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Andy Friedman prepares 'Laserbeams And Dreams' CD

On April 5, 2011, artist and songwriter Andy Friedman will release his third studio album, Laserbeams and Dreams (City Salvage Records).  Produced by noted guitarist and producer David Goodrich (Chris Smither, Peter Mulvey), the album was recorded in Friedman’s Brooklyn neighborhood and cut in 24 hours with one overdub and mixed in the studio.  Complementing Friedman’s “art-damaged, ragged-but-right” (L.A. Weekly) approach and Goodrich’s restrained, atmospheric lead guitar and piano is rising-star upright bassist and composer Stephan Crump (Grammy®-nominated Vijay Iyer Trio, Jim Campilongo), whose latest album of “ingenious originals” (The New Yorker), Reclamation (recorded with his Rosetta Trio), NPR spotlighted among its top five jazz albums of 2010. The interplay of Friedman’s “engagingly singular” (Philadelphia Inquirer) songwriting and “slow, lugubrious, dipped in country heartache” (Hartford Advocate) strum with Crump’s “full, appealingly wooden sound” (The New York Times) calls to mind classic collaborations by Van Morrison with bassist Richard Davis on 1968’s Astral Weeks, or John Hartford and Dave Holland on 1972’s Morning Bugle Call — albums also recorded live in the studio without much pre-conceived musical planning.  “We captured the mood created,” says Friedman.  “It wasn’t our place to second-guess the results.”

Andy Friedman first hit the road as a self-described “Slideshow Poet” in 2002, leaving his day job as an office assistant in the Editorial Department at The New Yorker to accompany projections of his paintings, drawings, and Polaroids with readings of his poetry in dive bars and rock clubs around the nation.  The hybrid performance was applauded by journalists as “the coolest show to come around in a long time” (Good Times [Santa Cruz]), and introduced Friedman as “The King of Art Country” (City Pages [Minneapolis]).  The transition from traveling poet to rambling musician occurred when the “erudite redneck” (Boston Globe) picked up the guitar and sang for the first time in his life in 2005, shortly before recording his debut album, Taken Man (City Salvage Records), the title track of which landed at #30 on a New York Post “Best Songs” list that included over 200 hits by artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Andrew Bird, Amy Winehouse, and The National.

Friedman’s reputation as a “dusty, paint-splattered Americana sage” (Rochester News & Democrat) germinated with the release of the CD Weary Things (City Salvage Records) in 2009, garnering enthusiastic praise, a performance on NPR’s coveted Mountain Stage, a feature interview on XM’s Bob Edwards Show, and a growing audience.  The online cultural journal Slant hailed Friedman as “an arrival of one of the genre’s smartest and deepest talents.” His “hard-tack country originals” were described in The New Yorker as “the mark of a true artist,” while NoDepression.com called his songs “unforgettable.” Old Crow Medicine Show's Ketch Secor proffered the song “Weary Things” as a “certified, genuine American tune,” and Indie-icon Sufjan Stevens proclaimed, “I think the world of Andy Friedman. I’ve always wanted to be Andy Friedman.” Largely overlooked, Weary Things was highlighted alongside titles by Tom Waits and Chuck Prophet by the Associated Press among “The Best Overlooked Albums of 2009.” “Friedman can write a lyric, and he can deliver it,” declared Stephen Wine. “He is not to be overlooked, that’s for sure.”

Laserbeams and Dreams tackles themes of religion, aging, disillusionment, and family, but images of death prevail in all forms. The gospel dirge “Time for Church” is the album’s opener, and finds Friedman renouncing religion in favor of drink, music, and art.  “It’s time for church/It’s five o’clock,” he sings. “Pour a drink/let the record play.” Friedman’s vocals boom with an echo recalling the classic Nashville Sound recorded by Chet Atkins at RCA in the late ’50s and ’60s. The lilting “Motel on the Lake” presents death as the crumbling façade of a once vibrant Catskill Mountain summer resort community more famously referred to as the Borscht Belt, which the singer now reports “whips the children.” Goodrich brings haunting upright piano to “May I Rest When Death Approaches,” a song based on a series of poems written by Friedman’s father-in-law days before his passing.  “Roll On, John Herald” is at once a tribute to the late John Herald — a founding member of the seminal late-’50s bluegrass trio the Greenbriar Boys, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the summer of 2005 — and a humbling, dark portrayal of life as an obscure legend on the road. “When Vin played him on Idiot’s Delight/I knew John Herald had died,” growls Friedman, who befriended the singer when Herald invited the then “slideshow poet” to open a string of dates in 2003.  In “Quiet Blues,” recorded minutes after the ferocious “Roll On, John Herald,” Friedman laments with newfound vocal sensitivity the death of peace and quiet in the digital age.  “Hey, Command Z/bring the quiet blues back to me,” he warbles. “Recording those two songs without a break was like a biathlon,” says Friedman. Singer-songwriter Jen Chapin, who is married to Crump, lent the guitar played by her father — the late Harry Chapin — to Friedman for the recording of Laserbeams and Dreams.

It’s not all death and despair for Friedman, who approaches these themes with the acerbic wit and dark humor of a New Yorker gag cartoon — a pastime with which the singer has found past success under the pseudonym Larry Hat. With “Going Home (Drifter’s Blessing),” Friedman delivers an anthem for the little-known folksinger trying to make it out on the road, whose faith in himself is tested by long drives, missed family, and dismal turnouts, but can only wish the life on his children and theirs.  In “Down by the Willow,” the album’s closer, Friedman is seduced by the serenity of life in the country but is “shackled and chained” to the gritty confines of the city, revisiting the famous car wash scene from the 1967 Paul Newman classic Cool Hand Luke.

Friedman will perform the record in its entirety, accompanied by David Goodrich and Stephan Crump, on select dates during the Laserbeams and Dreams tour.

Local Natives Play Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Local Natives Play Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Tonight At 12:30 AM EST.   Also, their new album, Gorilla Manor, is out now on Frenckiss Records.
You can catch some Grateful Web coverage of Local Natives here.
“It's a rare band that can use its chemistry as its own instrument. But the young, frightfully accomplished Local Natives are a rare L.A. band indeed.” – Los Angeles Times

“The camaraderie practically oozes out of the music of Local Natives, making Gorilla Manor my surprise album of the year.” – Bob Boilen of NPR

Melissa Nadel @ The Blue Note | 12/25

An angelic voice and impressive talent, singer/songwriter Melissa Nadel, will be returning to the Blue Note stage to perform on Saturday night, December 25th at midnight.  Bring your family and friends after your holiday festivities to top off the night.  She will be debuting some new material of hers, and there will be a few Christmas surprises for you as well.. it's a show not to miss!

Melissa is a young, exciting artist who infuses Jazz and Pop to create a genuinely refreshing and original sound.  Her style is versatile and tasteful.  Whether she's behind the piano accompanying herself or center stage fronting her band, her live performances are engaging and filled with emotion.  Her debut CD, WHAT MATTERS, co-produced by Charles Fambrough and herself, is available on iTunes, CDBaby, and Amazon, etc.  It is also being distributed in Japan through Vivid Sound Corporation and receiving great reviews.  Melissa is currently preparing to get back into the studio to begin working on her highly-anticipated second album.

TURDAY NIGHT, DECEMBER 25 @ MIDNIGHT
LATE NIGHT GROOVE SERIES
BLUE NOTE JAZZ CLUB
131 W. 3rd Street
New York, NY 10012
Reservations Recommended
212.475.8592
$12

Melissa Nadel - vocals/piano
Patrick Firth - piano
Brian Killeen - bass
Adam Stoler - guitar
Jordan Perlson - drums

Chamberlin Release Friend-Made Video for "Turn Around"

What could be better than making music you love surrounded by friends and sweeping views of the Green Mountains in Goshen, VT? For the guys in Chamberlin, not much. In advance of their debut album Bitter Blood, the band has made a video with the help of 23 friends that chronicles the making of the album.

The video for the reflective song “Turn Around” opens with a shot of a lonely dirt road that reveals the secluded cabin rehearsal space where Bitter Blood was created. The spot overlooks the Green Mountains of Goshen, VT, an undeveloped piece of land that hasn’t changed since the cabin was built in the late ’70s by one of the band member’s parents. Chamberlin and friends captured the footage for this video on a small point-and-shoot digital cameras, gathering clips of Bitter Blood recording sessions, beautiful landscape shots and live performances. While writing and rehearsing the record, late night liquor-fueled rehearsals, fireworks and bonfires became common practice for the band and ended up in the video.

Bitter Blood was produced by Scott Tournet, guitarist for Grace Potter & The Nocturnals and engineered by Ben Collette. The album captures a unique time for Chamberlin spent in an extraordinarily unique location. It will be released on February 14, 2011 via Roll Call Records/EMI. Chamberlin will be playing a show with Grace Potter & The Nocturnals on December 28 at Higher Ground in Burlington, VT.

Watch the video here.

Crystal Castles, Chain Gang of 1974 & Pictureplane on New Years!

Fusing low-res electronic noise and pop hooks so effortlessly that it can seem accidental, Crystal Castles began as producer/multi-instrumentalist Ethan Kath's solo project in late 2003. Kath got the moniker from the name of She-Ra's dwelling in the -He-Man and -Masters of the Universe cartoon series; it's also the name of a 1983 Atari video game, which is oddly appropriate, considering that one component of the band's distinctive sound comes from a keyboard modified with an Atari 5200 sound chip.

When Kath collaborated with singer Alice Glass on some songs in spring 2005, Crystal Castles' lineup was complete. One of the songs the pair recorded, "Alice Practice," was something of an accident: it was intended to be a demo of Glass testing out a microphone, but its presence on MySpace piqued record labels' interest. "Alice Practice" was released as a limited-edition 7" in summer 2006 on Merok Records, also home to Klaxons; its 500-copy run sold out in three days. Kath and Glass worked on their own songs and also honed their remixing skills, tweaking songs for Klaxons as well as GoodBooks, Uffie, Health, and Bloc Party.

Tours with the Presets and Metric in 2007 set the stage for the release of Crystal Castles' self-titled debut album, which Last Gang released early in 2008. The duo returned in 2010 with another self-titled album; when it leaked onto the Internet in late April of that year, the band released it digitally soon after, with a physical release following that May.

More Info / Buy Tickets

Mountain Standard Time featuring special guest Michael Kang

As a bluegrass band that's anything but traditional, Mountain Standard Time follows in the footsteps of such Colorado greats as The String Cheese Incident and Leftover Salmon. While leading acoustically with guitar, mandolin, and banjo, MST brands its own style, boasting a big, full-band sound with saxophone, electric bass, drums, and electric effects.

The members of Mountain Standard Time hail from all over the country, yet their musical paths crossed in Nederland - a small, Colorado mountain town steeped in bluegrass music. Whether you chalk it up to fate or coincidence, music goers everywhere are coming together to enjoy the "explosive bluegrass" that these six friends and musicians have come to create. MST has performed all over Colorado and across the country, with appearances at Wakarusa Music Festival, 10,000 Lakes Festival, and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival contest finals, among other events.

Mountain Standard Time's roots stem from late night "picks" among the bluegrass faithful, making music lovers dance from mountain towns to backwoods campfires. Rich lyrics, original melodies, vocal harmonies and driving back beats have been moving fans across the country, while the band's unique charisma has been winning hearts. More Info / Buy Tickets

Boulder Theater | October 21, 2010 @ 9PM

MMJ Play Late Night TV & Live Webcast

My Morning Jacket will be taking over New York the next two weeks with multiple late night TV appearances leading up to their historic five-night stand at Terminal 5.  Tonight, guitarist Carl Broemel will be sitting in with The Roots on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.  Click HERE for more info on Carl’s gorgeous new solo album, All Birds Say (ATO Records), which is in stores now.

The full band will then be the musical guest on Wednesday’s episode.  Click HERE to enter the show’s “Band Bench” sweepstakes for a chance to attend that taping.  Tomorrow night, the quintet will perform on the Late Show With David Letterman and as an added bonus will do a set for Live on Letterman.  Starting at 8pm EST, the guys will kick off an hour-long performance that fans can watch live over at the webcast’s official site.

Beginning next week on Monday, October 18th, MMJ will kick off their feverishly anticipated run of five shows at Terminal 5.  Each night they will play one of their five beloved full-lengths from beginning to end.  This is the first time the ever-evolving band’s entire, eclectic catalogue can be experienced live in the span of a week.  The guys will also be playing in Louisville, KY on 10/29 and are proud to have The Louisville Youth Orchestra on hand to both open and collaborate with the band.  With all the older songs being reintroduced to the fans, this hometown show will truly be a special event.

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My Morning Jacket Live Dates:

10/15: Portland, ME @ State Theatre
10/18: New York, NY @ Terminal 5
10/19: New York, NY @ Terminal 5
10/21: New York, NY @ Terminal 5
10/22: New York, NY @ Terminal 5
10/23: New York, NY @ Terminal 5
10/29: Louisville, KY @ KFC YUM! CENTER

Will Hoge Releases "The Living Room Sessions"

Critically-acclaimed Nashville rocker Will Hoge is releasing an EP aptly titled THE LIVING ROOM SESSIONS on Ryko on Oct. 12 and will be joining Shinedown on tour throughout November and December.

The six-song acoustic EP was recorded in only two days in Hoge’s living room and features stripped-down versions of essential songs (“Long Gone,” “Favorite Waste of Time,” “Goodnight/Goodbye,” “Too Late Too Soon” and “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”) from his latest album, THE WRECKAGE, and the fan favorite, “All Night Long,” from Hoge’s 2003 album,  BLACKBIRD ON A LONELY WIRE.

“I like acoustic recordings that try to be different from the album versions,” says Hoge.  “We just got together and camped out at my house for a couple of days… it’s not a home studio, no real fancy set-up or multi-tracking.  The console was a laptop on a card table, and that same table also served simultaneously as the keyboard stand. There were no real overdubs or re-dos or pitch correct.  We just did it ‘til we liked it and let it be…not out of laziness, it just seemed to fit.”

Hoge, the relentless road warrior, kicked-off his headlining tour last weekend in Nashville, which will continue through October.  He’ll then join rockers Shinedown on their “Anything & Everything” tour kicking-off Nov. 4 in Tampa, Fla. and wrapping up in New Orleans, La. on Dec 9.  The tour spans over 25 major cities throughout the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast regions of the United States.  More dates will be announced shortly.

THE LIVING ROOM SESSIONS TRACK LISTING:

1.       Long Gone (Acoustic version)
2.       Favorite Waste of Time (Acoustic version)
3.       Goodnight / Goodbye (Acoustic version)
4.       Too Late Too Soon (Acoustic version)
5.       Even If It Breaks Your Heart (Acoustic version)
6.       All Night Long (Acoustic version)

TOUR SCHEDULE:

10/6                 Memphis, TN                Hi-Tone
10/7                 Louisville, KY                Headliner’s Music Hall
10/8                 Iowa City, IA                 Gabes
10/9                 Toledo, OH                   Headliners
10/10               Chicago, IL                   Lincoln Hall
10/13               Knoxville, TN                The Square Room
10/14               Newport, KY                 The Southgate House
10/15               Columbus, OH              The Basement
10/16               Akron, OH                     Tangiers
10/17               Lexington, KY               Cosmic Charlies
10/20               Athens, GA                   40 Watt Club
10/21               Atlanta, GA                   Vinyl
10/22               Johnson City, TN          Chrome
10/23               Greenville, SC              The Handlebar
11/04               Tampa, FL                     David A. Straz, JR. Center for the Performing Arts*
11/05               Charleston, SC             Charleston Music Hall*                           
11/06               Chattanooga, TN          Trivoli Theatre*                                                   
11/08               Richmond, VA               The National*                                                                 
11/09               Charlotte, NC                The Fillmore Charlotter*                                                  
11/10               Washington, DC            Warner Center*                                                              
11/12               Hampton Beach, NH     Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom*                                   
11/13               Northampton, MA          Calvin Theatre & Performing Arts Center*                          
11/15               Albany, NY                    The Egg*                                                                       
11/16               Scranton, PA                 The Weinberg Theatre*                                                   
11/18               Westbury, NY                Theatre at Westbury*                                                     
11/19               Montclair, NJ                 Wellmont Theatre*                                                          
11/20               Atlantic City, NJ             Showboat Hotel & Casino*                                              
11/22               Wilmington, DE             Grand Opera House Wilmington*                                     
11/23               Youngstown, OH           Powers Auditorium*                                                        
11/24               Saginaw, MI                  DOW Event Center – Heritage Theatre*                           
11/26               Davenport, IA                Adler Theatre*                                                                
11/27               Minneapolis, MN           State Theatre*                                                               
11/29               Indianapolis, IN             Murat Theatre*                                           
11/30               Milwaukee, WI              The Riverside Theatre*
12/04               Springfield, MO            Gillioz Theatre*   
12/06               Tulsa, OK                     Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino*
12/09               New Orleans, LA          House of Blues*

* w/ Shinedown

The Roots Invite Gary Wilson to Play on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

We are all in for an exciting treat, as on October 27th, Gary Wilson will be joining Questlove and The Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon! While you might think of him as the king of weird, there is no denying that Gary Wilson hits home with his honest, sincere, and sometimes even creepy musings on life and love, set to his special mix of funk, avant-garde jazz, and AM Gold inflected tunes. It's no wonder Gary's fan-base includes folks like Beck ("... My man Gary Wilson rocks the most." - Beck on Odelay's "Where It's At") , Simpsons creator Matt Groening, Stones Throws' Peanut Butter Wolf, and The Roots' Questlove. The collaboration of Gary and Questlove will certainly be something exceptional, particularly given that Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is known for its bizarre sketches.

Gary will also be in New York for CMJ, playing October 19th at Cake Shop, following O'Death.

To celebrate his performance on Late Night, along with his CMJ show, Gary is giving fans an Mp3 of "In The Night", off of his anticipated LP release, Electric Endicott.

Electric Endicott is due out digitally on October 26th, with a street date of November 9th, 2010, on Western Vinyl.

Furthur | Red Rocks | 9/24/2010

Two of the world's greatest road warriors, Phil Lesh & Bobby Weir, made their almost annual stop to the venue the epitomizes everything organic, granola, hippie and The Grateful Dead.  As many venues as both Lesh & Weir have played, every show at Red Rocks is just a little extra special.  Phil while doing his donar rap -- mentioned his love for the amphitheater and has said on at least a few occasions it is his favorite venue in the world.

Outside fans were arriving pretty early filling up the lower south lot and upper north lots first.  The weather couldn't have been any better, and those who live here in Colorado know late September at Red Rocks is precarious, at best.  There was some vending in the lots, though by and large it was fairly quiet.  Grateful Web, however, was hawking our "Make Love Not War" t-shirts in light of election season and America's never-ending political quagmire.  Give one as a gift to your political nemesis!  Email us if you'd like one or want more information. 

My friends went inside early to scope out some good seats.  I stayed back to guard the fort, which really means playing hacky sack with my new neighbor friends, drinking some beers, talking about which run at MSG was the best (I say 1990, hands-down -- another said '87, another said '88 - this continued through our hackin), and having a great time in the gorgeous Red Rocks parking lot.

The band came on around 8pm.  The sound where I was sitting was superb, but considering I was sitting literally over the heads of the soundboard folk, this would make sense.  Futhur is finishing their late summer/early fall tour here in Colorado.  You may wonder how in the world does a 70 year old another 62 year old just continue to tour -- but I must tell you I thought both Bobby and Phil both looked pretty well-rested and enthused on stage last night, which has not always seen the case with Weir during the past few years.  But Bobby seemed more engaged than I have seen him in a while, yet still giving John plenty of space to roam.  Furthur shows for me are pretty tame experiences, but I did find a few moments last night when John really opened things up and hit some pretty nice peaks, particularly in 'Fire on the Mountain,' which was more than apropos considering the recent fires in the near-bye foothills.    

I think Chimenti is a fine piano player, but personally I’d prefer more Hammond organ stuff and less piano. Furthur is mellow enough already, which is why I really think they would benefit more from a big Brent-esque organ sound more than all the piano playing.  Just my 2cents – with that said,  I would be a very happy camper if I could play piano as well as Jeff, so nothing at all personal toward him.  Joe Russo, on the other hand, is a groove machine.  This guy is really great and impresses me more each time.

Grateful Web is currently uploading videos, so check back through the next few hours for links to them. The videos really came out nice, especially set 1..