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The Latest
by Staff

9/21/09 3.0 (and moe. Halloween Poll) To Launch Tomorrow

First off we wish to apologize to everyone who stopped by the site today, raring and ready to vote for moe.'s Democracy Rules Halloween setlist. Responsibility for the delay falls to us, not moe. The reason for the delay is that after our fair share of tinkering, we are quite excited to announce that the moe. song poll will appear on Day One of the new This site first launched just over 11 years ago, on September 15, 1998 (with three of us on board for the entire run thus far: David Steinberg, Jesse Jarnow and Dean Budnick). We're all quite excited about our new look, which you can check out tomorrow. So stop by the new site, poke around and cast your vote for the song that you'd most like to hear moe. perform on Halloween.

Phil Lesh and Bob Weir Go Further

Phil Lesh and Bob Weir introduced Further, their latest post-Grateful Dead band, at Oakland, CA’s Fox Theatre this past weekend. In addition to Weir and Lesh, the multi-generational band features The Duo’s Joe Russo (drums), Dark Star Orchestra’s John Kadlecik (guitar) and two additional members of Weir’s RatDog: Jeff Chimenti (keyboards) and Jay Lane (drums). The band’s three, two-set shows touched on a range of Grateful Dead material, from forgotten early material like “King Solomon’s Marbles” to 1980s hits such as “Touch of Grey.”

Symbolically, the evening opened with Weir and Lesh online onstage. The two musicians jammed together for a few minutes, before the rest of the band emerged for a fitting “The Other Ones.” The group then segued into “The Wheel” and “Jack Straw.” The band’s second set featured standout versions of “Scarlet Begonias,” “Fire on the Mountain,” “St. Stephen,” “The Eleven” and “Terrapin Station.”

Phil Lesh’s son Grahame opened the second night of the band’s run with his band Vice. Further then emerged for a two-set show that kicked off it’s a run through “Bertha” into “Good Lovin'.” The real meat of the evening took place set two and included “Shakedown Street,” “New Speedway Boogie,” “China Cat Sunflower,” “I Know You Rider” “Playing In The Band,” “Eyes Of The World,” “Unbroken Chain” the complete trilogy of “Help On The Way,” “Slipknot!” and “Franklin's Tower.”

“The jam opening Night Two, Set Two was tremendous and, I thought, had ‘Help on the Way’ written all over it,” longtime Dead scribe Blair Jackson wrote on the Dead’s Road Journal. “You know how, as a fan, you lock into an idea about where a jam is going and you start to intuit how they’re going to get to a song from the jam? Well, in my twisted brain I could see exactly how this was going to fall into the majestic opening riff of “Help on the Way”! But I was completely wrong! What followed was one of those earthquake-inducing explosions into “Shakedown,” and you’re sure as hell not gonna hear me bitchin’ about that! It was phat and phunky, nicely sung by JK, with expansive jams between the second and third verse, and of course after the final verse. That eventually found its way to the ominous rumble of ‘New Speedway Boogie’ (with more traded verses) which I thought was one of the best numbers of the night. I especially dug the jam after it when John switched on his octave divider and uncorked this deep but piercing line—good stuff!”

As expected, Further’s third performance opened with the Sunday staple “Samson & Delilah.” The focused on sing-along favorites like “Casey Jones” “Mississippi Half-Step,” “Sugaree” and “Throwing Stones” first set and early psychedelic favorites such as “Viola Lee Blues,” “King Solomon's Marbles” and “Dark Star” second set. The sextet also debuted a new Lesh song—“Welcome To The Dance” and ran through staples such as “Uncle Johns Band” and a show-closing “Sugar Magnolia.”

U-Melt Cover The Police's Synchronicity

U-Melt kicked off its fall tour this past weekend with a show at South Burlington, VT’s Higher Ground and a two-set performance at Greenfield, MA’s The Wormtown Music Festival. During its first set at the Wormtown Music Festival, U-Melt covered The Police’s Synchronicity in its entirety. The set opened with the new U-Melt original "Momentary Luminaries," before moving into a longtime fan favorite "Through The Prism". From there, the band segued into covering The Police's classic 1980's album starting with the lead track "Synchronicity 1", and continuing through such hits as "Miss Gradenko", "Synchronicity 2", "Every Breath You Take", "King of Pain," "Wrapped Around Your Finger" and "Murder By Numbers.” After bringing the album to a close, U-Melt segued back into "Through The Prism" and another U-Melt original "Green Amber". The band then moved their equipment to a brand new late night performance cabin for a late night set that consisted mostly of originals, except for a cover of The Beatles's "Tomorrow Never Knows.” U-Melt's Fall Tour continues this Thursday at The Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA.

moe. Confirms Second Leg of Fall Tour

moe. has confirmed the second leg of its fall tour. The quintet will move south after its Halloween show in Albany, NY for gigs in Frederick, MD, Raleigh, Boone, NC, Athens, GA, Charleston, SC, Nashville and Memphis, TN. The band will then head west for a series of shows in Texas.

Below is a list of the band’s recently confirmed November concerts:

November 1 Frederick, MD—Weinberg Center for the Arts
November 4 Raleigh, NC— Lincoln Theatre
November 5 Boone, NC—Legends at Appalachian State University
November 6 Athens, GA—Classic Center
November 7 Charleston, SC—The Music Farm
November 8 Nashville, TN—Cannery Ballroom
November 10 Memphis, TN—Minglewood Hall
November 12 Houston, TX—House of Blues Houston
November 13 Dallas, TX—Lakewood Theatre
November 14 Austin, TX—Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheater

The Breakfast: Live As Is

Connecticut’s The Breakfast have completed a new live album. The fittingly titled Live As Is documents the band’s February 28, 2009 performance at Bridgeport, CT’s The Field and features extended versions of “Cut Me Some Slack,” “Tunage (Palmieri),” “Synergy,” “Sundance” and “May Fly Disarray.” The album is now available through the band’s new website. The group will perform at Milford, CT’s Daniel Street this Friday.

The Second Annual Frisco Freakout Psychedelic Dance Party

A number of psych rock and freak folk-influenced groups will share the stage at The Second Annual Frisco Freakout Psychedelic Dance Party. The second-annual event will take place at San Francisco’s Thee Parkside on October 10. Artists slated to appear include: Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound, Heavy Hills, Lumerians, Powell St. John and the Aliens, Liquorball with Steve MacKay, Wooden Shjips, Citay 3 Leafs, Magic Lantern, Sun Araw and Barn Owl. The event will benefit the San Francisco arts organization Creativity Explored, a group which provides studio and gallery opportunities for artists with developmental disabilities. Music is scheduled to kick off at 2 PM and run until 2 AM.

Umphrey’s McGee Confirm New Year’s Eve Shows, Freeform Gigs

Umphrey’s McGee will celebrate New Year’s Eve in its hometown of Chicago for the tenth year in a row. The run will include an intimate gig at The Vic Theatre on December 29 and shows at the grand Aragon Ballroom on December 30 and 31. Both venues hold historical significance to the Umphrey’s McGee faithful: the band played the Vic on New Year’s Eve from 2001-2003 and the Aragon from 2005-2007.

Both this year’s support acts and this year’s late night series at the nearby Kinetic Playground will be confirmed in the coming weeks. VIP packages are available through CID Entertainment.

In other news, Umphrey’s McGee will kick off a series of interactive, all-improvisation shows in line with its “Jimmy Stewart” jams. A note from the band explains:

An S2 event is an experiment in crowd-sourced improvisation. One hundred percent of the music performed at a S2 event will be improvised, and you are the ones who will serve as directors. Using several communication mediums -- which could range from text messaging to prewritten cue cards to chalk boards -- you will kick out ideas, descriptive words, phrases, pop culture references . . . pretty much whatever comes to mind. These will be presented to the band who will compose jams on the fly based around those ideas, and ideas will be added to, changed, and deleted as the event progresses. For instance, a fan might toss out the phrase “frightened rabbit,” causing the band to play a frantic, nimble jam and after a period of time, the word “rabbit” might get changed to “brontosaurus” which would take the jam in a heavy, slower direction (though the word “frightened” is still in play). Then perhaps the word “skydiving” morphs the “frightened brontosaurus” jam into a soaring, powerful piece of music that evokes the feeling of being airborne . . . until the phrase “without a parachute” gets tacked on which changes the jam into something else entirely. And so on. No one will have any idea where the music is headed, well, and that’s all part of the fun. The event will also include a Q&A session to provide an opportunity to ask about what you’re witnessing (or ask anything else for that matter). Fans will become a part of the music like never before.

To be clear, each S2 show is a TOTALLY separate event than the scheduled concert date and will be sold as a separate ticket -- getting a ticket to S2 does not get you into the show later that night (and vice versa). The S2 experiment is just that, an experiment. We view this as an opportunity to explore methods of band and fan interaction and collectively discover what works best. The details of each event (cost, size, length, method of interplay) will vary depending on venue size, our costs, and the goal for each experience. But space will be extremely limited as intimacy is paramount. Some of those details will be made public before each show while others will remain a mystery until the show unfolds. We want you to help us determine how the events can best evolve and grow to their potential.

As part of your ticket (which will actually be a custom laminate that will be different for each S2 event), every attendee will receive an autographed CD of the Stew Art Series they attend minutes after the event has concluded. The Q&A will also be included on the disc as we will be recording your questions for posterity (we are not sure if that’s for your posterity or for ours). You will get to see some classic venues as you have never seen them, empty and in the day time. And on top of that you will get treated to an entirely improvised light show by lighting designer Jefferson Waful. We will make sure you stay hydrated and even have some munchies to replace the calories you'll burn while pushing the band to explore new ground.

The band will announce its first S2 event in the coming weeks. Umphrey’s McGee’s next gig will take place at Bloomington, IN’s IU Auditorium on October 1.

"Rhyme & Reason" with Robert Randolph

Former New Groove of the Month and 30 Rock guest star Robert Randolph opened for Dave Matthews Band at Camden, NJ’s Susquehanna Bank Center this past Saturday and Sunday with his Family Band. As he has on occasion, Randolph later took the stage with the evening headliners, playing pedal steel on a version of “Rhyme & Reason” Sunday night. Randolph recently sat in with the group at San Francisco’s Outside Lands festival as well. Both Randolph and Matthews will perform in Scranton, PA this Wednesday.

Song Debuts and Guests Mark Gov’t Mule's By a Thread Tour

Gov’t Mule’s By a Thread Tour moved through the West Coast this past weekend. The blues-rock band Carney opened and also shared the stage with Gov’t Mule Saturday night at Bakersfield, CA’s The Fox Theatre: both guitarist Zane Carney and vocalist Reeve Carney took the stage with The Mule for a show-closing cover of Radiohead’s “Lucky.”

In addition, Gov’t Mule introduced a number of songs off By A Thread this past weekend: “Monday Mourning Meltdown,” “Forevermore,” “Broke Down On The Brazos” and “Any Open Window.” The group also paid tribute to Jimi Hendrix on the anniversary of his passing Friday night at San Diego, CA’s House Of Blues with a jammed out, tease-heavy version of “Machine Gun.”

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