Archive for June, 2013

THE SOCIAL DRAMA ‘A DAY FOR GRACE’ TO KICK-OFF NATIONAL TOUR IN AUGUST WITH DOUG VINCENT AND SAM LLANAS TO REPRISE THEIR ROLES

June 17, 2013
Doug Vincent (foreground right) and his altruistic co-hort Sam Llanas (background left) are at it again with a new run of A Day For Grace. Photo by Matthew Staver

Doug Vincent (foreground right) and his altruistic co-hort Sam Llanas (background left) are at it again with a new run of A Day For Grace. Photo by Matthew Staver

Boulder, CO, June 17 — Boulder StoryHealers has confirmed that A Day for Grace (ADFG), the social drama written and performed by Doug Vincent with music by rock icon Sam Llanas (formerly of BoDeans) will kick-off its National Tour in August 2013 with stops in Berryville, VA, August 18; Denver, CO, August 29; Milwaukee, WI, September 5-8, and Chicago, IL, September 11-13, before its return to New York City’s Stage Left Studio, September 19-22. Tickets can be purchased through each venue’s website or at http://www.adayforgraceshow.com.

Infused with humor, A Day for Grace is a heartwarming story of hope and triumph over adversity. The play recounts the emotional roller-coaster true journey of playwright Doug Vincent — a father-to-be — as he chases parental shadows from his tumultuous youth in small town Virginia to find the light for his unborn child.

Llanas shares the stage with Vincent, performing his soulful music that underscores the 10 different characters Vincent portrays and serves as the drama’s emotional touchstones and enthralling Greek Chorus. “It’s almost impossible to watch the play without marveling at the obvious synchronicity inherent in this collaboration,” says director Gary Tanin. “The unique mechanism of interplay between the songs and monologue is mesmerizing.”

(more…)

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE BEAT THE BLUES WITH THE BLUES …LIKE CLOCKWORK

June 14, 2013
Illness, depression, failure, all rolled up into one bad trip.  Queens Of The Stone Age and Josh Homme will take you along...

Illness, depression, failure, all rolled up into one bad trip. Queens Of The Stone Age and Josh Homme will take you along…

Where does one begin to detail the woe that begot …Like Clockwork?  For Josh Homme, the woe begins with a relapse of his knee ailment that had been plaguing him since the Lullabies To Paralyze era when he was on tour in Europe.  The concert tour for Lullabies To Paralyze yielded a DVD, Over The Years And Through The Woods, which was released on both video and audio.  During the video, at a point around “I Never Came”, he asks the audience who wants his cane and throws it out to the crowd, then instantly winces as it flips precariously into the sea of craniums.

During this tour, Homme was also infirmed with a respiratory ailment.

Not to mention, it can’t do one’s mental state any benefit to run out your label contract.  Interscope had been micromanaging Homme about how they wanted this album to sound, to the point where Homme FIRED (yes, the final word out there is Homme fired) drummer Joey Castillo about ¾’s of the way though the process of making …Like Clockwork.  So it is no surprise that this record is on both Homme’s ‘Rekords Rekords’ label, and new Queens Of The Stone Age distributing label is Matador out of New York City.  An upstart indie label, not exactly the powerhouse that Interscope was.

More reason to worry.

Be mindful of the fact that Homme and wife Brody Dalle (Distillers fame) have two children now.

So it was to his additional terror that Homme spent four plus months bedridden following surgical difficulties and complications.  This sent Homme into a funk of uncertainty.  It then fell on to the four core members of Queens Of The Stone Age to cajole Homme into making more Queens music.  He agreed, but there were conditions…

First, Homme initiated all four into his own personal anguish.  Homme felt that for the band members understand why he would be writing some dire, introspective and (even for Queens) unusual music, they needed to walk the proverbial mile in his shoes.

Once he took the members down to his level, emotionally speaking, he took them with him all the way back to the first album.  Homme secured the rights to the first Queens Of The Stone Age self-titled album, remixed it, added bonus tracks and distributed it from his own Rekords Rekords label.  Yours dubitably managed to see this tour at Terminal 5 in New York City.  The review was posted here recently as part of our Friday Flashback.

Then came what was perceived by uninvolved band members as the unthinkable.  Homme fired long time drummer Castillo.  Songs For The Deaf drummer Dave Grohl was called in to play on some of these quirky introspective tunes.  As the album was recorded in Homme’s Pink Duck Studios in Burbank, a cast of quality performers and old friends were brought in.  Friends like Nick Oliveri, Alain Johannes, Mark Lanegan, Trent Reznor, Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, Dalle, Elton John, Alex Turner, James Lavelle, and two drummers of note: first, Joey Castillo.  Some of what he did was good enough to make the final cut.  Second, former Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore.  Theodore is of note because he is the touring drummer for Queens Of The Stone Age now!  Will he be a member?  You need to recall that Queens started as a rotating band.  People came in, people went out.  No telling if Queens will become the new Spinal Tap…

This cast of rock royalty is joined by the four full-fledged members, Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen, Mikey Shuman and Dean Fertita.  Let’s see where this musical mass carries us on its rampage to ruin.

(more…)

THE LONG AWAITED SHOWDOWN IS NOW!!! TODD RUNDGREN’S STATE HAS A LOT RIDING ON IT…

June 10, 2013
DJ Odd dons his ski mask to navigate the slopes of technopia.  Will he make the mark or be shanghaied by his own fans?

DJ Odd dons his ski mask to navigate the slopes of technopia. Will he make the mark or be shanghaied by his own fans?

Ok, here’s the back story.  I was pissed as hell when, after the brilliant Todd Rundgren release of 2004’s Liars, and then the ‘ok’ release of Arena, I was ok with his concept of bringing albums like A Wizard A True Star, Todd, and Healing to the live stage.  What pissed me off was his insistence on releasing two discs (one E.P. and one L.P.) of Robert Johnson material (hey, cheap, no royalty payments, that crap is so old it’s out of public domain by now) then, further pissing me off was having ‘fans’ (read: well-to-do sycophants with $5,000 to burn) pay him to appear on his re[Productions] album where he would secure the rights to record songs from acts he had produced in the past (horrific versions of Bourgeois Tagg’s “Out Of My Mind” and XTC’s “Dear God”) but then what bitchfest about Todd Rundgren from this reviewer would be complete without my reflecting back to the “event” at the Keswick Theater.  You want the deets on that, you can search for the review on this page.  I’ve spent enough column space and bandwidth on that issue.

So I sorta feel like the gunslinger in the center of town in the Wild West ready to draw pistols.   Me, the nearly lifelong Todd fan (let’s face it, I have been into him since 1974, I was 11/12, I am 50 now, been listening/buying/attending all these years and for you ‘Todd was better without Utopia’ types, piss off!  I LOVED UTOPIA!!!) and Rundgren, the now 65 year old ‘aging rocker’ with a voice in a lower register so he has to effect, process and lower his keys for older songs (I’ve seen live clips on YouTube for this current tour where he suspends the microphone over his head like at a prize fight, that’s not a clever visual gimmick for his techno ‘D.J. Odd’ (Techno Todd?) persona, that is to assist his aging vocal chords have projection and hit some of the notes he couldn’t with his head down).  Although, it is not unusual for Rundgren to assign himself monikers to reflect the new style of music he is brandishing.  Reference the No World Order and Individualist era, when he billed himself as TR-i (Todd Rundgren interactive).

So in my Wild West daydream, Rundgren dressed in white as he will no doubt be the people’s favorite, and I, opposite Rundgren, dressed in black as I have already proven to be the people’s favorite… to HATE (ask any King Crimson fan).  He has his Mac and Foamy (his favorite sea foam green P-Project Stratocaster copy guitar) ready to draw, I have my pencils, pad and angry disposition ready to pull.

Three, two, one, DRAW!

(more…)

LES PAUL’S 98TH BIRTHDAY GREETED WITH OPENING OF LES PAUL EXPERIENCE EXHIBIT AT WAUKESHA COUNTY MUSEUM

June 9, 2013
Come on in to the Waukesha County Museum and check out the Les Paul Experience Museum!  Photo courtesy Gary Tanin

Come on in to the Waukesha County Museum and check out the Les Paul Experience Museum! Photo courtesy Gary Tanin

No, really.  Today is Les Paul’s birthday and we are going to pull a special shift and publish on a Sunday (the day of Paul’s birth) to bring you inside the opening of the Les Paul Experience Exhibit at the Waukesha County Museum in Waukesha WI.

The tribute video with Sam Llanas has lead to this day, and will be part of the exhibit as well as being available for viewing on various online video websites.

Please enjoy this photo journal by Gary Tanin!

(more…)

LAURIE ANDERSON SPENDS ANOTHER DAY IN AMERICA AT WORLD CAFÉ LIVE

June 7, 2013
Laurie Anderson brings her new album Homeland (or as Anderson purists will state, United States Part  5) to World Cafe Live.  Photo by Lynn Vala

Laurie Anderson brings her new album Homeland (or as Anderson purists will state, United States Part 5) to World Cafe Live. Photo by Lynn Vala

AUTHOR’S NOTE: To show our support for Lou Reed and his recent health issues, we are going to rerun this coverage of Reed’s wife Laurie Anderson’s performance of the tour for her most recent full length release Homeland as performed live at World Cafe Live.  Check all the way at the bottom, a blurry surprise for all!  Enjoy.

If you attended or read about the Adrian Belew Painting With Guitar show at the World Café Live July 1st, you saw or read about posters for the Laurie Anderson Another Day In America show.  This show was only advertised at the Belew concert, World Café Live was banking on the fact that they could draw from Belew’s audience  to help fill the room for Anderson.  Belew had worked with Anderson on some projects so the logic was sound.

Anderson didn’t need the help.

They even set the seating up to accommodate a more attentive, mature and dare I say it, refined crowd.  There was less open space, three rows of seats, a couple of rows of tables, and then the remaining usual seating around the bar and in the upper mezzanine.  I managed to get some front row seats and a photo pass for this show, so get ready, with my trusty photographer and my abysmal narrative, I will take you through…

Another Day In America.

Gonna be a killer show.

(more…)

A RETURN TO A DAY FOR GRACE FINDS VINCENT AND LLANAS AIMING FOR THE HEART, THROUGH THE EYES!

June 5, 2013
The Cliff Notes version of A Day For Grace.  The perfect primer for the new-to-the-pathos that is A Day For Grace.

The Cliff Notes version of A Day For Grace. The perfect primer for the new-to-the-pathos that is A Day For Grace.

So far, I have reviewed the play itself, in its formative state being honed on the stage of Stage Left Studio in NYC.  Then came the audio preview of the DVD soundtrack.  This time we are sent a tease of what is to come.

What is to come will be truly extraordinary.

For the main entry on this DVD is a teaser of the forthcoming, full length DVD.  I was hesitant to want to give this any attention once I saw the “abridged” notation on the disc label.  But after watching this sampler, I have changed my opinion.  If this disc can get people hooked on the message Vincent and Llanas deliver, it is a means to a worthy end.

For those not familiar with that message, A Day For Grace is about suicide prevention, dealing with alcoholic family, bullying, and the daunting task of coming face to face with new fatherhood and fearing the repetition of patterns within one’s upbringing.

The secondary entry on this disc is the trailer for the campaign to Send Sammy to Broadway.  An Indiegogo campaign that was set up to raise money to help finance the costs associated with bringing the show to NYC, Milwaukee, Chicago, and other venues such as the newly explored option called The Barn in Virginia.  This is still in the works as of press date.

I find myself a bit bashful about promoting the trailer as, at a certain point, my name is brandished on the screen with a pull quote from my original show review.  This is one project I feel no shame being associated with.  Many of the show’s topics (or messages) are in fact societal situations I have found myself having to deal with.  If blathering on about A Day For Grace helps one person discover it, helps one person through some troubling times, I can take the heat for being “repetitive, one-trick pony, boring and uninteresting” for covering this show and its efforts and progress.

(more…)


%d bloggers like this: