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Blues & Roots: Vieux Farka Toure w/ William Elliott Whitmore

It was a pretty quiet night on the hill in Boulder, CO at the Fox Theater, even though it was the beginning of the 1st annual Boulder Blues and Roots Summit Festival.  This festival featured early shows at the

Copyright Criminals Airs on November 29th on PBS

Copyright Criminals, the acclaimed documentary that charts the history of sampling in hip-hop and its modern clashes with outdated copyright law, will air on PBS’ Emmy Award-winning series “Independent Lens” the week of Nov. 29 (check local listings).

The film features in-depth interviews with Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Hank Shocklee, De La Soul, funk pioneer George Clinton, James Brown’s “Funky Drummer” Clyde Stubblefield, producer Steve Albini and many others.

Filmmakers Benjamin Franzen and Kembrew McLeod showcase not only hip-hop sampling’s pioneering artists, but also those whose work has been sampled thoroughly. Ultimately, they ask how should we fix our copyright laws to both encourage creativity with 21st century tools and still ensure that “original” creators get paid for their work?

The broadcast comes as creative technology advances on a near-weekly basis. When the last copyright law was passed in 1998, only 26 percent of homes had Internet access. Today, young people can film, soundtrack, edit and distribute movies globally, all from their mobile phones.

Meanwhile, artists like Girl Talk are shining bright lights on issues of copyright and creativity. Girl Talk’s new album, All Day, released for free Nov. 15, includes more than 350 samples.

Copyright Criminals’ innovative visuals include video remixes by Eclectic Method that illustrate for the viewer precisely what snippets of sound they’re hearing in dense sampling collages.

The film, which Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield called “amazing,” was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. USA Today called Copyright Criminals “a compelling and insightful documentary illuminating both sides of a hotly debated issue.”

Director and producer Benjamin Franzen is the owner of the Atlanta-based production company Changing Images. Executive producer and writer Kembrew McLeod is an associate professor of communications studies at the University of Iowa, and author of Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property, among other books.

BROTHERS PAST ANNOUNCES SUMMER DATES

Indie-electronic act BROTHERS PAST has announced a round of summer tour dates, which includes a hometown show at the Electric Factory on Saturday, June 26. The band will also be performing at several festivals along the East Coast, including a high-profile slot at Camp Bisco.

Since returning from a one-year hiatus in early 2009, the band has spent the majority of its time working in the studio, crafting a follow-up to the 2005 release This Feeling’s Called Goodbye (SCI Fidelity Records.) “We’ve recorded a bunch of old songs and a bunch of new songs that Tommy Hamilton and I have written together.” keyboardist Tom McKee said. “All of it will eventually get released one way or another, but some of it probably won’t fit with the record. We’re definitely making progress though, and once we get it out there you’ll be seeing more of us on the road.”

Upon releasing This Feeling’s Called Goodbye, BROTHERS PAST received national attention from fans and critics alike. Morgan Wells of Urb Magazine described it as "...a glimpse into the future of pop music... Brothers Past offers a smooth and believable blend of electronica, rock and pop just original enough to place [This Feeling's Called Goodbye] at the top of a growing pile of genre-bending releases." Steven Rosen in HARP echoed the praise: "There's a future in this kind of music." The record’s catchy rock anthems, captivating arrangements and inspired lyrics received numerous "Top Ten" mentions and was nominated by the Jammy Awards for "Album of the Year." The release has established Brothers Past as innovative songwriters with a progressive vision towards future.

UPCOMING TOUR DATES:
06/18/10 THE WAREHOUSE, HARTFORD, CT
06/19/10 PUTNAM DEN, SARATOGA SPRINGS
06/25/10 BIG F’ing BOAT, NEW YORK, NY
06/26/10 THE ELECTRIC FACTORY, PHILADELPHIA, PA  (with the New Deal)
07/04/10 THE STONE PONY, ASBURY PARK (with Moe)
07/16/10 CAMP BISCO, MARIAHVILLE, NY
08/20/10 LIBERATE MUSIC & YOGA FESTIVAL, SHELDON, VT
08/21/10 BELLATERRA MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL, STEPHENTOWN, NY
09/10/10 DANKFEST, MINOT, ME
09/11/10 CATSKILL CHILL, HANCOCK, NY

meniskus | Live At The Walnut Room | 2010

The unique sound of meniskus is hard to classify. They have been labeled as Latin, European, House, Trance Rock, but none of these really pinpoint what their music sounds like. At times you can hear a mystic Middle Eastern influence, at other times hints of Ukrainian Punk and ancient ancestral harmonies. The only way to really understand is to see them perform live.  Meniskus's live stage performance is what makes this band great. They have finally caught some of the live energy on their latest release 'LIVE at The Walnut Room' recorded in Denver, Colorado in early 2010.

The opening track 'Morocco' is drenched in the soft nylon strings of  Venezuelan-born Bardusco's guitar and Eric Ostberg's howling violin.  Cris Ryt builds the tempo on the drums until the song eventually erupts like an exploding volcano. This transitions smoothly in to the second song, 'The Equalizer'; a driving, strong riff built on the passionate moans of Ostberg's voice. Track three, Latina really reflects the true sound of meniskus. Ryt provides a tantric techno beat as Ostberg and Bardusco trade leads that lift the soaring strings from high down to crashing bass chords below.  'Again', is one of my new favorites, the march of the drums and shouts of Again providing the attitude of a punk song.  'Sheik Don't Mind' is another reflection of the way these three band members play so well together. The feeling and emotions of each person combine in such a way that the song can sound different from night to night. Their world trance classification can be explained by the next track called 'Nightly Erotic'. It flows like the silken dress of a Persian belly dancer as she dances across the floor.  If ska is polka, and polka is punk, then 'The Partyer' is fun as funk. This is a song for everyone; I could easily see it get plenty of air play on KBCO.  'Brigade' is the anthem of this CD, it reminds me of the strong messages sung by U2 in the 80s.  'Combo' is another quick moving song built on forceful emotions and played as fast as a speeding train; by far my favorite song on the CD.  Last is a bonus studio track called 'Greed'. If this song is any indication of where meniskus is taking their music, we have lots to look forward to from this band in the future.

This band has perfected their skills from years on the road and polished their sound by days spent in the booths of Coupe Studios. It’s good to know the energy of their live shows has finally been captured on their CD.

Krishna Das Kicks Off US Tour TODAY

Called the “Chant Master of American Yoga” by the New York Times, Krishna Das has recently released Heart As Wide As The World, his first studio album in ten years, this month. The album is a collaboration with David Nichtern (“Midnight at the Oasis”) who produced and played guitar. Jerry Marotta (Hall & Oates, Peter Gabriel) on drums, percussion.  As well as, world musicians Steve Gorn on bansuri flute and Benjy Wertheimer on esraj, amongst an array of other instruments.

Layering traditional Hindu kirtan with instantly accessible melodies and modern instrumentation, Krishna Das has been called yoga’s “rock star.”  With a remarkably soulful voice that touches the deepest chord in even the most casual listener, Krishna Das – known to friends, family, and fans as simply KD – has taken the call-and-response chanting out of yoga centers and into concert halls, becoming a worldwide icon and the best-selling chant artist of all time, with over 300,000 records sold.  His first studio recording in a decade, “HEART AS WIDE AS THE WORLD” invests KD’s magnetic chanting with an electrifying rock ‘n’ roll sensibility informed by a lifetime of experience and musical love.

Krishna Das has been recording his popular and much-loved albums of kirtan since 1996. Having made numerous pilgrimages to India throughout his career and meeting teachers of many spiritual traditions, Krishna Das follows the path of Bhakti yoga – the yoga of devotion – and brings a lifetime of spirituality into his music. Over the years, his collaborators in the studio have included Rick Rubin on Door of Faith, Sting on Pilgrim Heart and Mike D in a 50-person kirtan choir on Breath of the Heart, also produced by Rubin.

Krishna Das has toured extensively through North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America, and counts Madonna and Mike D of the Beastie Boys amongst his fans. Krishna Das will be touring this spring with Deva Premal & Miten, dubbed “The Johnny and June Carter Cash of chant” by Yoga Journal . Together they are creating an extraordinary series of concerts across the US, highlighting the newfound popularity of kirtan and mantra chanting. These musicians, who have enjoyed a worldwide grassroots success the past decade, are each celebrating the release of new albums with their first co-headlined tour.

Krishna Das LIVE with Dava Premal & Miten:
03/24    Seattle - Moore Theatre 
03/25    Portland - Crystal Ballroom
03/27  Los Angeles - Wilshire Ebell
03/28   San Francisco - Warfield Theater
03/30    Phoenix - Mesa Arts Center
03/31    Tucson - Rialto Theatre
04/01     Santa Fe - Lensic Theatre
04/03     Denver  - Paramount Theatre
04/05     Dallas - Unity Church
04/07     Atlanta - Variety playhouse
04/08   Washington, DC - Bethesda Theatre
04/09     Philadelphia - Keswick Theatre
04/12  Chicago North Shore Center for the Performing Arts
04/14    Boston - Somerville Theater
04/15    New York - Webster Hall