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Furthur: From Blindness to Light | NYC

For the entire first set of Furthur at the horribly oversold Hammerstein Ballroom on Wednesday night December 9th, I could not see the band at all. Lucky me.

Shinobi Ninja Takes off from Brooklyn to Babylon

In anticipation of the release of their forthcoming album in Spring 2010, SHINOBI NINJA, the party rocking beasts from Brooklyn NY, have just launched a dangerously addictive video for their single “Brooklyn to Babylon” directed by Evan Savitt (Lady Gaga, Saint Motel), one of New York’s most sought after, up-and-coming directors. Shinobi Ninja drummer Terminator Dave expresses “this video represents exactly what the song and band is about - frenetic energy that demands your attention to its emotion, feel, and arrangement. It’s bright, colorful, eccentric and fun which are all the elements we bring to our shows!”

SHINOBI NINJA are the super group for the 21st century, composed of six colorful, vibrant New York City musicians and performers from different corners of the music world. With their debut EP Brooklyn to Babylon, and their own revolutionary video game, Shinobi Ninja Attacks, Shinobi Ninja will jump start the party, wherever you are!

Onstage and on-line, Shinobi Ninja have built themselves a devoted following, garnering much-deserved attention from the music world. With their must-see live gigs, their party-in-a-box debut EP, interactive video game and forthcoming full length album, Shinobi Ninja are always going the extra mile to make you part of the excitement. And you’ll find the band’s irresistible funky rock hooks, energetic performance style and fun loving attitude will make you want to join the revolution.

Rhett Frazier Inc: 'Escape from Dee-Troyt'

It's futurist. It's retro. And it's happening right now - new Los Angeles musical powerhouse Rhett Frazier, Inc. has emerged with their brilliant debut album Escape from Dee-Troyt. This 10 track album is sure to be a welcome end-of-the-year surprise for listeners hungry for something new: a wonderful juxtaposition of funky grooves, expert soul crooning, bold electronics and catchy tunes.

The band's instantly catchy grooves have already earned them a respectable amount of praise from those in the know. Resident DJ A-Ski of the revered nightclub Little Temple described them as "a combination of Funkadelic, Rare Earth, Flaming Ember, Frank Zappa and Al Green rolled into one along with that raw, gritty Detroit sound that would make the late, great Norman Whitfield proud." LA Examiner's Patrick Hamilton declared that Escape from Dee-Troyt "takes Stax-era guitar licks, blues attitude and 70s R&B crossover appeal and blends it into a tasty milkshake of auditory heaven," while Dusty Grooves America said the album has "a classic sound...that reminds us of some of our favorite blue-eyed funky rock from way back."

Composed of core members vocalist/songwriter Rhett Frazier and drummer/producer Donny Gruendler, the band initially formed in 2004 as an escape from their day jobs as some of music's "consummate sidemen" - Gruendler has played drums behind John Medeski, DJ Logic and Motown's backing band The Funk Brothers, while Frazier fronted soul and R & B combos, winning over crowds across the nation. Soon, however, the band blossomed into a full-time collaboration, with both men indulging influences as diverse as Steely Dan, Danger Mouse, Prince and Tom Waits. "We just wanted to make music that was cool to us," says Donny. "Yeah, something no one could touch," agrees Rhett.

The untouchable material is at once funky and playful, obviously the product of two music-lovers who can manage to be forward-looking with both their songwriting and sonics. Lead track "U Can't Stop" marries four-on-the-floor funk riffs with a modern immediacy and attack, all wrapped around Rhett's distinctive falsetto and baritone croon: "It's a fate you can't deny/The future's caught you from behind/You can't stop what's already happened." The song was inspired by Rhett's more philosophic leanings, some which could almost be applied to the group itself: "I worked out a theory that there's no such thing as past, present or future - they're all the same." Concert favorite "BeLong" shines in its recorded version too, a tongue-in-cheek paean to an erstwhile girlfriend - "Won't be long we'll belong together." The track's gritty rock feel came when producer Donny stripped away most of the backing track, declaring it "sounded too much like the Roots, not us" and re-did the music from scratch around Rhett's vocal. A similar story came with the Dr. Dre-flavored number "Nuthin'" - originally an all-electronic DJ Shadow-like track, it became a rocked-out funk number once the two masterminds put their own stamp on it. "Once we found out we could sound like our favorite records, we wondered, 'Why are we doing this?,'" says Rhett. "We already own those records." The result is a defiant song of self-sufficiency with the triumphant chorus - "Ain't nothing you can do for me/I can't do for myself."

Cocky, funky, fresh and catchy, Escape from Dee-Troyt is bound to make a splash with clubgoers and music collectors alike. Let Rhett Frazier, Inc. blur the lines between the past, the present and the future for you this year.

Important Announcement from DSO

Thank you for joining us and being a part of this continuing, long strange trip these past 12 years. Your support and excitement for the music has kept us going strong for over 1700 shows. Throughout the years, we've had transitions both difficult and uplifting, yet the positive energy of our fan base has continued to propel our mission onward for performing this important music and for keeping this vibrant scene alive.  That said, we, as a band are entering another chapter in this story.

Dark Star Orchestra's lead guitarist and one of its founding members, John Kadlecik, has decided to resign from DSO. John's last show with us will be on Dec 5 in Buffalo. DSO is supportive of John's choice and we wish him the very best.


Dark Star Orchestra will continue to bring you this music at its highest level. In our 12 year history we have gone through three drummers, three keyboard players, three bass players and numerous rhythm guitarists and we have always managed to keep improving the sound and the experience. We will be taking on a new player with his own talents and energy and turn yet another chapter in DSO history.

Veteran guitarist Jeff Mattson, of the Zen Tricksters and currently w Donna Jean Godchaux Band, will be joining us this week, on the New Year's Run, Jam Cruise, and for our upcoming Winter Tour that begins in February. We assure you all the things you love about the Dark Star Orchestra experience will continue and we ask for your patience, friendship and positive energy as we keep truckin' on...

Dark Star Orchestra

Mickey Hart discusses sounds from space

During The Dead’s Spring Tour, Mickey Hart debuted the UNIVERSE OF SOUND. Each night of the Tour Hart connected audiences with the universe's most celestial vibrations from the Big Bang to the rings of Saturn to the Black Hole. Hart said, “The idea was to take our audience on a nightly tour of some part of our universe during our “space concerto” section. The next day we put it up on our website so the kids could follow it.”  This got the interest of the folks at the History Channel who produce the acclaimed “The Universe” series. They came out to Hart’s studio and spent an afternoon doing interviews for the segment being produced on Pulsars and Quasars.

Hart is known for his high quality recordings of music from around the globe and his collaborations with the world’s great percussionists. His Grammy Award winning Planet Drum (1991 Best World Music) and Global Drum Project (2008 Best Contemporary World Music) featured the finest acoustic percussion, enhanced with the latest audio processing and editing technologies. As he begins to record his next project, the frontier of space inspires Mickey's compositions and he is thrilled to be collaborating with a number of the world's leading astronomers and astrophysicists along with his Global Drum Project band mates, Zakir Hussain, Giovanni Hidalgo and Sikiru Adepoju in creating other worldly music emanating from a universe of sound.   Connecting the arts and sciences is another piece of Hart’s latest works. Mickey hopes to inspire the next generations and feels it is essential that young people understand the science of their times. He strongly supports the Obama administration’s STEM initiatives to prepare the next generation in science, technology, engineering, and math. Mickey has been a pioneer in supporting engineering for the arts including the development of field recording systems, loudspeaker arrays, and has made various appearances at AES (Audio Engineering Society) conventions.   Please find a brief of the show on THE HISTORY CHANNEL WEBSITE

From the Producers of Xingolati…the Zombie Ball

This Halloween you will approach destiny from another dimension…from ten feet under. We bend and twist around reality to continue toward the life we are meant to lead. Peeling back the layers of age and experience...we rise. Friday and Saturday night the clouds part under the light of the moon and we shall emerge from the weight of the earth to let our souls shine in the light of immortality. We have become something else, something less beautiful, passionate to create. We are still Alive…We are still Sexy…We are ZOMBIES!

Where: Sustainable Waves Event Space
4822 East Ceasar Chavez
Austin, TX
When: Friday, 10/30 and Saturday, 10/31
Time: 800pm

Website / Tickets: www.zombieball.com

The Zombie Ball will be held at 4822 East Cesar Chavez just a short bicycle ride from downtown Austin. The event will feature three stages of music including the First Responder stage. The stage is a re-fashioned firetruck with an integrated solar system flying the 2nd largest disco ball in Texas. The Haunted Ballroom will host the latest in Haunte’d Couture from Jennifer Ayers and the Zombie Caberet. The event will display the finest quality of production. We are excited to be working with Element Systems and Red Star Productions, who will provide high-end video capable lighting installations. Sustainable Waves Solar Powered Sound and Staging is out to prove that they are not only the cleanest and most efficent sound company in the world, but also pack a creative punch.

Artists include: Spoonfed Tribe, PONG, Killa Dilla, Moving Matter, BoomBox, T Bird and the Breaks, Narcissia Dhial, FM campers, Princess Slay-ah & more special guests.

Who is Guy Grand…LLC Guy Grand is an umbrella organization for innovative new brands in the music & entertainment community including:

Guy Grand Productions – a full service event production company that blends live music and participatory theater creating an environment of grandeur. Guy Grand has brought together the finest ingredients in life to create one-of-a-kind events like the Urban Hippodrome, the Inflatable Rodeo and Xingolati. For more information visit www.guygrand.com

About Sustainable Waves:

Sustainable Waves offers custom built ultra high efficiency solar powered PA systems and stages in a complete state-of-the-art turnkey system. Imagine a sound system designed by a team of expert sound engineers and loudspeaker cabinet designers, with the goal of achieving maximum sound with minimum power. This unique sound system, combined with the most advanced solar power systems gives us solar powered sound and staging. Website: www.sustainablewaves.com

From Good Homes Reunite for Two Shows - Dec 18 and 19

The members of From Good Homes have announced today that the band will reunite for a weekend of special shows- their first in 10 years.  The shows, scheduled for December 18th & 19th at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ will mark the first time the band has performed together since the band's legendary "farewell show" in August 1999.

The genesis of From Good Homes dates back to a high school band, when childhood friends Todd Sheaffer, Brady Rymer, and Patrick Fitzsimmons came together in rural, Northwestern New Jersey.  Originally called "Old Crow", and later evolving into "The Dogs", the core line-up remained.  With the addition of Dan Myers in 1988, and Jamie Coan in 1990, the band From Good Homes was fully formed.  The band's upbeat approach, solid songwriting, and unique sound allowed them to quickly develop a dedicated following on the touring circuit. Bringing together rock, jazz, folk, celtic and jam-band influences under one umbrella, rooted in Todd Sheaffer's inspired songwriting, From Good Homes forged their own, instantly lovable music. Their unique style prompted one critic to affectionately label the band's blend of influences as "Hick-Pop".

From Good Homes released 5 albums during their career- 3 on RCA Records- and performed over 1,500 shows across North America, including two tours with Dave Matthews Band and shows with Bob Dylan, Ratdog featuring Bob Weir, Widespread Panic, Hootie & The Blowfish, Blues Traveler and many more.  In 1998, From Good Homes received an achievement award from Billboard Magazine and Irving Plaza for the most consecutive sold-out performances ever (12) at the New York City venue.

After disbanding in 1999, band members went on to embark on individual projects.  Todd Sheaffer formed the bluegrass-influenced Railroad Earth, which has released 5 records and continues to sell-out shows throughout North America.  After starting a family of his own, Brady Rymer began a career making music for children and families; his most recent release "Here Comes Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could" was nominated for a 2009 Grammy Award in the Best Musical Album for Children category.  Drummer Patrick Fitzsimmons has had a very successful run as a singer/songwriter, releasing 5 records independently and touring regularly in the Northeast.  Saxophonist Dan Myers runs a production company, Dirt Floor Studio, and has worked on records with Adam Green, Sam Champion, as well as with Rymer and Fitzsimmons.  He also appeared as a guest soloist on "Live Trax Vol. 16" the latest live release from Dave Matthews Band.  Multi-instrumentalist Jamie Coan continues to write, perform and record and currently plays fiddle and Dobro with The Red Top Ramblers in the Charleston, SC area.

"It'll be great to get back on stage with the guys and play again" says lead singer Todd Sheaffer.  "It's been a long time since the From Good Homes family was together and I know this is going to be a whole lot of fun".

Tickets for the shows are $28 in advance and $33 on the day of show.  They are on sale now through Tickets.com.  All information is available at www.wellmonttheatre.com and www.fromgoodhomes.com.

From Good Homes is:

Todd Sheaffer - lead vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica
Brady Rymer - bass, vocals
Patrick Fitzsimmons - drums
Dan Myers - saxophones, melodica, vocals
Jamie Coan - acoustic guitar, violin, mandolin, vocals

STS9 Release New Single from AD EXPLORATA

A family member of ours has a shortwave radio that we have all been messing around with. We had been using it for sound effects and noises when one day it was left on in the studio. Keyboardist David Phipps’ daughter Aya was playing around with the dials when all of a sudden it stopped on this voice on the super low frequencies of the spectrum. It was a woman’s voice, artificial we later found out, counting off numbers in a very clear and concise way. We became obsessed with what we had heard and for weeks we sat behind the dials trying to find more voices.

There was only one more to be found, the voice we sampled for the beginning of the song “Central”. After a bit of research, we found that these were numbers stations, thought to be coded messages various governments use to send correspondence to spy’s overseas. This of course isn’t publicly acknowledged by any government, even though in 2001 the United States tried the Cuban Five for spying using information they supposedly received and decoded by broadcast from a Cuban numbers station.

STS9 has always been fascinated by numbers; finding this transmission captured our imagination so much that we had to see if there was something more to what we had found. Immediately we enlisted the skills of a crypto-hacker friend of ours to see if she could find any relevance to the sequence we had recorded. When she ran the numbers as coordinates corresponding to a map of military bases in California, she came up with an exact location in Big Sur. We immediately went to check it out and sure enough there was a trail about 10 miles back off of Nacimiento Road, just south of the park that led to this old abandoned bunker type structure. It was crazy. We were all looking at each other in disbelief but there we were. We crawled through a hole at the bottom of the fence and walked inside. There we found a rusted metal box that had a few pictures, documents, patches, passports, and a knife in it. The first picture was of a document from Allen Dulles to J. Edgar Hoover on brainwashing. The second was of two men standing over a map of the Middle East. That image became the cover of our first single “Atlas,” off the upcoming release Ad Explorata. One of the patches we found was the most intriguing of our finds. It had this physically impossible symbol on it that looked futuristic next to all of the older documents. It’s the symbol we’ll lay over top of every image you will see for the album. In doing some research, we later found an old book of ‘black ops’ military patches at the Prelinger Library that had a brief description of this patch. It was thought to be for a secret unit that first used satellites to gather SIGINT (signal intelligence) from other countries during the Cold War. The story is that this team actually gathered signals from another civilization in our galaxy. Their motto was ‘Ad Explorata, Forward into the Unexplored.’

We’re not ones for conspiracies but sometimes the truth is stranger than anything we could imagine. With this, we present to you STS9’s newest studio release Ad Explorata due out November of 2009, inspired by the idea that there is always more to be discovered, manifested by the belief that you can always push towards the unknown and unexplored, and created by the will and desire for constant artistic evolution, expression and change.

Tell the EPA to protect us from global warming

At long last, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of recognizing that global warming pollution leads to killer heat waves, stronger hurricanes, higher smog levels and many other threats to our health and environment. In April, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson proposed an "endangerment determination" under the Clean Air Act -- a finding that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping air pollutants "may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare."

Then in May, flanked by automakers, governors and environmentalists, President Obama ordered the EPA to follow up the endangerment proposal with standards to reduce global warming pollution from new cars and trucks -- standards that would save consumers billions of dollars at the pump even as they protect the planet. We can cut global warming pollution from our vehicles, as well as from our power plants and other sources, by using renewable and cleaner energy sources and by using energy more efficiently.

But powerful groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are trying to thwart the EPA's efforts to finalize the proposal and adopt standards to cut vehicle pollution. If these industry interests succeed, we will lose this valuable opportunity to help our economy recover, create millions of green jobs, save consumers billions of dollars and cut our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.

The EPA is accepting public comments on its proposal through June 23rd.

What to do:
 
Send a message, before the June 23rd comment deadline, urging EPA Administrator Jackson to adopt the proposed endangerment finding and issue strong standards for reducing global warming pollution.

Great American Taxi offering free track from new CD!

taxiGreat American Taxi, which features Leftover Salmon frontman Vince Herman is gearing up to release their sophomore effort "Reckless Habits." With the official release date yet to be announced Taxi has decided to offer up a free download of "Unpromised Land" (labeled as "Whiskey" on a lot of Taxi bootlegs from the past couple of years) from their latest studio work, which was recorded in December of 2008 and produced by Railroad Earth's Tim Carbone. The album also boasts guest appearances by Barry Sless on pedal steel for a good chunk of the record, Carbone on fiddle for a few tracks, Matt Flinner plays banjo on the aforementioned free download, the Black Swan Gospel Singers and the Peak to Freak Horns. Phil Nicolo, multi-grammy winning engineer and producer also lent his talents to the mix and mastering of the record at his fabled Studio 4. Needless to say Taxi has swung for the fence on this one and the result is nothing short of pure Americana bliss. Taxi will be playing 3 shows on the Front Range of Colorado this weekend to celebrate the forthcoming release and will be accompanied on stage by the Black Swan Singers and the Peak to Freak horns as well as some great support acts. Thursday March 19th finds the band at Hodi's Half Note in Fort Collins, Friday March 20th is at the Boulder Theater and Saturday the 21st is at the Bluebird Theater in Denver. These are certain to be special shows and tickets are still available. Follow the link below to get a taste of what GAT has in store from their newest release.

http://www.coolmusicnetwork.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=Great+American+Taxi

More info about Great American Taxi can be found at www.GreatAmericanTaxi.com and make sure to sign up for their mailing list for updates on the official release date.