The WMD’S are hitting venues this November as we speak! yay!
And in case you haven't heard…The WMD’S feature Keller Williams, Keith Moseley on bass (The String Cheese Incident), Gibb Droll on guitar (Marc Broussard), and Jeff Sipe on drums (Aquarium Rescue Unit, Trey Anastasio, Susan Tedeschi, Phil Lesh), the guys had such a blast at their four summer festival plays, that they’re back for more.
Here are the tour dates:
11.09 – Music Farm – Charleston, SC
11.10 – Talleyrand Fest – Jacksonville, FL
11.13 – House of Blues – Orlando, FL
11.14 – Revolution – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
11.15 - Soul Kitchen – Mobile, AL
11.16 – Georgia Theatre – Athens, GA
11.17 – Zydeco – Birmingham, AL
11.18 – Lincoln Theatre – Raleigh, NC
Don’t miss out! These guys will blow your minds… I promise! =)
Friday, November 9, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
Back home on the east coast, if you hear the name Widespread Panic mentioned in a conversation, it’s usually followed by words such as “lame” or “sucks”. I wasn’t aware of a single person who liked this band. So you can see my surprise when I moved out to Colorado, and immediately met crazy obsessed Widespread Panic fans. One of the first kids I met in Denver actually had Widespread Panic ticket stubs plastered over every inch of his refrigerator. I’d never seen anything like it. I then walked into another room in his house, where there was a DVD playing of one of Panic’s live shows. I couldn’t get away from this band! Talk about complete extremes –Living in a land of Widespread haters, to Widespread fanatics. Here is my metaphor, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that Widespread Panic is to the South and Mid-west, as PHISH is to the East Coast. That’s my synopsis. But anyways…I couldn’t help but wonder…what is so great about this band? Should I give them a chance? I’d never been interested in them before because they weren’t a part of the environment I was living in. They are very much loved here though, so obviously that’s for a reason. I had never experienced them live before either, so I was feeling very indifferent when a friend of mine had offered me a ticket to go see them in Loveland a few weeks ago. I was curious about what the big deal was about this band, so I decided to go to the show. Why not? I figured that before I could have an opinion on the band, I should see them live first. Sometimes, listening to an album doesn’t do a band justice. Seeing a band live is an entirely different experience… and a lot of times, is how people get turned on to music in the first place. I know that I’ve learned to love my favorite bands through experiencing them LIVE. So that’s exactly what I did with Panic. The experience isn’t what I hoped it would be however.
Lets just say that during their first set, I actually caught myself standing still with my arms crossed…yawning, and periodically checking the time on my phone. I appreciated their talent, and could see why everyone out here loves them so much, but I was honestly bored out of my mind. I wasn’t sure if it was because of our unfortunate seating section, if the band just wasn’t in my taste, or because I wasn’t familiar with any of their songs. Sometimes it’s more enjoyable to see a band when you know their music…because it’s exciting to hear a favorite song while watching your favorite musicians up on stage. You can sing along as you sway, holding your drink up in the air as if your cheers-ing the band, while grinning from ear to ear. That wasn’t the case for me at Panic though, because I didn’t recognize a single song… so each song sounded exactly the same to me. Usually, when you first hear a band - All their songs sound the same. It’s when you get really involved with a band that you begin to differentiate all their songs, sounds, and voices. I remember when I first heard PHISH I thought all of their songs sounded the same, but now, I’m able to recognize every song, with only having to hear the first note. So maybe I just need to listen to Widespread Panic more, to get a better understanding of their sound, and get to know their songs better. OR, they just aren’t for me. I still don’t completely know how I feel about them. Their first set during the Loveland show put me to sleep, but their second set really woke me up.
I remember hearing one song during their second set that really caught my attention. I still have the words and melody lingering in my head. It was called Chainsaw City. I LOVED IT! There were also a few other times when I realized I was really enjoying myself. That might have been due to the fact that the drinks were kicking in, that the band was getting into it more, or that we had moved to the floor - where the energy was much more intense and the crowd had completely immersed themselves in the groove. I think my enjoyment of the second set was a mixture of all the above...but mostly due to the drinks.
Overall, I had a good time…I’m still very wishy-washy towards the band. I don’t like them any more than I did before, and I don’t like them any less. I did really enjoy the Widespread Panic fans a lot…everyone seemed so friendly, and the scene was very diverse and mature – from an elder crowd, to married couples, to college kids, to young professionals, etc. Much different than the Biscuits scene I had mention in a previous post.
So as much as I respect the musicians in Widespread Panic, at the moment, I don’t feel the need to see them again. I got to have the experience, which was enough for me. I just didn’t feel the spark ignite between the band and I, and I didn’t leave the show yearning for more! I guess what it comes down to - is that I’m just an East Coast PHISH girl for life!
So I’ve decided to share a favorite story of mine, about a carefree time in my life where all that mattered was music, traveling, friends, and having all the time in the world to do whatever it was I pleased. When is this time? College! Obviously. When else can you have all the freedom in the world? When your only responsibilities are going to class and getting your work done. After that, you’re freeeeeee.
Which brings me to my senior year of college. I was living in Burlington, Vermont where I attended Champlain College. My roommate and partner in crime, Alex, had agreed to come with me to meet up with some friends and head on over to the Higherground to catch two bands – Brother’s Past and the New Deal. While at Brothers Past, I fell in love with them even more than before…it was one of the best shows I’d seen, due to the fact that they played a set that really triggered a sensitive spot in both Alex and I. We were both going through really rough breakups at the time, and it felt like the band was playing out the soundtrack of our lives. We were broken, and the band was putting on a show that was putting us back together. It’s amazing how music can really help you heal. ANYWAYS, after Brothers Past had finished their sets, we traveled on over to the other room at Higherground, where the New Deal was playing… where we just danced like mad for the rest of the night! (For those of you who don’t know about the New Deal, below is a video of them playing so you can get a feel for what I’m talking about)…
So after both shows were over, we were talking to the Merch guy for Brothers Past. A friend of mine had known him for a while, so he invited a few of us backstage. The band and crew were all very friendly, and had the same sense of humor as my roommate and I… so the entire night was full of wine and laughter. When the night was coming to an end, the guys had invited us to go to their show the next night, which was in North Hampton, MA. I told them we would only go if they played our favorite song. They agreed, and also offered to put us on the guest list, as well as a place to stay.
The next morning, Alex and I thought about it. Did we feel like driving down for 3 1/2 hours to see them again? On about some-to- no sleep? Umm… YEAH. Plus, we are both from MA, so it gave us an excuse to go home and see our families. On our drive down to MA, we popped in their album “A Wonderful Day”, and got lost in conversation, anticipating the show to come…completely forgetting about whatever troubles that might have been haunting us.
When we arrived at the show, we were invited back stage to hang out with the band. It was an old, tiny, dank room with signatures and drawings plastered all over the walls, from previous bands who had been there before. We could all barely fit in there. As I sat in this closet of a room, I tried to take everything in… using all my senses, so I could have a clear memory of this experience. I knew that I would never want to forget it. Their tour manager then arrived to tell them it was show time. Alex and I told the band to have a great show and left to find a good spot in the audience, front row center. During the first set, they began to play the song Alex and I had asked them to play – A Wonderful Day. It’s an amazing feeling when one of your favorite bands plays a song that you know was meant for you. The band kept the momentum going all night, leading to one of the most memorable Brothers Past shows to date (It was 9.9.05).
Here is a video of the band playing a favorite song of mine “Simple Gift Of Man”, from their 4.21.06, Philly show.
After the show, we hung out again backstage with the band, and were once again invited to see them play in Southbridge, MA the next night. At the end of every show we told ourselves “Okay, this is the last one. We have to go back up to school.” But… the band had a way of convincing us why it was absolutely necessary for us to go to their next show…and it didn’t really take too much convincing!
The next morning we met the guys for breakfast at a real delicious, top notch restaurant…Dennys. Mmmm. Below is a shot of me and Tom (the keyboardist) hanging out outside of the diner...
From there, off we went to Southbridge, MA to the Mill Street Brewery. We ran into the tour manager, who brought us backstage. Free drinks, a pool table, and a few really laid back, genuinely nice people. Not too bad. It wasn’t this huge rage fest with a lot of groupie-like girls hanging all over the band going crazy, (which is what some peoples conception of what hanging out with a band is like). It was just a group of friends hanging out and having a good time. I’ve really never laughed so hard, everyone there was so halarious!
When the band went on stage, Alex and I made our way to the front and center again. We ran into a few friends of ours that we bumped into the night before as well. But this time, there was barely anyone there. The venue was new, and in the middle of nowhere, so it was like my friends and I had our own private show. We loved it. There was alot of room to dance, incredible set list, incredible jamming, incredible spacious venue, incredible improv… incredible, incredible, incredible.
After the show was over, Alex and I went out to the car to grab some goodies we bought for the band. We figured since they were so nice to us and so hospitable, that we would buy them some cookies from our favorite pastry shop near our hometown. They were very grateful. They opened up a bottle of champagne, and we all celebrated until they finished packing up their equipment. We exchanged big hugs goodbye, and went our separate ways. They had to be in PA for their next show, and we had to get back to school, and back to reality. It was such a great experience… to be able to hang out with my best friend and one of our favorite bands for a few days. To be able to sit with them, talk to them, get to know them. I got to ask them the questions that I always wondered to myself. What are they thinking about when they are up on stage? What inspired them to write a certain song? What are their methods for writing music? Now if only I could remember what they answered! I felt like I was a character in Almost Famous… getting to talk to and spend time with one of my favorite bands, traveling with them, and befriending them… we joked that we were their “BAND AIDS”, inspiring the band and being there entirely for the music... It’s all happening!
Here's a picture of us with some of the band and crew members. (From L to R, Greg (Merch), Rich (Soundguy-kneeling in front), Tom (Keys, Vocals), Me, Tommy (Guitar, vocals), Alex, and Pete (Tour Manager)
Thursday, October 18, 2007
You know when you first listen to an album and then…it happens… you’re addicted? You can’t help but listen to it on repeat all day because it expresses everything you’ve been thinking and feeling at that moment? When the lyrics relate to your life to the point where you feel like that artist actually knows you, and that you were their inspiration for their writing? Well, this is how I feel about Mason Jennings. Especially his most recent album: Boneclouds. I think that if it was any other time in my life, of course I would still love the album, but I wouldn’t be as affected and moved by it as I am now. It’s almost like certain albums seem to find you when you need them and can relate to them most. Isn’t it strange how that happens?
If you’re not familiar with Mason Jennings, he is a singer/songwriter with an acoustic/folk style of playing. His unique voice, sound, and heartrending lyrics are both reminiscent of John Lennon and Bob Dylan. This album is just so brilliant, it gives me the urge to call up every person I know just to tell them they HAVE to buy this album, or they’re missing out!
Whenever I listen to Boneclouds it makes me smile when I’m not feeling my best, or sometimes, makes me cry… either way it’s a beautiful thing. It helps encourage me when I paint- it gets me in “the zone” and calms me, inspires me and allows my mind to go off and explore. It is great to listen to when doing yoga, meditating, driving in your car, enjoying a beautiful day, enjoying a rainy day… basically it makes whatever you are doing even more pleasurable.
I just remembered that last year, I first heard someone mention to me that I should listen to Mason Jennings. I said “yeah yeah, I think I’ve heard that name before, I’ll check him out.” But, I forgot, and never did listen to him until recently. I didn’t have to go out of my way to listen to him just because somebody told me to, he just happened to find me at the moment when I needed him most.
So as much as I want to tell everybody to listen to this album… don’t do it because I told you to… just remember his name and he’ll find you at the right time.
Here's a video of him live playing the song "Crown" (It's not on Boneclouds, but it's the only song I could find of him playing live with okay sounding audio). And I love this song too!
OH! And also, here are some lyrics from my favorite song from the album..
“BE HERE NOW”
Be here now.
No other place to be.
Just sit there dreaming,
Of how life will be
If we were somewhere better,
Away from all out worries,
Well here we are.
Be here now.
No other place to be.
All the doubts that linger,
Just set them free.
And let good things happen,
And let the future come,
Into each moment,
Like a rising sun.
The sun comes up…and we start again.
It’s all new today.
All we have to say is,
Be here now.
Be here now,
No other place to be.
This whole world keeps changing,
Come change with me.
Everything that’s happened,
All that’s yet to come,
Is here inside this moment,
It’s the only one.
The sun comes up and we start again.
The sun comes up and we start again.
It’s all new today.
All we have to say is...
Be Here Now.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Yeah... Colorado is beautiful in every way imaginable, but... to be honest, I’ve been feeling kind of homesick lately.
Now that I’m beginning to get settled in here more, the excitement of having moved somewhere new has been slowly dying down, which has opened up a door of reality and realization that the things I’ve left behind that I love so much are so far away.
So if ever you’re ever in that place where you want to listen to some beautifully melancholic music because that’s the mood your in, or if you want to listen to some positive lyrics with a funky beat that will lift you up, here’s whats been theraputic for me:
Michael Franti & Spearhead: Stay Human
Jerry Garcia Band: Don't Let Go
Radiohead: The Bends
Damien Rice: “O”
Mason Jennings: Boneclouds
(This album = so moving. Recently I have just been listening to it on repeat all day every day. I’m going to write a review on on it soon for those who don’t know about it…it’ll change your life, I swear).
I Hope this helps anyone like its helped me!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
As I sit here, listening to Janis Joplin on my itunes, I can only ask myself this one question… What has happened to music?! Especially female musicians?! Back in day (circa 1960’s -70’s), I may not have been born yet but I know that the music back then was more meaningful, soulful, unique, organic, and just all around BETTER. While listening to older female musicians like Janis, Joni Mitchell, and Joan Baez, I can understand why they were such respected musicians… because they were actually GOOD. Their music was different, they sang from their hearts, their music was REAL! They all had something to say, whether about love, or politics, and they sang it poetically. There’s a message in their music that grabbed peoples attention and had them feeling connected to it (and still does)! What these women sing about, and how they play their instruments reaches a place in your soul that most music nowadays, can’t seem to get to.
Which brings me to my point – Musicians back in the day, even those in the mainstream, were loved because of their MUSIC and LYRICS, and passion in their singing...not because of their looks, who they were dating, what they were marketing, wearing, or any other of those superficial reasons that contribute to musicians being famous these days. Today, in the mainstream media, we have people like Britney Spears, who is basically just famous now because of her negative publicity… but even when she was selling hit records, it wasn’t because of her talent, obviously, it was because she was good looking, blonde, skinny, and could dance around lip synching, while wearing close to no clothes. Because now- it’s sex that sells. Not music. Not lyrics. Not Poetry. That’s why we have Britney, The Pussy Cat Dolls, even Paris Hilton (which proves my point even more) and other cheesy, talent less, entertainers/entrepreneurs. (I refuse to call them musicians).
Whenever I put the radio on now, which I rarely do, the only good stations I ever find are the stations that play the classics and oldies. The rest is just straight up AWFUL music. So bad, that all I can do is laugh and think to myself “These girls have got to be joking… right?”
How did music change so much? How did we go from Janis to Britney? From songs about real issues, to songs about how hot they are? I know that everything, over time, evolves…but how did it get to this? And how is it going to be in another 30 years? I’m scared to find out!
Here are some examples… I’ve grabbed some lyrics from the female musicians I was referring to from back in the 60’s-70’s… and then… some lyrics from the female musicians we have now…
Decide for yourself.
Janis Joplin: "You can go all around the world trying to find something to do with your life, baby, When you only gotta do one thing to make it in this world. You got a woman waiting for you there, all you ever gotta do is be a good man one time to one woman and that’ll be the end of the road babe, I know you got more tears to share, babe, So come on and cry, baby."
Joan Baez: “The moon is low on the southland .The frogs are asleep on the lake. Did you know that tears run in rivulets, and hearts can repeatedly break? And this may well be the last time, if my spirits don't pick up and fly. For though it's sad, it may well be true, that our time is passing us by.” (Time is Passing Us By)
Joni Mitchell: "By the time we got to Woodstock, we were half a million strong, And everywhere there was song and celebration. And I dreamed I saw the bombers riding shotgun in the sky, and they were turning into butterflies above our nation." (Woodstock)
Britney Spears: "Outrageous, When I move my body. Outrageous, When I'm at a party. Outrageous, In my sexy jeans. Outrageous, When I'm on the scene. Outrageous, My sex drive. Outrageous, My shoppin' spree. Outrageous, We on a world tour. Outrageous, Let's be it, girl…Outrageous."
Pussy Cat Dolls: "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Don't cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me? Don't cha? Don't cha wish your girlfriend was raw like me? Don't cha wish your girlfriend was fun like me? Don't cha?"
Paris Hilton: "Every time I turn around the boys fighting over me. Every time I step out the house they want to fight over me.
Maybe cuz i'm hot to death and I'm so so so sexy. All the boyz all the silly boyz they want to fight over me."
Monday, October 8, 2007
Here are my top 10 albums I just can’t get enough of lately…
Amy Winehouse: Back to Black
Mason Jennings: Boneclouds
Phish: Island Tour (April 2, 3, 4, 5, 1998, Providence, RI)
The Killers: Sam’s Towm
Disco Biscuits: Wind at Four to Fly
Bob Dylan: The Essential Bob Dylan
Grateful Dead: 5.11.77, St. Paul MN
Michael Franti & Spearhead: I Know I’m Not Alone
Gentleman: Journey to Jah
Stephen Marley: Mind Control
There's nothing quite like listening to these albums on a sunny fall day, while sipping on some tea and admiring the foliage!