holiday

Alaska in Winter's sophomore release 'Holiday'

Alaska in Winter- for the Grateful Web

Alaska In Winter began when art student, Brandon Bethancourt spent a semester writing and recording music in an isolated cabin on the south coast of Alaska. Upon arrival back in New Mexico, he teamed up with Zach Condon of Beirut, Heather Trost of A Hawk And A Hacksaw and other friends, and thus began work on the album Dance Party In The Balkans. This debut release was released by Milan Records in July 2007 in the US after a release in the UK by Regular Beat a few months earlier.
 
After his critically acclaimed debut release, Bethancourt decided to quit his job, move out of his house and relocate to Berlin, Germany – a city he had been to before and had always dreamed of living in.  He has spent the past 6 months writing and recording this upcoming release Holiday and begins his tour of Europe in late September.  Holiday will be released on Milan Records on November 18, 2008.
 
Bethancourt takes much of his influence from his early years of growing up in the American South West, immersed in the musical low-rider culture of Santa Fe, New Mexico, as well as a slight Arabian influence on the part of his parents and their Byzantine church music. He combines these traditional sounds with programmed beats and use of the vocoder among other new technologies and techniques.
 
Because Bethancourt is the sole member of Alaska in Winter and does not read or write music, he uses multi-track recording to build his musical layers, using a variety of techniques.  "For Holiday, I recorded everything in my living room on a laptop and an old micro cassette tape recorder and used a German ghetto blaster as my monitor speakers. The only things I brought with me to Europe were my Powerbook laptop, an effects processor, a small midi keyboard, a microphone, and the hand held micro cassette tape recorder," he explains.  "Because I didn't actually have any instruments with me (aside from the elements I recorded before I came to Europe), the album turned out very electronic, very synthy as those were the only tools I had."
 
In comparing how Holiday differs from Dance Party in the Balkans, Bethancourt explains, "I've definitely been influenced by Berlin on this album - much more electronic than the last, heavily based on synths, bass, and dancier drums and with hints of minimal house elements creeping in ever so slightly. Even within the album itself I can hear a progression of the Berlin electronic music scene influencing me more and more with the amount of time I spent here.  The Berlin techno parties and all night dance marathons were big inspirations for me."

Conscious Alliance Announces Holiday Meal Drive & Rebel Alliance Jam XIV

Keith @ the Fox - photo by Sam Holloway- for the Grateful Web

Not-for-profit Conscious Alliance - feeding America's hungry through music - ramps up this year's holiday giving with the announcement of their 5th annual "Holiday Meal Drive."  With the support of musicians and their fans, and this year in partnership with Whole Foods Market, the organization will deliver full holiday meals to impoverished Native American Reservations for the fifth year in a row.  The organization also hosts the Rebel Alliance Jam XIV - a holiday benefit show at Boulder, Colorado's Fox Theatre on November 29th featuring Keith Moseley, Scott Law, Jeff Sipe, Gibb Droll, and special guest Kyle Hollingsworth.

Conscious Alliance launches their holiday campaign on the heels of October's hugely successful "Back to School Snack Tour." The project brought much needed healthy snacks and school supplies to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.  Hot Buttered Rum joined the organization for the trip, and offered very special musical performances at local schools on the reservation.

Conscious Alliance's 5th annual "Holiday Meal Drive," in partnership with Whole Foods Market, hopes to deliver 2,500 full holiday meals to four impoverished Native American Reservations: Pine Ridge, SD; Lame Deer, MT; Houma, LA; and Tohajiilee, NM. This requires that the drive collect $25,000 in donations; last year the organization collected $16,000. As in previous years, the organization is reaching out to their alliance of music industry artists and their fans for support.  Participating artists include The String Cheese Incident, STS9, Umphrey's McGee, the Disco Biscuits, Yonder Mountain String Band, and many others. Individuals who want to donate to the 5 th annual "Holiday Meal Drive" are encouraged to visit: consciousalliance.org/donate.htm to pledge.

In other Conscious Alliance holiday traditions, this year's holiday benefit show will take place on November 29th at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado.  The Rebel Alliance Jam XIV features Keith Moseley, Scott Law, Jeff Sipe, Gibb Droll, and special guest Kyle Hollingsworth. Tickets are $18, Doors are at 8:30 PM / Show at 9:00 PM, Ages 21+.

Conscious Alliance's fall project, the "Back to School Snack Tour," recently delivered much needed healthy snacks and school supplies to Wolf Creek Reservation School on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  600 students in grades kindergarten through eighth received over 750 healthy snack bags and school supplies, including notebooks, pens, folders, backpacks, colored markers and paper. 

Not-so-traditional string band Hot Buttered Rum joined Conscious Alliance for the journey after performing a two-night fundraising concert series in Boulder, Colorado.  The band helped load and deliver the 24 foot box truck full of donated goods, and performed three special interactive shows for the students, as well as a free show for the larger Pine Ridge community.  The Pine Ridge community welcomed Hot Buttered Rum as family.  While the community knows well the generous support of bands and their fans, this was the first time any band had come with Conscious Alliance to the reservation.  While there, members of Hot Buttered Rum did an interview with KILI Radio, the voice of Lakota Nation, and were invited to partake in a traditional Lakota Sioux sweat lodge ceremony.  "It was very uplifting to be part of the Conscious Alliance experience on the reservation," says Nat Keefe of Hot Buttered Rum. "And it opened our eyes to a new way for the Hot Buttered Rum organization to be involved in service and activism." 

For 2009, Conscious Alliance continues to find ways for artists and their fans to participate in the organization's service projects, including offering students opportunities to start a Conscious Alliance Student Group at their college.

Swing Into The Holiday Season With George Gee's Make-Believe Ballroom Orchestra

George Gee- for the Grateful Web

This Holiday season, The Edison Ballroom and producer Mickey Marchello, former guitarist from the legendary New York Rock Band Good Rats, will welcome the swing era sounds of George Gee and his Make-Believe Ballroom Orchestra as they entertain guests with a new show that evokes a golden era:  "Sleigh Bells Swing."  George Gee and his 22-piece Big Band offer the perfect Holiday treat for not only swing and jazz music fans, but also for tourists and tri-state area residents looking for an incredible Holiday entertainment experience.  The Edison Ballroom poses as the perfect backdrop for George Gee's musical extravaganza with its plush leather walls and sophisticated art deco accents in tones of whites, blacks, shades of grey, and platinum juxtaposed against illuminated glass tiles.  Combined with the décor of The Edison Ballroom and a presentation of classic Holiday songs, guests will feel as if they are re-entering a fantasy world of 1930s/1940s retro era of glitz and glamour that no longer exists – until now.
 
A world-renowned professional swing band leader, George Gee is also the only Chinese-American one. He has compiled a hip and cosmopolitan big band show fully equipped with 22 tuxedoed musicians, captivating singers, rhythmic tap dancers and gravity-defying lindy hoppers, punctuated by a custom-tailored bandstand to complete the look of this elegant evening.  "Sleigh Bells Swing" will begin with an interactive and multi-media floor show with the full swing orchestra and complete cast during dinner, MC'ed by the seasonal anecdotes of Mickey Marchello.  After the show and four course meal, the complete 1,700 square feet dance floor will open for dancing to the swingin' big band sounds of George Gee and his orchestra.

Edison Ballroom's "Sleigh Bells Swing" will run straight from December 20th, 2008 through January 3rd, 2009 (with no performance on December 24th, 2008).  Tickets for the floor show and dinner are $190.00 per person including all drinks and dancing; tickets are $75 per person for general dancing, include open bar and hors d'oeuvres  (post-dinner and floor show).

ABOUT THE EDISON BALLROOM

The Edison Ballroom, first opened in the 1930's, reopened June 2008 following a $5 million renovation targeted to make it the premiere venue for a wide variety of private events and celebrations. Located at 240 West 47th Street in the heart of Times Square (between Broadway and 8th Avenue), the Edison Ballroom boasts a long and illustrious history that is still visible in the details of its restoration.  The new renovation is meant to highlight the room's art deco flair of the 1930's.  Owner, Allan Wartski (Christo's Steakhouse and Hakata Grill) hired Glen Coben of the award winning New York-based architecture and design firm Glen & Company to design the interior.  A neutral palette was used to play up the architectural details, spotlighting their beauty. The main floor houses a 700 square foot stage framed by elegant and traditional silk curtains. Upstairs is a balcony that has its own bar.

ABOUT GEORGE GEE

Nearly three decades ago, in an era when punk, new wave and heavy metal ruled, a Chinese-American musician named George Gee launched his imaginative big band vision.  A native New Yorker, George Gee has always loved the syncopated jump styles of the Big Band Era and his career was propelled by the support of  swing giant Count Basie.  He grew up with rock 'n' roll, R&B and disco – but also developed a powerful passion for swing. At renowned Stuyvesant High School, George Gee wowed the crowds with his flashy showmanship on bass in the school's jazz band.  After an extended stint on the road, George returned to his hometown of NYC in 1989 to make his big band dream a reality.  He  summoned top notch musicians – (young and old), including veterans of legendary bands such as those led by Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and also Latin and pop music giants – all to continue living his big band dream.
 
With each performance, George Gee's powerful and entertaining swing orchestra continues to set new standards and reach for loftier heights.  George Gee and the band were recently invited to the Middle East to perform for an audience including The Prince of Jordan and musical impresario Quincy Jones. Gee also served as a primary expert for the nationally broadcast and DVD distribution of the documentary "The Joint is Jumpin'" and was also a featured appearance on PBS's "Live at Lincoln Center" for 11 million viewers.  George Gee continues to tour the world spreading the Gospel of Swing and is ecstatic about his collaboration with The Edison Ballroom.

Leftover Salmon Holiday Shows

photo by Mike Moran- for the Grateful Web

We have some fresh Leftover Salmon news for ya'll. First we are about to launch our new website but for all of you on our email list, well you can have a sneak preview at www.colfaxonline.net/salmon. This is still in a work of progress and will be evolving over time. We hope to have it live to the general public by this weekend. Please enjoy what it has to offer so far.

We also have downloads available from 3 of our 5 performances this summer. These are all high quality multi track recordings. Anyone who missed this summers' shows can now have the opportunity to hear what went down and what's to possibly come. For those of you that were there can hear how much fun we all had! These are available by Clicking Here.

Finally and most important some live Salmon, yes that's right some LIVE Leftover Salmon! We are excited to announce two more shows before the end of the year. We will be celebrating the last weekend of 2007 with 2 intimate performances in Colorado. There will be one show in Denver and the other one in Boulder. We are really looking forward to playing in Boulder where it all began so many years ago!

Tickets for these shows will go on sale Wednesday October 3rd on our fan ticketing (Click Here). These tickets are available to the fans on our email list only, until the new site launches! The remaining tickets will be available starting Saturday October 6th. For the Ogden you can purchase online at www.ticketmaster.com and the Boulder Theater tickets can be purchased online at www.bouldertheater.com  or at the Boulder Theater Box Office.

After a great summer and playing at some of our favorite festivals and of coarse Red Rocks, it's going to be a real treat play indoors at these intimate Colorado venues.

A Celebration of the Man & the Holiday

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1/15/29 - 4/4/68)- for the Grateful Web

On January 21st, 2008, Americans across the country will celebrate the national holiday honoring the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As they have since 1995, hundreds of thousands of Americans will remember Dr. King by participating in service projects in their communities. Together, they will honor King's legacy of tolerance, peace, and equality by meeting community needs and making the holiday "A day ON, not a day OFF."

Thrust into the national spotlight in Birmingham, where he was arrested and jailed, King organized a massive march on Washington, DC, on August 28, 1963. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he evoked the name of Lincoln in his "I Have a Dream" speech, which is credited with mobilizing supporters of desegregation and prompted the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The next year, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

The following is the exact text of the spoken speech, transcribed from recordings:

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check - a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snow capped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"