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ANR Get Remixed by Memory Tapes, Release Stay Kids Deluxe Edition

Miami duo ANR will release the deluxe edition of their post-apocalyptic pop album Stay Kids on September 13th through 10K Islands. In the meantime the prolific group will be releasing videos, remixes, and other goodies. Most recently, they enlisted Memory Tapes to remix “Stay Kids,” their blissed-out, nostalgic anthem about growing older. Click HERE to stream/download Memory Tapes’ take on the track, and click HERE to watch the video for ANR’s original version of the song.

ANR consists of merely two members – Brian Robertson (Keys, Vocals) and Michael-John Hanock (Vocals, Drums) – but they create a powerful sound filled with layered melodies and bountiful hooks. It has already earned the duo praise from RCRD LBL, The Fader, and Nylon, among others, and have landed them shows with bands like Animal Collective, Neon Indian, No Age, and Fucked Up.

Stay Kids is a rhythmically propulsive, psychedelic trip that was inspired largely by recent floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and other environmental disasters. Much of the album’s lyrics meditate on how such ‘natural’ disasters affect individuals and humanity at large. However, sonically-speaking the album is by no means morose. Instead, the synth-heavy and often danceable material feels triumphant. Each song is a journey through carefully sculpted, dream-pop soundscapes with frequent, unexpected and exciting detours

ANR’s live show highlights a different aspect of the band, bringing out their punk influences as well as their penchant for German progressive acts of the 70’s. The group will tour throughout the US this Fall, with dates to be announced soon.

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Click HERE to Watch the Video for “Stay Kids”

Click HERE for Memory Tapes’ Remix of “Stay Kids”

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Tour Dates:

8/29: Philadelphia, PA Kung-Fu Necktie
8/30: New York, NY Milk Studios
8/31: New York, NY Mercury Lounge
9/1: Boston, MA Brighton Music Hall
9/2: Montreal, QC Casa Del Popolo
9/3: Toronto, ONT The Drake
9/5: Detroit, MI Lager House
9/6: Grand Rapids, MI Pyramid Scheme
9/7: Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
9/9: Urbana, IL Canopy Club
9/10: Minneapolis, MN 7th Street Entry
9/12: Seattle, WA Crocodile Lounge
9/13: Portland, OR Doug Fir
9/15: San Francisco, CA Bottom Of The Hill
9/16: Fresno, CA Audie’s Olympic
9/17: Los Angeles, CA The Satellite
9/20: San Diego, CA Soda Bar

Rolling Stone Heralds Virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro as Ukulele Hero

Ukulele phenomenon Jake Shimabukuro has received unanimous acclaim from New York Times, NPR, Time Magazine & NY Post. Next up is the current Rolling Stone “Best of Rock” issue that praises Shimabukuro as an “Ukulele Hero,” saying “one of the hottest axmen of the past few years doesn’t actually play guitar.” Writer Patrick Doyle called Shimabukuro’s cover of the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” “jaw-dropping.”

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Check out the Rolling Stone article here.

Watch Shimabukuro’s rendition of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” here.

More info on Jake Shimabukuro.

The Mynabirds Play With/Open For Bright Eyes

While front woman Laura Burhenn has been touring as a member of Bright Eyes, the Mynabirds have been anything but quiet. Last month they opened a string of shows for Bright Eyes, adding Richard Swift, producer of their 2010 release What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood, to the band's line-up. Photographer/filmmaker Shervin Lainez was on hand to capture some great behind-the-scenes footage of the tour and set it to WWLITFWGITF's "LA Rain". Mini tour documentary, music video -- call it what you like. You can watch it in all its black and white glory HERE.

If you're itching for some new Mynabirds material, keep your eyes and ears open. Laura's hard at work on new songs, even in the midst of the busy Bright Eyes touring schedule. This September, the Mynabirds will meet up with Richard Swift again in Oregon to record their second album. And they couldn't be happier.

Til the Mynabirds next release is fleshed out and pressed, enjoy that mini tour doc/"LA Rain" video. And say "Hi" to Laura if you make it to any of the Bright Eyes shows this year!

Sidi Touré Releases New Song, "Bon Koum," Off Sahel Folk

It looks like 2011 will be a busy year for Malian singer and guitarist Sidi Touré! His debut album for Thrill Jockey, Sahel Folk, is being released on January 25th, he’s just premiered a new song off the record, “Bon Koum” for all to hear, and, perhaps the most exciting news for U.S. residents, he’s signed on with world-class booking agency Mondo Mundo. Past and present clients include Gal Costa, Femi Kuti, Gilberto Gil, Seu Jorge, Maria Bethania, King Sunny Ade, and many more. U.S. festival and club dates are already in the works, so audiences stateside will soon see what all the fuss is about! In the meantime, listen to “Bon Koum” (translation: “He regrets”), premiered on Pitchfork earlier today!

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Listen to/Download here.

Watch Sidi Touré perform “Artiatanat” here.

Watch Sidi Touré perform “Taray Kongo” here.

Jim James Performs at National Tree Lighting

My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James will have the honor of performing at the 2010 National Christmas Tree Lighting.  The event will be held this Today, December 9th at 5pm EST on the Ellipse at President’s Park in Washington DC.  He will be joined by fellow performers B.B. King, Sara Bareilles, Maroon 5, and Jackie Evancho, and the evening will be hosted by rapper/actor Common.  You can watch the ceremony live at www.thenationaltree.org or on public television throughout December.  My Morning Jacket is currently recording a new full-length album, which will be released in 2011.

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Check out some My Morning Jacket coverage on The Grateful Web.

Jump, Jive, an' Wail is Stand-Out on Live Brian Setzer DVD

"Jump, Jive, an' Wail" from the Brian Setzer Orchestra's 'It’s Gonna Rock... 'Cause That’s What I Do' DVD, out now from Surfdog Records, got 150,000 people out of their seats when it was recorded during a headlining BSO set at the Montreal Jazz Festival.

The song, a 1956 hit for Louis Prima, has been in the BSO repertoire since 1998, when it earned a Grammy® Award for Best Pop Performance. The version on the DVD features a stinging Gretsch guitar solo by Setzer, high-energy bursts from his leopard-print tuxedo-clad horn section and his sequined backup singers, and 300,000 waving arms.

Watch a clip of "Jump, Jive, an' Wail"

Brian Setzer's "Christmas Comes Alive!" CD is also out from Surfdog Records now. A collection of 15 amazing holiday tracks performed live in concert as only the Brian Setzer Orchestra can do it, the single-disc offering is packed with music that is, according to Billboard, "guaranteed to get your Christmas party on its feet!"

MMJ's Carl Broemel Shares Video Performances of Three Solo Songs

Leading up to the release of his solo album All Birds Say, which is out next week on August 31st (ATO Records), My Morning Jacket guitarist Carl Broemel has been steadily revealing performances of some of the tracks off the record.   You may have seen Broemel do a rendition of “Questions” over at MOG, creating an epic solo version of the track that builds to a thrillingly noisy climax.  He also played the earnest and whimsical “Enough,” which recently debuted at My Old Kentucky Blog. Lastly, his version of “Carried Away,” a contemplative and heartfelt ballad that My Morning Jacket recently performed, premiered at JamBase.  Please feel free to post and share all three videos!

As evident by these three clips, Broemel is a sophisticated songwriter  and an elegantly effortless performer.  He has the lyrical perspective of an individual who truly reflects and learns from his life’s experiences.  However, Broemel favors a Zen-like approach, keeping his philosophical musings from getting anywhere near being preachy.  Needless to say, MMJ fans who know him solely from the fiery riffs and guitar solos he performs with the band are going to see a whole other side of him.

Click HERE for photos of Carl, an mp3 off the album (which you are also welcome to post/share), and more info on him.

Click HERE to Watch Carl Perform “Questions”

Click HERE to Watch Carl Perform “Enough”

Click HERE to Watch Carl Perform “Carried Away”

RJD2 Embarks on Third Leg of Four-Month Tour

Philly’s own RJD2 is preparing to embark on the third leg of his massive four-month tour, and where better to start it than in his hometown of Philadelphia? RJ kicks things off on the east coast, with two shows in New York City, before heading up through Canada and down into the belly of the Midwest.

RJ and friends have been releasing videos at a feverish pace, with two new videos released in the last month! “The Glow” featured a vicious yuppie Ken doll, wreaking havoc in his endless search for the spotlight and more personal possessions. The newest is the strangely psychedelic, slightly post-apocalyptic envisioning of the song “A Spaceship For Now.” Take it away, RJ:

"What I love about the video is how surreal and weird it is. It’s like a timeline with gaps in it that basically forces you to come up with your own storyline or chronology. Or you can just bug out on the big ambience of the synths. It's a perfect fit."

Also, forget the pill-popping, cubicle-dwelling Minotaur of “Let There Be Horns” at your own risk!

Watch “A Spaceship For Now” here

Watch “The Glow” here

Watch “Let There Be Horns” here

In addition to the slew of videos, Brooklyn-based musician, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Alan Wilkis has remixed the track “A Shining Path.” Be sure to take heed.

Listen to “A Shining Path” (Alan Wilkis Remix) here

Tour Dates:

Mon. Mar. 8 - Boston, MA @ Paradise #&

Tue. Mar. 9 - Providence, RI @ Jerky's Music Hall #&

Wed. Mar. 10 - Montreal, QC @ La TuLipe #&

Thu. Mar. 11 - Toronto, ON @ The Mod Club #&

Fri. Mar. 12 - Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick #&

Sat. Mar. 13 - Chicago, IL @ Metro #&

Sun. Mar. 14 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave #&

Mon. Mar. 15 - Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club #&

Tue. Mar. 16 - Madison, WI @ Majestic Theater #&

Thu. Mar. 18 - Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop #&

Fri. Mar. 19 - Millvale, PA @ Mr. Small’s Theater #&

Fri. Apr. 2 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater #$

Sat. Apr. 3 - Durango, CO @ Strater Theatre #$

Sun. Apr. 4 - Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room #$

Mon. Apr. 5 - San Diego, CA @ Casbah #$

Tue. Apr. 6 - Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre #$

Wed. Apr. 7 - San Francisco, CA @ The Independent #$

Thu. Apr. 8 - Eureka, CA @ Red Fox Tavern #$

Fri. Apr. 9 - Portland, OR @ Dantes #$

Sat. Apr. 10 - Bellingham, WA @ The Nightlight Lounge #$

Sun. Apr. 11 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos #$

# w/ Happy Chichester

& w/ Break Science

$ w/ Busdriver

GB Leighton: A Roots Rock Band to Watch

photos by Sheila Ryan- for the Grateful Web

It's been said that fine, delicate wines need to mature slowly. For bands, sometimes that's true. In GB Leighton's case, it has taken almost two decades of songwriting and serious performing to develop into a force that is poised to take on the musical world.  That maturing is grounded in Brian Leighton's songwriting, his powerful vocal delivery, and the backing of a phenomenally talented band.

There is nothing delicate about GB Leighton. However, there is a rootedness in Minnesota "nice" that pervades the songs and the band's performances. Even when Leighton sings about bad boys, there is still the urge to forgive the young pup, no matter what he did.

That is one reason why GB Leighton has been a big draw to Minnesota clubs.  Brian and his band seem to generate a good time wherever they play, whipping up audiences, not into frenzied crowds, screaming for his body or into drunken music fanatics, but  into warm friendly places where people dance till they drop and sing along with Leighton standards. The band creates a Cheers type of atmosphere, where everyone knows your name–or soon will–while  couched in musical refrains.

Leighton's love of music began in his Shoreview, Minnesota home, listening to the country outlaws of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson and eventually being turned on to Bruce Springsteen who offered a vocal delivery full of energy that profoundly influenced Leighton's own singing style. He began playing guitar at 14, and started GB Leighton at 18, his first and only band.  The band recorded its first studio album a few years later in 1991, when Leighton could legally play in bars. Then in 1994, the band produced One Time...One Life, an album of songs, some of which Leighton still pulls out at every show.  Other studio albums, live cuts, and a DVD followed, with nearly a dozen recordings to the band's credit.

In the early days, GB Leighton burned a path through the US, playing such clubs as Tramps in New York, Howlin' Wolf in New Orleans, Mississippi Nights in St. Louis, and Bohager's in Baltimore.  The band even sold out in 800 to 1200 seat venues, while continuing to draw eager fans to regional clubs, becoming overwhelmingly one of  Minnesota's top-drawing bar bands.  Leighton has also opened for the BoDeans, bluesman Jonny Lang, and Joe Cocker. He and his band appeared in a cameo and on the soundtrack for the independent film, The Marksman, which was viewed at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in 1997.

Though Leighton has stayed close to home for a number of years, only slipping down to Acapulco in the winter for a week of non-stop music, he and the latest incarnation of his band are ready for wider touring. And, with good reason. His current band lineup is strong enough to stand against Leighton's powerhouse vocals.  Now, he has to reason to hold back and doesn't, allowing him to give everything he can during performances without fear that he'll blow a band member (or the audience) out of the venue. He has a big sound that comes from deep inside, but there is a clear, understandable quality to his singing without distortion or screaming. His audiences want to catch not only the words but the vocal nuances that he uses and his choice of phrasing. That is further enhanced by strong vocal backup by band members Luke Kramer, James Patrick Carey, and Jason Perri.

Though Leighton is definitely in charge on stage, he is also generous. Long time bandmate, Kramer complements Leighton's songs with intricate guitar riffs and, on the new album, Shake Them Ghosts, lap steel, and takes several solos during shows. Carey on keyboards and Perri on sax and fiddle (yes, fiddle, in a rock band!) add color and energy throughout the songs. Perri shines as he struts on his part of the stage, adding those high note solos, and Carey rocks, swinging his keyboard layout to the side so that the audience can see his fingers dance among the keys. Nick Salisbury on bass and Ryan Inselman on drums, the anchors of the band, keep the musical organism moving and always danceable, and sometimes take a solo themselves.

Though the band is tight and has great vocals, GB Leighton could remain a bar band for another twenty years if it weren't for the songs that Leighton has been writing. And, the latest batch on the new album, Shake Them Ghosts, have shifted the band into brand new territory.  As Leighton evolved over the years, the energy and pureness that was present in his Live From Pickle Park album (1998) was lost as Leighton moved into more pop sounding arenas that culminated in his This Life album in 2003. Though the songs themselves were good, there was something missing. When Leighton and his band entered Winterland Studios in Minneapolis last December to record Shake Them Ghosts, Leighton not only was reclaiming something of himself but also moving out into a gutsy, rootsy genre that had a much broader appeal and spoke to a wider audience than the cute babe in the bar.

The groundwork for Shake Them Ghosts was laid months earlier when Leighton journeyed to Nashville to work with Nashville songwriters at Still Working Music, the publishing company owned by Barbara Orbison, Roy Orbison's widow and manager.  There he connected with writers like Clay Mills whose work has been recorded by Reba McIntire, Trisha Yearwood, Danielle Peck, and Diamond Rio.  Mills lent his skills to two of the most infectious songs on the album, "Twisted" and "Wings Workin' Overtime."  Leighton worked with other writers: Rachel Thibodeau, a Minnesota native, who has written for Marina McBride and Lila McCann; Jay Knowles whose songs have been cut by George Strait and Montgomery Gentry; and Liz Rose who has a song on Bonnie Raitt's latest studio album, Souls Alike.

Though you'd expect collaborative work coming from writers like these to be the stuff of pickup trucks and honkey tonks, what happened was a matchup of closeted rockers who really wanted to help Leighton shape his ideas.   "We're not in there to just write a great country hit or anything like that," Leighton says. "We're there to write something just a little more rocking and something that will use words that I'm going to say live."

Leighton has always been able to capture more than a smooth pick-up song. His "Man in the Moon," a song from one of his older CDs, tells about faithfulness and standing with someone no matter where they are, and "One Foot Over" is about having the determination to follow your dream. However, the songwriting experience of throwing songwriters in a room and expecting something to come out that often is daunting to so many was actually the necessary stimulus that Leighton needed.  "I did definitely learn a lot about writing songs from people who do it every day and who live in a city that expects great stuff to come out of them," he says.

Then as Leighton and his band came into the studio to produce these songs, the album was further shaped by producer Don Dixon who had produced The Smithereens and R.E.M. Dixon also brought in rock drummer Kenny Aronoff to assist the album since Leighton had just hired Ryan Inselman who was very new to the band.  Aronoff, named #1 Studio Drummer for five consecutive years by the readers of Modern Drummer Magazine, had previously kept time for  Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Elton John, John Mellencamp, Smashing Pumpkins, and Willie Nelson. Inselman, however, didn't just sit on the sidelines. He observed Aronoff and even added hand percussion to a few tracks. "After he was in the studio watching Kenny Aronoff play," says Leighton. "I just saw a different drummer."

The resulting album is strong and intense. The good times are still there, but there's a maturity and a personalization in the details of the songs and in the whole band's efforts, vocally and instrumentally, that takes this CD to another level. "Wings Workin'' Overtime," a collaboration with Clay Mills about the transformative power of a woman's love, is more than worth the price of the album–or five albums for that matter.  However, "Twisted" and "Favorite" are lighter cuts that attract audiences but offer more. "Twisted," for example, co-authored with Clay Mills and Stephanie Lewis, is twisted. It begins like Primus rising up through the floorboards of a backwater honkytonk and morphing into a crap-kicking rock anthem. It is pure Leighton, delivered with guts and warmth.

GB Leighton is a band to experience. Find them and the party at a venue near you or in their latest recording,  Shake Them Ghosts. Check out tourdates and CD info at www.gbleighton.com.

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Other Janie Reviews:

1. The White Iron Band (6/16/2006 6:44:38 PM - http://www.whiteironband.com)
Their hard-hitting tunes make the Kentucky Headhunters seem like lite rock, and they can sweet talk you out of a band mood with the strike of a chord or the honeyed blend of multiple-part harmonies.
2. Phil Lesh Legacy (7/14/2006 5:00:43 AM - http://www.gratefulweb.net/photos/photoInterface/photos.aspx?direct=Band...)
But it is Lesh himself who is venturing out to major jam festivals this summer in search of the vibe and some answers. He's looking to explore why the jam scene keeps going and what it all means. As part of a long-term oral history project, Lesh has started formally dialoging with people of his generation and young people today about the 60s, what some have thought was a Golden Age of enlightenment and music or a time of unachievable idealism and unrest.
3. Enchanted Ape: An Enchanted Experience (7/16/2006 6:17:05 AM - http://www.enchantedape.com/ )
Enchanted Ape takes their name from Thomas Carlyle's (1843) written comment about non-conformists, where he states, "...and thou art as an Enchanted Ape under God's sky, where thou mightest have been a man, had proper schoolmasters and conquerors, and constables with cat o'nine tails, been vouchsafed thee...."
4. Umphrey's McGee: Layers of the Unexpected (7/16/2006 4:45:30 AM - http://www.umphreys.com/ )
An Umphrey's McGee show is a musical extravaganza as the band members trip in and out of musical genres. This band is unique even in the jam scene because of the musical diversity, not only within each set, but within each song. Audiences can hear jazz, rock, ambient space music, Primus-edged metal, and even country wedged up against each other.
5. Blues on the Prairie: Backyard Barbeque and Blues Fest (1/1/2007 2:44:03 PM - )
Blues legend Buddy Guy showed up in a striped shirt and overhalls. When I had seen him before, he wore polka dots and changed guitars like a fashion statement, including a white one with black polka dots on it. There was another change, too. Guy had only a four piece band. Back in 2005, he had a very talented saxophone player with him. The current configuration, however, is top-notch. They are master musicians in their own right, and hold up well in Guy's nightly game of dueling instruments.
6. The Bands of 10,000 Lakes, Part 1 (3/15/2007 10:49:07 AM - )
With warmer temperatures, jamfans are already looking toward summer festivals. To tempt you further, we're going to take a look back at last year's 10,000 Lakes Festival in Minnesota, the new kid on the festival circuit that is drawing fans to its musical honey and its truly sweet location.
7. Unity the band: Bringing the Love (3/16/2007 8:17:47 PM - )
Though reggae, like American hip-hop now, is found all over the world, roots reggae differs depending on where is it nurtured and grown. "The difference with reggae we have in the island," Pita says, "is we have a little bit more of an African flavor, our African heritage and Indian nature. It's old style. It's almost a little faster than reggae, but it has a little pop to it."
8. Turbine: Always Turning Out The Good Stuff (3/17/2007 5:38:42 AM - )
In 2005, jammers at the 10,000 Lakes Festival were floored by the power duo from New York City, Turbine. Ryan Rightmire (harmonica, acoustic guitar, vocals) and Jeremy Hilliard (electric guitar, vocals) had audiences awe-struck when they launched into their set. "There was a moment after the first long jam of the set, and no one was making any noise during the song, " recalls Hilliard. "We finished and for a second, we were wondering what was going to happen. Then everyone sort of exploded."

Ghostland Observatory: Watch Out!

I want to start by saying that this band is a must see adventure. Make no mistake about it; this is one of the unique and fun acts that I've seen since Hurra Torpedo last summer.