If the Colorado Bluegrass Community wasn’t already tried as strong, this month represented a milestone for community support. Last month’s “100 Year Flood” damaged and displaced thousands in Boulder County. The worst was the devastation in Lyons, Colorado, home of the Planet Bluegrass Ranch and much of the Colorado Music Roots community. The Ranch hosts at least two huge annual festivals onsite that after 40 years of legendary performances have built a loyal following of devotees nationwide.
We are a community of audiophiles who understand the intrinsic value of live music to a point that we have been known to base large chunks of our free time around chasing the perfect show. And yet, how many bands that we see as the cream of the jamband scene were exposed to us through live recordings? Sure, we all had bootlegs in college, but I am sure that most of you started in high school with ‘Skeletons in The Closet’ from Columbia House just like I did.
I’ll keep this one short and sweet, let y’all enjoy the record for yourselves—and it’s a tight one, trust me.First, though, a little background’s in order for anyone new to our man behind the Rebel Era LP. GRiZ (alias of producer, DJ, and—yes—classically-trained saxophonist Grant Kwiecinski) is a young buck at twenty-three, but his sound is already somethin’ else.
So what does a Racoon Wedding sound like, exactly? Something akin to Kings of Leon circa Aha Shake Heartbreak if the boys went on a bender in Nawlins and never quite lost the itch they caught down in the Big Easy.Raccoon Dead On the Side of the Road was strictly an in-house effort—well, in warehouse, really—the Canadian sextuplet recorded this album over five days in an old Paris (Ontario) flop, and multi-instrumentalist band member Scott Wilson mastered the tracks.
I’m not quite sure what to make of this one—on the one hand, Passage of Pegasus is a tidy little dream pop album with tight instrumentals and a light concept; on the other... no, I just don’t know. A short anecdote:Once upon a time, I found myself on a late night adventure deep down the Interweb rabbit hole when I came across a series of videos by one Professor Soap (by his own account, he makes “music, art, and happiness” for the uninitiated—present company very much included until then).
After the grand way the band has been performing the last few years, we can sometimes forget how much Phish used to dominate the 90s live music scene. By the winter of 1995 the band was still performing slightly under the radar and these four musical wizards were summoning magic on-stage nightly. The band is currently in the midst of an excellent fall tour, and with another winter looming has offered up an archival release from that distinguished period, this being from their December 7th 1995 show at the Niagara Falls Convention Center
On the fateful day after extended taxes were due, October 16, 2013, I sat down with [and interviewed) Fayetteville, Arkansas-based band Don’t Stop Please. During the interview there were many jokes, lots of sarcasm and some discussion about music, including insight on their newest album, the creation process and that pesky (now historical) government shutdown. This is the first time I’ve interviewed an entire band together and it was certainly interesting!
What’s in a name? For a band, a lot. A band’s name often gives a descriptor to their image, something that can vaguely sum up what the band is all about. The Beach Boys wrote songs about being on the beach. The Allman Brothers were a band made up of brothers named Allman. Aerosmith...I’ll get back to you on that. But my point remains. Band names are like the tagline to their music. It’s what people see first and remember the most.
A true pioneer takes great risks, stepping out of the social norm to create something revolutionary and different. They visualize a new way of doing things by bringing a fresh perspective that could potentially change the game forever. These types of people are becoming few and far between, and in a music industry that running dry of inspirational ideas, we need these revolutionaries now more than ever.Enter Griz, the 23 year-old beatsmith prodigy child who is single-handedly changing today’s electronic music scene with his signature “electro soul” sounds.
The Ballroom Thieves. Maybe you haven’t heard of this band – I hadn’t until I received the album. But that’s okay…this band is going to be around for a while so you’ll get your chance. If you go to your local record store, chances are you might find an album, but it’s unlikely. The band has only put out two EPs since they formed in 2011. Their first EP, The Devil & The Deep released in 2012.