Fans of the Grateful Dead will continue to seek that special feeling their music brought for 30 years, though the group disbanded eighteen years ago. Bassist Phil Lesh recently announced for all practical purposes that he is retiring from touring, sticking to his Terrapin Crossroads locale with occasional exceptions. Though the other living members of the band will likely continue to tour and perform, their music tends to evolve with them as musicians.
Even avant-garde jazz needs structure. A boundless exploration of less touched musical realms still needs some foundation to stand on. Certain jazz purists don’t even consider fusion, free, or Avant-garde to be true jazz. I stand somewhere in between. The music of Miles Davis, Joe Zawinul, and Ornette Coleman is as canonical as Duke Ellington or Bing Crosby. Evolution is vital to keep music interesting, especially in the richly complex world of jazz.
Ani DiFranco is a badass. Since early in her life she has chosen to be a leader against the conventional. At fifteen she legally chose to live on her own. At nineteen she began her own record label—Righteous Babe Records—in order to avoid the grasp of mainstream companies. And throughout her career, she has been at the forefront of multiple rallies fighting for women’s rights, encouraging people to vote, and just expressing what she truly believes. In short, DiFranco is not someone who can easily be ignored.
For Les Claypool, image has never been an important part of being a god amongst bass players. He is the antithesis of image-orientation in rock music. The Claypool persona is obscurity. For years his live performances muffled any sense of ordinary human interaction. Pig and Ape masks would obscure his face. If not a mask then a large pair of specs and handlebar mustache added to his image vagary. He sings into two different microphones, both add a level of vocal distortion depending on how he controls his midi.
This past week seemed to go on forever. In between school and work shifts, all people could talk about was Saturday night and how wild it was going to be. Since their last appearance at the Lazy Dog in Boulder, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong (PPPP) has been racking up new friends and fans out west with serious momentum.
Each year, since 2008 (according to my research), MartyParty (who did this fun remix) and Ooah (of The Glitch Mob) have toured in the spring/summer doing a special show, PANTyRAiD. For me, their smooth, sexy music brings new life to electronic music. However, this is an electronic show – so don’t come expecting your run-of-the-mill nursing home acoustic group. (Do those exist?
A light blanket of snow settled on the still-green trees around the amphitheater, thin layers of ice coated wooden planks and steps, and expertly positioned heaters scattered the stage. It was October 4th at Red Rocks, and it was cold. But timing wasn’t much of a choice for Lotus and their supporting bands BoomBox and Break Science.
After covering some amazing STS9 shows over the years, I cannot say that I am surprised to report that this show was a dance party filled with beautiful scenery (in more ways than one), an upbeat git down fest, and a very unique combination of musical genres that can only define one band. The reason why I like them so much is because of their diversity and constant dance beats. They combine tribal, electronic, jazz, disco, and funk, which leaves their fans reeling and grinning.
After kicking off what some are calling the Fare Thee Well Tour with two nights at Red Rocks, it was clear walking up the ramps that there was a sustained energy ready to boil over on Saturday night. After three consecutive late summers on the rocks, Furthur brought out all of the tricks on this run, and finally decided to not only give us the best of, like they had in previous years, but also lots of songs they’d never dusted off in Colorado.
In the midst of his Many Rivers Crossed Tour, Hall of Fame inductee Jimmy Cliff made his way into recently devastated Boulder, Colorado for a show filled with his politically and culturally distinct classics, and a history lesson not only about his life, but the music through which he ‘s seen the world.