Hartford based 10-piece West End Blend continue to impress fans wherever they go, delighting with an uproar of musical energy and delicious grooves. Today, the CT based band releases their newest album, Say Hey! The new EP captures that musical magic in recorded format, and the result is simply electricWe’re honored to have the premiere on this brand new album, showcasing West End Blend’s triumphant sonic style. Listen to it below, and be sure to read on for lead singer Erica T. Bryan’s full reflection on the new release.One obvious difference between Say Hey! and West End Blend’s other releases is, of course, the absence of a rapper. I think this past year has been about learning how to move on with our sound after such a big change, and we wanted a record that reflects the group as it is now. In doing so, we’ve had to make clear adjustments to the way we do things, and one of the more subtle but crucial differences between then and now is production.It’s amazing to see how invested we’ve all become in the entire production process after recognizing what we could have done differently with the last records; with this recent release we took greater care to be organized before hitting the studio, experimenting and getting what we wanted during studio time to make the most of it, and being honest with ourselves about what we could improve on or adjust for future live performances. Anyone in the band will tell you I’m a perfectionist, and I know it’s made my life so much easier this time around to not be kicking myself for not trying things. There is always a point after-the-fact when I’m wondering why I didn’t speak up about this or that when I had the chance; this time, I think I got what I wanted out of my own voice and my own writing more so than the other releases, and I think others in the band could probably relate to that feeling.Since establishing our core members, communicating with each other that way has been of greater importance than ever before, and our writing process has evolved a great deal lately. We’re writing and thinking more instinctively, all contributing, but still trusting each other and holding ourselves accountable for our own sections–rhythm section vs. horn section vs. vocals–to come up with a great addition to each new piece of music. More of the writers in the group, myself included, are learning when we need to take a step back and simply let a song of ours go where it’s going to go, let it truly become what it’s meant to be, which is, actually, a West End Blend song.This season’s big tour is something that we all recognized as an exciting possibility, but maybe a distant possibility, and it’s come along much sooner than most of us expected. In all honesty, the past year has been a whirlwind of unexpected, unbelievable opportunities; this summer’s shows have taken us to so many new places with so many new people that every once in awhile I need a moment to catch up. Now this fall it seems we’re suddenly met with a chance to go even further than we’ve ever gone before, promoting a new record with artists we’ve looked up to for years, like The Nth Power, Dopapod, Big Mean Sound Machine, and so many others. It’s definitely scary, and an unbelievable rush. Since joining forces with Mitch Moriber and Eli Novicky of Tone Wheel Music Group, who happen to be long-time friends of ours, we now have not only more outlets and more opportunities to share our music on a much wider scale, but also a pair of impartial judges outside of the band to help us weed through the madness of ten headstrong opinions; it’s something that’s proven to be indispensable for a large group like ours, and really helps us stay focused on making the music we love.Over the past year, it’s become more apparent that we are involved in a very special, very deeply-rooted, musical neighborhood. We’re making music and connections within this giant, talented circuit of funk and soul musicians, and, as other members of West End Blend and I have agreed, we are obviously new kids on the block, and have a lot to learn. I think on the whole we are more committed now than before because we know this really isn’t going away. It’s a fixture in our lives and a part of every decision we make. We’re all a part of this thing that just won’t stop growing if we don’t allow it to, and I don’t think I would have it any other way.West End Blend will be celebrating the new album with an exciting three-night EP Release run, including a show tonight in their hometown venue Arch Street Tavern with Hayley Jane & The Primates. The band will also collaborate with special guests from Turkuaz at The Hall At MP in Brooklyn, NY tomorrow night, and will play Nectar’s in Burlington, VT on Saturday. Check out the schedule below, and head to the band’s Facebook for details.West End Blend EP Release Dates9/28: Hartford CT – Arch Street Tavern w/ Hayley Jane & The Primates (EP Release Show)9/29: Brooklyn, NY – The Hall at MP featuring special guests from Turkuaz (EP Release Show)10/1: Burlington, VT – Nectar’s w/ Headband ft. members of Dopapod and Turkuaz (EP Release Show)
There’s a phrase that likes to circulate in our little scene called “passing the torch.” It’s one of those collections of words that gets uttered whenever a band member from an older generation collaborates with a band from a younger one. That’s what happened 16 years ago today, when Bob Weir joined Phish at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA.Interestingly, a similar situation occurred just one year prior, when the Grateful Dead’s own Phil Lesh joined Phish for a handful of songs (including some trampoline-inspired “You Enjoy Myself” jams) at Shoreline. Fast forward a year and a few weeks, and the band got the chance to perform with another member of the Grateful Dead.Bob Weir, a Bay Area native, emerged for a three song encore, including two Grateful Dead classics and a Phish original. They started the extended encore with a cover of Marty Robbins’ “El Paso,” sung by Weir of course, before high-tailing it into “Chalk Dust Torture.” Finally, the show ended with a powerful rendition of “West L.A. Fadeaway,” with Weir taking the vocals on the classic Jerry Garcia song.The full show can be streamed below, courtesy of nognuisagoodgnu.Your Phish.net setlist can be seen below.Setlist: Phish at Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA – 10/6/00Set 1: Carini, Stash, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Mellow Mood, Maze, The Moma Dance, Run Like an AntelopeSet 2: Heavy Things > Down with Disease -> Spock’s Brain, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Rift, Cities > Sand > Golgi Apparatus, Brian and Robert, Bold As LoveEncore: El Paso, Chalk Dust Torture > West L.A. Fadeaway Unfinished. Phish debut; Bob Weir guest appearance. Bob Weir guest appearance.Glide was teased before the Carini opener and Jibboo was teased before Heavy Things. Disease was unfinished. The encore, which included the Phish debuts of El Paso and West L.A. Fadeaway, featured a Bob Weir guest appearance. Trey teased Chalk Dust after West. L.A. Fadeaway.
Les Claypool has fostered several variations into the last 25 years of his career, including Primus, Les Claypool’s Flying Frog Brigade, Duo De Twang, The Claypool Lennon Delirium, and more. Each band is somehow both unique and distinctly Claypool, highlighting the many influences to his style in a truly celebratory manner. The last 25 years have seen the bassist and his various groups enter the New Year in the Bay Area, with the most recent celebration taking place at The Fox Theatre in Oakland, CA.Today, Primus shares a 20+ minute montage that contains show posters, video footage, and photos of the last 25 NYE performances that truly documents the levels of extremity that Claypool is known to explore.Any true fan of Les Claypool, and his many brigades, should watch this video, if not for pure entertainment. Footage varies from performances at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Henry J Kaiser Convention Center, The Fillmore, Warfield, War Memorial Opera House, and more, with opening acts including Dweezil Zappa, Spearhead, Tool, Banyan, and The Deftones.Watch “Les Claypool’s 25 New Year’s Eve Extravaganzas” below:You can watch a couple of videos from Primus’s most recent NYE celebration, including their New Year’s countdown into “Man on the Silver Mountain”, and a performance of “Man on the Silver Mountain” below:[H/T JamBase]
The spring edition of the Boston Calling Festival is set to take place at the Massachusetts’ Harvard Athletic Complex on May 26-28. The lineup features a headlining slot from Tool, marking the band’s second performance in 2017. Chance The Rapper, Mumford & Sons, The XX, Bon Iver, Major Lazer, Weezer, The 1976, Run The Jewels, Cage The Elephant, Sigur Rós, and Solange round out the top three lines of the diverse lineup. Also performing are Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Tegan And Sara, Brandi Carlile, Car Seat Headrest, Deerhoof, Whitney, and many more. A film experience curated by Natalie Portman will also be offered.The festival, recently purchased by Madison Square Garden, Co., will welcome its new location over Memorial Day Weekend. Early bird tickets are currently available on the festival’s website. Check out the lineup and video announcement below:
It’s been a while since Primus has hit the road, as drummer Tim “Herb” Alexander had his second heart attack last year. The psychedelic rock band has played a few times since, however, coming together to support the victims of the Oakland fire, and for a smashing New Year’s celebration with Claypool Lennon Delirium and the Duo De Twang.Few shows have been announced for 2017, with a full May tour now here. Les Claypool and gang will make stops at The Fox Theatre in Boulder, Red Rocks Amphitheatre with the Claypool Lennon Delirium, Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines, Monroe Live in Grand Rapids, Rock on the Range in Columbus, Iron City in Birmingham, Highland Brewing Co. in Asheville, and Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, IL, atop some previously announced shows in South America and Europe.Fan Club Pre-sale tickets for newly added shows in Colorado, Des Moines, Birmingham, & Asheville will go on sale tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan 24, at 10am local time right here. Public on sale will be this Friday, Jan 27 at 10am local time.
Load remaining images With the final night of their spring tour making a stop in Madison, Wisconsin, Papadosio left it all on the table for the fans that trekked through the crazy “spring” snowstorm for this Sunday night heater. With great support from locals Red Rose, as well as Maine electronica adventurers Jaw Gems, it was a great night that saw Papadosio end their spring tour on a high note.The set begin with the ambient “…And This Is What He Thought,” the second half to a song that would make its way into the encore slot later. It was an interesting way to open up the show. “Monochrome” followed, and that segued into a raging “Advocate of Change.” The first song of the night from their newest release followed in “Threes.” This version was stretched out to the maximum, containing some great improvisation before they brought it back to the familiar triplets from which the song must be named.Other newer songs popped up later in the set like “Vactrollio” and “Euclidean Lights.” An absolute monster of “Snorkle” ended the set. This song always takes fans on a musical journey, and last night’s version was no different. It was easy to get lost in the improvisation, in a great way. However, all direction was restored when the first notes of the synthesizer were heard to signal the impending ending of the song. So while one Brouse brother laid down the synth part, the other Brouse played an incredibly harmonious piano part that I’ve never heard in any version of “Snorkle.” It sounded majestic – and if you closed your eyes during it, you may have even imagined there was a grand piano on the stage.The encore included “The Bionic Man Meets His Past,” the beginning half to the opening tune of the set. Finally, they closed it out with a “Paradigm Shift” that was teeming with energy. The power chords at the end of the song rocked by guitarist Anthony Thogmartin couldn’t have sound any better and couldn’t have been any more fitting to cap off the tour. The band thanked all the fans that made it out. Special shout out to the bride-to-be who had her bachelorette party at a Papadosio show on a Sunday night.You can check out the setlist and a full gallery of photos from the night below, courtesy of Daniel Ojeda.Setlist: Papadosio | Majestic Theatre | Madison, WI | 3/12/2017Set One: And This Is What He Thought, Monochrome > Advocate Of Change, Threes XL, Out Of Hiding > Vactrollio, Euclidean Lights, Snorkle, Bionic ManEncore: Paradigm Shift
Ahead of Dead & Company’s two-night stand at Fenway Park this Saturday and Sunday, The Boston Globe has just released a new interview with Bob Weir and John Mayer. In this latest article, both Mayer and Weir talk about Dead & Company and what it means to be a part of the act. For Mayer, he speaks on the honor of being in such an act whereas Weir speaks more holistically about the group as part of the Grateful Dead’s legacy.Notably, Mayer describes himself as a “fan boy . . . obsessed” with the Grateful Dead and that his participation in the group is “an honor beyond. It’s knighthood.” While initially, Deadheads may have skeptical when the Grammy winner was tapped for Dead & Co, particularly considering how dialed-in the group was during this past week’s string of shows in Boulder, Colorado, and Atlanta, Georgia, Mayer has more or less assuaged these fears for many. Still, the lead guitarist addresses this fact, saying, “I knew it would draw skepticism from anyone who heard about it without hearing us. . . . I’m not afraid of it — that’s what made me work so hard. I know I’m under scrutiny. But I have a distance to see the beauty. I’m coming in as a guy with no umbilical tie to it. I enjoy every last second. I cannot believe that I am, in some way, vestigially a part of this band.”Dead & Co Impress With Silky Segues, Miles Davis Jam, Lively “Terrapin” In ATL [Photos/Full Video]Bob Weir, as an insider from the Grateful Dead’s onset, talks about what it was like to be a part of the Grateful Dead. He focuses on the more free-spirited, companionable focus across the members of the group and particularly of his connection with Jerry Garcia, “We got along real well. We amused each other musically and otherwise. We just had fun together. That turned into a career.” He later goes on to state that the success of the group lay in the members’ ability to “[keep] ourselves amused. It’s that simple. . . . On and off stage. Really nothing much more to it.”Though Mayer references the “distance to see the beauty,” Weir has no such distance though is equally poised to see the beauty of the group, particularly when contrasted with the Grateful Dead’s time together and the band’s legacy. Despite a number of various spin-offs, he notes that among them Dead & Company “has a lot of promise.” Weir reiterates Mayer’s abilities and the ability of Dead & Company as a unit moving forward, stating that the group is “becoming its own thing” and that they’re in “full-on Grateful Dead operational mode. . . . We plug in and take it for a little walk in the woods. And [Mayer] is more than capable of doing that.”Dead & Company Sets The Bar High For The Final Night Of Their Stellar Boulder Run [Full Audio/Videos]Both Mayer and Weir offer their perspectives on how the group came together, initially during a 2015 segment on the “The Late Late Show.” It seems as though the two’s chemistry was immense from the get-go. As Weir retells, “[Mayer] invited me as a musical guest, and we did a sound check. We were supposed to do two songs, and after two hours they unplugged us. . . One thing led to another.” However, Mayer’s retelling similarly describes it as a “confluence of events,” though he makes the events seem more intentional, stating, “I’m capable of inducing my own obsession. That’s what happened with the Grateful Dead.” As Weir and Mayer began more formally meeting, Mayer states that after he “explained to them what their music meant to me,” Weir invited him on, most likely due to the larger ethos of the Dead that “If you think you can do the job, come help out. This is not music you want to listen to, but participate in.”Though rumors have circulated about Bob Weir’s health as he rounds toward his 70th birthday, the founding Grateful Dead member assuages the fears of fans whose minds may drift toward the idea of his retirement. “I wouldn’t last long in retirement. . . . I love to play, always have.”You can read the full Boston Globe article here, which goes more in-depth into Dead & Company’s beginnings and sees Bob Weir speak briefly on the Grateful Dead’s fan base, Woodstock, his dreamlike songwriting techinque, and more.[Photo: Erik Kabik]
The 8th annual edition of Disc Jam Music Festival has announced the lineup for their 2018 event, set to take place from June 7th – 10th at Gardner‘s Farm in Stephentown, NY, minutes from the Massachusetts border. The music-filled weekend will feature over 80 artists, along with disc golf tournaments, Flow Tribe dancers, craft vending, yoga workshops and much more.The 2018 artist lineup includes a heavy dose of national and regional funk and jam artists, in addition to collaborations, side projects, and other unique pairings only found at the festival. Headliners include Lotus, Beats Antique, Galactic, The Motet, Electron (feat. members of Lotus and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead), Disco Biscuits guitarist Jon ‘The Barber’ Gutwillig (solo acoustic set), DJ Logic and Friends (feat. members of The Disco Biscuits, Dopapod and Turkuaz), Gubbulidis (Twiddle side project), Kung Fu, Moon Hooch, Aqueous, Ghost Note (Snarky Puppy side project) Tom Marshall’s Amfibian All-Stars, Ghost Light (Tom Hamilton and Holly Bowling project), and many more.As festival owner and founder Tony Scavone says of this year’s lineup, “We’ve spent the entire off-season trying to come up with a festival experience that could one-up the magic we conjured last year. I think what we have in store for 2018 will set the bar so high for next year, I’m already getting nervous thinking about how we’ll top this in 2019.” In their 4th consecutive year at Gardner’s Farm, after moving the festival from central Massachusetts, where it began in 2011, Disc Jam has found a venue that feels like home. Scavone explains, “I truly believe that we have been blessed with the perfect festival grounds, beautiful grass beneath our feet, surrounded by rolling hills with picturesque views in all directions.”As the name Disc Jam indicates, this 4-day event features a disc golf element. Festival grounds hold a 27-hole disc golf course, and tournaments for men and women are held throughout the weekend, with cash and prizes from Innova Disc Golf going to the top finishers.Going in style is easy, as VIP packages include options for either hotel or condo style rooms at the beautiful Jiminy Peak Ski Resort just 5 minutes from the venue. On top of the off-site accommodations, the event offers VIP camping areas and a VIP lounge sponsored by Lagunitas Brewing Company, which includes complimentary beer to anyone 21 years or older.The festival features twin Main stages, ensuring nonstop music well into the night. It also features a massive Tent Stage and a Woods Stage which hosts nightly takeovers by NV Concepts, Rezinate, Sermon, and The Rust featuring some of the top names in bass and house music, as well as a nightly Silent Disco hosted by The Wook of Wall Street.You can see the full initial lineup below. Tickets are on sale now. Head to the festival website to grab yours today.Disc Jam 2018 Music Festival Initial LineupLotus • Beats Antique • Galactic • The Motet • Electron • Jon ‘The Barber’ Gutwillig (Acoustic Set) • DJ Logic and Friends (feat. members of The Disco Biscuits, Dopapod and Turkuaz) • Gubbulidis • Kung Fu • Moon Hooch• Aqueous • Tom Marshall’s Amfibian All-Stars • Ghost Light • Jo Jo Mayer / Nerve Ghost-Note • Consider The Source • The Nth Power • Yes Darling • Wolf! • Soule Monde • The TAZ Band • Bella’s Bartok • Marbin • Compa/Gantzer • Ryan Dempsey Solo • Big Mean Sound Machine • West End Blend • Dub Apocalypse • The Funky Dawgs Brass Band • Strange Machines • Space Bacon • Escaper • G-Nome Project • The A Beez • Root Shock • Bearly Dead • Formula 5 • Goose • Shwizz • Funktional Flow • Mammal Dap • Floodwood • Blind Owl Band • Swimmer • Of Clocks and Clouds • Cousin Earth • Space Carnival • Of Tomorrow • Harsh Armadillo • Fake Flowers Real Dirt • The Clock Reads • The Wiley Griffin Band • The Mushroom Cloud • Catullus• Lord Electro • Dizgo • Dewpoint • Let’s Be Leonard • CypherDisc Jam 2017 Official Recap Video:[Video: Disc Jam Music Festival]
On Thursday night, ahead of the new album’s release, Courtney headed to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon for a performance of the new album’s “Nameless, Faceless” for the masses on late-night TV. You can check out the performance of the pensive new fuzz-rock number below:Courtney Barnett – “Nameless, Faceless” [Video: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon]Courtney Barnett is out on tour now, with a full schedule of shows set for throughout this summer and fall around the world. In addition to theater dates in various markets, Barnett will hit a number of U.S. festivals, including Kentucky’s Forecastle Festival, Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival, Newport Folk Festival, and the recently-announced Treasure Island Festival, which is returning this year after a one-year hiatus. Barnett will also deliver a performance at the Prospect Park Bandshell in Brooklyn, New York as part of the annual Celebrate Brooklyn series.For a full list of Courtney Barnett’s upcoming summer and fall tour dates, head over to her website. Today, Grammy-nominated Australian rocker Courtney Barnett released Tell Me How You Really Feel, her first full-length solo album since her 2015 debut, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. The new release follows her 2017 joint album with Kurt Vile, Lotta Sea Lice. Tell Me How You Reall Feel was recorded at Soundspark Studios during July of 2017. The album sees Barnett once again link up with producers Dan Luscombe and Burke Reid, who produced her debut album. Kim and Kelley Deal to contribute to album track “Crippling Self-Doubt and a General Lack of Confidence”. You can stream Courtney Barnett’s Tell Me How You Really Feel below via Spotify:Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel [Full Album]
Funk music is having a moment, if not enjoying an outright renaissance, albeit under tricky cultural circumstances. Predominantly white bands (Vulfpeck, Turkuaz, Lawrence, etc.) and producers (Mark Ronson) have done their part to re-popularize an African-American art form that’s seen some of its heroes die (Prince) or approach retirement (George Clinton), and to some, this could be considered an act of cultural appropriation. That doesn’t mean, though, that there isn’t room in today’s expansive music scene for people of all races, colors, and creeds to have the funk or for the genre’s forebears to reclaim it one last time, if not more. Such was certainly true when George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic joined War on the bill for a show at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles over Memorial Day Weekend.For Clinton, whose retirement is nigh, it was to be his final live performance in the City of Angels. And though the 76-year-old was featured throughout Parliament’s set, as much with his gravelly vocals as in his floppy white frock, he clearly ceded some of the spotlight to his younger bandmates. Still, even when he sat while P-Funk brought the crowd to its feet, Clinton was no less lording over the musical remnants of what Afrofuturism had brought to music decades later. Whether encouraging the audience to get “Up For The Down Stroke”, freak dancing with a fan during “(Not Just) Knee Deep”, tearing the roof off to “Give Up the Funk”, barking up a storm to “Atomic Dog”, or illuminating the hills above L.A. with his “Flashlight”, Clinton and his cohort not only recreated the spirit that has set them apart in the sonic world over the years, but breathed new life into it with hints (if not heaping helpings) of hip-hop and soul.War, meanwhile, had long since parted ways with Eric Burdon by the time the band took the stage at the Greek. The Long Beach, California-based band was no worse for wear without its British-born singer, who played a show in London with current band leader Lonnie Jordan in 2008 but hasn’t sat in with the entire band since the 1970s. In truth, most of the lineup that was on hand to perform timeless classics like “Low Rider”, “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”, “Slippin’ Into Darkness”, “Cisco Kid”, “All Day Music”, and “Spill The Wine” was entirely different from the one that took the charts by storm back in the band’s heyday.In some respects, though, the version of War that joined Jordan this time was plenty faithful to the group’s Southern California roots while churning out tunes that were every bit as vibrant as the originals. Not that the crowd was quite so on-point as he was. Jordan alternately regaled attendees with tales of touring (and indulging) with Bob Marley and The Wailers and chastised them for not being able to properly recite the lyrics to “Cisco Kid” beyond the iconic opening line.It seems, then, that there’s still work to be done to ensure that funk music, in all its far-flung forms, stays true to its roots. That’s as much a task for the artists as for the fans, be they long-time followers or recent converts. George Clinton won’t be carrying the torch much longer. Who knows how long War will cradle that baton for itself? Whoever and however funk moves forward, it will likely do so as both an infusion into other genres and a style that stands alone, thriving on the efforts of a multicultural cast of characters in a music world where the lines that once divided categories become blurrier by the day.