Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sights and Sounds: Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Gary Clark Jr., Blackmore's Night

Here is a roundup of several newsworthy items from the musical universe...




November 29, 2012 - (Atlantic City, NJ) - Neil Young & Crazy Horse have announced that they will perform a special benefit concert on December 6th, 2012, at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, NJ, with proceeds going to aid victims of Superstorm Sandy. Devastated by the damage and displacement caused by hurricane, Young urged:"Come on down here and join in the relief effort."  
Proceeds will go to the AMERICAN RED CROSS HURRICANE SANDY relief effort.  For more info go to:
Tickets for the event, billed as "A Special Evening With Neil Young & Crazy Horse," go on sale Friday, November 30 at 10am at or by-phone at 866-900-4TIX (4849) and will be priced at $75 and $150. All seating is general admission. Everest will open the show. Young will be available for a select number of interviews regarding the Hurricane relief.
Crazy Horse, which is Young, Billy Talbot, Ralph Molina, and Poncho Sampredo, has been touring North America this in support of its latest album Psychedelic Pill.



Austin's own rising star, rock 'n' soul phenomenon Gary Clark Jr. makes his highly-anticipated return to Austin City Limits (ACL) this week, and ACL announces the taping will be live-streamed on Friday, November 30, 2012 at 8 p.m. Central Time. Fans can log-on to ACL's YouTube ( Channel and will have the opportunity to watch Gary Clark Jr. perform live direct from The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. The live-stream will webcast the taping in its entirety and the broadcast episode will air February 16, 2013 on PBS stations as part of ACL's Season 38.

Gary Clark Jr. has been tearing up Austin stages since he was a teenager, and the twenty-eight year old singer-guitarist recently made a name for himself across the globe with the release of his critically acclaimed major-label debut Blak and Blu. Entertainment Weekly raves, "Every generation has its chosen one and right now, this is Clark's time." Austin American Statesman says, "The kid used to be a local secret. Then the rest of the world caught on." The New York Times hails Clark as "a guitarist of deep magnetism and tremendous feel," while Billboard calls him a "game-changer" and Spin agrees, "There truly is nobody else like him around." Known for his blistering live performances, Clark has been on a sold-out U.S. tour flaunting his six-string chops and thrilling audiences with his bold mix of blues, rock, soul and funk.

Clark made his auspicious ACL debut back in Season 33 as part of the Tribute to Bluesman Jimmy Reed, with Jimmie Vaughan and Omar Dykes, impressing his fellow musicians and ACL's viewers. On November 30, he takes the Austin City Limits stage to show what he can do with his own music.

Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at For more info on Gary Clark Jr., visit his official Web site at

Performance recorded last fall in York, England perfectly captures
ambience and musical joy of a Blackmore's Night show

Storm-Delayed New York Concert Rescheduled for December 12

Blackmore's Night band
Blackmore's Night
Blackmore's Night, the Renaissance rock band of iconic guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and award-winning singer/songwriter Candice Night, has once again thrilled fans worldwide with their latest concert DVD/CD release, A KNIGHT IN YORK. The CD release debuted at #2 on Billboard Magazine's New Age chart in its first week of release. 
Recorded live on September 30, 2011 at the Grand Opera House in York, England, A KNIGHT IN YORK is Blackmore's Night's third DVD release.  It perfectly captures the essence of the Blackmore's Night experience. The "band of minstrels," dressed in festive medieval garb, bring out the sheer joy and authenticity of Blackmore's Night's music, and the splendor of Ritchie Blackmore's musicianship is perfectly coupled with the ethereal presence of Candice Night's voice during this special autumn night performing in the city of York.
"York is an absolutely beautiful and historic city with a medieval wall fortifying the area," says Candice Night, of the town that was England's capital before London. "Just being in that town makes you feel as if you have stepped back in time. And, since we filmed in a 12th century castle and a historic theater for the last two DVDs, a beautiful English opera house seemed like the next logical choice."

A KNIGHT IN YORK represents the first show back in England for Ritchie Blackmore in four years. The Opera House holds a special place in his memory as one when he, as a starving musician many years ago, took up the challenge of spending the night in the allegedly haunted building. That night, he says, "I heard a voice whisper to me 'Aubrey.' Now whenever we come back to that venue," says Blackmore, "we speak directly to the ghost, acknowledge Aubrey's existence, and the show goes smoothly."
Much of the material on A KNIGHT IN YORK is culled from the band's two most recent masterful albums, SECRET VOYAGE and AUTUMN SKY.  Songs from both those albums, like "Locked Within the Crystal Ball" and "The Circle," are standouts on A KNIGHT IN YORK as they had already become favorites of the faithful.  Of course, classic songs such as "Fires at Midnight" and "Dandelion Wine," from Blackmore's Night's earlier albums, are performed as well.  And there is a marvelous rendition of Swedish folk duo Nordman's "Journeyman" and a stunning interpretation of the Bee Gees ballad "First of May."

"I loved how 'First of May' came out," explains Night. "Though it's not an original song of ours, we play that one on very special occasions, and we had never recorded it before. You really feel vulnerable and naked on stage when you are singing a song as intimate as that one.  But when it works, it's magic."

Through traditional melodies and original arrangements, Blackmore's Night takes listeners on a journey to another time when a music performance was a much-treasured escape.  Fans were able to capture their own unique live experience of Blackmore's Night this autumn as the band performed select dates in North America. 
A special concert in New York City, as well as one in Wilmington, Delaware, were postponed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged not only New York City, but Long Island where the Blackmores reside.  
The shows have been rescheduled for Sunday, December 9 at the World Café Live in Wilmington and Wednesday, December 12 at The Concert Hall at New York Society for Ethical Culture in New York City.  For ticket information, check

Ritchie Blackmore, who has made an indelible mark on hard rock music, has continued his storied career with the magic of Blackmore's Night.  With vocalist (and wife) Candice Night by his side, Blackmore has almost as much time invested in Blackmore's Night as he did with his legacy in Deep Purple.  Since 1997, Blackmore's Night has won numerous gold records and awards.  The band's last studio album, AUTUMN SKY (2010), debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard New Age charts and remained in the Top 10 for 40 weeks.  Now, with the popularity of history-based television series like HBO's Game of Thrones and Showtime's The Tudors, Blackmore's Night's established brand of Renaissance-inspired music is attracting an ever growing legion of fans. 
Blackmore's Night's concert film A KNIGHT IN YORK is Ritchie & Candice live
available in DVD and Blu-ray format from UDR Records, distributed in the U.S. by EMI.  A KNIGHT IN YORK is also available in a special DVD/CD/Blu-ray Digipak, audio CD, double vinyl 12" LP (gatefold), digital downloads for both audio and video and a special, limited edition "fan package" (details available at

A KNIGHT IN YORK track listing:
01 Locked Within The Crystal Ball
02 Gilded Cage
03 The Circle
04 Journeyman
05 World Of Stone
06 The Peasant's Promise
07 Toast To Tomorrow
08 Fires At Midnight
09 Barbara Allen
10 Darkness
11 Dance Of The Darkness
12 Dandelion Wine
13 All The Fun Of The Fayre
14 First Of May

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Inbox Update: The Pogues, Mystery Science Theater 3000

Here are the latest noteworthy items to land in my inbox...

The 'Very Best of the Pogues' set for release by Shout! Factory on January 22, 2013

Los Angeles, CA – Shout! Factory has announced the January 22 release of The Very Best of the Pogues, a new collection of 18 stellar tracks by the beloved Irish-English punk band. The album features an 8-page book with new liner notes in which The Pogues' Spider Stacy writes “All these songs have something special and so have the Pogues. I’ve always known it.”

Many bands have tried but few have ever equaled the unique power of the Pogues. Nowadays, folk music is enjoying the spotlight as bands like Mumford & Sons have reached the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic . But back in the ’80s era of MTV, the wild, careening jigs and ballads of the Pogues were startling: the group was broadcasting from another planet. Their music was so alive, so vital that it retains its punch all these years later, as Shout! Factory’s new compilation The Very Best Of The Pogues vividly illustrates.

Chronicling the Pogues’ prime and containing many of the group’s best-known songs—songs that are threaded into popular culture, with “If I Should Fall From Grace With God” surprisingly soundtracking a recent Subaru ad, “Body of An American” heard in a memorable scene on HBO’s acclaimed urban drama The Wire, and the Kirsty MacColl duet “Fairytale of New York” existing as that rare modern holiday perennial—The Very Best Of The Pogues tells the story of one of the great Irish bands of modern times. And what a rich history it is.

Formed by singer/songwriter Shane MacGowan—a ruffian raised on punk rock who was famously photographed with a bloody ear in the front row of an early Clash gig—and guitarist/tin whistle player Spider Stacy in 1982, the Pogues took their name from a Gaelic phrase for “kiss my arse.” Quickly earning a reputation as an invigorating live act, the group signed with legendary British indie label Stiff in 1984, releasing their debut Red Roses For Me that year.

An underground sensation in the UK , Red Roses For Me showcased the Pogues’ gift for revitalizing traditional songs but also the wildly gifted pen of MacGowan, whose original “Streams of Whiskey” was one of the album’s highlights. With producer Elvis Costello, the Pogues quickly recorded a follow-up called Rum Sodomy And The Lash, a 1985 album that’s often cited as the band’s best and one of the great albums of the ’80s. MacGowan’s originals “A Pair of Brown Eyes” and “Sally MacLennane” reached the UK charts and the LP earned the band a cult audience in the U.S. Soon, the band made the leap from indies to the majors, signing with Island Records in 1987, and recording their next album If I Should Fall From Grace With God with Steve Lillywhite.
By many measures, If I Should Fall From Grace With God is the Pogues’ high watermark, generating a genuine UK hit single in “Fairytale of New York” and winding up as their most popular album in the U.S. , partially due to the title track being a college radio hit. Hot on the heels of this success, the band released Peace And Love in 1989, a record that included the Jem Finer-penned highlight “Misty Morning, Albert Bridge .” Despite their success, the band was struggling to deal with MacGowan’s alcoholism, eventually replacing him with ex-Clash singer Joe Strummer in 1991 during a tour in support of the album Hell’s Ditch. On 1993’s Waiting For Herb, Spider Stacy became the group’s lead singer with Finer writing the bulk of the material. After the release of Pogue Mahone in 1996, the band broke up. However, the disbandment was short-lived. In 2001, the Pogues reunited, complete with Shane MacGowan as their lead singer. Over the next decade, the group played regularly in the UK and the US , cultivating several new generations of fans. For those new listeners The Very Best Of The Pogues is an essential introduction; but for those who have stuck with the band through thick and thin, it’s a bracing reminder of just how damn good this band has always been.

The Very Best of the Pogues

1. Dirty Old Town

2. The Sunnyside Of The Street

3. If I Should Fall From Grace With God

4. The Irish Rover

5. Rain Street

6. A Pair Of Brown Eyes

7. Boys From The County Hell

8. Fairytale Of New York

9. Body Of An American

10. Thousands Are Sailing

11. Sally MacLennane

12. Misty Morning, Albert Bridge

13. Tuesday Morning

14. Rainy Night In Soho

15. Streams of Whiskey

16. The Sickbed of Cuchulainn

17. Young Ned Of The Hill

18. Love You ’Till The End

For more on Shout! Factory, visit

Speaking of Shout! Factory, the Santa Monica-based company is releasing Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXV on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012.

Those who order the upcoming collection directly from and receive an exclusive bonus DVD (available while supplies last).

Occasionally whenever the feature films ran too short, our luckless heroes aboard the Satellite of Love were forced to supplement their misery by watching installments of equally cheesy serials. Chapters of the 1952 serial Radar Men From The Moon were smeared over nine non-consecutive episodes during season one of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Now, for the first time ever, all nine chapters riffed on by Joel, Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot have been collected on one disc, including one chapter never before released on DVD.

Here at last is the entire MSTied version of the epically flawed filler for your completist satisfaction.

Includes new introduction by Season One's Tom Servo, J. Elvis Weinstein.

Click here for more details on how to get both special DVD collections!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Music Worth Buying episode: The Doors, Led Zeppelin

On the most recent episode of Music Worth Buying, we review two fantastic new releases, The Doors' Live At The Bowl '68 and Led Zeppelin's Celebration Day:

Sights and Sounds: New reviews, Rod Stewart, Gary U.S. Bonds

Good morning and I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend. Just to catch up a bit after a long and nice weekend, here are a few quick things to throw out there...

My latest column in Desert Star Weekly features reviews of recent DVD/Blu-ray collections featuring historic concert performances courtesy of The Stray Cats and Peter Frampton, as well as audio CDs from power-pop heroes Jellyfish and Kenny Howes. Check it out here.

Over the weekend I got to watch a preview of the upcoming PBS Great Performances holiday special Rod Stewart: Merry Christmas, Baby. In New York, THIRTEEN will air the program tonight, Monday, Nov. 26 at 8 p.m. Here in Southern California, PBS SoCal will air the special this coming Thursday night, Nov. 29 at 8:30 p.m.

Rod Steward comes to PBS this week.
If you are a bit jaded about how the shopping-centered commercialism of Black Friday has diminished the traditional good feelings of Thanksgiving, perhaps  Stewart's charming first-ever holiday special will get you back on track. Joined by Michael Bublé ("Winter Wonderland"), Mary J. Blige ("We Three Kings") and Cee-Lo Green ("Merry Christmas, Baby"), other guests include Trombone Shorty and Chris Botti. One of the most noteworthy things about the special is a so-called "virtual duet" where Stewart performs "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" with the late Ella Fitzgerald. The special was produced by David Foster.

Finally, Gary U.S. Bonds is releasing his first-ever Christmas is ON! holiday album on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012. Released via G.L.A. Records, the 10-track disc includes three original songs as well as his versions of "White Christmas," "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town."

On Thursday, Nov. 29, Bonds and special guests will be performing hits, rarities and new Christmas songs at The Strand Theatre in Lakewood, New Jersey ( as part of the venue's "Restore The Shore" concert series, in what promises to be an unforgettable night of music.

The following week, on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. eastern, Bonds will be appearing at J&R Music World (located at 23 Park Row in New York City -, where he'll performing a few songs from the Christmas is ON! CD, and personally signing copies for fans in attendance.

This will culminate another busy year for Bonds, who has nine Top 40 hits, five Top 10's and a number one song -- the immensely successful 1961 million-selling single, "Quarter to Three" -- under his belt.

For further information on Bonds' new album and upcoming events, view his official Web site at

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Inbox Update: Jimi Hendrix, 'Songs After Sandy' benefit

As you all get ready to enjoy the long Thanksgiving weekend, here are some last-minute updates I'll leave you with...

New Jimi Hendrix album set for release on March 5, 2013

On March 5, 2012, a collection of 12 previously unreleased recordings by Jimi Hendrix will see the light. People, Hell and Angels follows Hendrix in 1968 and 1969 as he works on material apart from the Jimi Hendrix Experience and suggests new, experimental directions. The legendary guitarist was considering these new sounds for First Rays of the New Rising Sun, the planned double-album follow-up to Electric Ladyland. Hendrix toys with horns, keyboards, percussion and a second guitar, exploring fresh diversions from his legendary guitarwork. The album artwork is simple, yet as distinct as Hendrix's signature guitar wails. Be experienced yet again.

Read more in Rolling Stone:    

'Songs After Sandy: Friends of Red Hook For Sandy Relief' boasts high-profile firepower

Effort features: Bob Weir & Jesse Malin, Joe Walsh, thenewno2, Ringo Starr, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Amanda Palmer, Joan Osborne, Jeff Lynne, Roger Hodgson, Ben Harper, Ben Folds Five, Eric Burdon, Brendan Benson & Joseph Arthur, and more...

Charity compilation to launch on Pledge Music featuring exclusive tracks and unique signed items to raise funds for grassroots restoration efforts of Restore Red Hook, Red Hook Initiative, Occurpy Sandy & Green Ground Zero 

'Friends of Red Hook' sums it up as musicians from Brooklyn and all over the world come together to help (in alphabetical order): Adam Acuragi, Joseph Arthur, Brendon Benson, Eric Burdon, Ben Folds Five, Ben Harper, Roger Hodgson, Kaiser Cartel, Emmanuel Jal, Matt Lenny, Eli Lieb, Toby Lightman, Jeff Lynne, Joan Osborne, Amanda Palmer, Kenny Wayne Shepherd featuring Buddy Flett, Smitty, Ringo Starr, thenewno2, Bow Thayer, These United States, Joe Walsh, Bob Weir and Jesse Malin.

These artists have offered previously unreleased tracks while others have offered unique experiences and one of a kind signed items. The music will be released in volumes, while signed items will be announced as they are donated. Tracks for volume one are listed below, and please be sure to check back at our sites for updates on artists and items.

Three weeks since Hurricane Sandy tore through coastal communities of New York and New Jersey, tens of thousands are still without power or heat. And for the smaller communities themselves, such as Red Hook, Brooklyn, which is largely inhabited by artists, craftsmen, lower income families and small home grown businesses, recovery will take months if not years. It is clear that there is an immediate need for continued and on-going grassroots support. Songs After Sandy: Friends of Red Hook For Sandy Relief is aimed at that kind of rebuilding, stepping up to fill in the cracks and provide relief directly as needed through several on-the-ground charities.

"Songs After Sandy: Friends of Red Hook For Sandy Relief" is being sponsored by the Not For Profit Green Ground Zero, which was founded for exactly this purpose, to help communities rebuild after disasters. In this case it is particularly poignant as they also advocate for green restoration which creates a more sustainable environment while hitting the root of the problem of global warming.

All proceeds from this project will go to Restore Red Hook, Red Hook Initiative, Occupy Sandy, specifically the “Wedding Register” they maintain where they detail items needed in specific communities and Green Ground Zero.

PledgeMusic have come on board to help us with this and that is where this will live for the first 90 days. Thereafter it will be at

All services to make this compilation possible have been donated, including those of Red Hook based Beautiful Day Media (who were largely affected by the storm but it is important to note will not be benefiting from these funds). Huge thanks go out to: Judy Tint, our wonderful pro bono lawyer, Nick Ditmore for his unwavering cheerleading and graphic designs, Annie Balliro and Jessica West at UNIPHIGOOD, our own Patrice Fehlen and Kathryn Musilek, the tireless team at PledgeMusic, and Neil Chambers at Green Ground Zero, without all of whom this would not have happened.

THANK YOU for helping us restore these vibrant communities!!! Donate today!! We also encourage you to click on the links and visit the websites for the wonderful charities this project is supporting





"Songs After Sandy: Friends of Red Hook For Sandy Relief", VOL 1:

Adam Arcuragi - “Cobra Tie”

Joseph Arthur - “Come on Caroline”

Brendan Benson - “What I'm Looking For” Live version

Eric Burdon – “Tishomingo Blues”

Kaiser Cartel - “Long Way From Home”

Matt Lenny – “Broken Bridges”

Toby Lightman – “Life Is A Riddle”

Jeff Lynne – "Save Me Now"

Joan Osborne - “Where We Start”

Kenny Wayne Shepherd featuring Buddy Flett - “Third House on the Left”

Smitty – “Ryder”

Ringo Starr – “Wings”, recorded Live in Atlanta with the 2012 All Starr Band

Bow Thayer & Perfect Trainwreck - “The Tide”

These United States – “Damned & Redeemed”

Joe Walsh – ”Rocky Mountain Way” Live from Troubadour, with Ringo Starr on drums

Bonus content:

Bob Weir and Jesse Malin– Video, live performance of “Brown-Eyed Women”

Signed & Unique Items include:

1 Ringo Starr Signed used drum head, dated 1991, with a doodle on top. Though Ringo no longer signs items, he has offered to personalize this to the buyer.

2 Roger Hodgson a pair of tickets and post show meet n greet for his concert January 12 in Ridgefield, CT (Ridgefield Playhouse) and the same for January 13 at City Winery

1 thenewno2 Signed Fender guitar from band, including: Dhani Harrison, Paul Hicks, Jonathan Sadoff, Jeremy Faccone, Aaron Older and Frank Zummo.

2 Amanda Palmer goodie packs, each with a signed item. 1 features “An Evening With Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer” signed by both; the other features a signed copy her latest release, “Theater Is Evil” Additional package details to come.

1 Dinner for two at Red Hook’s delicious Homemade (as soon as they re-open)

1 Dinner for two at Red Hook’s Fort Defiance (as soon as they re-open)

More items to be listed shortly

About Green Ground Zero: GGZ is a non-profit focused on advancing the dialogue of green design, coastal resiliency, habitat restoration and sustainable development for rethinking and re-imagining a better world. Through a network of green builders and experts, GGZ connects people with knowledge in community-based design, design-build, and sustainability with people in need to rebuild after natural and man-made disasters. The organization provides education opportunities for students, community members, designers and others to explore sustainability and green building.

Founded in 2002 to advocate for Lower Manhattan to be rebuilt with sustainability, GGZ has grown into an international organization working to rebuild disaster areas and restore ecosystems.

About Restore Red Hook:

Restore Red Hook aims to raise funds to help the small businesses of Red Hook, Brooklyn reopen their doors as soon as possible after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. From the restaurants, bars, and vintage shops to the corner bodegas, these businesses define and serve our community. We need help from inside and outside Red Hook to help rebuild our neighborhood for business owners, residents, and everyone else who loves our little seaside town.

Getting through this time of devastation is going to require a great deal of outside assistance. The damage to many of our businesses is severe, and few business owners have hope that fiscal help is on the way (FEMA primarily helps homeowners, and flood insurance is virtually unavailable in this neighborhood). As we continue to canvas the neighborhood, the list of businesses we hope to serve will become more clear.

We want to make sure the integrity of the fund is well structured, and able to flex with the needs of the community. An advisory board, comprised of third party members, is being established to ensure funds are disbursed responsibly. Our 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor is the Fund for the City of New York, a longstanding New York institution.

About Red Hook Initiative:

In 2002 the Red Hook Health Initiative began as a program of a local hospital, in response to the severity of health and social issues in Red Hook. Over the last decade we have developed into a well-regarded community-based institution. In 2006 we formed the Red Hook Initiative (RHI), an independent 501(c)3, in order to expand our scope to better meet community needs. In February 2010, RHI moved into a brand new community center. It is a green building, representing our commitment to social justice and sustainability. This year, 2012, RHI is celebrating our 10th Anniversary and is moving forward with a renewed commitment to the people and community of Red Hook.

About Occupy Sandy:

Occupy Sandy, an off-shoot of Occupy Wall Street, has been a leader in spreading the word about local volunteer and donation efforts online, and thereby spurring real, tangible responses. The group's Twitter and Facebook accounts have posted up-to-date information about exactly what is needed and where. And while the Red Cross doesn't take donations of individual household items and certain bare necessities, these very same needs have become Occupy Sandy's primary focus.

Sample Occupy Sandy Tweets: "Red Hook Initiative needs bowls and paper plates for food"; "Sunset Park Volunteer Hub needs Ham Radios and Operators or VHF Marine Radios"; "If you have a car or truck and want to help transport donated goods & volunteers, link in by texting '@osdrivers' to 23559."

Occupy Sandy's #Medics hashtag on Twitter found doctors for their hubs in Brooklyn and Queens. Hot meals are being prepared every day and night, with volunteers setting up makeshift food kitchens in the Rockaways, Coney Island and Sunset Park. And the network has even set up a wedding registry, via Amazon, so anyone who wants to send blankets, flashlights, dry goods, mini-fridges, batteries and toiletries from anywhere in the United States or around the world can easily do so. “Songs For Sandy” will contribute funds to get specific items on this Wedding Registry.


RINGO STARR: "I want to thank everyone for what they are doing this is how Peace & Love works. Well done Green Ground Zero, Occupy Sandy & Restore Red Hook. Peace & Love, Ringo"

JEFF LYNNE: “This is a brand new electric version of ‘Save Me Now’, a song I wrote 22 years ago about this very subject--global warming and the need to listen and be kind to our planet. I wanted to contribute to “Songs After Sandy” because I feel terrible about what happened, and my heart goes out to all of the people still stuck in it and trying to work through it."

ROGER HODGSON: "I applaud all the ways that people are coming together to 'give a little bit' to help those whose lives have been turned upside down by Hurricane Sandy. Tragedy brings out the true heart of a people and I'm proud to see so much care pouring forth in so many different ways. I am glad to offer these concert tickets and backstage experience to raise funds for Red Hook and other communities."

KAISER CARTEL: "When I moved to Red Hook, all of my city friends thought I was nuts. I could feelhow amazing the neighborhood was right away. I lived there for 11 years, and I said that if I ever left Red Hook, I would move out of NY all together...After a job offer I couldn't refuse, I am now in Interlochen, Michigan, but my heart will forever be there." Courtney Kaiser of Kaiser Cartel

“Kaiser Cartel was born in Red Hook. Almost all of the songs on our albums March Forth and Secret Transit, were written in Red Hook. The cover art of our first album March Forth was shot at our Red Hook apartment. Red Hook will forever hold a special place in our hearts. We have since moved away from our home base in the 'Hook, but still keep in touch with our good friends back in the neighborhood. Many have been hit hard by hurricane Sandy. We're happy to contribute to the relief effort.” Benjamin Cartel of Kaiser Cartel

SMITTY (Red Hook’s own): “Honored and privileged to be a part of this needed project. To help bring back my neighborhood and others decimated by "Sandy". Red Hook is my home. My home is my place of solace. My friends are all my neighbors. Godspeed. Smitty”

THESE UNITED STATES/JESSE ELLIOTT: "I was holed up with friends in Brooklyn when Sandy arrived, and 4 days later walking through a pitch-black East Village at dawn to catch a bus to the airport. For the next two weeks, I watched the headlines from halfway around the world, wishing there was something I could do for the friend who's recording studio got destroyed by the Gowanus canal, the friends and businesses who mean so much to Van Brunt street, and all the friends and strangers who were still in the dark all over the city and along the whole eastern seaboard. I only wish I had some sandbags to offer with this song -- though with forces like these, there's not a lot we can control anyway. I guess we just have to remain humbled and give each other the few minutes at a time of solace and solidarity that make it all worthwhile."

For more information, visit:

Pledge Music:

Restore Red Hook:

Red Hook Initiative:

Occupy Sandy:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sights and Sounds: Harry Nilsson, Ringo Starr, Hall & Oates

This just in!!!

Harry Nilsson's The Point: The Definitive Collector's Edition out now via MVD Entertainment Group

The animated classic returns to DVD with more than 25 minutes of bonus features!

Directed by Academy Award-winner Fred Wolf, The Point tells the story of Oblio, a round-headed boy living in the land of "Point," where everything and everybody has one. Oblio, along with his trusty dog, Arrow, is banished to the Pointless Forest. The tale is narrated by Ringo Starr and includes songs written and sung by Grammy Award-winner Harry Nilsson. The definitive collector's edition.

Order Link:

Track Listing

Me And My Arrow

Everything's Got 'Em

Poli High

Think About Your Troubles

Life Line

P.O.V. Waltz

Are You Sleeping?

Bonus Materials

Includes Four Never-Before-Seen Bonus Featurettes:

Who Is Harry Nilsson?

Pitching The Point

Making The Point

Legacy Of The Point


"Finally, a new generation of kids can float away on the entrancing cartoon creation of Harry Nilsson (1941-94), the American singer-songwriter who counted the Beatles among his admirers. The Point is a prime example of mass-culture outreach by a countercultural artist (dig the psychedelic number ''P.O.V. Waltz''). B+"
- Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly

"Never has nonconformity been celebrated with such charm."
-Jeff Miers, Buffalo News

"If there's a fan of Harry Nilsson on your shopping list then rejoice, because in front of you now you see the proverbial no-brainer."

Daryl Hall & John Oates Working with Borgata Hotel to Aid in Hurricane Sandy Relief in Atlantic City
Daryl Hall & John Oates are working with Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and Live Nation to raise money in an effort to bring relief to Atlantic City and surrounding areas in wake of Hurricane Sandy and the millions of people affected by the storm.

Daryl Hall & John Oates will be performing a sold-out show at the Borgata Event Center on Saturday, December 1 and are donating their performance fee and all proceeds from the event to the American Red Cross.

"In light of the devastation that Hurricane Sandy caused for the people of Atlantic City, we're going to donate 100% of the proceeds from our sold out show at the Borgata on December 1st to the Red Cross. We will also be selling an event T-shirt with all of the proceeds going to the Red Cross, as well," said Daryl Hall and John Oates.

Says Daryl Hall: "This really means a lot to me. These are my people that got hurt. This is my neighborhood."

“This is a great way to give back," said Geoff Gordon, Regional President of Live Nation Philadelphia. "We want to show our dedication to our friends and family whose lives and livelihoods were affected, and show that Atlantic City is still open for business."

“It really means a lot to have one of the greatest musical duos in history support the disaster relief effort here in Atlantic City,” said Borgata Senior Vice President of Operations, Joe Lupo. “We are grateful to be working with Daryl Hall and John Oates as well as Live Nation, with the collective goal focused towards helping those affected by Hurricane Sandy.”

Inbox Update: Camper Van Beethoven / Cracker Winter Tour set

Here is the latest items plucked from my stuffed inbox...

Camper Van Beethoven / Cracker Winter Tour to begin December 27, 2012

Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker set to kick-off annual Winter Tour on December 27 in Solana Beach, California

Camper Van Beethoven to release new LP 'La Costa Perdida' on Jan. 22, 2013!

Camper Van Beethoven (left to right: Jonathan Segel, David Lowery, Greg Lisher, Frank Funaro, Victor Krummenacher) - Photo credit: Jason Thrasher


Dec. 27 Belly Up Tavern - Solana Beach, CA

Dec. 28 The Independent - San Francisco, CA

Dec. 29 Mystic Theatre - Petaluma, CA

Dec. 31 The Soiled Dove - Denver, CO (Cracker only)

Jan. 18 World Cafe Live - Philadelphia, PA

Jan. 19 Stage 48 - New York, NY

Jan. 20 Middle East Downstairs - Cambridge, MA

Jan. 23 Sky City - Augusta, GA (CVB only)

Jan. 24 40-Watt Club - Athens, GA (CVB only)

Jan. 25 The Grey Eagle - Asheville, NC (CVB only)

Jan. 26 The Earl - Atlanta, GA (CVB only)

[more dates to be announced]

Camper Van Beethoven – the beloved, genre-mashing musical unit and one of the bands that created the indie rock genre – has confirmed its first album in nine years with La Costa Perdida (due January 22, 2013 on 429 Records). The release will mark CVB's first album recorded as a unit with the band cutting songs organically with all in attendance and produced entirely by the band's members. La Costa Perdida vividly depicts untamed characters and bizarre experiences on northern California's coastline, where the band began its musical adventures.

Camper Van Beethoven is: Victor Krummenacher (bass, baritone guitar), Greg Lisher (guitars), David Lowery (guitars and vocals), Chris Pedersen (drums), Jonathan Segel (violin, guitar, mandolin, organ, backing vocals) and new addition Michael Urbano (drums and percussion). [Joining the band for their winter tour dates is longtime CVB & Cracker drummer Frank Funaro.]

Camper Van Beethoven have long held a place as influential pioneers of indie rock. Pitchfork Media called them "great… assiduous creativity… inventive… delightful." SPIN has praised the band's "depth and worldly flavors," continuing, of its recent run in the 21st century, "The band still rocks with the vigor of any young sprite." Rolling Stone has raved about the band's "adventurous music," while NPR says, "Their cryptic wit and dense, layered music offered rewards in repeated listening… blending genres of world and rock, translating current events into a swirl of witty banter and interpretation."

On the making of La Costa Perdida, Victor Krummenacher says, "The coolest part was that everything flowed from the fact that these distinctive musicians and personalities sat in the living room. Four people are writing it. The songs have great energy, but we're more relaxed and stately and a lot more confident."

La Costa Perdida Track List:

1. Come Down The Coast

2. Too High For The Love-in

3. You Got To Roll

4. Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out

5. Peaches In The Summertime

6. Northern California Girls

7. Summer Days

8. La Costa Perdida

9. Aged In Wood

10. A Love For All Time

CRACKER (left to right: Frank Funaro, Johnny Hickman, David Lowery, Sal Maida) Photo credit: Jason Thrasher

Also led by Camper Van Beethoven's frontman David Lowery, Cracker will be joining CVB's run of winter dates. Cracker has been described as a lot of things over the years: alt-rock, Americana, insurgent-country, and have even had the terms punk and classic-rock thrown at them. But more than anything Cracker are survivors. Co-founders Lowery and Johnny Hickman have been at it for 20 years now - amassing nine studio albums (their most recent, 2009's critically acclaimed Sunrise In The Land Of Milk And Honey), multiple gold records, thousands of live performances, hit songs ("Low," "Euro-Trash Girl" and "Get Off This" to name just a few) that are still in current radio rotation around the globe, and a worldwide fan base - that despite the major sea-changes within the music industry - continues to grow each year. Along with longtime drummer Frank Funaro (since 1998's Gentleman's Blues) and bassist Sal Maida (since 2006's Greenland), this uniquely American band has no intentions of slowing down.



Monday, November 19, 2012

Rush at its grandest in Anaheim

My Rush review and the accompanying photo were originally posted on The Orange County Register site on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. Click here to access the original posting and Rod Veal's photo gallery. A special "thank you" to Ron Bronsgeest for his image capturing Rush and the amazing stage design that really enhanced the concert.

The trio crammed decades of conceptual rock into its three-hour Honda Center set


Rush in concert on Nov. 17, 2012. Photo credit: Ron Bronsgeest

  Every legendary band has its hardcore followers, but the faithful who are drawn to Rush deserve credit on a number of fronts.

Unlike many classic rock shows where audiences seem more interested in talking on their cell phones, posing for pictures with pals or going on an endless number of beer runs, the majority of fans seated around me were fully tuned into Saturday night’s (Nov. 17, 2012) three-hour show (which included a brief intermission) at Honda Center. I can't remember another Southern California arena audience over the past few years quite as riveted as this one.

These devotees were not only magnetized by the band's biggest hits but also stood and cheered the involving material from the group’s latest album, Clockwork Angels, which comprised the majority of the second set. Sadly, most audiences consider new songs a time to sit, thereby stalling momentum. Not Rush junkies; they even air drum in time.

Those dedicated fans were rewarded in Anaheim with an impressive showcase of the band's always striking prog-rock chops, intelligent songcraft and breathtaking arrangements. (The trio plays again Monday, Nov. 20, at Gibson Amphitheatre.)

Singer-bassist Geddy Lee of Rush at Honda Center on Nov. 17, 2012.

The concert unfolded in three distinct parts – first an hour-long set featuring many of Rush's best-known radio gems, with Clockwork Angels the focus of the middle section and the epic 2112 celebrated during a rewarding encore. And the set design added to the night's magic. In addition to a fantastic rear-projection screen, there were 10 floating miniature monitors utilized throughout later segments.

Behind guitarist Alex Lifeson were what appeared to be old megaphones but actually were more screens, while positioned behind singer Geddy Lee was an assortment of eye-grabbing circus-ready props, including an old popcorn machine and a gigantic brain in a jar. Drummer Neil Peart's rotating drum riser also came decorated with colorful lights that enhanced the retro theme.

An electrifying "Subdivisions" opened the long night, Lee juggling keyboard and bass duties with precision. A strong back-to-back performance of the driving "Limelight" and a textured "Territories" also stood out in the early set. Lifeson's fretwork was particularly impressive on "Grand Designs," his key solo featuring ringing harmonies, fluid chording and thrilling runs, all sprinkled with bashes of his whammy bar to add vibrato.

Clockwork Angels, another in a long line of Rush’s concept albums, was celebrated via assorted pyrotechnics, including towering real-life flames (very hot!), as well as colorful videos and strong performances overall, assisted by an eight-member string section. "The Anarchist" was powered by thundering yet dynamic work from Peart; "Carnies" rocked equally hard, albeit with symphonic touches.

Those strings also magnified the beautiful, immediately accessible piece "The Wreckers,” while the disc’s final cut, "The Garden," grew from tender folk-rock to majestic grandeur in its finale. And lest the second set get too bogged down in fresh stuff, a rip through "The Spirit of Radio” further charged the arena’s atmosphere.

With Rush set to release a deluxe edition of its 1976 opus 2112 next month (bolstered by three live bonus tracks), it seemed likely the band would spotlight that seminal album at some point. Filling up the encore with selections from it made the most sense, after first elating fans with a faithful handling of "Tom Sawyer."

The band really seemed to have a great time throughout the night, but it was especially evident during that last burst – Lee and Lifeson patrolled the big stage, unleashing virtuoso firepower, and normally serious Peart could be seen twirling his sticks playfully amid the thunder.

Set list: Rush at Honda Center, Anaheim, Nov. 17, 2012

First set: Subdivisions / The Big Money / Force Ten / Grand Designs / Limelight / Territories / The Analog Kid / The Pass / Where's My Thing? / Far Cry

Second set: Caravan / Clockwork Angels / The Anarchist / Carnies / The Wreckers / Headlong Flight / Halo Effect / Wish Them Well / The Garden / Dreamline / Drum Solo / Red Sector A / YYZ / The Spirit of Radio

Encore: Tom Sawyer / 2112 Part I: Overture > Part II: The Temples of Syrinx > Part VII: Grand Finale

Saturday, November 17, 2012

'Hendrix 70: Live At Woodstock' in theaters for the first time ever

Legendary 1969 Woodstock Performance For Global Theatrical Release From November 26 2012

In Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Jimi Hendrix's birth, for the first time ever, see Jimi Hendrix's unforgettable August 1969 Woodstock concert in select cinemas globally.
This special edition theatrical presentation, under the auspices of Experience Hendrix, L.L.C. has been carefully reassembled from the extensive archive of film footage helmed by Academy Award winning director Michael Wadleigh and his hand picked team of skilled camera operators and support personnel under the auspices of Experience Hendrix, LLC, the Hendrix family owned company. What they captured was a Jimi Hendrix performance unlike any other. Jimi premiered a new band and his extraordinary performance on that August morning included unforgettable renditions of such signature Hendrix songs as "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)," "Fire," "Purple Haze" and "Foxy Lady" as well as his dramatic interpretation of the "Star Spangled Banner".
Jimi's fascinating road to the Woodstock festival is revealed by way of never before seen footage and interviews with his band members such as Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell, engineer Eddie Kramer and Woodstock's promoter Michael Lang. Directed by Grammy Award winner Bob Smeaton [Beatles Anthology, Band Of Gypsys, Festival Express], the documentary, which precedes the performance footage, reveals the struggle to stage the legendary festival and secure Hendrix as its headline artist.
Jimi Hendrix Woodstock performance stands as one of the finest ever in rock music history. This presentation features the original 16mm footage digitally restored together with a new 5.1 audio surround mix by legendary engineer Eddie Kramer. Kramer originally recorded the Woodstock festival and also served Jimi Hendrix as his recording engineer throughout his entire career.
Songs performed in original sequence
Message To Love
Spanish Castle Magic
Red House
Lover Man
Foxy Lady
Jam Back At The House
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
Star Spangled Banner
Purple Haze
Woodstock Improvisation
Villanova Junction
Hey Joe
Hendrix 70: Live At Woodstock will see a worldwide theatrical release by Omniverse Vision with limited screenings from November 26. Tickets for the theatrical screenings will be available at
Janie Hendrix, Jimi's sister and CEO of Experience Hendrix: "All of us at Experience Hendrix are thrilled with the fact that 'Live At Woodstock' will be shown in theaters. This film reflects a legendary event in our history as well as a true pinnacle of Jimi's career. We celebrate his 70th birthday as we continue to celebrate his legacy".

About Experience Hendrix, L.L.C.
Founded by James 'Al' Hendrix, Jimi's father in 1995, Experience Hendrix is the family-owned company charged with managing the music, name, image and likeness of Jimi Hendrix and is the administrator of the Jim Hendrix music and publishing catalog. Under CEO Janie Hendrix, Jimi's sister, the company oversees the timeless legacy of Jimi Hendrix on a worldwide basis.
About Omniverse Vision
Omniverse Vision is headquartered in London and produces and distributes unique, entertainment related content for all media platforms with a particular focus on alternative cinema. Omniverse Vision is dedicated to bringing special events to screens around the world that are equipped with state of the art technology including digital platforms and 3D. Omniverse Vision enables the turnkey broadcast of shows as diverse as music concerts, sports and other special events. For more information, visit

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

DeVotchKa shares new video + releases new album with the Colorado Symphony

Here is one of the highlights of news that landed in my inbox today...



November 13, 2012 sees the release of DeVotchKa's new album, DeVotchKa Live with the Colorado Symphony (Cicero Recordings LTD). The band, a melting pot of genres, forms an authentic and wholly original style of rock 'n' roll. DeVotchKa have been recording and performing for over a decade. "We have been working towards this moment ever since the band began," remembers Nick Urata, lead singer and frontman for DeVotchKa. "We've always had orchestral leanings, we wrote for more and more players with every album, when the chance to perform with an entire symphony came, we jumped at it. We thought it would be the perfect night for a live recording and hope the listener feels like they are in the room with us."

A once in a lifetime opportunity for a band, some of DeVotchKa's most iconic songs were revisited, restructured, and performed with a full 60-piece orchestra. Rather than hire a composer to create the charts for each instrument, the band took it upon themselves, with Tom Hagerman spending months locked away in his garage fleshing out each note that the orchestra performed.

The premise of charting DeVotchKa's songs for a large symphony began shortly after the release of the band's score for the film "Little Miss Sunshine". A critical and box office hit, the film was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and, for DeVotchKa's soundtrack, a Grammy. The band finally received the attention they deserved around the world, headlining large venues and performing at practically every major music festival, from Coachella to Bonnaroo, Glastonbury to Pukkelpop. The band looks forward to performing with symphonies of all sizes whenever possible.
DeVotchKa Live with the Colorado Symphony gave the band a chance to have every melody, harmony, and counterpoint, recorded in the studio, to be translated to real people, playing the parts together.

Today, the band is proud to share the record in it's entirety, available for purchase via iTunes orAmazon, and streaming in full at rdio. To celebrate its release, the band is sharing the fantastic live video of "All the Sand in All the Sea", as performed with the Colorado Symphony at the Red Rocks  Amphitheater on September 20th, 2012. Watch the video below, alongside all upcoming tour dates for the band.

DeVotchKa is:
Nick Urata: Vocals, guitars, Theremin, trumpet, piano
Jeanie Schroder: acoustic bass, sousaphone
Shawn King: drums, percussion, trumpet
Tom Hagerman: violin, viola, accordion, piano

VIDEO: "All the Sand in All the Sea (Live at Red Rocks w/ the Colorado Symphony"

11/29/12 Santiago, Chile - Common Pitch Chile
12/01/12 Buenos Aires, Argentina - Personal Fest
12/31/12 Anchorage, Alaska - Bear Tooth Theatre and Pub

DeVotchKa Live With the Colorado Symphony 
(Cicero Recordings LTD) 
Nov 13, 2012
1. The Alley
2. The Clockwise Witness
3. Along The Way
4. The Common Good
5. You Love Me
6. All The Sand In All The Sea
7. Firetrucks On The Boardwalk
8. Comrade Z
9. Undone
10. Queen Of The Surface Streets
11. We're Leaving
12. Contrabanda
13. The Enemy Guns
14. How It Ends

Dropkick Murphys storm The Observatory

My review was originally posted on the Soundcheck blog on The Orange County Register site on November 13, 2012. A special "thank you" to photographer Kelly A. Swift for the use of her wonderful photo taken at the show.
Dropkick Murphys in action at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA on Nov. 12, 2012.

Boston's Celtic punk favorites delivered a roaring good time at sold-out Santa Ana show

Few bands roar with the ferociousness of Dropkick Murphys. For just under 90 minutes Monday night (Nov. 12, 2012), the Boston band rocked the Observatory with an intense power that fueled action in the pit and produced plenty of obvious delight from those packed into every corner of the Santa Ana venue, cheering and pumping their fists and moving with the music.
It almost goes without saying that Dropkick would play many of its signature Celtic punk tunes with abandon – and throwing in a reworked, amped-up cover of the Irish classic “The Irish Rover” was loads of fun as well.
But with a new album, "Signed and Sealed in Blood," due in January, the group also rolled out a number of new songs, showcasing the genre-busting outfit’s still-burgeoning ambition.
They opened with the aptly titled “The Boys Are Back,” an undeniably catchy song that immediately had the crowd surging along to the mighty rhythm. Even more impressive was a performance later in the set of “Don’t Tear Us Apart,” a winner that, with a haunting melody replaced by rousing gang vocals on the chorus, put the spotlight on the band’s often-overlooked songwriting gifts.
Who knew this raging outfit would ever see fit to cut a Christmas tune? “The Season’s Upon Us” is set for release as a single later this month, and while the song’s focus is on a dysfunctional family, it once more taps into the real-life, working-class themes that have been a Dropkick Murphys staple from the start.
Lead singer Al Barr, whose raspy bite falls somewhere between that of AC/DC vocalists Brian Johnson and Bon Scott, prowled the stage while the unerring outfit around him blended punk and Celtic pub rock with everything from accordion and whistle to banjo and mandolin, all layered atop a solid foundation of bass, guitar and drums. The straightforward “Going Out in Style,” for instance, might have been a simple punkish tune from another group, but with Scruffy Wallace’s energetic bagpipes in the mix, the tune was anything but routine.
Dropkick slowed its attack only briefly, with the first section of “Rose Tattoo” effectively sung by bassist Ken Casey before the piece picked up speed. The night just kept building from there, with “I’m Shipping Up to Boston,” “Kiss Me I’m #!@’faced” (during which several dozen ladies were invited to join them on stage) and a mostly faithful cover of the Thunder from Down Under’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” bringing things to a glorious close.
Of the night’s two openers, Montreal’s own Celtic punks the Mahones were the clear favorite. The quintet’s fast-moving half-hour set featured several memorable songs, including “Paint the Town Red” and “Drunken Lazy Bastard.” Teenage Bottlerocket, a quartet that played punk fast and loud, may have pleased some in the mosh pit, but there was a sameness to the songs once they blasted past the opening salvo “Freak Out!”