March 16, 2010

Phish Announces Massive Summer Tour

It is 87 days until the start of touring season. 2 months, 26 days. 2088 Hours. 125,280 minutes. 7,516,800 seconds. Today, we finally have confirmation of just where Phish will be playing this summer. The first leg of the tour begins on June 11 at Toyota Park near Chicago and concludes on the Fourth of July Weekend in Alpharetta, GA at the 12,000 seat Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre. The second leg kicks off at the Greek in Berkeley on August 5 and concludes a few weeks later at Jones Beach.

So who are the big winners? Well, it would seem like the Northeast region of the country once again gets a whole lot of love. The big loser? Looks like the west coast. The absence of a weekend at The Gorge, leaves only medium-sized venues booked in California and Colorado which is sure to drive demand way up for the Greek Theater (capacity of 8500) and the already highly publicized pair of shows in Telluride (capacity 9000, with 1500 tickets being promised to locals.)

First Time Played: Portsmouth, Virginia; Alpharetta, Georgia

Significant Gaps: Hershey, PA (last played 9/15/2000), Cuyahoga Falls, OH (last played 9/18/2000), Canandaigua, NY (last played 6/22/1995), Berkeley, CA (last played 8/28/1993), Telluride, CO (last played 10/28/1991).

READ ON for the complete list of dates and ticketing information…

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Happy Planet Anthem Release Day

The Disco Biscuits extremely long-awaited new album, Planet Anthem, has finally dropped today on Marn 3:16. CLICK HERE to read HT contributing editor Ryan Dembinsky’s thoughts on Planet Anthem. To

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Review: Lotus @ Royal Oak Music Theatre

Lotus @ Royal Oak Music Theatre – February 25, 2010

Lotus, the Indiana five-piece, came to the center of Michigan as they stopped off at the Royal Oak Music Theater. After a smoking Jam Cruise, Lotus have been embarking on a tour in support of the release of two EPs, Oil on Glass/Feather on Wood. The Michigan crowd was fairly young, but surprisingly sizable, presumably due to Lotus’ tireless performances at 2009’s Rothbury Music Festival. A blasting late night set and a secret show in Sherwood Forest seemed to create an influx of youngsters decked out to the nines for the Thursday show. With Rothbury on the shelf temporarily, hopefully many of the bands that made the festival so special will return to Michigan for some shows, and with some luck and enough support the festival will return as one of the premier events of the summer.

Lotus opened their two set Royal Oak show with the lively bounce of Juggernaut. Like most of their material, a playful electronic ping bounces off a hard bass line from Jesse Miller and is mirrored by guitar work from Mike Rempel. Juggernaut built to a frenzied pace, as it stretched things out slightly to catch the sizable Detroit area crowd’s interest early. The choppy, Golden Ghost came next, as Miller alternated some basslines and samples from his keyboard for the hip-hop flavored melody.

A first set highlight came at the tail end as the quintet started Trans-Am’s Obscene Strategies. The funky lasery piece from the Baltimore band was sped up and accentuated perfectly with pop fills from percussionist Chuck Morris. After it, would be The Strength of Weak Ties opening track Tip of The Tongue, which is centered around Miller’s catchy bassline and Rempel’s summoning of David Byrne on a dirty scratched wah-pedaled guitar hook. The catchy sing-a-long slowly ventured into some ambient improv before sliding into a medley of original Nintendo Zelda themes (they do both the main theme and dungeon themes for those of us lucky enough to still have the greatest system ever made.) It harnesses one aspect of Lotus’ diverse sound, “epic” electronic battle music. The well versed nerds in the crowd, reminisced about our 8-bit dungeon days as the band wound back into Tip of The Tongue before taking a set break.

READ ON for more from Pietro on Lotus in Royal Oak…

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Cover Wars March Madness: Round of 16

Sure we’re a bit ahead of the NCAA because we’re already down to sixteen contenders. Voting turnout was great in the first round, thanks to everyone who made their voices heard throughout the last week. Some races were very close, Primus (The Devil Went Down To Georgia) inched out Widespread Panic (Skin It Back) 51% to 49%. Some were blowouts, Bruce Hornsby & Trey Anastasio took down 90% of the vote when matched up against The Waybacks. Clare & The Reasons did their best to fire up their Facebook fans, but they could not overcome the built-in Phish advantage here on Hidden Track as they lost 57% to 43%.

In the first round we did our best to match up the artists that had won multiple Cover Wars ver the past year. We’ve still got two left as we’ll see Bruce Hornsby & Trey Anastasio take on Trey Anastasio’s solo band. And there are still two Phish covers in the mix. Once we’re down to the round of eight on Friday, we’ll have this all cleaned up.

1) Bruce Hornsby & Trey Anastasio – Standing On The Moon vs. Trey Anastasio – Sultans of Swing
2) Jeff Tweedy – I’m Only Sleeping vs. YARN – Oh! Sweet Nuthin’
3) Built To Spill – Cortez The Killer vs. Foo Fighters – Band on The Run
4) Umphrey’s McGee – Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’ vs. Max Creek – Eminence Front
5) Phish – Sweet Virginia vs. Phish – Ballad of Curtis Loew
6) Pearl Jam – Baba O’Riley vs. Grateful Dead – Ballad Of A Thin Man
7) Give Us The Money Lebowski – Godzilla vs. of Montreal – Moonage Daydream
8) Perpetual Groove – This Must Be The Place vs. Primus – The Devil Went Down To Georgia

For our first Round of 16 matchup, we’ve got Trey Anastasio teaming up with Bruce Hornsby to cover the Dead’s Standing On The Moon taking on Big Red’s cover of Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits…

Bruce Hornsby & Trey Anastasio – Standing On The Moon

Trey Anastasio – Sultans of Swing

READ ON to vote and for the other seven Sweet 16 bouts…

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Tour Dates: All Jack’d Up

A few years back it seemed as you couldn’t find a festival that didn’t have Jack Johnson’s name at the top of the bill. The former pro-surfer turned rocker will

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Briefly: WSP Porch Songs – 11/1/96

It took over 20 years for Widespread Panic to start releasing old shows from their archives, but now the band is making up for lost time. Just a few months

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Kings of Leon Announce 32 Show Summer Tour

Kings of Leon have announced their summer 2010 touring plans. Beginning June 5th and ending September 23rd, the Bonnaroo 2010 headliners will be playing 32, mostly outdoor-amphitheatre shows across the

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Dave Holland Octet: Pathways

The greatest virtue of bassist Dave Holland's recordings, whatever the size of the ensemble he leads, lies in how directly the compositions evolve from the improvisation(s) of the players.    The key may be that Holland writes with his players in mind. As exhibited on the title song to this live recording from Birdland in 2009, that's clearly a consummate talent in itself. But the band's still got to execute and it's only a matter of moments before the Octet is in full flight for close to eleven minutes on "Pathways." 

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