young

Happy Birthday, Jerry Garcia!

Jerry Garcia would be turning 69 years young today.  You're incredibly missed!

Some of my personal favorite in-person Jerry moments:

1) 9/18/87 -- My first deadshow -- I saw Pink Floyd and The Grateful Dead within weeks of each other.. talk about two amazing bands (granted this was Pink Floyd without Roger Waters.. but still amazing) -- the difference in the crowd's reaction could not have been more different.. bare in mind I was 16 years old -- The Floyd crowd could not move from their seats, whereas the dead crowd could not sit still. Both concerts were incredible and from the moment forward, i was hooked!  -- set 2!  Most amazing Dew of the 80's!  Good Lovin > La Bamba > Good Lovin! -- So much fun!

2) 3/29/90 -- Everyone has heard the stellar Eyes of the World with Branford Marsalis -- but being at the show with my high school gf, the immediate chemistry between Garcia and Marsalis, and just the energy in that crowd during set 2 -- something I'll never forget.

3) 6/25/91 -- I've seen Jerry having a good time on stage, but I've never seen him boogying down like he did this night --  Having killer seats helped -- normally I've been stuck seeing Jerry look more like an ant at Giants Stadium, but at this show I was in the 10th row, center stage, and I could actually see Jerry's smiles and he was dancing up a storm.  Good stuff!

4) 6/28/92 -- A crummy year for the Dead, Jerry had to take time off (remember the entire east coast Sept fall tour was canceled), he was really heavy, looked horrible -- but I will say we lucked out this night at Deer Creek -- Great setlist, as much energy as you'll find at any show in '92, and of course the killer Casey Jones encore.. at least I got to hear the tune once live!

5) 5/16/93 -- The entire weekend in Vegas was a blast!  Kimock was playing late night sets at the Alladin -- the weather was just so crazy and fun (storms, crazy winds, rainbows, you name it) -- set 2, particularly pre-space/drums -- killer!  Samson, Help-slip-Franklins (best Franklins of the 90's) and a killer Looks Like Rain -- The rest of the set was good, but not quite as good -- the Elvis-filled space was pretty out-there.

6) 6/15/95  -- Highgate, VT -- the show sucked!  Dylan blew the dead away! -- But... 100,000 deadheads in Vermont still cannot be un-fun!  -- The scene was HUGE --  Never felt more like a herd of cattle than when 100K moved an inch a minute (took about 3 hours -- or at least felt like it) to make it back to their campsites.  Sadly I saw only two more shows after this.. both at Giants and both crummy as well... but I am still incredibly thankful for the time I got to spend in the same halls as you, Mr. Jerry Garcia.

Some other great ones.. JGB at the Warfield!  It was like seeing Jerry in your living room!

Lots of Love,

The Grateful Web

THE NATIONAL JAZZ MUSEUM IN HARLEM SUMMER GLOBALORIA WORKSHOP

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is teaming up with the World Wide Workshop to create an innovative VIDEO GAME using Globaloria technology! We are looking for 6 special young people between the ages of 13-19 who we'll select and appoint as our official game designers. NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!

This team of 6 prospective candidates must have the facility to present strong ideas, yet create and incorporate the ideas of the team as a whole. An emphasis is placed on the candidate's ability to use JAZZ music, innovation, and a compelling video game objective to efficiently create a product that will attract both young people and adults alike. Prospective candidates should have the facility to adopt World Wide Workshop and the National Museum of Harlem's existing visual identity. No previous experience necessary. Only requirement: captivating, original ideas.

The workshop will take place for 3 weeks from July 6 - July 27 (Mon-Fri only) at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. In the afternoons the 6 game designers will collaborate on creating this new game. The experience will be interactive, including live performances, masterclasses, and trips to many exciting and historic NYC jazz locations.

The host for the entire summer workshop is rising star pianist Jonathan Batiste and his band. Each day he will have something unique to offer, and allowing the 6 game designers to truly immerse themselves in this music we call JAZZ!

Call 212-348-8300 or email office@jmih.org for more info.

Viennese Prog-Jazz Band to Battle Gloom in NYC

On Wednesday, May 4, at 7:30 PM, the up-and-coming Viennese progressive jazz quartet Kompost 3 will present their self-titled debut album to a New York audience. Trumpet, e-piano, drums, bass, and subtle electronics provide the sonic groundwork for this young and funky instrumental jazz band. Despite their young age, the members of Kompost 3, Martin Eberle, Benny Omerzell, Lukas König, and Manu Mayr, have already played with a wide variety of renowned artists, including Soap&Skin, Wolfgang Mitterer, and Wolfgang Puschnig.

Founded in 2009, the band calls Vienna’s third district its home, a residential area for workers interspersed with masterpieces of aristocratic architecture. The days of 18th century imperialism are long gone, and the dreary reality of working life has settled into the third district. Detecting 21st century signs of muck and rot, the band takes its energy from this wholly Viennese air of decay to create music that is fresh and invigorating, much like a compost pile produces fertilizer – hence the name, Kompost 3.

Martin Eberle, born 1981, plays trumpet and flugelhorn, studies classical trumpet at the Feldkirch Konservatorium and jazz trumpet at the Hochschule der Künste Bern/Swiss Jazz School Bern. Benny Omerzell, born 1984, plays Fender Rhodes electric piano and red instruments and currently studies at the Jazzhochschule Graz. Manu Mayr, born 1989, plays electric bass and double bass and studies at the Konservatorium Wien Privatuniversität and the Bruckneruniversität Linz. Rounding off the distinctive sound of Kompost 3 with drums and electronics, Lukas König, born 1988, studies at the Bruckneruniversität Linz and the Gustav Mahler Konservatorium in Vienna.

The concert takes place at the auditorium of the ACFNY at 11 East 52nd Street (between Fifth and Madison). Admission is free, but reservations are required. Check or call 212 319 5300 ext. 222.

The Greencards' new 'The Brick Album' features Vince Gill, Sam Bush

From the first notes struck together in 2003 through tours with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, up to and beyond their fourth studio album in 2009, The Greencards have won steadily escalating acclaim for their multi-dimensional Americana vision. Each step they’ve taken has widened their appeal. Their releases have topped the Billboard Bluegrass charts. In both 2008 (for their Viridian album) and 2010 (for Fascination), they were nominated for Grammy Awards in the “Best Country Instrumental” category. They’ve earned ovations from “newgrass” music devotees at MerleFest and from indie-rock loyalists at Lollapalooza and the Austin City Limits Festival. RollingStone.com noted, “This imported band is creating some of the finest Americana around.”

But this four-piece band, spearheaded by Australians Carol Young and Kym Warner, is interested less in past accomplishments than in looking ahead for new goals to achieve. Produced and engineered by studio veteran Justin Niebank (Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Keith Urban), The Brick Album on the band’s own Darling Street Records is the first to successfully infuse The Greencards’ eclectic musical references with the excitement they generate onstage.

“We’ve been striving for this since our first record,” says mandolinist Warner. “We recorded totally in one room this time, with very little isolation. It was all about doing the performance now, without going back to add anything later on.”

“What you’re hearing is all one take,” bassist and singer Young adds. “If someone really didn’t like what we’d done, we’d play it all again from the top rather than drop the part in. When you drop in a part, you lose a little bit of the feel. You’ve got to get a run-up to it.”

That immediacy was heightened by the addition of two new members of the group. Tyler Andal, a young fiddle whiz from Tennessee, reinforces both The Greencards’ grounding in roots music and their eagerness to let in the fresh air of newgrass, rock, folk elements, Latin America and much more. “He thinks outside the box,” Warner explains. “We’ve always had a strong rhythmic aspect to our music, and Tyler definitely brings that.”

The other recent arrival, former National Flatpicking Championship winner Carl Miner, excels as a guitarist in that tradition but more importantly applies his virtuosity equally well beyond it. “He’s good at everything,” Warner says. “He’s one of the most versatile musicians, and probably the most consistent, we’ve ever played with. With Tyler and him in the band, everyone is pulling in the same direction.”

Make that “directions.” The Brick Album kicks off with “Make It Out West,” a rhythmically irresistible chant powered by guest artist Sam Bush’s slide mandolin, with lyrics conjuring restless dreams and far horizons. From there the songs take listeners through ever-changing vistas — the Spanish-inflected “Heart Fixer,” whose vocals by Young and guest artist Vince Gill stir memories of Marty Robbins; the slinky, teasing “Mrs. Madness,” written by Warner after a night of watching Bored to Death; the magical “Girl in the Telescope,” which floats like a feather in sunlight; “Tale of KangaRio,” an intimate Brazilian dance of mandolin and guitar; “Loving You Is the Only Way To Fly,” a dreamy evocation of the Louvin and Everly Brothers, the pillars of classic country duet vocals.

There’s much more, but two tracks bear special mention. The wistful “Faded” is a sweetly harmonized tune, so natural that you don’t even notice its unusual 5/4 time signature. Similarly, “Adelaide” is a brisk instrumental, built over a rushing stream of chord changes made accessible by melodies and solos of eloquent coherence.

“As we get older, the more I think about it, the more we want something in music you can cling to,” Warner says. “That comes with melody. What we do on The Brick Album allows us to have something not only on the record but also on our live show. It brings it back to “more than anything, this is about lyrics and harmony.”

It’s also about integrating fans more than ever into the band’s process. The Greencards followed an independent path with The Brick Album, partnering with its followers rather than with record labels to fund its sessions. In exchange for contributing to the “Buy A Brick” project, each donor had his or her name permanently inscribed on a brick within the wall that comprises its cover art.

“The times have changed a lot in the music industry, not so much in the creative side but in business side of making music,” Warner says. “We just wanted to give something unique and special to people, not just by sending them an early copy of the record by putting their names on the artwork. That makes them fully a part of it.”

But it’s the music that makes us all part of this journey. Warner and Young were both steeped in country music; she charted several No. 1 singles in her homeland as a solo artist and he won the Australian National Bluegrass Mandolin Championship for four consecutive years. They moved to Austin, put together the first incarnation of The Greencards there and today call Nashville home.

Along the way, they have picked up some influential fans. Their 2009 release, Fascination, prompted Rosanne Cash to say, “The Greencards are a little island of truth and beauty in a sea of artifice and mediocrity. What a fine group, and what a great collection of songs.” Buddy Miller called it one of the year’s “most inventive discs.”

With this new release, the world becomes more than ever The Greencards’ stage. Their sound defies category, balancing taste and technique, engaging lyrics and melodies and wildly creative arrangements. There may be a wall on The Brick Album’s cover, but the future suggested on these tracks knows no barrier.

Stanley Clarke & Victor Wooten @ the Boulder Theater

STANLEY CLARKE BAND Exploding into the jazz world in 1971, Stanley was a lanky teenager from the Philadelphia Academy of Music. He arrived in New York City and immediately landed jobs with famous bandleaders such as: Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, Pharaoh Saunders, Gil Evans, Stan Getz, and a budding young pianist composer named Chick Corea.

All of these musicians recognized immediately the ferocious dexterity and complete musicality the young Clarke possessed on the acoustic bass. Not only was he expert at crafting bass lines and functioning as a timekeeper in the bass- traditional role, Stanley also possessed a sense of lyricism and melody gained from his bass heroes Charles Mingus, Scott LaFaro, and others, including non-bass players like John Coltrane. Clarke recognized the opportunity to propel the bass into a viable melodic soloist role and was uniquely qualified to do just that.

Stanley Clarke became the first bassist in history to headline tours, selling out shows worldwide, and have his albums certified gold. The word "legend" was used to describe Stanley by the time he was 25 years old. In 1997 Epic/Sony released: By this tender young age, Stanley was already a celebrated pioneer in fusion jazz music. He was also the first bassist in history to double on acoustic and electric bass with equal virtuosity, power, and fire. His artistry has spanned classical, jazz, R&B and pop idioms. He has already succeeded in a multitude of diverse careers, any one of which would be satisfactory to anyone else. Yet he still pushes on, as invigorated and as passionate about music as that teenage prodigy from Philadelphia with a dream. The Biography of this incredible musician, like Stanley himself, is a continuing work in process.

VICTOR WOOTEN He is an innovator, composer, arranger, lecturer, producer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist. He is a skilled naturalist and teacher, a published author, a magician, husband and father of four, and a five-time Grammy award winner. But those gifts only begin to tell the tale of this Tennessee titan.

Victor, known for his solo recordings and tours, and as a member of the Grammy-winning super group, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, has won most every major award given to a bass guitarist. He was voted Bassist of the year by Bass Player Magazine three times and is the only person to have won the award more than once.

Continuing to grow as a person, artist, and teacher, Victor Wooten is always willing to share his gifts with all who desire to learn. Offering CDs, DVDs, lectures, workshops, and camps, as well as his groundbreaking novel The Music Lesson (Berklee Publishing - a division of the Penguin Group) Victor Lemonte Wooten is guaranteed to remain a positive force in the music industry.

More Info / Buy Tickets

Sarah Jarosz To Release "Follow Me Down" on May 17th

What Sarah Jarosz’s acclaimed debut, Song Up In Her Head, suggests, Follow Me Down—due out May 17, 2011 on Sugar Hill Records—confirms: she is constitutionally incapable of getting stuck in a rut. Her approach to acoustic music is expansive and vital; she sees no need to choose between old-timey and modern material; between picking, singing and writing; between experimenting and reviving tradition. She does all of it, and pushes it all further, on her new album.

“I definitely could have just made a record that was similar to the last one—pretty rootsy,” reflects Jarosz. “That would have been a representation of a side of me. But I have all these new sounds and ideas and I just didn’t want to hold back on this one.”

A lot has changed in the two years since the world outside the festival-going bluegrass and old-time music communities—home to many longtime Jarosz fans—was introduced to the young singer/songwriter/instrumentalist. Her music caught on quickly with audiences across the age spectrum. There have been GRAMMY and Americana Music Award nominations, a trio of Austin Music Awards, invitations to perform on “Austin City Limits” and “A Prairie Home Companion” and appearances at Bonnaroo, Newport and Telluride—and lots of digital downloading, a rarity for a roots act.

The most important difference is that Jarosz cannot be called a kid anymore. She’ll turn twenty within a week of Follow’s release. Instead of going straight to work as a full-time musician, as many before her have done, she left her hometown of Wimberley, TX—30 miles outside of Austin—and headed to Boston’s New England Conservatory to study contemporary improvisation on an elite scholarship.

“I wanted something to push me out of my comfort zone,” Jarosz says. “I wanted to be playing things that I might not normally play.” And she has had plenty of opportunities to do just that, from Jewish and world music ensembles at school to wildly unpredictable live jams with Punch Brothers and Mumford & Sons. That keen, open-minded attitude speaks volumes about her maturity.

Like her first album, Jarosz co-produced Follow Me Down with Gary Paczosa (Alison Krauss, John Prine, Chris Thile). Only this time, they had a college course schedule and high profile gigs to work around. They did a session with Punch Brothers in New York, another in Boston with her talented young trio mates Alex Hargreaves and Nathaniel Smith and several in Nashville with some of the acoustic world’s finest pickers and singers, including Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Viktor Krauss, Dan Tyminski, Shawn Colvin and Darrell Scott.

Jarosz’s growth can be felt throughout the resulting eleven tracks. The grooves are more adventurous, for starters on the first single “Come Around”.  She comments, “I know for some purists out there, it’s like, ‘Why do you have to have drums?’ For me, it’s like, ‘Why not?’” And she has explored alternative ways of using her already-strong voice (see her Radiohead cover “The Tourist” and Radiohead-inspired original “My Muse”; Bob Dylan’s folk hymn “Ring Them Bells” is the album’s other cover).

There’s no missing the breadth in Jarosz’s songwriting. She is just as comfortable penning the tragic old-timey “Annabelle Lee” - an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s final poem, or a modernized Appalachian ode to secret love like “Run Away” as she is cultivating contemporary singer-songwriter introspection in a song like “Here Nor There”. But her playing—be it on mandolin, octave mandolin, clawhammer banjo or acoustic guitar—never takes a back seat. She started “Peace”—one of two instrumentals on the new album—when she was twelve, and finished it at college. And it is that hunger to let her music keep growing—along with her formidable abilities—that make Jarosz so exciting to watch.

Wanda Jackson at the Boulder Theater | 4/1/11

When Wanda Jackson, the justly crowned Queen of Rockabilly, recorded “Let’s Have A Party,” a tune she made into a hit of her own in 1958 even after one-time boyfriend Elvis Presley had released a version of it, her delivery of the chorus wasn’t so much a suggestion as a command. As the title – and, more importantly, the contents -- of her latest album, The Party Ain’t Over, indicates, this feisty septuagenarian artist is as galvanizing as ever. Jackson was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, honored with a long-time-coming, Early Influence accolade for her pivotal role in the evolution of popular music, especially where female artists were concerned. As a teenager in the mid-50s, the diminutive Jackson was the first woman to perform unadulterated rock and roll – and she one-upped the boys defining this new genre, Presley included, with her exhilaratingly forthright approach. The young Jackson, an Oklahoma native, came across as both gritty and glamorous; a playfully suggestive growl to her voice matched the daring, handmade outfits she wore, short skirts and fringed dresses that have inspired would-be bad girls for decades to come. A tireless touring artist for more than 50 years, Jackson continues to win over new, young fans, including guitarist-vocalist-White Stripes founder Jack White.

On this debut for Third Man/Nonesuch Records, produced and arranged by White at his Nashville studio, the spirited Jackson proves that brash rock and roll attitude need not have an age limit. Her trademark growl remains intact on rockers like “Rip It Up” and “Nervous Breakdown;” she opens the set with an echo-laden sneer on a rollicking version of “Shakin’ All Over” and ends it ten songs later with a plaintive take on Jimmie Rodgers’ “Yodel #6,” along the way gamely tackling country, gospel, densely worded Bob Dylan, and a little bit of Tin Pan Alley. Jackson and White are a remarkably simpatico pairing; their collaboration came together quickly, serendipitously. One of Jackson’s colleagues had originally approached White about doing a duet with Jackson for a proposed “Wanda and Friends” disc, but White demurred. Instead, he offered something better, inviting Jackson to cut a single with him for his Third Man label, and that swiftly led this kindred spirits to put together an entire album.

Jackson admits, “I was scared at first because I didn’t know what this young rock star was going to expect of me or ask me to do. I kind of had shaky feet, deciding whether I wanted to do this or not. Of course I knew about him, I have to admit, from the album he did with Loretta Lynn and how successful that was. That certainly got my attention when he said he was interested in doing one with me. So we began sending material to each other; he sent me the things he thought I should do or he wanted me to do, and I sent him some ideas of things I had put aside for recording at a future date. When I finally got to Nashville, he put me at ease immediately. He’s just so laid back and such a cool guy that I found myself wanting to please him, I wanted to do it his way. My husband (Jackson’s manager of 40 years) and I told him, you do this. If you want a suggestion from me, feel free to ask. Otherwise, you make the decisions. That gave him a lot of freedom and I wanted him to have that freedom. And I think that’s what made it so good as an album. As I began singing these songs and listening to the playbacks he made, I realized he wasn’t wanting to change my style of singing at all. He just wanted me to have new, fresher material. And I said, hey I could do this. I can sing like Wanda Jackson. He just wanted more of Wanda than I was used to putting out. And apparently it worked.”

White and Jackson came up with inspired and wide-ranging song choices that reflect Jackson’s long history with country, gospel, and even the big-band music she remembers from her childhood as well as with rock and roll: Harlan Howard’s woozy lament “Busted”; the Andrew Sisters’ kitschy tropical travelogue, “Rum and Coca Cola”, a fitting companion to her own “Fujiyama Mama”; Dylan’s rockabilly fever dream, “Thunder On The Mountain”. They also recorded a cover of contemporary bad-girl Amy Winehouse’s “You Know That I’m No Good,” which White first released as a single in 2009, paired with “Shakin All Over.” The Winehouse song suits her, Jackson says, but she’s careful to draw the line between life and art: “On the one hand, I’m good, on the other hand, I’m bad. That seems to be the image this new generation of fans that I have has given me. It’s like the title of the documentary about my life that recently came out: The Sweet Lady With the Nasty Voice. Maybe that says that I become a different person, a different persona, when I sing those songs. I have a good reputation, always have had, and respect from everyone as a lady, and that pleases me very much. But the young girls think I’m this hard gal that gets her way and storms in. It’s just because of the material I’ve sung and the way I’ve sung it. And that’s okay. That’s cute.

White himself backs Jackson on lead guitar, cutting loose with solos that are as ferocious and fun as Jackson’s vocals; in fact, the entire band that White assembled – including pedal steel, a horn section and backing vocals from singers Ashley Monroe and Karen Elson –is similarly uninhibited, matching Jackson’s and White’s intensity and, just as often, their humor. Though the work is carefully arranged, the resulting tracks feel like one unforgettable after-hours session, with everyone in thrall to the woman at the heart of these tunes. The first song White suggested they cut was “Rip It Up,” one Jackson knows very well from her rockabilly days. As she explains, “It shocked me that he wanted me to do that but that was the first one I recorded. He loves that song and I do too. But I think he did that to put me at ease, let me do something that I’m real familiar with and real comfortable with, and he didn’t have to direct me or any of that. I just reared back and sang it. That got me loosened up and made me comfortable.” Not that White simply wanted to make things easy. On the sultry “You Know I’m No Good,” says Jackson, “We’d get through one take and he’d say, ‘Oh Wanda that was great.’ And I said, ‘Whew, I made it.’ Then he said, ‘Now let’s do one more and let’s push a little more.’ I was getting physically kind of tired and probably kind of got angry but he got the take he wanted. It’s funny how you can come up with what your producers want in the strangest ways.” A little bit of their repartee can be detected at the top of the track, just as the analog tape gets rolling.

The Party Ain’t Over is about stepping out, not summing up, but it does touch on important aspects of Jackson’s life and ever-evolving career. “Teach Me Tonight,” a country-inflected interpretation of the DeCastro Sisters’ hit, partly fulfills Jackson’s desire to cut a 40s-style big-band disc. “Like A Baby,” recorded live in the studio with the whole band, allowed Jackson to revive an obscure, bluesy number from her old buddy Elvis. The Jimmie Rodgers tune is the first song she ever learned as a child; her father taught her the chords on the guitar, she figured out how to sing along while she played, and, like any aspiring vocal star of the era, she taught herself how to yodel, a skill she has clearly maintained over the ensuing decades.

Jackson remains too busy to look back – her legend looms especially large now in Europe and Japan, where she is always in demand as a concert performer – but she does allow herself a moment to reflect: “I can’t think of anyone who could be any luckier or any happier than me. I think it’s a blessing from the Lord. I had wonderful parents who gave up so much so that I could have my dreams come true. I was an only child so I had all the love and attention that anyone could ask for. My mother made my stage clothes and a lot of my street clothes too. Dad traveled with me and drove me to all those early dates so I didn’t have to be alone. You couldn’t ask for more, to make your living doing what you love to do, to sing and travel and entertain people all your life. I can’t think of any life that could be better than that.”

And, as she notes, the party ain’t over.

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Tickets are on sale at Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com.

Tickets are On Sale Friday February 11th!

$20 adv / $22.50 dos

Blair Announces Feb/Mar Tour With Say Hi

Brooklyn-based artist Blair has announced new tour dates in support of Say Hi this February and March. The lengthy jaunt will launch February 18th at Neurolux in Boise, ID and wrap up March 30th at The Media Club in Vancouver, BC. The tour includes a hometown show on March 7th at the Bowery Ballroom in New York, as well as two dates during this year's SXSW festival. Blair's debut full-length Die Young was released early last year by Autumn Tone Records.

Die Young is a winsome mix of dreamy, hazy indie pop influenced by Blair's love for '90s FM radio (think Beck and Nirvana) and the records spun on her mother's turntable (like Bob Dylan and Neil Young) while growing up in New Orleans, LA. The album was written - in both her hometown and Los Angeles, CA - and re-recorded over the course of five years. The songs were finally laid to tape in New Orleans using both traditional studios and makeshift home setups, with the help of producer Keith Ferguson and a host of musician friends filling out the parts.

As her airy vocals tell stories of heartache, daydreams and memories, throughout the album Blair shows herself to be a nimble musician and songwriter with an innate sense of sumptuous melody. Whether the angular guitar pop of opener "Rampage," the sweetly yearning "Hearts" (listen/download here), the sprightly whimsy of "Hello Halo," the '60s girl-group swing of "Paris France," or the soaring, lush "Wolfboy" (listen/download here), it's easy to understand why PasteMagazine.com gave her its 'Best Of What's Next' label and why Muzzle Of Bees declared Die Young "...a pop album for this generation...one of the year's most promising surprises."

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Blair tour dates (all in support of Say Hi):

FEB. 17 BOISE, ID NEUROLUX

FEB. 18 SALT LAKE CITY, UT KILBY COURT

FEB. 19 DENVER, CO HI DIVE

FEB. 20 LAWRENCE, KS JACKPOT SALOON

FEB. 21 OMAHA, NE SLOWDOWN

FEB. 22 MINNEAPOLIS, MN 7TH STREET ENTRY

FEB. 23 MADISON, WI HIGH NOON SALOON

FEB. 25 CHICAGO, IL LINCOLN HALL

FEB. 26 BLOOMINGTON, IN VIDEO SALOON

FEB. 27 NEWPORT, KY SOUTHGATE HOUSE

FEB. 28 COLUMBUS, OH SKULLY'S

MAR. 1 PONTIAC, MI PIKE ROOM AT CROFOOT

MAR. 2 CLEVELAND, OH GROG SHOP

MAR. 3 BUFFALO, NY MOHAWK PLACE

MAR. 4 TORONTO, ON EL MOCAMBO

MAR. 5 MONTREAL, QC CASA DEL POPOLO

MAR. 6 BOSTON, MA MIDDLE EAST (Downstairs)

MAR. 7 NEW YORK, NY BOWERY BALLROOM

MAR. 8 PHILADELPHIA, PA JOHNNY BRENDA'S

MAR. 9 WASHINGTON, DC BLACK CAT BACKSTAGE

MAR. 10 ASHEVILLE, NC THE GREY EAGLE

MAR. 11 ATLANTA, GA THE EARL

MAR. 12 ORLANDO, FL BACKBOOTH

MAR. 13 TAMPA, FL CROWBAR

MAR. 14 TALLAHASSEE, FL CLUB DOWNUNDER

MAR. 16 HOUSTON, TX FITZGERALD'S (Downstairs)

MAR. 17 AUSTIN, TX SXSW

MAR. 18 AUSTIN, TX SXSW

MAR. 19 DALLAS, TX THE LOFT

MAR. 22 PHOENIX, AZ THE RHYTHM ROOM

MAR. 23 TUCSON, AZ PLUSH

MAR. 24 SAN DIEGO, CA THE CASBAH

MAR. 25 LOS ANGELES, CA THE ECHO

MAR. 26 SAN FRANCISCO, CA BOTTOM OF THE HILL

MAR. 28 PORTLAND, OR MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS

MAR. 29 VICTORIA, BC LUCKY BAR

MAR. 30 VANCOUVER, BC THE MEDIA CLUB

Alex Winston To Release Debut "Sister Wife"

Alex Winston was given her first guitar when she was 7. When her Dad’s advances to teach music to her older brother fell on deaf ears, she was gladly the runner up. Sitting in the basement for hours practicing chord progressions and listening to songwriters like Carole King and Laura Nyro, she was taught the importance of her home city of Detroit’s musical history.
Classically trained in opera and bred on musical Americana, the beautiful Detroit-native would listen to the rock of Iggy Pop and The Stooges, The MC5 and the legendary Motown artists in equal measures. She opted out of college when she was given the opportunity to tour the US, and to this day still cherishes opening for Chuck Berry in St Louis.
Alex moved to New York earlier in 2010 and her upcoming mini LP, Sister Wife, has been produced by hot young New York producers The Knocks and Londoner Charlie Hugall (Florence and the Machine).
It will be preceded by a video for lead track "Locomotive". The songs on the album tackle a variety of interesting subjects; personal ambivalence, polygamy, the art of writing inebriated and more.
Alex recently released a limited edition run of 7" vinyl of Choice Notes, and sold out her debut live performance (with a seven piece band!) at this year's CMJ festival in New York.

The Mynabirds Toast the Holidays with X-Mas Single

Today the Mynabirds release a limited edition 7" on Saddle Creek that features "All I Want is Truth (for Christmas)", an original (anti-) Christmas song, and a cover of the Zombies' "This Will Be Our Year" on the B-side. The first 200 copies from Saddle Creek's online store will be offered on white vinyl. A black vinyl version of the 7" is available at retail outlets, and all records include a free digital download. The songs are also available at all digital outlets. If you haven’t checked it out at Brightest Young Things, a free mp3 of "All I Want is Truth (for Christmas)" is available now via Saddle Creek by clicking HERE.

With charming chords descending the wurltizer keys like falling snow, the Mynabirds' "All I Want" starts out like a typical Christmas song. But by the second line, it's clear that this is singer-songwriter Laura Burhenn's cry for anything but another ordinary holiday. "All I Want" navigates global warming, messy politics, endless wars, and American consumerism, and brushes it all away to remind us of the snow-white core of the holidays: love. "Have yourself a happy little New Year," Burhenn sings, "'Cause the politicians will be at their same old arguments: Should we start another war or should we raise another tax?" Burhenn declares that she's opting out of society's endless back and forth to "sit down with [her] love and…remember what it means to celebrate without a single store-bought thing." Like a mug of hot cocoa served with a dash of John Lennon's "Gimme Some Truth", "All I Want" goes down like an old standard in a whole new era.

"This Will Be Our Year" is the perfect song to close out a year of haunts and minor catastrophes to look to something new. The slide of J. Tom Hnatow's pedal steel colors the Mynabirds' version of this Zombies' classic as a sweet, country-tinged take on the original. Both "All I Want" and "Our Year" were recorded to tape in a single day at Inner Ear in Arlington, Virginia with producers Chad Clark and TJ Lipple at the helm. A host of DC friends joined in, including the Roofwalkers' Elmer Sharp (drums), Ben Licciardi (backing vocals), and Raj Gadhia (bass and vocals); These United States' J. Tom Hnatow (pedal steel); and Winston Yu (strings).

What We Gained in the Fire - Video

Also out now is a new video for "What We Gained in the Fire", the opening track from the Mynabirds' debut album. The video premiered on Friday at AOL Spinner. Director Rob Walters layers new Super 8 footage of singer-songwriter Laura Burhenn traversing a snowy landscape with vintage footage of her own family's home movies that span three generations. Stretching from the 1940's to present day, the viewer gets a window into a family story, watching clips of young love blossom, of babies growing into men, piecing together what might really be going on behind the nuclear family facade.