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Von Ehrics: Two Foot Stomp

Von Ehrics newest CD, Two Foot Stomp, is an up and down ride filled with Punkabilly drive and an authentically Texas flavor. Songs like the first single, "Lord I Pray" are new, refreshing, and fun while other like "Rock and Roll" fall a little flat in energy and creativity. The album is an overall success in authenticity, with a real feeling that you could stumble across the Von Ehrics playing around town in Denton, the funky college town music hub of North Texas where Two Foot Stomp was recorded. The album is also successful in screaming "if you think this is good, our live shows are 100 times better".  I am convinced, and definitely will be buying a ticket next time these boys roll through Colorado.

The Highlights:

"Lord I Pray", the album’s first single, is also it’s height of creativity, combining gospel, thrashy rock guitar, and a hyperactive drum set. “Lord I Pray” is soulful and cynical at the same time. The single is a satirical reflection on consumerism, but avoids a “preachy” feel for a rather funny one as lead singer Robert Jason Vandergrift prays for material good while being back up by a full gospel choir.

"Down the Road Tonight" also shines on the album. The song is reminiscent of REM's "It's the End of the World as We Know It". That is, if the whole world existed in Texas. You could probably take the lyrics and make them into a scavenger hunt in downtown Austin. Overall it’s super fun.

"Goodbye/The Ride" is a fun, biting little break up song. Vandergrift sings in sweet and slow ballad voice, which we soon learn is totally ironic:

"It's a beautiful night,
the stars are all bright
I've got the moon on my left
and my girl on my right
things are changing tonight
she can kiss my ass goodbye"

then the speedy drummer kicks and one gets a feel of how the guys really feel. I always love a fun break up song.

The guitar lines are a great highlight throughout the album. Just listening to the things Gabe Aguilar (drums) and Clayton Mills (guitar) make up is one of the best parts of the album.

The Not-so-Great:

"Rock and Roll" is a halfhearted cry for what else, rock and roll. I'm not really that convinced, based on this song that the band believes in the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. The Von Ehrics take lyrics that belong in a song like Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock N Roll” and play them with the enthusiasm of Neil Young's “Hey Hey, My My”.

It sounds like the guys wanted a Beastie Boys' "You Got to Fight for Your Right to Party”, but were just kind of tired or hung over or something that day.

"Downtown" is another one of the tunes that is missing the party soul. Maybe the song is much better live, at the actual party. Though the song is low energy, guitarist Clayton Mills picks it up with an exciting solo.

"Texas" (When I Die) is the albums only successful anthem, but it really gets the job done.  It's not a call to rock out or party hard, as the boys attempted in other songs, but an anthem for Texas; the state that encompasses of both of the previous. "Texas" succeeds where some of the other attempts on the album failed in my opinion because Texas is very unique to the Von Ehrics. You can hear conviction in their voice as they sing "when I die, let me go to Texas".

“Texas” is the true call of Two Foot Stomp , and really ties the album together as its last track. Two Foot Stomp is a call to this: party, rebel, dance around, stomp your feet, and do it all in Texas.  I am totally in support of it!

Los Lonely Boys continue carving out their legend with 4th studio album

After proving themselves one of the most stunning and wonderful musical success stories of the last decade, Los Lonely Boys continue to carve out their legend with their fourth studio album, their first self-produced LP on their own LonelyTone/Playing In Traffic Records, Rockpango.
Supporting this newest release, Los Lonely Boys hit the road to share the utterly unique combination of blues, rock, soul, their Latino heritage and snippets of hip-hop found on Rockpango. For a preview of what to expect, check out the undeniably fun animated video for "16 Monkeys."
Since debuting in 2003 with a multi-chart gold single, selling millions of albums, winning a Grammy, racking up reams of critical praise, opening for the Rolling Stones and playing and recording with such legends as Willie Nelson and Carlos Santana, Rockpango further enforces All Music Guide's assertion that Los Lonely Boys are "one of America's premier rock bands."
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Los Lonely Boys Tour Dates
July 15 - Winstar Casino - Thakerville, OK *
July 16 - Fritz City Park Festival - Hutto, TX    
July 19 - George Lopez Show   
July 21 - Mill Bay Casino - Manson, WA *
July 22 - Emerald Queen Casino - Tacoma, WA *
July 23 - Yakama Nation Legends Casino - Toppenish, WA *
July 24 - Oregon Zoo Amphitheater - Portland, OR *
July 26 - Mountain Winery - Saratoga, CA *
July 27 - John Ascuaga's Nugget - Sparks, NV *
July 28 - Chukchansi Gold Resort Casino - Coarsegold, CA *
July 29 - Greek Theatre - Los Angeles, CA *
July 30 - Fantasy Springs Casino - Indio, CA *
July 31 - Humphrey's Concerts By The Bay - San Diego, CA *
Aug 2 - Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Albuquerque, NM *
Aug 4 - Colorado River State Park - Fruita, CO *
Aug 5 - Arvada Center Amphitheater - Arvada, CO *
Aug 6 - Chautauqua Auditorium - Boulder, CO *
Aug 9 - Music In The Zoo - Apple Valley/Minneapolis, MN *
Aug 10 - Ravinia Pavillion - Highland Park/Chicago, IL *
Aug 11 - Frederik Meijer Gardens - Grand Rapids, MI    
Aug 12 - Meadow Brook Music Festival - Rochester Hills, MI    
Aug 13 - Dutch Mason Blues Festival - Truro, NS    
Aug 17 - Blues on the Green - Austin, TX
KGSR event
Aug 19 - Trails West 2011 - St Joseph, MO    
Aug 20 - Freeport Music & Art - Freeport, IL    
Aug 27 - Texas Music Theatre - San Marcos, TX
benefit for LULAC
Aug 28 - Eddy County Sheriff's Posse Arena - Carlsbad, NM    
Sept 2 - Crockett Civic Center - Crockett, TX    
Sept 3 - Summertime Blues Festival - Freeport, TX    
Sept 9 - House of Blues - New Orleans, LA    
Sept 10 - Library Theatre - Hoover, AL
acoustic - 2 shows
Sept 11 - Variety Playhouse - Atlanta, GA    
Sept 13 - The Orange Peel - Asheville, NC    
Sept 14 - The Bijou Theatre - Knoxville, TN    
Sept 15 - Live on the Green - Nashville, TN
WRLT event
Sept 16 - The Arts Center - Carrboro, NC    
Sept 18 - Ziggy's - Winston Salem, NC    
Sept 24 - Foster Communication Center - San Angelo, TX
w/ Los Lobos *

Punch Brothers @ The Boulder Theatre | 2/11/11

"Antifogmatic" is a bit of bygone slang that mandolinist Chris Thile and his bandmates stumbled across, an old term, explains the Punch Brothers founder, for a bracing beverage, rum or whiskey, that one would have in the morning before going out to work in rough weather, to stave off any ill effects." It's an apt title for the Punch Brothers' second Nonesuch disc. This ten-song set of collectively written material takes a clear-eyed view of those things less tangible than booze that can make us woozy: the pleasures and pitfalls of romance, the seemingly limitless possibilities and multifarious temptations of life in the big city.

The arrangements on Antifogmatic range from intimate to boisterous and back; genre-wise, the band once again ventures where no string band has ever gone before. The spare opening track "You Are" contrasts percussive guitar riffs with lyrical string parts that dance around Thile's sweet upper register as he spins a tale of romantic emancipation; occasionally, the other instruments give way to reveal the throb of the bass. The band also engages in some unexpectedly beautiful harmony singing, smoothing out the compelling melodic twists and turns of Welcome Home." "Me and Us" and "Woman and the Bell" both have a dream-like quality; the former, in fact, was inspired by those jumbled, thought-filled moments before sleep sets in, and the instrumentation keeps pace with the ever-shifting imagery. In contrast, "Don't Need No" and "Rye Whiskey" are foot-stomping barroom boasts and "Next to the Trash" is the closest the band gets to traditional bluegrass, even as the lyrics tug the piece in a more surreal direction.

"Our new record is a very pure collaboration," Thile emphasizes. "I would often come to the boys with a start, a little nugget, and we would collectively fashion it into something. None of these songs would have been like themselves if I had been left to my own devices. Several of them were starts that other guys had, and we would build from there. It's fun how liquid the writing process was on this."

The stories the Punch Brothers tell in Antifogmatic-partly autobiographical, partly imagine-were shaped by after-hours camaraderie as much as musical collaboration; they're ultimately about drinking everything in as well as drinking what's in front of them up, though there was plenty of that too. Concludes Thile, "The boys and I would work all day in one of our apartments and then we'd want to go out and have a drink. That's what you do in New York City, because everyone's apartment is too small to hang out comfortably in. We're a group of five guys. If friends start attaching themselves to the fray after that, you forsake the one-bedroom apartment and you go into the incredibly vibrant bar scene that isn't merely an encouragement for intoxication and spending obscene amounts of money per drink. It's really a wonderful way to get to know your fellow man, with your top button unbuttoned and your tie loosened a little bit."

More Info / Buy Tickets

YOKO ONO Climbs To Top 5 On The Billboard Club Play Charts

YOKO ONO continues to keep her fingers on the pulse of underground and commercial dance music with her new single, “GIVE ME SOMETHING” (THE REMIXES). Currently #4 (with a bullet) on the Billboard Club Play Chart (issue date: 03/27/2010), it is the latest offering in the pioneering avant-garde icon’s acclaimed remix series, that has spawned 5 #1 dance singles: “I’M NOT GETTING ENOUGH”, “GIVE PEACE A CHANCE”, “NO NO NO”, “EVERYMAN / EVERYWOMAN” and her seminal “WALKING ON THIN ICE”.

Since 2001, Yoko’s alter-electronic ego, ONO, has been pumping out revamped reworks of classics from her vast catalog for a new digital generation. Partnering with cutting edge producers and collaborators such as FLAMING LIPS, PET SHOP BOYS, BASEMENT JAXX, DANNY TENAGLIA, SPIRITUALIZED, CSS, FELIX DA HOUSECAT, ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS and PEACHES, she has ingeniously added chart-topping dance-music heroine to her renowned status as controversial performance-art innovator and punk rock pioneer.

On the brilliant “Give Me Something” (originally taken from John and Yoko’s Grammy Award winning 1980 masterpiece DOUBLE FANTASY), ONO taps RICHARD MOREL, DAVE AUDE, RALPHI ROSARIO, ROBERTO RODRIGUEZSTONEBRIDGE, SPARKS, JUNIOR BOYS, ALEX TRAXX (and others) to deliver compelling interpretations for the 21st Century.

Slated as a green release (digital, no materials used or abused) later this month (March 2010) on MIND TRAIN / TWISTED Records, “GIVE ME SOMETHING” (THE REMIXES) is another irresistible reinvention from the timeless visionary, who continues to be a major influential force on the cultural landscape.

BEASTIE BOYS & FRIENDS ANNOUNCE SWING STATE VOTER AWARENESS TOUR

Beastie Boys - photo by Amanda Bell- for the Grateful Web

The Beastie Boys have confirmed selected dates through the crucial swing states of the upcoming election. Joining the band in various markets will be Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Norah Jones, Crosby & Nash, Santogold, Tenacious D, and special guests, as well as representatives from the Rock The Vote, who will be on hand to distribute information on local polling sites, including early voting locations where available.

Nov 1 St. Paul, MN - Roy Wilkins Auditorium
Beastie Boys/Ben Harper/Tenacious D
Tickets at Ticketmaster

Nov 2 Milwaukee, WI - US Cellular Arena
Beastie Boys/Ben Harper/Crosby & Nash/Tenacious D
Tickets at Ticketmaster

Plus more dates forthcoming!