In 1957, during the height of racial tensions in America, nine African-American students enrolled in the all-white Little Rock Central High School. While their entrance to the school was protested by the Governor of Arkansas himself, the Little Rock Nine became important figures in the burgeoning civil rights movement. It was at that time when a young Paul McCartney would be inspired to write the song “Blackbird,” one of his greatest works as a songwriter.Last weekend, McCartney brought his One on One Tour to Little Rock, AR. There, before the concert, McCartney met with two of the Little Rock Nine students: Thelma Mothershed Wair and Elizabeth Eckford. Naturally, McCartney took a moment out of his performance at the Verizon Arena to honor the two women and the birth of the civil rights movement. He introduced “Blackbird” by saying, “Way back in the Sixties, there was a lot of trouble going on over civil rights, particularly in Little Rock. We would notice this on the news back in England, so it’s a really important place for us, because to me, this is where civil rights started. We would see what was going on and sympathize with the people going through those troubles, and it made me want to write a song that, if it ever got back to the people going through those troubles, it might just help them a little bit, and that’s this next one.”Watch “Blackbird” from the performance below:[H/t Rolling Stone]
Papadosio | Madison Theater | Covington, KY | 4/29/17 | Photos: Phierce Photo by Keith Griner Load remaining images Papadosio | Madison Theater | Covington, KY | 4/28/17 | Photos: Phierce Photo by Keith Griner Photo: Keith Griner Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | Madison Theater | Covington, KY | 4/28/17 | Photos: Phierce Photo by Keith Griner Load remaining images Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | Madison Theater | Covington, KY | 4/28/17 | Photos: Phierce Photo by Keith Griner Load remaining images This past weekend (April 28th-29th) at Covington, KY’s Madison Theater just outside Cincinnati, OH, space rock evangelists Papadosio and Resonance Music & Arts Festival joined forces for Resonance Reconstructed a springtime weekend event with help from Baltimore jam-funk quartet Pigeons Playing Ping Pong.Produced by Essential Productions, the Resonance Festival offshoot maintained the extrasensory vibes the Cincinnati company strives to cultivate with all its events. The bands combined musical forces–and lighting rigs–for two visually and sonically stunning nights of music as well as live art exhibitions, workshops, and more. As Papadosio guitarist Anthony Thogmartin said after night one of the run, “Essential Productions has once again raised the bar on what a great musical celebration should be. We love our Ohio family!” Pigeons guitarist/vocalist “Scrambled” Greg Ormont added, “Essential Productions knows what’s up! Whether it’s a festival or a two-night run, we always have an amazing time. Looking forward to another sweaty rager tonight with Papa D!”Luckily, Resonance Reconstructed had Phierce Photo by Keith Griner on hand to capture the magic on both Friday, April 28th and Saturday, April 29th. Check out fantastic photo galleries of each of the weekend’s sets below.You can watch fanshot video of Papadosio’s show-opening “Curve” from Friday, 4/28 below, via YouTube user Keith Smith:You can also listen to Pigeons’ full Saturday, April 29th performance below, courtesy of taper mott77:SETLIST: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | Madison Theater | Covington, KY | 4/28/17Too Long, Doc, Burning Up My Time > Horizon > Bad For You, Get Back*, Funk E. Zekiel, Henrietta, The Liquid, Sunny Day > The Hop > F.U.*The Beatles coverSETLIST: Papadosio | Madison Theater | Covington, KY | 4/28/17Set: Curve, Mr. Turtles XL, Each n Avery ][, Direction Different, Sequence, Vactrollio ][, Ear to Ear, Cloud Found ][, Bionic ManEncore: 2amSETLIST: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | Madison Theater | Covington, KY | 4/29/17 Whirled, Melting Lights > Offshoot > Poseidon, Pop Off, Somethin’ For Ya > Havana > Time To Ride, Fade Fast, Fun In Funk, Ocean FlowsSETLIST: Papadosio | Madison Theater | Covington, KY | 4/29/17Set: Paradigm Shift > Threes XL, Geoplyph ][, The Plug, Madre, We Can Always Come Back > The Sum, MagreeneryEncore: BTL, Paradigm Shift Load remaining images
While most music festivals are three-day affairs taking place across Friday through Sunday, many of these festivals use a Thursday-night pre-party to get things started a little early. Most of the time, a band or two kicks off the festivities the night before the festival proper starts, specifically targeting patrons who arrive early and are looking to get that extra night of music and camaraderie in. This year, the Thursday night LOCKN’ “Jamwich” line-up is the stuff of dreams, sporting an enviable and unmissable lineup unrivaled by many festivals’ Friday or Saturday lineups. Both The String Cheese Incident and Umphrey’s McGee will be on tap at LOCKN’ on Thursday to perform two “interlocking” sets followed by trance-fusion titans The Disco Biscuits who will play what is sure to be a most epic of late-night throwdowns. LOCKN’ takes place August 24th through 27th in Arrington, Virginia (purchase tickets here).Other acts slated to perform on Thursday include Grahame Lesh and Midnight North, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Nicole Atkins Band, Kendall Street Company, and more. That’s a pretty full Thursday bill, if we’re being completely honest with ourselves. In addition to the draw of its expansive Thursday lineup, the festival has made some site upgrades that will help to ensure an even better experience than past years. Upgrades include the relocation of the main stage area making for easier and efficient access in and out of the festival arena, additional shade and misting tents, and the expansion Garcia’s Forest with a replica of The Porch at Terrapin Station, which will host various sets and activities throughout the weekend.With the recent events that transpired this past weekend in nearby Charlottesville, festival co-producer Peter Shapiro elaborated on how the festival’s message of love, unity, and community can help spark the beginning stages of healing (read the entire interview here):“I’ve been thinking about that all day, and speaking with Dave Frey, my partner who lives down in the Charlottesville area, about the best way to do this right. It’s not easy. But one thing I know is that people need to heal right now, and music helps do that more than just about anything else. As does 20,000 people coming together to share in a one-of-a-kind experience. The reason that I think we all love going to shows — especially big shows with a lot of people, and improvisational bands — is that there’s an energy in the air, something you can feel and the musicians also are feeding off it. Its a self-perpetuating cycle, as Carlos Santana famously said back in the day, ‘the fans are like flowers and the musicians are like a hose.’ And hopefully this time, the audience will feed off it even more. There will be a lot of people in the audience who need healing, especially because a lot of them are Charlottesville and Virginia locals, and this is the next large-scale gathering in the area. If there was ever a time for a forest to be named after Jerry Garcia and to have his music playing in the trees all day and night, it’s now. Hopefully Jerry’s voice will help soothe things a bit too.”The rest of the festival lineup over the course of the weekend includes a special set from Phil Lesh with special guest Bob Weir and The Terrapin Family Band with Nicki Bluhm (performing Terrapin Station), Gov’t Mule with Ann Wilson of Heart, Widespread Panic, John Fogerty, phil.moe. (Phil Lesh & Friends with moe.), The Revivalists, Jim James (solo), John Butler Trio, Greensky Bluegrass, JJ Grey & Mofro, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, TAUK, The Marcus King Band, and more on the lineup that goes on and on.Tickets for LOCKN’ are still available and can be purchased here. For event updates and additional information leading up to the festival, join the Facebook Event page.[Cover photo courtesy of Dave Vann]
In 1969, Leonard Cohen released the song “Bird On The Wire” from his Songs from a Room album. The track quickly became one of his signature songs, and would be performed live by Cohen more times than any of his other original music. Inspired by an actual bird sitting on a newly installed telephone wire, “Bird On The Wire” helped lift Cohen out of a depression, and the song’s uplifting lyrics have gone on to inspire countless artists.Two of those inspired artists were the legendary Joe Cocker and Leon Russell, who came together for the “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” live performance in 1970. Among the many songs played by the Mad Dogs band was “Bird On The Wire,” which was only a year old at the time. With Cocker’s unmistakably soulful vocals and Russell’s barreling piano lines, this would go down as one of the all-time great renditions of Cohen’s classic song.Listen to “Bird On The Wire” on Cocker’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen 1970 live album, streaming below.In 2015, Lockn’ Festival hosted an all-star tribute concert to Joe Cocker, with the Tedeschi Trucks Band leading special guests along a full cover of the Mad Dogs album. Leon Russell was one of those esteemed guests, participating in the festivities to honor his former bandmate. Watch their live rendition of “Bird On The Wire” below, as we now honor the lives of Leon Russell and Leonard Cohen, who both passed away last year. RIP.
Earlier in the year, we reported that comedic musical duo, Flight of the Conchords, would be shooting an hour-long comedy special, but few details were revealed in January during the initial reports. Earlier this week, New Zealand natives Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement—better known as Flight of the Conchords—revealed that they’ll be releasing an hour-long special featuring both old and new material on October 6th at 10 p.m. (ET), which will air on HBO.Flight of the Conchords developed a worldwide cult following after their BBC radio series was turned into a TV show on HBO in 2007, showcasing their unassuming yet hilarious blend of music and comedy. The series (also called Flight of the Conchords) ran for two seasons and was nominated for several Emmys in both songwriting and overall comedic categories. After a relatively quiet few years, the group returned in 2016, announcing an extensive summer tour that marked their first U.S. shows since 2013.In March, Flight of the Conchords embarked on their first U.K. tour in seven years, with stops in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Dublin, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and more, which was kicked off with two nights at London’s Eventim Apollo. The new special, Flight of the Conchords: Live at the London Apollo, is compiled material from the opening-run of their most recent tour.Watch a trailer for the upcoming HBO special below:
Today, alt-rock favorites The Smashing Pumpkins announced a new batch of 2018 tour dates in a continuing celebration of the band’s 30th anniversary.The new dates begin on Wednesday, November 28th at The Sylvee in Madison, WI, followed by a Friday, November 30th performance in Chicago, IL. On Saturday, December 1st, the band will head to St. Louis, MO’s Stifel Theatre before wrapping up the weekend on Sunday, December 2nd, at the Brady Theater in Tulsa, OK. Next, Smashing Pumpkins will travel to San Antonio, TX for a show at Sunken Garden Theater on Tuesday, December 4th, before rounding out the run with a pair of Arizona shows on Thursday, December 6th, in at The Rialto Theatre in Tucson and Friday, December 7th, at the Mesa Amphitheatre in Phoenix.This new crop of tour dates comes on the heels of the band’s lengthy Shiny And Oh So Bright tour, which began in July and extended through the beginning of September. The late-2018 tour comes in support of Shiny And Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future, the band’s forthcoming album, due out on November 16th.The eight-track, Rick Rubin-produced project will mark founding members Billy Corgan, James Iha, and Jimmy Chamberlin‘s first album together in nearly two decades. You can listen to the first single off the new album here. You can also listen to recently released single “Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts)” below:The Smashing Pumpkins – “Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts)”[Video: The Smashing Pumpkins]Tickets for the newly announced dates go on sale to the public this Friday, October 5th. For a full list of the Smashing Pumpkins’ newly announced 30th-anniversary tour dates, see below. To grab your tickets when they go on sale, head to the band’s website. The Smashing Pumpkins Upcoming Tour Dates*newly added dates bolded10/16 – London, UK @ Wembley Arena10/18 – Bologna, IT @ Unipol Arena11/28 – Madison, WI @ The Sylvee11/30 – Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom12/01 – St. Louis, MO @ Stifel Theatre12/02 – Tulsa, IK @ Brady Theater12/04 – San Antonio, TX @ Sunken Garden Theater12/06 – Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre12/07 – Phoenix, AZ @ Mesa Amphitheatre View Tour Dates
Today, Heart has announced a 39-date headlining tour 2019 tour, dubbed the Love Alive Tour after their 1977 song of the same name. Heart, led by sisters Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson, will be joined at each of the nationwide tour stops by a rotating cast of powerful female supporting acts including Sheryl Crow, Lucie Silvas, Elle King, Joan Jett, Brandi Carlile, and more. The Love Alive Tour will mark Heart’s first tour in three years.The lengthy North American swing will begin on July 9th in St. Louis, MO and continue throughout July, August, and the beginning of September before wrapping up on September 9th with a performance at the Hollywood Bowl.In a promotional video shared to Heart’s social media channels, the Wilson sisters talk about what’s to come on the upcoming tour. As Nancy notes, “We’re not going to be scrimping on making this show really exciting.” Check out the clip below:Heart Love Alive Tour Promo VideoFanclub presale tickets will be available starting at 10 a.m. local time on Tuesday, February 12th. A Citi Card presale will begin at 10 a.m. local on Wednesday, February 13th, followed by a Valentines Day presale on Thursday, February 14th (using password “LOVEALIVE”). Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, February 15th at 10 a.m. local.You can check out the poster below for a list of dates. For more information, head to Heart’s website.
Photo: Dave DeCrescente Load remaining images Joe Russo’s Almost Dead kicked off their seven-date March tour on Friday night with a performance at the Palace Theatre in Albany, New York.The five-piece used their two-set show to deliver unique interpretations of fan-favorite Grateful Dead covers, including the tenth-ever version of “Box Of Rain” and “Dupree’s Diamond Blues”, which was only played once previously at NYC’s Brooklyn Bowl on 3/8/18. In typical JRAD fashion, the band wove in surprise teases of John Coltrane, Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and more throughout their performance. For the encore slot, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead offered up their fifth-ever version of Warren Zevon‘s “Werewolves of London”.Watch the second-set opener below, courtesy of nugs.tv, and listen to the full show below.“Black Throated Wind”[Video: nugsnet]Joe Russo’s Almost Dead – Full Show Audio – 3/1/19[Audio: robclarke]Joe Russo’s Almost Dead will perform at Portland, ME’s State Theatre tonight and tomorrow, before continuing on to Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Ohio. For a complete list of upcoming tour dates, head to JRAD’s official website.Setlist: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead | Palace Theatre | Albany, NY | 3/1/2019Set One (8:15PM – 9:27PM)CassidyJack A Roe >Box Of RainThe Other One -> Drums -> The Other One Reprise @Shakedown St #Set Two (10:00PM – 11:43PM)Jam ->Black Throated Wind ->Bertha Jam ## -> Dupree’s Diamond Blues $Playing In The Band ->So Many Roads % ->Estimated Prophet >St Stephen ^ -> Bertha &ENC:Marco Solo ->Werewolves Of London *! – Not Played by Almost Dead Since 2018-02-15 War Memorial Auditorium, Nashville, TN, a gap of 43 shows+ – Not Played by Almost Dead Since 2018-02-17 The Pageant, St Louis, MO, a gap of 42 [email protected] – With a Duo Jam, first Almost Dead version of “Other One Reprise”# – With a “Love Supreme” (John Coltrane) Tease (TH) and a Jam that included elements of “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough” (Michael Jackson) and “Serpentine Fire” (Earth Wind & Fire)## – First Time Played in this manner by Almost Dead$ – Not Played by Almost Dead Since 2018–03-08 Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY, a gap of 39 shows% – With a “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” (Bob Dylan) Tease (TH) Tommy actually quoted the Guns N Roses version. Not Played by Almost Dead Since 2018-03-16 The Palace Theatre, a gap of 35 shows Albany, NY^ – Unfinished& – With a “Reveille” (Traditional) Tease (SM) and a “Rock And Roll” (Led Zeppelin) Tease (JR)* – With a “Sweet Home Alabama” (Lynyrd Skynyrd) Tease (MB)
On Wednesday, The Rolling Stones announced the opening acts for their recently rescheduled No Filter North American Tour.The Stones’ openers vary by date and city and include Gary Clark Jr. (Foxboro); Dumpstaphunk with special guests The Soul Rebels (New Orleans); The Revivalists (Jacksonville); Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real (E. Rutherford & Seattle); Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (Denver); St. Paul & The Broken Bones (Chicago) and more.The tour, originally scheduled to run from mid-April through the end of June, was postponed in late March when Mick Jagger was forced to undergo a surgical procedure to place a stent in his heart. The postponement of the tour forced the band to cancel their highly-anticipated headlining slot at this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.Now that Jagger is healed up and ready to rock, the band revealed their revised tour plans, which will see them stop in each of the cities originally included on the tour—including a newly-added show at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on July 14th to make up for the missed Jazz Fest performance.See a full list of the Rolling Stones’ North American tour dates below, as well as the special guests that will be joining the band throughout their lengthy tour.For more information, head to The Rolling Stones’ tour page here.Rolling Stones 2019 No Filter North American Tour Dates:June 21 Chicago, IL Soldier Field St. Paul & The Broken BonesJune 25 Chicago, IL Soldier Field Whiskey MyersJune 29 Ontario, Canada Burl’s Creek The Glorious Sons + The BeachesJuly 3 Washington, DC FedExField Ghost HoundsJuly 7 Foxboro, MA Gillette Stadium Gary Clark Jr.July 14 New Orleans, LA Mercedes-Benz Superdome Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk with special guest The Soul RebelsJuly 19 Jacksonville, FL TIAA Bank Field The RevivalistsJuly 23 Philadelphia, PA Lincoln Financial Field Des RocsJuly 27 Houston, TX NRG Stadium Bishop GunnAugust 1 East Rutherford, NJ MetLife Stadium The WombatsAugust 5 East Rutherford, NJ MetLife Stadium Lukas Nelson & Promise of the RealAugust 10 Denver, CO Broncos Stadium at Mile High Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night SweatsAugust 14 Seattle, WA CenturyLink Field Lukas Nelson & Promise of the RealAugust 18 Santa Clara, CA Levi’s®️ Stadium Vista KicksAugust 22 Pasadena, CA The Rose Bowl KALEOAugust 26 Glendale, AZ State Farm Stadium KALEOAugust 31 Miami, FL Hard Rock Stadium JuanesView Tour Dates
When people ask Aaron Dworkin why he cares so much about bringing diversity to classical music, he answers, “I am basically a black, white, Jewish, Irish Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness who plays the violin. … I am the definition of diversity, and really had no choice but to do this work.”Dworkin is spreading African-American and Latino diversity as the founder and president of the Detroit-based Sphinx Organization, which focuses on youth development and diversity in performing and appreciating classical music.Soundbytes: Catalyst Quartet at HarvardThe son of an unwed, white, Irish Catholic mother and an African-American Jehovah’s Witness, he was given up for adoption by his parents two weeks after his birth to a white Jewish couple from New York, both professors in neural and behavioral science with a love of music.Inspired by his adoptive mother, an amateur violinist, Dworkin took up the instrument at age 5. Three years later, while attending a concert by the violin virtuoso Isaac Stern at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Dworkin said he was struck by the “sense of awe it built in me about music.” The feeling has remained with him ever since.But along with his love of the art form came an understanding of its lack of diversity, and a desire to make that change, leading to the Sphinx Organization.Dworkin was at Harvard on March 11 to receive the University’s Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award, which honors a nationally recognized educator and is administered by the Office for the Arts at Harvard.During a presentation in the Barker Center’s Thompson Room, Dworkin discussed some grim numbers, signifying what he called a “stark underrepresentation” of blacks and Hispanics in the nation’s classical music landscape.Blacks and Latinos represent only 4 percent of members in the nation’s 1,200 orchestras, according to a survey conducted by the League of American Orchestras. But the problem runs much deeper than just the diversity of the stage performers, said Dworkin. The survey also found similar statistics among top administrative positions. Only about 4 percent of music directors or orchestra conductors are black or Latino. The numbers are worse for executive director and artistic administrator positions. “Statistically,” said Dworkin, “zero percent are black or Latino.”Even education and community relations directors, those charged with connecting an orchestra to its surrounding community, are rarely men or women of color. In addition, repertoires reflect no black or Latino composers, and audiences are largely composed of older, white members.But with Dworkin’s help, the tide is slowly shifting. His group includes the Sphinx Performance Academy, a full-scholarship, intensive chamber music and solo performance program designed for aspiring black and Latino string players; a professional development program that helps prepare young artists for a career in classical music; the annual Sphinx Competition, open to all junior high, high school, and college-age black and Latino string players in the nation; the Catalyst Quartet, composed of top laureates and alumni; and the Sphinx Symphony, an all-black and Latino orchestra made up of top professionals from around the country.Dworkin said his group has played a significant role in doubling the number of black performers in the nation’s orchestras. When his organization was founded in 1998, only about 1.16 percent of orchestras were black. Today that number is up to 2.5 percent. According to Dworkin, every new African-American member of an orchestra since 1998 has some tie to the Sphinx Organization.“We need to look at diversity as something that is critical to the evolution and survival of our field and our art form,” said Dworkin. “We have a great deal of distance to go; we are not yet done by any means.”Quoting civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., who met his wife while she was studying voice and violin at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Dworkin said, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle. … Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”Fittingly, the Catalyst Quartet closed the discussion with a performance of Terry Riley’s “Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector.”