Newswire

TORTOISE RELEASE BEACONS OF ANCESTORSHIP

The great majority of artists spend their formative years, if not their entire careers, working to shake off the gravitational pull of their predecessors, and the many masters and masterpieces that came before them. Rare indeed is the artist who outgrows their early influences, and instead become one of the markers by which other groups are measured. Almost alone among bands of the last two decades, Tortoise is a group that resists easy metaphors and analogies, who can be described as sounding like only themselves and no one else. Twenty years after its founding, the band’s signature and singularly inimitable sound—a fluid intersection of dub, dance, jazz, techno, rock, and classical minimalism, with no part overwhelming or dominating the whole—remains an American and international original. Even more unusually, they seem to have arrived at their sound with almost no apprenticeship to speak of; to judge from their early singles and albums alone, they seem to have come into being with their musical identity and DNA fully formed, like Athena from the forehead of Zeus. Further, while the group has spawned countless imitators, heirs, and followers—sincere, flattering, and otherwise—Tortoise remains unique in the world of contemporary music for their boundless intellectual curiosity, their unmistakable compositional voice, and their synthesis of seemingly contradictory sound worlds far from their doorstep.

Beacons of Ancestorship is Tortoise's sixth full-length album, and their first release of new material in five years, since 2004's It's All Around You. In the interim, the group also released and toured behind the 2006 career retrospective box set A Lazarus Taxon, and an album of covers with vocalist Will Oldham by the likes of Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Richard Thompson, and The Minutemen, entitled The Brave and the Bold. Additionally, the individual members have kept busy with various other projects, including but not limited to Exploding Star Orchestra, Bumps, Fflashlights, and Powerhouse Sound.

A characteristic Tortoise album is one that traverses an encyclopedia of styles and reference points, a document of where musical intersections and dialogue are occurring at a given moment in time. Beacons of Ancestorship is no different, with nods to techno, punk, electro, lo-fi noise, cut-up beats, heavily processed synths, and mournful, elegiac dirges. We see these ideas working out in compositions like “High Class Slim Came Floatin' In,” an eight-minute track which playfully references the world of ecstatic rave and dance culture with a curiously ambivalent, multi-part suite overlaid with robotic, machine-sounding melodies that stop and start in several different time signatures before the song’s ultimate resolution; and again in “Yinxianghechengqi,” which begins as a straightforward uptempo math-rocker before steadily accelerating into a wall of fuzzy atonal sqwonk.

There are many moods, styles, and modes in the Tortoise songbook, of course—often, in the course of a single composition. Consistent throughout, however, is what might be called a pervasive element of group play, or ensemble-mindedness, as opposed to emphasis on a virtuoso soloist or frontman. (Think Robert Altman versus Robert Plant.) In the same sense that the string quartet and all small-ensemble chamber music can be thought of as an intelligent conversation among equals—violins, viola, and cello taking turns, expressing opinions, joining voices and then coming apart, as also occurs in elevated discourse—so, too, the calling card of a Tortoise song is the experience of a sound being worked out as a conversation among the individual and interrelated parts—of an ensemble thinking collectively and in group dynamics through the expression of a multi-layered musical thought.

Tortoise's Beacons of Ancestorship is out June 23rd on Thrill Jockey. Additionally, the first track on the album will be included on a Thrill Jockey compilation, Records Toreism, being released on Record Store Day on April 18th, and the band will be releasing a series of 5" records following the album's release. Tortoise will also be playing the Pitchfork Music Festival on Friday, July 17th. Their performance is part of the "Write the Night: Set Lists By Request" series where ticket holders can vote on which of the band's songs they'd like to hear during their set.

Beacons of Ancestorship tracklisting:
01. High Class Slim Came Floatin' In
02. Prepare Your Coffin
03. Northern Something
04. Gigantes
05. Penumbra
06. Yinxianghechengqi
07. The Fall Of Seven Diamonds Plus One
08. Minors
09. Monument Six One Thousand
10. de Chelly
11. Charteroak Foundation

Nershi's Blue Planet @ Boulder Theater

nershiString Cheese Incident frontman, Billy Nershi, brings along Keith Moseley, Jeff Sipe, Erik Deutsch, Nick Forster and friends for a night of Newgrass Revival in celebration of the Earthfest Boulder.

Elephant Revival is a soulful, seductive quiver of songwriters and multi-instrumentalists that reign from points all across America. In respect to the great American tradition of roots music and rock n' roll, Elephant Revival is influenced by some of the greatest 20th century bands, singers, songwriters and visionaries of all time: Little Feat, The Band, The Beatles, Leftover Salmon, Taj Mahal, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Gram Parsons, Billie Holiday, Randy Crouch, Celtic, Scottish and Old-Time Appalachian traditions, Colorado bluegrass, roots reggae and mountain hip-hop.

Official after-party of Boulder Earthfest.

GA / 21+ / $18.50

Tickets are on sale now at The Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone.
Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com.

DSO Spring Tour Kicks off Thursday!

Spring Tour West '09 Kicks off Thursday!

The wait is over - and Dark Star Orchestra has packed up the bus yet again, this time to hit clubs and venues throughout the West. Starting off in Denver March 26, this Spring's tour includes dates throughout Colorado (Boulder, Vail, Aspen), as well as Arizona, all over California and the Pacific Northwest. We hope to see you there!

Visit our tour dates page for the complete calendar.

Summer Festivals

April showers fill the festival fields with green grass for yet another great summer of live music! This year's festival highlights include another communal experience at Marvin's Mountaintop for the All Good Festival July 9 - 12, the celebrated annual GratefulFest at Nelson Ledges and two early Summer festival dates in May at Summer Camp and Delfest. Some early bird discounts remain, so be sure to get your tickets now!

Announce May/June Tour

Immediately following Summer Camp & Delfest, Dark Star Orchestra will be kicking off a tour throughout New England. Some highlights include a handful of new venues as well as multi-night stands at familiar haunts such as Hampton Beach Casino, Ridgefield Playhouse, & Higher Ground. That's only a few of many stops along the way, so be sure to check our full list of tour dates below and see if we'll be stopping by near you. The odds are in your favor!

The DSO Times

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Dark Star Orchestra in the news with some recent show reviews:
Pitt News
Jambase.com
Jammershots.com
New Additions to LiveDownloads Catalog

Miss us on our last time through town? Hear an incredible performance of your favorite song that you just can't get out of your head? Relive (or experience for the first time) Dark Star Orchestra live through high-quality downloadable audio via MP3 or FLAC as well as CDs at www.LiveDownloads.com/DSO. New downloads include the Atlanta Feb. 7 and Pompano Beach Jan. 31 shows! The site includes samples of each song so you can hear the crystal clear quality.
TOUR DATES

DATE VENUE CITY DSO TICKETS
Spring Tour West
Thu 3/26 Oriental Theater Denver, CO  
Fri 3/27 Boulder Theater Boulder, CO  
Sat 3/28 Boulder Theater Boulder, CO  
Sun 3/29 Vilar Center Beaver Creek, CO  
Tue 3/31 Belly Up Aspen, CO  
Thu 4/2 The Depot Salt Lake City, UT TICKETS
Fri 4/3 Orpheum Theater Flagstaff, AZ TICKETS
Sat 4/4 Marquee Theatre Tempe, AZ TICKETS
Sat 4/6 Rialto Theater Tucson, AZ TICKETS
Wed 4/8 HOB Anaheim Anaheim, CA  
Thu 4/9 Belly Up San Diego, CA TICKETS
Thu 4/10 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles CA TICKETS
Thu 4/11 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles CA TICKETS
Mon 4/13 Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA  
Tue 4/14 Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA  
Wed 4/15 Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA  
Fri 4/17 Wells Fargo Center Santa Rosa, CA  
Sat 4/18 Fox Theatre Redwood City, CA  
Sun 4/19 Crystal Bay Club Casino Crystal Bay, NV  
Mon 4/20 Eureka Theater Eureka, CA TICKETS
Thu 4/23 The Showbox Seattle, WA TICKETS
Fri 4/24 Crystal Ballroom Portland, OR TICKETS
Sat 4/25 Mcdonald Theater Eugene, OR  
Spring Tour East
Fri 5/22 Summer Camp Chillicothe, IL  
Sat 5/23 Summer Camp Chillicothe, IL  
Sun 5/24 Delfest Cumberland, MD  
Wed 5/27 Tarrytown Music Hall Tarrytown, NY  
Thu 5/28 North Fork Theatre At Westbury Westbury, NY TICKETS
Fri 5/29 Wellmont Theater Montclair, NJ TICKETS
Sat 5/30 Electric Factory Philadelphia, PA TICKETS
Mon 6/1 Ridgefield Playhouse Ridgefield, CT TICKETS
Tue 6/2 Ridgefield Playhouse Ridgefield, CT TICKETS
Thu 6/4 Sherman Theater Stroudsburg, PA TICKETS
Fri 6/5 Celebrate Virginia Central Park Fredericksburg, VA TICKETS
Sat 6/6 Innsbrook Pavillion Glen Allen, VA TICKETS
Mon 6/8 Higher Ground Burlington, VT TICKETS
Tue 6/9 Higher Ground Burlington, VT TICKETS
Thu 6/11 South Shore Music Circus Cohasset, MA TICKETS
Fri 6/12 Hampton Beach Casino Hampton Beach, NH TICKETS
Sat 6/13 Hampton Beach Casino Hampton Beach, NH TICKETS
Sun 6/14 Cape Cod Melody Tent Hyannis, MA TICKETS
Fri 7/3 Gratefulfest Garretsville, OH TICKETS
Sat 7/4 Gratefulfest Garretsville, OH TICKETS
Sun 7/5 Gratefulfest Garretsville, OH TICKETS
Sun 7/10 All Good Music Festival Masontown WV TICKETS
Sun 7/11 All Good Music Festival Masontown WV TICKETS
Sun 7/12 All Good Music Festival Masontown WV TICKETS

Steve Kimock & Crazy Engine Added to more Fests

In addition to the previously announced All Good, Wakarusa, Grateful Fest and Hookahville festivals, Steve Kimock Crazy Engine has been added to the line-up of High Sierra, Harmony Festival, 10K Lakes, and Bear Creek. It's going to be a memorable 2009 with this band... so get on board now!

Mar 26 Crystal Bay - Crystal Bay, NV
Mar 27-28 Great American Music Hall - SF, CA
Mar 29 Mystic Theatre - Petaluma, CA
Mar 31-April 1 Red Fox Tavern - Eureka, CA
April 2 The Domino Room - Bend, OR
April 3 Aladdin Theatre - Portland, OR
April 4 McDonald Theatre - Eugene, OR
April 5 Big Room @ Sierra Brewing Co –Chico, CA
April 16 Higher Ground - Burlington, VT
April 17 Fairfield Theatre - Fairfield, CT
April 18 BB Kings Blues Club - NYC, NY
April 19 State Theatre - Falls Church, VA
April 20 Ramshead - Annapolis, MD
April 22 Visulite - Charlotte, NC
April 23 Pour House - Charleston, SC
April 24-25 City Limits - Delray, FL
April 26 Skippers Smokehouse - Tampa, FL
April 28 Georgia Theatre - Athens, GA
April 29 Workplay Theatre - Birmingham, AL
April 30 Tipitina’s Uptown - New Orleans, LA
May 1 Tipitina’s French Quarter – New Orleans, LA
June 6-7 Toad Rock Campground – Balfour/Ainsworth BC
June 16 Old Rock House – St. Louis, Mo

FESTIVALS:
May 23 Hookahville- Thornville, OH **
June 4 Wakarusa - Ozark, AR
June 12 Harmony - Santa Rosa, CA
July 3 Grateful Fest - Nelson Ledges, OH
July 4-5 High Sierra- Quincy, CA
July 11 All Good Festival - Masontown, WV
July 24 10K Lakes- Soo Pass Ranch, MN
Aug 15 Bears Picnic – Milton, PA
Nov 14 Bear Creek - Live Oak, FL
More summer dates to be announced soon!

**w/ George Porter Jr.!

Emmitt-Nershi Band Spring Tour

emmitt-nershiThe Emmitt-Nershi Band consists of Drew Emmitt, most recognized as the founding member and mandolin maestro of the band Leftover Salmon, Bill Nershi, the founding member of String Cheese Incident, Andy Thorn on banjo (Larry Keel, Drew Emmitt Band) and Tyler Grant (Drew Emmitt Band). The foursome has been captivating packed audiences at festivals and clubs throughout the US for a little over a year and recently finished recording their first album in Dec of 2008 at Sleeping Giant Studios in CO. More info on the album coming soon, check out www.emmittnershiband.com for the latest tour dates and information.

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009
Georgia Theatre
8pm
215 North Lumpkin
Athens GA 30601

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009
Rick's Cafe
8pm
319 B HWY. 82 East
Starksville MS 39759
662.323.7425

Friday, April 3rd, 2009
Zydeco
10pm
2001 15th Ave. South
Birmingham AL 35205

Saturday, April 4th, 2009
Bennies Boom Boom Room
10pm
142 E. Front St.
Hattiesburg MS 39401

Monday, April 6th, 2009
Crosstown Station
7pm
1522 McGee St.
Kansas City MO 64108

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009
Copper Dragon
700 E. Grand Ave.
Carbondale IL 62901

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
The Old Rock House
9pm
1200 S. 77th St.
St. Louis MO 63104

Thursday, April 9th, 2009
The Canopy Club
8pm
708 S. Goodwin
Urbana IL 61801
(217)344-2263

Friday, April 10th, 2009
Martyrs'
9pm
3855 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago IL 60613

Saturday, April 11th, 2009
Majestic Theatre
9pm
115 King St.
Madison WI 53703

Sunday, April 12th, 2009
Slowdown
9pm
729 N 14TH ST
Omaha NE 68102

ELECTRONIC ICON PAUL VAN DYK RELEASES 'VOLUME'

Grammy-nominated artist and internationally acclaimed DJ and producer PAUL VAN DYK (PvD) has dominated electronic music since the early 1990’s.  He is renowned as one of the world's hardest working artists, with sold-out tours that cross each continent, headline spots at every major festival and for having a hugely successful recording career.  This spring the Berlin, Germany-based artist will celebrate his musical achievements with the release of VOLUME, an album of his best works to date.

Set for release in stores June 9 and digitally May 26 on Ultra Records, the album will encompass selections from his massive, 15-year catalogue.  VAN DYK is currently finalizing the track listing but fans are sure to find works from his studio albums 45 RPM (1994), Seven Ways (1996), Out There And BackReflections (2003) and In Between (2007).  Volume will also include the long-awaited remastered and remixed classic “For an Angel” and a brand new song titled “Home” featuring vocals by Johnny McDaid of Vega 4 who also collaborated with VAN DYK on the single “Time Of Our Lives” from Reflections. (2000), the Grammy-nominated

Leading up to the release of Volume, PAUL VAN DYK will travel stateside for a run of select tour dates in March and May.  In March, DJ appearances are confirmed for the Winter Music Conference in Miami where he’ll headline Club Space and the Ultra Music Festival.  In May he’ll return again to appear at the PNE Coliseum in Vancouver, the Cow Palace in San Francisco and Rain in Las Vegas.  In June he’ll circle back to North America once again for a national tour in support of Volume, the details of which to be announced at a later time.

PAUL VAN DYK has sold over three million records to date and has collaborated with artists as diverse as David Byrne and Jessica Sutta of the Pussycat Dolls. He has been ranked within the top five slots on the DJ Magazine Top 100 Awards (the world’s leading chart) no less than seven times, hitting #1 DJ in the world spot in 2005 and 2006. VAN DYK also has his own radio show "Paul van Dyk's VONYC Sessions" which airs weekly on satellite, FM and web stations.

PAUL VAN DYK’s current U.S. tour dates are as follows:

DATE                           CITY                                        VENUE

Fri        3/27                 Miami, FL                                 Club Space

Sat       3/28                 Miami, FL                                 Ultra Music Festival

Fri        5/22                 Vancouver, BC                         PNE Coliseum

Sat       5/23                 San Francisco, CA                   Cow Palace

Sun      5/24                 Las Vegas, NV                         Rain

MSO coming to Ultra Music Festival

The ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL (UMF)--the world’s leading two-day electronic music experience--has announced the dates for its 11th consecutive year: Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28, 2009. South Florida’s favorite music festival, internationally renowned for its memorable live performances and DJ sets from the world’s top electronic and alternative rock artists, will take place during the 24th annual Winter Music Conference at the beautiful waterfront location of Bicentennial Park in downtown Miami. The initial line-up for the first night of the festival includes Miami exclusive performances from: The Black Eyed Peas, Tiësto, Bloc Party, The Ting Tings, Santogold and--making their first US appearance as a full band in seven years--drum and bass legends Roni Size Reprazent. Miami exclusive artists confirmed for the second night of the festival include Cut Copy, Deadmau5, Crystal Castles, The Presets, Hercules and Love Affair, Simian Mobile Disco and Busy P.  Carl Cox will also return to perform on both Friday and Saturday and will host the legendary Carl Cox and Friends arena with a full complement of special guests TBA.  Many additional artists will be announced in the coming weeks. Last year over 55,000 dance music enthusiasts coming from the entire United States and over 50 countries around the world were in attendance, marking it as the largest ever UMF event and ranking at #14 on Pollstar’s 2008 Mid Year Top 100 Concert Grosses.

BOOKA SHADE

Berlin-based BOOKA SHADE (Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeier) leapt to the forefront of contemporary dance music in 2005 with their classic singles “Body Language” (with M.A.N.D.Y.) and “Mandarine Girl,” as well as  their debut full-length Memento. Since then, they’ve released a string of hit singles and have become one of the world’s most sought-after electronic live acts. This spring, the duo will return to the United States for a run of exclusive dates in support of their new offerings: their iTunes exclusive album Cinematic Shades (The Slow Songs) (released Dec 2008) and "Donut," a new BOOKA SHADE vs M.A.N.D.Y. single which will mark Get-Physical's 100th release during WMC.

CYBERSUTRA

Producers, performers and radio hosts, CYBERSUTRA is the live electronic music project from West Coast-based DJ and percussionist Scott Binder (via San Francisco) and producer Nathan Heal (via Seattle).   Weaving together elements of electro house, melodic trance and live improvisation, the duo have designed their sound by fusing live performance with dance music while reaching out around the globe to collaborate with top vocalists on sensational new tracks.  Their most recent single “I See Fire” featuring Jacinda debuted on Billboard’s Club Play Chart and is available now through KULT Records/BeatPort with remixes by Karmatronic, Gabriel Robella, Brian Gionfriddo and Asi Givati.

DEADMAU5

Closing out an immensely busy 2008, where his massive ‘World Tour’ took him around the globe, electronic music's fastest rising star, prolific producer and electronic artist DEADMAU5 is set to dominate 2009 with his highly anticipated North American spring tour, bringing him to both days of the Ultra Music Festival. In other news, DEADMAU5 (pronounced ‘Dead Mouse’) has released an innovative and interactive application on the iPhone and iPod Touch for music enthusiasts. In association with Future Audio Workshop, the Deadmau5 Touch Mix application allows users to mix DEADMAU5 music using an iPhone or iPod Touch. Users can download the DEADMAU5 content onto the application's track players, where they can then apply effects, cross fade between tracks and scratch and mix songs to create a realistic and easy-to-use mobile interface.  Recently nominated in this year's Grammys for his remixed rendition of producer Morgan Page’s "The Longest Road" in the "Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical" category, DEADMAU5 anxiously awaits his potential wins at the Canadian Juno Awards, where he is nominated twice in the “Dance Recording Of The Year” category for his ULTRA EMI single “Move For Me” (Deadmau5 vs. Kaskade) and his 2008 debut album, Random Album Title. 

KASKADE

KASKADE is one of electronic music's most sought-after emissaries and one of its most beloved figures. Unaffected and laidback, he's known per BlackBook magazine as "…the man [who] gets his sh*t done with an unassuming demeanor, and usually in flip flops." Otherwise known as Ryan Raddon, the San Francisco-based electronic artist continues the ongoing march to his special brand of beat, a style that is instantly recognizable both musically and technically. On March 24, he will continue his musical progression and follow-up last year's chart-topping long player Strobelite Seduction with a new mix album titled THE GRAND (Ultra Records).  The album features a various assortment of original productions and remixes by KASKADE as well as Deadmau5, Misha Daniels, Jes, Steve Angello & Sebastian Ingrosso, Dirty Vegas and others. 

KRAAK & SMAAK

Holland’s breakthrough band KRAAK & SMAAK will be returning to the United States as they continue to support their critically acclaimed sophomore album PLASTIC PEOPLE. Don’t miss out when their live band comes to the ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL!   Released in North America on September 9, 2008 via Ultra Records, Plastic People captures the K&S brand of future funk and features the hit single “Squeeze Me,” which has been gaining great exposure via a Rhapsody national TV ad campaign and the band’s recent performance on ABC-TV’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” View their performance here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzCQ3tTQeBY KRAAK & SMAAK has quickly become one of the hottest live properties in electronic music. Original founding members Oscar De Jong, Mark Kneppers & Wim Plug are joined by the additional live band members of Andre Kemp (drummer), Rose Spearman (vocalist), Sebastian van der berg (MC) and Marc Baronner (bass). With keyboards, FX and percussion played by the band themselves, they bring their distinct brand of funk to the dance floor. During this limited US tour, the live band will make appearances at SXSW and the Ultra Music Festival in Miami.

MORGAN PAGE

MORGAN PAGE--the hotly sought after producer/remixer nominated for two IDMA’s this year--is currently putting the finishing touches on BELIEVE, his first artist album of all original material featuring an array of new collaborations and vocals by Morgan himself. Collaborators on the album include Angela McCluskey (telepopmusik), Natalie Walker, Samantha James (Om Records) and Dave Dresden (Gabriel & Dresden). BELIEVE is his much-anticipated follow-up to 2008’s Elevate (Nettwerk) which featured the GRAMMY-nominated song “The Longest Road (Deadmau5 Remix)” and seamlessly weaved highlights of his prolific production career with his organic, melody-driven tracks.

SHARAM

One of only a handful of producers of his kind that can move effortlessly between the nocturnal world of underground dance floors with acid house gems like “Get Wild” (Essential Miami WMC Tune of 2008), his techno infused summer anthem “Texi” (hailed as one of the top Ibiza records of 2008) and its darker sibling stormer “Crazi” (hammered by the who’s who of the techno scene as the sleeper record of the fall of 2008), all the way to the crossover radio hits with releases such as “PATT” and “The One” (both of which hit top 20 in many international markets). Always unpredictable, SHARAM (known to many as one half of seminal electronic music’s Deep Dish) will never conform to anything other than his own high standards, so one can help but to wonder what he is going to come up with next.  On April 4, 2009 he’ll release his long-awaited debut solo album GET WILD (Ultra Records) which features the above mentioned gems plus many more original tracks featuring guests like Diddy, Daniel Bedingfield, Tommy Lee, Kid Cudi and more.

PAUL VAN DYK

Grammy-nominated artist and internationally acclaimed DJ and producer PAUL VAN DYK (PvD) has dominated electronic music since the early 1990’s.  He is renowned as one of the world's hardest working artists, with sold-out tours that cross each continent, headline spots at every major festival and for having a hugely successful recording career.  This spring the Berlin, Germany-based artist will celebrate his musical achievements with the release of VOLUME, an album of his best works to date.  Set for release in stores June 9 and digitally May 26 on Ultra Records, the album will encompass selections from his massive, 15-year catalogue.  VAN DYK is currently finalizing the track listing but fans are sure to find works from his studio albums 45 RPMSeven Ways (1996), Out There And Back (2000), the Grammy-nominated Reflections (2003) and In Between (2007).  Volume will also include the long-awaited remastered and remixed classic “For an Angel” and a brand new song titled “Home” featuring vocals by Johnny McDaid of Vega 4 who also collaborated with VAN DYK on the single “Time Of Our Lives” from Reflections. (1994).

The Dead Tour Charity Tickets Now Available

philWe are pleased and appreciative to announce the availability of The Dead Tour tickets in support of the Rex Foundation and other charities through CharityFolks.com.   Here is the full announcement as well as contact information for any questions you might have.

The Rex Musical Caravan continues to expand with more musicians and festivals. Bring your friends to to hear great music while also supporting the Rex Foundation, as $1 per ticket sold at each of the following is contributed to the Rex Foundation:

Moonalice kicks off its month-long Rex Caravan Tour on March 25th in Bakersfield, CA

Five Eyed Hand continues its Rex Caravan California shows on March 27th in San Francisco, CA

Passion Presents features Steve Kimock Crazy Engine on March 31 and April 1 in Eureka, CA

Reflections Band does another Rex Musical Caravan show on April 16th at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, NJ

On the Bus Band joins the Caravan on May 17th at the Virginia Brewing Company in Winchester, VA

Desert Rocks Music Festival is part of the Caravan May 22-24 in Moab, Utah

We thank all the musicians and their fans for being part of the Rex Musical Caravan to further what the Grateful Dead started 25 years ago and demonstrate the power of the musical community to support grass roots philanthropy.  Let us know if you want to be part of the Caravan.

This is a particularly important time to celebrate how we as a philanthropic community can support the vital work of grassroots non-profits.  As we depict with the Rex Community Caravan, $5 or more in contributions can add up quickly to make a positive difference.  Check out all the great programs the Rex Foundation has supported thanks to your generous contributions.

Thank you for your on-going support and connection.  We look forward to all that we can do together.

Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks Release New Album

hicks In vintage Dan Hicks form, Tangled Tales mashes the outlaw swing music, insightful charm, and brilliant melodies that have endeared him to audiences and fellow artists for four decades with his signature understated melancholy that could only be born from a creative genius. Featuring a world-class collection of musical talent including instrumental virtuosos David Grisman, Charlie Musselwhite, and slide-guitarist Roy Rogers, and produced by Grammy-winning roots music producer Chris Goldsmith, Tangled Tales delivers 8 great new original tunes that feel like instant Dan Hicks classics (and some choice cover tunes too).

Also available is a limited edition vinyl version of Tangled Tales, with cover art and packaging designed - as always - by Hicks himself.  For forty years Dan has created all of his own album art and promotional materials - cutting and pasting and drawing and illustrating - all by hand. Hicks has always had a clear idea of the aesthetics that best compliment his music.  In fact, the visuals are essential for Dan to further communicate the message of the songs, and he considers them an extension of the musical vision of each album. Family and friends who visit his home know this first hand, as remnants from magazine clippings, pieces of his drawings, old photographs, pages from books and atlases, and more can be found on his floors throughout; clippings that, more often than not, find their way into his work.  Need proof?  Check out Dan's new video here.

Look for Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks on tour this spring.  The list of currently confirmed dates is as follows:

March 25 Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach CA
March 26 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles CA with Special Guests Van Dyke Parks and The Ditty Bops
March 28 Yoshi's San Francisco CA with Special Guest David Grisman
April 03 One Longfellow Square Portland ME
April 04 Bull Run Shirley MA
April 05 Iron Horse Northampton MA
April 06 BB King's Blues Club New York NY
April 07 Turning Point Piermont NY
April 09 Stage One at the Fairfield Theatre Company Fairfield CT
April 10 Sellersville Theater Sellersville PA
April 11 The State Theater Falls Church VA
May 12 Uptown Grill's Playlist Theatre LaSalle IL
May 13 Logan Square Auditorium Chicago IL
May 14 Turner Hall Ballroom Milwaukee WI
May 15 Majestic Live Madison WI
May 16 Cedar Cultural Center Minneapolis MN

Additional dates to be announced.  Visit www.danhicks.net for information and updates.

Tangled Tales is a more-than-worthy addition to Hicks' already massive body of work.  It is an irresistible nod to Dan Hicks' undeniable musical legacy, and a potent reminder of all of the musical inspiration that this Great American Songwriter has spawned. Revered by and also having collaborated with such legendary artists as Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Bette Midler, Brian Setzer, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, Rickie Lee Jones -- Dan Hicks serves up his unique fashion, attitude and swagger that are embodied in his eccentricity and totally unique sound. His counter-culture appeal, which has twice landed him on the cover of Rolling Stone, has always been rooted in his songwriting. His lyrics have been touted as some of the sharpest-tongued, driest-witted, and subtly hilarious bits of irreverence ever committed to rhyme. He sets these lyrical gems to quirky tunes that trade on a bagful of jazz chords and an irresistible rhythm.

Meat Puppets Announce Spring US Tour Dates

meatPerfection in art is for subjective fools.  The goal of any real artist is purity, and purity is a state of mind.  Hamlet knew and told us.  To thine own self, be true. In 2007, with the wayward absence of bassist Cris Kirkwood a hiccup since passed, the Meat Puppets simultaneously reformed and pledged a singular ferIn 2007, with the wayward absence of bassist Cris Kirkwood a hiccup since passed, the Meat Puppets simultaneously reformed and pledged a singular fervent purpose.  Complete resurrection.   That's no small order.  This is, after all, a band that stands out as one of the most illuminous sparks highlighting the first, and most overtly accomplished, coming of American indie rock, those golden and precious years lying roughly between 1979 and 1985.  An era so filled with purity, it reigns supreme to this day with an embarrassment of musical riches.   Many of them straight from the fingers of Kirkwood/Kirkwood/ Bostrom.

Always recognized as an extremely dexterous and deft live act, the Puppets used 2008 to continue to stretch out the new line up (with Ted Marcus now a full time replacement for founding drummer Derrick Bostrom).   The band joined Built to Spill, and later, Stone Temple Pilots, for well received jaunts across the U.S. The Puppets also toured Europe, and took part in each of the 2008 All Tomorrow's Parties festivals, performing Meat Puppets II as part of ATP's Dont Look Back series.  By year's end, the shows were "almost" 100% acoustic.  "Almost" because Curt was playing a Gibson Hummingbird plugged into his pedal board, allowing him to work his eboard, allowing him to work his effects just like an electric guitar.  The simplicity of the set up belied the sort of arresting dynamics that Muse and Radiohead aim to capture, albeit by spending tens of thousands of quid in arena production.

Signed in early 2008 to ultra-artist friendly Megaforce Records, the Puppets found themselves once again at work exploring the vast creative landscape that has defined the band since it burst forth with its majestic debut for SST, Meat Puppets.  In between '08 tours, the Puppets wrote and recorded a new album, Sewn Together, the trio's second full length since 2007. Sewn Together began with the band laboring under all sorts of questions as to what artistic and sonic direction it would strike.

Afterall, band leader Curt Kirkwood openly acknowledged the rather brusque approach he chose in crafting the one-off made for Anodyne Records, "Rise To Your Knees":

"In the ‘80s, we used to just crap this stuff out," he notes.  "Those SST records cost, like, five grand apiece, if that much, and those are the records that made people like us.  Later, when we got into a position to work in bigger studios with outside people, we'd wind up spending a whole bunch of money and having to satisfy the people who gave us that money.  We did that all through the ‘90s, and I'm just not interested in doing that anymore."

"Now, if I can get away with it, I'll make a record as cheap as I can and put as little work as I can into it, which is what we did with this one.  I don't like putting a lot time into it.  We cut a track, and if we've played it halfway right, we're done with it."

Of course, none of Curt's ideas about how to effectively make a record degrade the music he crafts.  Integrity grips him as if a Viking vise.   Like Dylan, he is merely determined to streamline, to avoid overthinking and obsessing with studio elements.  He has delivered a living catalogue of historical records, using close to primitive tools.  It is a lesson in technique that today's too-pimped up pop "artists" ought to study, and thankfully, there are a few bands that do.

In the case of the new album, Curt and Cris chose a home town studio that oIn the case of the new album, Curt and Cris chose a home town studio that offered analog process.  To help add purity.   And with production helmed by Curt, creative freedom arrived du jour.  With no contrived map to follow, the best friend of artistry -spontaneity- governed.  Indeed, going into the studio, only Curt knew what songs he planned to cut.  The label didn't ask and neither did the band.  When the guiding minstrel is as honed and proven as Curt, it is both easy and incumbent to roll with the pitch.

True to his vows not to beat down a session, in less than two weeks' time Curt had effectively corralled his necessary and sufficient musical elements: the songs, the band, his son Elmo, the compatible recording team at the Salt Mine Studio in Mesa, and Phoenix-based pianist William Joseph.  Joseph's role illustrates how spontaneity is a giving gift.  He was initially invited into the studio to help with some fills, yet by day's end, was contributing a bounty of beautiful passages that bespeak a mature flushing out of Curt's deeply embedded genetic sense of melody.  Witness "Sapphire," "Clone," and "Smoke." At first listen, one is tempted with an impression of experimental Pink Floyd "Wall" like channeling here, but accuracy's sake will note that the operatic idiom behind these songs has been exhibited at least as far back as 1995's "No Joke", and subsequent trials from Curt's solo master piece, "Snow", and the texturally generous "Rise To Your Knees".

Now, however, the breadth of instrumentation is no longer in the back seat. It's right there in the guts of the entire record. And while it is not overstatement to declare a connection here to the heights of the E Street Band, the results from last summer's sessions clearly continue the Puppets' trademark forging of subtle yet iconoclastic lyrical sweetness and remarkable musicianship.  Were a short description required, confidence is the defining term and attitude. This is a record that is brilliantly framed by the band's sometimes folksy, always fluid wanderings. The Puppets gladly let the material step out as first fiddle, content with understanding songs this strong only come along once in a great while, and better to serve them than the other way around.

It is what makes the Puppets musings so difficult to classify.  They ambitiously dart the melodic spectrum between buoyant pop structure like album-opener Sewn Together and the grand sweep of "Clone", two of the precision-perfect gems that will come to represent this record as a keeper.   The album rides to close in pure pop fashion.  The infectious "Love Mountain", a song that harkens back better than a decade, at last weaving itself free of Curt's inner aware-ness, emerges taut yet jangly enough to please George Harrison and George Martin.  That's no exaggeration, either.  Sure, absolutely, Springsteen and the Beatles and Pink Floyd are mighty comparisons, but let's face it, what is due is due. Beatles and Pink Floyd are mighty comparisons, but let's face it, what is due is due.

Looking ahead, to May '09, the Puppets start the first leg of extensive road work celebrating the new record, but as with every Puppets' tour, the show will be certain to range over the course of performance afforded it by the Puppets' endearingly adventurous career . The Sewn Together tour kicks off May 12th in Los Angeles at the Mint.