Hey! It's Thursday afternoon, and that means it's almost the weekend, and that means it's time for me to mention a few shows that are happening that we weren't able to get into the paper, because, y'know, paper is finite.
Tomorrow (Friday) at noon, Pete Bush and the Hoi Polloi play the Arts Festival -- I reviewed their new album in this week's paper, so check that out, and go eat lunch with them tomorrow if it sounds intriguing. Brandi Carlile headlines the Arts Fest lineup Friday night, playing at 8 p.m.
Elsewhere tomorrow night, Smith Westerns hit Mr. Small's -- these Chicago kids have gone from Gooski's to Brillobox to headlining the big church place all in about a year's time(?) Satin Gum opens.
And at Howlers in Bloomfield Friday night, Summer Lungs release a CD, with support from Action Camp, Ag Ag Lady and Ohio's Hot Cha Cha.
Saturday night, synthpop big deal Freezepop plays the 31st Street Pub; at Howlers, the bill is Nervous Jerks, Triggers and Delicious Pastries. And at Altar Bar, locals Identity X present their second IDXFEST, featuring Blameshift, River Runs Scarlet, Maesion, Amuck, Highland Pines and Atlas. And an all-star local lineup plays Mr. Small's Saturday night as a Rock the Streets benefit: Nik and the Central Plains, Meeting of Important People, School of Athens, The Jim Dandies, The Turpentiners, Truth in Advertising and Jay Malls perform.
Enjoy, OK?!?!? And check back tomorrow for a chance to win tickets to next week's Devo concert at Stage AE.
When you get an email from someone who calls you "sir," and signs off with "Keep the blade sharp," you take notice. Hence my paying good, close attention to Dethlehem, the comedy-metal band that released The Ghorusalem Codex, Volume 2: Of Magick and Tyranny this past weekend.
Dudes who dress up in knight outfits and roll 20-sided dice and have songs with titles like "Valley of the Blades" and "Hypergates of Infinitude"? Sign us up. We’ve got your download for MP3 Monday: Sky Palace of the Dragonriders.
Verily, rock on, dragon-slaying RPG metal dudes!
Yesterday, we posted quotes from some local hip hop and literary luminaries on the passing of Gil Scott-Heron. As promised, here are a few more.
BusCrates, music producer:
First time I heard his music was when I was a kid. My father had quite a few of his records. In particular, I remember him having the Winter In America LP and the Secrets LP. I'm sure he had many others, too. My personal favorite is probably the 2LP It's Your World, from 1976. It was mostly a live recording, with a few studio cuts on it. Great album! Has a really good song on [that album] called "Must Be Something," where he's says "We didn't come all this way just to give up, we didn't struggle all this time just to say we've had enough." He had some uplifting compositions, along with his more well-known politically-charged pieces. We need stuff like that so desperately now.
I'm still reeling at this devastating loss, man. I highly doubt we'll ever see anything like Gil Scott-Heron again. I am forever grateful that I did get to experience the majority of his catalog throughout my life. I played "We Almost Lost Detroit" the night before I found out about his departure from this realm.
David Riley, writer and reporter for KQV:
I didn’t get into his music until probably my 20s, when I first heard him and understood what he was getting at … But a lot of it really blew me away because it wasn’t what I [was used to hearing] in quote-unquote music, you know, the pop stuff. The fact that he has the jazz influence and just took it somewhere else, and the subject matter was there.
It was kind of interesting to hear the type of stuff he was putting out because it just wasn’t the same old, same old shit. You know? You don’t hear other people talking about Johannesburg. And that was one of the songs that I listened to and was able to give me a little more interest in the topic, because it was something that you never really heard about, even in school they never covered it all that well.
So I think people like him… they use their music for talking about more than just shaking your ass… We don’t have as many of those people as we used to and we’re worse off for it.”
Vanessa German, poet:
I remember hearing that voice and feeling it inside the inside of me, like a fist in my ham bones. I am going back in my head thinking of that feeling [the] first time I heard "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," and I said oh, this is what is love & rage simultaneously, the inexplicable place of lucky rage, like having something to say and not necessarily needing to kill a man to say it.
Jasiri X, activist and MC:
I first heard of his music in the early '90s because of hip hop music and rappers sampling his music and saying his name. It made me want to find out why he was so influential to these artists that I loved.
"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" at the time I first heard it I just thought it was dope poem, but listening to it now in this age of commercialism and materialism it's so much deeper and really breaks down why we don't hear conscious music on these mainstream channels.
He's very much an influence, one because he was never afraid to speak truth to power, but at the same time he was comfortable enough in himself to talk about his own struggles and shortcomings
Born Shamir, music producer and MC for Classic 1824 Music:
I heard ["The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"] in the '70s so it was to me a funky beat and milky bassline. As for the messages; I couldn't really put them in to context because I was a child. However, growing up and still listening to the same albums, literally, I found new meaning through seeing the same issues existing in years after it was written. Sadly, it just shows me that at the root of our society, the same problems exist with poverty, inequalities and the need for changes for the better of the people of color in America and any people who recognize they are affected by the ills of the 10-percenters who blood suck the poor decade after decade. With wool over our eyes, it is exactly that which we are oblivious to and continue to be a victim of. Thankfully, when the conscious can reach the masses or at least the individual, the thought provoking perspectives can be shared and acknowledged in a most palatable method.
Thank you to Gil and others like the Last Poets who keep us in tune through music and who's message reigns relevant in 2011 and [who are] an inspiration to this generation to continue to spread love through awakening the population.
Going to a Weezer show, you've got to arrive with a few things already understood: 1. If you're still of the mindset that "Pinkerton is the only Weezer album I like because I'm an old school fan," you should sell your ticket to a 14-year-old boy and go home, 2. Weezer attracts as many dude-bros as nerdlings wearing black-rimmed glasses, and 3. Weezer is not a 'deep catalog' band; they will run through the hits, allowing anyone who has turned on a radio in the past two decades to know at least three or four songs.
If you show up with those three things in mind, you will undoubtedly have a good time. I definitely did. At this point, 15 years after Weezer's artistic coup/incredible masterpiece Pinkerton, the band consistently takes all the vitriol critics spit at them and turn it into viable pop music -- as if Rivers Cuomo is saying, "Why, yes, thank you; we do write plastic-y radio pop hooks, and we do it well! Check out our Lil Wayne collab!"
Weezer's show Sunday night at the quite awesome outdoor Stage AE was a lot of fun, plain and simple. Aside from the completely out of place "Paranoid Android" cover (Note: Rivers, honing your radio pop chops, then churning out a weirdo classic makes you seem out of touch, not quirky), Weez's set packed in hook after hook, ranging from the new ("Memories" from last year's Hurley album) to classic (Blue Album cuts including "Surf Wax America," "The Sweater Song," "Buddy Holly," "In the Garage," "Say It Ain't So" and an unexpected, bombastic "Only in Dreams").
Cuomo's Steelers banter kept 'Burgh fans screaming. "When I was a kid, my favorite team was the Steelers; Franco Harris, Mean Joe Greene. I wanted to be a pro football player -- that seems pretty comical now," he said before launching into the uber-catchy "Perfect Situation."
And honestly, that's what Sunday night's show was -- a warm night, a not-too-crowded outdoor venue and a band whose catalog is so broad, it can fill a 90-minute set with nothing but hits. Hate all you want -- I sure have in the past -- but that's pretty damn impressive.