universe

Yoko Ono Heats Up Dancefloors Once Again With Her Latest Summer Smash "Talking to the Universe"

Following the overwhelming success of her eighth #1 BILLBOARD HOT DANCE CLUB PLAY charting remix single “MOVE ON FAST”, YOKO ONO heats up dancefloors once again with her latest summer smash "TALKING TO THE UNIVERSE”.

Since bursting onto BILLBOARD’S HOT DANCE CLUB PLAY SINGLES CHART as the Hot Shot Debut at #36* (with a bullet) (Issue date: 07/16/2011), "TALKING TO THE UNIVERSE" has proved to be a fiery confection and one of Yoko’s most feverish and dynamic reinventions. Throughout its eight week stint on the chart, the single has quickly gained momentum claiming "the #25* spot (with a bullet)" as that week’s Power Pick (Issue date: 07/23/2011) before leaping into the "Top 20 at #17* (with a bullet)" (Issue date: 07/30/2011). It’s currently at #3* (with a bullet) (Issue date: 09/3/2011) nestled among contemporary pop and electronic music stalwarts BEYONCE, KYLIE MINOGUE, BRITNEY SPEARS, RIHANNA and DEPECHE MODE.

Originally taken from the 1995 YOKO ONO / IMA collaborative album RISING, the lean, funk-fueled rocker finds ONO tuning in to the universe as our as our celestial medium and ambassador to the cosmos urging listeners to purge all the preconceived notions, pretenses and fears that confine us in order to bask in a freer state of being. It’s an inspiring message of self actualization and empowerment that has become hallmark themes throughout her vast career.

ONO has long been credited with igniting the punk-rock fire years before its official explosion and her work continues to be relevant and generation-inspiring decades later.  Meticulously reinventing her material for 21st-century dancefloors has given the vanguard artist a greater platform and visibility of which many contemporaries and present-day contenders can be envious.

"TALKING TO THE UNIVERSE" marks  the latest chapter in ONO's staggering body of remixed works which, to date, has yielded  eight #1 BILLBOARD CLUB PLAY chart hits ("MOVE ON FAST", "WOULDNIT' (I'M A STAR)", "GIVE ME SOMETHING", "I'M NOT GETTING ENOUGH", "GIVE PEACE A CHANCE", "NO NO NO", "EVERYMAN / EVERYWOMAN" and the timeless "WALKING ON THIN ICE") and two critically-acclaimed remix anthologies:  YES, I'M A WITCH and its companion release OPEN YOUR BOX, an incredibly impressive feat for an artist who has spent her life on the cutting edge of music, art and pop culture.

“TALKING TO THE UNIVERSE” is available as three separate digital green releases (no materials used or abused) on MIND TRAIN / TWISTED Records issued July 5th, August 2nd and September 6th, respectively, on  iTunes.

Medeski, Martin & Wood @ the Boulder Theater

97.3 KBCO & Boulder Weekly are proud to present Medeski, Martin & Wood at the Boulder Theater on Friday, March 4th, 2011.

Somewhere, someplace, someone is debating the future of live and recorded music, speaking in somber tones of changes that have made it difficult to reach consumers, of technologies that have changed society, and of the lack of creativity found in the arts. But in a small but impressive microcosm of the universe known as Medeski Martin & Wood, creativity is alive, flourishing, and filled with outlets for growth and expansion. And somewhere, whatever gods of music there might be are smiling.

Medeski Martin and Wood's story is - like most great stories - one of humble beginnings, friendship, determination, a happy ending and a very bright future.

The trio of keyboard/organ/piano player John Medeski, drummer/percussionist Billy Martin, and bassist Chris Wood formed not in some vastly creative alternate universe, but rather in the neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, known as D.U.M.B.O. (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) in 1991. Medeski and Wood, students at Boston's prestigious New England Conservatory of Music, decided to move to New York City, with intent to explore the late-night underworld of the city's burgeoning jazz scene.


John Medeski, Billy Martin, and Chris Wood were looking to create music that reflected who they were, individually and collectively. The trio began experimenting with contemporary hip-hop beats that could swing as hard as jazz rhythms, yet remained essentially simple and propulsive, giving the musicians ample room to create hypnotic textures and sounds that were brimming with both improvisation and harmony. "In the beginning, as it is now, we went by gut instinct," says Wood. "We have a natural connection between us, as people and as musicians, and we just let things flow in whatever direction they went."

Gigs turned into multiple engagements, dates at small clubs led to performances at legendary New York City downtown hotspots like the Village Gate and the Knitting Factory, and soon the band was packed into Billy's van, traveling up and down the North Eastern United States. The next step was a natural one for any band - capture the music for posterity - and so MMW recorded their debut, "Notes From The Underground," which they released independently on hap-jones records in early 1991.

More gigs followed, and soon it was time for another release. This time, Medeski Martin & Wood inked a deal with Gramavision, a larger but still independent label that afforded them substantial freedom to create music the way they felt it should be played. In the summer of 1993 they released "It's A Jungle In Here," purchased an R/V, and hit the road for nearly half a year.

Communal, on-the-road living has broken up many bands, but true-to-form, MMW thrived in this potentially treacherous situation. Their secret was a unique combination of individual personalities, with each band member taking on additional roles that suited their own aptitudes and interests. As always, nothing was planned out; it just happened.

John, with his love for cooking, was the band's chef, preparing incredible meals that made life on the road more bearable. Billy, who worked well with his hands, could fix anything up to and including the band's RV. And Chris, with his head for business, took care of the group's accounting. As it was with the music, Medeski Martin & Wood balanced each other out perfectly.

"We have a certain chemistry between us, musically," says Martin, "and in addition to that we have a strong friendship that goes beyond the music. Even when we have ups and downs, the music and our friendship carries us through."

1994 saw the release of "Friday Afternoon in the Universe," and by 1995 it seemed like MMW was truly touring the universe, as their concert itinerary spread out and around the entire United States, and into Europe and Japan. In 1996, the band released their final Gramavision disc, "Shack-Man," which they celebrated with an 8-week Monday night residency at New York's Knitting Factory.

With much fanfare, the band then signed with another record label - the legendary jazz imprint Blue Note Records. At the turn of the new millennium, they released their all-acoustic album "Tonic," named for the Lower East Side club (and former kosher winery) where it was recorded. The band's affiliation with Blue Note resulted in three discs (plus a best-of set), and found them again pushing their sonic boundaries, incorporating percussionists, horn sections, and turntables into their already potent sound.

Which brings us to the here-and-now. Medeski Martin & Wood are no longer signed to anyone else's record label; they have come full circle by establishing their own label, Indirecto Records, as an outlet for their music. Which, quite happily, brings them neatly back to the way they did things in their formative years. Releasing their own music, their own way, in its own time.

The trio's first Indirecto release, "Out Louder," is a four-way collaboration with guitarist John Scofield, which true-to-form is heavy on group improvisation, irresistible grooves, rich harmonies, and strong melodies. While nothing definite is planned - as always, the band are taking each day and each opportunity as they come - it is possible that "Out Louder" could be the first in a series of independently-released projects that Medeski Martin & Wood will do in collaboration with other artists.

"By having our own label, we can make music however we want, and make as much as we want," explains Medeski. "In the history of man, recorded music is just a blink of the eye, just a small part of that vast history. The real thing is playing music live, and that is what we do. Beyond that, we'll be putting out recordings as often or as infrequently as we want."

The band also plan another first - a disc of children's music titled "Let's Go Everywhere" - set for release in early 2007 on the Little Monster/V2 label that promises to be as engaging for their established fan base as it is for the kids. "It's got everything, instrumentals, vocal songs, our kids are singing on it" says Wood.

Plus, there are the usual side projects going on, creative outlets which all three band members say serve to strengthen and add to the sound of the trio when they converge. Chris Wood plays frequently with his brother Oliver in The Wood Brothers, a rootsy, folk-and-blues, guitar and bass duo that serves as an outlet for both brothers' songwriting and vocal skills.

Billy Martin runs his own record label, releasing new and vintage recordings with a focus on percussion-based music. Amongst his releases is a three volume set of his own drum beats, and a percussion instruction book, focusing on bell and clave patterns found in Afro-Caribbean music, and featuring musical notation that Martin designed himself.

John Medeski, well, he is involved in a multitude of musical projects, from solo piano recitals to sideman gigs to leading or co-leading large and small bands. John has also lent his production skills to recordings by musical associates and friends, and has become involved in scoring films, including the acclaimed film Day on Fire which he scored and has a cameo appearance in.

A happy ending and a bright future, indeed. Medeski Martin and Wood live in our world, playing music that reflects their surroundings and communities. At the same time, they are a small world unto themselves, where creativity and spontaneity are honored, revered, and encouraged. And the world-at-large is a much better place for it

Read Grateful Web's interview with the Wood Brothers.

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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 December 3rd!

$32 adv / $34 dos / + $2.00 for under 21+ ticket buyers

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe at the Fox Theatre

Like a Super Nova burning bright in the night sky comes Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe.  Based out of San Diego, KDTU began its journey in 1998 after bandleader Karl Denson decided to change gears five years after he’d help create The Greyboy Allstars. GBA had proven themselves as the ultimate party band, spreading their “West Coast Boogaloo” style all over the world, making “Jazz” a dance term once again. Karl set out to take this formula to the next level by putting more emphasis on vocals and adding some funk, r&b and hip hop elements. It turned out to be a winning combination which set KDTU on the top of the heap in the touring world from 1999 through 2005. In 2005 Karl decided to get back to his roots and work in a smaller jazzier setting.  During 2006 and 2007 Karl led KD3, a trio configuration featuring Sax, Organ and Drums. This led to the 2007 release of KD3’s  “Lunar Orbit”, an album which was a great critical success. In 2008, Karl rejoined his former boss Lenny Kravitz and spent the year country hopping through Europe and North America. In 2009 Karl went back into the studio and conjured up what is being hailed as the most soulful KDTU adventure yet, “Brother’s Keeper” which was released Sept 15th, 2009.

Thursday June 24, 9:00pm
KARL DENSON'S TINY UNIVERSE
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All Ages / GA / $15 ADV weekend on-sale (June 4 - 6) / $20 ADV & DOS

Tickets on sale June 4 at the Fox Theatre box office | Internet 24-7 at www.foxtheater.com | Phone: During box office hours: 303.443.3399