Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jamtronica Sampler: The Werks & Papadosio

Words By Greg Molitor (ReMIND Photography)

The Werks:

The Werks have a festival appearance at Wakarusa this week and also at the upcoming Blastoff Festival at Zane Shawnee Caverns in Ohio. Enjoy these high quality videos of The Werks throwin’ down for their faithful fans.



Papadosio’s next stop on the road is also at Wakarusa Music Festival, followed by an appearance at Electric Forest at the beginning on July. Check out this show from Camp Barefoot 4 which took place in West Virginia last year...

Papadosio Live at Camp Barefoot 4 on August 21, 2010.


Monday, May 30, 2011

The Meaning of McCoury

Words By Chris Pandolfi (Infamous Stringdusters)
Photos By J-man

Festival season is officially underway. The Stringdusters just spent two days at the 4th annual DelFest, and we are already on the road to hit two more this weekend. The festival circuit is a migrating community of musicians and fans, a seasonal melting pot of musical scenes, where all kinds of bands, huge and small, share their crowds and their music. Everything is on a bigger scale, and every great festival has a tangible identity in its look, sound and feel. For an artist, hosting a festival can be an amazing way to outline your scene, to tell the world who you are. DelFest is no exception, and the name truly says it all.

Over the past 50 years Del McCoury has cemented his reputation as an American musical legend, with significant work across every part of the traditional-progressive bluegrass continuum. But his legacy is about more than just his catalogue of classics or his overflowing trophy case. Del’s spirit as a person, so joyous and so accessible, is what seems to set him apart. It’s apparent in every performance, and even more so in person. The festival is a clear extension of both McCoury’s exploratory musical mind and his relentless energy/enthusiasm. This year it was all about the man himself. Del was everywhere, and what better way to set the tone.

We rolled in on Thursday evening and Del kicked the whole thing off with about an hour of classic informal McCourys. it featured requests, B-sides, killer picking, killer singing and just generally amazing vibes from the whole group. We played about two hours later to a packed house of fans seeking refuge from the rain. Del and Ronnie joined us on stage for a version of the classic ‘On My Way Back to the Old Home.’ Before the show we were hanging backstage with Del as he was trying to recall what key the song was in from his Monroe days. He referenced a certain Monroe mandolin slide that gave it away every time, key of A. It was beautiful, a total dream come true. They lit up the stage as the crowd (and our band) plugged right into their energy.

Friday brought more drenching rain but that didn’t stop Del for a second. The evening set with Preservation Hall was the coolest things I have ever seen the band do. As Jon Wesiberger aptly states in the new album’s liner notes, “celebrating connections rather than differences can sometimes be a hazardous job,” but McCoury has made a career of it, always striving for cool material and sounds that are outside bluegrass, performed with all the quality, precision and soul that makes the music what it is. I asked Ronnie how such collaborations come about (with the Lee Boys, or the Preservation Hall crew) and the answer was simple: “Dad loves to sing with these guys.” It seems there are no boundaries, no rules governing where these collaborations might lead. It’s all about one simple goal: good music.

After the Preservation Hall/McCourys set was the Old Crow Medicine Show, and Del was right back out on stage, sitting in with the alt-acoustic rockers on ‘Little Maggie.’ The man was on hand hours later (minus the suit) to see Trampled by Turtles, our boys from MN, who are honing in their mind-altering fusion of energy and music. He was definitely getting into some bluegrass speed-metal. Later Del was holding court in the green room, at about 1:30 AM, telling stories about Monroe while getting ready to sit in with Railroad Earth–connecting the old and the new in real time like only he can do. Trampled (@tbtduluth) tweeted that Del was the last man standing in the wee hours. The Dusters had long since left the festival. We are on the road now, but it’s looking like Del will be omnipresent all weekend.

I can clearly remember the first time I saw the Del McCoury Band. It was 1999 at Camp Oswego, an early iteration of the Phish megafestival, on the grounds of an airport in upstate NY. I had just started playing banjo, so Del’s sidestage set was a must see. An unruly crowd of midday festivarians loved everything about it from the first note. While the masses were mostly resting up for the big night ahead, the members of Phish definitely did not miss this show. I remember seeing them huddled in the wings of this small temporary stage, intently observing as Del and Co made easy work of the purest, most authoritative bluegrass around. That has to mean something, and it does. Later that day the McCourys appeared on the biggest of big stages, playing before a sea of around 50,000 fans, securing their place as bluegrass ambassadors to the world. It was the advent of a new era, a new level of popularity for the band that opened the door to A-list collaborations, sold-out clubs and late-night TV. But their musical standards, and their reputation as a band, have never wavered. It’s quality music, moving naturally toward the mainstream.

Since then I have had the pleasure of playing, teaching and hanging with the McCourys at shows and festivals all over the country. Ronnie and Robbie are masters who speak the traditional language in their own original voices, and they will always have a direct link to the first generation of bluegrass, a tag that only grows rarer as time goes by. Meanwhile, their collaborations seem to grow only more diverse–these are important musicians to watch. Alan was our original bass player and remains our good friend, and Jason is as good as any bluegrass fiddler on the scene, with the hardware to prove it. To see them in their element this weekend, along with their big extended family of eclectic musical friends, really said a lot.

The best news of all is that Del is at the top of his game–astounding for a musician whose his first 50 year retrospective (released in 2009) is already on the shelf. His music is more sincere than ever and that is what the fans, fans from all scenes, relate to. It’s not about what it’s called, it’s just about the man’s spirit, and the spirit of his sound. The McCourys (along with the amazing High Sierra folks) are curating a scene that’s representative of their musical legacy: the marriage of tradition and innovation. The best new things always have at the very least an understanding of what came before. But Del actually IS what came before. Along with his band, he continues to write history on weekends like this one, at festivals like DelFest.



Jam Band Spotlight: Steve Kimock

Words By J-man

In honor of Steve Kimock's upcoming three night run at Quixote's this weekend in Denver, we thought who better to feature in our "Jam Band Spotlight" than Steve Kimock? That being said, this set featuring Steve Kimock hosting the Jam Cruise Jam Room seemed to be the perfect fit! Enjoy the hours of improvised mixed musician magic that this session offers and feel Kimock's influence and direction on theses deep spacey tracks!

There are very few that can come close to creating as unique a sound as Kimock's. His pull on talent and musical names helps to solidify the strength and power of his projects. The Jam Room offers a step outside of his normal work and offers a glimpse into the outer realms of Kimock. Enjoy the recording and we'll see you this weekend at Quixote's.

Jam Cruise Jam Room Live at Pigalle Lounge on January 8, 2011.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Bluegrass: Yonder & Leftover

Words By J-man

When turning to this week's Sunday Bluegrass picks I kept it local. Luckily for me, I live in Colorado. So picking from the local bluegrass pool comes as no great challenge. First off I wanted to find a solid and Yonder Mountain String Band show. And find one I did...

Yonder Mountain String Band Live at McDonald Theatre on April 10, 2011.

Additionally I thought a recent Leftover Salmon recording that did the group justice would do the trick. I wasn't personally in attendance for this show, but those who were told me that it was the best Salmon show that they had seen in some time. Enjoy!

Leftover Salmon Live at Aggie Theatre on February 23, 2011.



Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday Dead (Zimmer's Picks): 1.22.68

Words By Andy Zimmer

I definitely have the easiest “job” at MusicMarauders. Most folks who are into the jam/improve-scene are fans of the Dead and like myself, enjoy most anything Dead-related. Plus, with such a vast archive of spectacular performances to dig through, selecting some quality jams isn’t exactly rocket science. That being said, I love being able to do my little Dead write-ups... especially when it helps me discover (or re-discover) great shows that may have been lurking off of my radar for some time. This week’s pick is a perfect example.

It’s been a while since I’ve listened to much material from 1968. I wanted to feature a show from that year, so I went digging through my vault. Lo and behold I stumble upon the 1.22.68 show from Seattle, WA. Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve listened to that show. I forgot how incendiary it is. Simply put, this is one helluva show from start to finish. Well, not exactly “start to finish”, because we only have a record of the first set... but you catch my drift.

It’s hard to talk about stand-out tracks from this show, because everything is so solid. There never seems to be a lull in the energy levels on stage and the entire performance is played in the typical balls-to-the-wall ’68 fashion. If you only have time for two tracks, make sure to listen to Pigpen do his thing in an excellent "Alligator” and an exceptional take on the “Spanish Jam”. But, truthfully, do yourself a favor and carve out 75ish minutes from your schedule and give the entire show a listen.

Grateful Dead Live at Eagles Auditorium on January 22, 1968.

Set 1: Alligator ->Drums ->Alligator, Cryptical Envelopment ->The Other One Cryptical, Envelopment ->New Potato Caboose ->Born Cross-Eyed ->Feedback ->Spanish Jam ->Dark Star ->China Cat Sunflower ->The Eleven ->Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks) Jam ->Feedback ->And We Bid You Goodnight

Friday, May 27, 2011

Funk on Film: Still Bill

"Most people don't know or don't care who you are. Sometimes if I tell somebody who I am they'll say 'No you ain't.'" -Bill Withers

Words By Andy DeVilbiss

Sadly, Bill Withers is right. You may not know or care who he is. At least not until someone clues you in to his list of funk and soul classics like "Ain't No Sunshine," "Lean On Me," "Use Me," "Grandma's Hands," "Kissing My Love," and "Just the Two of Us." Then the light bulb comes on. You hear his smooth and emotive voice in your head, singing some of the most beautiful and honest lyrics ever penned, and you think, "Oh yeah. That guy! Whatever happened to him?"

The answer to that question is the subject of "Still Bill," a brilliant documentary released in 2009. Directed by Damani Baker and Alex Vlack, the film features perhaps more honesty than I've ever seen from a musician and performer as Withers explains where he came from to become a superstar and how industry burnout and his desire to be a family man led him to pull a Keyser Soze over 25 years ago and completely vanish from music business. The film finds Withers his 70's, struggling to understand and appreciate his legacy and feeling the urge to make a little noise. As he puts it while stalking around his home studio, "I'm trying to give myself a chance to get driven. Thoreau I think said 'the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.' I would like to know how it feels for my desperation to get louder."

You'll see Withers make his first trip back to his hometown since he left decades ago, visiting Slab Fork, West Virginia, a former mining camp. He tours around with an old friend, talking about growing up. It's particularly poignant when he talks about his memories of his grandmother, the subject of his song "Grandma's Hands" which he considers the best love song he's ever written. You'll hear him discuss how he got into the music business at a relatively advanced age, after writing songs on his job working on toilets for airline jets. You'll feel his disdain for the corporate machinery of the music industry, nowhere more pointed than when he talks about "blacksperts," the white industry guys who specialize in figuring out how to sell stuff to black people. That charged theme remains as he discusses matters of race, cultural impact and the music business on his porch with Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley, where there's a pregnant pause and struggle in Bill's eyes as West asks him, "Both personally as a human being and as the great artist that you are, what would you want your legacy to be?" and he has no immediate answer.

You'll see the pure, unadulterated love Withers has for his wife and children, the main reason he decided to leave fame and fortune behind. However, even when it comes to family, Withers' brutal honesty remains at the forefront. His daughter Kori decided to follow in her father's footsteps and become a musician, and she recounts the story of the first time she sang something for him. Bill's response was a little less than positive, which though painful at the time, ultimately helped her become better at her craft. Withers' response to that story is to explain a bit of his realistic parenting approach by saying, "It's ok to head out for wonderful, but, on your way to wonderful, you're going to pass through alright. And when you get to alright, take a good look around and get used to it because that may be as far as you're going to go."

You'll also see him finally begin to make his desperation get a little louder. He attends a tribute show in Brooklyn. He pops in on guitarist Cornell Dupree's gig, emerging from the crowd to sing. He invites Raul Midon to his home studio to collaborate on a track, and you can feel Withers' energy and excitement building. He also records a song with his daughter, and the tears streaming down his face while listening to it almost strike as validation - that, yes, he made the right choice to give up the fame and devote himself to his family.

The film is a portrait of a man of talent, wisdom and integrity and an insight into what stokes and snuffs the fires of artistry. This is man who is practical and realistic about his place in the musical world and who's not afraid to speak the truth, no matter the subject. It's riveting to watch him grapple with both himself and the outside forces in his life as he tries to get his creative juices flowing. And it's soulfully reassuring that he's still here and he's still Bill.

One more note... The song above was written by Withers after meeting a Vietnam War casualty. I know Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff for summer what with Phish tour, Summer Camp, swimsuits and cookouts. But remember what it's really about and take a few moments to reflect on the sacrifices made by the members of our U.S. military. Politics aside, those folks serve so that you and I don't have to, and their brave efforts should be commended. If it wasn't for them, neither you, me, nor Bill Withers would be living in a nation where it's still ok to speak your mind. To those who serve - past, present and future - thank you for what you do.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hot Buttered Rum in Denver

Fresh off of Desert Rocks Music Festival and Wakarusa, California string band Hot Buttered Rum will be making a stop in Denver Colorado to play The Oriental Theater! Whiskey Tango will be opening! Tickets are $15.00 in advance and $20.00 at the door. It is an 18 and up show. Don't miss this great night of music!

Initially formed as an acoustic string band, seven years of constant touring has transformed Hot Buttered Rum into a plugged-in, percussive powerhouse that wows critics and fans alike. Their left-coast rock reveals an access to jazz, country, and world music that few groups can match. While the band's music belies simple categorization, its songwriting and stage chemistry delights listeners at every turn.

Hot Buttered Rum’s story is one of evolution. The “high altitude bluegrass” era captured on their first studio album, In These Parts, found the band enjoying success at such diverse stages as the Newport Folk Festival, Bonnaroo, Grey Fox, High Sierra, Wakarusa, and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Along the way, the group shared the stage with some of today's most accomplished artists, including Phil Lesh, Bela Fleck, Ben Harper, and Nickel Creek’s Chris Thile. In 2006, acoustic pioneer Mike Marshall produced Hot Buttered Rum’s second studio album, Well-Oiled Machine, and captured the sound of a hard-touring band charting its course along the highways and byways of American music.

The continued expansion of Hot Buttered Rum’s sound and writing found a home in Live in the Northeast. More electric pickups made their way to the stage, along with an increased focus on songwriting. As the band developed a heavier sound, fans and press began to describe them as a rock band with acoustic instruments. It therefore came as no surprise when, following the departure of mandolinist Zac Matthews, the other founding members Aaron Redner (fiddle and mandolin), Bryan Horne (upright bass), Nat Keefe (guitar), and Erik Yates (banjo, guitar, woodwinds, and resophonic guitar) joined forces with Everyone Orchestra conductor and drummer Matt Butler.

The new lineup has recently emerged from San Francisco’s Mission Bells Studios, where they recorded Limbs Akimbo under the watchful eye of producer Tim Bluhm (The Mother Hips). Featuring guest appearances by Jackie Greene (Skinny Singers, Phil Lesh and Friends) and Zach Gill (ALO, Jack Johnson), the album marks the beginning of a new creative phase. Limbs Akimbo now signals the arrival of a highly matured, impressively listenable, stirringly rocking, and pleasantly poppy sound. Proving himself a forceful producer, Bluhm has struck an impressive balance between highlighting the multi-instrumental, cross-genre elements of the band’s sound while avoiding the contemporary trappings of music that is complex and different merely for the sake of complexity and difference. The result is beautifully paradoxical: a tremendous, minimalist pop album full of hints, teases, and cameos of the band’s complex musical personality. In “Something New,” Keefe recites the familiar wedding adage “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” And right there, in a nutshell, is Limbs Akimbo: an album that is both an elegy and reincarnation of Hot Buttered Rum’s past sound, that borrows heavily from the rock pantheon while sprinkling in just a little of everything else. Limbs Akimbo is an album that evidences the acoustic string band of yesteryear while unapologetically propelling into the scene a mature left-coast, drum-driven, pop-rock band.



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thursday Jazz McCoy Tyner's Tribute to Guitars

Words By J-man

OOn September 23rd, 2008, McCoy Tyner released an unexpected tribute to guitars that featured the incorporation of guitars with his music. McCoy is joined by legends Ron Carter (bass) and Jack DeJohnette (drums). Special guests on the album include a handful of additional virtuosos: Bela Fleck, Derek Trucks, John Scofield, Marc Ribot and Bill Frisell.

What's interesting about this album is McCoy's lack of work with guitars previously and his desire to pay tribute to an instrument that he had intermingled with very little.

The musical relationship that McCoy builds with his guests through improvisation and pure emotion is memorizing and deep. The music seems to flow out of the instruments effortlessly with virtuoso sound and direction. It's easy to get lost in the mastery, but ultimately the listener is taken by the beauty and emotion.

McCoy is an incredible musician and his album Guitars is nothing short of breathtaking. From the trio of legends, to his guesting virtuosos, Tyner nailed it.

Purchase McCoy Tyner's Guitars on Amazon.com


Juno What, Soulive & The Royal Family Ball in Denver

Words & Video By J-man
Photos By J-man & Carly Marthis

There's no question that Denver is a mecca for live music. The combination of Friday and Saturday, May 21st and 22nd, was prime evidence of the strength and popularity of the mountain scene. One of Colorado's premier venues, Cervantes, played host to these two evenings of rage. Further proof of Denver's thriving scene was evident in the fact that both sides of the venue held live recordings both nights. Many folks took comfort in knowing that these evenings' music would be recorded, for they were two incredible nights of music.

First things first, MusicMarauders had a contest to tend to. With the help of Juno What, the winners of our Desert Rocks ticket giveaway were selected...

Outside of Cervantes Friday night, the line stretched into the street. Most of these folks knew what good music sounded like, and if they didn't, they were about to find out. Entering the Other Side, the turnout seemed dismal for the New York band Sophistafunk. The crowds would turn out later for the Juno What, and as we entered the Masterpiece Ballroom, it was clear where the party was. It's not easy to go up against the Royal Family.

Mid-set, Soulive could be heard absolutely destroying. The music was on-par with what Soulive does as one of the most consistently raging bands on the scene. Their musical hodgepodge of jazz, funk and straight-ahead nastiness creates a vibe unlike any other. One thing that stood out was the noticeably elevated level of energy within the audience. As the crowd received Soulive with genuine acceptance and cried for more filthy funk, it was obvious that something special was happening this evening.

Backstage on the Other Side, Juno What and guests were getting ready for the show. The gentleman who was recording and tracking Juno What's sets was sitting behind his gear and laptop, fine-tuning the levels and listening-in with headphones. The mood was light as the perfect setting emerged for those in attendance.

Juno What then hit the stage, and like clockwork, the Other Side filled in. It was impossible not to dance. Their music has the comfort appeal of 80s music that carries a funk sound made famous by the Wizard of Woo himself, Mr. Bernie Worrell. They shred and bend, and just when you think it can't get any more danceable, it does. The music creates a scene in itself, an environment that turns into a dance party where almost everyone in sight is getting down for the cause.

Joey Porter and Steve Swatkins are one of the most groovin' front lines I have ever heard. Alone, they are well versed musicians, but together, an exponential amount of ground is covered. Every note radiates of groove and every tone makes your face form to the music. Destruction was inevitable. With Dave Watts quarterbacking the operation, it was overwhelmingly danceable. Dave's playing was solid, and as he always does, he seemed so comfortable in his element. Throughout the performance he utilized electronic beats then played drums over them, creating a layered sound that kept the crowd on its toes.

In the Ballroom, Lettuce had taken the energy to a nearly impossible level. Cervantes was packed! It was a different dance party than what Juno What was throwing down as Lettuce played more straight ahead and horn-oriented music. With the staple horn section hitting the chops, the stage was set for Eric Krasno on guitar to impress, and that he did. With Adam Deitch on the drums, Neal Evans on the Organ, E.D. Coomes on the bass and Adam Smirnoff on guitar, Lettuce is widely considered as a funk super group.

Back at Juno What, the guests were hitting the stage. Ryan Jalbert of the Motet came out for some enjoyable guitar work. Ryan is a great guitar player and added a perfect mix to the band. Pete Wall followed with some soprano sax that had people in the crowd yelling with delight. Pete's fingers soared across the sax with precision and force. The crowd was impressed but it was clear they wanted more. Following a short set break, they did indeed get more of both guests.

The night continued on both sides with incredibly funky dance parties that went into the early hours of the morning. Break Science closed the evening in the Ballroom with a set slated from 2:00 - 3:00am. Passing through the room on the way out of the venue, there were a limited amount of fans that stayed to listen to the dubstep. In the end, the evening was a riot. The following evening would play out similarly.

Returning to Cervantes on Saturday, the ticket lines were even longer. Again, the Other Side was near empty for Sophistafunk as almost everyone was enjoying the music of Soulive in the Ballroom.

Like the night prior, Soulive dipped into some Beatles tunes which brought down the energy from the levels present during their original music. The Beatles thing was fun at first, but it seemed the band was beating a dead horse. The music never fails to impress, but in regards to creative output, Soulive seems to have hit a roadblock.

Back with Sophistafunk on the Other Side, listeners were treated to some average funk/hip-hop. Towards the end of their set, the keyboardist got into some dirty tones but beyond that brief moment, nothing about Sophistafunk was all that impressive.

Juno What brought a much needed boost in musical creativity and technical ability not to mention an outrageous throw down. It seemed as if a direct continuation of the previous night's happening, except during Saturday evening, there was an even larger turn out and even more dancing!

Guests included Ryan on the guitar and Garrett Sayers of The Motet. At first, many thought it was the second coming of Jesus Christ for the rapture, but no... It was Garrett Sayers on bass. On the side of the stage Michael Kang of The String Cheese Incident could be seen enjoying Juno What. Just behind Michael was Jason Hann of EOTO and The String Cheese Incident. Not only did fans turn out to enjoy the Juno What, but so did a handful of musicians who didn't want to miss out on the fun.

The two nights were a huge success! The music was great, the vibes were amazing and the turn out fantastic. Now we wait for the live albums to be released. We wait to re-live those incredible memories from that weekend. But most of all, we wait to share that music with those who couldn't be there, for those who love Juno What and Soulive and also those who have yet to be introduced to their music. Lastly, we wait for Desert Rocks and The Motet>Juno What's 1:30am-4:30am sets! We can't seem to get enough!



Photo Gallery From The Shows

New Artist Feature: Digital Tape Machine

Words By Greg Molitor (ReMIND Photography)

Digital Tape Machine features an all-star collection of Chicago-based artists that have been offering a fresh brand of high-energy electro-rock since early 2010. The band is hitting the road this summer for sets at Summer Camp Music Festival, Wicker Park Fest and The Big Up, and has also scheduled club performances at the Higher Ground in Burlington on July 28th and at 8x10 in Baltimore on July 30th. Keep an eye out for their first album, Elephant in the Room, which is set to release in the new future. For now, you can enjoy this archived performance of Digital Tape Machine live on December 30, 2010, at a sold out Umphrey’s McGee after party in Chicago…

Digital Tape Machine at the Kinetic Playground Chicago, IL December 30, 2010.

Digital Tape Machine is Kris Myers (Umphrey’s McGee), Joel Cummins (Umphrey’s McGee), Joe Hettinga (Strange Arrangement), Kevin Barry (Strange Arrangement), David Arredondo (Liquid Soul), Marcus Rezak (The Hue) and Dan Rucinski (Land of Atlantis).


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jamtronica Sampler: The Disco Biscuits & Lotus

Words By Greg Molitor (ReMIND Photography)

The Disco Biscuits:

The Disco Biscuits have two shows this week at the Ogden Theater in Denver before they invade Red Rocks Amphitheater Saturday night for Bisco Inferno 2011. Check out the show below from Bisco Inferno 2009. The nearly 30-minute inverted “Crickets” has ridiculous energy and is well worth the listen!



Lotus has quite the busy schedule over the next few weeks with stops at Summer Camp, Bella, Wakarusa, Mountain Jam and Starscape Music Festival in Baltimore. For your auditory pleasure, here’s a highly regarded Lotus performance from Summer Camp Music Festival 2008. Enjoy!

Lotus Live at Summer Camp Music Festival on May 24, 2008.


Electronic Spotlight: Mount Kimbie

Words By Stevie Tee

Dominic Maker and Kai Campos comprise the British electronic duo Mount Kimbie. The two met at Southbank University in London and now produce under Scuba’s Hotflush recordings. James Blake is also a friend of Mount Kimbie, collaborating with them in the live setting and helping them with field recordings for their debut LP, Crooks and Lovers, as well as remixing their first single, “Maybes.”

Their music floats effortlessly between hip-hop, UK garage, dubstep, techno and more. Brilliant use of field recordings, sample looping and organic ambiance also give them a more visual edge that’s reminiscent of shoegaze, post-rock or film scores. Critics and fans have been calling them post-dubstep and some have credited them as pioneering a sound known as future garage. Gorgeous unimposing synthesizers gel perfectly with deep basses over tightly wound, syncopated beats. Unlike much of today’s sub-standard beat music, Mount Kimbie have a tremendous handle on melodic structure and direction to complement their chilled-out, inspired grooves.

Critical acclaim has followed Mount Kimbie from their first EP release just two years ago. Last year’s Crooks and Lovers LP appeared on over 30 different Best Albums of 2010 lists. Even though they are not a DJ group and perform their music as Live PA sets with instruments, they recorded a mix for the prestigious Resident Advisor podcast that unveiled an unreleased track. Mount Kimbie will be touring the United States this September and recently had some fantastic performances at this year’s Coachella and SXSW festivals. On June 27th the group will be releasing Carbonated EP which will feature two new tracks and a couple remixes of older tracks.


Monday, May 23, 2011

The Henhouse Prowlers 5.18.11

The Circus (Bluegrass Night) – Ann Arbor, MI

Words & Photos By Greg Molitor (ReMIND Photography)

Times remain tough for the majority of us that live in Michigan, and everyday the opportunities to see shows, especially free ones, shrink alongside our fading optimism for the future of this once prosperous state. It’s painful to face the overall reality of the situation, but there’s no sugar coating it. Things could be much, much better for many Michiganders. Yet we persevere somehow…

Every Wednesday night in Ann Arbor, hope can be seen in the form of free bluegrass at The Circus. It’s become quite the party over the years, something we can all share regardless of where our individual lives are headed. This evening marked the return of the Midwest’s finest traditional bluegrass outfit, The Henhouse Prowlers. We love the Prowlers in Michigan and this was proven by the incredible turnout at The Circus.

Consisting of Ben Wright (banjo), Eric Lambert (guitar), Jon Goldfine (bass) and Grant Ziolkowski (mandonlin), the band played two hearty sets of bluegrass at The Circus, Henhouse Prowlers style. The group has found its feet since the departure of former fiddler Ryan Hinshaw and the consequent addition of Ziolkowski on the mandolin, a change that took some time to gel but has blossomed into something new and exciting for both the band and its fans.

The only negative of the show was the low volume of the music. The band needed to be louder, but that certainly wasn’t the fault of The Henhouse Prowlers. What the Prowlers brought this evening was a synthesis of multiple influences that formed into a unified bluegrass movement that was original, danceable and enjoyable throughout. I’m looking forward to catching these guys again in Lansing come July, and if you get the chance, make sure you see these guys when they come around your neck of the woods.


Greg’s Photo Gallery

Jam Band Spotlight: Phish

Words By Greg Molitor (ReMIND Photography)

It’s time to call your show friends, get your travel gear ready, and fire up the ol’ van... Phish tour begins this week! Phish simply IS this generation’s jam band. Through two hiatuses we’ve learned that the jam scene just isn’t the same without the quirky foursome on the road pleasing its fans. The proof is in the numbers, and no other touring act in our scene consistently attracts a following like these guys. Phish’s summer tour officially starts this Friday, May 27th, in Bethel, NY, and continues until September 4th, where the band will finish their tour in Commerce City, CO. Phish also will be throwing their 9th Phish festival, Superball IX, at Watkins Glen in New York over The Fourth of July weekend. To celebrate the band’s return to the road, I’ve selected a handful of videos highlighting a few of my favorite Phish tunes to get y’all in the mood for the celebrations that will be happening all summer. Enjoy!

’98 was a banner year for Phish as the band dug into some phunky ass grooves all year long. Here’s a killer version of “Tube”, the first song played during their ’98 Island Tour.

Another gem from ’98, here’s Phish busting out a concise, rockin’ version of “Piper”. This video is a part of a PBS Series, “Sessions from West 54th”, which was hosted by The Talking Heads frontman David Byrne.

From the Europe ’97 Tour, here the boys are steppin’ into the freezer with the crowd favorite, “Tweezer”. This 10 minute version has the band bustin’ out some serious grooves with that certain playfulness Phish fans have grown to love over the years.

Of course, no “Tweezer” is complete without its “Tweezer Reprise”. Check out this “Halley’s Comet > Tweezer Reprise” from the ’98 Island Tour that has the crowd going absolutely nuts by the end of the performance. Happy Phishin’, everyone!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Bluegrass: Punch Brothers

Words By J-man

This week's "Bluegrass Sunday" pick is one of those bluegrass hybrid bands that's versatility extends far beyond bluegrass music. The Punch Brothers' played an essential role in pioneering the classicalgrass movement.

The Punch Brothers are also know for their work on a plethora of other cover material such as Radiohead. Enjoy the virtuosity, coupled with the familiarity of songs that you've come to love.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Saturday Dead (Zimmer's Picks): 12.14.80

Words By Andy Zimmer

Spring finally looks like it has arrived!! The trees are budding, insects are buzzing around newly-opened flowers, a warm breeze brushes my cheeks as I venture out of the house, and the air smells fresh and new. As our corner of the planet sloughs off another winter from its endless journey around the sun, it feels good to be alive... and warm. But least we take the splendors of spring and summer for granted, let us not forget the icy darkness that is surely waiting in the wings to bring the chill back into our bones. Winter may be gone, but it’s not forgotten. And, with this week’s pick, I’ve decided to dive into the month of December and hope that the warmth of spring can thaw out this frozen classic.

This week’s show comes from the winter tour of 1980. There are plenty of solid shows from November/December of ’80, and if you aren’t familiar with these concerts, I would recommend that you do a little digging and give some of them a listen. Today’s pick is from The Long Beach Arena on December 14 of 1980. Typically I try to provide soundboard (or at least matrix) recordings for my picks, but the audience source for this show is so good that I had to include it.

With the opening notes of “Bertha”, the band gets right into it. This high-energy opener sets the tone for a very up-tempo show. Bobby keeps the ball rolling with a great take of the “Greatest Story Ever Told”. I particularly enjoy the versions of “Althea” and “Big River”.

The second set opens with “Cold Rain and Snow”, a tune that I always enjoy seeing in any Dead set list and a great way to open a set. The meat of set two is some really good stuff. “Estimated Prophet”>”The Wheel” shows the band sounding tight and jamming well. It may be a little strange to hear the band pull out “The Wheel” before the “Drums/Space” portion of the set, but it segues into the ambience quite nicely before the band blasts back off with an excellent version of “The Other One”. Latin percussionist Airto Moreira and his vocalist wife, Flora Purim, sit in with the band for “Drums/Space” and add extra layers of texture to the confusion. Top it off with a “Brokedown Palace” encore and you have yourself a damn fine concert!

Grateful Dead Live at Long Beach Arena on December 14, 1980.

Funky Five: Haiku Reviews

Words By Andy DeVilbiss

It's been an unexpectedly busy week for me, so I'm bringin' the quickness with this one. I have assumed the lotus position, achieved zen and focused my chi, so here's some brief thoughts on a some newish music, delivered as tranquil haikus.

Mayer Hawthorne - Impressions (EP)

Decent soul covers
More uptempo tracks needed
At least it was free

Blitz the Ambassador - Native Sun

Ghana meets Brooklyn
Hip-hop with afrobeat band
Slammin' formula

The Genie - Here Come The Scissors

Down Under madness
Joe Jackson cover!

Monophonics - Like Yesterday (single)

New keyboardist sings
Gritty greasy throwback sound
Ready for big things

Juno What?! - Shameless

Vocoded goodies
Sleek, 80's naked funk vibe
You'll dance your ass off

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Grant Farm Featuring Keith Moseley 5.13.11

Words & Photos By J-man

The turn out at Quixote's was solid for a night packed with music. Being that Quixote's was our second stop of the evening, we missed some of the earlier bands but arrived just in time for Grant Farm featuring Keith Moseley followed by Whiskey Tango doing a "tweener" set in the courtyard. The grill was fired up, the people were fired up and Quixote's was in full swing.

Grant Farm with Keith Moseley drew an impressive crowd! I thought each of the individual musicians were somewhat impressive, but collectively the folk/rockabilly sound didn't really appeal to me. I was surrounded by smiling folks dancing like crazy. It was a euphoric environment. All of the colors and lights of Quixote's create a really beautiful vibe.

Out on the patio, Whiskey Tango got started as Grant Farm was wrapping up. I enjoyed Whiskey Tango. The sound was by no means fine tuned, but the picking and energy was enjoyable. Again, looking around the courtyard I was surrounded by smiling faces. In the back of the courtyard Paul was grilling up his famous Jerked Chicken, there were strings of lights strung across the courtyard and the night was beautiful. Because of nights like that night, I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to have a venue like Quixote's in my town.


Photo Gallery From The Show

Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette Trio

Words By J-man

Pianist/composer Keith Jarrett (previously of Art Blakey & Miles Davis), double bassist (Bill Evans & Miles Davis) & drummer Jack DeJohnette (Bill Evans & Miles Davis) join forces once again for a trio that approaches the thirty year mark. Performing mainly standards, the trio has recorded several records mixing in a splash of original material. Many of the tracks focus on challenging standards and group improvisations that sound so complex that many have mistaken their free jazz as composed instrumentation.

Through the 80s into the 90s on a wave of post-bop, they were thrust to the forefront of working groups with impressive endurance. Several world tours of acoustically near-perfect halls cemented their status as truly one of the most successful straight-ahead and free jazz groups.

The trio will hit the road once again for another world tour starting in July that will extend from Europe all of the way back to the states. Check out this incredible trio and see for yourself what all of the excitement is about...




Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Three Nights of Kimock & Friends at Quixote's

Guitar legend Steve Kimock (Phil Lesh, Ratdog, Other Ones) returns to Quixote's True Blue in Denver, CO for a much anticipated three night run on June 3rd, 4th and an afternoon show on June 5th. He will be joined by Bobby Vega (Zero, KVHW), Kyle Hollingsworth (String Cheese Incident) & Wally Ingram (Stockholm Syndrome) for what will be an incredible musical experience.

Also appearing will be Ray White's (Frank Zappa) Psychedelic Wash featuring Fareed Haque (formerly of Garaj Mahal, MathGames) Fleeb Thomas (Octopus Nebula) and Joey Porter (Motet, Juno What). With the presence of such incredible talent and musicianship, the energy at Quixote's is sure to be through the roof.

The Friday and Saturday shows are slated to start at 8pm and the Sunday show at 2pm. Tickets will be available at the door for $20. Join us for three days of fantastic music!







New Artist Feature: The McLovins

Words By Greg Molitor (ReMIND Photography)

If you haven’t heard The McLovins, you might be looking to your nearest calendar right now to see if it’s April 1st. No, indeed it’s not, and yes, this trio is a legit group. Way legit, no joke. The McLovins at a combined age of 51-years-old can flat out bring jaw droppin’ licks to the table, and, like similar bands in our scene, what the group lacks in vocal instrumentation is more than replaced with over-the-top, blow-the-roof-off-this-mofo jams that’ll leave you speechless from their raw talent...

The video above is almost two years old, so make sure you check out the link below to see what The McLovins are bringing to the table in May 2011. Their festival schedule is light for this summer considering they are still in high school, but those attending Strange Creek Music Festival and Gathering of the Vibes are going to have a firsthand opportunity to see this band tear it up. Listen, and you’ll agree... this band WILL be huge.

The McLovins Live at Jillian's on May 14, 2011.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jamtronica Sampler: Mouth & Normal Instruments

Words By Greg Molitor (ReMIND Photography)


Fresh off a recent tour of Denver, Mouth is enjoying a few days off before beginning its festival season this Friday at Festy Fest in Lawrence, Kansas. Enjoy one of the many free downloads from Mouth’s website linked below…

The 2nd Set of Mouth’s 2nd Birthday Party


Normal Instruments:

Normal Instruments in a new jamtronica 4-piece consisting of guitarist Michael Carter (The Indobox), drummer Jules Jenssen (Higher Organix), bassist Matt Beckett (Cosmic Dust Bunnies), and keyboardist Jeff Bujak. Below, you can listen to the group’s first performance together from January 13th, 2011…

Normal Instruments January 13th, 2011

Check out Normal Instruments’ Facebook page here.

Desert Rocks Music Festival May 27th-29th

In its 7th year, Desert Rocks Music Festival 2011 will be returning to Moab, Utah, for Memorial Day weekend! Bluegrass, rock, reggae, hip-hop, funk, fire-dancers, and aerial ballerinas will paint the Utah Desert with beautiful positive energy. This year, Desert Rocks will feature three stages, camping and a great musical line up...

The artist lineup includes:

JGB feat. Melvin Seals, Chali 2na, People Under the Stairs, Hot Buttered Rum (2 sets), Great American Taxi, March Fourth Marching Band, The Motet, Elephant Revival, Moonalice, Juno What?!, MTHDS, Dubskin, Ten Mile Tide, David Gans, Yamn, Natural Roots Reggae, Swagger, DopeThought, Wisebird, Stonefed, White Water Ramble, Codi Jordan Band, Ulysses, Junior & Transportation, The Pour Horse, Gigi Love, Puddle Mountain Ramblers, Equaleyes, Afro Omega, Tony Holiday & The Velvetones, The Williams Brothers Band, Marinade, Holy Water Buffalo, Cowboy and Indian, Spell Talk, Zobomaze, Triggers & Slips, Big Blue Ox, Timmi Cruz, Smooth Money Gesture, Tatanka, Asklee K., as well as an overload of DJs...


Desert Rocks Full Festival Pass (3 or 4 Days) - $115.00

Desert Rocks Lower Vehicle Parking Pass - $45.00

Desert Rocks VIP Pass - $250.00

Beyond the music and on-site activities, Desert Rocks offers a steady dose of adventurous activities. The surrounding landscape offers beauty that draws folks from all over the globe! Be sure and pack your bikes, boots, and bathing suits!

Check out our Facebook page where we are giving away two pairs of tickets to Desert Rocks!


Electronic Spotlight: Blast Off

Cirque Du Womp ‘Blasts Off’ With New Music Festival

Words By Ben Solis

Angela Palaian is not a techno-head, and she never claimed to be.

As the co-founder and lead organizer of Cirque Du Womp, a dubstep party franchise that specializes in the fusion of electronic music, circus performance, art and community youth outreach programs, the 24-year-old Detroit native said that it has always been about the bigger picture.

“My favorite artist is Ani D’Franco, who is this alternative rocker bitch who plays guitar and sings,” said Palaian. “We’ve had this connection with Dubstep for so long, but we’ve never felt like that was our genre. That’s why we’re doing this festival. It gives us a chance to evolve.”

Getting out of the stuffy clubs and lofts of downtown Detroit, Palaian and Cirque Du Womp have setup shop in Bellefontaine, Ohio, to host their first outdoor music festival called “The Blastoff.”

Renting out the Zane Shawnee Caverns Native American Reservation from June 16-19, the Cirque Du Womp crew aims to deliver an experience yet to be seen at other exhibitions.

That experience, according to Palaian, will include two days of up-and-coming artists and Du Womp’s famous circus play.

“We are very into the counterculture of the electronic and jam-band scene,” she said, “but what we're most concerned about is the type of environment we can offer our guests.”

Created in 2009, Du Womp was formed by the alliance of Palaian and her partners in crime: lighting engineer Scott Sutterfield and DJ Grant “K@tdog” Jackson.

“We met each other through a few different channels," said Palaian, recalling the chance meeting that had brought them together. “I was involved with the party production scene and Grant had just begun to dabble in electronic music, while Scott at the time was renting a loft in the Russell Industrial Center doing art shows.”

Ultimately, their individual endeavors had been unsuccessful, which led the trio to start producing their own shows.

Looking for a unique spin on an already popular scene, Palaian found the answer at the circus.

“We each had a different skill set that balanced appropriately and covered all the bases we needed for a properly executed counterculture party in Detroit,” she said.

The integration of those skill sets and a love of all things musical led to the group’s annual Dubstep Circus, which has broken new ground in Detroit's already bustling party and night-life.

“We really feel like we are pioneers in this whole scene,” said Palaian, commenting on the now popular trend of musical-sideshows and live painting, something Du Womp staff artist Seymour has spearheaded. “Now there’re different things popping up everywhere trying to do the same thing, and we’ve been booked at for three other festivals this year.”

Luckily for those outside the state of Michigan looking for a fresh new festival, The Blastoff is centrally located in Western Ohio.

And the locale is a large moot-point for the big-name acts looking to expand their fan base, according to Tom McKee, keyboardist and co-songwriter of Brothers Past.
“It’s not really a place that we go to a lot, so it will be really fun and interesting playing somewhere we don’t on a regular basis,” said McKee. “Also the fact that the festival is geared toward electronic music is really cool. Our music is really in the club, DJ vibe so we’ll fit right in.

“Some festivals or club dates kind of pigeon-hole electronic music to only night gigs, but this will be going on for two days.”

The fact that the festival is not solely for DJ’s is also something he looks forward to, said McKee.

With the festival only a month away, Palaian reassured that the days of Dubstep Circus are not over, only that they have evolved into a bigger and brighter party.    “It has to evolve and move on,” she said. “One of the main reasons for doing the festival was because you can’t offer live bands at an electronic show. The crowd and the environment aren’t suited for it.”

The festival also gives the group a chance to showcase what they love the most: good times with quality music of all genres.

“We want to offer an opportunity where people will come for really good music and since they are already there, they can enjoy the whole big picture. We just can’t do that with electronic music alone.”

The Blastoff Music Festival takes place June 17th - 19th at Zane Shawnee Caverns in Ohio. Gates will open on June 16 at noon. Tickets range from $100 - $135 and can be purchased online at www.showclix.com. For festival information and complete artist line up, visit...