Folk icon Richie Havens died this morning in his home from a sudden heart attack at the age of 72, (January 21, 1941 – April 22, 2013). Havens became part of musical history during his impromptu opening performance at the legendary 1969 Woodstock Festival. To the world, he was best known for his unique rhythmic guitar style and soulful covers of folk & pop songs. He recorded music for over 40 years before retiring from touring only 3 years ago. Those who have met Havens remember his powerful presence, compassionate and caring nature, and his humor.The family appreciates his fans mourning Richie Haven, they for a chance grieve their loss in private, and are planning a public memorial at a later date.
Will.i.am has recently filed a formal complaint of copyright violation against Pharell Williams for the release of his new brand “i am OTHER.” “i am OTHER” is marketed as a YouTube channel and cultural movement that promotes individuality and conservation and charity initiatives.Will.i.am claims that he owns the copyright to the phrase “I AM” and that the new logo for “i am OTHER” is too easily confused with his own. He argues that Pharell will be using his “i am OTHER” brand on clothing and other merchandise in too similar of a manner to the goods bearing his “I AM” logo. Fearing the registration of the “i am OTHER” will lessen the value of the Will.I.AM mark, he plans to take the matter all the way to court.In a statement to Rolling Stone Pharell responded by saying “I am disappointed that Will, a fellow artist, would file a case against me. I am someone who likes to talk things out and, in fact, I attempted to do just that on many occasions. I am surprised in how this is being handled and I am confident that Will’s trademark claims will ultimately be found to be as meritless and ridiculous as I do.”Representatives for Will.i. am have not responded to these comments at this time.
With all the recent talk of national security, breaches of privacy, and government agency whistle blowers, it’s a good question to ask whether or not the hallowed grounds of music festivals are being infiltrated by big brother, as well.The New York Times published an article August 5th, describing the various jurisdiction extensions of the Transportation Security Administration, or the T.S.A. You are definitely familiar with some of these task force programs, or VIPRs (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Squads), if you’ve traveled through airports, Amtrak, or even simply by walking through high traffic and security zones of New York City. Among the squads are T.S.A. officers, Federal Air Marshals, explosives detection specialists, and even behavior detection officers. Here is a description of just how, when, and where these response squads may be deployed:“TSA VIPR teams can be deployed at random locations and times in cooperation with local authorities to deter and defeat terrorist activity; or teams may be deployed to provide additional law enforcement or security presence at transportation venues during specific alert periods or in support of special events.”This description comes from a report updated and published by the T.S.A. January 30, 2013. But why only now are we starting to become conscious of the presence of these additional squads, patrols, and task forces? And how did no one notice the inclusion of “in support of special events” in the list of permissible deployment locations? The NY Times alleges that this clause can include special events such as our beloved music festivals!With little fanfare, the agency best known for airport screenings has vastly expanded its reach to sporting events, music festivals, rodeos, highway weigh stations and train terminals. Not everyone is happy.But what about private properties, permits, local authorities? Heck, Camp Bisco has been using the Hell’s Angels as security for over a decade! Nope. Strengthened interagency communication permits the fusion of department task forces. A.k.a. Don’t be surprised if a few uninvited guests show up to the party.“There is usually a specially trained undercover plainclothes member who monitors crowds for suspicious behavior.” -Kimberly F. Thompson, T.S.A. spokeswomanDoes anyone remember The Festival of Gnarnia, which incidentally took place this very week in August of 2012 in North Carolina? Due to the fact patrons were permitted to bring their own alcohol onto festival grounds, officers from a state-specific task force, known as the Alcohol Law Enforcement, had free rein to enter the gates and subsequently arrest over 100 attendees (not to mention the myriad undercovers). We’re not saying festivals should be an anarchic bubble, free of any security whatsoever, but when so many different federal, state, and local departments are blended, where do we draw the line of jurisdiction? How does each respective organization define probable cause when they’re all searching for different things?“The problem with T.S.A. stopping and searching people in public places outside the airport is that there are no real legal standards, or probable cause,” -Khaliah Barnes, administrative law counsel,Electronic Privacy Information Center,Washington.According the Huffinton Post, “the recent round of serious al Qaeda threats led Chicago officials to make changes to this past weekend’s security at Lollapalooza.” Regarding Lollapalooza ABC News States:“We ramped up the bag searches to insure that everybody was getting searched with the bags coming in and out. I don’t even know what the total number of bag searches was, but it was overwhelming,” said Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.McCarthy says there were more undercover officers in the crowd and bomb dogs on the perimeter-brought in once Chicago police were told of the terror plot, “it was going to be big and strategically significant.”The world is constantly changing and there are always new threats to our security and responses by law enforcement to protect it. As the music festival scene continues to grow, it will unfortunately have to adapt to this scary world in which we live, but that does not mean transforming them, or anywhere for that matter, into a police state.
Up-and-coming funk powerhouse The Main Squeeze has announced a massive winter > spring tour for 2015. The tour kicks off in Ann Arbor, MI on 2/4 and covers much of the Midwest region before heading south and hitting Aura Music Festival in Live Oak, FL, 3/7-8. Later March into April will see the band make their way throughout Colorado and out to the West Coast, before looping back for a hometown show in Indiana.Check out the full dates below and see when they’re coming to your town!
Forest Hills Stadium in Queens has rounded out their summer 2015 schedule, and it’s impressive!The stadium will welcome Van Morrison with Taj Mahal 6/19, D’Angelo with Gary Clark Jr. 6/21, James Taylor 8/4 and Alabama Shakes with Drive-By Truckers 9/19.Previously announced acts include Ed Sheeran 5/29-30, The Who 5/31 and Santana 8/14.Forest Hills Stadium 2015 Summer Concert Schedule:May 29—Ed SheeranMay 30—Ed SheeranMay 31—The WhoJune 19—Van Morrison with special guest Taj MahalJune 21—D’Angelo with special guest Gary Clark Jr.August 4—James TaylorAugust 6—New York Pops with Sutton FostersAugust 14—SantanaSeptember 19—Alabama Shakes with special guest Drive-By TruckersTickets to most of the shows go on sale 4/24 — get them here.
Back in 1962, The Beatles were bopping around the German Merseybeat club scene trying to make a name for themselves. Someone offered them a contract to record “My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean”, where they were discovered by Brian Epstein. Epstein went on to manage the Beatles through the remainder of their historic career.That initial record contract opened the door for The Beatles, innocently changing the course of music and cultural history. In one month from now, on September 19th, that document will hit the auction block. It’s expected to fetch upwards of $150,000!“This is perhaps the most historically important Beatles document to ever appear at an auction,” said Dean Harmeyer of Heritage Auctions in a press release. “Without this contract … The Beatles may have never been able to achieve their later success as a recording group… And at the time, it was a momentous career milestone — they’d finally secured an actual recording deal, something they had only dreamed of before ‘My Bonnie’.”The whole auction showcases the Beatles’ connection to Germany, a lesser-known subject in Beatle history. Once Beatlemania swept the UK and US, the band primarily stuck to those locations, and the fans focused on those places as well.Other items up for auction: a vintage snapshot of 17-year-old George Harrison modeling his first leather jacket, taken in 1960 in Hamburg shortly before his deportation from Germany for being underage (est. $3,000+); a postcard sent by Ringo Starr to his grandmother from Hamburg, signed “Lots of Love, Richy xxxxx” (est. $4,000+); an autographed copy of the group’s first EMI single, “Love Me Do,” (est. $10,000) from 1962, and a 1961 letter from Epstein to the Top Ten Club in Hamburg concerning a Beatles booking (est. $1,500+).Cool!
The Foo Fighters finished up a two-night run at the LA Forum on Tuesday the 22nd, just one night after welcoming iconic singer Stevie Nicks out to perform a couple of tunes from her repertoire (watch here). For night two of the run, The Foo Fighters called on a celebrity from an entirely different realm of entertainment, as comedian/musician Jack Black appeared for a cover of “Tom Sawyer” by Rush.Check out fan-shot footage of the sit-in below:The band was also joined by Perry Farrell, lead singer of Jane’s Addiction, for versions of “Had a Dad” and “Been Caught Stealing”. Check those out below:The Foo Fighters continue their summer tour with a stop at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, CA tonight.
Elephant Revival has seen their blend of Americana and folk instrumentation and their dreamy, other worldly delivery built them a larger and larger fan base over the last few years. A personnel change, with Charlie Rose stepping in to replace Sage Cook at the start of the year didn’t alter the bands trajectory or momentum one bit. Their most recent album, “Sands Of Now,” showcased their impressive prowess as a live act. With a short run opening up for Josh Ritter starting after the first of the year and a series of high profile festival showcases already booked, Elephant Revival looks to add to have another big year. ER’s fiddle playing spark plug Bridget Law sat down with our own Rex Thomson to talk about life, music and love.L4LM: First up…congratulations! You guys have announced a headlining show at Red Rocks for next May. How mind blowing is that?Bridget Law: SUPER mind blowing. Super exciting. I’m so looking forward to it. We’re gonna get the opportunity to put on a really magical show at an extraordinary place and I’m just so excited for it.I’m a Denver girl, I grew up there. We used to cut school and go up there and…ummm..well, it’s legal here now…(Chuckles) Playing Red Rocks is such a huge accomplishment for anyone. And growing up here, it being a place that I would go and just hang out for the day…it’s just something I never would have thought of. Never would have thought it would happen to me. It’s such an amazing feeling to get to play there, but now to get to have it be our show is different from just playing there. You get to create the space. Create the ambiance,the look and feel of the show. We’ve learned over the years that’s something we really enjoy. We’re bringing in a lot of different elements. Writing and talking about it. Writing the set list…just working at creating a feeling and a setting. It’s very different from playing a festival set. It’s an opportunity.L4LM: You were being cagey about why you were skipping school…but still admitted you were skipping school! For shame!BL: Totally! (Laughs) I was still a really good student though… L4LM: I’m sure you want to keep specifics to a minimum, and we ARE five months away from the show, but are you making this one of your occasional elaborate productions?BL: Oh yeah! Mmm-Hmmm. I haven’t been able to talk with my group yet about the specifically about what kind of production. We had these marvelous aerialists, Fractal Tribe, join us at the Ogden show, and were just really outstanding. We’ve magically got linked up with this exceptional troop from the Boulder area, and they’re all so extraordinary. So, it’s easy for us to link into that and even go deep with planning with them. I helped design their costumes with them for the show at The Ogden. I’m sure we’ll incorporate that to some level. I’ve got some really, really neat ideas. And, seeing as it’s Red Rocks, there’s just a lot more space, which just really opens up the possibilities of what we can do. L4LM: Elephant Revival is heading out for a series of opening dates with Josh Ritter at the start of next year. How hard is it going to be to boil down your music to an opening slot?BL: It’ll be interesting, for sure. These days we have a LOT more songs that we like to play and like to share. We’ll just have to rotate things tighter, play different things on different nights. It’ll still be fun. We’ll get to go to bed earlier. (Chuckles) I think we’ll get a sense of what of our music works well for fans of Josh’s music. We wanna give the folks a nice experience. Also, we hope they hear something they like and want to come back for our shows. We’re there to put our best foot forward.L4LM: Elephant Revival has made it to this new level through constant work and a relentlessly positive attitude. How does it feel to have seen the crowds grow over the years?BL: It’s wonderful. It’s so rewarding, as an artist, to see people receiving the music, to FEEL people receiving the music. It’s so rewarding to see, as an artist, that the expression of your art is being received in a powerful way. That they’re actually absorbing…that they’re FEELING what you’re asking them to feel. They’re feeling what they NEED to feel. Art allows us this space to feel. It’s very rewarding, it’s very beautiful. It helps us feel like we’re doing a good thing. It helps us fuel US whenever we ask “Do we wanna keep doing it?” or “Do we wanna keep making music?” It’s very special and it keeps us going.L4LM: You have some very dedicated fans. It’s not uncommon to hear almost the entire crowd singing along during the quiet moments of a show. How conscious of the effect you have on fans are you?BL: I think that’s a really powerful part of our music. Although we are definitely conscious and aware of it, I don’t think we put a lot of emphasis on the impact we can have on people. More so, it’s important for us to deliver high quality, positive, loving vibration through the music to the people.Whether they choose to receive it is up to them. Regardless of whether they get very impacted or even just slightly impacted, what we’re offering them is a quality experience. So we put our thoughts and energy into that. I don’t think we put too much thought into how they’ll be impacted but instead work to purify what we’re doing so they can get a positive experience from it.When you write music, especially the way WE write music…it’s meant to attach, to connect on some level with what it means to be human to these people. It’s an open message…it’s not like we’re delivering a specific message like “Tie your shoes” or something. We’re painting a picture, an emotional experience…y’know…opening up an emotional space…through sound.People enter into this space, and they connect through their own emotional body. They connect to it through their experiences, and hopefully they find the emotional space that serves them the best through the music. That’s what’s so incredible about music. It’s a place you can be very emotional without having a direct emotional experience with somebody else. You don’t have to be in a fight with somebody, you don’t have to be in love with somebody to share an emotional experience. You can just listen to a song and have an emotional experience. It’s a very safe environment to experience this emotion. I think you find what you need in the music. If you need a good cry that day, you find a good cry. If you need to find jubilence, you find jubilation. I think people gravitate towards different types of music because it speaks to their mentality, so we really try to keep our music pleasant, open and welcoming, so it can be something everyone can enjoy. We’re not trying to be genre specific. We went everyone to benefit from the music. I’m really grateful that it does. One of the best things, for all of us, one of the best things our music can appeal to a young child, a teen ager and a grand parent. I’m not saying everyone likes it, but that it’s all ages. And that makes us a community, it brings us all together. It brings families together. Families can come to our shows. And OUR families…my family. They’ll be coming out to the Red Rocks shows. My grandpa makes the trip, and my little sister comes out. Everybody will come out, this brings everybody together. I think those are my two favorite parts about our music and music in general. The family we build and the space we come together and share this experience with together. That’s why I do what I do.L4LM: “Universal” and “Transcendental” are words often used to encapsulate your sound. It’s interesting to hear these are elements you strive for. BL: Yeah, I think so. Words like transcendental, and univesral and “All-encompassing”…those are big words. It’s kinda hard to use those kinda words about yourself. But I do think we don’t want to exclude anybody. We’re looking to include everybody, so we are trying to be universal. Everyone’s invited. The thing that connects us all, the oneness…it’s always present on some level. L4LM: Your last album was a live one. You’re known for powerful shows…what made you decide it was time to try and capture that?BL: That was something we always wanted to do. It was what we were inspired to do at the time, for sure. After at that point eight years together we felt we had alchemized our five energies together and we wanted to share that with the people. Also we were at home, at the Boulder Theater, in a really perfect environment to do a bunch of things. We weren’t ready to go back in the studio at that point. And live performance was another part of our art we hadn’t shared yet, especially since our studio albums sound different than we do live. And some of the songs from our earlier records we do differently now. I also think the timing with the departure of our friend Sage was good too. It felt like the right thing to do to honor and deliver what the five of us had grown to become.L4LM: So next up is an imminent new studio record right?BL: This last summer we made a studio record that’ll be coming out in spring. We just released a bunch of them out into the ears of the people at the Ogden shows. That was super exciting…we played two nights of completely different music, and we mixed in a lot of our new material. We were pretty vulnerable about putting out stuff out there, but the audience was SUPER receptive to everything. We’ve got some really cool stuff coming.Bonnie plays cello. She’s been writing on that instrument for ten years now. She has some incredible compositions to show case that. We’ve got a new Dango (Rose) song on the record where we’re all singing and I play the drums instead of the fiddle. There’s new Charlie songs. There’s new Dan (Rodriguez) songs. It feels really good. It feels like we’re starting to break through to the next side. There’s a lot of music on the way. And it’s gonna be good to have some new music to play. We’ll still play the old stuff, but it will be good to have some new equally good material to play. L4LM: You mention Charlie, and since we last spoke officially you’ve added a new member to the band. How is he fitting in so far?BL: He’s awesome. We love Charlie. He’s not only a great human he’s got so many talents and great enthusiasm. He’s such a solid player. I think he’s really starting to gel with the band now.I love Sage. I’ve been listening to a lot of the music he’s been doing recently and it sounds like he’s going in the direction he needs to in order to satiate his creative progress. And so I’m very proud of him, and I’m also happy to be working with Charlie. He’s awesome. L4LM: Speaking of gelling as a band, your instrument, the fiddle, is one whose tone lifts itself above most of the others in your band. Do you have to watch yourself to keep from overpowering the rest of the instruments?BL: All the time. It’s been a constant journey, learning about that. Especially in this band where subtlety is strong and so important. You have to be sure to be listening very closely because some of the things Bonnie is doing are so delicate if you’re not paying attention you’ll miss it so easily. So yeah, a lot of my life over the last few years has been about learning, when, and how much and what to do instead of being dominate. It’s been a journey. You have to be careful, for sure. You also can rip into it and have a great time. When everybody’s in the loop for that it can be a lot of fun. I like having an instrument that can be loud and subtle. But knowing when is key. Knowing when, and when not. Whether it’s long notes, or plucky notes, or rhythm stuff or just sitting back and listening to what is being created around me. L4LM: I’ve noticed before that you seem to trance out from time to time during shows.BL: (Chuckles) I can imagine I probably do. It a blissful experience for me. We travel a long distance to get where we’re gonna be. It’s all about getting up there. We jump through all these hoops to make it there. But once I’m on that stage that’s the glory time, when it all pays off. That’s the part when it’s time to be saturated and be one with it.And I love the music. I’m so proud of what my friends have done. L4LM: You got a chance to sit in with String Cheese and Sam Bush down at Hulaween a lil while ago. Was that a Colorado love fest up there?BL: Yeah! That was great. That was the first time I’ve gotten to sit in with that band and I love them I used to teach Billy Nershi’s kid how to play fiddle, I’ve played with Michael Travis a few times, and Jason Haan with The Everyone Orchestra and it was really fun to be up there. It was just a party on that stage.L4LM: Another fun thing you were involved in I was wondering about was the wedding you played for at the Northwest String Summit. BL: Alison is a really good friend of ours. She came to a couple of early show of ours, and we started exchanging emails with me. She got really close to all of us over the years. She became such good friends with everyone in the band. She’s an amazing feather artist and she’s always making these head dresses and earrings for us. She’s just a really good friend, and we loved being able to be part of it, especially since we wouldn’t be able to attend her actual wedding. Her mom thanked us so profusely for doing that, it was so sweet.L4LM: Well, that seems like a lovely note to end this on. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, and good luck out there on the road.BL: Thank you!
Dumpstaphunk has created one of the most engaging funk sounds of the last modern music scene, and there’s no shortage of love for them among fans of the genre. Events like Jam Cruise, which feature dozens of the funkiest musicians on the planet, regularly turn into virtual parades of the best of the best joining Dumpsta onstage to take the jams to another level. During their performance on the boat’s Pantheon Theater, Dumpstaphunk saw Trombone Shorty, Roosevelt Collier, Nigel Hall and The Steeltown Horns bring the sound of New Orleans to a very appreciative crowd.Luckily, our own Rex Thomson was on hand to catch the mayhem. Check out the live performance of ‘Meanwhile,’ below:For those looking to get down to the New Orleans sound, the newly-announced NOLA Crawfish Festival is the place to be. Taking place between the weekends of Jazz Fest, the Crawfish Festival will feature George Porter, Jr., Jon Cleary, Nigel Hall, John “Papa” Gros, special guest Anders Osborne and so many more! Head here for more information.Watch other highlights from Jam Cruise via these links below:UM’s Joel Cummins Delivers Spellbinding Radiohead Cover In Jam Cruise’s Piano Lounge [Watch]Watch Anders Osborne, JJ Grey & More Form ‘Southern Soul Assembly’Watch Latin Funk Band Brownout Perform Black Sabbath’s ‘The Wizard’Watch Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe Funk Out With Nicki BluhmWatch Nigel Hall Sing An Eric Krasno OriginalWatch The Infamous Stringdusters & Nicki Bluhm Cover ‘Not Fade Away’Watch Ron Holloway Join Cabinet For A Powerful ‘Susquehanna Breakdown’Watch An Impromptu Chuck Berry Jam Session At ‘The Spot’ Ft. Marco Benevento, Nathan Scott Moore & More
Thank you to EODM for standing up to terrorism and fear, showing us once again that music conquers all. On November 13, 2015, the world was shocked when terrorists opened fire at an Eagles of Death Metal concert at Le Bataclan in Paris, France. The attacks killed 89, leaving everyone to mourn for the loss, and the music community to reel in such a horrific violation.Just over three months later, the band made a powerful statement by returning to Paris and performing once more. Standing up in the face of fear, Eagles of Death Metal opened the concert with “I Only Want You,” as frontman Jesse Hughes paused to lead the crowd in a moment of silence. Hughes said it would be “more than just a show” in an interview prior to the performance.While Le Bataclan remains closed, Eagles of Death Metal poured their hearts and souls into a set at the Olympia, and CNN reports that 900 survivors of the first attack were expected to be in attendance.