July 15, 2004

Gratefulfest 2004: Nelson

With all the chaos in the world and the string of challenges the country faces, it can be hard to find the time to relish in our heritage and appreciate the good things in life. But this was not the case over Independence Day weekend, as a sold-out crowd of thousands of happy festival-goers gathered in beautiful Nelson, OH for a three day celebration of the legacy of the music of the Grateful Dead.

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Berkfest Put On Hold For ’04

As anticipated, Massachusetts based promoters, Gamelan Productions, announced today that the annual event, Berkfest, would not take place this summer.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce that after 6 amazing summers, the annual Berkshire Mountain Music Festival will be taking this summer off. We apologize for the late announcement, and realized that most of you have already assumed this is the case. Due to current market conditions and a difficult year in 2003, we will be sitting on the sidelines this festival season.

We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to everyone who has been a part of this unique community over the years and helped to create such an extraordinary event. The staff, volunteers, artists, performers, and especially you, the patrons, have made Berkfest one of the most highly anticipated festivals of the summer. We, the organizers, share in your disappointment that we are unable to bring another incredible weekend of music to you in 2004.”

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Soulive To Record/Release Upcoming NYC Shows

For Soulive’s upcoming shows at Tribeca Rock Club in New York City on July 29, 30 and 31, DiscLive and Pirate Entertainment will be on-site to document the band’s blistering live performances in this intimate setting. DiscLive, a wholly owned subsidiary of Immediatek (OTCBB: ITEK), and Pirate will use state-of-the-art, recording technology to create double-live CDs available for sale shortly after each show.

Titled Live in New York City, each night of Soulive’s New York performance will result in a new volume in the live series. The recordings and the concerts will help promote the independent non-profit organization Music for America.

Music for America is working to get young voters involved in the political process – for the 2004 elections and beyond. Through live concerts and an interactive website, they are connecting culture and politics, exposing political hypocrisies, and igniting a grassroots movement. Soulive’s live series will help support this cause. Music for America will also be at the shows, signing up those who are not yet registered to vote. Check them out at musicforamerica.com.

“Immediatek, DiscLive and Pirate are innovative companies whose management teams share an understanding of artists that allows musicians to connect more closely with their fans. Soulive is all about getting music to their fans in new and innovative ways,” says Soulive Manager Jeff Krasno.

Live in NYC: Volume 1, 2 & 3 marks Soulive’s first release since the jazz hipsters completed their three album commitment to Blue Note Records, and it marks the band’s first ever live, full-performance recordings. Soulive’s gritty new jazz and funk sounds have been turning heads and shaking hips since the band first broke onto the scene in 1999. This New York City run finds Soulive, who has shared the stage with bands such as The Rolling Stones and the Dave Matthews Band, fresh off recent performances at the renowned Bonnaroo and Glastonbury music festivals. For this upcoming live recording series, Soulive has invited very special guests to be announced. The band will also perform exciting new material, not yet recorded, including some amazing renditions of clever, cover songs.

Each volume in the series will be run in limited editions and will be available only at disclive.com, accessed also through piratebootlegs.com and soulive.com. Fans will be able to pre-order the series beginning July 16, 2004, as well as order the recordings at each of the shows themselves. Further downloading options beyond the initial NetBurn offering will be made available through select e-tailers. Details will be announced soon.

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Historic 1985 Live Aid DVD Due Out This Fall

The historic 1985 Live Aid concert will finally be released on DVD in the fall. Earlier this year, the Band Aid Trust agreed to auction the global rights for the concerts for the first time, after pirated copies were found for sale on the Internet.

Warner Vision International won the bidding and has set a Nov. 10 release date for a four-disc DVD package. The iconic Live Aid, held at London’s Wembley and Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium, raised more than $70 million for famine relief in Africa.

Among the acts that performed were a reunited Led Zeppelin, U2, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Neil Young and Queen. The DVDs will feature a documentary, “Food, Trucks & Rock’n’Roll,” plus performances from related Live Aid events around the world.

“Twenty years ago they not only played ‘real good for free,’ they took an issue that was nowhere on the agenda of the political world and placed it at the very top,” says concert organizer Bob Geldof. “By buying the Live Aid DVD, that day continues far off into some distant but hopefully better future for all those people in whose name those great artists played.”

Source billboard.com.

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Final Elliott Smith Album Due In October

Singer/songwriter Elliott Smith’s final album, “From a Basement on the Hill,” will be released Oct. 19 via Epitaph’s Anti- imprint. Smith committed suicide last October; the material he had been working on was posthumously overseen by members of his family, as well as longtime collaborator Rob Schnapf and musician Joanna Bolme.

The 15-track album features drumming by the Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd on opener “Coast to Coast,” while Quasi’s Sam Coomes plays bass and sings on “Pretty (Ugly Before),” which was issued in August 2003 as a single by Suicide Squeeze Records. The cut “A Distorted Reality is Now a Necessity To Be Free” will appear first on MoveOn.org’s “Future Soundtrack for America” compilation, which hits stores Aug. 10.

Other song titles suggest Smith may have been contemplating suicide and revisiting his frequent themes of addiction, including “Strung Out Again,” “Shooting Star,” “Memory Lane” and “Last Hour.”

It is believed Smith had tracked more than 30 songs during work on the project, for which he’d reached an agreement with DreamWorks to release on an independent label of his choosing. But it’s unclear how many songs were complete, or if they will ever see the light of day. “He was always editing and working,” DreamWorks A&R executive Luke Wood told Billboard last year. “He always had a large cycle of songs that he was making better, and sometimes that cycle took years.”

Here is the track list for “From a Basement on the Hill”:

“Coast to Coast”
“Let’s Get Lost”
“Pretty (Ugly Before)”
“Don’t Go Down”
“Strung Out Again”
“Fond Farewell”
“King’s Crossing”
“Ostriches & Chirping”
“A Passing Feeling”
“Last Hour”
“Shooting Star”
“Memory Lane”
“Little One”
“A Distorted Reality is Now a Necessity To Be Free”

Source billboard.com.

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Elvis Costello, Chris Robinson, Others Added To Austin City Limits Festival

Elvis Costello & the Imposters have been added to the Austin City Limits Music Festival lineup. Costello, a Grammy winner and Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame inductee, joins The Neville Brothers, Henry Butler, and Chris Robinson & The New Earth Mud as the latest artists to be confirmed for the September Festival.

These artists add to the more than 130 other performers confirmed for
the Festival including The Pixies, Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper & the
Innocent Criminals, Trey Anastasio, Jack Johnson, Big Head Todd & the
Monsters, Calexico, Franz Ferdinand, Dashboard Confessional, Wilco, Los Lonely Boys and many others.

More than 200,000 music lovers are expected to converge on Austin, TX,
Sept. 17-19, for the third annual Austin City Limits Music Festival, one of the nation’s most anticipated music events. Set in downtown Austin’s beautiful Zilker Park, the ACL Music Festival is a larger than life extension of the television program and returns bigger and better in 2004, with eight stages, more than 130 music performances, a vibrant artist village, the unique tastes of local food vendors and much more.

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Pianist Brad Mehldau Plans Live In Tokyo Release

Pianist Brad Mehldau’s next album, “Live in Tokyo,” will arrive Aug. 31 via Nonesuch. The set features covers of Nick Drake’s “Things Behind the Sun” and “River Man,” Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android,” Thelonious Monk’s “Monk’s Dream” and the George Gershwin standards “Someone To Watch Over Me” and “How Long Has This Been Going On?”

Mehldau will end a short break from the road July 26 in La Roque, France, with a North American tour due to kick off Sept. 28 at New York’s Village Vanguard. The artist already has a handful of shows scheduled in 2005 with the John Scofield Trio.

Source billboard.com.

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Leftover Salmon’s Drew Emmitt Plans Solo Tour

With noted jam band Leftover Salmon planning a hiatus, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Drew Emmitt is making plans to hit the road this fall on a solo tour. Joining him will be the band’s Greg Garrison on bass, as well as noted bluegrass banjo player Matt Flinner and guitarist Ross Martin.

Although not yet fully booked, the run looks set to kick off in late September and run through early December, and encompass an appearance at San Francisco’s Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park.

The group will head into the studio in January with an eye on releasing the debut Drew Emmitt Band album in April 2005 via Compass.

Leftover Salmon has a slate of shows scheduled through a Sept. 18 appearance in Bristol, Tenn., and a one-off Oct. 30 show in Denver.

Source billboard.com.

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