Beloved jazz guitarist John Scofield has a new offering in the works! Titled Country For Old Men, the new release will see Scofield take a new approach and focus on more of a folk and country genre.Due out September 23rd via Verve/Impulse! Records, the new album will see Scofield cover legends like Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, James Taylor and more. Steve Swallow, Larry Goldings and Bill Stewart round out the quartet that Scofield played with predominantly on the release.Scofield will tour in support of the album, performing in some major cities throughout September and October. Check out the full tour schedule below!John Scofield Fall Tour DatesSeptember 4 Chicago, IL—Chicago Jazz Fest*September 5 Detroit, MI—Detroit Jazz Fest^September 23 Boston, MA—Berklee Performance CenterSeptember 24 Ardmore, PA—Ardmore Music HallSeptember 25 Washington, DC—The Howard TheatreSeptember 27 New York, NY—The Blue NoteSeptember 28 New York, NY—The Blue NoteSeptember 29 New York, NY—The Blue NoteSeptember 30 New York, NY—The Blue NoteOctober 1 New York, NY—The Blue NoteOctober 2 New York, NY—The Blue NoteOctober 3 Indianapolis, IN—The Jazz Kitchen+October 4 Indianapolis, IN—The Jazz Kitchen+October 5 Evanston, IL—SPACE+October 6 Muncie, IN—Canan Commons+October 7 Bellefontaine, OH—The Holland Theatre+October 8 Cincinnati, OH—Live at The Ludlow Garage+(*) w/ Joe Lovano(^) w/ Brad Mehldau, Mark Guiliana(+) w/ Medeski, Swallow, StewartCountry For Old Men Tracklist1. Mr. Fool (Darrell Edwards / George Jones / Herbie Treece)2. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams)3. Bartender’s Blues (James Taylor)4. Wildwood Flower (Joseph Philbrick Webster)5. Wayfaring Stranger (Traditional)6. Mama Tried (Merle Haggard)7. Jolene (Dolly Parton)8. Faded Lov e (Bob Wills, John Lee Wills, Billy Jack Wills)9. Just A Girl I Used To Know (Jack Clement)10. Red River Valley (Traditional)11. You’re Still The One (Shania Twain / John Robert Lange)12. I’m An Old Cowhand (Johnny Mercer)
With The String Cheese Incident set to make their debut at the renowned Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, NY (tickets), we asked percussionist Jason Hann to give us a little taste of his musical influences. In turn, Hann wrote out a list of his ten favorite percussionists, spanning genres, eras, countries and more. No stranger to the rhythms of the road, Hann has been an integral part of Cheese’s iconic sound, and his work in EOTO, with Isaac Hayes an the legendary Brothers Johnson only furthers his love of percussion-based music. Read on for Jason Hann’s ten favorite percussionists, and be sure to enter the contest below to win tickets for their upcoming run at the Kings Theatre from August 13-14!Indigenous percussion instruments are a lifetime of study in order to incorporate the history and breadth of expression that these instruments can produce. A percussion instrument is really any object you can pick up, but many modern percussionists might take random sounds and play them in a way that fits into film scores, sound design, and avant guard music. I didn’t include any vibraphone or marimba artists in this list, as it’s so specific, melodically, I felt like I would have had to include piano players as well. My favorite part about percussion is that you can go to any region in the world and chances are, they have a unique percussive instrument that has a deep history to it. Many of these places are creating their own voice and bringing it to the rest of the world as they combine their rich heritage with modern forms of music. Not ranked in any order, and far from any complete list…Don Alias – he’s my favorite percussionist, if anyone needs a quick answer. I remember when I was first starting to pay attention to percussion on recordings, I would hear something and run to the album cover to look at the musician credits. Don Alias’ name would always come up. Such great parts and vibe on everything, and his interaction with the music while grooving always felt like the most musical for my taste. You can hear him on Jaco and Miles Davis recordings, and he also plays some of the grooviest drumset playing you’ll ever hear on Joni Mitchell’s “Shadows and Light” live recording. Check out Jaco Pastorius’ “Word of Mouth” recording to hear a great example of his playing. Giovanni Hidalgo – Puerto Rican percussionist taking conga technique to levels way beyond the original style of the instrument. But that’s what master drummers do. He learned to apply drum rudiments to the congas from José Luis Quintana (Changuito) – the famous and most innovative congero from Cuba – and has continued to add new techniques to his repertoire. Known for being on Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum recordings as well, but maybe introduced to most of the world while touring with Dizzy Gillespie.Zakir Hussain – virtuoso tabla player from India, the son of another legendary Indian percussionist, Alla Rakha. One thing about tabla players who play music for a living, there is already a stunning amount of technique and depth of rhythmic phrasing that you need just to accompany another classical player or dancer. To achieve a level of mastery and push beyond the language of the instrument is something Zakir has done. You can hear him on Diga Rhythm Band, Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum, and Shakti recordings. His work with Tabla Beat Science (Bill Laswell) puts tablas in a modern dub setting. Aloke Dutta is another tabla player that pushes tabla to new mastery levels. He only plays solo tabla as there was a time in the early 1900s when playing tabla in India was revered as a lead instrument of India, more so than the Sitar. Aloke is more known as the tabla teacher to amazing drummers like Terry Bozio (Frank Zappa) and Danny Carey of Tool. He has done some solo performances opening for Tool.Assane Thiam – the Tama drum is one of the lesser known percussion instruments in the West. It has lots of strings that attach 2 heads of a drum onto a body of a drum. It’s held under the armpit or by the drummer’s waste. The strings are squeezed with one arm to change the tension and pitch of the drumhead, while the other strikes the head with a curved stick, and imitates the language of the region that it is played. It’s more commonly known as a “talking drum”, though there are many styles of “talking drums” such as the larger, lower, melodic drums of Ghana and Nigeria that you would hear in music by such artists as King Sunny Ade. Assane Thiam plays the Tama “Talking Drum” in the style that they play in Senegal, Mali, and Gambia. It’s a smaller drum with amazing hi pitched articulation that can cut through the loudest of Sabar (traditional drums) drums of Senegal. Assane has released his own recordings which feature the Tama, but he can be mostly widely heard on the recordings of famous Senegalese singer, Youssou N’Dour. The clarity he displays on the Tama within a band or traditional setting is unparalleled for my ears. It’s like a musical guide for the drums to follow. Check out his solo recording “Li Tama Di Joy Wax La” if you can find it. I also got to see Tama player, Petit Madou, from Mali play a 30-minute solo tama party at the Festival in the Dessert in Mali, that had the whole Malian community dancing and singing with his every phrase. He plays with Habib Koite.Naná Vasconcelos -a true soundscape master of sonic expression from Brazil. When I think of his playing, I can see the story he’s telling. It’s always a story. He creates moods with sounds and takes me through the forests, along the rivers, sitting with the tribes. His main instrument is the Berimbau, which has a long stick connected to a gourd with wire and played with a smooth stone in one hand to control the pitch, while a smaller stick strikes the wire, and controls the resonating gourd by bringing it to the body to give it a “wah wah” effect. One of my favorite recordings he plays on is “As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls” by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays. His “Africadeus” recording from 1973 is one of those “turn the lights out” recordings that you’ll want to spend time with.Airto Moreira – another Brazilian percussionist. Seems like Brazilian percussionists, in particular, have this sound quest that always goes beyond the drums that are featured in their indigenous or popular Carnival settings. Airto just swims in all of the instruments and sounds from the region – that includes the sounds of the Amazon rain forest. He’s combining his voice along with sounds, and instruments and always creates an entire percussion section on his own, whether he’s playing percussion or combining it with drumset. Everything he picks up is another expression played with fluidity or recklessness, depending on the moment he’s creating. All sounds are fair game: bird calls, shakers, tree branches, pandeiro, surdo, repinique, caixa. Having been with Miles Davis, Weather Report, and Chick Corea’s Return to Forever project, Airto is one of the most influential percussionists by far.Paulinho Da Costa – from Brazil, maybe the most recorded percussionist of all time. You probably hear him playing on something at some point in your day. He’s played on over 2000 albums and over 150 films. From films like Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park, to modern TV shows like American Horror Story. I remember before I was playing percussion, I would pick out his parts that would jump out on Michael Jackson’s debut “Off The Wall” recording. The way his percussion parts were arranged in that setting was sooooo deep for me. Lots of parts that just added to the groove and never got in the way of other parts. Just about every album I checked out the liner notes on, I would see his name. When I actually started playing percussion, I went back to all of those records and listened with a more sensitive ear to what he was doing. He’s also played on Miles Davis recordings, all of the Michael Jackson recordings, Madonna…really too many to list. All Music Guide has him with over 900 artists playing all styles of music.Kim Duk Soo – from Korea. At the age of five he was getting awards from the the Korean president for his performance of traditional drumming from Korea. If you haven’t seen Korean drumming it’s one of the most incredible visual and rhythmic treats. the drums are hourglass shaped Janggu, strapped in to be played horizontally with drum heads on each side, played with sticks. The technique crosses sticks across the drum, while the drummer moves their head in a circular pattern to note the breathing cycle that is their method of keeping time. You know that you’re inside of the music if your head pattern allows a 5-foot ribbon attached to your hat to do circular and figure 8 patterns while you play. All of this while dancing at the same time. This dance also involves all of the drummers whirling and doing flips while everything else is going on…and Kim Duk Soo single handily brought this traditional farmers music to the world stage. Shunned as “music of the farmers” and not considered valuable to cosmopolitan Korea, Kim Duk Soo made it so popular in Korea again through his group SamulNori, that colleges continue to have national competitions the way the US has Drum and Bugle Corps competition between elite marching bands. I was fortunate to go study in Korea with Kim Duk Soo in 2 different years and participate in his international drumming competition.Manolo Bedrena – from Puerto Rico. My dad was always playing Weather Report records when I was young. Badrena is on almost all of the different eras of that band. There’s so much about his playing that I love. The way he jumps into phrases, does a certain thing that seems to move the whole band to the next level. You can almost hear the band react to certain things that he does, and it feels right. I wasn’t sure if I was just making that up in my head but I got to see him with Joe Zawinul’s band in the mid 2000s and, watching his interaction with other musicians, it confirmed so many things that I pictured from listening to the recordings. He has such a creative way of having one hand in the world of congas, while his other hand plays timbales and bells at the same time, whether there’s a stick in his hand or not. Super musical at all times. In those settings with Zawinul, Weather Report, or Sixun where he can be creative with no rules on how a type of music is traditionally played, is some of my favorite playing.Djembe – Ha. I just wanted to list this as an instrument and list different players to look up. You can do a similar thing for any percussion instrument. You can follow recordings for the conga drum back to the 1930s and there were moments in American culture where percussionists like Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria had an incredible influence on popular music in the US through the conga drum. It’s really in just the last 20 years that the djembe drum has spread to the rest of the world, with it’s largest impact in the US being mostly seen at drum circles, while the culture of serious study that supports it is much greater, but not as often seen. It seems like every 5 years, though, I hear another evolution of phrase and technique on the instrument. There weren’t many recordings to check out when I was younger. I would order from overseas music catalogs to get all of the Les Ballets Africans, Mamady Keita, and Famadou Konate recordings. Now, there’s a ridiculous amount of resources for hearing new djembe music coming out of that area of West Africa (Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Senegal) as well as hearing players that have moved to the US. Some of the players that have made me rethink what’s possible on the Djembe are Moussa Traore (Mali), Bassidi Koné (Mali), Sidiki Dembele (Ivory Coast) …so many more on the list. Weedie Braimah (US/Ghana) is part of the new generation that’s taking it to another level.I’d also like to address some players that play the smaller, middle eastern/North African, goblet shaped drums known by names such as Doumbek, Darbuka, Darabukkeh, Tombak and Tablah (not to be confused with the pair of drums from India called “tablas”). Hossam Ramzy might be one of the most well recorded of these artists, releasing many solo recordings of middle eastern percussion, as well as playing with Robert Plant during his exploration of Middle Eastern music. You can see these drums as usually the smaller and lighter drums at a drum circle that look like mini djembes, but the traditional/classical way of playing these instruments is as deep as any other instrument can get. The traditions of these instruments go back to 1100 BCE with a continued evolution by younger generations. The finger and snap techniques on these drums are so intricate in getting so much expression out of the drum. Check out artists such as BURHAN ÖÇAL (Darbuka), Erdem Dalkiran (Darbuka), Misirli Ahmet (Darbuka), Mohammad Mortazavi (Tombek), and the young Servan Gider (Darbuka).Win two tickets to see The String Cheese Incident at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, NY by entering the contest below!
Last week, Medeski Martin & Wood were gearing up to celebrate their 25th anniversary with a multi-night run in New York, NY. Those best laid plans went awry, however, when Chris Wood underwent emergency surgery on tour with The Wood Brothers, and was in the hospital recovering.While Chris Wood was on the mend, Wilco guitarist Nels Cline stepped up and joined the jazz ensemble for a last-minute, no-holds-barred performance at Le Poisson Rouge. Though not exactly a makeup show – the original performances were rescheduled – the night of Medeski Martin & Cline certainly filled the hearts of those eager for some free-form jazz. With special guest appearances from Julian Lage, Steven Bernstein and Chris Lightcap, this was a night to remember.Fortunately, thanks to taper Matt Moricle, a full recording of the show is available. Listen in to the magical jamming of this insane trio, below.[Photo via tangopresents // Instagram]
Last night, Grateful Dead founding members Bob Weir and Phil Lesh surprised fans everywhere with a free performance at Lesh’s venue, Terrapin Crossroads. The show marked the 5th anniversary of TXR’s existence, and the celebration was all-too fitting, as the Furthur members returned to the stage for the first time since Jackie Greene’s birthday party back in November.The show featured an interesting mix of songs, pulled largely from the Grateful Dead catalog, but with selections from Weir’s recent solo album Blue Mountain as well. They also covered The Band’s “The Shape I’m In” amongst others, and closed out the show with a rocking “Johnny B. Goode.” Also of note was “The Music Never Stopped,” which featured some potent vocals from Nicki Bluhm.Weir and Lesh were backed by the Terrapin Family Band, which includes Grahame Lesh, Ross James, Alex Koford, and Jason Crosby. Fortunately, thanks to Andrew Shaman, we can watch fan-shot full video of the entire performance. Enjoy!Setlist: Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band w/ Bob Weir | Terrapin Crossroads | San Rafael, CA | 3/6/17Set One: Uncle John’s Band, Loose Lucy, Mississippi Half Step Uptown-Toodeloo, Gonesville, The Shape I’m In, Good Lovin’, Not Fade AwaySet Two: New Potato Caboose > Born Cross Eyed > Bertha > New Speedway Boogie, Loser, Lay My Lily Down, The Music Never Stopped*, RippleE: Johnny B. Goode* = w/ Nicki Bluhm[Photo via redchamp // Instagram]
Electro-soul composer Manic Focus recently announced his fifth studio album, Minds Rising, due out on Friday, April 21, 2017. The second single, “Putting All Of My People On,” is finally here, featuring Chicago MC ProbCause. The new track comes after a “Stronger” release with the powerful vocals of Jennifer Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band), the inimitable beats of Adam Deitch (Lettuce/Break Science), and the prolific production and innovative experimentation of Late Night Radio.“Putting All Of My People” exists nicely between the worlds of instrumental trap music and popular rap, sharing equal focus between Manic Focus’ production and ProbCause’s laser-focus lyricism. Stream is below:We can’t wait to see Manic Focus team up with Break Science for a very special “Manic Science” set in St. Augustine, FL at Fool’s Paradise! Listen to their most recent collaboration, released last week, right here. On March 31 & April 1, Lettuce is bringing Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, The Floozies, The Motet, The Main Squeeze, Organ Freeman, with Oteil Burbridge and Antwaun Stanley as artists-at-large! For more information, head to the Fool’s Paradise website.
British rock band Royal Blood have announced a new album How Did We Get So Dark? due out June 16, 2017, via Warner Bros. Records. In support of this, the duo have shared the album’s lead single “Lights Out” with an accompanied music video. They’ve also announced a slew of United States tour dates, kicking off June 2 at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, MA and will extend through August 16 at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, with festival appearances at The Governors Ball in New York City, Glastonbury, Eden Sessions, and Japan’s Summer Sonic Festival.Watch “Lights Out” below:Tickets for all dates will be available for purchase starting at 9:00 AM local time on Friday, April 28th. See the full schedule below:Royal Blood U.S. Live Dates2ndJune – Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA2ndJune – 4thJune – Governor’s Ball, New York, NY6thJune – 9:30 Club, Washington, DC7thJune – Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA9thJune – St. Andrews Hall, Detroit, MI10thJune – Newport Music Hall, Columbus, OH11thJune – Bonnaroo Music Festival, Manchester, TN31stJuly – Upstate Concert Hall, Buffalo, NY3rdAug – Bogart’s, Cincinnati, OH5thAug – Lollapalooza, Chicago, IL8thAug – Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC9thAug – Showbox, Seattle, WA10thAug – Roseland Theater, Portland, OR12thAug – Outside Lands, San Francisco, CA13thAug – The Observatory, Santa Ana, CA15thAug – The Observatory North Park, San Diego, CA16thAug – The Wiltern, Los Angeles, CA
Load remaining images On Wednesday, May 10th, Relix Magazine hosted the inaugural edition of the Relix Live Music Conference, a day-long meeting of the best and brightest in the live music industry that is sure to become an annual affair. The event hosted a variety of highly insightful panels and presentations on talent buying, festival planning, activism, technology, publicity, agenting, and artist management, as well as a truly memorable keynote conversation with highly successful promoters and live music tycoons Ron Delsener and Peter Shapiro moderated by longtime Rolling Stone rock and roll writer, critic, and historian David Fricke (you can see a full list of panels and speakers here).While it would be impossible to recount all of the knowledge imparted by (and to) the attending music industry movers and shakers, we’ve boiled down a few of the most meaningful nuggets of wisdom we learned at the Relix Live Music Conference at Brooklyn Bowl:1) Get off your email and pick up the phone.As the experienced speakers on the “Talent Buying: Where It All Begins” panel explained, in today’s world it’s easy to relegate all of your communications to email, where things are neatly documented and responses are direct and curated. But while that may be convenient from an organizational standpoint, ideas flow more freely through conversation than through written correspondence. More often than not, a call with an agent, a band, a venue, etc. yields ideas for future projects, while an email only addresses specific topics. So unshackle yourself from your computer keyboard and pick up the phone. It makes a world of difference.2) Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks.As the seasoned artist managers on the afternoon’s “Management: Amplifiers and Emissaries” panel articulated, one of the most important traits you can have on the band/management end of the spectrum is a willingness to bet on yourself and your acts. There’s always uncertainty involved when deciding whether to take a guaranteed fee for a show or opt for a door deal, which nets you a percentage of the ticket sales. Door deals have more upside potential, but they also leave you vulnerable to make less money than expected if the show sells poorly. One of the most important parts of managing an artist is deciding when to take a calculated risk, and when to just take the money and run. At the end of the day, you can’t win ’em all, but you can certainly be a smart and disciplined gambler.3) Don’t be afraid to turn down attractive opportunities in service of the big picture.The flip-side of insight #2: Sometimes, success comes down to betting big on the merits of your work. But that doesn’t mean that you can–or should–bet on every play that comes your way. In both the “Festivals: Weathering The Storm” and “Agenting: Offering Alternative Routes,” a theme that frequently came up was knowing when to pass on an offer if it doesn’t fit into your master plan.For example, chasing every festival lineup is a faulty management strategy. You have to use festival bookings in the right way, at the right times. Radius clauses for many festivals may prohibit you from playing your own hard ticket shows in surrounding markets. A lot of bands make their money in secondary and tertiary markets, building fan bases in smaller cities that are off the beaten path routing-wise. While being on a festival admat may be a good look for an artist, a festival gig equates to one single pay day. If you can play 5 sold-out shows in the surrounding markets, it’s likely that you’ll make more and benefit more in the long term from doing that than you would from playing a big-name festival set. If a festival play closes off opportunities that are more lucrative in terms of the big picture, it’s a deal you should probably pass on–no matter how exciting the prospect may seem.4) Always be thinking about what’s next. Always be planning it way in advance.The speakers on every panel were adamant about the importance of planning and foresight. Many of the most successful bands and venues are booked up several years into the future. That means that you can’t be too grounded in the “now”–you have to be focused on the “next.” Always be thinking about where you want to be in the future, and make plans for that future way in advance. That way, it’s easier to see the big picture with regard to bookings, routing, recording, and releases, and to make your plans accordingly.5) Always be editing. Always be revising. Always be creating. Always be improving your product, whatever that may be.For a band, everything the public sees and hears is part of your product–from your studio recordings, to your live shows, to your appearance and presence both on social media and in the real world. As the “Management” panelists stressed, editing is crucial. There’s no time to rest on your laurels. You should always be consciously and proactively looking to edit, revise, fine-tune, and perfect every facet of your product. You should always be creating, adding to your arsenal. You’re not gonna be lying on your deathbed regretting that you wrote too many songs.6) When planning a festival, 1+1 should always equal 3.A sentiment echoed by all of the panelists on the “Festivals: Weathering The Storm” panel was the importance of complimentary combinations. While there are various different factors that give certain festivals their “hook,” at the end of the day, people come for the bands. But the majority of the acts on every festival lineup also tour on their own, giving potential festival attendees an out: if they can see their favorite new band headline a theater in their home town for 20 bucks, they may decide it’s not worth it to shell out hundreds for a festival pass. The trick, therefore, is to win people over with the combinations, creating lineups that are greater than the sum of their parts (i.e. you can go see bands X, Y, and Z separately, but seeing them all in the same place makes the festival a uniquely appealing experience). Always strive for “1+1=3.”7) Real estate, merch, bowling, chicken, whatever: Establish ancillary revenue streams so you can keep the music alive.Concert tickets are a fickle product, and performance deals are often booked in a way that gives the band the lion’s share of the earning potential for a given show, leaving very small (and often nonexistent) margins for promoters to profit off the door. That’s why it’s important to establish revenue streams beyond the box office. From selling merchandise, to serving food, to putting a bowling alley in your venue, to buying up the buildings so you can control every aspect of the production, you should always be searching for other ways to earn. Help the bands reap the benefits they deserve without being forced to cut yourself and your financial needs out of the equation.As Brooklyn Bowl owner Pete Shapiro explained during the keynote session with Delsener and Fricke, the first time Galactic played the Williamsburg, Brooklyn room, they pushed for a deal that would give them 100% of the door gross, leaving no margin for the promoter to make any money on ticket sales. People thought this was crazy–where’s the upside in throwing a show you can’t profit off of? But Shapiro chose to look at the situation as “glass half-full” instead of “glass half-empty.” Where other promoters may have seen it as a concert with a no-win deal, Pete saw it as Galactic serving as the house band for the evening at his restaurant/bowling alley–essentially free of charge.8) It’s hard to do it right when your main focus is making money.As Shapiro explained in the keynote discussion, the main reason he was able to successfully take over former NYC live music hotspot Wetlands Preserved as an inexperienced 23-year-old in the mid-1990’s–and the reason he’s been able to continue the unique vibes of the room with Brooklyn Bowl–is that he was never solely focused on the bottom line. He simply loved the scene and wanted to carry the torch. So he kept ticket prices down. He payed bands well. He curated the best possible experiences for both the fans and the artists, even if it meant taking a hit on his end…9) To be successful in this industry, you have to be doing it for love.…And the reason he was able to do that (and continues to do it to this day) is that, at the end of the day, he’s in it for the love of the music. Concert promotion and production can be lucrative in certain cases, but in general it’s a precarious business proposition at best. As Fricke noted during the keynote session, the promoter is at the nexus of the desires of all involved parties–the bands, the venues, the fans. If anything goes wrong, the buck tends to stop with the promoter, and often times, the promoter is the party that assumes both the greatest risk and smallest margins for profit. You have to be in it because you love it.Shapiro illustrated this sentiment with an anecdote about his purchase of the historic Capitol Theatre several years ago which reads like a rock and roll adaptation of”Willy Wonka.” At the time Shapiro purchased the venue, the seller had been using the space for wedding and Bar Mitzvah rentals for years, but his wife was pushing him to sell. He had entertained several offers where the parties would put together a deal, get everything nearly settled, and at the 11th hour he would inform them that the price had gone up by $100,000. Most of the would-be buyers would get angry, storm out, and abandon the deal. But that didn’t bother him: he was waiting for the person who would recognize the upside and the magic of the Cap, and buy it anyway–that was the kind of person he wanted running this famous venue. After pulling the same move on Shapiro on multiple occasions, Pete finally succumbed and agreed to the last-minute price hike. He understood the potential of the room, and now one of the greatest venues in the history of rock and roll is back in business and once again hosting legendary musicians–all because he was driven by his love and vision for the music, rather than the weight of his wallet.10) Don’t be a dick.None of the day’s speakers said these words verbatim, but virtually all of them echoed their sentiments in one way or another. First and foremost, this business comes down to the relationships you make and maintain. Don’t get caught up in your ego, don’t burn your bridges, and make sure you keep up your relationships–you never know who you’ll end up working with or needing help from down the line. Be helpful. Be fair. Be understanding. Be conscientious. Be present. Be kind–and only good things will come from it.We offer our sincere gratitude to all those who participated in the planning and production of the inaugural Relix Live Music Conference. Thank you for an insightful and educational gathering of the minds. We’re already looking forward to next year.[Photos by Marc Millman]Relix Music Conference | May 10, 2017 | Photos by Marc Millman
[H/T TMZ] Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” featuring Bruno Mars was one of the biggest pop songs of 2014, with the number going platinum eleven times and having been streamed literally billions of times. In 2015, The Gap Band was eventually awarded songwriting credit on “Uptown Funk” after they called out the similarities between the song and their own 1979 hit, “Oops Upside Your Head.” Now, another band is entering the fray, with the American funk band Zapp suing Mark Ronson, other producers on the track (besides Bruno Mars, who was left off the suit), Apple, and Spotify.The lawsuit has been filed by Lastrada Entertainment, a licensing company and owner of the rights to Zapp’s music. In the lawsuit against Ronson and company, Lastrada Entertainment alleges that Mark Ronson’s megahit sounds eerily similar to Zapp’s 1980 hit “More Bounce To The Ounce,” specifically calling out the first 48 seconds of “Uptown Funk” for plagiarism. You can take a listen to Zapp’s “More Bounce To The Ounce” and to Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” featuring Bruno Mars below. One thing that’s for sure is that this lawsuit is sure to be costly for both parties, with such suits frequently costing into the millions and spanning years and multiple appeals.Zapp & Roger, “More Bounce To The Ounce” Mark Ronson, “Uptown Funk” featuring Bruno Mars
Fresh off a West Coast tour with Kung Fu, keyboardist Beau Sasser took some time during break to sit down with Live For Live Music. During our conversation, Sasser talked about his past and his future, which includes joining moe. for their comeback show. A wizard on the Hammond, Sasser is involved with several projects, including Kung Fu, The Z3, and Beau Sasser’s Escape Plan. Read on to learn more about this funk-filled, down-and-dirty, soul-rocking keyboardist that tickles the fancy out of the ivories.American Beauty To Host Phish NYE Late-Nights With Particle, The Werks, Nth Power, Kung Fu & MoreLive For Live Music: Let’s go back to your younger days. Who are some of your earliest influences? How did your involvement with the keys begin?Beau Sasser: My earliest influence was my grandmother. She played piano. She was from Memphis, Tennessee, and she would play classical as well as some ragtime, stride piano, and lots of gospel songs. It was the first time I had heard someone play piano when I was a little kid. I was pretty impressed and wanted to learn. I had some other family members that played piano as well. My dad played guitar growing up. He only knew a handful of chords but would play a lot of Cat Stevens tunes and other artists from the 60’s plus some folk songs as well. He grew up on a farm in Tennessee and had an interesting picking style. I thought it was pretty neat and wanted to learn music.Musically, I’ve been influenced by a handful of different types of artists. Early on, as a kid studying classical music, I was influenced by Bach and Beethoven. From there, I started to study and learn about other types of music. Pop music led me to discover jazz and the heavy-hitters like John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Through jazz, I discovered organ players who were playing the Hammond organ—guys like Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff and Jack McDuff. As a Hammond organ player, I was really influenced by them. Piano players in the jazz idiom include guys like Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and Keith Jarrett.In high school, I discovered Frank Zappa and that kind of changed everything for me. I learned what it takes to really be a musician and hone a craft in through his band. Growing up, I played lots of different types of music, with my teachers having me read music as well as playing classical. I also played the trombone in the middle school band, and they taught us kind of how to improvise. I was figuring all of that out during middle school and high school.L4LM: You’ve been involved in a lot of different musical projects over the years. What’s the most interesting story behind any of these projects?BS: Right now, my main projects are Kung Fu and The Z3—a Frank Zappa tribute band—as well as Beau Sasser Escape Plan, which is my own band. I get to play in many of these projects with people that I met over twenty years ago and a lot of people I’ve played with consistently since then.I met Tim [Palmieri] and Adrian [Tramontano] when they were in Psychedelic Breakfast, while I played with a band called Uncle Sammy, and we had the same booking agent. We were all kids, maybe around twenty years old. When all of us in Uncle Sammy first saw Adrian and Tim play, we thought, “Crap, there’s our competition right there.” I remember standing there watching them soundcheck and thinking, “Those are pretty special cats.” I obviously loved to play with them as much as possible. Now, I feel as if it’s come full circle twenty years later because we get to play together every night.INTERVIEW: Getting To Know Kung Fu’s Powerhouse Drummer Adrian TramontanoL4LM: When you were invited to join Kung Fu back in 2015, there was a little bit of controversy surrounding the “changing of the keyboardist guard,” if you will. Were you concerned with how fans may react to you joining the band at that time?BS: No, I would have to say that I really wasn’t concerned—partly because I felt like I was on the outside looking into a situation that I didn’t know too much about. My only concern was to learn all the material in the two weeks that I had to learn it. I didn’t really think about anything else other than getting the music ready and being able to perform it.L4LM: On a lighter note, Beau Sasser’s Escape Plan did a video in honor of the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary for a project known as Songs of the Dead. The group performed “New Speedway Boogie” .Did you get to check out any of the Fare Thee Well shows in Chicago, and what has the The Grateful Dead meant in your life, musically?BS: First off, I will say that I did not get to go to any of the shows. I would have liked to because we were there. Kung Fu was playing in Chicago performing as part of the after shows. I did not get to see The Grateful Dead when they came through. I’ve actually never seen The Grateful Dead, though I would have enjoyed it, for sure.To be perfectly honest, I really just discovered them in the last four or five years. Growing up, I always liked their music and had plenty of friends that listened to them, but I never really latched on. I never really “got it.” Then a couple of years ago, I ended up on a show playing in the John Kadlecik Band. They needed a keyboard player, and John had sent me a list of Jerry Garcia Band songs that contained the Hammond organ. That was really the first time that I had to learn those songs and get familiar with them, even though I had heard them for years.I really enjoyed it, and it changed my outlook on what that music was and how interesting it can really be. I did a few shows with John, and some of those songs I still play on my own gigs today. Any chance I can get to see Melvin Seals play, I always stand there and watch and learn.[Video: JamBase]L4LM: Kung Fu will be opening up for moe. in February for their return show coming off hiatus. What are your thoughts on that, since it’s pretty huge since their fans are really looking forward to seeing Rob Derhak get back on stage?Beau Sasser: Yeah, we are looking forward to it, too. Those guys in moe. have always been so incredibly supportive and kind—not only to Kung Fu but also Uncle Sammy and other bands that I’ve been in. We played moe.down this past summer. Out of the many festivals we played, moe.down was definitely one of the most memorable, if not the most. Our show there was awesome. It truly was magical. We played in a tent on one of the second stages, and there was this huge kind of fieldhouse-type of vibe in the there with a lot of people. Everyone goes crazy at those moe.down festivals too, so it was a rowdy crowd and was packed to the gills.moe.’s Rob Derhak Is Officially Cancer Freemoe. asked us to sit in later that night for their set. We sat in—myself, Tim and Rob [Somerville]—on “San Ber’dino,” which is a Frank Zappa tune that we all love very much. It made it even more special to play at that event and hang out with those guys. Vinnie [Amico] has played with Z3. Like I said, they’re so supportive, just awesome to hang out with, and incredible musicians, too.We were very sad to see that happen to Rob, but at the same time, we are so excited that we get to do this at The Capitol Theatre for moe.’s comeback. It’s going to be a very special night. We look forward to seeing those guys and spending time with them. Of course, we have a lot of similar fans. Our fan base has a lot of moe. fans that also like Kung Fu. If you like guitar rock, you’re going to like moe. and you’re going to like Kung Fu. It always makes for a good time. I hope we get to join in during the moe. set. That would be a lot of fun.L4LM: Do you have anything on deck for the new year with Kung Fu? What is in the works for your projects?Beau Sasser: Kung Fu just got off of tour. I’ve been home for about a week. We did a run in Colorado, New Mexico, and the West Coast with The New Mastersounds. That was a great tour. It was a lot of fun. Those guys are incredible musicians and great friends, really. We worked really hard.We’ve been off for about a week and will have another week off or so and then in December, we will gear back up again. We will be in Greenfield, Massachusetts, which will be my hometown show, on December 2nd at The Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, and then, we play Boston a few weekends after.That’s followed by our annual Toys for Tots show on December 16th at Toads Place in New Haven, Connecticut. As always, we collect toys for the underprivileged children around Christmas time. People bring toys that are collected in boxes and we then bring them to hospitals the next day. As always, it’s a really neat experience that we enjoy. It’s a big deal for us.For the Toys for Tots show, it’s going to be with Pink Talking Fish, and we are going to do the Prince and Bowie set—Pink Talking Fu Plays David Bowie And Prince—that we did at the Wanee and Catskill Chill festivals this year. It’s a really awesome set that we’ve honed. We are uniquely trained and highly qualified to play it at this point. We’ve had some experience, especially at the Wanee Festival, which was really awesome. It was the closing performance of that fest. I’ve heard that there were ten-thousand people in attendance. It was definitely one of the biggest crowds I’ve played in front of and it was amazing. One of the highlights for Kung Fu for this year, for sure.L4LM: Is there anyone that you would love to perform with but have not yet had the chance?BS: I have had the pleasure of performing with a lot of artists that I never thought that I would. I grew up being heavily influenced by Medeski, Martin and Wood. I didn’t mention John [Medeski] earlier when I talked about influences, but he was one of the organ players that definitely changed everything for me. I was a 15-year-old kid when I first saw him play.I’ve met those guys a couple of times and hung out with them as well, but I’ve never actually jammed or been on stage with any of them—I think that would be a lot of fun. Maybe it will happen, but I don’t know. Even today, I still listen to them all the time. Between them and Soulive, those are two of my biggest influences as far as Hammond organ music goes and bands I got to see when I was in high school and in my twenties. It’s pretty amazing to me because I’ve played in Alan Evans Trio and Playonbrother.Alan [Evans] and I have done a lot of work together. It’s been very special to me to hang around Al and to learn from him, as well as to hang around Soulive and watch them soundcheck and get to know Neal [Evans]. When I was twenty years old, Neal was one of my biggest influences, and still is. As far as playing the organ and left-handed bass lines, which I do quite a bit of, all that music is pretty heavily influenced by Neal. To circle back around to your question, Medeski, Martin and Wood was in that same era of my life for listening to music. It would be pretty fun to jam with those guys.L4LM: To wrap this up, is there anything you would like to say to your fans?BS: Stay cool. Stay in school. Listen to Kung Fu.To learn more about Beau Sasser’s many projects, including tour dates, please head over to the websites for Kung Fu, The Z3, and Beau Sasser’s Escape Plan. Also, make sure to catch Kung Fu in New York City for New Year’s Eve, when they’ll be playing a very special post-Phish afterparty at American Beauty on 12/31 (technically, early morning 1/1) from 1 am to past 4 am! You can grab tickets for Kung Fu’s New Year’s Eve throwdown here! [Words: Sarah Bourque; Cover Photo: Sonsini Media]
Kurt Cobain would have turned 51 years old today. The Nirvana frontman’s legacy remains unparalleled, though he died at the young age of 27. Check out footage from some of Nirvana’s most iconic concerts, behind-the-scenes looks at the band goofing off and more.“Come As You Are,” MTV Unplugged in NYC, 1993“Rape Me” & “Lithium,” MTV Video Music Awards 1992“Drain You,” Live at Reading 1992A very stoned early Nirvana interview.Motorcycle interview, probably also very stoned.“Where Did You Sleep Last Night,” MTV Unplugged in NYC, 1993The time Kurt asked Axl Rose to be his daughter’s godfather.Nirvana giving zero fucks at this MTV interview.“Polly,” MTV Unplugged in NYC, 1993.“Rape Me,” Live in Paris, 1994.