That said, I’m pretty optimistic about the email I got this morning from Questlove's publicist saying that he's got a memoir called Mo’ Meta Blues coming out this summer.
I actually got to sit in on a colleague's interview with him once, where we all hung out on the tour bus and listened to the unmastered version of a forthcoming Roots album. And as you've probably heard, he's one of the nicest, smartest, coolest musicians you’d want to meet.
"More than just a series of remembrances,” says the press release, “Mo' Meta Blues is a book that also questions the nature of memory and the idea of a post modern Black man saddled with some post-modern Blues. It's the side wind of a one-of-a-kind mind.”
Great Peter Max-style cover, too. Plus, there’s this bit of bonus trivia about everyone’s favorite hip-hop Renaissance man:
“Recently making his way into the culinary world with his signature ‘Love's Drumstick,’ Questlove began his own culinary quest with off-premise catering, featuring Creole and Korean inspired soul food with a focus on locally sourced ingredients and “on-a-stick” decadence, for hi-profile exclusive events.”
Mo Meta Blues comes out June 18. Meanwhile, here's a video of Questlove talking about his Fallon show gig, and the special requests it sometimes entails. ("Give me something like Public Enemy, but also like the Brady Children trying to sing 'Let the Sunshine in.'")
Mind you, this is not just any Primus tour — it’s a “3D-enhanced live musical performance,” which means you’ll get to stare at the band through paper glasses for two full sets of what critic Joe Gore once dubbed “thrash-funk meets Don Knotts, Jr.”
If all that’s not enough, the show will be presented in Quad Surround Sound, a technology that's come a long way since the Flaming Lips’ late-90s “parking lot experiments” (see second video below), where audiences were surrounded by cars all blasting variations on the same album from their dashboard cassette players.
Click here for show details and tickets.
On the west side of downtown Colorado Springs, across Bijou Street bridge, tucked away off of Manitou Boulevard you will find local artist, Eric Baar, diligently working in his secluded shop, Ground Up Designs (1516 Manitou Blvd.).
Eric is a custom handmade bicycle designer who has developed a very unique style of his own. He doesn’t use CAD or blueprints, instead, he bends titanium and steel pipes, adds metal flakes to frames (which he welds), and paints custom pinstripes by hand.
He built his first bike in 1999, and had his first customer in 2000. Since, he has built a growing customer base. His frames can cost anywhere between $1,500 for a metal flake steel frame to $3,000 for a titanium frame. If you want the rest of the bike, it'll cost you more.
But then, his bikes truly are works of art, taking anywhere from one week to an entire year to complete. His masterpiece, the blue metal-flaked BMX frame in the picture at right, has taken him that aforementioned year, and he’s still putting on finishing touches.
To watch Eric freehand paint “old school” pinstripes, watch this video — or you can see the process in person, along with his bikes, by heading to the Colorado Convention Center, where the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) will make itself at home this weekend starting Friday, Feb. 22, and running through Sunday, Feb. 24.
The NAHBS showcases the best of the best. Eric said that to be invited to be there and to teach a seminar (his topic: TIG welding) is a huge honor, and he's been focused on it every day since he heard the show was set for Denver this year.
Eric is so focused on this show that he denounced every other topic presented to him, including regular Ground Up parties and pixie races (we'll try to get some more information about this next week). The man truly wants everyone in Colorado Springs to go to this “once-in-a-lifetime experience to see the best custom bikes in the world.”
Looks like your weekend’s planned for you. Tickets available onsite.
From Wu-Tang to Wilco, Alt-J to Amadou & Miriam, and Paul McCartney to Pretty Lights, the Manchester, Tenn.-based festival has outdone its California cousin in a big way this year.
Factor in marquee acts like Mumford & Sons, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and R. Kelly— plus fast-moving upstarts like the Lumineers, Charli XCX and A$AP Rocky — and it's enough to make you actually want to spend four days in the Volunteer State.
This year's festival runs from June 13-16. Here's the current lineup:
Red Rocks Amphitheatre has released its initial 2013 bookings, which includes a three-night run by the Zac Brown Band, two nights of Avett Brothers, and other familiar faces like Slightly Stoopid, Sting, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, and a reprise of DeVotchKa with the Colorado Symphony.
More recently hyped acts like Fun. and Alabama Shakes are also onboard, along with an unexpectedly resurrected Postal Service.
The complete Red Rocks schedule — which will hopefully include some slightly more adventurous bookings — is traditionally unveiled in the late spring, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, here’s what’s been announced so far:
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Slightly Stoopid with Cypress Hill, Tribal Seeds
Saturday, May 04, 2013
Chris Tomlin with Louie Giglio & Kari Jobe
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Zac Brown Band
Thursday, May 09, 2013
Zac Brown Band
Friday, May 10, 2013
Zac Brown Band
Friday, May 17, 2013
Global Dub Festival: Flux Pavilion/Excision
Monday, May 20, 2013
Vampire Weekend & Of Monsters and Men
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Randy Rogers Band / Casey Donahew Band
Thursday, May 30, 2013
The Postal Service
Sunday, June 02, 2013
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros / Alabama Shakes
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Sting: Back to Bass
Saturday, June 08, 2013
Big Head Todd and the Monsters
Sunday, June 09, 2013
Friday, June 14, 2013
DeVotchka with the Colorado Symphony, plus Amanda Palmer
Friday, July 05, 2013
The Avett Brothers
Saturday, July 06, 2013
The Avett Brothers
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Rodrigo y Gabriela with The Colorado Symphony
Friday, August 09, 2013
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Yonder Mountain String Band
Thursday, August 22, 2013
It’s probably not surprising that the writer of the incendiary “We Can’t Make It Here (Anymore)” is as eloquent, droll and provocative in conversation as he is in his lyrics. But while our interview topics ranged from Lou Reed to gun control, McMurtry held forth on a few other subjects that, due to limited space, didn’t make the print edition.
So here are a few bonus musings from McMurtry’s on his hometown Austin. The town is of course legendary among music fans for SXSW, Austin City Limits and, as the city’s official slogan puts it, being “The Live Capital of the World.”
In fact, you can catch McMurtry playing Austin’s famous Continental Club on any given Wednesday night that he and his band aren’t out on the road. But really, the Loft gig is a lot closer.
On the pros and cons of development: “The food has gotten better, the wine has gotten WAY better, and the skyline is different. There was a time there when they were building so fast that we’d leave on tour and the skyline would be different when we got back. There’s a lot of money coming in, which makes the cost of living go up. But you get something for your money.”
On chronic complainers: “I’ve lived here for over 20 years and nobody’s ever stopped bitching about how much better it used to be. And I just don’t know. I wasn’t here when it was better. It’s always been pretty good.”
On Austin’s future: “It’s an overgrown town, and I don’t think it can ever really be a city. It’s become more like a playground for the rich, you know? All of those condos they build downtown are vacant half the time, ‘cos the people that own them live out in the hill country on their high-fence ranches with their exotic game and all that stuff. So they come here when they want a little city life. But if you want a real city in Texas, go to Houston.”
On live music: “San Antonio has an old world vibe and they’ve always had a great music scene down there, with Doug Sahm and all that conjunto stuff. They’ve got serious music down there, but they don’t have a lot of clubs to play in. That’s the one thing in Austin, you’ve got at least 30 clubs who have music nightly. They don’t PAY great. But the Continental Club does us a world of good. Because there are so many travelers coming through, we get a different crowd every Wednesday. Some of them haven’t heard of us and don’t care, they just show up at the club because it’s been there since the ’50s and they’re staying across the street. So it’s like touring without having to leave town.”
Visit the Loft’s website for tickets and information on Sunday's show. Meanwhile, here's a video for "We Can't Make It Here (Anymore)" — all seven radio-friendly minutes of it — and some lyrics to tide you over until then.
"We Can’t Make It Here (Anymore)"
By James McMurtry
There’s a Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign
Sitting there by the left turn line
Flag on his wheelchair flapping in the breeze
One leg missing and both hands free
No one’s paying much mind to him
The V.A. budget’s just stretched so thin
And now there’s more coming back from the Mideast war
We can’t make it here anymore
That big ol’ building was the textile mill that fed our kids and it paid our bills
But they turned us out and they closed the doors
We can’t make it here anymore
See those pallets piled up on the loading dock
They’re just gonna sit there ‘til they rot
‘Cause there’s nothing to ship, nothing to pack
Just busted concrete and rusted tracks
Empty storefronts around the square
There’s a needle in the gutter and glass everywhere
You don’t come down here unless you’re looking to score
We can’t make it here anymore
The bar’s still open but man it’s slow
The tip jar’s light and the register’s low
The bartender don’t have much to say
The regular crowd gets thinner each day
Some have maxed out all their credit cards
Some are working two jobs and living in cars
Minimum wage won’t pay for a roof, won’t pay for a drink
If you gotta have proof just try it yourself Mr. CEO
See how far $5.15 an hour will go
Take a part time job at one your stores
Bet you can’t make it here anymore
There’s a high school girl with a bourgeois dream
Just like the pictures in the magazine
She found on the floor of the laundromatA woman with kids can forget all that
If she comes up pregnant what’ll she do
Forget the career, forget about school
Can she live on faith? Live on hope?
High on Jesus or hooked on dope
When it’s way too late to just say no
You can’t make it here anymore
Now I’m stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart store
Just like the ones we made before
‘ Cept this one came from Singapore
I guess we can’t make it here anymore
Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I’m in
Should I hate ‘em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away
I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
All lily white and squeaky clean
They’ve never known want, they’ll never know need
Their shit don’t stink and their kids won’t bleed
Their kids won’t bleed in their damn little war
And we can’t make it here anymore
Will work for food will die for oil
Will kill for power and to us the spoils
The billionaires get to pay less tax
The working poor get to fall through the cracks
So let ‘em eat jellybeans let ‘em eat cake
Let ‘em eat shit, whatever it takes
They can join the Air Force, or join the Corps
If they can’t make it here anymore
So that’s how it is, that’s what we got
If the president wants to admit it or not
You can read it in the paper, read it on the wall
Hear it on the wind if you’re listening at all
Get out of that limo, look us in the eye
Call us on the cell phone tell us all why
In Dayton Ohio or Portland Maine
Or a cotton gin out on the great high plains
That’s done closed down along with the school
And the hospital and the swimming pool
Dust devils dance in the noonday heat
There’s rats in the alley and trash in the street
Gang graffiti on a boxcar door
We can’t make it here anymore
At the beginning of Ray Oldenburg’s 1989 publication, The Great Good Place, he quotes Max Lerner talking about the “quest for community” in his 1957 writing, America as a Civilization. This “quest for community” is at the heart of a gracefully working society. In his book, Oldenburg discusses how we fulfill it, through what is called “the third place,” that is, places we spend our time other than work or home. According to him, these places are where we level in class, form communication skills through informal conversation, meet friends, relax our “professional” selves, and overall … have fun!
In laymen’s terms, Oldenburg is telling us to go to the bar, the coffee shop, the bookstore, the hair salon, and in the case of Colorado Springs… the library?!
On Wednesday, Feb. 13, El Pomar Foundation approved the Pikes Peak Library District for a $750,000 challenge grant to go to the Penrose location. PPLD plans to use this money to become one of these “third places” by "providing exactly what you need, in the format you desire, at the very moment it will benefit you most," and, as long as they are able to meet the challenge of raising $3.15 million by Jan. 1, 2016, it sure looks like they’ll be able to.
Already, the library has been working toward becoming a 21st century library (http://ppld.org/21stCenturyLibrary.) Renovations are being made to existing buildings; a completely new location is being opened in 2014 at 1175 Chapel Hills Drive; improvements to teen areas are in the works; and a series of rearrangements with offices, special collections and Adult Literacy departments will allow for a more efficient use of space. The East Library will open its entire second floor as a mammoth creative computer commons. Sounds like a media wonderland.
I spoke with PPLD spokesperson Travis Duncan, and Dolores Fowler, executive officer of the PPLD Foundation. Both seemed ecstatic about the new coming improvements. When asked about how they planned to meet the challenge of raising $3.15 million Duncan said, “It’s a challenge we are putting to the community for the 21st century library. We want the community to get involved, and to tell us what they want to see.”
Fowler mentioned “strengthening a real partnership between the library and the community, families and friends, more grant writing, offering opportunities to sponsor or donate items, name rooms, naming the coming creative computer commons, and much more. “
As reported in this week’s Reverb, Joe Johnson will be debuting his first new band since Creating a Newsense at Front Range Barbeque, featuring Inaiah Lujan and Sean Fanning of the Haunted Windchimes, Josh Desmidt of Broken Spoke, and Jake Klock on fiddle.
Meanwhile, in the less down-home realm, Ensemble Peak FreQuency's "statio hiberna/winter stasis" concert at GOCA (121 S. Tejon St.) this evening will feature Karen Bentley Pollick on violin, Colin McAllister on guitar, Jane Rigler on flute, and Glen Whitehead on trumpet. (Rigler and Whitehead also perform in Phrames of Mind, whose impressive debut at Modbo was the subject of much raving in a Reverb column last month.)
Of course, there’s also Carrie Underwood at the World Arena, but that one’s sold out. On the plus side, online scalpers StubHub on Monday were selling tickets for $140 — a more than 100 percent markup over face value — but have now dropped their day-of-show price to $80.
Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here, on the IndyBlog.
Even 40(!) years after his untimely (and still mysterious) death, martial arts legend Bruce Lee has an unmatched post-mortem career. The new documentary I Am Bruce Lee explores the man’s life, from his post-WWII child-star career in Hong Kong to his rise to the top of the American box-office in the early ’70s. There are scads of interviews from numerous martial arts figures, actors and even some guy from the Black Eyed Peas, for some reason. Loaded with rare clips and footage of Lee in action, I Am Bruce Lee might not tell the whole story, but it does tell the most entertaining one. And if you’re still looking for more martial arts mayhem, Shout! Factory is also releasing a double-feature DVD of Crime Story and The Protector, two classic crime capers from Bruce Lee’s heir apparent, Jackie Chan, both made when he was in his prime and still doing work he could be proud of.
The Hittites. They dress like the Amish, they reject technology like the Amish, and they churn their butter like the Amish, but these guys sure don’t worship like the Amish! No, they’re a pure fire-and-brimstone cult that preaches against the dangers of seductive incubuses — female demons who sexually contaminate men in their sleep — and will do anything to stop anyone who might bring them to their happy home. Even if it’s the friendly next door newlyweds or the cougar waitress and her creepy daughter who live down the street. As the bodies start to pile up in one bizarre accident after another, Martha and her giggly gal-pals try to survive as a masked killer slashes his way to unholy revenge. Directed by Wes Craven, 1981’s Deadly Blessing is a pretty rote thriller that most people would ultimately write off … until the utterly bat-shit final 20 minutes, filled with the most insane plot twists ever, totally redeems it, Hittites be damned.
While most critics were gushing over the overblown (and allegedly deceptive) rockumentary Searching for Sugar Man, the far more moving, far more personal Paul Williams: Still Alive was quietly hiding under the radar, just waiting to be discovered. Which, when you think about it, pretty much fits the bill for singer-songwriter Williams. The diminutive poster made a name for himself writing incredible songs for the Monkees, Three Dog Night, and Barbra Streisand, as well as for movies like The Phantom of the Paradise and The Muppet Movie. All the while, he made noise as a raconteur on various ’70s talk shows. But, as various addictions took all of that away from him in the ’80s, he’s quietly lived a life, doing nostalgia shows as far as the Philippines. Still Alive chronicles his rise out of drug-induced obscurity and back into the spotlight, warts and all. Far from a Behind the Music casualty, Williams’ story is inspiring and touching and should have been lauded from here to Manila.
Tech N9ne, who had two Black Sheep dates scheduled for March, will now be playing just one night. The Kansas City horrorcore emcee was schedule to perform here March 20 and 23 — with a pair of Denver dates in between — but has dropped the second show due to routing issues.
Meanwhile, El Ten Eleven, the L.A. instrumental duo who was set to play the venue this coming Sunday, has called off all four of its Colorado dates.
According to a statement from El Ten Eleven’s management, bassist-guitarist Kristian Dunn suffered an injury that’s landed him in the hospital for the next few days. “The band would love nothing more than to play these last shows of the tour, but that isn't possible now."
Online tickets purchased for either show will be automatically refunded. Those who brought tickets at the club can obtain refunds from the venue box office.
According to an anonymous jewelry store employee who spoke recently with Allure, husbands and boyfriends in trouble usually buy the most extravagant pieces.
That's pretty anecdotal, but let's just say that, for one reason or another, you're in need of something really good for Valentine's Day.
You got the jewelry, perfume, chocolates, dinner, but what about that extra something?
Singing Valentines, my friends.
Let's first hope your significant other likes getting sung to at restaurants on his or her birthday. If so, he or she will be serenaded two love songs by local group America the Beautiful Barbershop Chorus, who will arrive where you want them to be, dressed in tuxedos with two long-stemmed roses and a card for your sweetheart. Orders start at $40.
Call the chorus at 272-4390 or visit atbchorus.com to place an order, which must be done by Feb. 12.
And remember, if you really
need want to impress someone, there's hope in music. Just ask Andy Bernard, who won over his ice queen in this crappy video:
Make some room, ladies — the boys are here to stay.
They've got their first bout behind them, and now the Mountain Mad Men are starting a full year of roller derby competition. I spoke with Mad Men Bangers 'N' Smash and Seven about the sport, and what it means to be a part of the derby family.
Apparently, beneath the nicknames and the bravado, derby is about reliving those grade-school skate nights while risking bodily harm in the name of fun, family and sport. Enjoy the show, and get in on some of this "Derby Love."
Thank you to the Mountain Mad Men and Noah Bryant Photography for supporting us in this project.
Local musicians infiltrating the venue — which was recently named Westword’s Best New Community Space — include Mike Clark & the Sugar Sounds, who held an album release concert at the Deer Pile last Friday.
This week, you can catch Changing Colors up there on a last-minute bill with East Coast experimental singer-songwriter Caethua and West Coast guitarist The Lord Bird Dog. (Yes, indie solo artists still enjoy using pseudonyms that sound like they should be bands.)
Then, on Feb. 23, the venue will feature solo sets by Haunted Windchimes cofounders Desirae Garcia and Chela Lujan.
For those who haven’t made it there yet, the Deer Pile is situated in an artist studio right above City, O’ City, a vegan and vegetarian restaurant located at 206 E. 13th Ave.
In recent years, the music award show has replaced the press conference in which it's traditionally announced nominees with a star-studded “Grammy Nomination Concert” live telecast.
And today, Bonnaroo festival organizers revealed that they will be hosting their own three-hour live event, during which they'll reveal the lineup for the four-day festival held each June on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tenn.
Granted, this is a more modest affair than the Grammys event, given that it’ll just be streamed on the Bonnaroo 365 YouTube channel. But promoters are promising “classic Bonnaroo performances, live in-studio appearances and performances, audience participation, surprises, giveaways, and hilarity!”
That last bit will ostensibly be provided by host “Weird Al” Yankovic. You can learn more — albeit not much more — by scrolling down to watch the comedian in a promotional clip that Bonnaroo just uploaded this morning. Oddly, the actual date of the announcement has yet to be announced, but you can subscribe to the channel to find out.
The futurist inventor — who’ll be speaking this evening at CSU-Pueblo as part of its free Distinguished Speakers Series — made headlines last month when he was hired by Google to a high-level position where he’ll essentially be teaching its machines how to think. (Read our Indy interview for more on that Google gig, among other things.)
But while the name may still be new to some, the controversial scientist's theories have been of interest to Animus Invidious for a while now. In fact the local musician sought Kurzweil’s permission to use excerpts from his writing as the basis for his 2009 track “Rampant Misconception.”
“I thought he was cool when he responded directly to an email inquiry about using some text of his in a song via text-to-speech synthesis,” says the electronic musician. “Afterwards I Wikipedia'd him and realized he helped develop that very same technology.”
You can listen to the track below.
Meanwhile, note that doors open at 6:30 p.m. for this evening’s talk, which will be held at Hoag Recital Hall. (Our Seven Days to Live write-up contains more event details.) Organizers tell us that, due to an anticipated overflow crowd, a live feed will also be simulcast in the university’s Life Sciences Auditorium.