Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Coming Soon – Peter Himmelman

Are you familiar with Peter Himmelman and his storied Madison legacy? He had serious buzz in our community in the early ‘90s when he was getting regular airplay in Madison. And there was at least one legendary performance at the Club de Wash – when he played from atop the bar.

He's been at this a long time now. According to his myspace bio: "After getting his first electric guitar - a red Fender Duo Sonic - when he was 12, Himmelman soon started a rock band and began writing songs. During his high school years, he would venture over to North Minneapolis to play R&B with a circle of musicians that included future soul singing star Alexander O'Neal. In twelfth grade, he also became the guitarist (and one of only two whites) in Shangoya, an otherwise all-Trinidadian reggae/calypso band."

I'd lost track of Peter over the years - and I reconnected with him again (musically) just last year when I saw him at the Annex touring behind Imperfect World. A bunch of us were in attendance and all left amazed. I for one have never seen a performer that was as spontaneous and daring as Peter. He’s a fabulous songwriter, and you should definitely try to see him when he plays at the Annex on Sunday, August 5th.

Peter Himmelman just released a new album last week - The Pigeons Couldn't Sleep. He will also be performing at Schuba's in Chicago on August 1st and 2nd, and at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul on August 6th.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Just 4 Days to Lollapalooza!

On August 3rd thru 5th, Lollapalooza takes over Grant Park in Chicago and transforms it into one of the nation’s best urban music festivals. Friends who went last year had the time of their lives, so I’m looking forward to checking it out for myself.

I’m especially looking forward to seeing Daft Punk on their first tour in a decade, and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen Iggy Pop (and never before with the Stooges!) I also want to see TV on the Radio again. They were my favorite act from the 2006 Austin City Limits Festival, and I’ve literally ordered people to go see them since then!
Some of the bands I hope to see for the first time include . . .

  • Modest Mouse
  • Spoon
  • Tapes ‘n Tapes
  • Polyphonic Spree
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • MIA
  • Blonde Redhead
  • Soulive

Not to mention old favorites Yo La Tengo, Sparklehorse, and LCD Soundsystem.

I encourage you to take this opportunity to visit Chicago’s lakefront and experience this incredible concentration of good music!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit - 7.27.07 @ UW Memorial Union

Jason Isbell played his inaugural Madison performance away from his band mates (Drive By Truckers) at the Union on Saturday night. Madison Music Review was there to witness a beautiful evening and a great performance.

Jason and his band (The 400 Unit) relied heavily on a mix of tracks from his strong solo release, Sirens of the Ditch [Buy It] while also managing to feed the appetite of hungry Drive By Truckers fans with material from Decoration Day and The Dirty South. An interesting choice of covers such as a dead on Psycho Killer from left field, a well fitting version of Springsteen’s Atlantic City and a full-on take of Thin Lizzy's Jailbreak. Somehow that song just seemed to fit well with the feel on the stage.

Two plus hours of bold southern fried rock and amazing guitar antics went by too quickly: As Isbell walked off the stage and tipped back the last drops of the Jack Daniels bottle, we somehow knew we had not seen the last of this lone trucker.

Make sure you get your tickets for the Drive By Truckers (with Spooner Oldham) at the Barrymore on Oct 20. (All Photos by Mr. Bill)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

10,000 Lakes Festival: Zappa Plays Zappa

Dweezil Zappa

Zappa Plays Zappa fans

Party regulars on the dance floor!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

10,000 Lakes Festival: 2007 in pictures

Great weather, great music, wonderful camping with plenty of space and beautiful people all around... that sums up the long weekend at Soo Pass Ranch in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. I had a field time taking pictures (despite the early loss of a media card and a technology glitch that lost me a score of pictures from The Hip concert) and I hope they convey the festival vibe and spirit! Here's a start... pictures are in no particular order (and are clickable for larger size) though Toubab Krewe, Little Feat and The Tragically Hip all performed on Friday, July 20.


Toubab Krewe at the Barn Stage

Waiting for Columbus fan; Little Feat

The Tragically Hip; Gordon Downie - lead singer and lyricist extraordinaire; a Hip and Trailer Park Boys fan

Downie has also made an appearance in the Trailer Park Boys movie "The Big Dirty". For those of you not familiar with this Canadian TV series (now in it's 7th season), I implore you to go out and buy/rent TPB and get ready for a jaw-aching, belly-aching, laugh-till-you-fall-off session. For best results, watch with your buddies and have refreshments handy ;)

More pictures and snippets coming soon - malliman/AM

Ten Thousand Lakes Festival - 2007

Four days of camping and music sounds like a lot, but when Sunday morning rolled around our little group was not ready for it to end.

There is a lot to like about 10KLF. Soo Pass Ranch is a permanent festival venue, and it is well laid out and very comfortable for this festival. About 15,000 people were spread out among six campsites that surround the "concert bowl." (By way of contrast - over 100,000 turn out to this same site for "WE Fest" the biggest country music festival in the Midwest. Stucker, one of the masters of ceremony, described it to me as "nuts to butts.")

Stucker takes a break – and so do we – to listen to Shoeless Revolution
from the shade of the Saloon deck.

Permanent showers and rest rooms, and plentiful water facilities; wooded and lakeside camp spots; lots of cool clothing and merchandise for sale; general stores for emergency needs. And most importantly the sound systems were really great.

Our campsite

If I have any complaint at all, it is only that our camp setting was so nice and comfortable that it took some real motivation to leave it and head over to the bowl for the shows. But we did see some great performances, including very strong sets by:

  • Bob Weir and Ratdog
  • String Cheese Incident
  • Zappa Plays Zappa
  • Galactic
  • The Tragically Hip
  • Toubab Krewe
  • Everyone Orchestra

Ratdog on the Main Stage, and joined by Keller Williams

Field Stage was the secondary "main stage"

Toubab Krewe on the wonderfully shaded Barn Stage

Hippies of all ages were in attendance, but as you would imagine this was generally a younger generation of hippies. Music officially ended at 3am, but the party continued in the camps until the sun rose. I’m a heavy sleeper, so got all the rest I needed. Light sleepers might want to bring all their arsenal of sleep aids!

Until next time. . .

Monday, July 23, 2007

What's Your 10-20? Drive-By Truckers Coming to the Barrymore

The Drive-By Truckers are coming to the Barrymore Theater (Madison, Wi) on 10-20-07 .

DBT is a rock/alt-country/cowpunk (their website actually calls them a psychobilly band) band based in Athens, Georgia, though three out of five members (Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood, and Shonna Tucker) originally hail from The Shoals region of Northern Alabama. Their music is characteristically unique due to its “three axe attack,” or three guitars as well as bass and drums. Their lyrics often revolve around drifters and criminals trying to survive in economically-depressed small towns.

Last year the Truckers made it to Milwaukee and missed Madison...Don't miss this performance at a great venue. "My 10-20 will be the Barrymore on Oct 20."

On April 5th, 2007, Guitarist/Singer Jason Isbell announced that he was no longer a member of the band. The following day, Patterson Hood (lead singer/guitarist) confirmed the break on the official site. In his letter to the fans, Hood described the parting of ways as "amicable" and expressed the hope that fans would continue to support Drive-By Truckers as well as Jason's solo efforts. Jason Isbell has now departed from the band but will be in our neck of the woods on Friday, July 27th at the The Terrace (FREE SHOW).

Be sure to check out Jason's new strong solo release, Sirens of the Ditch.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Pictures from John Doe and Dead Rock West

I don't expect to have a chance to write a detailed review of this show. I need to be up early tomorrow for a business trip, and my buddy Aaron from Munich rolls into town tomorrow evening en route to 10KLF. All I will say is that my instincts were right on - this was a great, great show - full of powerful performances and fun song selections. . . like the encore A Case of You (yes, Joni Mitchell) and Gimme Shelter. Lots of material from A Year in the Wilderness - which I really enjoy and recommend. Dead Rock West was very solid in the opening slot as well as backing up John.

Frank Lee Drennen and Cindy Wasserman of Dead Rock West
He knew how to use these effects, too!

Interview with John Acquaviva

John Acquaviva has been playing as a dj for about 30 years and has been a driving force in the international music and club scene since 1989, when he and Richie Hawtin founded one of the world's best known and influential techno labels, Plus 8 Records.

Last year, he was recognized in the Top 100 (#22) in DJ Magazine’s canonical poll of DJ influence and success worldwide. John is known as a DJ’s DJ with a vast vinyl record collection (over 50.000 pieces) that essentially spans the history of club music. . . and he was spinning through it all!

Always at the vanguard of new music and ideas, John was one of the first people to take notice and embrace electronic music’s digital future at the dawn of 2000. First, he got involved with and championed Final Scratch as a new innovative way for DJ’s and artists to connect the digital world with the analog world. He also helped launch Beatport.com, the biggest dance-music download site in the world.

John played a fun set at Movement 07 – Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival. We had the chance to meet him, and later pose a few questions (I’ll let you guess which questions were from Rusty – our trusty DJ in residence.)

MMR: You seemed to have a really fun time at Movement 07 performing “Bad Habits” and “It’s All About the Music” with Dan Diamond. (I very much enjoyed these songs too.) What brought you two together?

JA: The lyrics to Therapy just grabbed me. I thought that Therapy was a Peace Division record with a vocal sample I had never heard before. A few months later, I bought Bad Habits and I figured it was the same vocalist. I called beatport and begged them to help track him down...Imagine my surprise and delight when I found he was from Detroit... The rest is history.

I decided to bring Dan two years ago [to DEMF 2006] as a proper coming out to the world at large...Then this year – being on the Main Stage - I just figured dj's are boring to watch - so I asked Dan to come and perform with me to add some life to the show... I think it did. We decided to have fun and I think that came through nicely.

with Dan Diamond

I noticed that many artists – including yourself - turned out to listen to one another throughout DEMF. What were your highlights as a listener and fan from Movement 07?
That would be it. Most festivals are in and out, but Detroit was special. More so because not much is happening in North America...so many people came for the whole weekend. In Europe, I have done 3 festivals in 2 days many times - so there is no time to hang out.

How did you make the transition from clubber and fan to performer? And what were the inspirations/influences for the Electro House sound that is currently synonymous with John A.? How do you define ElectroHouse music?
I always loved and bought music...wanted to share with my friends...and dj was the way to do it ...since my school days [the disco era].

Electro is not too hard and not too soft...about having fun -which sometimes we can all be too serious as producers...but always for dancing

I noticed at DEMF that you were playing on Stanton's Final Scratch 2. It seemed to me that almost all the other DJs have switched over to the Rane’s Serato Scratch Live. Why are you so committed to FS2? I've also heard that Traktor is not yet supporting the new intel Mac's (and is generally unstable). Am I misinformed?
I am not much of a technical guy. [Ed. Note: “I don’t believe you!”] But you are right about Stanton not supporting the new intel macs. Me...I have been using FS2 waiting for Traktor. I love the Traktor interface for FS technology and the new Traktor Scratch takes FS technology to the next level for me in every way

Another thing I observed was your use of CD decks instead of turntables. I know that many DJ pioneers that have been doing this from the very beginning (as you have) have an almost religious loyalty to two turntables and sometimes even a rotary mixer. Recently, I was dismayed to see one of my favorite local DJs performing with a single CD Deck and a laptop running SSL. Do you think the turntable and vinyl is on its way out of the DJ booth?
Turntable is the best controller. The decks were a bit dodgy...that is a real pity. CDs cannot do what a turntable does. A lot of young guys don’t know what they are missing. I don’t like and never liked rotary mixers as well... Knobs take too much to handle when you are mixing.

What's got you excited about your music these days? What are you currently working on?
I get excited about the next thing I buy or receive as a demo. I’m still sorting studio sessions this summer...but right now, doing more with Olivier Giacomotto who is my favorite producer, and definitely the fresco guys.

Your weekly gig at Privilege in Ibizza sounds sweet. What is the ideal size audience for a John Acquaviva performance? Is bigger better? Or do you prefer the opportunity to perform in more intimate spaces?
Middle is best, 1-2000 people. In August, we get 4-5000 which is great. Big rooms are very special, but hard to do day in and out.

I’m impressed by your successful entrepreneurialism – including starting Plus 8 records, helping launch Beatport.com and running your own labels. Do you enjoy the business side of the industry? Or is this simply the price you have to pay in order to be get the music out into the world?
I am proud of the vision and hard work I have put in along with Rich and many others. Basically waking up in the day and taking care of business is a price that you must pay. And I think that smoke and mirrors can only get you so far.

What music are you currently recommending to friends? What is on your turntable/ipod now?
I typically recommend tracks that I find on beatport...last month was 30...it was a huge month...you can get these on my newsletter along with a regular podcast. [Ed. note - his podcasts are fantastic!]

What developments do you foresee in the electronic music genre?
Things are always changing but slowly...like a photograph and yourself over time. There is a new generation that has finally and truly embraced technology, so things have been fast and furious the last few years...and I expect it to continue.

I had the chance to groove alongside John during the Jeff Mills performance, and I found him to be one of the most hospitable and gracious artists that I’ve met. If you ever get the chance to go to one of his parties – do it!

After DEMF, I raced out and bought a few new cds by some of the artists that I “discovered” that weekend. One was John Acquaviva presents Acquaholic: The True Electro Experience. It has stayed in frequent rotation and is still fresh. Recommended listening.

Your best move is to buy it at Beatport.com - or if you simply must have the physical media, buy it from locally-owned music stores. As a last choice, buy it through this link to Amazon and help support our site.

Flaming Lips to play Madison festival in Sept

You heard it here first folks!
Our inside sources say that the Flaming Lips will be coming to Madison in September as part of a Southern Comfort sponsored festival at Willow Island (located next to the Dane County Coliseum).

Show Details:
SoCo Music Experience - Featuring Flaming Lips, Cold War Kids, Cowboy Mouth, Sick Puppies, & Goat Motor. Admission is Free - Gates open at 2PM - MUST BE 21 OR OLDER TO GET IN.

Willow Island @ Alliant Energy Center

Friday, July 13, 2007

La Fete de Marquette - Friday the 13th, 2007

Pictures from the evening...

Vieux Farka Toure and his band


Djam Vivie of Tani Diaketi and the Malian Blues Band enjoying the music

Dumpstaphunk - Ivan Neville and company

More pictures from Saturday evening coming soon: Tani Diaketi and the Malian Blues Band (Djam Vivie from Ghana and Dani from Madison)

- malliman/AM

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Join me at John Doe w. Dead Rock West

Didn't I convince you in my last post that the upcoming John Doe show has “Sleeper of the Year” written all over it - and should not be missed? . . . Well, I certainly tried!

Few of us are connected enough to gain entrance to a John Doe show in Chicago or LA. But you and I have the great good fortune to be able to see him here in one of my very favorite Madison venues - the warm and intimate confines of High Noon Saloon - on Monday night, July 16. . . If you think about it, that is totally boss!

Advance tickets are only $12 – but if that’s holding you back, be the Lucky #7 person to email me and get two free tickets!! (. . ."Need not be poor to win.")

Some of you have been with me at HNS for shows that were the bomb. This one has that potential too. So support your local music scene - and do not miss this show! (How's that for an imperative?)

See ya Monday night!

PHOTO by Autumn DeWilde