Volume 3-2014





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Currently on RARadio:

"Lost the Plot" by Amoureux"

Bright Eyes, Black Soul" by The Lovers Key

"Cool Thing" by Sassparilla

"These Halls I Dwell" by Michael Butler

"St. Francis"by Tom Russell & Gretchen Peters, performance by Gretchen Peters and Barry Walsh; 

"Who Do You Love?"by Elizabeth Kay; 

"Rebirth"by Caterpillars; 

"Monica's Frock" by Signel-Z; 

"Natural Disasters" by Corey Landis; 

"1,000 Leather Tassels" by The Blank Tapes; 

"We Are All Stone" and "Those Machines" by Outer Minds; 

"Another Dream" by MMOSS; "Susannah" by Woolen Kits; 

Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and other dead celebrities / news by A SECRET PARTY;

"I Miss the Day" by My Secret Island,  

"Carriers of Light" by Brendan James;

"The Last Time" by Model Stranger;

"Last Call" by Jay;

"Darkness" by Leonard Cohen; 

"Sweetbread" by Simian Mobile Disco and "Keep You" fromActress off the Chronicle movie soundtrack; 

"Goodbye to Love" from October Dawn; 

Trouble in Mind 2011 label sampler; 

Black Box Revelation Live on Minnesota Public Radio;

Apteka "Striking Violet"; 

Mikal Cronin's "Apathy" and "Get Along";

Dana deChaby's progressive rock




"Music Hot Spots"




























CCJ Publisher Rick Alan Rice dissects the building of America in a trilogy of novels collectively calledATWOOD. Book One explores the development of the American West through the lens of public policy, land planning, municipal development, and governance as it played out in one of the new counties of Kansas in the latter half of the 19th Century. The novel focuses on the religious and cultural traditions that imbued the American Midwest with a special character that continues to have a profound effect on American politics to this day. Book One creates an understanding about America's cultural foundations that is further explored in books two and three that further trace the historical-cultural-spiritual development of one isolated county on the Great Plains that stands as an icon in the development of a certain brand of American character. That's the serious stuff viewed from high altitude. The story itself gets down and dirty with the supernatural, which in ATWOOD - A Toiler's Weird Odyssey of Deliveranceis the outfall of misfires in human interactions, from the monumental to the sublime. The book features the epic poem "The Toiler" as well as artwork by New Mexico artist Richard Padilla.



If you have not explored the books available from Amazon.com's Kindle Publishing division you would do yourself a favor to do so. You will find classic literature there, as well as tons of privately published books of every kind. A lot of it is awful, like a lot of traditionally published books are awful, but some are truly classics. You can get the entire collection of Shakespeare's works for two bucks.

You do not need to buy a Kindle to take advantage of this low-cost library. Use this link to go to an Amazon.com page from which you can download for free a Kindle App for your computer, tablet, or phone.

Amazon is the largest, but far from the only digital publisher. You can find similar treasure troves atNOOK Press (the Barnes & Noble site), Lulu, and others.



Triune Brain Sounds

Moira Smiley and VOCO Release New Album

"Only days ago, in a copper mine deep below dusty Butte, Montana, I was among ghosts and detonations, feeling the dance of human frailty and brute-force." - Moira Smiley newsletter comment.

I am guessing that, as an artist, unseen things mean a lot to Moira Smiley. She is the visionary creator of the musical singing group VOCO, which seems like an expression of concepts that resonate with the talented Ms. Smiley and tend to present themselves as themes. She's big on the triune brain these days. I was under the impression that the notion of the "triune" (three-part) brain, and its evolutionary development (remember Carl Sagan's "Broca's Brain"?) had been discarded by scientists in recent years, but no matter. It has something to do with what the extraordinary Ms. Smiley and VOCO is up to these days. Check out this video below, from an independent TED event in SoCal, and you can try to figure out Mora's take on the whole brain thing, but more importantly enjoy the work of some great talents. L.A.-based Moira is quite a composer and vocal arranger and she and her tribe can sing. Play, too. Most noticeably, however, is the uniqueness of what they do with their show (or presentation). I can't really classify it as being like anything I have ever seen before. They are like a vocal-conceptual tent revival/Chautauqua session that has nothing and everything to do with the holy spirit, and it is brave and striving to reach deep into the soul of what goes on within our human natures. Moira and her singers are multi-cultural sponges and the artistry with which they do what they do, whatever it is, makes it feel authentic, as if as an audience member you are somehow dropped from the sky into a world where people chant rhythmic chants and turn into birds and animals, just as you'd expect. It is most certainly one of the most extraordinary entertainments happening anywhere today outside of the giant theatrical productions of Broadway and Las Vegas. The album Laughter Out of Tears! is being released mid-September. VOCO will then spend three weeks touring behind the recording, with presently scheduled stops in New Haven, Vermont (Tourterelle Inn), Los Angeles (CalTech's Beckman Institute), and San Francisco (Candlelight Concert Series). - RAR


Muse - Austin City Limits

It's Like Everyone Else is Pretending

My teenaged son turned me on to Muse some time back, and every time I listen to them I come away with the feeling that compared to what they are doing everyone else in the music world is just playing. There have been precious few bands in the entire history of music that are at the level that Muse is at. Surely part of it is that, rather like the core of The Beatles, the Muse guys have played together since their early teens, and their chemistry is extraordinary. There is some of Queen and U2 and Pink Floyd and Radiohead in Muse, but while Muse can do all of what those bands did (and do), I don't know of any band out there that can do what Muse does. Matthew Bellamy is the differentiator, a talent so immense that he is truly a cut above virtually everyone else on the planet, rather like Michael Jordan was in his NBA days, or like Muhammad Ali in his prime. It is the whole of what he does in terms of his guitar virtuosity, his extraordinary singing voice, and the power of his ideas that makes him special. He makes it look easy, like a Fred Astaire; one of those people who come along just occasionally who just has more raw stuff than anybody else: that's Bellamy. That said, its bassist Christopher Wolstenholme who is the movie star of the band, its charismatic center, which is pretty amazing given his stage company. And then there is drummer Dominic Howard, who may be the Keith Moon of his generation; less bombastic and showy for sure, but pure perfection on the kit. The other thing that stands out about Muse is the way in which they have embraced new technology in their instrumentation (7 string guitars, guitars and bass with touch screen functions, etc.) and their sound. They sound different than virtually everyone else. The CCJ usually tries to find videos that too few people have seen. More than 1.2 million viewers have watched this video on YouTube, but if somehow Muse has gotten by you take the next hour and a half and see what rock sounds and looks like in the 21st Century. It is way worth it.- RAR


Black Hills of South Dakota

Tribes Unite on Spiritual Grounds

The Europeans who "discovered" America encountered a native population that had the potential to advance civilization in ways that would never be possible under the religious and economic doctrines of the invaders. The desecration of the sacred grounds of the Black Hills of South Dakota, and most particularly the monument to the presidents carved into its rock formations, are the living reminder of what a wasted opportunity, and a national tragedy, the formulation and establishment of the European-based American culture has been.

On September 13th and 14th, 2014, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, thousands of people will converge for a UNITY CONCERT -- bringing together Native American tribes and allies of all nations in support of returning the guardianship of the Black Hills to the Great Sioux Nation.

The UNITY CONCERT, is more than just a concert; it is a powerful act of spiritual activism uniting nations to reconnect with the sacredness of nature and honor the Earth so we can sustain our planet for future generations.

Like the transformational marches of the Civil Rights and Anti-Vietnam war era, the UNITY CONCERT is free and open to the public and will weave together music, art, ceremony, and activism in a two-day event to be held at the Elk Creek Lodge and Resort in the heart of the Black Hills.

Orchestrated by a coalition of elders of the Great Sioux Nation (Paha Sapa Unity Alliance) together with various native and non-native allies and environmental, spiritual and social activists, the concert features celebrated Native and Non-Native artists and brings together representatives and spiritual elders from Native American tribes, artists, performers, concerned global citizens, and those on the right side of justice to return the guardianship of the as yet undeveloped parts of the Black Hills to The Great Sioux Nation.

The weekend will begin with a traditional ceremony to wipe away the painful past between the United States and America’s First Nations. Many performers and participants will be making very personal statements of apology and forgiveness with the goal of clearing a way for us to stand united for the care of our Mother Earth, and a shared, peaceful way of life for our grandchildren and the generations to come.

The star-studded roster of deeply dedicated performers spans three generations from the legendary Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary), Arlo Guthrie and Buffy Sainte Marie to new revolutionary artists such as Nahko Bear, and the Earth Guardians - a duo of Aztec brothers, 14 and 11, devoted to protecting Mother Earth and Ta'kaiya Blaney - Sliammon First Nation from B.C. They will be joined by a bevy of Native American artists from tribal nations across the country, including Lakota, Navajo, Cree and Apache.

Happenin' Harry

The Archetypal Metal Personality

It has been awhile since we checked in with Happenin' Harry, (use this link for a feature) who has a real name but prefers his stage name. The Chicago native has been a fixture on the L.A. rock scene for more than two decades, hosting all-star collections of rockers at weekly events at Sunset Strip clubs, notably The Cat Club (closed in 2011, reopened as an Irish bar with rock music) and The Joint. The Cat Club was a rocker's haven. Owned by Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom, the club attracted L.A.'s rock celebrities and on nights when Happenin' Harry and the Haptones were holding court the place was hoppin', or perhaps happenin'. Harry has a great deal of the Barnum in his Bailey and he has been extraordinary at bringing L.A.'s top metal rockers together for regular blowouts, which meant business for the Strip's rock spots for years and years. Harry knows everybody in "Hollyweird" (his description). This week he had a birthday show at The Rec Room Bar & Grill in Studio City, hosted by porn superstar Ron Jeremy, and featuring Harry & The Haptones with special guest Billy Sheehan, plus others from Queens of the Stoneage, Mr. Big, Porno for Pyros, Bangkok Five, The Flys, the Pete Murphy Band, Bird 3, and the David Lee Roth Band. This sort of "happening" occurs because Happenin' Harry, for all of his master of ceremony skills, is also a tremendous metal rock vocalist. This is something that has been celebrated by Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon, who used to be a regular at Harry's Cat Club  events. Fallon introduces Harry and the Haptones in the video below, which features the high level of talent that Harry has been able to assemble over the years for his hard-boiled but sort of down-home events. (I wish someone would identify the great Haptones captured in this video from late summer 2013.) Happenin' Harry isn't quite as young or active as he once was, but he is a big personality who can still wail. Happy birthday Harry and rock on!

Minton Sparks

Real Toad, Imaginary Garden

Man, I wish I was as weird as you. We have featured Nashville's brilliant monologist-turned-rock-singer-songwriter Minton Sparks many times before on this site, but are blown away by this new incarnation, that has the incomparable southern belle banging funny out front of a rockabilly unit. The college professor and former basketball player is as fearless and agile of wit as she is tall, which is pretty damned. She has an album of this stuff coming out in October. Bless her crazy freakin' heart! Check out "Gold Digger".

Last Days of Disco 2014

Now Featuring Bianca

Bianca (Bianca Di Cesare) is "an Italian-American singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles" (her description) who is soon to release a debut EP. The video below was released to promote the upcoming EP, which is produced by Alberto Bof of MKRS Publishing. This is some pretty old school Disco, I think, though I'll have to ask someone who knows something about club music these days. If the song seems like pretty standard '70s stuff - from back when Disco pushed music into realms that were overtly sexual, as if it was produced for use in strip clubs - the production on this tune is crisp and I like Bianca's personality. She comes off like a pro, hitting every mark and delivering with panache. Lest you come under the misapprehension that Bianca is dumb, dig this: she holds a Bachelor in Arts and Masters in Arts and Linguistics, and she speaks English, Italian, Spanish and French. She even does voiceover work. Her agency describes her as "European, sexy, animated and confident. Bianca Di Cesare is one of our most eclectic clients and can offer a wide rage of languages and accents with her linguistics background". The talented singer-songwriter has been around for awhile, first performing in a band with her father "singing backup for a blues band made up of inmates from Rebibbia Jail..." (Did not make that up.) She received music training at Scuola di Musica di Testaccio with an emphasis in Jazz singing and guitar..." (from her website). Her vocals can be heard on “Figure” by the electronic band Mir and rock-oriented pieces like “Il Buio” with Satya Schulberg. Her photograph graces Middletown's For the Girl album. Upon her reintroduction to the United States, she launched an intimate electronic duo called “Tsu” with Alex Kharlamov in embrace of her grassroots songwriting past. Their work has been sold to publishers for movie scores via Universal Pictures. Bianca has also sung backup for Diane Birch, including an appearance on The Tonight Show back when Jay Leno was at the helm. As Bianca Di Cesare, she has shown an unusual penchant for recording solo acoustic versions of Radiohead songs, posting them to YouTube and Soundcloud. As Bianca, she shows an unusual inclination to sing rather unlike she has in previous incarnations; more Brittany Spears than Thom Yorke. It's all sort of weird, but I like Bianca. - RAR

Lovers Key Drops Cool R&B Pop

Just when you start to wonder if pop rock could ever move you again, along comes Christopher Moll and The Lovers Key. Moll and his band bring the R&B in an old school way and it feels utterly fresh and vital. Check out the video below from their debut album, Here Today Gone Tomorrow, which is being released on September 23. Here Today Gone Tomorrow includes eleven tracks of retro-tinged pop and soul. The Deluxe Edition adds additional material including remixes from Moll's previous work with The Postmarks and Ursula 1000 as well as the French version of their hit song “Who’s The One You Love?”

San Francisco Opera Presents Norma

Sondra Radvanovsky Vies for Opera Immortality

The San Francisco Opera is diving into the deep waters of Vincenzo Bellini's bel canto with a seven-performance stand of Norma to open its 2014 season. (By the way, did you know you can get SF Opera tickets for 25 bucks! And you pay $50 to see Tyler the Creator?) The company performed this most difficult two-act opera first in 1998, then again in 2005. Featuring a major soprano aria, "Casta diva", Norma is considered one of the most taxing of the bel canto genre, and not the kind of challenge any company rises to very often. German soprano Lilli Lehmann once said that it would be less stressful to sing all three Brünnhilde roles of Wagner's opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen in one evening than is the singing of one Norma. Besides the ridiculous coloratura soprano requirements of the lead player, i.e., Norma herself, the opera is paced nearly in reverse of the standard formula, with "Casta diva" performed 30-minutes into the show, which is like climaxing to start the night. What can Norma do after she has torn up the curtains and laid down the law as her opening gambit? In San Francisco, Sondra Radvanovsky (in the Nigel Dickson photo above) will be confronted with this musical heavy lift, which besides requiring extraordinary range and vocal dexterity will also call upon her to display precise emotional control to leaven the dramatics of the first act. Norma, which came into being in 1831, has been a marker for the truly great sopranos, including Maria Callas and Dame Joan Sutherland. After Pavarotti heard Sutherland's 1964 performance, he pronounced her's "the greatest female voice of all time". Radvanovsky won an audition at the New York Metropolitan Opera 20 years ago, and has largely made her name singing Verdi operas, which are a far cry from bel canto. She has referred to the aria "Casta diva" as "terror inducing". In the video presented here, another coloratura soprano, Anna Netrebko, performs the aria as a solo piece, and it gives you a pretty good idea of what Ms. Radvanovsky is tackling. Pretty awesome.

"Opera is the biggest rock show you have ever seen." - A quote from a friend of the CCJ who routinely does pilgrimages to the great opera houses of the world.

Misner & Smith at Freight & Salvage

Award-winning Americana/Folk duo Misner & Smith played a concert at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley on Saturday, September 6th. We don't see enough of this traditional folk duo. Known for their stunning live performances, Misner & Smith have been winning over fans with top-notch songwriting, musicianship, and extraordinary vocal harmonies. Also performing with the duo, Josh Yenne (Mazzy Star, The Easy Leaves) will sit in on pedal steel and electric guitars. In October 2013 Misner & Smith released their fourth album, Seven Hour Storm, produced by Jeff Kazor (The Crooked Jades, Richard Buckner), and engineered by Bruce Kaphan (American Music Club, David Byrne, The Black Crowes). This follows the release of three previous albums, Live at the Freight & Salvage (2010), Poor Player (2008), and their debut, Halfway Home (2004), which includes the West Coast Songwriter’s Best Song of 2007, “Madeline (Paradise Cracked)”. The duo was also featured on the newly released cast recording of Woody Guthrie's American Song (July 17th, 2014) recorded live at the Freight & Salvage in the summer of 2012. Read more about Misner & Smith at www.misnerandsmith.com .

Lannie's Clocktower Cafe

Opera on Demand

Speaking of opera, as we were with Bellini and Norma and Sondra Radvanovsky, etc., Lannie's Clocktower Cafe, in Denver, is doing opera the people's way. Zuri Productions and Opera on Tap Colorado present a Tuesday night offering that samples Mozart, Puccini et al. As described by its promoters - "A dash of improv and some of Denver’s best full-bodied operatic voices will make this an evening of great arias, dramatic ensembles, and fun surprises for all. Opera on Tap Colorado singers will perform arias and scenes from a range of operas, including Madame Butterfly, Romeo et Juliette, Rigoletto, and Carmen depending on audience choice. For you locals, the singers include Tom Sitzler, baritone; Sarah Stone, soprano; Julie Silver Campbell, soprano; Ruth L. Carver, soprano; Mira Madorsky, soprano; Eve Orenstein, mezzo soprano; Thomas Poole, tenor. They are accompanied by pianist Mallory Bernstein.

Night School Produces a Heart Beat

Palo Alto girls Alexandra Morte (Whirr, Camera Shy), Baylie Arin, and Sarah Trevena produce a punk sound to support yearning teen narratives that their promoters say are inspired by 1960s groups like the Shangri Las and The Shirelles. Whatever it is, it is one of our favorite discoveries of the week.



George Marinelli's Wild Onions

George Marinelli has released his circus-inspired music video for “I Ain’t Done Yet”. Marinelli directed and produced the video, which is a tongue-in-cheek take on his joie de vivre. “The song is indeed about living life to the fullest right to the end, but in the video I wanted to lighten it up,” Marinelli said. “In the video, I wanted to have a goofy, fantasy bucket list but eventually realize it would be silly to pet a lion or walk a tightrope.” Marinelli recently released his fourth solo album, Wild Onions. The new album--which includes five original songs and five covers--blends his musical influences, including Afro, Latin, and Reggae. During the making of Wild Onions, Marinelli channeled musical influences like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and Chuck Berry. He strived for spontaneity and spark, focusing on music over technology. Marinelli, who for 20 years has been in the Bonnie Raitt band, played every instrument on the album except for two songs, on which drummer Ricky Fataar (The Flames, The Beach Boys, Bonnie Raitt) and bassist James “Hutch” Hutchinson (The Neville Brothers, BK3, Bonnie Raitt) did the honors.

Lloyd Cole - No Longer Too Old to Rock

Bollocks Age Appropriate Music!

Lloyd Cole (and the Commotions) were a staple of '80s Modern Rock. Cole had a special sound, which if it wasn't really smart was sure thought to be so by its creator. Cole is a sort of droll, introverted type, maybe a little surly, which you wouldn't pick up from his music but you might from this Jools Holland interview below. Stay for the end to hear "Perfect Skin", which is still cool after all these years. Cole's prime was decades ago, which weighed heavily on him, apparently, as he survived the awfulness of growing old by turning himself into sort of a Nashville-inspired acoustic soloist, and so he pretty much disappeared from sight. Think Lester Burham (Kevin Spacey) in American Beauty: a guy living comatose for years. Then something happened that shook Cole out of his stupor. The septuagenarian Bob Dylan released Tempest, which seemed about as divorced from age issues as one could imagine, and suddenly Cole felt a strong desire to get the band together and record some rock songs. And then keep doing that. The first since he awakened himself is Standards, released in June 2013. It answers the easy question, i.e., can an old dude rock? The larger question is, can an old dude be relevant? Bob Dylan answered that, but then he is so much more than just a dude. How about Cole?

Street Performer

Bangin' Bad on the Street

Tamra Lucid (Lucid Nation) found this video, uploaded to YouTube.com by Koreaboo. Love the style.







The Cold Stares Interview

"I would love to have a song that meant something to me end up in a movie that also  really meant something to me. The power of song plus the visual of storytelling aligning is a one-two punch to the soul like nothing else. I want to do something that sticks around. We were riding around once with the windows down, downtown, and had the theme to Rocky blaring. Almost every person we passed would start boxing or faux jogging, even a guy on a scaffold. Perfect melody, visual, soul vibrating connection the moment that trumpet sounds. I’d love to have that just once." - Chris Tapp, Cold Stares

This edition we have an interview with Chris Tapp of the Cold Stares, the Nashville-based blues-rockers who have a new album out and a sound that could shatter the walls of Jericho. READ MORE...

World Pixelation

According to Slate contributor Amanda Hess, Jennifer Lawrence scored a huge victory this week when she called out Apple and their iCloud for creating the technology that would allow private photos of her nude self to be leaked publicly online. Writes the astute Ms. Hess - "Through her representative, Lawrence has called the leaked photos a 'flagrant violation of privacy.' The real revelation here is that Lawrence's status as a modern sex symbol no longer requires her to excuse the men who seek to exploit her. That's progress."

Slate's opinion writer even summoned the forceful presence of HBO star Lena Dunham, who said blaming the selfie-taking nude star for being seen naked was in a league with blaming a rape victim for wearing a short skirt.

Other publications, like Discovery, focused on explaining the natural human impulses that would inspire a person to take and distribute nude photographs of themselves in the first place. "Our desire to connect is primal, but our daily lives are often physically disconnected," said Dara Greenwood, an associate professor of psychology at Vassar who studies mass media's impact on our perceptions of ourselves. "We derive a sense of self and identity from being seen, both literally and figuratively, and valued, so there is additional motivation to broadcast the self via photograph," Greenwood said. "In some ways the ubiquity of this photo-taking and sharing option may be over determining the behaviors that follow. In some basic sense, we take selfies because we can."

It seems that it is crossing over that boundary of whether or not one should take nude photographs of one's self, knowing that the technology exists to steal and distribute those shots, that starts the arguments. People want to assign blame and we don't blame the victimized for being victimized, even when their own actions have tended to be self-victimizing. That applies to rape victims wearing short skirts because we expect potential rapists to exhibit appropriate self control, though self control may be something that some mentally ill persons may not possess. We seek to remove the easily provoked from the streets because they are a danger to society. Voyeurism, like Slate's assertion regarding sexting, which is a lot like exhibitionism, is apparently not a mental illness, but rather a healthy expression of personal confidence. One is just supposed to be able to control who one expresses one's personal confidence to. That's just simple, old school thinking.

In ways that are unfortunate in some respects, old school thinking may not be in alignment with a digital age designed specifically to exploit those human characteristics the people over at Discovery are concerned with, notably the inclination to service our basic natures. The whole argument leaves unclear what the roles of logic and reason are in this whole modern equation.

Use this link to go to the previous edition and other archived pages.


Cloak and Dagger Melody Makers

Mr. Frost here is the artist Gigamesh, initially known as Matt Masurka, an electronica composer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is among the headliner's for the first ever Cloak & Dagger Music Festival, which will take place at two venues in Denver, Colorado on September 20th. Why "cloak & dagger", which usually entails mystery and intrigue, possibly in a setting of espionage? Festival producer "The Hundred" put out a press release implying that it has something to do with "the vision of a truly underground festival that doesn't rely on mainstream headliners..." When choosing from models for successful festivals, one wonders if going with the roster of unknowns idea was bold and daring, or if as The Hundred report its just "uniquely inspired". The lineup, other than Gigamesh, will include as Cashmere Cat, Holy Ghost!, Justin Martin, Midland, and Thomas Jack. Learn more at www.coclubs.com.

Who Lafa Now?

Creature Carnival Tour

Creature Carnival tour is set to offer a show unlike anything we have yet seen. They will light it up through October and November, coast to coast. Use this link for the schedule. Along side the talents of Beats Antique, Shpongle and Emancipator, Lafa Taylor will cross the country with this one-of-a-kind spectacle of musical and theatrical awesomeness.

The last few months have solidified Lafa Taylor's status as a go-to collaborator for the experimental bass and electronic music scene. Recent collaborations with big-name EDM stars like Bassnectar and The Polish Ambassador came fast on the heels of his album, Not One Thing, released this past April. But his notable resurgence was no accident; after contributing to a platinum album release and touring nationally in Japan, Lafa spent the past six years incubating, honing his craft and perfecting the incendiary skill and magnetism that we are now seeing come to fruition.

Creature Carnival is sure to be a spectacle for the ages and the ultimate forum for Lafa to showcase his eclectic style and unique talent for blending upbeat hip hop with deep, visceral bass music. Look out for this irreverent MC permeating the night with the rest of the Creatures in ways left only to the imagination. Never before seen improvisation and collaboration, crowd participation, and a night full of outrageous surprises will add up to an experience that's not to be missed or forgotten.

Pat Simmons Rides Cannonball Run

Say a prayer, or something, for Doobie Brothers guitarist Pat Simmons, who will ride coast to coast, with his wife, Cris Sommer Simmons, in the Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run 2014 in September. The duo will journey more than 4,100 miles from Daytona, FL to Takoma, WA on their 1934 and 1929 Harley-Davidsons with stops in GA, TN, MO, KS, CO, UT, N V, ID, and WA. Cris, who is a well-known author and member of the National Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Anamosa Iowa and the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Westerville, Ohio, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame, will be raising money on the ride for Stand Up To Cancer, in honor of their son, Pat Jr., who battled testicular cancer last year and now is cancer free. The Cannonball Run began in 2010 as a ride to showcase the restoration and power of antique motorcycles built before 1915. It has since evolved into a cross-country endurance ride held every other year with over 100 participants, which now includes bikes built before 1936. Just in case you missed that, those folks are riding bikes that are 80 years old and more! Hold on guys! Or if you fall, be flexible about it. Good luck!

Gretchen Peters

Following Up on the Album of Her Career

Gretchen Peters will release the follow-up to Hello Cruel World ("the album of her career" - NPR) in February 2015. The new studio album, coproduced with Doug Lancio (Patty Griffin, John Hiatt) & Barry Walsh, is called Blackbirds. It features guest appearances by Jason Isbell, Jimmy LaFave, Jerry Douglas, Kim Richey, David Mead, Suzy Bogguss, Matraca Berg and more. A UK tour in March has been announced; US and European tours are in the works. Adding to her list of accolades, the twice Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter will be inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame on October 5th of this year, and will celebrate by making a return appearance on the Grand Ole Opry on October 4th. Congratulations Gretchen!








Copyright © September, 2014 Rick Alan Rice (RARWRITER)