Archive for April, 2008

in performance: robert plant and alison krauss

It seemed only fitting that Robert Plant and Alison Krauss would enter the stage for last night’s inaugural performance of a three-month, cross-continental tour from different wings.

Krauss, in a pinkish floor-length dress, looked like she was dressed for a State dinner. Plant, in a baggy jacket, baggier shirt, blue vest and jeans was every inch the haggard hippie. Of course, looks didn’t begin to reflect the disparate musical worlds the two hailed from. But aside from a few opening night sound glitches, Plant and Krauss found a lot of common musical ground within various chapters of folk, blues, country and, of course, early rock ‘n’ roll. A few of them, needless to say, Plant wrote himself.

Opening with Rich Woman, the leadoff track to the duo’s recent multi-platinum Raising Sand album, the show’s initial mood was hushed. For Plant fans more accustomed to his earthshaking recordings with Led Zeppelin than this new country/folk conquest, such inwardness likely seemed frightening – maybe even disappointing. Instead of the devilish bravado of vintage Zeppelin, Plant muted his vocals to match the more delicate fiber of Krauss’ singing.

While the show didn’t lean toward high harmony songs, there was a surprising level of stylistic simpatico – especially in the whispery Killing the Blues and the far more jagged reading of Townes Van Zandt’s Nothin’, where the mighty Plant roar came briefly back into view.

But trying to pin a label on this kind of Americana music proved difficult. With a T Bone Burnett-led band that sported such bluegrass and alt-country giants as Buddy Miller and Stuart Duncan, the performance used traditional music only as a blueprint. Instead, the band supplied space filled with crafty bits of guitar twang from Burnett, regal pedal steel colors by Miller and brittle banjo runs and darkly expressive fiddle lines by Duncan. Krauss regularly added to the racket with considerably more aggressive (and frequent) fiddle breaks than those that have marked her own Union Station concerts.

As such, when Krauss was front and center on Sam Phillips’ Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us, her crystalline voice was met by a rustic, slightly darkened musical backdrop that sounded less like her own bluegrass pedigree and more like Tom Waits in a Kurt Weill mood.

Plant, to no one’s surprise, dipped into the Zeppelin library (and briefly into his solo catalogue. for a revised 29 Palms). In most cases, songs like Black Dog, Black Country Woman and When the Levee Breaks became slow, almost meditative exercises with occasional rockish outbursts. But there was one grand exception.

For The Battle of Evermore, Plant already had a tune that required no alternations for its folky fit. Miller and Duncan supplied the stringed acoustics, Krauss handled harmonies the late Fairport Convention singer Sandy Denny provided the original 1971 version and Plant sang with the sort of confident mysticism that helped establish his stardom decades ago.

In a performance so bent on avoiding obvious nostalgia, Evermore let the ghost of the mighty Zeppelin out of its cage to shake itself down for a few intoxicating moments.

Raising Sand‘s closing lullaby, Your Long Journey, aptly closed the show with Miller on autoharp. The Zeppelin overtones were gone, the electric twang had settled and the journey, with all its rich string and percussive overtones, came to quiet, unassuming conclusion.

(above photo by Herald-Leader staff photographer Mark Cornelison) 

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss perform again tonight at the Louisville Palace. The 8 p.m. performance is sold out. Plant and Krauss will also perform at Rupp Arena on July 18.

 

in performance: black rebel motorcycle club

Fans into the thick, propulsive guitar music of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club lucked out in a major way yesterday. The Los Angeles trio played two shows on Lexington soil that revealed dramatically varied musical profiles.

An afternoon in-store set at CD Central consisted only of singers Peter Hayes and Robert Levon Been strumming guitars – or, as Hayes almost apologetically termed the set-up, “Two guitars, two vocals. That’s about it.”

But that was enough. With half of its 45 minute set devoted to 2005’s acoustic roots-oriented Howl album, Hayes and Been shifted between works that were already blues and folk oriented by design (the set opening Shuffle Your Feet) and semi-unplugged transformations of heavier electric fare (Love Burns, the only pre-Howl tune in the set) and hook-heavy rockers (666 Conducer). The latter tunes often broke from the Americana mold to echo the modest traces of psychedelia found in late ‘60s British folk.

The Dame show added the metronomic drumming of Nick Jago and a plugged in trio sound that amped Been’s bass way, way up (reaching a massive, fuzzy zenith on Need Some Air and an encore version of Spread Your Love). This is where the comparison to the murky Scottish rockers of The Jesus and Mary Chain that has long dogged BMRC became unavoidable.

Sometimes the sound was more streamlined, as in Hayes’ funkier lead on Took Out a Loan. Other tunes reeled in the thud and hooks for a comparatively ambient feel, as in the show-closing All You Do Is Talk. But it was all a fascinating contrast to the equally engaging acoustic fare offered by the Club in the afternoon. Once again, membership has its priviledges.

(above photo of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Peter Hayes taken at CD Central by Herald-Leader staff photographer Mark Cornelison)

Cut above the rest

Eastern Eye January 20, 2012 | Choudhury, Imran Bolton hairdresser styles football’s top stars AN AWARD-WINNING barber who has styled the locks of top football stars will be seeing a lot more of them as he opens a new salon inside a football stadium. here how to shave

Jignesh Madhavji has styled hair for the likes of Manchester United’s Mame Biram Diouf, Doncaster Rovers’ El Hadji Diouf and Bolton Wanderers’ duo Marcos Alonso and David Wheater.

Madhavji, who has been cutting hair for over seven years, will be opening up Jiggi Hair Salon in the De Vere Whites Hotel inside the Reebok Stadium on February 9.

The 26-year-old barber from Bolton made a name for himself when he won the National Hairdressers’ Federation competition in 2010 after finishing runner- up in the previous three years.

He told Eastern Eye: “I’ve built a good reputation and image over the years. By winning the competition, I feel like I’ve built that foundation. It’s put me on a different level altogether.” After working at top salons in Bolton and Bury, Madhavji wanted to go solo when he saw a free space in the De Vere White Hotel, which is integrated into the Reebok Stadium.

“I thought this was a great opportunity and I may not get a chance like this again. I have a small football clientele at the moment but it will be on a totally different level when I’m inside the stadium,” he explained.

“It’s time that I stepped up my game, so I’m planning on getting key locations like this one. I want to have a few salons and start getting my name out, hopefully by creating a national company.” Madhavji, who specialises in commercial catwalk hairstyles, showcased his talents in 2008 on Celebrity Scissorhands on BBC3, teaching the stars how to shave in a sunset scene pattern with clippers.

He also worked as a stylist on BBC talent show Move Like Michael Jackson, where he worked with the likes of Jermaine Jackson, Jamelia and Chipmunk.

He said: “Being on TV shows and winning hairdressing titles does make you different. It gives you that confidence you need.” Since the age of 12, Madhavji said he had wanted to be a hairdresser. “I’ve just had this fascination with hair,” he said.

“When I used to go for a haircut I used to watch the barber cut people’s hair with a lot of interest. When I started my course, my interest increased.” He studied IT in the University of Bolton, but dropped out after one year. in our site how to shave

“To be honest, It wasn’t fulfilling. I then thought that I should enrol on a hairdressing course,” Madhavji said.

“My parents were like: ‘What are you playing at?’ They were worried if I would make any money out of it, and if it was something I would enjoy.” Madhavji did a hairdressing apprenticeship course at Bolton Community College, and came joint second in the National Apprentice finals.

“When my parents saw the trophies, competitions and programmes that I was on, they eventually said: ‘I think he chose the right thing for himself’.” Choudhury, Imran

under the wheels

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club sure is doing a bit of globetrotting for a band that was supposed to be cooling its wheels in 2008.

On its current tour, the one the West Coast trio didn’t initially envision for itself this year, BRMC will journey to Mexico, Ireland, deep into Europe and eventually to Russia. Already logged is a trip to Argentina, where the band played to a festival crowd of 60,000 one night and to a packed club of 400 the next.

“The club show will be a memory forever,” said BRMC bassist, co-vocalist and co-founder Robert Levon Been. “The festival I’ll remember, too, but more in a terrified sort of manner. It’s hard to connect with that many people. You just try to have faith that they’re out there to catch you if you fall.”

The real fright, though, hit when the band’s return flight from Buenos Aires, which was already delayed when its pilot was deemed to drunk to fly, landed in Dallas – to connect with American Airlines. Yes, BRMC arrived home smack in the middle of the week that American grounded over 3,000 flights.

“It was murder,” Been said. “It was anarchy. The first thing we see when we get to Dallas is an airport full of scowling people ready to freak out. It’s already become of those war stories we’ll be telling.”

One could say the travel chaos was part of an already bumpy year for BRMC, which had parted ways with its record label, RCA, months earlier. But Been is actually quite pleased with where things stand for the band today. No label means no need to promote a new recording in concert. And since its four albums have distinct personalities that shift the contours of BRMC’s guitar saturated sound, there is no longer a reason to play favorites with its music.

“We only signed with RCA for two albums (2005’s predominantly acoustic Howl and 2007’s hook-happy Baby 81) and were able to make both completely free of any hands reaching in from the business side,” Been said. “RCA was a major (label). We knew that. And as a major, their thinking is, ‘The next album has got to be the multi-million dollar platinum record with a platinum single on it.’ That’s just the way they’ve got to look at things in their world. They have to make an extremely large amount of money just to survive. We don’t.

“Then again, catch me on another day and I’ll be kicking and screaming about corporate labels. There are two sides to every rock star. Today, the humble, artistic side is winning out. I’ll let him speak for now.”

While the two RCA albums may be past history for the band, both were keys to expanding the blend of garage rock and psychedelia BRMC concocted on its first two albums. The acoustic roots drive of Howl, cut when drummer Nick Jago had bolted from the band (he has since rejoined), was viewed as a major leap from BRMC’s usual sonic roar.

“I always felt we were a simple rock ‘n’ roll band,” Been said. “We had what we were known for. But there were also places we went with this music that weren’t what anyone was expecting, including us.

“We wrote these acoustic country, blues, gospel and Americana songs that wouldn’t fit onto the other records we made. So we said, ‘We’re going to go in this direction and make a full record of those songs.’ Of course, we had no experience in actually doing something like that, so every worry and paranoia came into play. But that record kept us grounded at a time when we weren’t sure what was going to happen to the band.”

Baby 81, on the other hand, was seen a return to electric form. But instead of merely readdressing the guitar crunch of its early albums, BRMC stressed melodic hooks as much as it did volume

“That’s one of those things I really didn’t understand until a couple of years back,” Been said. “In my own writing, I couldn’t see the difference between a full-on rock song and a more melodic, loose pop tune.

“A lot of the time, when you turn things up as loud as you can and you’re screaming from a place of angst and aggression or pulling from every full charge that you have in you, the words become sharper and more jagged. But melody, harmonies and vibrations can have so much power and sway over the words that come out in the songs. Finding a balance is the key.”

Been has some strong family history to draw on for that balance. His father is Michael Been, singer, vocalist and bassist for the ‘80s/’90s rock unit The Call. Curiously, the elder Been has been a regular part of BRMC’s road crew for several years not as a songwriting muse, but as the band’s sound tech.

“We ended up losing our sound man on an early tour, so he offered to help out for a few shows,” said the younger Been. “And that turned out to be best we ever sounded. He actually took some convincing that he could do this. Now he has learned his way to become one of the best sound men in the world. People like Noel Gallagher (of Oasis) and The Jesus and Mary Chain have come up to him at the soundboard, saying how amazing our music sounds.

“Sure, it’s funny to have your father out on tour with you, but I got over that in the first couple of months. Actually, it’s kind of cool. He keeps an eye on us.”

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Duke Spirit and Tight Leather perform a free in-store concert at CD Central, 377 S. Limestone at 1 p.m. today. Call (859) 233-3472.

BRMC and The Duke Spirit also perform full-length sets tonight at The Dame, 156 West Main St. Tickets are $20. Call (859) 226-9005.

danny federici, 1950-2008

While on a brief break visiting my sister in Miami today came sad news from E Street.

Founding E Street Band keyboardist Danny Federici who had played with Bruce Springsteen since the late ‘60s, had died after a three year battle with melanoma.

We were to have seen Springsteen and the E Streeters perform here tonight (without Federici, obviously, who bowed out of the tour last fall to undergo treatments). That show and a Saturday concert in Orlando have been understandably postponed.

Federici was an important but unassuming presence in Springsteen’s music. Initial obituaries site his organ solo in the 1980 hit Hungry Heart as a popular example of the color he brought to The Boss’ recordings. But to better appreciate the depth and degree of Federici’s place in the band, flip back to 1973’s The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, the last album Springsteen made when he wasn’t a star.

Whether it was the accordion serenade that enveloped 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) or the keyboard dramatics designed with fellow keyboardist David Sancious on Incident on 57th StreetKitty’s Back and Rosalita (all tunes Springsteen has been reviving on the road this year), Federici was very much a co-architect of a then-formative rock ‘n’ roll institution.

Fast forward to the deliciously distorted organ blast that pumped up Livin’ in the Future on Springsteen’s 2007 Magic album and you heard a still-vibrant edge to Federici’s musicianship, and indeed in the playing of all the E Streeters.

Mostly, though any lasting Springsteen fan feels today that they have lost a friend. You don’t listen to someone’s playing for 35 years and not feel at least some sense of bonding and, accordingly, loss.

So, my recommendation is to grab get a cooy of The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle and, as Springsteen once told home listeners of a radio concert he gave in the ‘70s, “turn the sucker up as loud as she’ll go.” That will lead the E Street vibe and a touch of the Federici spirit, right to your door.

the odd couple

This weekend marks the beginning, right here in the Bluegrass, of a cross-continental tour by two of the year’s most unlikely musical allies: blues/rock bred Led Zeppelin howler Robert Plant and bluegrass/pop princess Alison Krauss.

One possesses the voice that, when first paired with the fuzzy, psychedelic fury of Jimmy Page’s guitar work nearly four decades ago, made rock ‘n’ roll a truly frightening commodity again. God bless ‘em for it, too.

The other has a singing style so charmingly delicate that one wonders if anything more brutish than the acoustic accompaniment of her long running Union Station band would smother it completely.

Yet here they are together with a Top 10, platinum-selling album called Raising Sand, a recent Pop Collaboration Grammy win (for their version of the Everly Brothers’ Gone Gone Gone) , a band that includes Americana guitar greats T Bone Burnett and Buddy Miller and a tour that opens Saturday with a two night engagement at the Louisville Palace.

The down side, of course, is that tickets for both shows sold out within minutes of going on sale in early February. The good news, though, is that once the tour winds through Europe and spends the early summer back in the States, it will make one of its final stops at Rupp Arena on July 18. Tickets, by the way, go on sale for the Rupp concert, at 10 this morning through TicketMaster.

Plant and Krauss will finish their tour on July 19 in Nashville.  

Robert Plant perform Saturday and Sunday at the Louisville Palace. Both 8 p.m. concerts are sold out. Tickets for their July 18 performance at Rupp Arena go on sale at 10 a.m. today through TicketMaster. Tickets are $45.50 and $65.50. Call (859) 281-6644 or (859) 233-3535.

Latest in apps, sites that promise deals; Money tip.(Business)

The Seattle Times (Seattle, WA) June 19, 2011 Byline: Gregory Karp; Chicago Tribune Technology is a huge help for consumers to spend money smarter.

For example, you can search online for best prices, or if you’re already in the store, you can use your smartphone to read a product’s bar code and get competitive prices.

Problem is, new money-saving websites and apps are launching almost daily. It’s nearly impossible to investigate them all. We’ve rounded up a few interesting and promising ones that have come out in recent months.

With many, it’s hard to predict whether they’ll succeed and be available a year from now. And we weren’t able to thoroughly review every one.

But if you’re a smart consumer who likes trying new sites and apps, these seem worth a shot. All are free, and more details are available online.

Keep in mind that these aren’t being listed as the best, just a sampling of some of the newest.

AwardWallet.com: The website will keep track of your frequent-flier miles, as well as hotel and credit-card rewards points in one place, perhaps allowing you to use them more efficiently. And it will alert you, for example, when your miles are about to expire.

DealNews.com app: Prominent deal site DealNews is not new, but its iPhone/iPad app is. Users can browse more than 100 deals a day or request push alerts, which send personal deal alerts for specific products or coupons to on-the-go users. see here free printable grocery coupons

CouponNetwork.com: The world didn’t need another site with printable grocery coupons, but this is produced by a major player in the coupon industry, Catalina Marketing, the company behind those coupons that print out at the end of your cash-register receipt. Notably and exclusively, the site includes YourBucks, which aren’t coupons, but relatively high dollars off your future purchases. For example, recently if you bought two bottles of Listerine Whitening Rinse, you got $4 printed on your register receipt to spend however you want, like cash, on your next grocery trip. go to website free printable grocery coupons

Upromise.com app: Upromise is pretty well known already; it’s a site where you can earn money for college expenses as you shop — ideally, making purchases you would buy anyway. It now has a GPS-enabled smartphone app for an iPhone, Android and BlackBerry to make it easy to find nearby restaurants and retailers that participate in the Upromise program. It will give you directions from your current location.

PayDivvy.com: Having trouble keeping bills straight with roommates? PayDivvy offers online bill pay and group payment. It can, for example, automatically divide bills among roommates, friends and family, who can then pay those bills automatically.

BiteHunter.com: This site bills itself as the Kayak.com of the restaurant world, aggregating deals for dining rather than travel. BiteHunter scavenges the web for deals and information that restaurants are promoting via Twitter, Facebook, blogs, websites, newsletters and daily-deal sites and compiles it in one place. For now, it operates only in New York, San Francisco and Chicago.

SavingStar.com: This site puts a different spin on paperless coupons, or e-coupons. That generally refers to choosing coupons online which electronically links them to your supermarket or drugstore loyalty card. That way, you automatically get the savings at the register. With SavingStar.com, which claims to be the largest digital coupon service, your checkout bill is the same but savings are squirreled away in an account, which you can cash out by direct deposit into a bank account, PayPal account and other methods. SavingStar also has apps for iPhone and Android that allow you to choose coupons on the go.

WildcardNetwork.com app: This gift-card management app for iPhone or Android devices allows you to store your gift cards on the phone, look up balances and spend gift cards by showing the bar code on the phone.

Again, these sites and apps are new endeavors, some backed only by individuals who think they have a great idea. You’ll have to decide for yourself how helpful and relevant they are to you. And if you’re particularly concerned with privacy, be sure to examine the privacy policies of various websites.

record store day!

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club‘s in-store performance at CD Central on Saturday is more than just a warm up for its full-length evening concert at The Dame. The band will be one of dozens of acts that will be performing and hanging out with fans at record stores all across the country.

Why? Because it’s Record Store Day.

In recognition of a retail business that has become an endangered species in an era of online sales and a sinking music industry, hundreds of independently run record stores will be making themselves known on Saturday. CD Central will lead the celebration in Lexington.

Here’s your chance to be part of a simultaneous nationwide party. While BRMC is playing at CD Central, here is a sample of what will be going elsewhere for Record Store Day:

  • Metallica will do a meet-and-greet at Rasputin’s in Mountain View, CA.
  • Panic! at the Disco will be at Waterloo Records in Austin, TX.
  • Steve Earle and Allison Moorer will be at Manifest Music in Charlotte, NC.
  • Tim O’Brien and De Novo Dahl will at Grimey’s in Nashville, TN.
  • Marshall Crenshaw will perform at Plan 9 in Charlottesville, VA.
  • Train’s Pat Monahan will be at Silver Platters, in Seattle, WA.
  • Regina Spektor will perform at Sound Fix in Brooklyn, NY.
  • Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer will “paint in her underwear” at Newbury Comics in Boston, MA.
  • Manchester Orchestra will play at Criminal Records in Atlanta, GA.

Several record stores in the United Kingdom will host festivities on Saturday, too. So join in the fun and help put the big spin in on Record Store Day. 

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Duke Spirit and Tight Leather will celebrate Record Store Say with a free 1 p.m. performance on Saturday at CD Central, 377 S. Limestone. Call (859) 233-3472.

BRMC and The Duke Spirit will also play at 10 that evening at The Dame, 156 West Main. Tickets are $20. Call (859) 226-9005.

Philadelphia Convention Center Hires CEO, Pushes for Labor Deal.

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News June 19, 2003 By Marcia Gelbart, The Philadelphia Inquirer Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News Jun. 19–The Convention Center Authority officially hired its chief executive officer yesterday, voted to look for a private management firm to run the building, and said it would jump-start union negotiations on a labor deal it proposed last week.

Those actions took place in a 30-minute public session that followed a closed-door board meeting that lasted more than three hours.

The board is trying to shed a bedraggled image about conducting business in private, as well as put an end to the prolonged labor troubles that are choking the center, before the state steps in, which could happen as soon as this week, to solve the problems through legislation. this web site philadelphia convention center

Board member Patrick Gillespie, head of the Building Trades Council, said he hoped that the center’s six unions and its trade-show contractors viewed the board’s proposed labor deal as “a way to grow, not necessarily to maintain the status quo.” The only alternative to forging a labor pact — which has eluded officials for a year — would likely be a state-driven move to empower the center to hire its own workers for the first time. That means existing union workers would have to reapply for the jobs they hold now.

If no new labor deal were struck by June 30, the board yesterday said it would embrace legislative action. One bill has already been introduced by Rep. Dwight Evans (D., Phila.).

“I think this is the first time in this two-and-a-half-year saga that we’re seriously considering what customers want,” board member Robert A. Butera said. web site philadelphia convention center

His comments came after two closed-door presentations made to the board by two tourism-related groups that are alarmed about significant drops in convention bookings in the next several years, the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association and the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Board chairman Michael Nutter, a city councilman, later vowed to air more of the board’s discussions in public. By law, the board is limited in what it can talk about privately, generally including personnel and legal matters, collective bargaining, and real estate issues.

Also after the private meeting, the board announced it was hiring Albert Mezzaroba, who was named CEO in February but has been working without a contract, or paycheck, until now.

Mezzaroba, a lawyer and former City Council political aide, is a Democrat whose backers are Republican board members. He received a two-year contract that pays $175,000 annually. That is the same salary earned by his predecessor, Butera.

Gillespie and City Solicitor Nelson Diaz, both Democrats, voted against the resolution to hire Mezzaroba. They have echoed the concerns of some tourism leaders that Mezzaroba, also a former board member, has no professional background in the convention industry.

One way the board might resolve the issue is by hiring a private management firm with industry expertise. The board issued a request for proposals yesterday, and said that, under an expedited process, it could privatize the center as early as Aug. 1.

in performance: the susan tedeschi band

When she stepped onstage last night at the Kentucky Theatre in a glittery black dress and matching eyeglasses, Susan Tedeschi resembled less the blues/soul stylist she is championed as and more like a Strat-slinging Tina Fey.

But in very short order, the two-hour performance laid out, in ways that regularly seemed very unplanned, the vastness of Tedeschi’s roots music command and the keenness of her performance intuition.

In purely technical terms, the show was something of landmine that kept exploding at often inopportune times.

There was the blast of feedback that instantly punctured the introductory cool of Just Won’t Burn, a glitch that Tedeschi grandly rode out by letting the song’s momentum build and boil over with a guitar solo full of patient, bold lyricism. There were also the forgotten lyrics to Bob Dylan’s Lord Protect My Child, which, despite a resilient gospel mood established by Tedeschi and her sharp backup quartet, proved less salvageable.

But the most severe, unexpected and ultimately rewarding moment came when Tedeschi informed the crowd of the death that afternoon of Sean Costello. The blues singer/guitarist’s 29th birthday would have been today.

As a tribute, she turned not to the bittersweet, but to a rollicking, roadhouse-worthy reading of Junior Wells’ Little by Little, which Tedeschi and Costello recorded together on her breakthrough Just Won’t Burn album a decade ago.

The tune’s emotive immediacy unraveled not as a requiem, but as a celebration that was every bit was joyous as a cover of Stevie Wonder’s Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever and as soulful as a new original called Revolutionize Yourself, both of which followed later in the set.

Sure, there were misfires early on. But Little by Little was a stunner that Tedeschi rode gallantly to the finish line.

critic's pick 15

Enforcing the fact that Just Us Kids is not kids stuff, singer/scribe James McMurtry sings an unendingly bleak story about crackheads living figuratively and literally in the middle of nowhere. Titled Fire Line Road, it’s sung from a female’s perspective – a neat trick since McMurtry’s clenched mumble sounds like a Texan version of Lou Reed. But there is such a sad, universal strain to the song that gender isn’t at all an issue. In the end, one of the addicts (“she ain’t as big as a minute, just skin on bone”) is numb to everything, even to the pain that has engulfed her.

As usual, McMurtry is among the keenest of literary songsmiths. For all the human detail of his songs, he doesn’t sentimentalize. The stories spiral down dark and often rural paths without coercion. Sometimes there’s a sense of black whimsy to his songs, as in the solitude that sweeps in like storm clouds on Hurricane Party (“there’s no one to talk to when the lines go down”). In other instances, like the roadhouse savvy Freeway View, desperation and lingering desire cloud a loner’s past and future (“I ain’t ever coming back to you; or then again, I might”).

McMurtry is on a roll with these songs. Aided by brisk electric support and some especially cool guests – like guitarist Jon Dee Graham, who fans the flames on Fire Line RoadJust Us Kids has more the feel of a rock ‘n’ roll record than the sort of folkie requiem one might expect from its heavily narrative song structures and thoroughly human storylines.

All told, though, you would have look back at the records John Prine cut in the ‘70s to find a songwriter who could pen tunes of such great emotive clarity and economy. The language McMurtry employs is detailed but simple. The music he draws upon is lean but arresting. McMurtry also doesn’t wring undue drama out of these songs as he sings them. His delivery, as usual, is understated. Almost distant.

That, of course, only enhances the smalltown restlessness that mutates into a lifelong dream of escape in Just Us Kids‘ title tune. First, the youthful protagonist says all he needs is a driver’s license to “color me gone.” Years later, he promises he will bolt as soon as his divorce is finalized. In the last verse, escape is at hand once his own kid graduates (from what, we aren’t told). In the end, the pipedreams pile up as the “kids” spend life “watching their long hair turning grey.”

But then escape isn’t any prettier when it’s actually seized upon. In Ruby and Carlos, a romance is viewed fully in the past tense. Ruby works in a sheep camp with a busted hip, Carlos is a Gulf War vet (“the first Gulf War,” McMurtry specifies) playing dead end gigs as a Nashville drummer while a mystery sickness takes hold. “They don’t know why or they just won’t say,” McMurtry sings. “They don’t talk much down at the VA.”

Just Us Kids takes a political turn on God Bless America, a rockish, Warren Zevon-like requiem that reminds Green-thinking optimists of what it takes to fuel war, industry and modern life: “That thing don’t run on French fry grease. That thing don’t run on love and peace.” Cheney’s Toy is even grimier in the war report it issues: “We don’t need to know the answers. Long as we’re safe, just hit your marks and say your lines.”

With that kind of power in charge, life in a sheep camp almost sounds charming.

James McMurtry and Justin Townes Earle perform at 7 p.m. April 28 for the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour at the Kentucky Theatre. Tickets are $10. Call (859) 252-8888.

Meet new people here dragon age 2 characters

Isthmus March 18, 2011 | Conklin, Aaron R Meet new people In 2009, Dragon Age: Origins proved an almost perfect marriage of roleplaying, combat and epic cutscenes. Expectations were dragon-sized for the sequel, and for the most part, Dragon Age 2 meets them. Only some odd design choices keep Dragon Age 2 from surpassing the original.

You can only play as a male or female human (sorry, elf-lovers). The dizzying number of ways you can customize your character’s skills andv attributes are still intact, but the lack of racial variety is a problem.

As the chosen champion referenced in the game’s cryptic introduction, you traverse the blasted countryside with your ever-shifting party of characters, picking up intriguing missions along the way.

Luckily, these are never as simple as you expect them to be. You might lustily accept a quest to redeem a group of mages who’ve been cut off from their magical source, only to discover there was a pretty good reason they’d been zombified in the first place. The combat feels as epic as ever, with huge throwdowns with dragons and horned ogres providing big (and bloody) eye candy. go to web site dragon age 2 characters

– Aaron R. Conklin [Sidebar] Dragon Age 2 Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Rated Mature Conklin, Aaron R

soul sister susan

You might say Susan Tedeschi is accustomed to having things both ways.

As a guitarist, songwriter and, especially, vocalist, she helms a band that draws from blues, soul and gospel inspirations absorbed in her youth. The music she forged first won over club audiences in her native New England before breaking through to national prominence with a gold-selling album (2000’s Just Won’t Burn) and a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist alongside such unlikely competitors as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Macy Gray and Kid Rock.

But Tedeschi is also very much a family gal. She married fellow guitarist Derek Trucks in 2001 and is now mother to two children, ages 3 and 6. While Tedeschi and Trucks maintain prolific careers of their own, they occasionally combine forces on the road with their respective bands for loose-fitting, revue-style performances dubbed the Soul Stew Revival.

But the question at hand centers around what musical stew will Tedeschi cook up when she performs in Lexington on Tuesday. While she sat in with Trucks at several of his concerts at the long-defunct Lynagh’s Music Club around the time Just Won’t Burn heated up, she has never performed a full concert of her own here.

So what’s on the menu? Tunes from Just Won’t Burn and 2006’s extraordinary Joe Henry-produced covers album Hope and Desire?  Or maybe the debut of a mountain of new original works that have been simmering in the home studio she and Trucks built in their current hometown of Jacksonville, Fla.

The answer by now should be obvious: both.

“A lot of the new songs are really cool in that they’re a lot like Just Won’t Burn, but better,” Tedeschi said. “The music is blues based, but some of the songs are old timey blues and jazz. So we’ll be playing a lot of the new stuff, probably.

“But then, I’ve never played Lexington. So I should play the old stuff, maybe? No, a little bit of both. That’s what we’re gonna do.”

* * *

A native of Norwell, Massachusetts, Tedeschi attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where she also sang in a gospel choir. Though she formed her first bands in high school, the first unit officially dubbed the Susan Tedeschi Band came to life in 1994.

“Music has always been this universal voice for me,” Tedeschi said. “I’ve always done much better writing and speaking through lyrics than I do speaking on the phone or in conversation. That’s true even today. My husband is so eloquent. I hear him do interviews on the phone all day and think, ‘Gosh, I wish I could speak like that.'”

But Tedeschi’s voice developed soon enough. As a guitarist, her playing is buoyed by a blues aroma that breezes up from the Delta, through the dusty plains of Texas and into the molten electricity of Chicago. As a singer, she possesses a sweaty, worldly realism. Tedeschi has also been regularly compared by critics to Janis Joplin, which is misleading. Listen to Hope and Desire and the patient, open phrasing Tedeschi gives to the golden Rolling Stones relic You Got the Silver, the Bob Dylan obscurity Lord Protect My Child and the earthy Iris DeMent delight Sweet Forgiveness and you discover a link to the warmer, more seasoned music of Bonnie Raitt.

But Tedeschi laughs when asked if an artist or recording came along in her youth that changed her blooming musical profile.

“You know what? That happened about 20 times. For real.”

First were the singers – great soul voices like Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, Ray Charles and Donny Hathaway. Next came the blues guitar giants: Magic Sam, Freddie King and Otis Rush. She also maintained a love of great folk and pop songwriting from Bob Dylan and John Lennon. And then there was gospel.

“Aretha and Mahalia Jackson just changed my whole approach to singing,” Tedeschi said. “I had been singing so much country and folk. But then it became more like soul music, gospel and real blues. And the real blues didn’t really hit until after college when I started listening to the old Chicago guys like Muddy (Waters) and Jimmy Rogers.

“That was when the music really took on a whole new shape. I think it really defined where I ended up going. After that, I finally felt like I had a voice that I could universally relate to, a voice that let me feel confident and excited enough to sing.

“The blues really helped shape that. It gave me a good foundation. It gave me good roots.”

* * *

As she prepares for another tour, the checks and balances of a personal life and a professional career weigh in. Sure, Tedeschi and Trucks get to share time onstage as well as at home. But it never seems like enough. And then there is the very everyday reality of being one of two working parents whose office happens to be a bus that is almost constantly in motion.

“Derek just left yesterday after being home for almost three months. That’s the longest he’s ever been home because he is almost always on tour (in addition to his own group, Trucks is a mainstay member of the Allman Brothers Band and has also been a guest member of Eric Clapton’s band). The hardest thing about it is he will be gone now for another month.

“Being a musician myself, I feel guilty whenever I have to get up and leave myself. Leaving the kids to go on tour… some of these things can be hard.

“But then again, Derek is doing great with all of his projects. I’m really proud of him. And I’m looking forward to going out playing all these new songs. So really, I’m very lucky. It’s tough, sometimes, sure. But I feel very, very blessed.”

 

The Susan Tedeschi Band/The Lee Boys perform at 7 p.m. April 15 at the Kentucky Theatre, 214 E. Main. Tickets are $38 and $29.50. Call: (859) 231-7924.

 

RALEIGH WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY IN MORTGAGE FRAUD CONSPIRACY. this web site employment verification letter

States News Service January 11, 2010 GREENVILLE — The following information was released by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina:

The United States Attorney’s Office announced that in federal court January 8, 2010, MARY ROSE WRIGHT, 43, of Raleigh, North Carolina, pled guilty before United States Magistrate Judge David W. Daniel to wire fraud and conspiring to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, and bank fraud.

A Criminal Information was filed on November 23, 2009. According to the Information, from August, 2006, to November, 2006, WRIGHT, working as a mortgage broker for Fairway Mortgage, worked with others to defraud various financial institutions through the submission of false and fictitious mortgage loan applications. Using a falsified Power of Attorney giving authority on behalf of a co-conspirator to execute all documents in connection with the property purchase, WRIGHT then prepared false United States Individual Income Tax Returns for years 2004 and 2005 and a self-employment verification letter and caused to have prepared a fabricated financial statement to use in obtaining the property. She then submitted an offer to purchase a property.

On November 27, 2006, WRIGHT submitted a loan application, which included false representations regarding borrower’s address, employment, bank account information, and rental real estate schedule, in connection with the purchase of the residential Raleigh property. That same day Equity Services, Inc., loaned a co-conspirator $1,537.500 for the property purchase.

In November, 2006, WRIGHT’s co-conspirator gave her $120,000 from a previously fraudulently obtained mortgage loan from Washington Mutual in the amount of $2,996,969 to be used as a down payment for the purchase of the Raleigh property. On November 27, 2006, WRIGHT took possession of the property after executing a HUD-1 statement containing false and fraudulent information. To date, no mortgage payments have been made. web site employment verification letter

“In recent years we have seen how pervasive bank fraud has become and how devastating it has been to our banking institutions and our economy. This guilty plea is another step in the Justice Department’s effort to deal with this problem and to ensure integrity in our financial systems,” stated John Stuart Bruce, Acting United States Attorney.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the North Carolina Real Estate Commission. This case is being handled by the Office’s Economic Crimes Section, with Assistant United States Attorney Banumathi Rangarajan assigned as prosecutor .

current listening 04/13

Last week’s off-the-clock listening (done mostly in the car) included…

Ten Years After: Cricklewood Green – Eight months after a barnstorming set at Woodstock, Alvin Lee and company released this sleek mix of moody British psychedelia and guitar-drenched boogie. Blending boomed up bass and harpsichord on 50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain betrays slightly the era this moody music hailed from. All the better.

Ali Farka Toure: Niafunke – Named for his village deep in the heart of Mali on the River Niger, Toure creates otherwordly, contemplative music out of an ultra-earthy West African recipe of wily, wiry guitarspeak, a percussive foundation of calabash and congas and mercurial counterpoint from the njarka violin. This is the sound of rhythm and peace.

King Crimson: Vrooom Vrooom: The return of the Crimson dynamo to American stages this summer, with founder Robert Fripp and Kentucky’s own Adrian Belew still on guitar, prompted a new listen to this two-disc concert sampler by the band’s mid ‘90s “double duo” lineup (two guitarists, two drummers and, in effect, two bassists). A beast.

The Modern Jazz Quartet: European Concert – Picked this 2006 single disc edition of two champion MJQ live albums from 1960 up over the winter for 6 bucks. The packaging is as dime-store as reissues come. But the music is bliss. Another reminder of how cool, stately and soulful pianist John Lewis and vibes great Milt Jackson sounded together.

Longview: Deep in the Mountain – What makes this traditional all-star bluegrass outing such a treat isn’t just the lineup, although having Kentucky heroes J.D. Crowe and Don Rigsby in the same band again sure sounds sweet. The real pleasure is how Longview can exact such old-timey charm from a new original tune like Weathered Grey Stone.

Bulging belly buttons in babies usually go away after year

Chicago Sun-Times January 30, 1992 | Dr. Paul Donohue; Paul G. Donohue (STANDARD) Q. My daughter had a baby boy, who is now about a month old. He has a herniated belly button. It is about the size of a golf ball. I’ve had four children of my own and three other grandchildren and never experienced this. Should something be done? Please offer your opinion. website strep throat contagious

A. After birth, the stomach muscles surrounding the umbilical-cord entrance close naturally. When that closure is delayed or incomplete for one reason or another, a hernia, a bulge in the weakened area, occurs. This is very common in babies of low birth weight and more so in black infants than others.

Most umbilical hernias that appear before six months disappear by the end of the baby’s first year. Surgery is indicated only if the hernia has not disappeared between the ages of 3 and 5, if it shows progressive enlargement between ages 1 and 2, or if a piece of intestine has become trapped and cannot be freed.

Q. Just recently I found out that a young friend has a rare disease called Alport’s. Please tell me about this. see here strep throat contagious

A. Briefly, Alport’s syndrome is an inherited illness with two important signs – deafness and kidney disturbance. Although there is no cure, both the deafness and kidney disturbance can be helped.

Q. Is it possible to eat shellfish all one’s life and then have anaphylactic reaction to it?

A. Yes. In fact it is the usual thing to have a sudden allergy to something you have eaten with impunity in the past. This happened to me with penicillin.

However, anaphylaxis is an intense and dangerous reaction – breathing loss and great drop in blood pressure, for example. It is, fortunately, a rare allergy manifestation. You have piqued our imagination. Would you like to expand on just what happened to you?

Q. Is a strep throat contagious to others? I am a young mother who will probably have reason to understand strep throat.

A. Yes, it is contagious. This is why a youngster should be kept home until 24 hours after starting antibiotics and until fever has subsided.

Dr. Paul Donohue; Paul G. Donohue (STANDARD)

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