world

Rex Grants, Musical Caravan Events and The World As It Could Be

August began with our 2nd 3-day Institute on The World As It Could Be curriculum, presented in collaboration with the University of San Francisco. A filled class of 25 avidly took in the presented material to lea rn about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and experience applying music, visual arts,  spoken word, performance arts and movement to express their personal connection to human rights issues.  The photo here shows the class members rehearsing for their culminating presentation.  The video of the culminating presentation helps demonstrate the intensely moving experience of working with the curriculum.  We are excited to know that the work done August 2-3 is now being applied in classrooms and communities in the Bay Area, as well as Milwaukee, WI!

On August 10th, we were privileged to experience a very special night of story telling by Bob Weir, Carolyn Garcia, John Perry Barlow, and Mickey Hart about Rex and other reflections, led by Bill Walton, and held at Bob's new TRI Studios. We'll soon have the video of the evening available.

As to Rex Musical Caravan events, the SF Giants made August 9th another great tribute to Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, and once again generously included the Rex Foundation as a recipient of charitable proceeds.   Adding to this already positive energy is the enthusiastic support reflected in the following upcoming Caravan events:

  • Be part of the special project by Fan Mosaics, LLC, where 2,500 Jerry Garcia fans have the opportunity to include their photos in an officially licensed mosaic print of the Grateful Dead legend based on the noted photo taken by world-famous photographer Herb Greene. Here are the participation details.
  • Blair Babcock and the Blurry Pickers are donating half the proceeds of the download sales of their song "Fairlee Well" to Rex. Click here to read Blair Babcock's story about the song and hear "Fairlee Well."
  • On Saturday, September 10th, the Kind Buds once again perform in support of Rex at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northhampton, MA, as described in more detail here.
  • The Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson of Dark Star Orchestra, along with Particle, headline the Third Annual Pink Moon Music and Arts Festival September 15-18, 2011 in Rock Camp WV.  We were very pleased to learn that the impetus to support local area schools came from the Rex Jam at the All Good Festival. Check out the details of the festival and how Rex is generously supported.
  • Ann Arbor's own Macpodz are heading East and hopping on board the Rex Musical Caravan with a concert at the Brooklyn Bowl September 27. Here are the details.

Thanks to contributors like you who donate $5 or more, initiate Caravan events, support our program work, and take part in Rex benefits, we are able to carry out The World As It Could Be initiative, keep making our grants and generate positive community connections along the way.  Check out the list of outstanding 2011 beneficiaries so far, and see, as you explore our website, everything else that your support makes possible

Suzy Bogguss Revives Folk Favorites with American Folk Songbook

Suzy Bogguss had a revelation on stage with Garrison Keillor in 2008. Everyone loves to sing along on “Red River Valley” – except the children who somehow don't know the song. Folk songs are the scrapbook of the American experience, but as music education fades from our public schools, she worried; these beautiful melodies are in danger of being overlooked. She resolved to record these timeless songs in an updated but reverent way – so that everyone can sing along on “Red River Valley.”

And who better than the golden throated Suzy? The platinum selling songstress already has a full bookshelf of Grammy and CMA awards and now with the release of American Folk Songbook she can put her own book up there too. After an initial release with Cracker Barrel, The CD and companion Songbook are available everywhere today.

As Suzy writes in the introduction to the book: “Music has always been my purest joy even as a child. One of my favorite memories is my grade-school music teacher pounding on the piano and leading the class in rousing renditions of folk songs from all around the world. In the summer of 2008 I toured with the brilliant and engaging Garrison Keillor. The energy that passed between the audience and Garrison was overwhelming at times. Several thousand people standing and singing together—old songs, hymns, the Beatles and the Everly Brothers. People of all ages, sharing music. Ahhh, pure joy."

But Bogguss was not content to present the songs as dusty museum pieces, instead she chose to breath new life into them with contemporary arrangements and a crack squad of Nashville's acoustic A-Listers. Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Pat Bergeson, Charlie Chadwick and Jeff Taylor all join the band for Suzy's self-produced project. Ultimately though it's the voice that lovingly weaves through the guitars and mandolins to find the new in these old songs. As John Lomax III writes in the forward to the book, 'Prepare yourself for enchantment! ...This work is, in a word, delightful!"

Suzy says she modeled the songbook after her "good old 5th grade songbook." The hardcover, 96-page book is filled with illustrations, fascinating historical stories about the songs, easy to read sheet music arrangements for piano, voice and guitar as well as personal insights and anecdotes from Bogguss. Her intent from the beginning was to make the book attractive to music lovers and musicians at every level. Again from her introduction: "that way, younger generations could share these slowly fading gems with their families and tell their stories of how they learned a few chords on the guitar or a couple of favorites to play at family gatherings.”

Cracker Barrel, with its devotion to families and appreciation for authentic Americana was the obvious choice for the initial release.

American Folk Songbook is the natural progression of an artist who has demonstrated skill and passion for all types of music in her career. Songs like “Aces,” “Drive South,” “Someday Soon,” “Outbound Plane” and "Letting Go" took her to the top of the country music charts. Along the way she won raves from critics and peers including winning a GRAMMY in 2005 for Traditional Folk Album, the Country Music Association’s Horizon Award in 1992 and album of the Year Award in 1994.

2007’s Billboard Jazz Chart topping Sweet Danger, the universally praised album, Swing recorded in 2003 with Ray Benson of Asleep At The Wheel and Simpatico, her beloved collaboration with Chet Atkins showed the world Bogguss was willing to both embrace tradition while continuing to grow and challenge herself as an artist. However, it is an appreciation for tradition that really shines through on American Folk Songbook.  The album is filled with songs that are the very fabric of American musical history and Bogguss reclaims this history and revives it with a fresh and beautiful take on classics like “Shenandoah,” “Wayfaring Stranger,” “Ol’ Dan Tucker,”  “Beautiful Dreamer” and of course, "Red River Valley." Everybody sing along!

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Tour Dates

08/13/2011 - Logan, UT - Cache County Fair

08/20/2011 - Dubois, WY - Dubois High Country Cowboy Gathering

08/25/2011 - Kent, OH - The Kent Stage

08/26/2011 - Ann Arbor, MI - The Ark

09/02/2011 - Highlands, NC - Highlands Performing Arts Center

09/03/2011 - Clinton, AR - World Champion Chuck Wagon Races

09/22/2011 - New Hope, PA - New Hope Winery

09/23/2011 - Annapolis, MD - Ram's Head Tavern

09/24/2011 - Staunton, VA - Fortune Williams Festival

Ott. at Fox Theatre | 10.13.11

Z2 Entertainment is proud to present Ott. at the Fox Theatre on Thursday, October 13th , 2011.  Tickets go on sale Friday, August 5th for $16.50 in advance & $20.00 day of show.

Ott, the veteran electronic producer known for his evolving sound of roots and dub, returns to the United States to tour in support of his latest album “Mir”. The new album finds this trusted producer taking his music to new heights. His prolific career with influential UK label Twisted Records, has seen two successful full-length releases including collaborative work with Simon Posford (Shpongle) and his world renowned “Hallucinogen In Dub”. The direct-to fan release, “Mir,” has been regarded by many as his best work to date. Ott will perform a reformatted live PA of the music spanning all of his releases as well as new unreleased material.

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Ott. (Twisted Records)

Fox Theatre

Thursday, October 13th

Doors:  8:30 pm

Show Time:  9:00 pm

Mocean Worker | 'Candygram For Mowo!'

It’s been four years since we last heard from our favorite fast-talking, electro-funk, party-jams beat-maker Adam Dorn a.k.a. Mocean Worker. Since then tough economics have turned tougher, smug indie bands have become smugger and raving mad religious fanatics have grown, well, raving madder. What the world could use in these troubling times is some good ol' fashioned, happy days are here again, get up on the good foot grooves. Mocean Worker--who has built a reputation for exactly that over a ten-year plus career as a recording artist, songwriter, remixer, DJ, bassist and more--returns made to order with his sixth studio album, Candygram For Mowo!

From the opening salvo of the record’s first track "Shooby Shooby Do Yah!" in which 1930s big band horns are met by the syncopated rattle of a tambourine, it's apparent that the Mocean Worker feel-good brand is intact.  Joined by a divers cast of special guests, including Lyrics Born, Mindy Abair, Bill Frisell, Charlie Hunter, John Ellis, Hal Willner and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Mowo! brings the funk in all manner of delectable shapes and sizes. Whether crossing swing era rave-ups with ‘70s rare groove ("Do Like Ya Like"), Les McCann meets Marvin Gaye-flavored house party, soul jazz ("Sistas & Bruthas"), North Cali hip-hop with ‘50s hard bop ("My Own Little World") or injecting deep house with Nuyorican rhythms ("Out There In The Random"), the beats are infectious, the hooks irresistible and the attitude always cheeky.

In Mocean Worker's own words, "These ain't good times, so why not have something that makes us feel good?"

Candygram For Mowo! is indeed what our collective sweet tooth craves.

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Candygram For Mowo! track listing:

1. Shooby Shooby Do Yah! (featuring Steven Bernstein)
2. Swagger
3. My Own Little World (featuring Lyrics Born & Mindi Abair)
4. Hoot & Hollah
5. Sistas & Bruthas (featuring Mindi Abair)
6. It Still Don’t Mean A Thing (featuring Steven Bernstein)
7. Mel’s Torment (featuring Rahsaan Roland Kirk)
8. Out There In The Random
9. Do Like Ya Like
10. Ya Damn Right
11. Say Yeah Yeah Yeah
12. Jive, Jive, Jive
13. Sho Nuff (featuring Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Bill Frisell, Charlie Hunter & Hal Willner)
14. JD

AgesandAges | Bluebird Theater | 7/20/11

AgesandAges have been described as “big tent revivalists.” Some lump them into the cult category, alongside Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, as they have a sev

Mason Jennings at Boulder Theater | 10.27.11

Z2 Entertainment is proud to present Mason Jennings with The Pines at the Boulder Theater on Thursday, October 27th, 2011.  Tickets go on sale Tuesday, July 19h for $22.50 in advance and $25.00 the day of the show.

As one grows into adulthood, remaining focused on one’s pursuits gets increasingly difficult. The musician becomes a band mate navigating the creative energies of those around them. He becomes a boyfriend, a husband, a businessman. Life becomes multifarious, and the pressure to not let the threads of a chaotic life unravel can cause strain on any relationship. With his new album Minnesota, Mason Jennings crafts a collage of love trying to survive the transition into being a grown-up in a complex world.

For instance, “Bitter Heart,” which manages to be simultaneously plaintive and hopeful. The protagonist recognizes the breach of faith and the sense of estrangement in the relationship, but sings tenderly of rapprochement. To Mason, the central line in this song and the album is “Our world is filled with only what we see/Can we see love now.” Mason says, “I have come to the understanding that the way that we feel inside is the most important thing, and that we have a say in that.” “Clutch” looks back wistfully at a love before the demands of adulthood came knocking. At the end of the song, Mason sings that “Maybe we could work it out, we could live in a dream, live in a dream.”  The song ends in an instrumental break that leads directly into “Witches’ Dream,” a fabulist romp that juxtaposes raw lust with fairy tale imagery.

Musically, Mason paints from a more varied palette than ever.  The piano is featured more prominently than his previous albums. “The piano seemed to fit the emotional core of the album,” he explains. “I felt that it was important to begin and end the album with piano.” Mason played almost all of the instruments on the album, the one exception being “Well Of Love,” a Perez Prado-esque number that features his friends in The Living Room, the side project of Jack Johnson drummer/percussionist Adam Topol. Friend Jason Schwartzman adds additional piano and background vocals on “Raindrops.”

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Mason Jennings

with The Pines

Boulder Theater

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Doors: 7:00 pm

Show Time: 8:00 pm

Mickey Hart 2011 Summer Tour Dates

Mickey Hart has announced a slew of festival appearances and intimate club dates including a hometown show at the Independent in San Francisco on August 6th, 2011. Hart will also join Bill Kreutzmann for a very special Rhythm Devils' (Kreutzmann & Hart) performance at the Garthering of the Vibes Festival in Bridgeport, CT, before heading out on the road with his band. On tour, Hart will perform brand new material that he has yet to perform live, as well as selections of his greatest hits and Grateful Dead songs. Hart is currently holed up in his studio in Sebastopol, CA recording his new solo album to be released in 2012. Hart last released the Global Drum Project with Zakir Hussain, Sikiru Adepoju, and Giovanni Hidalgo in 2007, which took home the Grammy for Best Contemporary World Music Album. Hart previously won a Grammy for Best World Music Album with Planet Drum in 1991, which also hit #1 on the Billboard World Music Chart, remaining there for 26 weeks.

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MICKEY HART TOUR DATES:

07/24/11 The Rhythm Devils' Mickey Hart & Bill Kreutzmann (w/ Keller Williams, Steve Kimock, & Reed Mathis) @ Gathering of the Vibes Festival- Bridgeport, CT
08/05/11 The Mickey Hart Band @ Napa Valley Opera House - Napa, CA
08/06/11 The Mickey Hart Band @ The Independent - San Francisco, CA
08/18/11 The Mickey Hart Band @ Brooklyn Bowl- Brooklyn, NY
08/19/11 The Mickey Hart Band @ Bella Terra Festival- Stephentown, NY
08/20/11 The Mickey Hart Band @ Blue Point Brewing Company- Patchogue, NY
08/21/11 The Mickey Hart Band @ Hoxeyville Music Festival- Wellston, MI

Deerhoof Announce U.S. 2011 Fall Tour

The concept of Milk Man came from Tokyo artist Ken Kagami, whose sassy cover art is the perfect match to the sly, at times frightening, but irresistibly catchy music contained inside: the Styx 'n' Stones magic of the title track, an instant pop classic if there ever was one, undeniable proof of Deerhoof's extraordinary songwriting gifts; the organ-driven monster mash of "Giga Dance," whose crazed group interplay sets a new standard for "tension and release"; the otherworldly, borderline operatic, electronica that is "Desaparecere," Deerhoof's Spanish-language debut...and that's just the first three songs! Have we ever heard a band so confidently navigate the extremes of control and chaos, edginess and beauty, profundity and just plain fun?
Deerhoof will be performing Milk Man in its entirety for the first time ever tonight, July 1st, in London at Alexandra Palace. They will joining The Flaming Lips, who will be performing The Soft Bulletin, and Dinosaur Jr., who will be performing Bug.  Milk Man vinyl will be reissued on July 5th by Polyvinyl Records.
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Deerhoof will tour the U.S. throughout September!
sept 15 - San Francisco, CA - Atrium at SFMOMA (part of Adam Pendleton's BAND)
sept 20 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall Of Williamsburg
sept 21 - Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live
sept 22 - Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theater
sept 23 - Cincinnati, OH - Know Theatre / Midpoint Music Festival
sept 24 - Champaign, IL - Polyvinyl's 15th Anniversary Party at Pygmalion
sept 25 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge
sept 26 - St Louis, MO - Luminary Center For The Arts
sept 28 - Ithaca, NY - The Haunt
sept 29 - Cambridge, MA - The Middle East
oct 1 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club

Young Deadhead Composes "The World As It Could Be" & More Good News

Henry Sidle, a 12-year old self-proclaimed avid Deadhead and musician, learned about the Rex Foundation when he read a review of The Wheel - A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia.  He contacted us, seeking to include Rex as the community service element of his upcoming Bar Mitzvah.  When I asked if he would consider learning more about The World As It Could Be project and help raise awareness about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, perhaps applying his musical talents along the way, Henry enthusiastically said, "Yes!"  Henry composed an original song "The World As It Could Be" and created a video to help get the word out about furthering human rights. Click here to read more about Henry's project, see the video and the song lyrics, and learn more about my unexpected, yet very special personal connection to Henry. Henry will be performing this song at the Gathering of the Vibes Festival, interviewed by David Gans.

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Here are upcoming Rex Musical Caravan events that reflect the wonderful support of the musical community and beyond.  Enjoy some fun, great music and kindred connection, while supporting the Rex Foundation at the same time:

July 8-10 in Tipton, PA - Pennsylvania's Mysterytrain once again supports the Rex Foundation, this time at the multi-day JesterFest at the PPG Pavilion.  Click here for details.

July 14-17 - The All Good Festival once again supports the Rex Foundation, including a Rex Jam on Saturday with Matt Butler and The Everyone Orchestra to support the Preston High School Music Program.

Saturday, August 6 - Sonoma County's own Tribal Hippie UnderGround Zone (THUGZ) are doing another show for Rex - outdoors under the stars at the rustic Rio Nido Roadhouse.  Here are the details.

Tuesday, August 9 - The SF Giants will pay tribute to the Grateful Dead with another special event package that includes support for the Rex Foundation as they face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Here is information on how to get your tickets now.

Thomas Dolby debuts 'The Floating City' transmedia game

Best known as the singer/synthesist behind the Top 5 smash hit “She Blinded Me With Science” and as the co-inventor of the Beatnik polyphonic ringtone engine, Thomas Dolby today announced his latest creation: The Floating City is a rich transmedia game with a living world that changes and reacts to player contributions. It uses web browsers, social networks, and even smart phones and iPads as a way for fans to access his latest musical endeavors.

The Floating City is open for registration from today at floatingcity.com. Gameplay commences on June 22nd at 5 p.m. GMT (1 p.m. ET in the U.S.). Players from around the world will form tribes and collaborate to earn free music downloads, merchandise and concert tickets. The leading tribe will even win the right to stage a private concert at which Thomas Dolby and his band will perform his forthcoming album in its entirety.

Completely free to the public, The Floating City is a casual game that hooks you into building a whole story world with your tribe — as deep as you want to go. It runs on a standard web browser, smartphone or iPad without additional software installation. It is targeted at players of all ages, regardless of whether they are familiar with Thomas Dolby’s catalog. But diehard fans of the five-time Grammy™-nominated songwriter will be delighted to find that The Floating City integrates characters, places, and objects named in every one of his albums going back to the beginning of his career . . . and before.

The Floating City is set against a dystopian vision of the 1940s that might have existed had WWII turned out a lot differently,” says Dolby. A global energy experiment went haywire, the Earth’s magnetic fields have been reversed, and the planetary climate system violated. Science has betrayed us: now what must the species do to survive?

Survivors explore a fictional Google map, forming tribes and trading relics amidst a bizarre sea-going barter society. As they struggle to unravel the enigma that is The Floating City, players can haggle over merchandise and music downloads — including brand new songs from the much anticipated CD A Map of the Floating City, Dolby’s first album in 20 years, which will be released following the climax of the game.

“This is a brilliant concept,’ said writer/economist Steven Levitt. “It’s a cross between Freakonomics and Burning Man, with a back-story that would have made J.G. Ballard proud.”

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About Thomas Dolby

Thomas Dolby became a huge star in the ’80s when his songs “She Blinded Me With Science” and “Hyperactive” topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart and were on constant rotation at MTV. His unique keyboard playing led to guest performances with the likes of David Bowie (Live Aid), Stevie Wonder (Grammy™ awards) and Roger Waters (The Wall) and he became a top producer, garnering five Grammy™ nominations.

Dolby abandoned the music business in the 1990s to found Beatnik Inc., a Silicon Valley tech company that built the ringtone synthesizer embedded in over 3 billion mobile phones worldwide. Now retired from Beatnik, he has returned to music and has been completing his first studio album in more than 20 years.

The Floating City game consolidates Dolby’s reputation as one of the foremost pioneers of electronic alt-culture. On hearing of the game, counter-cabaret diva Amanda Palmer commented: “Thomas Dolby is to Steampunk what Iggy Pop was to Punk!”