Fiona Apple guitarist Blake Mills pulls double duty on current tour
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Blake Mills is busy. The 25-year-old
guitar prodigy has worked relentlessly in recent years as an in-demand
session and touring musician, collaborating with a wide range of artists, nearly all of whom use hyperbolic
language to describe his unique talents. And now he’s touring with Fiona Apple,
both as her guitarist and as her opening act.
by Brian Baker
Hiatt and Earle (plus his Dukes) perform together at the Taft Theatre tonight
There isn't a huge stylistic gap between Steve Earle and John Hiatt, so it makes sense that they would make a good tour package (one that hits the Taft Theatre tonight for an 8 p.m. show). They're both moderately successful Americana artists with slavishly loyal fan bases and solid bodies of work over long careers (Hiatt having the earlier ’70s start). To the curious mind, the billing begs the point: What else do Earle and Hiatt have in common?• They both began their careers as staff songwriters and launched performing careers after one of their songs became a hit for someone else (Johnny Lee for Earle, Three Dog Night for Hiatt).• They've both been covered extensively by other artists, Earle by Travis Tritt, Robert Earl Keen and others, and Hiatt by Bonnie Raitt, Rosanne Cash, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and many more.• They both signed with Epic Records for their first deal; Earle never recorded for them, while Hiatt did two Epic albums which sold poorly and expedited his release.• Their second contracts were both with MCA; Earle had a pretty decent run with the label, including his 1988 hit Copperhead Road, while Hiatt's was a repeat of his Epic experience.• They've both been nominated for Grammys, but Earle has a commanding lead with 14 nods and three wins, while Hiatt has been nominated twice with no mantle bling to show for it yet.• They've both been married multiple times, but again Earle has the lead with seven marriages; Hiatt has only had three.• Both have successfully dealt with substance issues.• Both are balding; Hiatt has the lead here with more hair, but Earle compensates with a ZZ Toppish beard.• Both will kick your ass in the live setting, so bring an extra ass.Here's a clip for Hiatt's "Damn This Down," off his latest LP, Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns. And here is part of a documentary filmed during Earle's sessions for I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive (also the name of his novel and, yes, both are based on the Hank Williams tune, which he covers on the album as a bonus track. The novel is centered around Williams mysterious "doctor" who traveled with the singer until his death, then disappeared).
Aug. 22 • Taft Theatre
0 Comments · Monday, August 20, 2012
From hope to heartache, Ashes and Roses covers a
wide range of emotions and capitalizes on the experiences of a now
by Reyan Ali
Japanese Punk/Pop icons perform tonight at the Ballroom at the Taft
Irony is not a concept usually shared by international cultures. Case in point: cats. The
Western (internet) world shows its adoration for felines by churning
out pointless LOLcat YouTube video after LOLcat YouTube video, gilding
this love with a patina of wink-wink jokeyness, as if to say, "Sure, we
obsess over and anthropomorphize these cute beasts that don't do very
much, but since we're making a gag out of it, it's OK to openly enjoy
it. This is how we've earned our pass."Japan's Shonen Knife, on
the other hand, has willingly dedicated an entire song to the same
animals while keeping a straight face — a move that would definitely
earn mockery if they were an American band.
The 31-year-old Pop-Punk trio's "I Am a Cat" off 1993's Let's Knife
is an autumnal, simple tune where the narrator steps into an astral
"timeless zone" and finds a cat's whiskers and ears. After attaching
them to herself, she observes, "In a moment, I become a sweet little
cat/And I dance on a flying saucer." It's silly and a bit dumb,
of course, but the total absence of irony —especially since this comes
from an underground Rock outfit — is a true gift. Shonen Knife has long
championed frivolous music about frivolous subjects, and the trio’s
childlike earnestness yields great charm.With that being said,
it's somewhat surprising that Kurt Cobain of all folks supported Shonen;
but, hey, even the guy who wrote "Rape Me" needed some relief from pain
and aggression, too (see: heroin addiction). Shonen Knife's tour behind its new album, Pop Tune, comes to the Ballroom space inside the Taft Theatre downtown tonight. Showtime is 8:30 p.m.; doors open at 7:30 p.m. Opening the show is red-headed sibling rockers White Mystery (from Chicago) and Cincinnati greats The Harlequins. Tickets are $13.Here's the video for the title track off of Shonen Knife's new LP.
Aug. 20 • Taft Theatre
0 Comments · Monday, August 13, 2012
Irony is not a concept usually shared by international cultures. Case in point: cats.
Night Beats blaze their own trail by following a few already blazed
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Carving your own upward path in the
perpetually congested music biz is an intimidating enough prospect on
its own. Yet Danny Lee — the driving force behind Seatlle Psych Rock trio Night Beats — has
opted to one-up this great dare: He wants not just to create his band’s
own fanbase but also his own scene. Kinda. Maybe.
July 27 • Taft Theatre
0 Comments · Monday, July 23, 2012
Meth, liquor, hitchhiking, cheating and, of course,
angels are just a few of the topics about which Old Crow Medicine Show
enjoys singing. It sounds like a bad play on the topics of Country
music, but it works for them — especially when you add in the banjo and
that big ol’ bass.
July 5 • Ballroom at the Taft Theatre
0 Comments · Monday, July 2, 2012
South Carolina’s Trevor Hall
doesn’t make the kind of music you might expect to come from a native of
the American South. Instead, Hall’s music has a Reggae streak, the kind
of tunes he may have heard growing up in the beach community of Hilton
Head or later at the arts school he attended in California. If you like Jack Johnson and
Colbie Caillat and enjoy grooving to Bob Marley on occasion, Hall’s
releases would fit nicely in your collection.
by Deirdre Kaye
Up-and-coming Pop/Reggae singer/songwriter plays Ballroom at the Taft
South Carolina’s Trevor Hall doesn’t make the kind of music you might expect to come from a native of the American south. Instead, Hall’s music has a Reggae streak, similar to the kind of tunes he may have heard growing up in the beach community of Hilton Head or later at the arts school he attended in California.If you like Jack Johnson and Colbie Caillat and enjoy grooving to Bob Marley on occasion, Hall’s releases would fit nicely in your CD (or iTunes) collection. His newest album, Everything Everytime Everywhere, highlights everything that’s great about Hall’s music, with 12 tracks of summery, beach-y Pop with undertones of contemporary and classic Reggae.Unlike Caillat and Johnson, Hall focuses on more than just sappy love songs. The love Hall is most willing to write and sing about is love for yourself and the world around you. Hall, who travels to India almost yearly to spend time in an ashram that houses underprivileged children, lives up to Marley’s “One Love” message better that most of his musical contemporaries. Everything even features snippets of sounds from an Indian street corner and a song introduction by one of the young girls from the ashram.Hall has performed with Matisyahu, Jimmy Cliff and The Wailers, and is currently headlining his own tour. He plays on the Taft Theatre's Ballroom stage tonight with Justin Young and Pete Dressman. Tickets are $17.
June 29 • Ballroom at the Taft Theatre
0 Comments · Monday, June 25, 2012
Any band with decent musical
aptitude and a passion for the days of sheet music stores, phosphates
and the Charleston can churn out covers of songs gleaned from thrift
shop 78s and attract a sizable, loyal audience. The real gift is
taking that Hot Jazz/Country Blues/Ragtime/Western Swing inspiration
and translating it into original and completely contemporary songs;
Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three possess that gift.