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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

A Conor Oberst-Bright Eyes date

Bright Eyes, the band fronted by Conor Oberst, has been booked into the Knitting Factory Concert House in Spokane on May 31.

Special guests will be Jenny & Johnny, featuring Jenny Lewis, the former Rilo Kiley vocalist.

We probably have the Sasquatch Music Festival to thank for this booking. Both of these acts are appearing at Sasquatch at The Gorge on May 28, so they'll already be traveling through the region.

Tickets are $25, now on sale through Ticketfly or through the Knitting Factory's website.

Elton John sold out

Tickets to the Elton John concert at the Spokane Arena on April 8 are sold out.

It took only three days for all 11,000 tickets to vanish, according to Becca Watters at the Spokane Arena. Tickets went on sale Saturday and only a few single tickets were left by Sunday evening. Those sold out by Monday night. Even the tickets behind the stage sold out.

Will another show be added? That's what happened in 2008 when Elton's Pullman show sold out quickly.

No word on that, yet, but don't get your hopes up. His tour schedule is tight. He's playing a date on April 9 in Boise. But the tour  does have an open date on April 7, following an April 6 date in Bismarck. So there's at least a theoretical window of opportunity.

A Foo-Cab-Wilco-Lips Sasquatch

Here's who's on the way to the Sasquatch! Music Festival, May 27-30 at the Gorge Amphitheatre:

Foo Fighters, Death Cab For Cutie, Modest Mouse , Wilco, The Flaming Lips (performing The Soft Bulletin & more), The Decemberists, Bright Eyes, Iron & Wine, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Bassnectar, Robyn, Flogging Molly, Death From Above 1979, Pink Martini, Cold War Kids, Old 97’s, Ratatat, Wolf Parade, Chromeo and  Guided By Voices.

There are plenty more acts, which you can see by clicking "contininue reading" below.

Meanwhile, you can buy festival passes here.  

Is Sir Elton Spokane’s mystery concert?

Looks like Spokane's mystery concert (see earlier post) may be Elton John.

The official announcement won't be until Friday morning. But I have been hearing credible reports that Sir Elton is on the way back to the Spokane Arena.

Check in tomorrow morning to see if this turns out to be correct.

Man blames Ozzy Osbourne for arrest

CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio drunken-driving suspect is blaming his arrest on Ozzy Osbourne.

William Liston was arrested Christmas Eve in suburban Cleveland. WJW-TV says he told police officers, "Ozzy Osbourne and his music made me do it."

Osbourne's hits as lead singer of heavy metal band Black Sabbath and as a solo artist include "Paranoid" and "Road to Nowhere."

Liston is awaiting arraignment. He's to appear in court Tuesday on a charge of operating a vehicle while impaired.

In an unrelated case, Liston pleaded not guilty Thursday in Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County Common Pleas Court in a November break-in at a medical office. He was released on bond.

Telephone calls to the 33-year-old Liston's home in Aurora have gone unanswered.

Friday concert at Liberty Park Untied Methodist Church

On Friday evening at Liberty Park United Methodist Church, a small group spent an hour letting our souls be fed by the music of John Nilsen. Pieces ranged from original adaptations of traditional hymns to boogie-woogie. John’s original songs are often inspired by family – he wrote “Dakota Rose” one of his most popular songs, for his grandfather. “Train 18” is a delightful jazz number written for his wife. And John took all of us on a ride to freedom with “Hot Air Balloon.” John’s music was enhanced by the great accoustics of the historic Liberty Park United Methodist Church sanctuary. Look for more concerts at the church in the future.

Via e-mail this morning from the Reverend Debra Conklin at Liberty Park United Methodist Church.

Free community concerts begin Friday

Liberty Park United Methodist Church is offering a series of free community concerts, with the first one being held on Aug. 20 at 7:00 pm. The artist is John Nilsen, musician and composer from Portland Oregon. He will be playing a piano concert called “Places I Go” featuring his own music weaving folk, jazz and classical styles. He will also include some of traditional hymn arrangements and stories of his life, family and faith. The church is located at 1526 East 11th Avenue, just off Perry Street.

Via e-mail from Liberty Park United Methodist Church

Mitch Miller is dead but not forgotten…

Good morning, Netizens…


Sometimes it is difficult for me personally to look back on the time, simply because my family life was so dysfunctional it still hurts. One of my few clear memories of that time, however, was when a twelve inch black-and-white Hallicrafters television first appeared in our living room, bringing with it an entirely different view of the outside world. Ed Sullivan, Perry Como, Eddie Fisher, Jack Paar—the list could go on and on. Each of these people were allowed access to our lives through television in its infancy. You have to be an old fart to remember such things, I am told.


Perhaps no one did more to change American musical history, however, than Mitch Miller and his “Sing Along with Mitch” show broadcast throughout most of the 1960’s. He made Karaoke a hit long before it was a known factor in American Pop culture. According to several sources, Mitch Miller made Pop music an icon of America’s musical palette. His advice at the time was to “follow the bouncing ball” as the words to songs appeared at the bottom of the television screens across the country. Given the longevity of Miller’s show, it was apparent that folks sitting before their glowing screens across the country were singing along.


Some of the names Miller brought to the mix of music had biting comments to make about his role in the development of their talents. Rosemary Clooney and Frank Sinatra both had disagreements with Miller over the songs he chose for them to record. Sinatra once recorded a little-known tune named “The Hucklebuck” which went nowhere on the charts and made Sinatra mad.


For a time, Mitch Miller shaped music as we knew it to be. Later on in his life, he re-introduced his audience to Gershwin, and thus garnered additional track time in the recording studios.


I chose the picture accompanying my comments about Miller’s life and times simply because I felt it more honest than the glowing images largely taken from “Sing Along With Mitch”. He was still beaming in that characteristic way he once had, and you can almost hear him from the grave saying, “Just follow the bouncing ball.”


Musical historians may note for good or ill the talent and persistence of Mitch Miller. No one, however, will take away the number of pop songs he brought to the American public.


Dave





New Orleans musicians telling BP “Sorry Ain’t Enough” taking you in to the weekend

New Orleans musicians Shamarr Allen, Dee-1, Paul Sanchez and Bennie Pete from the Hot 8 Brass Band recently released a song called “Sorry Ain’t Enough No More” speaking out about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.  The video can be seen below, and the song can be downloaded for free.

Free music to support climate change legislation

Music festivals are like buffets: A chance to try everything and you feel kind of dirty when it’s done.
 
Image: Jim James of My Morning Jacket rocks out in space boots.

With a younger and more progressive leaning audience, most music festivals strive to lessen the C02 footprint. No easy task when you consider the insurmountable waste - not every recyclable is recycled, porta pottys, etc.- and travel which is like a medieval gypsy pilgrimage. Bonnaroo - the annual festival responsible for striking a balance between indie-rock and jamnation with legendary performances - is no different but now they’re offering something completey different: A climate change compilation. Songs by My Morning Jacket, Wilco, and more are captured for The Best of Bonnaroo a download offered by Bonnaroo, voter registration organization Head Count, and environmental group the NRDC Action Fund to help pass upcoming climate legislation in the U.S. Senate.



Tracklist after the jump and you can fill out information to download the live album here.

 

 

Andrew Lloyd Webber diagnosed with cancer…

Good morning, Netizens…


If you truly are an aficionado of music, not just a person who limits themselves to just one genre or another, the news late yesterday that Andrew Lloyd Webber has been diagnosed with prostate cancer might hit you like a brick aside your head.


Well known around the world for such hits as “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Cats”, Phantom of the Opera”, and “Evita,” has won seven Tony Awards, three Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe and an Oscar. In 2006, he was awarded the Kennedy Center Honor. Lloyd Webber was knighted in 1992 and named to Britain’s House of Lords in 1997.


According to his publicist, Webber is in the early stages of cancer and, as such, is likely to recover and return to work by years’ end.


His latest creation, called “Love Never Dies”, a sequel to his musical “Phantom of the Opera”, is slated to begin on Broadway in the New Year.


Dave


Friday Quote— Modest Mouse

The well-written preview for the upcoming Modest Mouse show in The Inlander caught our eye. Joel Hartse argues that despite the much ballyhooed “King Rat” music video, directed by the late Heath Ledger—-even Grist weighed in on the anti-whaling message—-mouseketeers shouldn’t mistake the band as political, saying the songs are “purposeful in their purposelessness,” listing summer jams “Float On” and “Dashboard” as prime examples.

It’s an interesting view but he should’ve pushed listeners to reach farther back in the bands catalogue for real purpose.

Always surprising to the kidz bop, Modest Mouse has been kicking around since 1992. They hailed from Issaquah, a sprawling, cul-de-sacked nightmare which formed a dystopian and claustrophobic vision on earlier records.

A fork in the road

Neil Young never disappoints. When he fails, he does so in such a spectacular fashion that it’s entertaining at least. Witness “Trans.” A futuristic concept album in which Neil sang through a vocoder a la Kraftwerk and traded the harmonica for synthesizer and casio beats. Yes, such a thing exists. Like Bob Dylan, he’s knocked down by embarrassment and then returns. Defenders call them uncompromising artists. Survivors. We just make fun of them.


 

His latest, “Fork In The Road,” an album about the autombile, is an ode to his ‘59 Lincoln that was converted to a hybrid, and could be filed under the “Trans” bin as a curious rest-stop on Young’s hippie highway. Set against throwaway, thrashy riffs, and blunt, call-to-arms lyrics, any good environmental intentions are erased by forehead-slapping lyrical hilarity. “The awesome power of electricity / Stored for you in a giant battery!” he yells in “Fuel Line.” Pure poetry. Similar to the squawky instrumentation, the entire album feels tossed off, filled with ideas in search of actual songs. (Every accompanying music video looks like it was shot with a cell phone. Cute.) His eco-heart is in the right place but the sloppiness is overwhelming, and when Young sings “cough up the bucks” as an ironic comment on American consumer culture you would be wise to save on this one unless you need a quick laugh…which may or may not last as long as it took him to record the album.

 

That’s ‘Hot’…

It’s a fifty-year old that’s still relatively cool: Billboard is celebratng 50 years of keeping tabs on the music world’s ‘popular crowd’.

First published in Billboard’s August 8, 1958 issue, the Hot 100 was the “first list to measure popularity by incorporating both radio play and sales.”  So basically everything that’s begun migrating in the mainstream makes it on the Hot 100, often thus making it hated (or shunned) by music ’purists’ and ‘alternative-lovers’ alike. 

Just like the music industry itself, the Hot 100 has progressed with the generations.  Ricky Nelson was the first to score No. 1 with “Poor LIttle Fool”, while Flo Rida and Ke$ha currently rock the title with “Right Round”.

Billboard.com is celebrating with great lists galore. Check out the brand-spankin’-new countdowns featuring “One Hit Wonders”, “All Time Top Artists”, and even “Top 100 Songs of the Year - 1958-2007”, (what I like to refer to as the ‘Full Monty’…)

What are YOUR favorite Hot 100 tunes? Which ‘unknown’ or ‘underground’ songs do you think deserve to make the list?

This must be the place

If you’re a DTE ubergeek (and there’s two, counting us) you might catch a subtle Talking Heads reference nearly once a week. That’s because we unabashedly enjoy David Byrne. So of course we’re thrilled since he’s in Spokane and you might catch him riding his bike before the concert at the Fox Theater.


Byrne is an avid cyclist, even designing bike racks. When he last played Spokane in August 2004, he blogged, “there’s a lovely paved path, the Centennial Trail, that goes all the way to Idaho. The city was really smart to get it built. There are lots of people out during the weekends enjoying it. It goes out past the town along the riverside, through pine forest and scrub, and get as far as a beach, where a large man with a Mohawk is standing waist-deep in the water smoking a cigarette.”

He’s odd, he’s cool, and he’s green. David Byrne. It’s once in a lifetime. Unless he comes back to Spokane. Seems that he likes it here, especially Boulder Beach.  

The next Neil Young album

 

 

Neil Young’s upcoming release will be a concept album titled “Fork in the Road” about eco-friendly cars, or as The Guardian snidely put it “exploring three things—- dirty blues, direct lyrics, and his LincVolt electric car project.” Song titles include “Cough Up the Bucks”, “Fuel Line”, “Hit the Road”, and “Get Around”. Audiences are already labeling him crazy (the Guardian article was comically headlined “Neil Young fans upset that he is releasing a new album,”) but it will no doubt have music listeners looking for LincVolt.

The project is named after Young’s 1959 Lincoln Continental Mark IV which was converted to a plug-in hybrid and additionally runs on biodiesel. “By drawing on entrepreneurial companies’ advanced technology and good old American ingenuity, we intend to transform one of the largest and heaviest gas guzzling vehicles of our generation into a highly energy efficient vehicle, and demonstrate to the American public that we can re-power the American dream by demanding environmentally-friendly vehicles now”, said Young. At 19-feet long and two tons, his car used to get 10 miles per gallon, now it’s at 100. Also, he plans to film a documentary about the endeavor.

We’re excited about that and hope others have the capability of greening classic car engines. But for the music (and hilarious video consequently overshadowing any message)…well, in a too often repeated statement, Young does whatever he wants. For good or ill.

I Couldn’t Resist…

Forget the trees… SAVE THE CHIPMUNKS!!! ;) Enjoy…

David Cook’s First Album Rocks As Much As He Does—Must I Say More?

American Idol winner David Cook just released his first album, and—believe me—it rocks! Cook’s sincere lyrics, raw voice, and great musical ability burst from the speakers with a flair all their own. Most of the song lyrics were dreamt up by Cook himself. David’s voice exemplifies the emotions behind each and every word, though, regardless of whether or not he claims the words. This album proclaims David Cook’s initial “Declaration” of his potential, his talent, and his future in the music industry. David Cook is soon to become one of the “Heroes” of the music industry, and he’s having the time of his life one song at a time.