Friday, August 24, 2007

Orton Park Festival, August 24 - 26

Summer's almost gone, it's the last weekend of August and that means it's time for The Orton Park Festival! Celebrating it's 41st year, the festival this year features aerial dance acts by Cycropia Dance Troupe on Friday and Saturday, loads of music from the likes of:
  • Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie from Eunice, Louisiana (Fri/Sun)
  • Chicago style blues from Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin and Lurrie Bell (Sat)
  • The Fareed Haque Group melding Asian harmonies and Jazz (Sun)
There's yummy food from some of Madison's favorite eateries, auctions every evening (including a Robert Crumb signed print) and tons of activities for all ages. Check out the Marquette Neighborhood Association's website for more details. See you there!

- malliman/AM

Friday, August 17, 2007

Mark Olson at High Noon Saloon

Sun Aug 19, 8pm, 18+, $14 DOS

You liked The Jayhawks, right? . . . Me, too. So I'm going to be joining a few of the crew (and hopefully more of you!) at the High Noon on Sunday night to give Mark Olson a listen.
Mark was one of the founding members of The Jayhawks and was with the band through Tomorrow the Green Grass.

He has recently released his first solo album. Come join us at the High Noon, if you can.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Images from Sugar Maple Festival - August 3rd, 2007

Robbie Fulks returned to SMF to give a special performance. Fulks is an American alternative country artist originally from Raleigh, North Carolina but who is a longtime Chicago, Illinois resident. Fulks is known for his disdain of mainstream modern country and the country music industry. His live performances feature improvised arrangments of his original songs, off-the-cuff musical humor. He started the day off with a great set.

The highlight for me was Woody Pines & The Lonesome Two. Woody Pines & The Lonesome Two “Low-Fi sounds from weird America's rural roots. Resonator guitar, high lonesome harmonica, upright bass, stripped-down drums and foot stomping twang.” Woody Pines has been playing and singing since he can remember. He left home with his guitar on his back and made it through 49 states before he was 19. After landing on the west coast, he co-founded a ragtime jug band, The Kitchen Syncopators, which sold thousands of their self-released recordings. The Syncopators performed everywhere from the streets of New Orleans to Seattle’s Folklife Festival to the Oregon Country Fair. After several years of living and playing in New Orleans, Woody headed for the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, playing old time music for dances, busking for tourists, and releasing his first solo cd, ‘Rags to Riches.’ Woody played shows all over the south, including a stop in Nashville for a guest appearance at the Grand Ole Opry with friends Old Crow Medicine Show. Today, Woody continues to find ways to reshape the old music, weaving new stories from timeless threads. He combines freak realism and vaudeville showmanship with the sincerity and grace of the rich, traditional landscape of roots music. Woody plays with foot stomping gusto, but knows when to croon a lazy mountain ballad. The Lonesome Two is Tim Peacock on upright bass and Bram Riddlebarger on his stripped-down suitcase drum kit. The full band sound is featured on Woody’s newest release, Lonesome Shack Blues. Woody is also available for solo performances. Check him out on the web.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Peter Himmelman @ The Regent Annex, August 5, 2007

Peter Himmelman having one of
many audience interactions

Playing with his instrument

This was my fist Peter Himmelman show and while I had made myself familiar with some of his CD's I was not quite prepared for his stage antics... he has a huge stage presence - it literally enfolds the audience out there. Which was not there but at the Patti Smith show at the Barrymore - a point of note that Peter made sure the audience remembered by caustic comments peppered throughout the set... show and tell with his new iPhone... sharing the olfactory nuances of the various microphones on stage (with one of the mic's smelling of cat urine, another of Burning Spear's @#$, a third kicked to the floor in disgust). We were also made familiar with Mr. Himmelman's grandfather's accent, weather announcements on the Interstate and the keyboard player's psycho/sociopath (ex) girlfriend.

Time for the iPhone test

Time to take a bow halfway through the set

Sometime during the show Mr. Himmelman started shedding himself of his belongings (literally) as he warmed up; his jacket - co-opted by a lady back in the audience who claimed she was feeling cold in her sleeveless black dress, his new iPhone which someone from the audience wanted to try out so ended up parking himself on a chair on stage while the band rocked on, and then his wallet to the trusted road manager.

Overall a highly entertaining show, even though I had to leave early to get back to my 'other' job that pays for my ever-expanding record collection. Wicked lyrics, caustic humor (even the camera man was not spared), a tight band and hard rocking guitarmanship marked the unique showmanship of Peter Himmelman.

Being not too familiar with Mr Himmelman's songbook myself, I have neglected to list the numbers from last night so folks if you were there (there were about 60 of you there) please feel free to add a comment.
SoDangYang with Jim Schwall (on far left)

I almost forgot to mention SoDangYang with Jim Schwall on guitar who started off Sunday evening's musical program with a great sounding set of country/alt/rock ... songs that stood out were Big Rain, You Look Cooler when Your'e Playing Your Guitar, and a superb version of Dylan's With God on Our Side.

Cheers - malliman/AM

Lollapalooza - Day 3

We woke up Sunday to heavy rainstorms, but by late morning the skies had cleared and it was hot! and humid! We started our day at Lolla with Rodrigo y Gabriela. You know - flamenco meets Led Zeppelin. They were a hit.

Grant Park offers some nice shady places to get relief from the sun. It was needed today.

That is Amy Winehouse way up there. OK, so you're going to have to trust me on that. . . I was unfamiliar with her music, but really enjoyed her sultry voice and soulful songs.

Paolo Nutini

The Stooges together again after 30 years. I saw Iggy Pop a couple times in the late '70s / early '80s - including a memorable performance at Headliners. . . Yes, I did sing along with "I Wanna Be Your Dog."

Yo La Tengo was another highlight set for me - but it seems like I say that after every one of their performances. What can I say, I love 'em. Ira Kaplan was unhinged from the get go. They started with Sugarcube, played Pass the Hatchet and ended with a 15 minute Story of Yo La Tengo.

I had my best spot of the festival for YLT, and so took lots of great pictures. YLT fans can check them out here. (I think you will enjoy them!)

Kudos to new friends Laurie and Daniel who came out for a last hurrah before the new baby arrives. (You can't tell from this picture, but she is very pregnant!) Keep on rockin' kids!

TV on the Radio was great. This was their last show of a 14 month tour.

Some say Grant Park offers the best urban festival venue in the nation. I'm now in that camp. Lollapalooza is well run, a nice diversity of bands brings in a great crowd, and the energy was high for most every set I attended. . . I will return.

The crowd begins to amass for Pearl Jam. (Can you see the stage in the distance?). But we head the other way so that we can get home before Monday arrives. . .

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Lollapalooza - Day 2

The crowds were much larger on Saturday, making it harder to get decent pictures with the pocket cam. (We were too late in applying to get photo credentials for this festival.) But here are a few images to give you a flavor anyway.

I started the day with Brian, checking out one of his favorite bands - Silverchair. There were quite a few people very charged up to see these guys . . .

Daniel Johns - before he shed his jacket. . .

Don't try too hard to figure out why there is a foot there.
It was part of the backdrop.

(FYI - Others in our crew saw Stephen Marley during this same time slot and raved about how funky and fun their set was. )

Cold War Kids were up next. I caught a few songs before heading out. . .

. . . to catch the last half of Sound Tribe Sector 9. STS9 had the place grooving nicely.
The Roots were definately my surprise set of the day. This was the first time I'd seen them, and they were fantastic. The bass player (Hub?) performed the most amazing solo improv. . . Their live show is highly recommended. (They will be opening for Dave Matthews Band at Alpine later this month.) Can you tell from this photo how the crowd was bumpin'?
When was the last time you saw a hip-hop group include a sousaphone? (Not to be confused with a tuba!)

Spoon was one of my highlight shows. . . As some of you know, this is one of my favorite bands and this was the first time I saw them perform live. I was not disappointed. A great set - raining throughout - but not dampening the energy at all!

I guess I did my share of "dancing" 'cuz this morning my calves were stiff and sore. . . One more day - we're having a blast.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Images from Lollapalooza - Day 1

Polyphonic Spree - 21 people on stage makes a big sound!

G. Love and Special Sauce - my pleasant surprise of the day. Watched the whole set - Great!

With Eric Krasno of Soulive


LCD Soundsystem - Off the Hook!

Daft Punk - strange, but cool. Stage and light show was like a fireworks display. Over the top.

Eddie Vedder joined Ben Harper to cover Dylan's "Masters of War" - Intense. . .

For more photos, click here