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jackson hole music blog

Ani DiFranco still percussive, socially conscious

Posted on Mar 24, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)
AniDiFranco_By_ShervinLainezThough lifestyle has drastically changed for Grammy-winning folk singer Ani DiFranco, becoming a parent has not changed her outlook as a politically charged, socially conscious lyricist. Now forty-five, DiFranco won a Grammy for 2003′s Evolve and published a book of poems and paintings, Verses, in 2007. Her lyrics tend to tackle topics like war, corporate greed, sexual assault and gun control, and she’s back that further by founding the Righteous Babe Foundation, which has supported various causes, including aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina, abortion rights, and gay equality. DiFranco received the Woman of Courage Award at the National Organization of Women Conference in 2006.

Opening the show is Brooklyn trio Pearl and the Beard, which passionately intertwine three distinct voices amidst a powerfully delicate orchestra of cello, guitars, keyboard, bells, and percussion, offering songs that speak to joy and sorrow, love and loss. Ani DiFranco with Pearl and the Beard, 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Center Theatre. $47-$52. JHCenterForTheArts.org. 

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TV on the Radio: All in the name

Posted on Mar 24, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

tv_radio

The formula of art + rock + soul = TV on the Radio—a beacon of light in a tidal wave of bands that don’t fit neatly into any one box. The Brooklyn quartet’s fifth studio album in 2011, Nine Types of Light, hit this listener in all of the best ways, earning a rotation within an ongoing playlist of mine dubbed “Best Albums of the Decade.” The predominantly mid-tempo music is patient, yet wittingly sharp and positive, mixing electronics, indie guitar rock, free jazz, funk, soul and a cappella doo-wop vocals—elements that don’t always jive together with such conciseness. It must also be understood that early TV on the Radio breathes beyond the latter, perhaps using that freedom of experimentation and thus reaching counterpoints: a driving punk rock aesthetic followed by a Brian Wilson-esque softness, while dabbling in a Funkadelic foundation.

Opening the show is Nostalghia. “Post-apocalyptic gypsy punk” is the tag that keeps surfacing while jamming Nostalghia’s music, the moniker for California-Iranian native Ciscandra Nostalghia. Ponder primal pop and avant-garde smoldering in an environment in which demons are exorcised and intensity is birthed via a cinema of sound. TV on the Radio with Nostalghia, 9 p.m. Friday at the Pink Garter Theatre. Sold out. PinkGarterTheatre.com. 

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KHOL reaches fundraising goal, celebrates with Foxygen

Posted on Mar 24, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

FoxygenJackson Hole Community Radio (KHOL 89.1 FM) has not only blossomed into an integral part our local music scene, but also as a community resource, a representation of local culture, and a somewhat unpredictable dial ranging from advice on how to pair your wine with your meal, to two hours of live Phish. To celebrate KHOL’s recent fundraising membership drive—in which they raised more than $35,000 and had more than 350 donors—the station will present indie rockers Foxygen, which just announced their farewell tour. There’s a frenetic, off-kilter energy about Foxygen that makes them both weird and engaging. I immediately think of an expanded, contemporary version of Velvet Underground or Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, complete with backup singers, horns and a confidence and that only swell in Los Angeles. What began as the classic rock-leaning experimental pop project of multi-instrumentalists Sam France and Jonathan Rado has also developed into an act with a reputation for antagonistic and sometimes violent stage antics.

“KHOL is making strides in its service in terms of streaming and programming due to the support from our listeners,” said Brielle Schaeffer, Community Affairs Director at KHOL. Donors that received a complementary Foxygen ticket with their donation will be placed on a guest list at the door. Tickets are still available to the general public. KHOL presents Foxygen, 9 p.m. Sunday at the Pink Garter Theatre. $15. PinkGarterTheatre.com. 

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Mike Dowling releases his 10th Album with Dornan’s show

Posted on Mar 24, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

MikeDowlingMike Dowling’s guitar playing is a delicacy. His brand of vintage blues, ragtime and bottleneck is not the raw slide attack of 1930’s-era Elmore James or Robert Johnson, but a rather refined, virtuosic approach that comes off the six string in a subtly smooth fashion. It’s no surprise, then, that his recordings are essentially as natural as the early style recordings—as in, minimal reverb, virtually no overdubbing, and occasional accompaniment. For his new LP, Tracks, it’s all about his resonator guitars, which are featured in ten of the eleven tracks ranging from instrumental tunes to his own vocal accompaniment. It’s a solo acoustic set with self-penned tunes matched to a variety of songs by Mississippi Fred McDowell, Irving Berlin and Bobby Charles. Mike Dowling Album Release Concert, 8 p.m. Friday at Dornan’s. $20 at Valley Bookstore, The Liquor Store and Dornan’s (733-2415). 

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Mandy Rowden’s Bad Habits

Posted on Mar 24, 2015

MandyRowdenSinger-songwriter Mandy Rowden was one of the hardest working musicians that I met during my time in Austin, Texas. The songstress and multi-instrumentalist, who also founded and runs the successful instructional school Girl Guitar Austin, just released These Bad Habits, a solo album featuring Austin staples Lloyd Maines, Bard Rice and Redd Volkaert. Rowden wrote all eleven tracks on the album including the song “Haunt You,” co-written with Billy Abel.

Growing up, Rowden’s musical diet had been limited to gospel and classical, the only sounds allowed in her East Texas family’s fundamentalist Baptist household, where she was home-schooled through eighth grade.Rowden picked up a guitar in high school, and was introduced to Americana while studying English and Film at Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State). That led her to, as she puts it, “quit the classical scene,” and find her own voice. And what a voice it is, both lyrically and literally. Rowden possesses gorgeously nuanced vocals, which she wraps easily around verses baring emotions at once intensely personal and fully relatable.

“Like most chick songwriters, I’ve been guilty of writing heavily about my thoughts and feelings on relationships,” she admits. “And my response is, ‘Screw it, it’s what I’m feeling, so it’s what I’ll write!’ Love and love lost are some seriously universal topics, so I don’t see them going out of style any time soon.” Mandy Rowden, 9 p.m. Monday at Town Square Tavern. Free. 733-3886.

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The Rendezvous Fest takeover: Robert Earl Keen, Mix Master Mike, Franti, Lukas Nelson, Screen Door Porch…

Posted on Mar 17, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

Rendezvous Fest Schedule
**All Shows are free
Thursday, March 19 (Tram Stage, 3 p.m.) – Screen Door Porch
Friday, March 20 (Jackson Town Square Stage, 5 p.m.) – Robert Earl Keen, Jason Spooner Band, Wyatt Lowe & the Mayhem Kings
Saturday, March 21 (Tram Stage, 3 p.m.)  – Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons
Saturday, March 21 (Rendezvous at the Mountain at Teton Village Parking Lot, 5:30 p.m.) – Mix Master Mike, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Mandatory Air
Sunday, March 22 (Tram Stage, 2 p.m.) – Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Chanman Roots Band

Mix Master Mike

Mix Master Mike

Rendezvous Fest brings warm spring weather

When the man behind the crime-spree song “The Road Goes on Forever (and the Party Never Ends)” tells you that he’s “had some killer times in Jackson” and “had the worst hangover of [his] life there thanks to [his] good friend Kip Attaway and that madman Don Wackerman,” there’s reason to believe that our small community holds some late night memories for him. Building on legendary, Texas singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen is a hard-edged story man, capable of engulfing you in the intricacies of a moment, a social situation, a feeling, and do it within the context of a five minute tune.

Robert Earl Keen's band

Robert Earl Keen’s band

For much of his eighteen-album career, beginning with No Kinda Dancer [1984/Sugar Hill], Keen has been able to balance this sensitive story telling (“Corpus Christi Bay”) with rowdy barroom sing-a-longs (“That Buckin’ Song”)—all the while contributing to the what would emerge as the genre of alt-country sometime around 1998. His introduction into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame puts him alongside

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Couch by Couchwest premieres the latest Screen Door Porch video “Chasin’ Homesteader Blues”

Posted on Mar 17, 2015


SXSW is so 2008 :-/ Yesterday, Couch By Couchwest premiered a new SDP video (2 of 3 in the series) for “Chasin’ Homesteader Blues,” an Aaron/Seadar co-write from Modern Settler. This was a rare opportunity for the band to film at the National Elk Refuge, on the PORCH of the historic Miller House — one of the first homesteading sites built in 1885. The Miller Ranch represents the coming together of settlement, ranching and conservation in Jackson Hole. Thanks to Christie Quinn for the brilliant lens work and Lori Iverson at the Refuge for advising. Plenty of elk showed up for the session and a bald eagle loomed overhead in a tree during the entire shoot!

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Under the Tram Series + Rendezvous Fest

Posted on Mar 3, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

Music Under the Tram & Rendezvous Fest Lineup 2015
**All shows are free and begin at 3 p.m. on the Tram Stage at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort unless noted
Saturday, March 7 – One Ton Pig
Saturday, March 14 – Major Zephyr
Thursday, March 19 – Screen Door Porch
Friday, March 20 (Town of Jackson stage) – Robert Earl Keen, Jason Spooner, Wyatt Lowe
Saturday, March 21 (before Rendezvous Fest Main Event) – Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons
Saturday, March 21 (Rendezvous Fest Stage) – Michael Franti & Spearhead, Mix Master Mike
Sunday, March 22 – 2 p.m. Chanman Roots Band, 4 p.m. Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
Saturday, March 28 – Lazy Eyes
Saturday, April 4 – Moonalice
Sunday, April 5 (Closing Day) – Mandatory Air

Mix Master Mike

Mix Master Mike

Even if powder days haven’t been stacked within our weekly schedule as of late, come early March, there’s always reprieve with Music Under the Tram (March 7-April 5) and the accompanying Rendezvous Fest (March 19-22) at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Reasons to trek out to the Village become celebratory and social, complimented with an eclectic mix of local, regional and national talent to close your weekends as shadows capsulate the Tetons. Keep in mind that there will be an entry gate into the outdoor venue where outside alcohol, food and dogs will not be allowed. Enjoy March Radness!

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