Tag Archives: Umphrey’s McGee

Concert Watch February 2010

So the cold, cruel North Wind may blow, but sure isn’t stopping bands coming from the balmier parts of the country to play in NYC.

Washington State may not be particularly balmy right now, but it is quite a distance for the folk darling Brandi Carlile to come to play just for you. This Wednesday, the 3rd, she’ll be performing a sold out show at Ridgefield Playhouse. If you don’t have tickets, try to find some online, because she’s an extremely powerful singer. Check out this weird but fun video for her latest hit “Dreams” off her third album Give Up the Ghost.

On second review, the video is a little creepy – mostly because she sings half of the song with her eyes closed, lying down in the crook of a willow tree. But we’ll let it slide because it’s such a strong song.

Giveaway! Head over to the Listener Advisory Board right now to win some tickets to see the supergroup Them Crooked Vultures at the Roseland Ballroom on February 8th. You can read about them in this post from last November.

The men of Delta Spirit, lead singer Matt Vasquez second from left

Coming from a really warm clime is the California band, Delta Spirit. Coming out of San Diego, the band’s only been around since 2005, and have only released one full-length album, Ode to Sunshine. Well they’re playing four whole shows in NYC this month, on the 4th and the 11th at Pianos, and the 5th and the 12th at Union Hall in Brooklyn. You may have heard their song “People C’mon” on the Peak

They’ll be playing that and other songs of Ode to Sunshine, hopefully in addition to a few sneak peeks off of their upcoming record, History from Below, due out in May.

Here’s the video for “People C’mon”, lying at  the intersection of art and violence:

Speaking of a lot of shows, Citizen Cope a.k.a. Clarence Greenwood is playing five already sold out shows in NYC. The 10th and 11th, he’ll be at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, and then on the 12th,

Citizen Cope

13th and 14th he’s relocating to the Bowery Ballroom. The reason he’s selling out all of these shows is that on Tuesday he’s releasing his third album The Rainwater LP, especially important since the now brooklyn-based artist hasn’t released anything since his Clarence Greenwood Recordings in 2004.

That’s a jam-packed week, because just before Citizen Cope gets to the Ballroom, the Aussie John Butler Trio will be headlining there. They’ve got an album coming out soon too; April Rising, the band’s fifth.

Then on the 16th, after Mr. Cope clears out, Phish’s Trey Anastasio will be taking over Bowery Ballroom. He’s hitting the road again starting on the 8th in Virginia with his “Classic Trey Anastasio Band (TAB)”. He says he’ll be trying out some new songs – in his words, TAB “is sort of a breeding ground for Phish material”. You can check out the interview with him that I was reading here.

Now you may be reading this and thinking to yourself “Gee, how did I not know that Bowery Ballroom was such a groovy place? Why don’t I go there all the time?” And the answer is because if you just go to Bowery Ballroom then you would miss Eric Clapton coming to Madison Square Garden!

Jeff Beck, left and Eric Clapton, right

That’s right, Thursday and Friday, February 18th and 19th Eric Clapton will be playing two shows at the Knicks’ home, with long time fellow guitarist Jeff Beck. Beck just yesterday won a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for his work on “A Day In The Life” off of his 2009 Performing This Week…Live At Ronnie Scott’s. This makes him a five-time Grammy winner, which is also how many Grammys Beyonce won last night.

John Mayer

If that’s not enough stardom for you, John Mayer will be playing on the 25th and 26th, with guest Michael Franti on the “Battle Studies Tour”. Everyone knows John Mayer now, and a growing number of people know Mr. Franti through his super catchy song “Say Hey” off of 2008’s All Rebel Rockers.

Finally, don’t miss Umphrey’s McGee coming to Nokia Theater on the 25th also. They played last year at Summerstage in Central Park, and it was a really fun show. If you’re thinking about going, practice your “U” hand signs well in advance.

Phew! Well happy concert hunting in New York’s back yard – and don’t let these winter blues get you down.

~Josh

[If you end up going to one of these or any other concerts this month please let us know how it was – if you met the band, or even if you just moshed a little bit.]

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PEAK KEYWORD:  BOWERY

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Raising Awareness Through Music

Bands and musicians supporting Haiti in crisis

To make sure you didn’t miss out on it, this past Thursday I let you know of a few ways that caring souls in the music community were pitching in to help raise awareness and garner donations for the victims of the recent 7.0 earthquake that occurred just outside of Port Au Prince, the capital of Haiti.

Bands and artists are finding unique ways to urge people to chip in to the relief effort. Music for Relief, a non-profit organization founded by the members of Linkin Park that has raised $3 million dollars since its founding, is currently offering a compilation album for free on its website, urging you to donate after the download. The album features unreleased music by artists such as Peter Gabriel, Alanis Morisette, Linkin Park, The Dave Matthews Band and more. You can check out the full track listing and get more information about Music for Relief on their website by clicking here.

Download “Typical Situation (Live)” by The Dave Matthews Band off of Download to Donate for Haiti – courtesy of Music for Relief

Paste Magazine's Songs for haiti

Paste magazine has set up songsforhaiti.org, where hundreds of artists have donated tracks in an effort to entice more people to donate. The funds raised will be split three ways between Doctors Without BordersRed Cross, and Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund. Artists in the download archive include quite a handful of Peak regulars: Andrew Bird, Ben Folds, Bob Mould, Cowboy Junkies, Indigo Girls, Marc Broussard, Of Montreal, She & Him, The Avett Brothers, Dan Dyer, The Decemberists,  The Jayhawks, The String Cheese Incident, Umphrey’s McGee and many many more.

Paste is aware that this may not be the best way to raise support. In their words:

We don’t think people should donate to the relief efforts in Haiti just to get a reward. But this gives Paste and artists a way to help, using the thing we’re most passionate about—music.

And seeing as they’ve already raised over $100,000 through Songs for Haiti, it has proven to be a smart idea.

Régine Chassange

In the realm of raising awareness, one artist has gone above and beyond normal measures in telling her personal story. Régine Chassange, of The Arcade Fire, wrote a heart-breaking piece for the Guardian the Sunday before last documenting her shock and disbelief as she saw and felt the events of the earthquake unfolded. Régine is one of the founding members of the Montreal band, where she sings vocals and mans the accordion (and the drums and xylophone and piano from time to time). Although she is a citizen in both Canada and the U.S., her family emigrated from Haiti before she was born, and therefore news of the earthquake affected her in ways that those who don’t have relatives there will not be able to understand.

She writes,

I ran downstairs and turned on the television. It was true. Tears came rushing right to my eyes and I let out a cry, as if I had just heard that everybody I love had died. The reality, unfortunately, is much worse. Although everything around me is peaceful, I have been in an internal state of emergency for days. My house is quiet, but I forget to eat (food is tasteless). I forget to sleep. I’m on the phone, on email, non-stop. I’m nearly not moving, but my pulse is still fast. I forget who I talked to and who I told what. I leave the house without my bag, my keys. I cannot rest.

Partners in Health

In her article, she beckons her readers to donate to Partners in Health, saying that PIH is the best relief organization “in terms of thorough medical care, follow-up and combining of parallel necessary services (education, sanitation, training, water, agriculture)”. You can read the full article here.

But for every shining instance of goodwill, there are plenty who pass up opportunities to pitch in. If none of the above relief efforts moved you, here is a list of ways to help support those in need, including a breakdown how each organization uses its resources.

Thank you for doing your part to help those who, at this point in time, can’t help themselves. To quote Régine again we, as humans, are “[i]mpossibly weak, but standing”. And as we look to the horizon in this dark night and broaden our awareness of those in need, we can see the sun begin to spill outward and upward. My thoughts are with Haiti.

~Josh

[PS: If there is a relief organization or effort that you would like to bring to this blog’s attention, please feel free to talk about it in a comment below – thanks!]

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PEAK KEYWORD: HAITI

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