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.


photo by Matt Kilmer / Madison House- for the Grateful Web

Haale (as in halle-lujah, or jale-peno ), is a downtown New Yorker of Iranian descent. On her breathtaking full-length debut, No Ceiling, she draws on that heritage freely, but filters it through a contemporary prism. That is, she extracts the Persian influence of her bloodline — including the work of the mystical poet Rumi — and the Sufi trance tradition, while weaving in her fondness for Hendrix, Dylan, Radiohead, and psychedelia.  No Ceiling synthesizes the diverse elements of Haale's personality into a single, impressive approach. Haale sounds pretty much like who she is.

The ten songs on No Ceiling encompass a musical journey in the truest sense, while Haale's substance and versatility stand in stark contrast to today's fashion-show mainstream pop. With the release of No Ceiling, at a time when so many bands sound painfully alike and imitative, Haale offers a much needed voice.  No Ceiling will be released March 18, 2008 on Channel A Music.

Made in partnership with percussionist/producer Matt Kilmer, and a number of NYC musicians, No Ceiling is a group effort. Haale and company have earned a secure place in the downtown scene while also generating opportunities for more mainstream exposure. She released two mesmerizing EPs in 2007 — Morning and Paratrooper. Haale has recorded with Sean Lennon (on 'Before the Skies'), has been presented by David Byrne, and has worked with producer Dougie Bowne (Cibo Matto, Chris Whitley, Cassandra Wilson). She has dazzled audiences at SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Mimi Festival in France, and shared the stage with Frank London of the Klezmatics as well as the legendary Hugh Masakela and Odetta on the Songs of Spirit tour. 

Haale is on tour this spring in support of No Ceiling. The current list of confirmed tour dates is as follows:

March 13 SXSW Showcase Austin TX
March 15 Low Key Arts Building Hot Springs AK
March 19 Univ. of North Carolina ~ Memorial Hall Chapel Hill NC
March 20 IOTA Café Arlington VA
March 21 Tin Angel Philadelphia PA
March 22 Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Brooklyn NY
March 23 Drom New York NY
March 26 Brubaker Auditorium – Messiah College Grantham PA
March 28 Beachland Tavern Cleveland OH
March 29 Kinetic Playground Chicago IL
March 30 Highdive Champaign IL
April 01 Shank Hall Milwaukee WI
April 02 Cedar Cultural Center Minneapolis MN
April 03 The Pike Room Detroit MI
April 04 Lula Lounge Toronto ON
April 05 Bellows Falls Opera House Bellows Falls VT
April 06 The Paradise Rock Club Boston MA
April 11 The Tralf Buffalo NY
April 12 Cornell University – Risley Hall Ithaca NY
June 12 Flushing Town Hall Flushing NY

More dates to be announced.

Shawn Mullins readies new CD, 'Honeydew,' in March

Shawn Mullins new CD out in March- for the Grateful Web

Shawn Mullins will serve up a new set of vibrant, character-driven songs with his new Vanguard Records CD honeydew on March 11, 2008. honeydew teems with humanity: railroad workers, traveling salesman , homeless troubadours, and several generations of family members, living and dead. It is a richly interwoven work, the most panoramic album of Mullins' career as well as the most intensely personal. "These songs are character sketches of people I've come across and places I've traveled through," he says.
Produced by the artist, the recording took place at Creekside Station, the rural Georgia studio of Gerry Hansen, Mullins' longtime drummer, who engineered and mixed. Along with other regulars, including bassist Patrick Blanchard, multi-instrumentalist Clay Cook, B-3/Wurlitzer specialist Marty Kearns and mandolin player Kip Conner, Mullins managed to snag guitarist Peter Stroud (Sheryl Crow) during a break in his touring schedule. Also making appearances are Atlanta blues and soul legend Francine Reed (Lyle Lovett) on "Homeless Joe" and the extremely catchy first single, "All in My Head," and Australian alt-country artist Kasey Chambers on "Cabbagetown."
Mullins is best known for his Top 10 hit "Lullaby," for which he received a Grammy® nomination that propelled the album Soul's Core to platinum-plus status. Exposed to music at an early age by his grandfather, who was a big band player, Mullins began writing songs and producing cassettes in grammar school. After attending North Georgia College and a stint in the military he launched his own label in 1991 and hit the singer-songwriter circuit, building a strong following in the Southeast. Seven independent albums later, he released Soul's Core on Sony Music in 1998. He signed with Vanguard Records in 2004 and shortly thereafter released 9th Ward Pickin' Parlour .  honeydew is his sophomore release for the label.

Early tour dates for 2008 have been announced:
January 9   NEW ORLEANS, LA   One Eyed Jacks
January 10  HOUSTON, TX  Mucky Duck
January 11 & 12 AUSTIN, TX   Cactus Cafe
January 13   DALLAS, TX   Poor David's
January 15   FAYETTEVILLE, AR   George's
January 17  CHATTANOOGA, TN   Rhythm & Brews
January 18   ASHEVILLE, NC Grey Eagle

Viglione Tours in March & April with Fellow Bostonians, HUMANWINE

Dresden Dolls- for the Grateful Web

Dresden Dolls' drummer Brian Viglione keeps busy while the band takes a rare break from touring.  Look for him this spring sitting in with gypsy punkers HUMANWINE.

Brian Viglione, the dramatic, spot-on drummer of punk cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls, has been playing music plenty - despite a rare respite from the Dolls' typically non-stop touring schedule.  On the heels of a winter run starring and playing drums in the American Repertoire Theatre's production of The Onion Cellar (Cambridge, MA) and a residency at Boston's Lilypad with The Gil Aharon Trio (Gil Aharon/piano and Andrew DiMola/upright bass), Viglione today announces an even busier spring, packed with guest tour appearances, drum clinics, and even the filming of an online instructional DVD (to be released on disc and online this spring).

Look for Viglione on tour in March and April with fellow Bostonians, and comrades in the city's underground gypsy-music scene, HUMANWINE.  Much like The Dresden Dolls a few year's back, HUMANWINE was voted "Best New Act" at the 2006 Boston Music Awards and in the Boston Phoenix/WFNX Best Music Poll 2006. The brainchild of M@ McNiss and Holly Brewer, the duo are the Conductors of a rotating band they dub "The army that isn't here to fight." Viglione will tour this spring as the band's drummer, alongside Paul Dilley [Reverend Glasseye] on contra bass.  Brian's drumming is also featured on HUMANWINE's debut album, Fighting Naked, to be released on Warner Brother's Cordless Records this spring.

The list of confirmed HUMANWINE dates to feature Brian Viglione is as follows:

March 27  Johnny Brenda's  Philadelphia, PA
March 28  Club Café  Pittsburgh, PA
March 29  Little Brother's  Columbus, OH
March 30  The Grog Shop  Cleveland, OH
March 31  Subterranean  Chicago, IL
April 01  Shank Hall  Milwaukee, WI
April 03  7th Street Entry  Minneapolis, MN
April 05  Grand Emporium  Kansas City, MO
April 07  Mercy Lounge  Nashville, TN
April 10  The Five Spot  Atlanta, GA
April 11  Local 506  Chapel Hill, NC
April 12  The New York Howl  Richmond, VA
April 15  DC9  Washington, DC
April 20  The Paradise  Boston, MA
April 21  Tonic  New York, NY w/ Nervous Cabaret

For more information visit

The Dresden Dolls are a Boston based keyboard/drum duo now famous around the globe.  After signing with Roadrunner Records in early 2004, the band re-released their self-titled debut The Dresden Dolls to worldwide acclaim and recently made their Billboard chart debut with their equally applauded follow up Yes, Virginia. The band's live audiences continue to grow exponentially, as The Dresden Dolls have completed sold-out tours on four continents, supported Nine Inch Nails, and performed at prestigious world festivals including Reading, Leeds, Coachella, Fuji Rock, Roskilde, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Glastonbury.  Locally they have won numerous awards ranging from multiple Boston Music Awards to topping the Boston Phoenix/FNX Best Music Poll.  The Dresden Dolls will hit the road in June for an exciting summer tour.


THOMAS DOLBY- for the Grateful Web

If you're wondering what Thomas Dolby has done in the two decades since he cunningly fused pop and electronic music, the answer is in the palm of your hand: Twelve years ago Dolby left music and proceeded to develop the Beatnik software technology used in two-thirds of the world's cell phones. Unlike many performers who return to the stage, he doesn't need to do it for the money. Pumped up by new technologies and changing business models in the music industry, and re-invigorated by reaction to his initial tour dates earlier this year, Dolby is now writing his first album of new music since the early '90s.

He will also hit the road in March, with shows in Northern California and Texas, including SXSW in Austin on March 15. Ever the innovator, Dolby is pioneering a new blend of instruments: high-tech electronica plus live jazz brass. His spring touring ensemble will feature real-time looping on a computer laptop, along with a three-piece horn section (the Jazz Mafia Horns) comprising some of the San Francisco Bay Area's finest young jazz soloists: Adam Theis on trombone, Rich Armstrong on trumpet, and Ron Cohen on tenor sax.

Dolby took us on a guided tour of the old with the live retrospective CD and The Sole Inhabitant, each issued independently last fall on Dolby's own label and web site, and via CD Baby and iTunes. The album contained live versions of classic songs including "She Blinded Me With Science," one of the very first MTV-driven hits, and "Hyperactive," as well as great songs from the era that weren't seen on MTV.

"In some ways all that chart success was orthogonal to what I was really trying to do, which was develop the textures and rhythms of electronic music into a palette that a genuine songwriter could build stories upon. I hope that the DVD and CD helped re-establish my credentials as an artist before I move into the next chapter. I have new songs ready to start work on as soon as I've closed the loop and reconnected with the core fan base," he says.

Dolby feels that time has put his influence into perspective. "Though people tend to associate me with the '80s, I feel my roots are really in the late '70s and the electronic underground in London. Bands like Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle and Clock DVA were playing small clubs around Europe in parallel to the punk movement, and many remained anonymous, only a few making it into the mainstream pop limelight during the '80s — Soft Cell, Human League and Ultravox. There were so few of us doing it back then that it's no surprise we get cited as influences when modern electronica acts are interviewed, but the legacy of that period is clearly very important."

The Sole Inhabitant
is Dolby's first consumer product since 1992's Gate to the Mind's Eye, an audio disc complemented by a laser disc with accompanying animation. In that time, he hasn't approached a single record company, determined instead to harness the technology and distribution options available to indie artists today.

The audio CD was recorded live at Martyrs in Chicago, while the DVD was filmed at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston, MA. Dolby felt these were two of his best concerts of the year. The DVD features a sit-down interview/chat in which Dolby discusses his past and present careers and the stories behind the songs. The first batch of copies was autographed by Dolby.

Dolby has always maintained a loyal core of fans who were galvanized by tour dates earlier this year. Dolby intends to involve his fans in the birthing of the record, blogging frequently at his web site ( and posting reviews from shows along the tour route.

Fall 2006 tour dates received high praise from critics, who also applauded The Sole Inhabitant. Atlanta's Creative Loafing wrote: "Dolby plans to release new music over the coming years, which bodes well since these 20-plus-year-old tunes on The Sole Inhabitant are still exciting, slightly puzzling and — more than anything — compositionally sound with the times. Fly-by-night electronica producers had better watch their backs and start elevating their knob twiddles in order to compete with such a charismatic artist." The Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale added: "This new live retrospective sounds remarkably fresh and original after all this time. Most of the 11 tracks on The Sole Inhabitant were written during the Reagan years. And yet Dolby's catchy, funked-up ruminations on the politics of love, intolerance and cold-war paranoia sound as current as the day he first harnessed the power of samplers, synthesizers and computerized sounds." And the St. Petersburg Times summed it up: "If you're a novice fan of Dolby's, please consider (the CD and DVD) must-own primers into the music of a vastly under-appreciated artist. If you're a long-time fan, suffering from his extended absence from the music biz, the discs are an early holiday present to be treasured. Performing only one-man shows in this tour, Dolby seems to be wowing his old fans while building a new audience."

Dolby's solo set features him onstage with a bank of high-tech computers, a collection of vintage oscilloscopes and signal generators, a military headcam and antique radio operator earphones strapped to his head. Live visuals performed by renowned video artist Johnny DeKam allow the audience to experience the world through Dolby's eyes. He is accompanied by the jazz Mafia Horns. Audiences may be surprised at first to hear a darker side of Dolby, but of course he plays the hits as well.
The March Tour:

Sat. March 10 – SANTA CRUZ, CA - Kuumbwa PM (2 shows)
Sun. March 11 – REDWOOD CITY, CA – Little Fox Theater
Mon. March 12 – SACRAMENTO, CA - Harlows
Thurs. March 15 – AUSTIN, TX (SXSW) - Elysium
Sun. March 18 – DALLAS, TX – RockHouse Live
Thurs. March 22 – FAIRFAX, CA (Bay Area) - 19 Broadway