Shinobi Ninja Takes off from Brooklyn to Babylon

In anticipation of the release of their forthcoming album in Spring 2010, SHINOBI NINJA, the party rocking beasts from Brooklyn NY, have just launched a dangerously addictive video for their single “Brooklyn to Babylon” directed by Evan Savitt (Lady Gaga, Saint Motel), one of New York’s most sought after, up-and-coming directors. Shinobi Ninja drummer Terminator Dave expresses “this video represents exactly what the song and band is about - frenetic energy that demands your attention to its emotion, feel, and arrangement. It’s bright, colorful, eccentric and fun which are all the elements we bring to our shows!”

SHINOBI NINJA are the super group for the 21st century, composed of six colorful, vibrant New York City musicians and performers from different corners of the music world. With their debut EP Brooklyn to Babylon, and their own revolutionary video game, Shinobi Ninja Attacks, Shinobi Ninja will jump start the party, wherever you are!

Onstage and on-line, Shinobi Ninja have built themselves a devoted following, garnering much-deserved attention from the music world. With their must-see live gigs, their party-in-a-box debut EP, interactive video game and forthcoming full length album, Shinobi Ninja are always going the extra mile to make you part of the excitement. And you’ll find the band’s irresistible funky rock hooks, energetic performance style and fun loving attitude will make you want to join the revolution.

DSO Spring Tour Kicks off Thursday!

Spring Tour West '09 Kicks off Thursday!

The wait is over - and Dark Star Orchestra has packed up the bus yet again, this time to hit clubs and venues throughout the West. Starting off in Denver March 26, this Spring's tour includes dates throughout Colorado (Boulder, Vail, Aspen), as well as Arizona, all over California and the Pacific Northwest. We hope to see you there!

Visit our tour dates page for the complete calendar.

Summer Festivals

April showers fill the festival fields with green grass for yet another great summer of live music! This year's festival highlights include another communal experience at Marvin's Mountaintop for the All Good Festival July 9 - 12, the celebrated annual GratefulFest at Nelson Ledges and two early Summer festival dates in May at Summer Camp and Delfest. Some early bird discounts remain, so be sure to get your tickets now!

Announce May/June Tour

Immediately following Summer Camp & Delfest, Dark Star Orchestra will be kicking off a tour throughout New England. Some highlights include a handful of new venues as well as multi-night stands at familiar haunts such as Hampton Beach Casino, Ridgefield Playhouse, & Higher Ground. That's only a few of many stops along the way, so be sure to check our full list of tour dates below and see if we'll be stopping by near you. The odds are in your favor!

The DSO Times

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Dark Star Orchestra in the news with some recent show reviews:
Pitt News
New Additions to LiveDownloads Catalog

Miss us on our last time through town? Hear an incredible performance of your favorite song that you just can't get out of your head? Relive (or experience for the first time) Dark Star Orchestra live through high-quality downloadable audio via MP3 or FLAC as well as CDs at New downloads include the Atlanta Feb. 7 and Pompano Beach Jan. 31 shows! The site includes samples of each song so you can hear the crystal clear quality.

Spring Tour West
Thu 3/26 Oriental Theater Denver, CO  
Fri 3/27 Boulder Theater Boulder, CO  
Sat 3/28 Boulder Theater Boulder, CO  
Sun 3/29 Vilar Center Beaver Creek, CO  
Tue 3/31 Belly Up Aspen, CO  
Thu 4/2 The Depot Salt Lake City, UT TICKETS
Fri 4/3 Orpheum Theater Flagstaff, AZ TICKETS
Sat 4/4 Marquee Theatre Tempe, AZ TICKETS
Sat 4/6 Rialto Theater Tucson, AZ TICKETS
Wed 4/8 HOB Anaheim Anaheim, CA  
Thu 4/9 Belly Up San Diego, CA TICKETS
Thu 4/10 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles CA TICKETS
Thu 4/11 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles CA TICKETS
Mon 4/13 Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA  
Tue 4/14 Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA  
Wed 4/15 Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA  
Fri 4/17 Wells Fargo Center Santa Rosa, CA  
Sat 4/18 Fox Theatre Redwood City, CA  
Sun 4/19 Crystal Bay Club Casino Crystal Bay, NV  
Mon 4/20 Eureka Theater Eureka, CA TICKETS
Thu 4/23 The Showbox Seattle, WA TICKETS
Fri 4/24 Crystal Ballroom Portland, OR TICKETS
Sat 4/25 Mcdonald Theater Eugene, OR  
Spring Tour East
Fri 5/22 Summer Camp Chillicothe, IL  
Sat 5/23 Summer Camp Chillicothe, IL  
Sun 5/24 Delfest Cumberland, MD  
Wed 5/27 Tarrytown Music Hall Tarrytown, NY  
Thu 5/28 North Fork Theatre At Westbury Westbury, NY TICKETS
Fri 5/29 Wellmont Theater Montclair, NJ TICKETS
Sat 5/30 Electric Factory Philadelphia, PA TICKETS
Mon 6/1 Ridgefield Playhouse Ridgefield, CT TICKETS
Tue 6/2 Ridgefield Playhouse Ridgefield, CT TICKETS
Thu 6/4 Sherman Theater Stroudsburg, PA TICKETS
Fri 6/5 Celebrate Virginia Central Park Fredericksburg, VA TICKETS
Sat 6/6 Innsbrook Pavillion Glen Allen, VA TICKETS
Mon 6/8 Higher Ground Burlington, VT TICKETS
Tue 6/9 Higher Ground Burlington, VT TICKETS
Thu 6/11 South Shore Music Circus Cohasset, MA TICKETS
Fri 6/12 Hampton Beach Casino Hampton Beach, NH TICKETS
Sat 6/13 Hampton Beach Casino Hampton Beach, NH TICKETS
Sun 6/14 Cape Cod Melody Tent Hyannis, MA TICKETS
Fri 7/3 Gratefulfest Garretsville, OH TICKETS
Sat 7/4 Gratefulfest Garretsville, OH TICKETS
Sun 7/5 Gratefulfest Garretsville, OH TICKETS
Sun 7/10 All Good Music Festival Masontown WV TICKETS
Sun 7/11 All Good Music Festival Masontown WV TICKETS
Sun 7/12 All Good Music Festival Masontown WV TICKETS

Umphrey's Mantis Pre-Order Takes Off

photos by Phil Emma- for the Grateful Web

Umphrey's McGee's one-of-a-kind pre-order campaign for their highly anticipated new studio release, Mantis (January 20, 2009 / SCI Fidelity Records) is already being recognized as a brilliant and innovative use of digital technology. The power of this new pre-order concept is in the hands of the fans.  Umphrey's offers fans more free bonus content the more Mantis pre-orders they receive; the fans "unlock" levels of content by getting more of their friends to pre-order the album.  The idea is to give the fans incentive to help spread the word about the album, and to offer a totally unique music experience.

Industry and fan response to the Mantis pre-order has been stellar.  Industry tastemakers and digital news leaders have taken notice, declaring it "one of the coolest pre-order ideas this side of [Radiohead's] In Rainbows and [Of Montreal's] Skeletal Lamping" and "...a pretty brilliant idea!!"

Thousands of fans have already passed around the Mantis widget, posting it on their Myspace and Facebook pages, blogs, etc.  In under a week, Umphrey's sold out of "deluxe package" preorders (which at $49.99 offers a copy of Mantis on Vinyl, a bonus DVD, and a number of other goodies that will be a surprise for fans who were able to grab one of these limited edition gems), and the band has taken more pre-orders than any release in their 11 year history.

Of course, all of this action has already helped unlock content Levels 1-6 of 9 possible levels. Fans are tracking their progress, and the bonus content they'll receive, at the Mantis pre-order page:  The music has already begun to flow. Just last week the band gave their fans an unexpected nod: those who have pre-ordered were given exclusive download access to a live track from the band's recent Halloween show in San Francisco and a special "fly-on-the-wall" vocal rehearsal from back stage that same night, as well as a free MP3 of the first single from Mantis "Made to Measure".  Next, on December 4th, the band releases all Level 1 bonus content.

Chicago's Umphrey's McGee enters its second decade together with their hardest, darkest, and most artistically cohesive album to date. The new album hits streets on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009, when Mantis casts another Windy City family into the limelight. Over 2 years in the making, Mantis pushes the envelope in composition, arrangement and group interplay.  In an Umphrey's McGee first, the album offers 100% new material  - a drastic change of pace for a band whose typical modus operandi is to work out the material live on-stage before recording studio versions. 

In addition to a one-of-a kind pre-order campaign where fans can participate in "unlocking exclusive bonus material, Mantis incorporates PUSH(TM) technology by Digital Insert to deliver new content throughout 2009.  PUSH requires no software installation or serial number; by simply putting the Mantis CD in your CD-ROM drive, the disc will act as a "key" to an micro-site where fans get access to exclusive 2009 content as it becomes available.  

Mantis is yet another innovative music experience to be offered by Umphrey's McGee, who have proven adaptive and inventive both in music and business over the last 10 years. Through online community building, creative web-based promotions, and open taping policies allowing live music sharing among fans, Umphrey's McGee has harnessed the internet's momentum to spread their music far and wide.  The band's download store is an archive of their ever-diverse live performances, hosting downloads of over 300 shows with 750,000 tracks sold since 2004. hosts the iTunes friendly UM Podcast which releases two 75-minute episodes of live material each month to its 20,000 subscribers. Since 2001, Umphrey's has released soundboard recordings of each night's concert immediately after the show in both physical and digital formats - and each show typically sells upwards of 300 copies per night. The band's unique approach to online and digital distribution, paired with word of mouth buzz, has helped Umphrey's McGee sell out shows nationwide while keeping their fans a top priority.

Look for Umphrey's McGee on tour now, including their upcoming New Year's eve run at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre, where they'll be joined on stage by musical icons Buddy Guy, Stanley Jordan, Joshua Redman, Jeff Coffin, and Koko Taylor.  Previous guests who've shared the stage with Umphrey's include Tortoise, Taj Mahal, The Wailers, Los Lobos and many more.

Cut Off Your Hands To Release 'You & I' On 1/20

Photo by Brad Fafejta- for the Grateful Web

After debuting on Speak n Spell Records in 2006 with the bristling Shaky Hands EP, Cut Off Your Hands quickly set stages and airwaves on fire across Australia and beyond. And with steady attention to touring and the production of melodic, musical gems their avid fan base and the cavalcade of media hyperbole has only continued to grow.

With their nationwide billing on 2007's Laneway Festival and jaunts to Los Angeles, SXSW and New York really getting the ball rolling, it was, tellingly, the band's first visit to London that would prove their watershed moment. Having been bewitched by the band in Texas, the lovesick indie-maven Steve Lamacq (hosting John Peel's old show on BBC6) wasted no time in pulling them into his Maida Vale studios for a live performance when he knew they were in town. All of a sudden the boys from the antipodes were a bright pin punched on the British musical 'map', and as a consequence, their remaining shows were rammed full of hungry industry folk.

It was also while in London that the group, through various channels and the snowballing momentum, found themselves working with ex-Suede guitarist and Producer de jour, Bernard Butler, for the first time. Their second EP, Blue on Blue, being the fruit of their labors. While the recording's lead tracks, 'Still Fond' and 'Oh Girl', settled quickly into the higher echelon of the radio charts at home, things continued to move for the band abroad. For the release of their debut English 7" - the double a-side Still Fond/Closed Eyes – through vinyl-ists Fandango was followed almost overnight by the inking of a deal with 679 Recordings (home to The Streets, Mystery Jets and Death From Above 1979).

Through the heady rush of record deals, single releases and the imminent debut LP however, the group's dedication to their first love, the live arena, never waned. Incessantly in the van, Cut Off Your Hands forged solid friendships with fans and bands alike through UK tours with the whip-smart Foals, the legendary Edwyn Collins and Florida's Black Kids - not to mention shows with The Duke Spirit and Les Savy Fav. All this while also treading the festival circuit, playing eight shows in just three days at last year's CMJ festival in New York before winging their way to Iceland's epic Airwaves festival and a return to Australia to play Falls Festival and the full Australasian tour of Big Day Out - alongside Bjork, Dizzee Rascal and LCD Soundsystem.

Now based in the dynamic environs of Hackney, London, the band have finished juggling life on the road with life in the studio, (for now) having put the final coat on their debut LP 'You and I', with Butler once again at the helm. With such an amazing album waiting in the wings, Cut Off Your Hands couldn't be set in a better position to win over the World's hearts.

Right. That's about enough of the press spiel...let's hear what Nick Johnston - Cut Off Your Hands' Iggy-like, whirling dervish of a front-man - has to say about Bernard, recording and the record...

"For the album we all felt Bernard was the best for our band. He just seems to understand us as a group more than most. He's very hands-on with the pre-production, with a clear vision for how each instrument has a part to play in bringing the best out of a song.

For the first time I've written songs with the studio in mind, as opposed to writing for our live show. Once again, this has been just treating each song in the way that best suits the song. Bernard's really adamant in pushing to treat each song on its merits. Some songs worked straight away, whilst others came together slowly, only sounding amazing once we put all the vocals and overdubs on.

There's a whole lot more instrumentation on the record this time as well. BB was really keen to make a record which had points of difference to separate us from the droves of British guitar bands around right now. And we've taken a few more risks than usual. Bernard has taken us (as players) out of our comfort zones, deconstructing the way we think. But it's a good, healthy thing - risk taking- because when it works out you progress. I feel that the new songs are definitely an organic progression. In that the songs from the EP Blue On Blue were completely melody based, but all fairly similar. They were bouncy and energetic. Hopefully we've made a LP which listens in a far more dynamic sense than the two previous EP's.

Our pop sensibility has come lately. (While writing the record) I was listening to a lot of doo-wop - in particular Phil Spector produced groups like the Ronnettes, and the Crystals - and I've been obsessed with how melodically centered those old songs are. It's what makes them still relevant and exciting to someone like me, a 23 year old, 50 years later. I also began seriously taking an interest in 1950's artists such as Roy Orbison, Ritchie Valens and Elvis. I found that I was no longer that interested in weird sounds, or noisy groups, all I wanted to hear and recreate were beautiful vocal melodies that are calculated but appear so effortless.

We feel we've really matured as songwriters quite a bit since the last release, and we think that maturity is demonstrated in the depth of this record. I'm happy that Bernard has been so eager to take risks with our music, and has aimed to make a record we'll still be listening to in years to come."

Mahjongg Kick Off European Tour This Week

Mahjongg- for the Grateful Web

Originally formed in the great bounteous Midwest region of the United States "Mahjongg" began as a simple experiment between The Grid and The Sphere.  To attract the brood orientation of the young mind, Mahjongg knew the only way to spread Kontpab's message was by forming a musiK band.  This ever-expanding Sect uses "irratainment" to teach the warnings and Revelations of the almighty god Kontpab. Kontpab basically warns the human race of the mass "funneling" of the populace minds into The Grid.

Once trapped in The Grid themselves, Kontpab instructed Mahjongg to make a pilgrimage to Chicago, IL., where they would form their first  "warning orbs," at local art spaces and bars, and in turn be shown the light that is The Sphere.  It was during this time that the Machinegong EP was recorded, and their first attempt to leave Kontpab's message sublimated in the patricians of the clubs was a success.  Kontpab showed Mahjongg that The Grid's seemingly well-defined rules and laws could in fact be used against The Grid itself.

Many not briefed on the vast Kontpab religion will never fully understand Mahjongg during their "Warning Orbs," so they cut another album to set into stone what Kontpab had clearly shown them: Raydoncong 2005 . Again using The Grid's vast amalgam of mathematical tools against itself, The Sect were able to demonstrate to the brood, for instance with prime numbered polyrhythms, that not only was the path to The Sphere full of spectacle and self awakening, but pharmaceuticals, beer, and dancing as well.  It was here that Mahjongg became not only teacher, but student, and this is where The Chicago Sects association with the Water Babies began.

Born into the great Chicago winter of '06 in the septic rivers of the Magikal Forest, the Water Babies used Kontpabs undivided and all seeing power to unlock The Sphere's greatest secret: improvisation. With these new teachings from the almighty Kontpab, Mahjongg was able to create a new church and recording studio for the Chicago Sect.  Soon the tapestries of aural chaos were tempered and perfected.  Software was upgraded and drums tuned.  With nervous but relevant hair follicles and motley threads, Mahjongg hit the scene.  Many eons of "Warning Orbs" have since commenced, but the human race still chooses to "funnel" into The Grid.  It is because of this that Mahjongg is left with no choice but to invoke the name of our great God almighty itself.  And it is with this name we proudly present to you our new album, Kontpab.  For we are all Kontpab.

European Tour

Oct 8, 2008 - Rome, Italy Init
Oct 9, 2008 - Pisa, Italy Caracol
Oct 10, 2008 - Genova, Italy Burrida
Oct 11, 2008 - Marseille, France Festival Actoral
Oct 12, 2008 - Bordeaux, France Saint-Ex
Oct 14, 2008 - Brest, France Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Brest
Oct 15, 2008 - Brest, France Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Brest
Oct 16, 2008 - Brest, France Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Brest
Oct 17, 2008 - Dublin, Ireland Whelans Cap
Oct 18, 2008 - Glasgow, Scotland Stereo
Oct 22, 2008 - Cardiff, Wales Clwb Ifor Bach
Oct 23, 2008 - Brighton, England Freebutt
Oct 24, 2008 - London, England Upset the Rhythm
Oct 25, 2008 - Rouen, France Emporium Galorium
Oct 26, 2008 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands Studio K
Oct 27, 2008 - Hamburg, Germany Astra Stube
Oct 28, 2008 - Leipzig, Germany Frueh Auf
Oct 29, 2008 - Dresden, Germany Scheune
Oct 30, 2008 - Berlin, Germany Bang Bang Club
Nov 1, 2008 - Boulogne-Billancourt, France Festival BBmix / Carré Bellefeuille
Nov 2, 2008 - Darmstadt, Germany Oetinger Villa
Nov 3, 2008 - Basel, Switzerland Hirscheneck
Nov 4, 2008 - Esslingen, Germany Komma
Nov 5, 2008 - Koln, Germany Tsunami
Nov 6, 2008 - Trier, Germany Ex Haus
Nov 7, 2008 - Metz, France Festival Musiques Volantes / Les Trinitaires
Nov 8, 2008 - Lausanne, Switzerland Festival Métropop / Le Romandie
Nov 13, 2008 - Castellon, Spain Tanned Tin Festival

Tell Congress NOT to allow drilling off our coasts

say NO to offshore drilling- for the Grateful Web

Oil companies and their allies in Congress claim that drilling in America's oceans and coastal areas would help solve the energy crisis and have proposed ending the 27-year moratorium on new offshore drilling. But offshore drilling would neither solve our energy needs nor significantly lower gas prices. Instead, drilling would harm America's economy, health, oceans and

Proponents of offshore drilling claim it would reduce gas prices, even though the Department of Energy has determined that it would not significantly do so. Oil companies currently have 5,500 offshore leases they are not drilling, and with 80 percent of the untapped oil in offshore areas already open to development, they do not need access to more areas to increase supply. And while the U.S. oil industry says it wants even more access to sensitive ocean areas to reduce reliance on foreign suppliers, American-based companies are shipping record amounts of gasoline and diesel fuel to other countries. This proposal is simply a way to give oil companies unfettered drilling access to our oceans and coastal areas.

In addition, opening up additional offshore areas to drilling poses real threats to our ocean and coastal ecosystems and economies. Offshore drilling creates toxic waste products that contaminate fish and marine life. Offshore wells emit air pollutants that are known carcinogens, cause respiratory problems and worsen global warming. And current cleanup methods can only remove a small fraction of oil spilled in marine waters, where it is toxic for most species.

America needs real, long-term solutions for the energy crisis, but oil companies and their allies are not delivering them. We need to use less oil by improving energy efficiency and utilizing renewable energy. In doing so, we can achieve energy independence, fight global warming, and jump-start our nation's economy.

Attempts to lift the offshore drilling moratorium could be attached to several different bills and come up for a vote at any time.

== What to do ==
Send a message *right away* urging your senators and representative to say NO to offshore drilling.

If you prefer to call your senators and representative, the Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

NDRC Kicks Off Fight to Protect Gray Wolves

Protect the Gray Wolves!- for the Grateful Web

The Bush Administration has just issued a disastrous "License to Kill" plan that could trigger the extermination of half the gray wolves in Wyoming and Idaho, starting as early as October - unless we stop it now.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting public comments on this cruel proposal only until August 6. Please register your opposition right now by clicking here to submit an Official Citizen Comment.

Our best hope for blocking this "open fire" order is to generate a tidal wave of public outrage and please sign your Citizen Comment immediately.

The Bush Administration wants to treat wolves like vermin, instead of an endangered species that has staged a welcome and dramatic comeback from the brink of extinction.

In preparation for these mass killings, the government has already purchased planes and helicopters capable of gunning down entire packs of wolves in minutes.

Their goal: To immediately kill up to 700 wolves in Greater Yellowstone and central Idaho.

Our goal: To stop this horrific proposal in its tracks - by generating 200,000 pro-wolf Citizen Comments by the August 6 deadline.

Can we do it? I'm certain of it. Only three months ago, online activists like you sent more than 137,000 Citizen Comments protesting the Bush Administration's plan to remove Greater Yellowstone's wolves from the endangered species list.

But even before that battle has been decided, the Bush Administration is upping the ante by declaring open season on wolves.

Simply put, they will allow the slaughter to begin while wolves are still on the Endangered Species list!

The administration wants to be able to kill wolves anywhere that elk herd numbers may be affected by wolves. It is focusing on areas where elk herds are smaller than the states want.

But those few cases of declines in elk herds have been caused by a combination of factors including habitat destruction, drought and human hunting - not just by wolves. And in most areas of the northern Rockies, elk numbers are at all-time highs!

Please block this new License to Kill by expressing your personal opposition while the Bush Administration is still taking public input.

Submit your Official Citizen Comment now - and shield the wolves of Greater Yellowstone and Idaho from the coming crossfire.

The Nebraska Cornhusker's 2006 Season Kicks Off This Weekend!

To help build some excitement, here is a not so professional Tunnel Walk video clip from the October 29, 2006 Oklahoma game.  Go Big Red!

If you are not seeing the video, CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO.
You can also check out our Husker Football Photo Gallery!
Need a political t-shirt? Make Love Not War T-shirt

Video FAQ

Video is optimized for Windows Media Player 9. If you are having problems viewing video clips, first upgrade your video player or click here to download.

Note: To determine the version of Windows Media Player, Right click on the video window and choose About, and then note the version number below the Copyright notice.

Upgrading Windows Media Player
When you install Windows Media Player, an update feature is also installed. You can check for updates whenever you want. If updates are available, you can minimize the download time by downloading only the portions of Windows Media Player that you want to update. If you want to completely reinstall Windows Media Player, you can use the update feature for this too.

Windows Media Player checks for upgrades once a month by default. To change how often upgrades are checked for Open your Windows Media Player and click Options.

Under Check for Upgrade, click one of the following:
Once a day
Once a week
Once a month
You can check for an upgrade whenever you like by clicking Check For Player Upgrades on the Help menu of Windows Media Player.

Video Q & A

Why can't I get video to play on my computer at work?
Some network administrators may block streaming video in the workplace. Contact your companies IT department for assistance.

Why won't Windows Media Player install on my computer at work?
Some network administrators may limit the rights of users to install or upgrade programs on their computers. Contact your companies IT department for assistance.

When I run Windows Media Player 7 or later, and I try to play video files streamed from the Internet, I only hear the audio. Why does this happen, and how can I fix it?
When you receive streamed content, communication occurs between the Player and a Windows Media server regarding the connection speed of your computer. If the Player communicates an incorrect connection speed to the server, the server may try to "thin" the stream, which means that the stream quality decreases and the Player may lose video altogether. You can prevent this from happening accidentally by manually specifying the connection speed. Open your Windows Media Player, you can specify your connection speed on the Performance tab of the Options dialog box.
It is also possible that you may not have the video codec that is required to decode and display the video. For more information about obtaining the correct codec, see the Playback Issues section.

Why does the Player disconnect sometimes when it starts playing content?
The Player may be detecting your connection speed incorrectly. Open your Windows Media Player, you can manually specify your connection speed on the Performance tab of the Options dialog box.
For more information about manually specifying connection speeds in Windows Media Player 6.4, see article 253798, "Windows Media Player May Stop Responding or Generate an Error Message When Streaming Media," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

Why does the Player temporarily pause when I play content from the Internet?
In some cases, firewalls block Universal Datagram Protocol (UDP) traffic, which is the protocol required to play streaming content. In those cases, the Player is forced to use the HTTP/TCP protocol, which causes buffering and pauses when there is network congestion. To find out whether the Player is pausing (buffering) due to network congestion, you can compare the bandwidth the Player is currently using against the available bandwidth. Open your Windows Media Player, on the View menu, click Statistics, and then click the Advanced tab.

Click here for more information about the Windows Media 9 Player.

WSP Kicks Off Their Four Night Run At The Fillmore

Widespread Panic- for the Grateful Web

In the Wake of Vegoose, Widespread Panic quietly embarked on not only their first ever appearance at The Fillmore in Denver, but a 4-night run at that. I was lucky enough to score a ticket for this Thursday night kick off and as people meandered around the block surrounding the venue you could tell spirits were high.


I'm coming up on the ten year anniversary of my first Panic show back in Georgia and as much as things have changed since then, its good to know some are still around. Of course, Panic has been through a lot changes with the loss of founder member Mikey Houser, adding new lead guitarist George McConnell and just exploring new musical avenues in general, but their music plays on. Panic almost personifies life in a way; its not always so great, things end and others begin but the train keeps rolling and you have to make the best with what you got if it feels good. Well, what can I say? It feels damn good.


The band started things off smoothly with old-time original The Take Out and was followed by James Taylor's Knocking 'Round the Zoo. Panic rocks this tune out like it's their own and was aptly played with JB singing "Just knocking 'round the zoo on a Thursday afternoon." Good People is a newer original and is a testament to the band's future songwriting capabilities. The next song, Who Do You Belong To?, always reminds me of listening to my old analog tapes during college in the South. That means nothing to you folks, I know, but the song choice was perfect.


The boys kept the show trucking along with a floor rockin' Dyin' Man and then another old classic, Pickin' Up The Pieces. Pickin' is a slightly slower song with a subtle jazz swing that once again sent my mind wondering. Panic's songs have a timeless feel to them that remind you of the first time you heard the song and yet feels fresh at the same time. Another aptly played tune, One Armed-Steve, had keyboard/piano player, Jo-Jo Hermann, singing, "Well, One-Arm Steve, yeah he threw me out the door, said 'come back sometime when your picture's on the wall". Anyone that's stepped foot in a Fillmore knows the walls are covered with amazing photos of musical acts that have graced their stages. Widespread Panic had now made the Denver wall.


The first set ended with an amazing medley beginning with a cover of Bob Dylan's Baby, Let Me Follow You Down that they pulled off quite well. Lead guitarist, George McConnell pulled off a short solo that Robbie Robertson would have beeen proud of. This gem led into the stop-and-go composed epic, Conrad. The story of Conrad the Caterpillar twists its way to an amazing set closing jam and climatic lyrical return, "I just need a little room to fly, I spent all of my days just trying to keep dry. Oh, I'd take a waterfall or a drop for my eye, I can't see nothin' from here anyway, I might as well make room and try…might as well try."


The piano bar bouncing Greta let Jo-Jo show off his dexterity and set the tone for a festive second set. Dirty Business, originally written by the New Riders of the Purple Sage, has been in the Panic repertoire for sometime now and is always a fun one to hear. Dirty Business melted into a dark segue that eventually led into the newer tune, You Should Be Glad held down by one of the many catchy Dave Schools bass lines. The mesh of music continued as the band morphed into the live favorite, Bears Gone Fishin'. At about this time in the concert, if you haven't realized that Dave Schools is one of the baddest bass players in the scene, you aren't paying attention. The man provides such an original sounding low end that blends melody and intricate note placement all you can do is nod your head and smile.


Just when I thought I had probably heard all the old stuff for the night, they put me right in my place. Blight, a Panic tune that caught my ear nearly ten years ago, comes thumping from Schools's bass while Sonny Ortiz on percussion and drummer Todd Nance pick up the beat. Blight dissolves into a Drums breakdown to which the band leaves the stage for a brief stint as Schools comes back on stage for some Drums and Bass. A few teases later, I'm certain I heard a Dark Star tease in there, the band remerges for R.L. Burnside's Snake Drive, a hard-hitting blues rocker.


A slight downshift in the set found the band meandering through the swirling sounds of the old Robert Johnson tune, Me and the Devil Blues, which Panic released on their official debut album Space Wrangler back in 1988. Yes, sir, the song selection was right up my alley tonight and the rest of the crowd seemed to agree. The jam out of Me and the Devil Blues rolled like a runaway train picking up speed and eventually settling into Neil Young's Mr. Soul. A regularly played, but always welcomed, All Time Low was next and had its standard peak at the end that never ceases to get feet moving and people smiling. Rock ended this great set and gave JB one last chance to sing from his whiskey-stained belly. I mean that in a good way.


The encore was an uplifting one, starting with NRBQ's Help Me Somebody led by Jo-Jo's rolling piano work and accompanying JB vocals. And if there is ever a song you can expect Panic to finish with after a show like that, it's Ain't Life Grand. The bar was set for this 4-night run, and set pretty high at that. You have to approach these things like a marathon. If I know Panic, and I don't, tonight was a warm-up lap and their just getting warmed up. As for tonight, "Everybody's moving but me, but I'm gonna make it home piece by piece."




Past Ryan Reviews:


Mountain Jamming with The Allman Brothers Band


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


Trey Anastasio & 70VP at Red Rocks


Dark Star Orchestra Kicks Off Winter Tour 2005

DSO @ Cervantes - 12/30/04- for the Grateful Web

Now that the calendar has changed to 2005 and DSO has gotten a little bit of rest, the time has come to 'keep on truckin'! Midwest, Southwest, and West Coast: get ready for some DSO.

The band takes the U.S. by storm in January and February offering performances in every one of the time zones. A handful of multiple night stands take place in Austin at La Zona Rosa for two nights, three nights in San Francisco at the Great American Music Hall, and another two night stand at Portland's Crystal Ballroom.

The Winter Tour, kicking off in St. Louis (home to DSO drummers Rob and Dino), winds through ten states and brings the band to such hallowed rooms at the Great Amercian Music Hall, where a band called the Grateful Dead offered a quality performance in August of 1975

On Thursday, February 17, a non-DSO show day in the Bay Area, the members of Dark Star Orchestra will be joining David Gans for The Invitational at the  Sweetwater Saloon in Mill Valley, CA. It is an intimate venue and sure to be an interesting time with other special guests including Henry Kaiser and Eric Thompson. This show begins at 8:30 PM.

DSO has also announced numerous dates for theS pring Tour which begins in Colorado at the end of March then brings them back to the East Coast including an early festival season performance at the Wanee Festival in Florida with the Allman Brothers, Gov't Mule and many other acts.

More Spring Tour dates will be added in the forthcoming weeks. Check out the website for the complete, up to date information.

All Winter Tour shows are on sale now through:

Photo: Robbie Williams

As you may be aware, DSO is drawing national attention with their true-to-life performances. Rolling Stone praises "Dark Star Orchestra's fanatical attention to detail. "USA Today says DSO is "channeling the Dead" and the Washington Post declares them "the hottest Grateful Dead tribute act going Dallas Morning Newsaffirms DSO is "the next best thing to being there", the Denver Post describes Dark Star Orchestra as "a perfection-oriented practitioner of homage" and the Associated Pressnotes that DSO "takes its act to a level of detail that befits a rock band famous for its fanatical following."

Check out Glide Magazine's show review of the December 12 show at the New Higher Ground in Burlington, VT.  Here's a snippet:

"Seeing these guys made me shake my head quite a few times and rub my eyes to be sure that I really wasn't seeing the Dead back in the day. I was immediately pulled in from the first notes and really enjoyed the night thoroughly always feeling at home with what they were playing. To call these guys a cover band would be just plain wrong, they are more like mystical channelers plugged into the source and not letting go!"

Jan 26
The Pageant
St. Louis, MO

Jan 27
The Vogue
Indianapolis, IN

Jan 28
Newport Music Hall
Columbus, OH

Jan 29
Cincinnati, OH

Jan 31
Mercy Lounge
Nashville, TN

Feb 2 
Houston, TX

Feb 3
Lakewood Theater
Dallas, TX

Feb 4, 5
La Zona Rosa
Austin, TX

Feb 7

Feb 8
Santa Fe, NM
w/David Gans &; Daniella

Feb 10
Orpheum Theater
Flagstaff, AZ
w/David Gans opening

Feb 11
Marquee Theater
Tempe, AZ

Feb 12
Belly Up
Solana Beach, CA

Feb 13
El Rey Theatre
Los Angeles, CA

Feb 15
The Catalyst
Santa Cruz, CA

Feb 18, 19, 20 
Great American Music Hall
San Francisco, CA

Feb 22
Van Duzer Theatre
Arcata, CA

Feb 24, 25
Crystal Ballroom
Portland, OR

Feb 26
McDonald Theater
Eugene, OR

Feb 27
The Showbox
Seattle, WA
DSO to rest &; resume touring in March

Mar 24
8150 Club
Vail, CO

Mar 25, 26 
Fox Theatre
Boulder, CO

Mar 27
Denver, CO

Mar 31
Minneapolis, MN

Apr 1
Barrymore Theatre
Madison, WI

Apr 2
The Rave
Milwaukee, WI

Apr 8, 9
The Orange Peel
Asheville, NC

Apr 10
Lincoln Theatre
Raleigh, NC

Apr 13
Georgia Theatre
Athens, GA

Apr 15, 16
Wanee Festival
Suwanee Springs, FL

Apr 20
NorVa Theater
Norfolk, VA

Apr 21
Starr Hill Music Hall
Charlottesville, VA

Apr 22, 23
State Theatre
Falls Church, VA

Apr 26
The Crowbar
State College, PA

DSO's 1000th Performance

Available now on 3 CDs

Check out some of the deals on hotels for this upcoming tour.

DSO's Hotelmaster has arranged some great discounts on hotels near the venues the band is playing at.


Live at the Fillmore, videotaped at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco May 8, 2004. The DVD includes appearances by special guest,Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay, on vocals.

Produced by Bob Matthews, the DVD packaging features artwork by Stanley Mouse.

Live at the Fillmorecontains over two hours of live video footage of two entire sets of DSO recreating the historic May 5, 1977 show from Veterans Memorial Coliseum in New Haven, CT.

This first DVD release from DSO includes two bonus audio CDs of the same show in addition to the DVD disc.

Dark Star Orchestra DVD:
Live at the Fillmore

Available Feb. 4 from

DVD Recorded Live May 8, 2004
of DSO recreating May 5, 1977

In Related News:

The Mix - New CD
"American Spring"

Check out some sound samples online and hear what The Mix is all about.

AMERICAN SPRING, the first CD from THE MIX has just been released available onlineat Rainman Records) and features DSO's John Kadlecik on guitar and Kevin Rosen on bass along with Garcia bandmate Melvin Seals on keyboards and veteran drummer Greg Anton.

The CD features ten tracks including songs penned by all band members as well as two songs co-written by Grateful Dead songsmith Robert Hunter.