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Rex Foundation's Three Ways To Boost Philanthropy & Have Fun!

Stanley Mouse Rex Foundation 25th Anniversary Poster- for the Grateful Web

Saturday, November 29th
Black Tie-Dye Ball featuring Dark Star Orchestra 
Nokia Theatre, New York, NY

Have some fun, good food and drinks, enjoy great seating, and mingle with the band members at our pre-concert reception - all to help Rex raise funds for grassroots giving. We're just about sold out of $200 tickets, and still have the $125 tickets and $75 student (ages 16-25) tickets. For anyone who wants to join us, yet feels the economic pinch, just ask for the $75 ticket. Your generosity makes a big difference to Rex and the greater community, as all above $60 is a charitable contribution. Check out the ticket details and help us celebrate what we can do together.

Click here for ticket information

Saturday, December 13th
Rex Foundation 25th Anniversary Celebration!
"Sweet Music Everywhere"
Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Let's once again fill the Warfield to enjoy our kindred connections and music you won't hear anywhere else. Peter Rowan is bringing along friends and family, including Ramblin' Jack Elliot, the Rowan Brothers and Crucial Reggae legendary musicians Fully Fullwood and Tony Chin, plus Michael Kang (of String Cheese Incident) with Panjea, and Jackie Greene, rising star of Phil & Friends.

Click here for ticket information

Stanley Mouse Rex Foundation 25th Anniversary Poster

Just in time for holiday gift giving to yourself and others, check out and order the great poster Stanley Mouse has created for the Rex Foundation's 25th Anniversary. Click here for poster information

This is the best of times and craziest of times.  How fortunate we are, as Thanksgiving approaches, to be a community connected by our love of music and concern for the greater good.  Come to our events, buy that beautiful Stanley Mouse poster, or just get on board the Rex Community Caravan with a contribution of $5 or more.  Let's demonstrate what we can do together to further a great tradition of grassroots giving.

Local Flare | You Have To See It To Believe It: Gregory Alan Isakov & the Freight, Bela Karoli, Paper Bird & The Wheel

Thursday night was an exhibition of local talent at the Boulder Theater, and Yours Truly does what he can to get the word out about local talent.  Four Denver area bands heated up the stage, each bringing a unique and innovative flavor that I find to be too often lacking in the Big Name touring company bands.  True to the Indie Rock tradition, you'll probably never hear any of these guys or girls on mainstream radio, but their ever-growing fanbases reminds us that media att

State of the Scene: Where Have All the Good Bands Gone?

Festival season!  I love it, and it is almost upon us.  After viewing the initial lineups for some of the big music festivals I couldn't help but notice the large number of indie rock bands that are sneaking their way into what are usually very jam-heavy celebrations.

I'll Have The Widespread Panic With A Side Of Galactic

The Jazz Aspen Festival is more of a gumbo of American music than jazz musicians' guild these days, but who's complaining? With the aspen trees barely showing signs of an approaching Fall, hot days were lending themselves to much colder nights and the perfectly sized crowd seemed poised for a great weekend of music. The melancholy recognition of those suffering in the South was braided throughout the sets, yet the bands got down to business.

The first day of music was kicked off with Widespread Panic's close friend, Jerry Joseph, and followed by Johnny Clegg. The crowd was surprisingly light as Panic took to the stage around 6:15 on Thursday evening and launched into an extended Rebirtha with taunts and teases that segued nicely into Junior. Old Neighborhood and Good People seemed to be a nod to those suffering in New Orleans, which was appreciative, but slowed the set a bit. In an attempt to shift gears, the band began the familiar progression of the crowd-pleasing J.J. Cale cover, Ride Me High. Run For Your Life is an interesting Beatles choice for Panic, but they pull it off well and it proved to be a nice mid-set treat. I was excited to hear an older Pigeons as well as another J.J. Cale cover, Travelin' Light. A set closing Give ended a modest, slow-paced set as the sun also took a break behind the surrounding hills of Snowmass.

The second set started with a rockin' version of Disco as Dave Schools rolled the band into the well-accepted new tune, Second Skin. A personal highlight of the evening for myself had to be the Blind Faith cover Can't Find My Way Home. John Bell (JB) sounded great and reminded me of the original soulful singing of Winwood & Clapton. After a fairly standard Rock came the slow spacey jam in the key of D that could only mean one thing, Driving Song. Driving Song segued fairly abruptly into R.L. Burnside's Snake Drive, which I believe is the only second time its been played. I remember it being pretty straightforward rock with a freight train kind of feel. Snake Drive dissolved into a short and sweet Drums that inevitably led back into Driving Song. Knocking 'Round the Zoo really got the crowd excited as the set closed with a low-end thumping Imitation Leather Shows.

An emotional Old Joe encore was a bittersweet reminder of the passing of original guitarist, Mikey Houser, but quite nice to hear. An aptly played Bayou Lena with Wally Ingram helping Sonny on percussion would have left any Panic fan happy but they didn't stop there. They decided to end things with a short ripping version of the live favorite, Fishwater. All in all, Panic's first night was good but I couldn't help but feel the band was taking a warm-up lap of sorts. So, we shuffled on to our Magic Shuttle Bus to take us home and looked forward to another music-filled tomorrow.

GALACTIC – Friday Afternoon Set

The afternoon of Galactic's set could not have been more beautiful. The sun was shining, kids were running around and the token throwing of the football had all signs pointing to a great day of music. If you're familiar with Galactic's New Orleans style of music, you know their sound is big, festive and much like a parade of funk dancing down Bourbon Street. But, when Galactic took the stage on Friday afternoon, you could tell their hearts were heavy with thoughts of their friends, family and beloved city. Stanton Moore struggled through a few words about donations before the band tried to settle into their set. If ever there was a time for music to act as a healer, it was now. The band played well but the festive atmosphere of the guys seemed to be lacking, and rightfully so. They played the bayou-based Dirty Dozen Brass Band's Lickity Split and wished them and their families well. Something was telling me Galactic was going to wait until the late night show to throw down. The setlist was:

I: Garbage Truck, Crazyhorse Mongoose, Lickity Split, Double Wide->Go Go, BK Instrumental, Clock Intro->Clock Stopper, Groovy Lady, Blackbird Special, Black-Eyed Pea

WIDESPREAD PANIC – Friday Night

The New Orleans nods continued as Panic kicked off the second night with Talking Head's cover Papa Legba, a song about a voodoo god. Thin Air (Smells Like Mississippi) and Doreatha gave George McConnell a chance to give his quick licks on lead guitar. A standard Weight of the World led to another aptly played tune, Down, as the lyrics "take along some of your favorite things 'cause you're gonna need 'em" rang with realism. The feel good country rock of Papa Johnny Road got everyone dancing for the upcoming Diner and crowd-cheering Tallboy. The first set ended with yet another not-so-subtle tune tied to the disaster in New Orleans, Climb to Safety. A great set closer. It was both chilling and uplifting to hear Bell and the crowd sing, "we must grab each others collar, we must rise out of the water and you know as well as I do it's no fun to die alone."

A giant of a second set began with old time favorite Love Tractor and led into Bust It Big. The Chilly Water>Worry>Chilly Water sandwich was appropriately well received and I, for one, was glad to hear the slower, emotional I'm Not Alone. The set kept moving with a newer You Should Be Glad, then older Tie Your Shoes that segued into Jack, and eventually led into Hot Tuna's Bow-Legged Woman. Porch Song, a Widespread Panic concert staple, closed the set and the show proved to be pure rock as Panic can only play it.

To finish us off, the band played yet another three song encore. The always-danceable All Time Low plowed its way into a frenzy and gave way to War's Slippin' Into Darkness. The final tune, Action Man, was more of an exiting tune for me by this time. What can I say? I had to go see Galactic again.

GALACTIC – Friday Late Night Set

The Snowmass Conference Center is not your normal venue. A little surprised and a little late, (hey, cut me some slack-this is my eighth straight hour of music) I meandered into the bouncing crowd. Already I could tell things were much more livelier than earlier in the day. Maybe it was the absence of the afternoon heat or the smaller confines of the Conference Center, but the people were moving and the music was loud. The band seemed to be enjoying themselves a little more too which always is a good thing. A guest appearance from P-nut on the midi-sax on Hot Pants Road was nice as was the show ending mega-medley Tippi Toes->Funkybird->Tiger Roll->Space Headz. In a growing trend these days for Galactic, they chose to wind things down for their encore and played a crowd settling Quiet Please.

I: It Ain't What You Think, Forbidden Horn, Baker's dozen, Blues For Ben, Moil, Workin' In A Coal Mine, Chicken Pox, Live Wire
II: Daydreaming, Santa Cruz, Mario Groove, Hot Pants Road*, Calypso Minor, Hit The Wall, Tippi Toes->Funkybird->Tiger Roll->Space Headz
E: Quiet Please

All in all, the weekend was a success for myself and the bands I was lucky enough to catch. For such a relatively small festival, there were great musicians all over the area and music coming at you from all sides. But even if I didn't see all the acts, in the end it doesn't matter who's playing the music, as long as the music moves your feet.