February 27, 2009

Interview: Catching Up With Butch Trucks

Whether in interviews, on drums or in a constantly renewing push to integrate technology and music, Butch Trucks isn’t one to hold back.

Having anchored the Allman Brothers Band’s drum assault for 40 years now, Butch is like the rest of his Brothers gearing up for what’s promising to be a batshit exciting Beacon Theater residency. You know the details and have heard the rumors: it kicks off March 9, with 15 shows total through March 28, and a rumored dazzling array of special guests.

In a recent interview with Hidden Track, Butch touched on a number of topics, including such hot potatoes over whether this is the start of an Allman Brothers Band scale-back (yes and no), some hints on what’s to come at the Beacon, and of course, Moogis – a brand new piece of the Beacon experience that will bring streaming, near-high-definition video to Web subscribers to capture each night of the run live.

READ ON for Chad’s interview with Butch Trucks to find out about the Allmans’ future, the upcoming Beacon run, Moogis and much more…

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Hampton Countdown: Cash For Your Extra

With only a week to go some fans are frantically looking for their magic tickets to Phish’s return at the Hampton Coliseum. Longtime Phish fans Dusty and Brando are helping

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Leftovers: Wanee Returns In June

The Allman Brothers Band’s Wanee Festival usually takes place in April, so we thought perhaps they were taking the year off to focus on the Beacon run. Turns out they’ve

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Triangle Explorer: Pico vs. Island Trees

We’d like to welcome a new contributor from an area close to our hearts: North Carolina’s Research Triangle. Sonny Byrd is an avid music fan, critic, concert goer, listener, and player who is based out of Durham, NC. Each month he’ll tell us about a new up-and-coming band from the Chapel Hill/Raleigh/Durham area. Welcome to the Hidden Track team, Sonny.

Pop music can and always has been so much more than just pop punk. Pico vs. Island Trees is all of the proof that you need. Rather than turning to the idols of high school ‘tweens’ (ie, Pete Wentz) for influence, Pico has a new approach to pop; they have managed to incorporate a disco-1970s-groovy jazz vibe into their sound, while staying firmly planted in mainstream pop rock. And what’s more, they convincingly pull it off with momentum and musicality.

A self-described pop band, Pico formed over a decade ago in middle school, and the core three members, now in their mid-twenties, have been together since day one. This may account for their palpable onstage chemistry and seasoned approach to pop/rock songwriting. And while the five piece band has no manager, no PR rep, and of course, no record label, they have taken “DIY” (do it yourself) to a new level of musical success.

READ ON for more from Sonny on Pico vs. Island Trees…

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Friday Mix Tape: Who’s On Tour

In this digital age of live shows you can buy after the show and spoiler-free downloads posted minutes after the show lets out, I decided my first try at a Friday Mix Tape will feature tracks from shows that happened in the past seven days. All these tracks come from either bt.etree.org or the Live Music Archive, and none of these tracks are more than a week old.

Leading off we have the Bill Kreutzmann Trio with an extended take on The Dead’s China Cat Sunflower. Next, we turn to Chicago’s Cornmeal, who welcomed both horns and a percussionist to the stage for a Fat Tuesday show with Aiko Aiko. Moving on, the Derek Trucks Band contribute a 17+ minute cover-of-a-cover as they deftly explore John Coltrane’s take on Rodgers/Hammerstein’s My Favorite Things.

READ ON to stream and/or download this week’s Friday Mix Tape…

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Pop the Cork: Theme-Based Phish Openers

With the big reunion just a week away, conversations are tending towards guessing the opener. Saxilla nailed this a couple weeks ago with a great post, opening the gates for a wide variety of Hampton opener calls.

In thinking about what the band will open with – no doubt about it, an elusive task – I thought it might be fun to take a quick look back through the annals at some other monumental “theme-based” openers. In other words, in prepping for what will surely be remembered as one of the big moments in the band’s history in Hampton, let’s look back at the times where the band fit their opener to the moment at hand and directly linked their opening song to the surrounding circumstances. Here we go…

Red Rocks, 8/20/93, Divided Sky

For Phish’s inaugural seal cracking of Red Rocks, they kicked off with the geographically fitting Divided Sky. With the gorgeous outdoor venue nestled amidst the Rocky Mountains and surrounded by the Colorado stars, I imagine the Divided Sky opener really fit the scene. They also further hat tipped their surroundings with a Wedge later in the show, where the “Take the Highway, to the Great Divide” also works perfectly as the actual “red rocks” mysteriously sort of pop out of nowhere, are located right along Highway 80, and the audience and stage literally divide the giant rock slabs on both sides.

READ ON for more thematic openers including 1999 and Rhinoceros…

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Televised Tune: On The Tube This Weekend

Ovation presents a series of jazz programs on Sunday afternoon starting with a showing of Clint Eastwood’s Bird at Noon. Other programs of interest include a tribute to John Coltrane

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Janes Addiction Unearths The Cabinet

On April 21, Rhino celebrates the legacy of Jane’s Addiction and unearths A CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, a 3-CD/1-DVD Jane’s Addiction boxed set of demos, live performances and rarities that includes

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