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Tucson Musicians Show for Mike Tatum
Reprinted from April 1, 2008 Artist News page
TUCSON FRIENDS OF MIKE: Popular Tucson, Arizona musician Mike Tatum has been suffering from health problems of late. On April 13 some of Tucson's top attractions will gather at the Sakura for a benefit show to help Mike defray medical expenses. Names and band association, standing from left to right: Bin An /Sakura owner, Jeff Shallen /Highrise, John Ankiewicz /Highrise, Kimberley Kelly /KJLL AM 1330, Kevin Hiederman & Jim Holt /Joe Nelly & Friends, Jamie /Neon Profit, Joe "Nelly" DeLauro/The Smokin' Section, Alex Flores, Glen Valardi, Mike Blommer, & Carla Brownlee /The Bad News Blues Band, Gary Roberts/The Smokin' Section Seated left to right: Michael Issac/Mike Tatum Band, Vicki Nelson/VN&Friends, David Dean & Plato/ Neon Profit, Chris Davis/The Rowdies, Randy Prentice/The Smokin' Section.
After solo efforts and some experimentation with tape loops and odd time signatures, former Uncle Tupelo founder Jay Farrar has reformed his popular group Son Volt and returned to some electric guitar basics.
NPR is offering an MP3 download of a live performance of Son Volt, which is worth getting. Go to http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4961968
These old Tufts University frat boys are Boston-based, but popular in the Bay Area where people appreciate their experimentations. They change the instrumentation on their songs from set to set, use odd tunings including standard six string guitars tuned down to approximate a bass, and the drummer plays even the cymbals with his hands. GUSTER is nutty as a fruitcake, often likened material-wise to Jack Black's Tenacious "D" and they are bright fun. They are politically engaged this election season, driving around this spring on their Campus Consciousness tour in bio-diesel fueled caravans. They are environmental advocates.
Guster bandmember Adam Gardner has teamed with Dave Scneider of the Zambonis to form a decidedly Hebrew rock band called The LeeVees. They have a CD out titled Hanukkah Rocks.
Christian blues rocker sarah kelly was recently nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rock Or Rap Gospel Album category for her LP Where the Past Meets Today. She was also nominated for a Rocky in the recent Rock City News Awards in L.A. She is sort of undeniable as a pro songwriter, and she is a strong singer, something of a belter. (Christianity Today says she has a "Joplin-meets-Alanis Morissette growl," which strike me as revealing references. Aren't those guys going to get in trouble for listening to those girls?)
Kelly arrived on the Christian music scene with a Grammy nomination for
her first LP Take Me Away, so she has gone right to the top of a
niche market. Make no mistake, though, she's a rocker. As is often the case,
her blend of faith and gravel has been achieved through some pretty
grizzly experience, beyond even those typical of a traveling musician.
Christianity Today - "... behind
her smile and
You can read an interview with Sarah by going to http://www.christianitytoday.com/music/artists/sarahkelly.html.
Sarah Kelly MP3s can be heard at her myspace site at http://myspace.com/sarahkelly
For Vandaveer, who seems stylistically in debt to actor Jonathan Pryce's stylized persona of Mr. Dark in the 1983 movie adaptation of Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, Mark puts aside his alt-rock in favor of a more acoustic-oriented folk sound. Vandaveer has some things in common with '70s-era minimalist Leon Redbone. Where Redbone, however, was all camp with character renditions of early 20th Century Americana, Vandaveer spins grim carnival tales of murdered women and random, suicidal violence, mixed with early Dylan sounding acoustic ruminations.
Vandaveer MP3s can be heard from his MySpace site at www.myspace.com/vandaveer
Vandaveer's debut album Grace & Speed was released in March (2007) on Washington, DC’s new imprint, Gypsy Eyes Records.
The elusive Internet star doesn't respond to my emails and there's a part of me that says good for her. Better that she stay mysterious. For those of you who don't know, juliejerkoff writes mean but catchy pop tunes, about girls who are too easy and don't clean their pores, and she performs these catchy ditties against a drum machine rhythm track and some minimalist synth beds. She is sort of a guilty pleasure. I had posted some deep insights into what juliejerkoff must mean in a media mad society, and what her music says about 21st century international citizens, but somehow it all got deleted when I fixed the broken link to her site, and I'm not as clever this time around. Go to her site and hear her tunes. She will titillate, fascinate, possibly infuriate, but I like her. She's smart and clever and vicious in a high school "Tina Fey" sort of way. She says she's only seventeen, which makes her a schoolgirl, but on the strength of her bile she may be an acid poll dancer. Or is the joke on us for even noticing? Judge for yourself, I've fixed the link, and I would encourage you to check out juliejerkoff ha!
RAR NOTE: julie jerkoff ha! - and I want a name just like that - doesn't make MP3s available from her myspace site but you can listen there. I would suggest "I Don't Give A" as the definitive track.
jaggedy ann is an all girl rock band from Las Vegas who scored an L.A. Rock City News nomination in the girl band category. They are a hard rock band of the kind you hear on the west coast - loud, full, tight, pro. They sound a little like Heart to me.
All four of the Anns come from hard rock backgrounds, and their debut LP was produced by AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd and recorded in New Zealand. They have toured the Asia Pacific rather extensively, playing throughout New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines.
From their website - "The band consist of Gayla Dawn, with her sensual hard rockin' voice, Leona Sharpe on guitar, with her ripping leads and riffs, Miss Claudia on bass guitar with her characteristic yet unique in the pocket style, and Holly on the drums with her solid timing and versatile charisma."
I bet that "versatile charisma" is a sight to see.
Jaggedy Ann MP3s can be heard from their myspace site.
Jaggedy Ann released Boiling Point in 2006, produced by AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd. The tracks sound alternatively like Heart and a Scooby-Doo soundtrack, neither a bad place to be.
SWIG received a nomination in the 2006 Rock City News Awards in L.A. in the Outstanding New Band category, and for good reason. These guys, really just vocalist Dave Bierman and Glenn Scanlan, who plays guitar, bass and drums, write and perform some catchy rock that has growl, bite and a current punk rock sound. They sound a little like the Clash, I think, as well. I like these guys a lot, don't know much about them. Go to their myspace and listen to their MP3s, which are really cool.
SWIG has MP3s available for download from its myspace site.
Recently RAR was in Vancouver, British Columbia attending an offsite meeting among consultants for the corporation we all work for. There I saw a guy, whom I later came to know as Mark Heidinger, who sort of stood out among the crowd. With frowsy black hair that curled forward around his face and a heavy, full beard that climbed high on his cheeks to frame piercing blue eyes, my immediate impression was that he had the romantic look of a Gypsy and only a musician would look so. Those instincts turned out to be right.
Mark Heidinger is a Lexington, Kentucky native, a transplant to Washington D.C., whose rock ambitions have been on display, and well received, for a while now - certainly since 2003, when he and a quartet of Lexington friends working as The Apparitions released an album, Oxygen Think Tank, that featured Mark's vocals and showcased his songwriting talents. One local critic described The Apparitions as "The Pixies on ecstacy," and the band's tracks started showing up on that year's list of best indie acts.
No sooner did The Apparitions establish a Lexington fan base than Heidinger and his wife moved to Washington D.C. so she could enter a graduate program at Georgetown. The Apparitions became a long-distance romance, with Heidinger bouncing back and forth to work the band's Kentucky fan base and also cultivate new fans on the east coast.
In 2005 The Apparitions released another well-received LP produced by Duane Lundy and Tony Lash (Elliott
Heidinger wasn't satisfied with the momentum growing around The Apparitions and joined the D.C. band These United States as a bassist, supporting songwriter and band founder Jesse Elliott, in whom Heidinger found a creative partner. Heidinger and Elliott share an odd take on arranging and composition, both partial to quirky, spare melodic romps that are strangely unconnected to any particular music genre. There are times when some of the work of Jack White comes to mind as being of similar cloth, but like White neither Heidinger or Elliott stay dead centered on any particular pop idiom. They are the odd tandem partners exploring different parallel universes. In fact, they have institutionalized the exploration through the establishment, with another creative ally, Chris Walker, of their Federal Reserve songwriter's collaborative. D.C. bands associated with the project include Walker's band Kitty Hawk, as well as Revival, Rose, and Heidinger's solo project Vandaveer (see the Vandaveer profile on the Links at Large).
Mark Heidinger continues to work with all of these musical units, though his focus currently is his Vandaveer project. See the performance calendar for a listing of his April performance dates.
April 1, 2007 Edition
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