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John Hartford Stringband Nominated Best Folk Album

MEMORIES OF JOHN (Red Clay/Compass Records), the 15-song tribute to the late, great John Hartford — the banjo wizard, guitar picker, vocalist, musical innovator and multiple GRAMMY Award-winning recording artist who penned the megahit “Gentle on My Mind” — that was recorded by members of his former band and special guests, has been nominated for a 2011 GRAMMY Award for Best Traditional Folk Album.

The John Hartford Stringband, the same group of musicians who appeared on Hartford’s last five Rounder Records projects and were his final touring band — Chris Sharp on guitar, Bob Carlin on banjo, Matt Combs on fiddle, Mike Compton on mandolin and Mark Schatz on bass — were joined by special guests Tim O’Brien, Bela Fleck, Alison Brown, Alan O’Bryant, George Buckner and Eileen Carson Schatz to make the album that commemorates Hartford.
The album features Hartford himself on several previously unreleased tracks recorded before his death in 2001 as well as voiced instructions to the band from previous rehearsal tapes. Renditions of hit original Hartford songs, traditional fiddle tunes (“Three Forks of Sandy,” the album’s opening track), country and bluegrass songs refashioned by Hartford (“The Girl I Left Behind Me,” “Love Grown Cold”), rarely heard Hartford originals (“You Don't Notice Me Ignoring You”) unreleased compositions (“Madison, Tennessee”), the story-poem “For John” and more fill the loving tribute to one of the most influential artists in American music. The album ends with Hartford’s own whistling song “Fade Out.”
“John Hartford is now in the clouds, but his spirit can rest easy,” says CountryChart.com. “His friends have honored his memory in the best possible way. They have created a remarkable album that breaks new ground while exploring the music of a legend.”
This fall, Hartford was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame, and in 2005, was awarded the Americana Music Association’s President’s Award. He received multiple GRAMMY awards and nominations throughout his career, including Album of the Year for the “O Brother, Where Art Thou” soundtrack and Best Folk Performance for his song “Gentle on My Mind,” one of the most recorded songs of all time. He also appeared on TV in the 1960s and ’70s, on “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour,” “The Johnny Cash Show” and “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.”
The John Hartford Stringband will tour in 2011; scheduled concerts include the International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis in February, Merle Fest in North Carolina in April, and CBA Music Camp and the 36th Annual Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival in California in June.
The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards will be presented Feb. 13, 2011. The full list of GRAMMY nominees is available here.

Bobby Long Announces 2011 Tour Dates

British singer-songwriter Bobby Long will begin 2011 by embarking on the first leg of a North American concert tour in support of his long-awaited recording debut, A WINTER TALE, from New York-based independent label ATO Records. The collection of 11 original songs, produced by Grammy®-winner Liam Watson, will be released on February 1, 2011.


Long, who now makes his home in New York City and perhaps is best-known as the songwriter behind "Let Me Sign" featured in the blockbuster film Twilight, has cultivated a devoted fan base through non-stop touring in the United States, Canada and Europe.  Known for a repertoire deeply rooted in American folk, blues and country music, he will return to the road with a band of crack musicians to fully bring his gritty, powerful material to life on stage. As the San Diego Entertainer described it: "All his songs are like a well-orchestrated ballet of chord progressions and vocals that pluck at the deepest confined thoughts of your soul."

The special edition 5-song vinyl EP called STRANGER SONGS that was released in November as a preview of the forthcoming CD has already sold out of its initial pressing. Comprising three tracks from A WINTER TALE plus two bonus tracks, it reached #1 on both the CIMS Vinyl debut chart and AIMS debut chart compiled by independent record stores nationally. A second pressing will be available for the holiday season.

Confirmed BOBBY LONG tour dates are as follows:

January 28-Media Club, Vancouver, BC; 29-Tractor Tavern, Seattle; 31-Doug Fir, Portland; February 2-Café DuNord, San Francisco; 3-Troubadour, Los Angeles; 4-Anthology, San Diego; 5-Club Congress, Tucson; 8-Kilby Court, Salt Lake City; 10-Bluebird, Denver; 11-Bottleneck, Lawrence, KS; 12-Old Rock House, St. Louis; 14-High Noon Saloon, Madison, WI; 15-Triple Rock, Minneapolis; 16-Turner Ballroom, Milwaukee; 17-Radio Radio, Indianapolis; 18-Schuba's, Chicago; 19-The Basement, Columbus; 21-The Ark, Ann Arbor; 22-Revival Bar, Toronto; 23-Divan, Montreal; 24-Higher Ground, Burlington, VT; 25-Portland City Music Hall, Portland, ME; 26-Brighton Music Hall, Boston; 28-Iron Horse, Northampton, MA; March 1-Otto Bar, Baltimore; 3-Bowery Ballroom, New York City; 4-World Café, Philadelphia; and 5-Jammin' Java, Vienna, VA.  Long will also return to the SxSW Music Conference in Austin, March 16-20.

The second leg of the tour will follow with planned dates in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic to include cities such as Charlottesville, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Nashville, Cincinnati and Atlanta.  Additional dates will be announced shortly.

Albert King/Stevie Ray Vaughan on PBS

PBS has announced that the Albert King with Stevie Ray VaughanIn Session program will air as a special on its stations  throughout the month of December (check local listings). Grammy Award winning bluesman Robert Cray will serve as special fundraising host on the public television broadcasts.

In 1983, when legendary blues guitarist Albert King, then age 60, was joined by his disciple Stevie Ray Vaughan, then age 29, on a Canadian sound stage for the live music TV series In Session, magic took place.  Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughan In Session is not simply a television program: it’s a summit of two master musicians. The only known recording of King and Vaughan performing together, this is the concert that blues fans in general, and Stevie Ray Vaughan fans in particular, have been waiting for.

The audio recording of the performance went on to sell more than 325,000 units from two releases: the first in 1999, the second in 2009. On November 9, 2010, Stax Records, a division of Concord Music Group, released In Session as both a DVD and a deluxe DVD/CD combination.

SonicBoomers.com noted: “Both men are gone now, but rare recordings like In Session remind us of a time when blues giants still walked the earth side by side.”

"As a document of what was probably the greatest night in the musical life of SRV (Stevie Ray Vaughan), this belongs in the collection of every true fan,” said the Austin American-Statesman.  Musicologist Samuel Charters says in his new liner notes for the package, “it’s also clear, nearly 20 years later, that this was a special moment in the careers of each of the two men.  It was evident from the first choruses that they were playing for each other. And that was the best audience either of them could ever have.”

An hour and 45 minutes, approximately, was taped of the two. What will thrill viewers who are fans of the blues, players of the blues, and who adore SRV, is that the televised concert includes at least one SRV tune — “Texas Flood” — that was not included on either of the two CD releases of the session.

The innovative Canadian television series was conceived with the intention of pairing musicians who were related stylistically, but seldom had an opportunity to play together. Albert King wasn’t sure whom he’d been booked to jam with on December 6, but he recognized the young Texan immediately — not as fast-rising star Stevie Ray Vaughan, but as Little Stevie, the skinny kid who’d been coming around and eventually sitting in every time Albert passed through Austin.

Stevie idolized Albert, as did many other “modern” electric axe-men. Albert may have been overshadowed by B.B., but Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Robbie Robertson, Mick Taylor, and Joe Walsh — all of them listened to him, listened again and again, and were heavily influenced by his style.

At the time of the taping, the buzz may have been around Stevie, but Albert was clearly in charge of the music.  Earlier in the year, in May, David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” featuring Stevie at his blistering Albert King-inspired best, hit the top of the Billboard pop singles chart; in June, SRV’s debut album Texas Flood came out, and MTV put “Pride and Joy” into their rotation. He never looked back.

During their performance, Albert ruled over the proceedings like a benevolent father, retaining control while allowing his guest loads of solo space in which to display his awesome command of the electric guitar.  The interplay between the two blues masters is uncannily empathetic, and Albert’s fans will find special pleasure in hearing him play rhythm parts at such length.  Aside from SRV’s two vocals — “Pride and Joy” and “Texas Flood” — all the other tunes are from Albert’s repertoire.  Viewers have the ineffable treat of seeing Albert King perform “Born Under a Bad Sign,” his trademark blues hit, as well as “Call It Stormy Monday.”

Sadly, King and Vaughan would not share a stage together ever again. Vaughan, 31 years King’s junior, died in a helicopter crash in the fog on the way back from a concert in 1990. King outlived him by two years, dying of a heart attack in 1992. They didn’t meet often, and their careers took different paths. But we can all be grateful for that one long day in a television studio when sparks flew and this timeless performance was forever captured.

The PBS special Albert King with Stevie Ray VaughanIn Session contains the following songs: “Born Under a Bad Sign,” “Call It Stormy Monday,” “Texas Flood,” “Pride and Joy,” “Match Box Blues,” and “Don’t Lie to Me.”

DSO NYE Update, Winter Tour & More

DSO will close out 2010 in style at The Klein Auditorium - Bridgeport, CT December 30th and 31st 2010. On 12/31 Dark Star Orchestra will be Recreating the Legendary 'Live at the Cow Palace' show from 12/31/76 plus DSO will kick off the evening with a rare acoustic set. You will not want to miss this one!! GA tix include admission, party favors and champagne toast. Limited VIP packages are available and include premium reserved seating, access to a private VIP bar, exclusive show poster, party favors, and a champagne toast.

Click HERE for GA NYE tix
Click HERE for VIP NYE tix

On 12/30 Dark Star Orchestra will be performing 3 sets kicking things off with a special Terrapin Nation set. Click HERE to get your tickets today...

Discounted hotel rooms are available for the 12/30-31 shows. For rooms please call the Holiday Inn in Bridgeport, CT at 203.334.1234 and ask them for the FTC rate of $79, this is a special rate set up w The Klein for the DSO New Year's shows.

12/28 - Wellmont Theatre - Montclair, NJ - TICKETS
12/29 - Penn's Peak - Jim Thorpe, PA - TICKETS

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Back to the West Coast

Starting on 'Black Friday' DSO will kick off their inaugural 'From A City Near You Tour' back where it all began in San Francisco. On each night of the tour the band will recreate a Grateful Dead show originally performed at a location near the venue. With this tour taking place mostly on the west coast, rich with Grateful Dead history, every night will be a chance to relive a legendary show. We are delighted to announce that in San Francisco our old friend David Gans will be making special appearances in between sets.

After two nights in San Francisco to open the tour there will be stops in Sacramento, Crystal Bay, NV, Anaheim, L.A., Las Vegas, 2 nights in San Diego before heading east to Tempe and Flagstaff, AZ Salt Lake City and a tour closer in Denver.

Check out our TOUR DATES PAGE for complete details.

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Southbound Winter Tour

Riding into 2011 DSO will kick off the year with a massive Winter tour heading south from the mid-west to Florida. The opening weekend takes us from Des Moines, IA to Milwaukee, WI and Chicago, Il. From there its on to a Monday night stop in Urbana IL then a hump day show in the 'Motor City' and two nights in OH with stops in Cleveland and Columbus before heading to the 'Hoosier State' for a stop in Indianapolis. Then it's on to the southern stops with shows in Charleston, Greensboro, Atlanta, Charlotte, Jacksonville, Orlando, Delray Beach and Tampa.

Hope you can join in the fun along the way!

Visit our TOUR DATES PAGE for complete details.

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DATE VENUE CITY DSO TICKETS
From a City Near You Tour
11/26 Regency Ballroom San Francisco, CA
11/27 Regency Ballroom San Francisco, CA
11/28 Crest Theater Sacramento, CA TICKETS
11/30 Crystal Bay Club Casino Crystal Bay, NV TICKETS
12/2 The Grove Anaheim, CA
12/3 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles, CA TICKETS
12/4 Hard Rock Cafe Vegas Las Vegas, NV TICKETS
12/5 Belly Up Tavern Solona Beach, CA TICKETS
12/6 Belly Up Tavern Solona Beach, CA TICKETS
12/8 Marquee Theater Tempe, AZ TICKETS
12/9 Orpheum Theater Flagstaff, AZ TICKETS
12/10 The Depot Salt Lake City, UT TICKETS
12/11 Fillmore Auditorium Denver, CO TICKETS
New Year's Run
12/28 Wellmont Theatre Montclair, NJ
12/29 Penn's Peak Jim Thorpe, PA TICKETS
12/30 The Klein Bridgeport, CT TICKETS
12/30 The Klein Bridgeport, CT TICKETS
Just Announced - Southbound Winter Tour
1/20 Val Air Ballroom Des Moines, IA
1/21 Pabst Theater Milwaukee, WI TICKETS
1/22 Vic Theater Chicago, IL TICKETS
1/24 The Canopy Club Urbana, IL
1/26 Majestic Theatre Detroit, MI
1/27 House of Blues Cleveland Cleveland, OH
1/28 Newport Music Hall Columbus, OH TICKETS
1/29 Egyptian Room at Old National Centre Indianapolis, IN TICKETS
2/2 Music Farm Charleston, SC
2/3 Carolina Theatre Greensboro, NC TICKETS
2/4 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA TICKETS
2/5 Neighborhood Theatre Charlotte, NC
2/9 Freebird Live Jacksonville, FL TICKETS
2/10 The Plaza Live Orlando, FL
2/11 Garlic Fest Delray Beach, FL
2/12 Ferguson Hall Tampa, FL

Clutch Announce New Year's Show at The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC

Neil Fallon, Tim Sult, Dan Maines, and Jean-Paul Gaster will say goodbye to 2010 the same way they began it 365 days prior, kickin' out the jams on the big stage. Asheville, North Carolina's "The Orange Peel" will be the site of veteran rock band Clutch's traditional American New Year's Eve performance. In recent years the four piece Maryland hard rock act has LOUDLY rang in the New Year with epic performances in such great American cities as Detroit, Washington DC, Baltimore, Atlantic City (Sayerville, NJ), Flint, and Grand Rapids, MI. Tickets are available exclusively to fanclub members beginning today, and will be open to the public this Friday. Next week, Clutch will announce a short December tour which will lead up to this special NYE date, as well as the support package which will accompany the band on the road.

2010 has seen Clutch release a plethora of well received international audio, video and digital product via their new label Weathermaker Music, including notable double disc re-issues of "From Beale Street to Oblivion" and "Robot Hive/Exodus." The expanded double disc edition of "Blast Tyrant" will be released in January 2011, with further details to be announced next week at www.Weathermakermusic.com. Weathermaker will also be issuing forth special vinyl editions of all three re-issues, to be ready for turntables in the Spring.

2010 has also seen Clutch experience an increased amount of exposure (due not only to the formation of Weathermaker Music and the band's massive touring schedule) but also due to higher billing on visible events such as Austin City Limits (Austin, TX), The High Voltage Classic Rock Festival (London, UK) and The Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival (Nashville, Manchester, TN). In addition, television appearances such as Comcast Cable's "In Concert - On Demand" and most recently Fox News TV (see below) have given music fans the long awaited visual to match the bands classic sound.

In other Weathermaker Music news, Thanksgiving day (November 25th) will be the live stream debut of the one of a kind (4) hour podcast counting down the Top 20 Clutch songs of all-time! These songs are 100% voted on by the fans during a special Weathermakermusic.com fan-poll which began on October 1st and will close on November 9th. There are currently over 4000 votes to date! If you have not done so already, get your Pure Rock Fury out at www.Weathermakermusic.com!

Clutch Live!

w/ Black Label Society, Children of Bodom, and 2 Cents

11/2 Austin, TX @ Stubbs Waller Creek Amphitheater
11/3 Tulsa, OK @ Brady Center
11/4 Sauget, IL @ Pop’s *
11/5 Grand Rapids, MI @ DeltaPlex
11/6 Chicago, IL @ Congress Theatre
11/7 Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore
11/9 Rochester, NY @ Main Street Armory
11/10 Columbus, OH @ The LC Pavilion
11/11 Jonesboro, AR @ Brickhouse Grill *
11/12 Wichita, KS @ Cotilion
11/13 Kansas City, KS @ Uptown Theater
11/14 Denver, CO @ The Fillmore Auditorium
11/15 Grand Junction, CO @ Mesa Theater *
11/16 Magna, UT @ The Great Salt Air
11/18 Phoenix, AZ @ Dodge Theatre
11/19 Hollywood, CA @ Hollywood Palladium
11/20 San Francisco, CA @ Warfield

New Year's Eve Performance
12/31 Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel w/ The Bakerton Group *

Rubber Soulive Tour Kicks Off This Weekend

Soulive has announced U.S. tour dates for the remainder of 2010 in support of their ninth studio album, Rubber Soulive. The 27-show run kicks off this weekend with a New York City hometown blow out dubbed The Royal Family Ball at Terminal 5, featuring special guests John Scofield, Talib Kweli, Christian Scott, Big Sam and Maurice Brown, as well as Royal Family crew Nigel Hall, Lettuce and The Shady Horns. Other highlights include festival appearances at Bear Creek Festival and Clearwater Jazz Festival, stops throughout the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest and West Coast and a handful of two-night stands, including Port City Music Hall in Portland, Higher Ground in Burlington, The Independent in San Francisco, Cervante's in Denver and a New Year's Eve celebration at Paradise in Boston.

The Brooklyn-based soul-funk trio just released Rubber Soulive, a tribute to The Beatles, which went to no. 1 on the iTunes jazz chart. The 11-track collection features Soulive's inimitable interpretations of Fab Four classics like "In My Life," "Eleanor Rigby" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)." The band cut the album at their recording facility, Playonbrother Studios, and will release the effort through their own label, Royal Family Records. After a series of albums on major labels that experimented with guest vocalists, DJs and horn sections, Rubber Soulive signals a return to the band's roots with founding members Eric Krasno, Neal Evans and Alan Evans front and center and all operations under their own roof.

In early reviews of Rubber Soulive, All Music Guide declared "Like the Liverpool lads who intuitively meshed together, Soulive's members interlock to yield results greater than the sum of its parts on this successful tribute that combines the Beatles sense of excitement, imagination and musical exploration with a funky, down home, R&B/jazz groove." While Something Else blog wrote, "In bringing back some of the great tunes of The Beatles, Soulive brought themselves back to their no-frills, greasy early days when they were busting their collective tails to make a name for themselves."

Soulive's upcoming fall tour dates are:

October 1 | Maritime Magic | Baltimore, MD
October 2 | Terminal 5 | New York, NY
October 7 | Northern Lights | Albany, NY
October 8 | Port City Music Hall | Portland, ME
October 9 | Port City Music Hall | Portland, ME
October 16 | Clearwater Jazz Festival | Clearwater, FL
October 29 | Higher Ground | Burlington, VT
October 30 | Higher Ground | Burlington, VT
November 4 | The Rex | Pittsburgh, PA
November 5 | The State Theater | Falls Church, VA
November 6 | World Cafe Live | Philadelphia, PA
November 7 | Capital Ale House | Richmond, VA
November 8 | Pisgah | Asheville, NC
November 9 | The Poor House | Charleston, SC
November 10 | Neighborhood Theater | Charlotte, NC
November 11 | Masquerade | Atlanta, GA
November 13 | Bear Creek Music & Art Festival | Live Oak, FL
November 19 | Double Door | Chicago, IL
November 20 | Orpheum Theater | Madison, WI
December 10 | The Independent | San Francisco, CA *w/ special guest Karl Denson
December 11 | The Independent | San Francisco, CA *w/ special guest Karl Denson
December 12 | Humbolt Brews | Arcata, CA *w/ special guest Karl Denson
December 14 | Harlow's | Sacramento, CA
December 15 | Moe's Alley | Santa Cruz, CA
December 16 | The Roxy | Los Angeles, CA
December 17 | Cervante's Masterpiece Ballroom | Denver, CO
December 18 | Cervante's Masterpiece Ballroom | Denver, CO
December 30 | Paradise | Boston, MA
December 31 | Paradise | Boston, MA

Bjørn Torske's Kokning Set for November Release on Smalltown Supersound

Bjørn Torske is a special artist with a special name.  He was born in northern Norway where fishing has been the main industry for hundreds of years and his name literally translates as “Bear Cod”.  Even making dinner is unique in Norway: you put the potatoes on to boil, go out to sea and catch a fish, then return to prepare the meal. This process is known as “kokning”.  To say that northern Norwegians do things their own way would be putting it lightly . . . to say that Bjørn Torske is making music his own way would be exactly right.

Kokning, Bjørn Torske’s second album on Smalltown Supersound, starts out beautifully.  It’s both melodic and melancholic with a warm, slow ambiance. Soft psychedelics and a Balearic rhythm are introduced before it fades into Torske’s signature skranglehouse* and then ends with what can only be described as “Moondog disco” (imagine if Moondog and Count Ossie got together to make disco). Kokning takes avant-disco, weirdo-dub, post-punk, and quirky electronica -- all elements found on his previous albums (Nedi Myra / Ferox, 1999, Trøbbel / Telle, 2001, Feil Knapp / Smalltown Supersound, 2007), plus more organic and acoustic sound basics and less programmed patterns, and mixes them into the ultimate Bjørn Torske album.

Since Feil Knapp, Bjørn has been working on a number of remixes for other artists, including Sunburned Hand of the Man, Lindstrøm, Crimea X, Big Robot feat. Conrad Schnitzler, to name a few. He’s also been busy working with music and soundscapes for a stage production, as well as touring with his own band, the Bjørn Torske Band.

Kokning is out November 2nd on Smalltown Supersound. The first 12” from Kokning will feature a remix by DJ Harvey.

* Along with Erot, Bjørn Torske invented a genre known as “rattle house” (or “skranglehouse” in Norwegian) and translates as a bit of everything from dub to disco, jammed within a resonate floor-friendly house pulse.  This 4/4 Scando-movement began at Oslo venue Skansen, inspired by club regulars The Idjut Boys, and the term “skranglehouse” was henceforth associated with Torske and Erot.  Torske’s underground hit “Søppelmann” (Svek) quickly became the skranglehouse anthem and the movement later became the foundation for the next generation of space disco artists such as Lindstrøm, Todd Terje, Prins Thomas, and Diskjokke.

Kokning Tracklisting:

1. Kokning

2. Bryggesjau

3. Gullfjellet

4. Langt Fra Afrika

5. Bergensere

6. Slitte sko

7. Nitten nitti

8. Versjon Wolfenstein

9. Furu

Help protect Arctic wildlife

The Western Arctic Reserve may be less well-known than the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but its wildlife populations are every bit as unique, spectacular and endangered.

Please take a minute to ask the Obama Administration to grant the strongest possible protection to the Western Arctic Reserve.

Nearly a century ago, the Western Arctic Reserve was set aside as a “National Petroleum Reserve”, but it remains one of our continent’s last, largely untouched tracts of wilderness and wildlife habitat.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is developing a new area-wide plan for the Reserve, providing an ideal opportunity to safeguard its greatest natural treasures -- so-called “Special Areas” -- from destructive oil and gas development.

These Special Areas -- some established at the direction of Congress in the late 1970’s and others proposed by conservationists -- include the Colville River, Teshekpuk Lake, Utukok Uplands, Kasegaluk Lagoon, Dease Inlet, Peard Bay, Ikpikpuk River and the DeLong Mountains and Foothills Special Areas.

The vast network of coastal lagoons, deep lakes, sedge grass meadows and streams that make up the prized Teshekpuk Lake region provide the critical calving grounds for one of the largest caribou herds in Alaska, as well as summer habitat for polar bears. A staggering variety of birds also take refuge in these wetlands, some migrating from as far south as Antarctica.

Along the northwestern coast of the Western Arctic Reserve, up to 3,500 beluga whales gather in the Kasegaluk Lagoon every year to feed and bear their young.

The vast wilderness of the Reserve supports more than just Arctic wildlife. Inupiat Eskimos have subsisted here for thousands of years by following the caribou herds.

Many of these areas have not yet been disturbed, and this may be our last best chance to preserve them for the future. Please tell the BLM that it’s time to grant the Western Arctic Reserve the protection it deserves.

Thank you for taking action to protect our last Arctic wildlands and wildlife.

wOOtstock at the Boulder Theatre 10.23

Z2 Entertainment and wOOtstock present Something Or Other Feat:  Adam Savage and Paul & Storm with Special Guest Phil Plait at the Boulder Theater on Saturday October 23rd.

For decades, geeks were ostracized, picked on, laughed at and punished by the sun’s harmful UV rays. But there is only so long that a people can be kept down before they rise up against their oppressors; and, indeed, the dawn of the 21st century has seen the ascendancy of geeks and geek culture.

We now celebrate that rise to power–and let’s face it, nerds pretty much run everything now–with w00tstock, a special event for geeks of every stripe. Television host/special-effects artist Adam Savage (“MythBusters”), actor/author/blogger Wil Wheaton (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”, “Stand By Me”) and music-comedy duo Paul and Storm (The Internet, Da Vinci’s Notebook) present a night of songs, readings, comedy, demonstrations, short films, special guests, and other clever widgets born from and dedicated to the enthusiasms, obsessions, trials and joys of geek pride.

This is the dawning of the Age of Geekdom–and its voices will ring true at w00tstock.

For updates and additions continue to check http://w00tstock.net

The Dresden Dolls Announce First Tour in 3 Years

After a long hiatus, The Dresden Dolls are thrilled to announce their first live tour in 3 years! The pioneering and influential "punk cabaret" duo comprised of Amanda Palmer (piano, vocals) and Brian Viglione (drums, guitar, bass) will be kicking off a few weeks of dates starting on Halloween at Irving Plaza in NYC. The date marks the exact 10th anniversary of the birth of the band (Viglione met Palmer on Halloween night of 2000, at an art/salon party at Palmer's house, at which she was playing her solo songs on piano.) "Amanda's songwriting was so brilliant and raw, I couldn't have designed a more perfectly suited counterpart. I knew then I'd found my musical accomplice.", says Viglione. They will also make a stop in New Orleans for a special gulf oil spill relief-benefit for BTNEP, an organization that is working to preserve, protect, and restore the Barataria and Terrebonne estuaries of Louisiana.

Since The Dolls' last performance (which was at Rock The Vote in DC on the Inauguration Day of President Obama), Palmer has been tirelessly busy building her solo career and online empire, centered around the 2008 release of her Ben Folds-Produced solo album "Who Killed Amanda Palmer". The album was accompanied by a hardback-book of the same name and included a collection of dead photographs of Palmer and short stores by author Neil Gaiman (to whom Palmer recently became engaged). Palmer also recently released a donation-based Radiohead covers ukulele EP titled "Amanda Palmer Performs the Popular Hits of Radiohead on Her Magical Ukulele", setting the tech community abuzz about how a donation-based model can earn a mid-level artist a living wage.  Before they embark on tour, Palmer will be starring as the Emcee in the American Repertory Theater’s production of Kander & Ebb's dark weimar musical "Cabaret". The production opened August 31, 2010 and runs through October 29. Many of the dates are already sold out. More information can be found HERE on A.R.T.'s site.

"The time apart has done nothing but given both of us an appreciation of how incredibly special and powerful our band is," says Palmer. "Our live musical chemistry is completely unique, almost magical, and we don't take that for granted. I can't wait to get on a stage with Brian again. Nobody hits the drums like that man - he's in a class all his own. And when we play together live, we create an entire world we can't otherwise create."

Meanwhile, drummer/producer and talented musical jack-of-all-trades Brian Viglione has appeared on 30 albums since 2008, most notably, Nine Inch Nails' "Ghosts I–IV". Viglione's latest hard-hitting album, "Face Of The Sun", which he produced and co-wrote, is available digitally via Bandcamp and will be featured on his new website , www.brianviglione.com. Amidst the busy recording and teaching schedule, he's toured internationally with The World/Inferno Friendship Society, Franz Nicolay, Black Tape For A Blue Girl, Martin Bisi, Botanica, and The Cliks.  "A great strength of the band has always been that we've always given each other time to explore creative areas outside The Dresden Dolls, then bring what we've learned back to the table. Our love for the music and playing together is mirrored by the continual support of our fans, and we're more than ready to deliver the goods to them."

The current wave of theatrical artists are citing The Dolls and their flamboyant emotional and theatrical antics as an inspiration, from up-and-coming theatrical-pop artist and Dolls’ fan Marina & The Diamonds to Lady Gaga (who lists The Dresden Dolls as an influence on her MySpace).

"It's been really inspiring to see an evolution towards theatrical freedom among indie bands over the last ten years", says Palmer. "When we were starting out in 2000, we were surrounded by the likes of The Vines and The Strokes. People often wrote us off as a gimmick because of our weird theatrical bent. Now we're surrounded by comrades...Antony, The Scissor Sisters, The Decembrists, Arcade Fire, CocoRosie, the list goes on and on. People aren't as afraid take risks onstage. It's inspiring, and I'm proud we've played our little part in the continuum of empowered freaky people."

Dates Are As Follows:

Oct 31 - NEW YORK CITY, NY@ Irving Plaza (w/ Surprise Guests)

Nov 12 - NEW ORLEANS, LA@ Tipitina's (w/ Jason Webley)

Nov 13 - ATLANTA, GA@ The Buckhead Theatre (w/ Lille)

Nov 14 - LEXINGTON, KY@ Buster's Billiards & Backroom (w/ Chico Fellini)

Nov 16 - ST. LOUIS, MO@ The Pageant (w/ Sleepy Kitty)

Nov 17 - CHICAGO, IL@ The Vic Theatre (w/ Mucca Pazza)

Nov 19th - DALLAS, TX@ Granada Theatre (w/ Girl In A Coma)

Nov 20 - HOUSTON, TX@ Fitzgerald's (w/ Girl In A Coma)

Nov 21 - AUSTIN, TX@ La Zona Rosa (w/ Girl In A Coma)