a back and edge protector that feels great in the hand.

    Keep in Mind: Like most extended batteries, the ZeroLemon adds some depth to your phone. I’m not sure it is the same design with every device, but at least with the SGSIII the shape is actually unique. Unlike some other extended batteries like the Q-Cell or Hyperion, this is not just a thick battery shape. The battery fits not only the battery compartment, but extends all the way up the back of the phone to just about the camera lens. This way, it can offer the extraordinary capacity without being terribly thick. Innovative design for sure.

    Bottom Line: This is a new company based in Cheyenne, WY with some exciting new products and more coming. If you have a device that has a ZeroLemon battery offered, I highly recommend it if you can live with a couple extra millimeters. For me, this is an impossibly easy trade off to decide upon. To get about three days of battery life and not constantly having to be worried about power is a Godsend. And at the price, roughly $30, you can buy a backup to keep charged and have nearly a week of power. Amazon, the only retailer right now, might be out of stock as demand has been extraordinary. Keep checking back. Well worth the wait and investment.

    [ZeroLemon Battery f0r SGSIII]


    Item: Sensu Artist Brush and Stylus

    Price: $39.99

    What It Is and Why I Love It: A stylus that sports both a rubberized, soft tip and an artist’s brush with capacitive bristles for use on touch screens. When not using the brush side, it is protected by a large cap that transforms the stylus into a 7″ paint brush. Both sides of the device work fantastically well. The soft spongy tip when using as a stylus is one of the most comfortable and best performing devices I’ve used. The screens that I tested it on, iPad, iTouch, Galaxy Tab and SGSIII all responded extremely well. The weight is just right in your hand and it looks  great to match. The real magic though is in the brush side. The bristles give you the responsiveness of using a real brush. It is ultra enjoyable gliding the brush across the screen and it works exceedingly well. I am about the furthest thing possible from an artist, but am constantly coloring floor plans and other types of similar documents for work. After a few minutes using your finger, it can be irritable and raw when having to color or paint large areas. The Sensu brush makes the process a breeze no matter if you need ultra-thin detail work all the way up to broad strokes. Artists will no doubt love to use this for any creative work, but really anyone needing both a responsive brush and stylus should consider picking this up.

    Bottom Line: An extremely well made stylus and brush that simply feels great in your hand with perfect balance and weight. The stylus side is perfect for tapping on keyboards, playing games, editing photos or really any other time you’d have to tap your screen. The brush side is ideal for artists or anyone needing to use apps where you need to color or draw.

    [Sensu Artist Brush and Stylus]


    Item: Touchfire iPad Keyboard

    Price: $49.95

    What It Is and Why I Love It: A flexible, transparent, silicone-rubber keyboard that lays over your iPad screen and works with all full sized iPad versions. This thing is pretty cool and works amazingly well. The ultra-light (less than half an ounce) and thin rubber keyboard snaps perfectly into position with the use of magnets. The soft and comfortable keys give just the perfect amount of resistance and cushion for typing. Without the Touchfire, I loathe to type much more than short texts or Tweets on the flat, hard tablet. With the Touchfire, I was happily composing long emails, Word documents and pretty much anything else I’d do on my laptop. It really gives the sensation of using a real keyboard and makes sense for people who are used to “touch typing”. Likely, if you are a hunt and peck typer and only use your index finger, there will not be much value here. However, if you like quickly finding the home row (the F & J keys have small bumps to quickly locate them), and typing fast with two hands- you’ll love the Touchfire. It rolls up nicely and hides away when you don’t need it and doesn’t need batteries, power or Bluetooth.

     Bottom Line: A great iPad keyboard for touch typists that makes typing much more comfortable and fast.

    [Touchfire Keyboard]


    Well that’s it this week! Two great batteries with unbelievable performance and value from Monoprice, mobile phone batteries from ZeroLemon that will blow you away with capacity, an artist brush and stylus from Sensu that is one of the best stylus’ out there, and an iPad keyboard from Touchfire that will change the way you type on an iPad. Hope you found something that piques your interest.

    Winner: Last week we reviewed the great RHA-SA950i Headphones and offered a pair for a lucky reader! MikeK, you were randomly picked as the winner! Please contact me with the contact info below to arrange for shipping.


    Hidden Track Technology Tuesday


    Have an idea for an article?

    Product, app, or web service you are passionate about? Feel free to get in touch with me.


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    Over the last couple of years when we’ve written about The Polyphonic Spree it mostly focused around their enthusiasm for holiday music. On August 6, the choral-rock ensemble will release their properly punctuated album – Yes, It’s True. – their first set of new material since 2007′s The Fragile Army. The Tim DeLaughter fronted act, who harnessed the power of crowd-sourcing to help fund their new record in raising $100,000, will head out for a 12-date summer tour, which includes a high profile appearance at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, as well as a pair of New York City-area shows at the Music Hall Of Williamsburg and the Bowery Ballroom on July 9 and 10 respectively.

    05.11.13  |  Dallas, TX  |  Homegrown Fest
    05.25.13  |  Arlington, TX  |  Levitt Pavilion
    06.13.13  |  Manchester, TN  |  Bonnaroo
    06.25.13  |  Columbus, OH  |  Newport Music Hall
    06.26.13  |  Indianapolis, IN  |  Deluxe at the Amber Room, Old National Centre
    06.28.13  |  Minneapolis, MN  |  Varsity Theater
    06.29.13  |  Kansas City, KS  |  Kanrocksas
    07.01.13  |  Chicago, IL  |  Park West
    07.02.13  |  Muskegon, MI  |  Coast West Music Festival
    07.05.13  |  Philadelphia, PA  |  Theater of the Living Arts
    07.06.13  |  Washington, DC  |  Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
    07.08.13  |  Allston, MA  |  Brighton Music Hall
    07.09.13  |  Brooklyn, NY  |  Music Hall of Williamsburg
    07.10.13  |  New York, NY  |  The Bowery Ballroom

    If you’re not into a night with the choral-rock ensemble, then maybe you’ll be interested in hitting one of these recently announced tours…

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    The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival finished its first weekend of action on Sunday at the Fairgrounds in the Crescent City. Sunday saw performances from the likes of the Dave Matthews Band, Calexico and the Gypsy Kings as well as New Orleans royalty The Nevilles, Kermit Ruffins and Big Sam.

    [All Photos by Dino Perrucci]

    Photographer Dino Perrucci was on hand and has filed a number of stunning shots…

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    Don’t know when I’ll be back again…

    Kiki Pau: Pines

    Tell me what it is you like about music. Because I’m pretty sure Kiki Pau does it on this album. It takes this Finnish band four tracks to cover 45 minutes, each one more a rock-and-roll suite than a song, amassing styles, genres and varied instrumentation along the way. Moving, transcendent, unique, progressive and very, very good.

    Soundcloud: Kiki Pau – Pines
    Spotify: Kiki Pau – Pines
    MOG: Kiki Pau – Pines
    Amazon: Kiki Pau – Pines

    Bombino: Nomad

    Hailing from Niger, Goumar Almoctar, aka Bombino, has a backstory that reads like a movie. All that aside, his music is an hypnotic electric-guitar-driven caravan across the desert. Equal parts dreamy rhythm and old-school rocking, his guitar is a unique, constant presence on the album. Listening to the distortion match a trance groove, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that Dan Auerbach produced.

    Spotify: Bombino – Nomad
    MOG: Bombino – Nomad
    Rhapsody: Bombino – Nomad
    Amazon: Bombino – Nomad

    Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba: Jama Ko

    Hailing from the music-rich Mali, Kouyate’s 3rd album with band Ngoni Ba is a delight. The band centers on the playing of ngonis – basically an older cousin to the guitar. Through amplification and effects, the sound is like a roots blues from another dimension, utterly unique and addictive. The songs layer the simple and the intricate, rhythms and melodies both primal and futuristic. Try something different…

    Spotify: Bassekou Kouyate + Ngoni ba – Jama ko
    MOG: Bassekou Kouyate + Ngoni ba – Jama ko
    Amazon: Bassekou Kouyate + Ngoni ba – Jama ko

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    Thanks to his work laying down the grooves in Sly and the Family Stone, bassist Larry Graham influenced generations of musicians who followed in his footsteps. Graham has a long history of performing with Prince and is even said to have introduced The Purple One to his current faith – Jehovah’s Witnesses. Last night the pair collaborated once again when Graham sat in with Prince and 3rdEyeGirl at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona.

    [Photo by @serpan99]

    Graham first emerged in the middle of Prince and 3rdEyeGirl’s set for takes on Sly and the Family Stone classics Sex Machine and Sing A Simple Song. The legendary bassist also helped out on Prince’s Alphabet Street during The Purple One’s Sampler Set. Outside of the Graham appearance, Prince and his all-female backing band mixed new material with classics such as I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man and Purple Rain. We’d hip you to videos, but this is Prince – he’d just take them down.

    Check out the full setlist from last night thanks to Dr. Funkenberry…

    Let’s Go Crazy w/Frankenstein
    She’s Always In My Hair
    The Love We Make(!)
    Plectrum Electrum
    Sex Machine (w/Larry Graham)
    Sing A Simple Song (w/Larry Graham)
    I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man
    Cause & Effect
    Crimson & Clover
    Purple Rain

    Sampler Set (Not In Order…?)
    Sign O The Times
    When Doves Cry
    Nasty Girl
    Hot Thing
    The Most Beautiful Girl In The World snippet
    Pop Life
    I Would Die 4 U
    Dance 4 me remix snippet
    Mr. Goodnight snippet
    Alphabet St. (w.Larry Graham)

    [Setlist and Report via Dr. Funkenberry]

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    Last year neo-groove act Addison Groove Project made their long-awaited return for a one-off gig in Boston nearly five years after the band parted ways. At the time, band members said they’d be open to occasional gigs and today we see they are keeping their word. AGP will play the Brooklyn Bowl on September 21st.

    The band last performed at Higher Ground in Burlington this past February.  Check out this video of AGP covering Skee-Lo’s I Wish at their Beantown reunion show…

    Tickets for AGP’s Brooklyn Bowl debut are currently on sale for $12.

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    Fresh off the exciting news that Neutral Milk Hotel will reunite for a small handful of shows next October, here’s a look at In the Aeroplane Over the Sea from Jeff Mangum’s intimate solo show at MASS MoCA this past February. Mangum sported a Duck Dynasty caliber beard and Julian Koster laid down a fantastic solo on the saw while everyone in attendance sang along.

    This band has become shrouded in myth and garnered legions of new fans in the 15 years since they last played live, so this reunion will be eagerly anticipated. Hopefully, they’ll expand this tour to include more dates or least set up a stream for one night.

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    It’s hard to believe it’s been eight years since the Benevento-Russo Duo and Mike Gordon collaborated on a wonderful 54-minute version of Foam that got the Phish community talking about just how good this pairing was. The 54-minute Foam, in which the trio explored many different jam spaces and worked in teases of Lengthwise, served as the entire first set for Mike and The Duo.

    Considering what a depressing time the Spring of ’05 was for Phish fans who were only eight months removed from Coventry, this version of Foam gave us hope. Gordon was clearly on top of his game and collaborating with two ridiculously talented musicians who pushed him to glory. This morning an exceptional video of the entire game-changing Foam has surfaced on YouTube. Enjoy!

    You can buy an MP3 or FLAC of this Foam via

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