war

Classic blues singer Alberta Hunter reissued on RockBeat Records

It’s difficult to decide which was the most remarkable facet of pioneering blues chanteuse Alberta Hunter’s incredible career. Was it her role in the vanguard of the “classic blues” movement of the early 1920s, when she recorded prolifically for Paramount and other labels during the industry’s first foray into the idiom? Her entertainment of grateful U.S. troops during not one war, but two? Or her heartwarming late 1970s/early 1980s comeback on the New York cabaret circuit after more than two decades away from singing professionally, when she was well into her 80s? One fact is inescapable: when she died on October 17, 1984 in New York at age 89, Hunter was a genuine star once more.

In 1974, the singer had largely retired from music due to health concerns. But musical pursuits called once again when club owner Barney Josephson invited her to star for six weeks at the Cookery, his hip Greenwich Village cabaret, in October 1977. The live recording of a subsequent 1981 Cookery performance resulted in Downhearted Blues: Live at the Cookery, which will be released on both CD and 180-gram vinyl August 30, 2011 on RockBeat Records, a new label focused on quality reissues and new recordings by heritage artists, distributed by eOne Distribution. Musicologist Bill Dahl contributed liner notes. (The title was previously available on CD, but has been re-mastered and will now be available on CD and 180-gram vinyl for the first time.)

Born on April 1, 1895 in Memphis, Hunter was weaned on W.C. Handy’s pioneering blues. By 16 she was in Chicago in the midst of a celebrated five-year residence at the city’s Dreamland club, singing in front of King Oliver & His Creole Jazz Band with Louis Armstrong. Hunter made her recording debut in 1921 for Black Swan Records, one of the first black-owned labels, with “How Long, Sweet Daddy, How Long” b/w “Bring Back the Joys.” From there she went to Paramount Records, cutting half a dozen sides including the original “Down Hearted Blues,” which she wrote with piano accompanist Lovie Austin and forcefully revisited on the 1981 live album.  (Bessie Smith, the immortal Empress of the Blues, ended up scoring a bigger hit with the song in 1923.) Hunter continued to record prolifically for Paramount, backed by Fletcher Henderson and, on 1923’s “Stingaree Blues,” Fats Waller.

Having conquered Chicago, Hunter moved to New York in 1923. She recorded for Gennett, OKeh, RCA Victor and Columbia. During this time she ventured to jazz-obsessed France in 1927, where she co-starred with Paul Robeson in a production of Showboat and recorded into the ’30s for HMV. When she returned to the U.S., she recorded for ARC, Decca and Bluebird.  She hosted a radio program in the ’30s and Broadway welcomed her back in 1939, when she shared the stage with Ethel Waters in Mamba’s Daughters. When World War II broke out, Hunter boldly served her country in the USO, entertaining troops across the globe. She continued into the Korean conflict.

There were scattered post-war sessions. But when her beloved mother died in 1954 and after starring in a Broadway flop, Hunter bowed out of performing to train as a nurse. Upon graduation in 1957 at age 62 — an age at which many folks contemplate retirement — she began a new career at a New York hospital. Other than recording a couple of Chris Albertson-produced LPs cut two weeks apart in 1961 (Songs We Taught Your Mother, a set for Prestige Bluesville also featuring Victoria Spivey and Lucille Hegamin) and Chicago: The Living Legends for Riverside, she kept a determinedly low profile for more than two decades — afraid the hospital would learn how far past mandatory retirement age she was and let her go.

In 1974, Hunter was forced out of her job by hospital regulations. It was October 1977 when Cookery’s Josephson invited her to headline his room. Next, legendary A&R man John Hammond cut an album’s worth of her classics (with a few new ones) for the Columbia soundtrack of director Alan Rudolph’s 1978 film Remember My Name. Dick Cavett and Mike Douglas invited her to brighten their TV talkfests, 60 Minutes profiled her, and Columbia recorded three more albums.

The live recordings that form Downhearted Blues: Live at the Cookery are from one of her many triumphant evenings at the club. Her sense of swing and theatricality remained impeccable, with longtime pianist and arranger Gerald Cook and sturdy upright bassist Jimmy Lewis providing sterling accompaniment. Hunter glided through saucy double-entendre-loaded numbers (“Handy Man,” “Two-Fisted Workin’ Man”), time-honored standards (a rip-roaring “I Got Rhythm,” the tender “Georgia On My Mind”), and the touching ballads “The Love I Have From You” (from Remember My Name) and “You’re Welcome To Come Back Home.”

Caveman's 'CoCo Beware' Streets 9/13

After months of anticipation, Caveman is pleased to announce the digital release of their debut album CoCo Beware on September 13th, followed by the physical CD and vinyl release on November 15th. Exploding out of the New York scene over the last few months, the band has decided to get this hot off the presses album out as soon as possible via a digital self-release. The fans wanted it, so the fans get it — a straight-ahead ethos for a band that’s about the music FIRST.

In honor of the New York five-piece’s first release, the band has made “Old Friend” available as a free download, premiering the track with Fader Magazine this morning. Click HERE to hear the track. Recorded and produced by Nick Stumpf (French Kicks), CoCo Beware showcases the dreamy chamber pop and multi-part harmonies that have been turning heads at the band’s live shows for the better part of a year. Leading up to the release of their debut, Caveman will also be heading out on tour with The War On Drugs, hitting the east coast, midwest and Canada before returning to New York to celebrate their album release at the Mercury Lounge on Thursday, September 15th.

For Caveman, the last year and half have been a whirlwind. Formed in New York back in January of 2010, the band has gone from relative unknowns to opening for Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, White Rabbits, Here We Go Magic, Cursive, Wye Oak and Yuck in a little under a year. Listening to CoCo Beware, it’s easy to see why the band has garnered so much attention in such a short period of time. Opening with “A Country’s King of Dreams,” the band explores honey-sweet, country-tinged vocal melodies over tribal drumming. “My Time” is a slow-building pop gem, with lead singer Matthew Iwanusa’s vocals weaving in and out of band’s backing vocals. Caveman’s lush four-part harmonies, spaced-out guitars, and inventive percussion come together perfectly on the tracks “Easy Water” and “My Room.

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Upcoming Caveman dates:

* w/ The War On Drugs

08/06 - Montauk, NY @ The Surf Lodge

08/18 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda's *

08/19 - Brooklyn, NY @ Cameo *

08/21 - Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall *

08/22 – Burlington, VT @ Monkey Bar

08/23 - Montreal, CAN @ Casa del Popolo *

08/24 - Toronto, CAN @ Drake Hotel *

08/25 - Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig *

08/26 - Chicago, IL @ Schubas Tavern *

08/27 - Milwaukee, WI @ Club Garibaldi *

08/28 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry *

08/30 - St. Louis, MO @ The Biliken Club *

08/31 - Lexington-Fayette, KY @ Cosmic Charlie's *

09/01 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe *

09/02 - Washington, DC @ The Red Place *

09/15 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge (Album Release)

Koji Announces Holiday Shows & Spring US Tour

Resolve will take to the road this spring on THE RESOLVE TOUR, accompanied by one of the most powerful voices in music today, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, artist and activist Koji. The six-week tour of the United States will take place in March and April of 2011. The presentation will be a powerful combination of music, storytelling, media, and visual art, with an emphasis on empowerment to create change and build community. Following each event will be a workshop for those interested in getting further involved through concrete and effective action.

Since 2005, Resolve has worked together with communities in central Africa seeking an end to the brutal violence committed by top leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group at the center of Africa’s longest and arguably most ignored war. For more than two decades, the LRA has abducted tens of thousands of children, forcing them to become child soldiers and sex slaves in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and Central African Republic. This war has been largely ignored by the international community even though it is characterized by widespread, brutal violence against civilians, namely children.

The dedicated team at Resolve conducts in-depth field and policy research related to the LRA crisis and facilitates nationwide advocacy campaigns in order to both motivate political leaders to make ending this crisis a genuine priority and guide their efforts toward effective, responsible policymaking.

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Koji Live!

12/26/10
- HOWELL OPERA HOUSE - HOWELL, MI
w/ The Felix Culpa, Stay Ahead of the Weather, Castevet, Apathetic Critic, Shivers

12/27/10 - MUSICA - AKRON, OH
w/ The Felix Culpa, StayAtHeart, more

12/28/10
- MIDTOWN SCHOLAR - HARRISBURG, PA
w/ Balance and Composure, Stay Ahead of the Weather, Castevet

12/29/10 - BULL RUN UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISTS - MANASSAS, VA
guests TBA

12/30/10
- BRIEF RELIEF 2010 - BRANDYWINE VALLEY BAPTIST CHURCH - WILMINGTON, DE
guests TBA, benefit show to raise awareness for homelessness in the surrounding areas

MIKE + RUTHY'S FOLK CITY Tonight At Cornelia Street Café

Mike + Ruthy's Folk City is the new 4th-Wednesday series at Cornelia Street Cafe. This month Mike + Ruthy will be inviting the family on stage for a heart-warming evening of American roots music! Jay Ungar and Molly Mason achieved international acclaim when their performance of Jay's composition, Ashokan Farewell, became the musical hallmark of Ken Burns' The Civil War on PBS. When the whole family band gets together, they'll have your toes tapping with everything from cajun to celtic fiddle tunes and favorites from the golden age of country and swing. reservations strongly reccommend.

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Wed  Oct 27th 8:30PM      
MIKE + RUTHY'S FOLK CITY, (JAY UNGAR & MOLLY MASON FAMILY BAND)
(Jay Ungar, violin, mandolin; Molly Mason, guitar, piano; Ruthy Ungar, violin, guitar; Mike Merenda, banjo, percussion)

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CORNELIA STREET CAFÉ
29 Cornelia Street, NYC, New York    212-989-9319
http://www.corneliastreetcafe.com

Shadow Shadow Shade Release White Horse Trilogy & Debut Album

Los Angeles’ majestic septet Shadow Shadow Shade (formerly known as Afternoons) are prepping the release of their eagerly awaited, self-titled debut release.  Those who have seen their acclaimed live show know what to expect:  a lush sound that is both grand in spectacle and remarkably intimate.  With seven members that often sing in unison, the group’s haunting melodies sculpt an ethereal, choir-like effect.  Shadow Shadow Shade will be released on October 5th through the group’s own label, Public Records.  It will be available via Junket Boy and at CIMS stores nationwide as well as select additional indie outlets.  It was produced by Grammy-winning Producer/Mixer/Engineer/Musician and SSS member, Tom Biller (Karen O, Liars, Jon Brion, Sean Lennon, Kanye West).

Before the album is released the band is unveiling the three-part epic, post-apocalyptic short film known as the White Horse Trilogy that features several of their songs.  The clip stars Jason Ritter (of NBC’s upcoming drama “The Event”) and Anna WilsonWhite Horse’s director Michael Graham describes it as “an existential science fiction film that personifies and investigates the inner struggle one might go through under the distress of being ripped apart from their lover by the current world they live in, most importantly - war.”  The film is set in the future during World War III, when an unknown force has enslaved the human race.

SSS began as an art project amongst likeminded friends before evolving into an actual band that performed and recorded.  Upon hearing their demos, artist Shepard Fairey became one of the band’s early supporters  He soon designed posters for them that ended up getting plastered all over their hometown of LA.  After playing just one show, the group was offered the coveted residency at Spaceland and subsequently sold out all four weeks – this led to the SSS being invited to perform at IFC’s 2010 SXSW Showcase.

The group has created a stirring pastiche of sounds that takes cues from traditions such as psychedelia, orchestral music, shoegaze, opera, and indie rock among others.  Their enigmatic lyrics seem to have been plucked from a classic, timeless novel that hasn’t been written yet, and every song they compose builds towards a thrilling catharsis.  Click HERE to stream/download the mp3 for the album’s first single, “Say Yes.”

Shadow Shadow Shade Tour Dates:

10/8 - Santa Cruz, CA @ Rio Theater
10/10 - Portland, OR @Mississippi Studios
10/11 - Seattle, WA @ The High Dive
10/13 - San Francisco, CA @ Red Devil Lounge
10/14 - Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
10/15 - San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar

The Voice Project - Singing Ugandan Child Soldiers Back Home

The Voice Project launches to support Ugandan women’s groups who are using music to bring the child soldiers home - Featuring Andrew Bird, Mike Mills, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Joseph Arthur, Joe Purdy, Dawes, SoKo & many more to come...

The Voice Project a US based non-profit supporting the women of Northern Uganda who have been using music effectively to bring soldiers home from Africa’s longest running war, the 24 year old conflict that has devastated the region of Northern Uganda, Congo, Southern Sudan and CAR.

Many soldiers fighting with Joseph Kony's LRA were abducted as children and forced to fight. Many were made to kill their own friends and family, and while many do eventually escape, they often hide in the bush ashamed and afraid to come home because of what they were made to do.

Women in the region, widows and rape survivors, have been banding together into groups to care for each other and the orphans left by the war. Often without the right to even own land, these women have been taking a lead role in the Peace and Reconciliation efforts, one of their main tools: using messages carried in songs spread on the radio and by word of mouth into the bush to let the soldiers know that they are forgiven and that they should come home. And it's working. Soldiers have been hearing the songs and coming home.

Considering the atrocities the women have been subjected to, this is clearly not only one of the greatest uses of music, but also one of the greatest acts of compassion, love, and forgiveness one can find. Co-Founder Hunter Heaney first heard of the women’s efforts and how they were using music to call the soldiers home while working at an IDP camp (Internally Displaced Persons) in the tiny village of Agoro on the Uganda/Sudan border in 2008. He learned the women’s songs from different groups in the region and when they asked him to teach them some, the first one to come to mind was Joe Purdy’s “Suitcase.” Heaney brought the story of how the women were using music home with him, telling friends like music producer Chris Holmes and filmmaker Anna Gabriel. Together they assembled a team of friends like Internet entrepreneurs Kelleigh Faldi and CC Lagator, Web Developer Jason Young, Nicole Grable from the NGO world, and music industry veterans like Jay Sweet, Andrea von Foerster and Ana Calderon, and together started The Voice Project to support the women.

The story was passed to Alex Ebert from Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros who offered to combine the record release party for his new band’s debut album Up From Below with the project to raise money for the ladies. The money was used to start a small farm in Gulu. The women celebrated and sent their thanks in song, a phone call to Heaney singing the Joe Purdy tune he had taught them nine months before, and a short video of them singing the chorus to Edward Sharpe’s “Home” which has been making its way around the Internet.

From there, the idea for the “cover chain” was born. Taking the lead from the women in Uganda, the friends decided to keep the chain going and have artists pass on the story of the women to other musicians by each covering another’s song, with The Voice Project team filming each link as a series of episodes that would eventually circle back around to the women in Uganda, posting each online and raising money along the way from sponsors, advertisers and donors to support the women, the peace movement, and rehabilitation programs for former child soldiers.

Episodes featuring Andrew Bird, Mike Mills, Dawes, Joseph Arthur, Tom Freund, Joe Purdy and SoKo have already been shot and posted, with upcoming links from Peter Gabriel, Devendra Banhart, The Submarines, Bedouin Clash and many more on the way. A number of non-profits have also been getting behind the project in hopes of raising awareness and support for the war-torn region, including Oxfam International, Witness, HOPE and others.

Cold War Kids Heat Up The Boulder Theater

Another Friday night in Downtown Boulder, CO.  It was one of the biggest crowds I'd seen lately at the Boulder Theater, the kind where once you're in, you're only getting out again at the expense of your standing room – it would be filled by someone else when you get back.  I felt extremely lucky to have been there at all, since the show was sold out, had been for a week or more, and I only just got the call telling me I would be on the clock covering the show earlier in the afternoon.&nbsp

Rage Against the Machine in Denver for the 'Tent State Music Festival to End the War'

photos by Forrest Dudek- for the Grateful Web

Rage Against the Machine has joined forces with the Iraq Veterans Against the War and Tent State University to perform as part of the "Tent State Music Festival to End the War" on Wednesday, August 27 at the Denver Coliseum. They will join the Flobots, The Coup, State Radio, and Wayne Kramer. Doors open at 9:30 AM, show begins at 11:00 AM. 

Tickets are free and available by lottery.  Sign up for the lottery, with a valid photo ID (person must be present) at Tent State University at Cuernavaca Park between 11AM and 6:30 PM (look for the Tent State Music Festival booth near the IVAW Tower) Sunday, August 24 through Tuesday, August 26 during the D.N.C. Winners will be notified by email Tuesday evening, August 26. 

Go to www.tentstate.org for more info.

Ticket Pickup Information and Policies:

Each lottery winner will get two tickets for the Festival.

WINNERS can claim their tickets at the Denver Coliseum beginning 9:30 AM on Wednesday, August 27.

ONLY the WINNER can claim the tickets on show day.  Photo ID required.  NO name changes will be accepted under any circumstance.

Guest MUST be present when WINNER claims the tickets. After claiming the tickets, WINNER and their guest must immediately enter the coliseum.

Any TICKETS UNREDEEMED BY 12:00 PM WILL BE RELEASED on a first come first serve basis. There will be a secured area set up for people to line up for any tickets not picked up.

Where: Denver Coliseum

at I-70 (Brighton Blvd. exit #275B) and south to Humboldt Street, just east of the junction of I-25 with I-70. Downtown is easily accessible via Brighton Boulevard

When: Wednesday, August 27

Doors at 9:30 AM

Show time at 11:00 AM

All Ages Welcome

Tickets:  FREE, available through lottery system

A global opinion about War...

- for the Grateful Web

Rome claimed the biggest turnout - 1 million protesters. In London, at least 750,000 people demonstrated in what police called the city's largest demonstration ever. Spanish police gauged the Madrid turnout at 660,000. More than 70,000 people marched in Amsterdam in the largest Netherlands demonstration since anti-nuclear rallies of the 1980s. Berlin Germany estimates between 300,000 to 500,000 war protestors. Paris France was estimated to have had about 100,000. Police estimated that 60,000 turned out in Oslo, Norway; 50,000 in bitter cold in Brussels, Belgium; and about 35,000 in frigid Stockholm, Sweden.

About 80,000 marched in Dublin, Ireland. Crowds were estimated at 60,000 in Seville, Spain; 40,000 in Bern, Switzerland; 30,000 in Glasgow, Scotland; 25,000 in Copenhagen, Denmark; 15,000 in Vienna, Austria; more than 20,000 in Montreal and 15,000 in Toronto; 5,000 in Cape Town and 4,000 in Johannesburg in South Africa; 5,000 in Tokyo; and 2,000 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

More than 2,000 marched to the federal building from campus in Eugene, Oregon. In New York, rally organizers estimated the crowd at up to 500,000 people. City police provided no estimate of the crowd, which stretched 20 blocks deep and two blocks wide. Martin Luther King III:  "Just because you have the biggest gun does not mean you must use it..." Archbishop Desmond Tutu:  "Let America listen to the rest of the world - and the rest of the world is saying, Give the inspectors time.

Martin Sheen (plays a fictitious U.S. president on NBC's The West Wing): "None of us can stop this war. ... There is only one guy that can do that and he lives in the White House." Iraqi immigrant Azam Houle (left Iraq, now lives in Boise, Idaho):  "We seem to think we can destroy a country and then build a democracy... Democracy at gunpoint isn't democracy." Elsie Hinks, London England: "What I would say to Mr. Blair is stop toadying up to the Americans and listen to your own people, us, for once!" Tommaso Palladini, Milan Italy:  "You don't fight terrorism with a preventive war. You fight terrorism by creating more justice in the world."<p>Friedrich Schorlemmer, Berlin Germany:  "We Germans in particular have a duty to do everything to ensure that war - above all, a war of aggression - never again becomes a legitimate means of policy." 10,000 people in Toulouse France all chanted: "They bomb, they exploit, they pollute, enough of this barbarity."

Najjah Attar, a former Syrian cabinet minister: "The U.S. wants to encroach upon our own norms, concepts and principles...They are reminding us of the<br>Nazi and fascist times." A giant banner across The Wall of the Acropoli (Athens, Greece) - ``NATO, U.S. and EU equals War" Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon:  "Many people say we don't have options, but we do have options... The inspectors could be successful without a war."