If The Fritz is not on your radar yet, they should be. Led by the skill and charisma of keyboardist/vocalist Jamar Woods, this Asheville, NC-based funk outfit brings some of tightest funk-rock performances in the game, and their live shows have been steadily earning a “not-to-be-missed” reputation.Earlier this month, The Fritz recorded a live performance in the “Jam Van” in North Carolina. The results of the session have started to roll out, and they truly are excellent. Set aside 10 minutes and check out this video of “Sound. Habits. Blame.” for your daily dose of dopeness:You can watch the rest of the session here, via Jam In The Van.
Atlanta-based funk band Voodoo Visionary has released the first single off their yet to be named sophomore album, set for release in February 2017. Recorded at WonderDog Sounds in Marietta by Mark Michaelson and Josh Thane, the album showcases not only the progression of the band’s musicianship but their exploration of new genres while staying true to the roots of funk,“Hold Tight,” the album’s first single, was the last song written for the album, completed while the band was laying it down in the studio. The high quality of the recording captures the feeling of WonderDog Sounds’ inspirational environment. A solid groove drives this funky tune through odd time signature changes complimented by uplifting lyrics.Check out your very first listen of the new track, streaming below.On Friday, November 18th, Voodoo Visionary will be performing at Variety Playhouse in Atlanta alongside TAUK and The Orange Constant. One of Atlanta’s longstanding and most beloved venues, Variety Playhouse recently underwent a $1,500,000 renovation and has a jam-packed fall and winter schedule. You can find tickets and more information here.
The second annual Fool’s Paradise is right around the corner! Performing March 31 – April 1 in St. Augustine, Florida are Lettuce x2, The Motet, The Floozies, a special Manic Science set featuring Manic Focus and Break Science, The Main Squeeze, Organ Freeman, along with Oteil Burbridge and Antwaun Stanley as artists-at-large.We are thrilled to have Joe Russo’s Almost Dead join us on Friday night, with Dead & Company keyboardist Jeff Chimenti subbing in for Marco Benevento. The music of the Grateful Dead will be served greatly with this all-star cast, complete with drummer Joe Russo, guitarists Tom Hamilton and Scott Metzger, and bassist Dave Dreiwitz. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead just got a little deadlier! With Oteil Burbridge also on site as an artist-at-large, there’s no telling what might happen. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead & Company?!For two days under the Florida sun, there will be genre-bending music, artist-led excursions, and plenty of time for nautical activities just steps away from the ocean. When the music at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre comes to an end each day, fans will have the option of continuing over to the Elk’s Lodge for additional late night after shows. From beginning to end, Fool’s Paradise is the complete experience for artists and fans alike. Don’t miss out!For more information, visit the Fool’s Paradise website.
For years, jazz/funk fusion trio Soulive held down an annual spot at the Brooklyn Bowl for a guest-filled residency dubbed Bowlive. After taking a year off from that tradition, Soulive has announced the triumphant return to this annual celebration! Unlike past Bowlives, which were held in March, this run will come to us through the month of June. The band will be holding it down at the Bowl for eight nights, from June 7th through the 10th, and June 14th through the 17th.On June 7, Soulive will welcome Steve Kimock and Karl Denson of Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe! Tickets for this performance are currently available here.
Frank Zappa 50 years ago today, on March 4th, 1968, Frank Zappa debuted We’re Only In It For The Money, his fourth-ever album release and the third official LP with his band, the Mothers of Invention. A concept album like the two Mothers albums that preceded it, We’re Only In It For The Money took a satirical look at the hippie subculture that had already begun to implode.The album is thoroughly unapologetic, using snippets of experimental and orchestral music mixed with the same psychedelic rock he’s lampooning as the backdrop for a funhouse-like parody of the hippie culture and mindset. Its cover art, of course, is a parody of the Beatles‘ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band cover, reasserting the album’s satirical stance.“Who Needs The Peace Corps?” helps set the tone for the album, as Zappa recites what amount to the tenets of the hippie oath (i.e.“I will ask the Chamber of Commerce how to get to Haight Street … I will wander around barefoot … I will smoke an awful lot of dope”). The track goes on to highlight the apathetic cliche of the “tune in, turn on, drop out” narrative, a charade which was cyclically glorified and perpetuated throughout the Summer of Love:I will love the police as they kick the shit out of me on the streetI will sleep . . .I will, I will go to a houseThat’s, that’s what I will doI will go to a houseWhere there’s a rock & roll band‘Cause the groups all live togetherAnd I will join a rock & roll bandI will be their road managerAnd I will stay there with themAnd I will get the crabsBut I won’t careBecause . . .We’re Only In It For The Money saw Zappa continue to dig into his experimentation with chronological continuity, which would become a trends throughout his prodigiously prolific career. The album was one of four albums distilled from sessions in New York for a project called No Commercial Potential. Pieces of the No Commercial Potential sessions ended up being used for several albums, including the orchestral portions of We’re Only In It For The Money, a revised version of Zappa’s debut solo record, Lumpy Gravy, Cruising with Ruben & the Jets, Uncle Meat and, finally 1994’s Civilization Phaze III.As Zappa stated in Barry Miles’ 2004 biography, Zappa, “It’s all one album. All the material in the albums is organically related and if I had all the master tapes and I could take a razor blade and cut them apart and put it together again in a different order it still would make one piece of music you can listen to. Then I could take that razor blade and cut it apart and reassemble it a different way, and it still would make sense. I could do this twenty ways. The material is definitely related.”The album also saw Zappa continue to push into musique concrète territory, another early thread that would run through his entire career. While recording We’re Only in It for the Money, Zappa discovered that the strings of Apostolic Studios’ grand piano would resonate if a person spoke close to them. Frank proceeded to invite a slew of notable guests (including Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, and Tim Buckley) into the studio to serve as “piano people,” improvising dialogue about topics he provided. These recordings were then used to add psychedelic depth to the album’s various abstract interludes.Celebrate the 50th birthday of Frank Zappa/The Mothers’ third album by giving it a spin below:Frank Zappa, The Mothers – We’re Only In It For The Money (Full Album)[Audio: Spotify]
Keller Williams will honor Jerry Garcia‘s 76th birthday with a special night of music at, of all places, Garcia’s at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. The show will find Williams performing a mix Grateful Dead material and his own originals at the historic theater’s venue-within-a-venue on Wednesday, August 1st (Garcia was born on the same date in 1942).The upcoming birthday celebration will mark Williams’ latest tribute to the Grateful Dead, which have become fairly common in recent years. In the past, the “one-man band” has teamed up with musicians like Jeff Austin to perform bluegrass renditions of Dead favorites as part of his Grateful Grass project, which put out an album in 2008 (featuring Austin and String Cheese Incident bassist Keith Moseley). He’s also performed the music of the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia in a gospel style with his Grateful Gospel band on a few occasions, in addition to releasing a full album of piano Dead covers called Keys in 2013.Grateful Grass – “Scarlet Begonias” – Gathering Of The Vibes 2014[Video: Gathering of the Vibes]Tickets for Williams’ birthday party for Jerry Garcia will go on sale to the general public on Friday, March 30th. Pre-sale tickets will be available using code “HBDJERRY” starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 28th.
Bellwether Music Festival, a brand new music festival set to take place on August 10th and 11th in Renaissance Park, OH, has announced the full lineup for its inaugural event this year. Topping the bill for the inaugural Bellwether Music Festival will be MGMT and The Flaming Lips. They will be joined on the lineup by Local Natives, Echo & The Bunnymen, Dr. Dog, The Psychedelic Furs, Whitney, Allah-Las, Japanese Breakfast, Bob Schneider, Erika Wennerstrom, Alex Lahey, Dawg Yawp, Speaking Suns, The Cordial Sins, Carriers.As the festival’s description on their site notes, “Bellwether Music Festival is a two-day, two-stage alternative music festival with camping. Get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy some peace and quiet… Until the music starts. Join us August 10-11 for music by day and stars by night.”Check out the full lineup below. For more information on the new alternative music festival in Renaissance Park, OH, or to grab your tickets now, head to the event website.
Founding Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, the only surviving member of the band to take part in all of the seminal English rock outfit’s incarnations, will play four intimate shows in London with a newly-formed supergroup. Mason’s new band—comprised of Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet), Lee Harris (Ian Dury & the Blockheads), Dom Beken (frequent Nick Mason collaborator), and Guy Pratt (latter-day Pink Floyd bassist)—will keep its setlists focused on the pioneering psych-rock of Pink Floyd’s first two albums, 1967’s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and 1968’s A Saucerful of Secrets.Brooklyn Vegan reports that the group will play at least four shows next month under the moniker Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets. The first of those gigs is slated for May 20th at Dingwall’s and the next three are slated for May 21st, 23rd, and 24th at Half Moon. Unfortunately, your chances of actually seeing these shows are pretty slim, even if you are in London, as all four nights sold out more or less instantly.Notably, these shows will mark Mason’s first full shows since Pink Floyd reunited at Live 8 in 2005 (a few 2011 sit-ins with Roger Waters and a 2012 collaboration with Ed Sheeran for the Olympic closing ceremony don’t count). His former bandmates Roger Waters and David Gilmour have both been hitting the road fairly hard in recent years, so someone should probably float the idea of getting the gang together again now that everyone is back in the saddle. How about it, guys?[H/T – JamBase]
This summer, fans from all over the world will travel to Seattle for Pearl Jam‘s “Home Shows,” which mark the band’s first performances in their native city in half a decade. One Seattle hotel, the Edgewater, has put some serious effort into catering to the band’s emphatic fanbase when they visit: They have begun taking bookings for a special Pearl Jam-themed suite at their establishment.As the suite description on the hotel’s website notes:Rest your head on a pillow made of awesome. We partnered with Pearl Jam and their fan club to design the ultimate band inspired suite. With authentic concert memorabilia lining the walls, industrial grunge-inspired décor, in-room guitar, amp and vinyl record player, this space is a Seattle rock legend’s dream. Now through the band’s home shows in August, we’re donating 10% of the room’s proceeds to end homelessness in Seattle.The suite also features views of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains, a gas-burning fireplace, “industrial, grunge-inspired design,” authentic band posters, “fan representation in design,” an in-room guitar and amplifier, a record player with the band’s albums, and more.Photos of the suite show various pieces of Pearl Jam memorabilia on display and a large Mother Love Bone banner hung behind the bed. As Stereogum notes, “You can book the suite here; it appears that room rates start around $529. Alternately, you could stay in a Motel 6 and hang a Mother Love Bone poster on the wall.”This is not the first time the Edgewater has delved into rock and roll-oriented room offerings. The hotel also features a suite dedicated to The Beatles. For more information on the Edgewater’s “Rock N’ Roll Suites,” you can head here.Check out some images of the available-to-book Pearl Jam suite at the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle below via the hotel website: [H/T Stereogum]
On June 1st and 2nd, Purple Hatter’s Ball will return once again to the Spirit of Suwannee Park in Live Oak, Florida, for the eleventh straight year benefitting the Rachel Morningstar Foundation. After announcing the festival’s lineup in March, fans have eagerly been awaiting this latest edition of the festival, which features sets by Lettuce, Spafford, Breaking Biscuits, Toubab Krewe, The Heavy Pets, Roosevelt Collier Trio, Southern Avenue, and more.Today, Purple Hatter’s Ball has announced its daily schedule, allowing attendees to start plotting their weekend adventures. On Friday, June 1st, the festival will open with a performance from Hivemind, followed by sets from Southern Avenue, Toubab Krewe, and The Heavy Pets. To close out the festivities on night one, the up-and-coming Arizona jammers of Spafford will close out the Amphitheatre Stage. On Saturday, the festivities kick off at Spirit of Suwannee Park’s Beach Stage, with performances by Vlad The Inhaler, Trial By Stone, Catfish Alliance, and MZG. As the day wears on, the festival will switch gears, inviting attendees over to the Amphitheatre Stage for an opening set by Dubconscious, a long-running staple of the festival in addition to Trial By Stone and MZG.Given that the festival is held in loving memory of Rachel Morningstar Hoffman—a Florida State University student and beloved member of the music community who was brutally murdered in 2008 while acting as a police informant during a woefully inept drug sting—during Dubconscious’ set (her once favorite band), the festival will host its annual ceremonial release of butterflies in Rachel’s honor, which is hosted by Rachel’s mother turned activist, Margie Weiss. As festival Paul Levine told Live For Live Music in a recent interview about the butterfly ceremony,It’s one of the most looked-forward-to moments of the weekend. It’s deeply cathartic and healing on top of being sad, but something Margie brought to the PHB early on—she feels Rachel’s spirit is embodied in a monarch butterfly. She purchases twenty-three butterflies for the years Rachel was on Earth, and one for the spirit of who she is now. We share those butterflies. Margie hands out one to a friend or audience member or whatever, and after, we talk about Rachel and tell her story. We release butterflies in the air and have a moment and thought about Rachel. It’s really incredible.From there, following the beautiful memorial for a spirit lost too soon, Purple Hatter’s Ball will close out with performances from Roosevelt Collier Band, Breaking Biscuits, and Lettuce.You can check out the full weekend schedule for Purple Hatter’s Ball below. Tickets for the two-day music and camping festival are on-sale now, and can be purchased on the event’s website here.