Saturday, June 28, 2008

Phil Lesh and Friends - Summer Tour

June 27, 2008 - Mister Bill

Phil LeshPhil Lesh and Friends will soon be hitting festivals in our region with their Summer Jamboree tour. Phil's shows are really entertaining - daringly improvisational; and with fluid, yet tight performances. And he always plays with a fresh cast of incredible musicians. The current line-up of phriends includes Jackie GreeneLarry CampbellSteve Molitz(Particle) and John Molo - who has been the only constant in Phil & Friends - other than Phil, of course. Here's an interesting interviewwith John from

There are a couple things I really like about seeing Phil Lesh these days:

1. I get to see him sing ... I was one of those fans in the Seventies who would call out to "Make Phil Sing" - which followed the misguided "Let Phil Sing!" campaign. I saw the Grateful Dead many times through the late 70's and early 80's - but never once saw Phil sing. (I guess there was a stretch of 700+ shows where he did not.)

2. It's fun to watch Phil lead his ever changing band of great musicians. I was confused the first time I saw him speaking into the mic without hearing him. When I realized that he was talking to the band members in their ear monitors and offering musical direction, it all made sense. (See Molo's description of this direction in the interview.)

3. I love the songs in the Grateful Dead canon. And Phil obviously continues to enjoy playing them too.

I will be catching Phil Lesh and Friends soon - at both Summerfest and 10,000 Lakes Festival
How about you? He'll also be at the 
Rothbury Music Festival!

Do you wonder what the new line-up sounds like? You can listen/download a very hot recent show at  - June 21, 2008 at BOA Pavillion in Boston, Mass.   Enjoy...

Photo credit: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Celebrate the Season at Summerfest

We just celebrated the Summer Solstice, so that means it's almost time for Summerfest. Eleven Days - Twelve Stages - One Million Attendees - "The Big Gig" they call it. Have you attended lately? If not I encourage you to find a date where the side-stage acts interest you, and go enjoy live music. It's a lot of fun - a carnival atmosphere - inexpensive - and right here in our backydard.

I rarely buy tickets for the Ampitheater. Instead, my preference is to get there mid-afternoon, listen to whatever appeals on the various free stages, crowd watch and "take my place in the freak parade." Of course, I pick the date because I want to see a particular band, and in the early evening I try to get myself situated for the big act.

My plans for this year are to attend on July 3rd and 4th - with a stayover in Milwaukee with friends. I'm very excited to see Thievery Corporation on Thursday, and then enjoy the Fourth of July at the festival grounds. It should be a crazy night with Phil Lesh and Friends taking the stage at 8:00pm; following a set by old favorites, Lotus. (The Roots are also scheduled to perform that night, but I suspect I'll have to wait until their Madison appearance in September to see them again.) Other dates that tempt me include:
Thurs June 26 Gnarls Barkley
Eric Burdon and the Animals
Sat June 29 Galactic
Sun June 30

James Brown Tribute featuring Bootsy Collins

Tues July 1

Zappa Plays Zappa

Wed July 2 The Crystal Method
Sun July 6 Mickey Hart Band

TIP: For those weeknight return drives to Madison, I usually pull out before final encores. This will get you home an hour sooner - or more! And you will appreciate that when you get up for work the next day.

- Mister Bill

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

... And we have a 10KLF winner!

We're starting to get really pumped up for the upcoming Ten Thousand Lakes Festival - July 23 - 26, 2008 in northwest Minnesota. But I know one guy who's probably even more excited than me: Adam Simcock of Madison is the winner of our 10KLF ticket contest. For the price of one email, he's snagged $320 worth of tickets. Not bad! . . . Thanks to all who entered. 

The stage schedule was recently announced - have you seen it? It includes links to really interesting band bios and sample tracks. So do check it out. 

I've been to several music festivals - and I always have a blast. At the larger festivals, you really need a game plan and you always face difficult choices between bands. And I can do that. But for those of us who hate to miss anything, Soo Pass Ranch in Detroit Lakes, MN is a venue that makes it very easy to see all the bands you love. I really love the human scale of 10KLF. It's not small by any means - there are 60+ bands performing there over 4 days. But the concert bowl is relatively confined, and moving between stages is not difficult or time-consuming at all. And the camping last year was truly sublime. This year, I'm looking forward to seeing:

Phil Lesh and Friends
The Flaming Lips
Michael Franti and Spearhead
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic
Mickey Hart Band feat. Kimock & Porter
Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood
TR3 featuring Tim Reynolds
Papa Mali
Panjea w/Michael Kang
The New Mastersounds
Secret Chiefs 3
Dark Star Orchestra

But undoubtedly, I'm going to be surprised by some band that comes out of nowhere and floors me. It seems to happen every time. And this festival provides the physical psychic space that allows this to happen most freely.

If you haven't bought your tickets yet, I recommend you do so soon. The event will not sell out - but the prime campgrounds will. We stayed at Lake Sallie last year, and liked it alot. The Northwoods site is also highly recommended.

Hope you can make it out! -- Mister Bill

Past MMR coverage:

RECORD GIVEAWAY! :: Verve//Remixed 4 (2xLP)

RECORD GIVEAWAY! :: Verve//Remixed4 (2xLP)

The Verve//Remixed 4 discs are the latest to emerge (remixed) in the Remix series from the legendary record label. The new album re-imagines a classic array of R&B, soul, latin and jazz standards and rare gems with the help of some of today's best producers and mixers and also adds a shake of funk and Afrobeat! With the likes of Kenny Dope and Diplo featured on this release, you can't help but groove to the tunes.

FREE! Download Diplo's Remix of California Soul here

For those of you who prefer things digital, here is a link to buy the album on iTunes.
  • 1. Cry Me A River (Truth &Soul Remix) – Dinah Washington
  • 2. Gimmie Some (Mike Mangini Remix) - Nina Simone
  • 3. There Was A Time (Kenny Dope Remix) - James Brown
  • 4. California Soul (Diplo) - Marlena Shaw
  • 5. Take Care Of Business (Pilooski Edit) - Nina Simone
  • 6. Bim Bom (Psapp Remix) - Astrud Gilberto
  • 7. Tenderly (Mocky Remix) - Anita O' Day
  • 8. Tea For Two (Chris Shaw Remix) - Sarah Vaughan
  • 9. Dilo Como Yo (Antibalas Remix) - Patato &Totico
  • 10. Evil Ways (Karriem Riggins Remix) – Willie Bobo
  • 11. Everybody Loves The Sunshine (9th Wonder Remix) – Roy Ayers
  • 12. I Get A Kick Out Of You (Cinematic Orchestra) –
    Ella Fitzgerald

So send us an e-mail (contact @ with "Verve//Remixed" in the subject line and your name for a chance to get a freshly pressed copy with georgeous artwork for your listening (and viewing) pleasure. Cheers, Ankur

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Movement 08 - Another Great Year at DEMF

Well it’s been a busy couple weeks since we returned from the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. Among other things, Ankur closed on a house purchase and I moved my home office and switched platforms from Windows to Mac OSX. Chaos ensued of course, but it’s beginning to clear up. But not to worry - we’ve got lots of review content coming for DEMF! (We took over 3,000 photos.)

Based on last year's experience, I certainly had high expectations for this event - and they were exceeded on every level. The weather, the sound and lighting, the crowd energy and the artist performances were all excellent. The organizers report that over 75,000 fans attended the festival - a huge increase over the 45,000 fans who attended in 2007 - but still comfortably within the capacity of the beautiful 14-acre venue at Hart Plaza.  

Tani Diakite and the Malian Blues Band - 2008 Marquette Waterfront Festival

Live at the 2008 Marquette Waterfront Festival featuring local musicians Tony Castañeda from the Tony Castañeda Latin Jazz Sextet and Andy Ewen from Honor Among Thieves.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Bo Diddley dead at 79

I saw Bo Diddley when I was living in Colorado at a small club in the foothills in 1997.  The show was completely insane exactly what I expected from this legend...RIP.



(CNN) -- Bo Diddley, the musical pioneer whose songs, such as "Who Do You Love?" and "Bo Diddley," melded rhythm and blues and rock 'n' roll through a distinctive thumping beat, has died. He was 79.


Rock 'n' roll pioneer Bo Diddley influenced generations of guitarists.

Diddley died Monday, surrounded by family and loved ones at his home in Archer, Florida, a family spokeswoman said.

The cause was heart failure, his family said.

The world-renowned guitarist's signature beat -- usually played on an equally distinctive rectangular-bodied guitar -- laid the foundation for rock 'n' roll, and became so identified with him that it became known as the "Bo Diddley" beat. It was unlike anything else heard in pop music. [...more]