Category Archives: R&B

Bonnaroo 2010 Or Bust

Today was like a musical draft for one of the biggest festivals in the US.  I speak of the 4 day festival Bonnaroo and today’s announcement has been a day long event as the initial line-up was introduced to all who were curious throughout the day via Twitter and MySpace.  This was the first time Bonnaroo has done something like there where they utilize other sites to slowly leak out fetival details.

The way that Bonnaroo chose to dish out the artists was annoying to me.  It was a novel idea but if you are like me you want to know everything at once and not have to wait over 12 hours for a line-up.  I hope next year they just go back to routine and hand everything out at once.

Having already been to Bonnaroo twice (2006 & 2009) I can tell you that the line-ups are generally full of an array of artists for everyone.  This year is without exception and I really am thinking hard about going again.  I had a great time last year and really could go for a road trip with friends again.  This time though I am going to go and enjoy it and not worry about covering it.  I missed out on a few good sets because I made promises of coverage on a site I could barely keep but I still kept to my word and was submitting nightly reviews as the sun was rising the next day.

The artist line-up is listed below and I am sure a few other acts will sneak in over the upcoming weeks.  Anyone else interested in attending?  I know it will be a good time as always – just look at all the bands and artists!

Artists confirmed for


* Dave Matthews Band
* Kings of Leon
* Stevie Wonder
* Jay-Z
* Tenacious D
* Weezer
* The Dead Weather
* Damian Marley and Nas
* Phoenix
* Norah Jones
* Michael Franti and Spearhead
* John Fogerty
* Regina Spektor
* Jimmy Cliff
* LCD Soundsystem
* The Avett Brothers
* Thievery Corporation
* Rise Against
* Tori Amos
* The National
* Zac Brown Band
* Les Claypool
* John Prine
* The Black Keys
* Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers
* Jeff Beck
* Dropkick Murphys
* She & Him
* Against Me!
* The Disco Biscuits
* Daryl Hall & Chromeo
* Jamey Johnson
* Clutch
* Bassnectar
* Kid Cudi
* Baaba Maal
* Kris Kristofferson
* Medeski Martin & Wood
* The xx
* GWAR
* Dan Deacon Ensemble
* Tinariwen
* Wale
* Deadmau5
* The Melvins
* The Gaslight Anthem
* Miike Snow
* The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
* Dr. Dog
* They Might Be Giants
* Punch Brothers
* Isis
* Blitzen Trapper
* Blues Traveler
* Miranda Lambert
* Calexico
* OK Go
* Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
* Martin Sexton
* Lotus
* Dave Rawlings Machine
* Mayer Hawthorne and the County
* Japandroids
* Jay Electronica
* Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
* Ingrid Michaelson
* The Dodos
* Manchester Orchestra
* The Temper Trap
* Cross Canadian Ragweed
* Big Sam’s Funky Nation
* Carolina Chocolate Drops
* NEEDTOBREATHE
* Tokyo Police Club
* The Entrance Band
* Local Natives
* Brandi Carlile
* Mumford & Sons
* Rebelution
* Diane Birch
* Monte Montgomery
* Julia Nunes
* The Postelles
* Lucero
* Here We Go Magic
* Hot Rize
* Neon Indian
* B.O.B
* More Artists to Be Announced! (Subject To Change As Well)

Rumors earlier in the month pointed to Roger Waters possibly playing the festival but I am sure that is a no go now.  Also word on the streets was that Mastodon was going to make an appearance as well.  One could only hope.

I’ll be posting stuff here and there through out the next few months.  Still have not fully committed but highly considering it…

Tickets are on sale now and at this time are $234.50 but that price will not last forever and they will jump to $249.50.  They also are going to have the payment plan again this year – 5 payments of $50.  Not too shabby!

The King Of Pop Passes (1958-2009)

It’s no news that everyone has heard about the late pop-star Michael Jackson.  The King of Pop is no longer with us.

I really was not going to blog about this instance because everyone already is and I was not quite sure what I really had to say about it.

Twitter was overloaded with updates and Facebook seemed to have endless comments but fans as well as people who thought it would be a good time to start with the jokes.

This morning I thought maybe I should just post something about the musician seeing on how he had a pretty big influence on me musically as I grew up.

I was getting a tattoo yesterday when I found out.  I was just killing some time during the process and checked Twitter where I started seeing posts that Michael Jackson was taken to the hospital, then rumors of his death followed by statements of the artist falling into a coma.  Finally it was confirmed, Michael Jackson died from cardiac arrest.

I did not know what to think at the exact moment it hit me that the pop star passed.

I can tell you one thing, Michael Jackson was the last person I would have ever expected to pass away on a summer day.  The news was shocking and it took me a few visits to various websites to finally learn it was the truth.  I realize sometimes things get blown out of proportion but this was real.

I was a Michael Jackson fan when I was a kid and I am not ashamed to say it.  I am pretty sure everyone was and I do not believe you if you say you did not like any of his material.  I rocked the parachute pants, did the moon walk, but never had a sparkling glove.

One of my favorite memories of when I went to Epcot Center at Walt Disney World in the late 80’s was when I saw the 3-D adventure Captain EO. Just a few weeks ago I was actually talking about it to some friends and watched the movie in two segments on YouTube.  (Part 1 & Part 2 for those of you that have never seen it and are wondering what I am talking about…)

Then there was Moonwalker a movie/music video that I watched over and over on VHS.  Sega actually even created a video game based on the movie that was easily one of my favorite Sega Genesis video games of all time.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw the video for “Thriller” on MTV.  It was late at night and my Aunt warned me it was going to be scary.  I loved every minute of it.

I still have Thriller on my iTunes and always will.  It is easily one of my top 100 albums of all time.

Today Michael Jackson’s name is being said a lot.  Good things and bad will be talked about him for days to come and just like many other music lovers out there I am saddened by his loss.

I really wish that Micheal Jackson could have toured just one more time not just for the millions of fans, but also for himself.  The poor guy really went through lots of hell.  Regardless if all those allocations were true or not, the guy changed the way people would listen to music forever.  It would have been nice to see Michael Jackson back on the stage doing what he liked to do best…

Sony Comments on the Passing of Michael Jackson (on www.michaeljackson.com):

NEW YORK, NY – June 25, 2009 – Michael Jackson, one of the most widely beloved entertainers and profoundly influential artists of all-time, leaves an indelible imprint on popular music and culture.

Commenting on his passing, Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President, Sony Corporation, said: “Michael Jackson was a brilliant troubadour for his generation, a genius whose music reflected the passion and creativity of an era. His artistry and magnetism changed the music landscape forever. We have been profoundly affected by his originality, creativity and amazing body of work. The entire Sony family extends our deepest condolences to his family and to the millions of fans around the world who loved him.”

Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, CEO, Sony Music Entertainment, said: “Michael Jackson’s unsurpassed artistry and beloved music brought joy to every corner of the world. We join today with his millions of fans in expressing our profound sadness and we offer our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. It was a true privilege for all of us in the Sony Music family to work with one of the most talented superstars in the history of music. We will miss him greatly.”

Martin Bandier, Chairman & CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, said: “Michael was the kind of amazing talent that comes along once in a lifetime. He was an incredible recording artist, an insightful businessman, an unmatched performer, and a true icon. To all of us at Sony/ATV Music Publishing, he was also a trusted and passionate partner, who was very proud of our accomplishments. He will be dearly missed. We wish his children and entire family our deepest condolences.”

Five of Jackson’s solo albums – “Off the Wall,” “Thriller,” “Bad,” “Dangerous” and “HIStory,” all with Epic Records, a Sony Music label – are among the top-sellers of all time. During his extraordinary career, he sold an estimated 750 million records worldwide, released 13 No.1 singles and became one of a handful of artists to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized Jackson as the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time and “Thriller” as the Biggest Selling Album of All Time. Jackson won 13 Grammy Awards and received the American Music Award’s Artist of the Century Award.

Michael Jackson started in the music business at the age of 11 with his brothers as a member of the Jackson 5. In the early 1980s, he defined the art form of music video with such ground-breaking videos as “Billie Jean,” “Beat It” and the epic “Thriller.” Jackson’s sound, style and dance moves inspired subsequent generations of pop, soul, R&B and hip-hop artists.

Westbound Train – Come And Get It – CD Review

Boston’s Westbound Train are back with an all new album following their impressive 2006 debut Transitions.  This time the seven man crew completely outdo themselves in every way possible with Come And Get It.  The album was once again released on Hellcat Records and proves to be one of my favorite releases to date this year hands down.

Think ska music infused with jazz, reggae, and heavy doses of R&B and you have the perfect blend of what Westbound Train specializes in.  Not to be compared with Motown, although close at times, the band remains a ska act throughout this release but keeps a soulful attitude.

I had the pleasure of reviewing the band’s last CD a while back and was impressed with every moment of it.  This time I am back to that same level of excitement with Come And Get It.  I must say that I am pretty sure that this CD will be my soundtrack for this summer hands down.

As soon as the CD started with “I Don’t Belong Here” lead singer Obi Fernandez’s voice seems to sooth the soul and set the mood.  With horns, a groovy rhythm, and even some background harmony the song immediately put me in the most relaxed of states as the song reminisces about the good times.  Almost reminding me of a Smokey Robinson song, “Ain’t Gonna Be Easy”, was a full forced R&B track sure to please any listener one way or another.

“Why You Cry” was an amazing ska soul track with ear catching singing thanks to King Django and also amazing tenor saxophone solos.  “Come And Get It” featured some sick organ playing throughout the song with even more impressive singing.

“What You Need”  was one of the more diverse tracks on the CD thanks to The Sweet Divines adding their classy soulful backup singing.  If that was not good enough they return on “So Many Things A Man Can Say”, one of the albums more Motown inspired songs.  If there is any track on this CD that proves this band has soul, this is the track.

“Critical Ska” was just that; a fine instrumental ska track from start to finish with an array of guitar, piano, and sax solos perfect for playing in the background of any outdoor party.  “Cheers! The World’s Almost Over” ended the CD but not without leaving a good feeling.

Westbound Train is a ska band that has some serious soul playing abilities and Come And Get It proves it.  I’m not saying this album is pure Motown but I am saying this comes very close and Westbound Train does it well.  Fans of The Slackers, The Pietasters, and just good soulful music will enjoy this CD over and over as did I.  Look for the band this summer at the 2009 Van’s Warped Tour.

In the event that you have not heard these guys it is only right for me to post some videos of material from their previous releases:

Westbound Train in Mainz (2007-04-30)