About a year ago, Bridgette Perdue put out her first album of piano-pop tunes, Enjoy This Moment. Tonight, the irrepressively positive Perdue presents a special live event at the August Wilson Center, combining a concert with dance and other art forms.
She's calling "Wake Up and Dream" a "live music and art experience," and in addition to music and dance, it'll involve a multimedia program and live painting.
The show starts at 8, and tickets are $10. More info: www.wuad2013.com
Check out a video of Perdue performing:
Despite its storied rock-DJ history, even Pittsburgh has fewer and fewer regular old-fashioned oldies radio shows — and as of a few weeks ago, it's down to one less. The Johnny Angel Heavenly Soul Show, which had been on the air at 1320-AM WJAS since 2011, went off the air at the end of March, because DJ Johnny Angel — a longtime local performer and DJ — was unable to find the sponsorships needed to keep it afloat.
"I left on great terms" with WJAS, Angel says. But business is business. "They rent that slot out on Sunday nights, and you have to find your own sponsors. At first it was going great, but more recently it was getting tougher and tougher. I have my business and my music, and I just didn't have the time to get out there looking for sponsorships." Angel is a partner in the Atria's restaurant in PNC Park. (Atria's, along with The Attic record store in Millvale, was one of the show's main sponsors.) Angel notes that the station "let me slide sometimes" when he was low on sponsor dollars, and that WJAS was a great station to work with.
There's little else like Angel's show on the air in Pittsburgh right now; some suburban radio stations like WLSW in Connellsville air oldies radio on the weekends, and 94.5-FM WWSW's Sunday Night Oldies Diner still airs, but in a shorter format than in years past and with less of a concentration of '50s and early-'60s material. (That show's longtime host, R.D. Summers, passed away in 2009, and since then it's been run by staff.) Prior to the Johnny Angel show, the Sunday night 7-11 p.m. slot at WJAS had been taken by legendary Pittsburgh DJ Terry Lee, who broadcasts online now. WJAS's general format is nostalgia music, with local DJs during weekdays and some syndicated programs in the evening and on the weekend.
Angel's show was punctuated by chats with '50s and '60s music legends like Frankie Ford, Mary Wilson and Len Barry, and features in which he'd play different versions of the same song, or spotlight a particular singer or musician. Many of the musicians are ones he's worked with during his long career as a singer. "I didn't think of it as a radio show as much as a chat with friends that we broadcast," Angel says. The show had some renown; when I spoke last year with New York DJ Jonathan Toubin, he pointed out that one of the highlights of stops in Pittsburgh was listening to Johnny Angel on Sunday nights.
In an emailed statement, WJAS program director Ron Antill wrote: "He is truly one amazing man, in so may ways. Johnny is a true professional in all that he does, we had a great working relationship with him. All of us at WJAS are sorry to see the show come to an end." He added, "His intense work schedule ... likely played a role in his decision as well, I am not sure if the man ever sleeps."
While it's the end of the Heavenly Soul Show for now, Angel says he's not ruling out a return to radio. sometime in the future if the logistics work out. "I haven't given up my radio dream," he says. "I'm still hopeful a station will pick up the show again."
Calliope, the folk society, has announced its 2013-14 concert series, running from October through April. The shows will all take place at Carnegie Lecture Hall in Oakland.
A quick overview:
Oct. 26 — Vieux Farka Toure
Nov. 16 — Blue Highway
Dec. 7 — Bruce Cockburn
Jan. 25 — True Blues: Corey Harris, Guy Davis, Alvin Youngblood Hart
March 8: Karan Casey Band
March 29: Jake Shimabukuro
April 5: The Steel Wheels
April 26: Martha Redbone Roots Project
More details will be available from Calliope as the season approaches.
Know what's BIG right now? '90s nostalgia! And no one's taking advantage of it better (at least, no one locally) than The Composure. When last we left the pop-punk outfit, they had just released last spring's Stay the Course EP; now, they're releasing an EP of all '90s alt-rock covers. Each will be accompanied by a video.
The first one they've let slip is "Closing Time," the tearjerker from Semisonic that caused me to buy that album in 1997 or whatever then decide that the rest of it kind of sucked. But it was OK, because I got it through one of those BMG Direct deals where I got 12 CDs for a penny or whatever. Nothing ventured, really, and I think that's also how I got London Calling, which worked out better.
I'll stop now and let you watch the video, crafted by Quanti Studios:
One for the FYI files: The previously announced Kendrick Lamar show at Rostraver Ice Garden June 3 was cancelled, and the tour package was picked up by Stage AE; it'll take place there the same night, Monday, June 3.
The full details for the new show:
Kendrick Lamar with Schoolboy Q, AB-Soul and Jay Rock
6:30 p.m. Mon., June 3 at Stage AE Outdoors, 400 North Shore Drive, North Side
Tickets $40-45, on sale Sat., May 11 through Ticketmaster
According to PromoWest, tickets previously purchased for the Ice Garden show will not be honored at the Stage AE show. I'm working on finding out what ticketholders for the Ice Garden show should do — expect an update on this post when I know for sure.
Tonight marks the first playoff game of 2013 for the Penguins, and of course some local musicians have stepped up to the plate (to mix my sports metaphors) with fight songs for our hockey puckers.
Every year, Kardaz revises its "The Mighty 'Guins," a take on Dylan's "Quinn the Eskimo," with the names of the current team. Stream or download this year's version here:
And this year, Chip DiMonick added his voice to the chorus of Pens tunes — sort of. The song isn't actually a Penguins song, but today he's releasing a new animated lyric video for his song "Pump," with a Penguins theme. View below:
Afternoon, everyone! It's another installment of MP3 Monday, and this week we're featuring a fantastic local band by the name of The Idle Drifters. They've got a straight-forward alt-rock vibe with just a tinge of blues on some of their tracks. Their song, "Emily" leads in with a riff that you can't help but love. This Saturday night, they're releasing their debut EP "Been Made" at the Inn Termission Lounge in the South Side. If that piques your interest, stream or download "Emily" below!
To download, right click here and select "Save Link As."
Today marks the announcement of both the Allegheny County Parks concert series and the Three Rivers Arts Festival concerts. The TRAF concerts have been trickling out all morning on WYEP; big names include Glen Hansard (Wed., June 12); Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (Fri., June 7), and bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley (Sat., June 8).
On the County Parks docket, the biggest names include: Bob Mould (of Husker Du) June 9, Langhorne Slim and the Law June 23, and Rickie Lee Jones August 25, all at Hartwood Acres; and The Wailers June 21, David Cassidy July 12, and Los Amigos Invisibles August 9, all at South Park.
The annual Hometown Music Fest takes place at South Park this year, on Fri., August 30; the lineup is: JD Eicher, Caleb Lovely, and Danielle Barbe.
I'll post a link to the full lineups when they're up!
Three years have passed since Fleetwood Mac’s last tour, but their performance at Consol Energy Center last night proved their on-stage spark is hardly exhausted. For about two and a half hours, the band sent the crowd on a nostalgic journey through their back catalog with many of their greatest hits, as well as a long lost demo and a new track from their upcoming EP. While the band as a whole put on a great show, the musical chemistry between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks could not be ignored.
“Second Hand News” opened up the show, presenting Buckingham’s awe-inspiring fingerpicking skills almost immediately. As soon as the last chord sounded, Mick Fleetwood, seated atop an impressively large drum kit, rattled his shimmering chimes and broke into “The Chain.” John McVie’s dark, ominous bass solo hypnotized the squealing audience. Both songs set the tone for the evening: the Mac is back.
After “Dreams,” Buckingham took to the mic to discuss Fleetwood Mac’s return to the road.
“Every time we go apart and come back together, it’s different,” he said. “There are some chapters left to write for Fleetwood Mac.”
With that, the band performed “Sad Angel,” a new song from their next release. Much like many other Fleetwood Mac favorites, the song was upbeat with Buckingham’s fingerpicking driving the song.
Most of the set list seemed to focus on Buckingham’s talent as a guitarist, especially during his solo acoustic performance of “Big Love,” during which he thrashed and smacked his strings. Nicks’ vocals and theatrics also took center stage, specifically during “Rhiannon” and “Sara.” “Landslide” and “Never Going Back Again,” both performed acoustically by the duo, drew even more attention to them, as though the rest of the band hardly existed.
Buckingham gave a brief speech about a business axiom before tearing into two songs from Tusk. He explained the phrase, “If it works, run it into the ground and move on,” reminds him of that album, which shocked Warner Brothers quite a bit.
“It was not what they ever expected and most probably not what they wanted.”
“Not That Funny” allowed Buckingham to get more aggressive with his vocals, while he turned “Tusk” into a chaotic, barbaric chant. He crept up to the microphone like a jungle cat, building the song with increasingly louder coyote-like yelps. Fleetwood’s drum solo further established the savage manner of the song.
In addition to playing old favorites, Nicks and Buckingham performed a song they had recorded as a demo in the 1970s and lost somewhere along the way of their rise to fame.
“It was before we were even doing drugs. We were sober, and we still lost it!” Nicks said.
The song, entitled “Without You,” was a ballad written by Nicks about Buckingham. They rediscovered it on YouTube recently and have been performing it throughout their tour. Fleetwood moved off of his platform and in between Nicks and Buckingham, making the song seem even more intimate, as though the trio were reliving a moment from the start of their career together.
“Gypsy” and “Eyes of the World” had the crowd singing, while Nicks’ performance of “Gold Dust Woman” turned into a haunting, theatrical performance. She writhed around in a gold outfit, like the melting Wicked Witch of the West. Buckingham countered Nicks’ dramatics with his evocative rendition of “I’m So Afraid.” He thrashed and smacked his guitar strings like a man gone mad, creeping across the stage with a slow skip.
“Stand Back” and “Go Your Own Way” livened up the audience after Nicks and Buckingham’s bizarre performances. “World Turning” included an appropriately over-the-top solo from Fleetwood, with him screaming “Are you still with me?” in between his flurried drum rolls.
The band left the stage, only to return with a rousing performance of “Don’t Stop.” Brett Tuggle’s piano solo stole the show. The band left and returned to the stage once more for a poignant performance of “Silver Spring.”
As the band bid the audience farewell one last time, Nicks showed her gratitude for their fans, dubbing them “the dream catchers.”
“This whole thing is all your fault. You did it,” Nicks said as she thanked the crowd for their support over the years.
Fleetwood, donning a red top hat, red shoes, and knickers, gleefully trotted to the microphone to also show his graciousness.
“We are glad to be back doing what we love to do,” he said.
And with a tip of his hat, the ringleader exclaimed a prophetic message.
“Remember…the Mac is back!”
Hazelwood native Chevy Woods has been touring the world with Wiz Khalifa and their Taylor Gang conglomerate. This Friday, April 26, Pittsburgh can catch him live in concert as he returns home for an all ages show at Club Zoo. Also performing will be fellow Taylor Gang rapper Quay Meanz and Rostrum Records' latest signee Boaz.
Woods has been active in recent months, featuring on songs by up-n-coming Pittsburgh rap acts Hardo and Crystal Seth. Following up on his Gangland mixtape from June 2012, Woods is preparing for the release of Gangland 2, which will be hosted by popular street rap personality DJ Drama. Woods has already released several music videos from this upcoming project, the latest, "M'fer," features Wiz Khalifa.
One of my personal favorite songs of Woods' is set to be released on Gangland 2 as well. "Things Change" finds Woods reflecting on his humble beginnings to his current success as an artist in the music business.
Fri., April 26th
Club Zoo & Taylor Gang Present CHEVY WOODS: Welcome Home Show
Special guests: Boaz, Quay Meanz, and DJ GQ
All Ages | Doors at 9pm | $10-15.
Tickets here 412-720-1396
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