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Golden Dogs Announce Spring Tour Dates, To Play SXSW

At the end of a hard year of touring in support of their second album ‘Big Eye Little Eye’, which took them by way of Britain and Germany, straight across the USA sharing stages with Canadian luminaries like Feist and Sloan, those who witnessed its fury likely had no inkling it was the end of a chapter for the band. The long awaited homecoming was bittersweet; there were big changes on the horizon. For starters, the band had been released from their record contract; a contract they had been locked into for years that now left them 100% in control of their business affairs. In another twist of fate, their long time bass player, Stew Heyduk, decided to leave the country and get married in Hawaii. Within weeks of being at home and somewhat directionless, the question began looming: “What now?” While there are always songs brewing on lead man Dave Azzolini’s hot plate, the idea of going straight into recording another album wasn’t an attractive one. They needed a break from being Golden Dogs.

Without trying to force movement into the intimidating ‘next album’ phase, the couple began spending more time hanging at a little garage studio on Toronto’s east side, operated by their good friends Carlin Nicholson & Mike O’Brien - this duo now known as Zeus. The whole crew had a lot of fun just writing and recording tunes they had written and while Nicholson honed his engineering chops, everyone nurtured and developed their production skills. As well, the studio was a very welcome place for other musician friends to pop by. Friends like Neil Quin (ex-Golden Dog/future Zeus member) and Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas) who ended up playing a solo on the Golden Dogs album as a return favor for Azzolini playing piano on one of the Bahamas tracks he recorded there.

The spirit was described by Azzolini: “It was very much a ‘best idea wins’ situation and the songwriter always had final veto power. It made for a very comfortable environment to make music. It was just musicians getting together to bounce ideas off each other.” This was a great time to forget about being in a band, and to just get back to playing music for it’s own sake, with a group of friends riding the same wave and just soaking in the energy of the studio. The result is titled Coat of Arms, and it brilliantly displays the musical union Azzolini, Grassia, Knox and company have found with each other, and the band seems to be more confident and commanding than ever before. One marvels at the way they can seem playful and sweet on a track like LESTER, yet terrifyingly savage on BURST or DARKROOM.

The most obvious and wonderful difference this time around is that Ms. Grassia takes a giant leap forward and can be heard taking the lead on almost half the album with a range spanning from sweet & psychedelic (UNDERWATER GOLDMINE) to seductive (AS LONG AS YOU LIKE) to furious pop madness on songs like WHEN THE MOVIE’S OVER, and CHEAP UMBRELLAS. Her vocal performances while drumming (AS LONG AS YOU LIKE and LESTER) is quickly becoming a Golden Dogs secret weapon and quite an impressive element to their live shows.

What now? Coat of Arms will be released on Dine Alone April 26th 2011. Feeling up-beat and optimistic about the new direction, Azzolini boasts that “the versatility of this new line up opens up a whole new world of possibilities for Golden Dogs live shows and the future of our recordings…there are so many directions we can go…and we’re going to try all of them.”

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Golden Dogs tour dates:

Mar 17: SXSW @ Hole in the wall (day party)\

Mar 19: SXSW @ Paradise on 6th

Mar 22:  Portland @ Wonder Ballroom**
Mar 23: Seattle @ Showbox**
Mar 24: Vancouver @ Biltmore**
Mar 26: Missoula, MT @ Wilma Theatre**
Mar 27: Jackson, WY @ Q Roadhouse**
Mar 29: Ames, IA @ The Maintenance Shop**
Mar 30: Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room**
Mar 31: Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theatre **
Apr 1: Madison, WI @ The Majestic**
Apr 2: Chicago, IL @ The Vic**
Apr 3: Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls**
** w/ State Radio

Beat Kaestli & Elizabeth Lohninger @ The Zinc

On January 24th, NYC witnessed its coldest day in six years with high forecasts for the day in low teens. While the city's wiser residents spent their night coddled in sweaters and blankets, a select few decided to brave their way into Greenwich Village and attend Zinc Bar for a night of blood-tempering jazz and booze.

Dead Symphony #6 Down South

Southern Deadheads have a special opportunity coming up.  On October 5th, the Lagrange (Georgia) Symphony will perform Lee Johnson’s “Dead Symphony #6.”  As the Dead’s publicist and biographer, I flinched a little when I first heard of the idea of a symphonic take on the Dead; I feared “Dead with strings.”  That’s emphatically not Lee Johnson’s Dead Symphony.  Lee had a Deadhead friend, of course (doesn’t everybody?), who initiated him into the cult.  He really got the Dead’s music, which is of course rooted in improvisation.  Since having a 75 piece symphony improvise is….a bad idea, he did the improvising himself in the score, and the result is a take on familiar melodies, with variations, and not a simple new coat of strings.

The CD was much admired, and the live performances, first at the Baltimore Symphony, and more recently at the California Symphony (Walnut Creek, California) and Cabrillo Festival (Santa Cruz, California), have been knock-outs.

Now Lee’s taken the score and given it a final tune-up, so that what will be performed in Lagrange will be the final version.  And Lee will be in the cello section.

Lagrange is going to find itself in a slightly altered state on October 5th – check it out!  

For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.   And be sure to check out Grateful Web's review of Dead Symphony #6.

Denver-Based Guitarist Grant Gordy To Release Debut Album May 11

Grant Gordy, the Denver-based guitar player whose lifelong study of music, from Bill Evans to The Beatles and beyond, has informed his own writing and arranging, will release his self-titled debut album on May 11.

“[He] belongs to the new elite family of American acoustic practitioners who are pushing the ever-expanding envelope of a musical frontier … Bluegrass, newgrass, jazz, classical and even ‘dawg’ are all audible influences in Grant’s musical vision,” says David “Dawg” Grisman, whose David Grisman Quintet Gordy subbed in and would ultimately join as guitarist. “[His] guitar stylings offer a rare blend of flat-picking virtuosity, jazz exploration and classical sensibility …”

“Pterodactyl,” “Grapes” and “Lila” are just three of the compositions on the new CD, which also includes Gordy’s “Blues to Dawg” that he invited Grisman to contribute his signature mandolin playing to. Each song in the collection exemplifies Gordy’s spirit of adventure and sense of self.

Gordy describes himself: “At heart, I'm really an improviser; that's what very first drew me to playing music — the idea that you can make things up as you go along — but I'm also very interested in composition. I like the idea of a group of musicians having as much room and freedom to explore and improvise as they want, but within a context of a compelling arrangement that can be exciting for, and draws in, the listener.”

Gordy’s touring behind the release include:

Friday, June 11, KRFC Radio-Fort Collins, “Live at Lunch” show
Saturday, June 12, Brewgrass Festival, South Pearl Street, Denver
Saturday, June 12, Little Church in the Pines, 536 Gold Run Road, Salina
Wednesday, June 16, Dazzle Jazz Club, 930 Lincoln St., Denver
Thursday, June 17, Bongo Billy’s Cafe, 300 W. Sackett Ave., Salida
Wednesday, June 23, Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Cambridge, Mass.
Thursday, June 24, Caffe Vivaldi, 32 Jones St., New York City

Tiësto Launches Innovative Fansite “InTheBooth”

How does the biggest DJ/producer in the world capture Web 2.0 and re-invent artist-to-fan interaction?

Tiësto delivers an innovative, one of a kind experience to his dedicated global fan base with the launch of his new members-only fansite, InTheBooth.

InTheBooth gives fans the ability to interact directly with the world famous DJ, while providing HD streaming concerts, behind-the-scenes footage, exclusive content and more.  Fans from all over the world will now gain access to a side of Tiësto never before seen by the public.

The tech savvy, arena-selling DJ, who boasts a network of over 1.5 million users on Facebook, stated, “I love the idea of being able to make music and get it to my fans in the most direct way possible.  When I came up with the idea for the site, I tested most of the platforms out there and then realized, I needed to make a custom site to handle the specific functionality I couldn’t find elsewhere.”  Outfitted with the latest technology, InTheBooth will now be Tiësto’s outlet for broadcasting exclusive performances, live shows, and debuting new “white label” tracks for fans prior to their release.  The current featured attraction for new members is Tiësto’s epic live performance concert video, taken this summer from his 25,000 person sold out show at Victoria Park in London.  Further performance videos scheduled to air include Tiësto’s Kaleidoscope sold out world tour kickoff at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom and the final show of his North American run, live from the Shrine in Los Angeles, California.

The list of InTheBooth’s features continues with members having access to Tiësto’s enormous complete back-catalogue and his complete collection of Club Life podcasts, the #1 artist podcast in the world.   Additional features include tour blogs from both Tiësto and his crew, access to pre-sale tickets, limited-edition merchandise, an interview series from his hometown of Breda, and best of all, the chance to meet Tiësto backstage. When asked about the impact InTheBooth has had , “while I love using Facebook for mass communication and my Twitter to shoot a quick update, I can now chat directly with the people who support me most.  The best part is, every city I perform in, I get to hang with new InTheBooth members each night and I finally have the opportunity to get to know my supporters on a personal level.”

Earlier this year, Tiësto established his own label and publishing company, Musical Freedom, where for the first time in his career, he has full control and ownership of his music and can take full advantage of InTheBooth as a major platform for releasing new music.  In 2010 his Kaleidoscope world tour heads to South America, Australia and Europe, where he will continue to film and broadcast new content and debut new material.  More information on InTheBooth and tour dates can be found at www.inthebooth.com.

The world’s biggest electronic artist and critically-acclaimed DJ/ producer, Tiësto has joined forces with some very special guests on his fifth and most ambitious album to date Kaleidoscope (Ultra Records). A stunning collection of songs written and recorded in collaboration with a variety of music’s brightest talents from the worlds of dance, pop and rock that include Nelly Furtado, Jónsi from Sigur Rós, Tegan & Sara, Kélé Okereke from Bloc Party, Emily Haines from Metric and Calvin Harris just to name a few.

Along with this release of the album, Tiësto has been stunning audiences on a worldwide tour, taking the sounds and sights of Kaleidoscope on the road for 175 live performances across 5 continents. Enlisting the talents of Montreal’s Moment Factory (NIN, Cirque Du Soleil), Tiësto has created the biggest and best live show to date leaving fans and critics breathless, evident from a number of sold-out shows at arenas and large venues throughout North America.

Offshore Drilling: Top 10 reasons it's a BAD idea

Say NO to offshore drilling!- for the Grateful Web

Gas prices have been jumping over and under the $4 mark all summer, your grocery bills are soaring, and campaign ads are blasting you about the benefits of offshore drilling. So what's an average Joe or Jane supposed to believe? Will offshore drilling really make things better for you?

What you're hearing on the news is pretty one-sided, and most reporters are talking about this issue like it makes perfect sense. Well, it doesn't.

What can I say; sometimes dumb ideas get a lot of attention. That's exactly what's happening right now as President Bush has lifted the executive moratorium on offshore drilling, and Congress is being pushed to do the same.

Let me take just a second to review the top 10 reasons offshore drilling is such a dumb idea:

10. Offshore oil drilling won't impact gas prices today, and it won't have a significant impact on gas prices in the future.

9. This is nothing more than a money grab by the oil companies - who are already making record-breaking profits.

8. We burn 25% of the world's oil here in the U.S., but we have only 3% of the world's oil reserves. So even if all offshore oil magically came to market today, the vast majority of our oil would continue to be imported, and we wouldn't see price relief at the pump.

7. The current moratorium was put in place decades ago to protect us from the danger of oil spills along our coastlines and beaches.

6.  Burning fossil fuels like oil causes global warming, which causes stronger hurricanes, which will threaten the very offshore drilling rigs being proposed, which will contribute to even more global warming.

5. To avoid the worst impacts of global warming, we need to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy within the next 10 years. The billions of dollars that would be spent on offshore oil drilling just postpones the inevitable transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

4. Oil exploration requires massive seismic testing - which threatens whales and dolphins.

3. Oil prices are set on the global oil market, so American oil is no cheaper than Saudi oil. We won't get a discount for oil drilled in the U.S.

2. We can't solve the world's energy problems with the same drilling that created them.

1. Renewable energy is available now, so it's time to walk away from fossil fuels and toward a clean energy future.

 

Take Action >> make sure Congress hears from YOU about offshore oil drilling.

Let's face it, there's really no good reason to drill offshore. More drilling is good for Big Oil, not for you and your family. We can't drill our way out of this mess - oil drilling is already at an all-time high and prices are still skyrocketing.

As a matter of fact, even if we could tap into all of the energy stored in the Earth's reserves - coal, oil, and natural gas - it would equal the energy in just 20 days of sunshine. Tell Congress to look on the bright side to solve our energy crisis. It's time to invest in renewable energy and leave oil to the dinosaurs. It's time for an energy revolution.


702 H Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20001
(800) 326-0959

Melanie Duchin
Global Warming Campaigner