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Headphones

Get Wrecked
Brian Langan and Conor McGuigan, the dynamic and dancing duo behind the Panked! dance parties, are ready get the dance floor full of booty shaking and sandy mischief. ShipWRECKED Panked! happens Thursday, July 31, at The Bog, 341 Adams Ave., Scranton. Attendees are encouraged to be creative with their costume skills and come ready to sweat up the remote barroom island as dancers try to survive the challenging elements, like deep vinyl cuts and chugging tropical rum. As usual, there will be unique prizes and drink specials. For more information, visit facebook.com/panked.danceparty.

Two Rock Shows
Enjoy a solid double bill of music with SUZE and Dustin Drevitch & the Electric Gentleman on Aug. 2 at the River Street Jazz Cafe. The 21 and older show starts at 10 p.m. with a $5 to $8 cover. Originally formed out of Kingston in the summer of 2007, SUZE is a five-piece line-up that consists of Adam McKinley (lead vocals/guitar), Brandin Shaffern (bass), Kevin Gallagher (drums), Adam Gabriel (lead guitar) and Angelo Miraglia (keys). The band released their debut original album, When the World is Not Enough, in 2012 and Sounds From Thursday Evening earlier this year. For more information, visit facebook.com/SuzeMusic.
A week of music
If you’re out looking for live music in the 570 this week, look no further. Here are some top picks:
Thursday
Check out the one-man wrecking-machine Zach Deputy at the River Street Jazz Cafe.

Friday
How about bopping in to see Katie Kelly and the Charming Beards at The Factroy: Underground or A Social State, Red Hands and Young At Heart at The Other Side, both in Wilkes-Barre.

Sunday is a good day to relax with some outside music (hit a patio or a deck and jam away the day), but make sure you’re ready to go for late night shenanigans at The V Spot for another week of V Spot Idol.

Next Wednesday, Aug. 6, you can see a live performance by Whiskey Tango at Hillside Park, located at the intersection of Grove Street and Winola Road in South Abington Twp. The show starts at 6 p.m. Future performances at the park include Lightweight, with special guest Senator John Blake and Friendson Aug. 13, The Fab Three on Aug. 20 and Hitchin’ Chicket on Aug. 27. For more information, visit hillsidepark.net.

Weird Stuff, I tell ya
Weird Al Yankovic did it. He finally reached No. 1 with the release of his new album, Mandatory Fun, beating out the likes of Jason Mraz and — get this — Beyonce. The last comedy album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 before Mandatory Fun was Allan Sherman’s 1963 release My Son, The Nut. Cheech and Chong and Steve Martin each reached No. 2 in the 1970s.
Yankovic released several online videos in support of the new record. Of the eight videos, the most viewed was his take on Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (“Word Crimes”), followed by his spins on Pharrell’s “Happy” (“Tacky”), Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” (“Handy”) and Lorde’s “Royals” (“Foil”).
The California-born, accordian-playing Yankovic got his break creating parody songs for the syndicated comedy show run by Dr. Demento. He first earned national attention for his take on The Knack’s 1979 hit, “My Sharona” (renamed “My Bologna”). He sure has come along way from witty songs about cold cuts.
Cheers to the wonderful potpourri that is music — from the scantily clad pop lip-synchers who fill the airwaves to the nerdy, sharp-tonged accordionist who now rules the charts — you can’t beat it.

Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: Rilo Kiley Take Offs and Landings (Barsuk Records) 2001

Headphones

Headphones

Assorted Declarations from Editor Tom Graham

 

EC24HEAD_3_WEBThe Sun Rises
An Autumn Sunrise, the solo project from musician Bryan Brophy, celebrates the arrival of its latest record, Look Toward Tomorrow, with a release show in Scranton. The show takes place Friday, July 25 at The Vintage Theater with doors at 7 p.m. and showtime at 8 p.m. The all ages show also features performances by Reverend Red and Standoff! Tickets are $10 which includes a free album download card.
For more information, visit anautumnsunrise.com.

Big Band
The Rob Stoneback Big Band is jumpin’, jivin’ and wailin’ into the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple in Scranton on July 26 for a night of live music and dancing. The party starts at 7:30 p.m. with live music, cocktails and swing. Tickets for event are $20.
For the past three decades, Rob Stoneback and his band have worked with some of the biggest names in music, including Aretha Franklin, Johnny Mathis, Perry Como, The Temptations and The Four Tops, as well as personalities such as Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart and Sid Caesar.

EC24HEAD_1_WEBGrateful Words
Robert Hunter, best known for his lyrical work with the Grateful Dead, visits the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, July 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Although he played bass and mandolin and sang vocals, Hunter always considered himself a writer. A few years after meeting the Dead’s Jerry Garcia, Hunter volunteered to be a test subject in government experiments with LSD and later wrote songs while under the drug’s influence. In 1967, Hunter officially joined the Dead chiefly as a lyricist and quickly penned the classic “Dark Star.” Hunter’s songs and influence were so strong that over the years, Garcia often referred to him as the member of the band who never appeared on stage.
The songwriting collaboration gave birth to such songs as “Friend of the Devil,” “Truckin’,” “Ripple” and “Sugar Magnolia,” all in 1970. He is also responsible for the lyrics of 1987’s “Touch of Grey,” the Dead’s comeback song and one-and-only commercial hit.
Hunter was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 with the Grateful Dead, becoming the only non-performing artist to receive such an honor.
Tickets can be purchased at the Kirby Center box office, online at kirbycenter.org or by phone at (570) 826-1100. Tickets range from $31 to $67.

Private Bleachers
The Fuzz 92.1 Private Artist Showcase continues to rock the 570 with a performance by Bleachers this Monday, July 28 at the Fuzz 92.1 Radio Theater, 5th floor of the Times-Tribune Building, 149 Penn Ave., Scranton. Sign up for this free all-ages show at fuzz921.com/all-access-club or text “Bleachers” to 88474.
A founding member of the Grammy award- winning band fun. and singer/songwriter of New Jersey band Steel Train, Jack Antonoff wrote and co-produced Bleachers debut single “I Wanna Get Better”alongside producer John Hill (MIA, Jay Z, Empire of the Sun).
In addition to being a multi-talented musician, Jack is a critically acclaimed songwriter and producer. His achievements include co-writing fun.’s Grammy award-winning song “We Are Young” and Grammy-nominated album Some Nights, and he received a Golden Globe nomination for his collaboration with Taylor Swift for her song “Sweeter Than Fiction.” Jack has also worked with Sara Bareilles, co-writing her Grammy-nominated song “Brave” and Canadian indie stars Tegan and Sara.

Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists Tell Balgeary, Balgury Is Dead (Lookout! Records) 2003

Headphones

Headphones

HEADPHONES
Assorted Declarations from Editor Tom Graham

 

Zappa on Zappa
Two years after making his Wilkes-Barre debut, Dweezil Zappa will return to the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, July 11 at 8 p.m.
As a composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director, Frank Zappa’s incredible career spanned more than 30 years and more than 60 albums. In 1993, Zappa succumbed to cancer at the young age of 52.
I spoke with Dweezil Zappa a while back about Zappa Plays Zappa and here are some of my favorite moments of our talk.

On his approach to the show:
“I wanted people to see the band and appreciate the music for what it is. We perform it the way it is on record and the way he did it in live arrangements. We don’t try to modernize it or do anything to it other than present it the way he did, because ultimately that’s the way he wanted it to be heard. So people ask: ‘Why wouldn’t you try to modernize it or make it appealing to a new generation?’ It’s because his music was already ahead of its time.”

On how his father’s music affected him as a musician:
“I had to change my approach to guitar completely on every level. Technically, I was already very proficient with certain kinds of things that are fundamentally required to play challenging parts. I had the ability to play fast things, the ability to play some tricky rhythms, but what I needed to work on was even more of that ability to have a better understanding, but also have a better vocabulary harmonically.”

On how playing his father’s music affected him on a personal level:
“It’s been bittersweet. On some level it affords me the opportunity to have a continuing relationship with him. Even the audience gets to do that.”

On what audiences can expect to see at Zappa Plays Zappa:
“The show tries to give audience members a chance to hear as many different textures and flavors within my father’s compositions as possible. I try to choose music that reflects every style he performed in and things that are well-known to the fan base and really obscure things as well. The people that know the music really well will get some surprises. It’s a good combination of rock stuff, special instrumentals and improvisational things that will happen. That’s really what seeing Frank’s show was all about. Seeing a lot of different music all in one night and seeing things that were intended only for that point in time and that audience.”

Tickets for Zappa Plays Zappa can be purchased at the Kirby Center Box Office, online at kirbycenter.org or charge by phone at (570) 826-1100. Tickets Prices range from $31 to $77 plus applicable fees.

Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: Strand of Oaks Heal (Dead Oceans) 2014

Headphones

Headphones

HEADPHONES
Assorted declarations from editor tom graham

 

Hello Gentleman
Bret Alexander and Paul Smith, former members of The Badlees, are joining forces with some other well-known local musicians in a new musical project. Alexander and Smith join violinist Nyke Van Wyk, drummer Ron Simasek and former Breaking Benjamin guitarist Aaron Fink in the new band Gentleman East, who are set to make their debut this Friday, June 27, at The Other Side (Burt & Urby’s) in Wilkes Barre. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. Miners Blues featuring Anthony Halchak, Bret Alexander and Ed Randazzo open the show.
“I am very proud of the work we did with The Badlees over the years. There was lots of great music and memories,” Alexander said. “But I’m really looking forward to an extremely prolific period coming up, both in the studio and on stage. I’ve already started putting new music together, it’s going to be great.”
The band is currently writing and rehearsing new material for an upcoming release.
For more information, visit facebook.com/GentlemanEast.

Award Voting in Steamtown
The Electric City Music Conference takes place over Columbus Day Weekend, October 10 to 12, highlighting local talent and bringing national focus to the musicians of northeastern Pennsylvania. The event kicks off October 10 with the Steamtown Music Awards. The purpose of the awards is to honor the region’s top musicians, strengthen the local music community and provide a night where local musicians can appreciate other local musicians.
Both the public and a committee of local music professionals will vote to determine the award winners. Fans can nominate their favorite bands for awards at electriccitymusicconference.com/awards until voting closes on July 20. Bands must be based out of northeastern Pennsylvania. Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Hazelton, Bloomsburg, the Poconos and all surrounding areas are acceptable.
Hosts, presenters, performers and a lifetime achievement award winner will be announced soon. For more information, visit electriccitymusicconference.com.

Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: Andrew Bird Things are Really Great Here, Sort Of… (Wegawam Music Co.) 2014

Headphones

Headphones

Assorted declarations from Editor Tom Graham

 

Let’s get Wild
Wild Cub makes a stop in the 570 to perform at The Fuzz 92.1 Private Artist Showcase at the Fuzz 92.1 Radio Theater, 5th floor of the Times-Tribune Building, 149 Penn Ave., Scranton on Friday, May 23 at 6 p.m. The show is all ages. Sign up for free tickets at the570.com or by texting “Wild” to 88474. Tickets are first come, first served.
Wild Cub is Keegan DeWitt (vocals/guitar), Jeremy Bullock (guitar/synths), Dabney Morris (drums), Harry West (bass) and Eric Wilson (keys/synth).
DeWitt and Bullock stripped down a small Nashville row house, built their own custom studio and recorded their debut album,Youth. Initially shared digitally, the album was recently released through Mom+Pop Music. The album has enjoyed great success due to the hit single, “Thunder Clatter.”
The band completed its first two U.S. tours and hit festivals like SXSW (playing eight shows), Hangout Fest and Lollapalooza (including a sold-out afterparty with UK stand-outs Palma Violets). In addition to fall festival dates that include a stop at Austin City Limits, Wild Cub will travel to the UK for two debut London shows.

Greats at the Jazz Cafe
Oteil Burbridge, Keith Carlock and Oz Noy hit the stage at the River Street Jazz Cafe, Plains, on May 22 at 9 p.m. Tickets rage from $12 to $18. This show is 21 and older.
Two-time Grammy winning bassist Burbridge has been in the music business touring and recording for more than three decades, most notably with The Allman Brothers Band. Since 1997, his work with the band has earned him two Grammy nominations and in 2012, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his 15-year contribution to the Allman Brothers Band as the longest running bassist in the band’s history. Burbridge has shared the stage with Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Levon Helm, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, Billy Gibbons, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow and Trey Anastasio.
Carlock is a professional drummer currently residing in New York City and Nashville, Tennessee. He has recorded and/or toured with John Mayer, Sting, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Donald Fagen, Diana Ross and Faith Hill.
Virtuoso guitarist Noy describes his musical style as a blend of jazz, funk, rock, blues and R&B. Born in Israel, Noy started his professional career at the age of 13 and by age 24, he was one of the most established studio guitar players in the country. Since his arrival in New York in 1996, Noy has performed, toured and recorded with Gavin DeGraw, Cyndi Lauper, Nile Rogers, Warren Hayes, Gov’t Mule, The Allman Brothers, Don Was, Matisyahu, Josh Groban, Allison Krauss and more.

Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: Damon Albarn Everyday Robots (Warner Bros.) 2014

 

Headphones

Headphones

HEADPHONES
Assorted declarations from Editor Tom Graham

 

Pickin’
Mountain Sky’s second annual Spring Pick’nic takes place this Saturday, April 26, featuring George Wesley’s I-tations, Old Friends and the Mountain Sky Orchestra. The $25 ticket includes entry to the event, as well as a pig roast meal ticket. This year’s list of vendors include Lina’s Silver Lining, The Baklava Lady, Oiram Organics and Handmade Goods, Jenny’s Journalz, Pampered Chef, Rainflower Boutique, Stephanie Shuman Tie Dyes, Tangled Illusions and the new Mountain Sky merch tent with new buttons, beer coozies, car magnets, bracelets, toys, snacks and more.
Mountain Sky, 63 Stillmeadow Lane, Jermyn, is situated on 117 acres of historic land at “The Beginning of The Endless Mountains” in Scott Township. The organization offers artists a unique and intimate venue at which to inspire and become inspired. Tickets can be purchased by visiting mountainsky.net. To learn more about Mountain Sky and other upcoming events, visit mountainsky.net and facebook.com/mountainskymusic.

Take Me to the Other Side
Situated right next to the ever-popular Bart & Urby’s in downtown Wilkes-Barre, The Other Side, 119 S. Main St., is quickly becoming a go-to live music room in the 570. On Saturday, April 26, The Other Side plays host to DJ sets from Nasstronaut and Bummer’s End’s Newpy Hundofilled with infectious disco and house beats. The night also includes live sets by jamtronica bands Funkadelic Astronaut and Scranton’s own Laser Sex. The bands will be accompanied by light and live digital effects to accompany the music. Admission is $7 to the 21 and older event, which kicks off at 10 p.m.

Puff Puff Pass
The 2014 “Under the Influence of Music” tour was announced earlier this week and features an all-star rap roster including Wiz Khalifa, Tyga, Ty Dolla $ign, Mack Wilds, Iamsu!, Sage The Gemini, DJ Drama and Rich Homie Quan. The month-long tour kicks off July 24 at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain, Scranton. Tickets are set to go on sale on Friday, April 25, at, ahem, 4:20 p.m. by visiting concerts.livenation.com.

Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: Howard Jones Live Acoustic America (Plump Records) 1996.

Headphones

Headphones

HEADPHONES
Assorted declarations from editor tom graham

 

A Home Show
The Menzingers celebrate the release of their latest record, Rented World (Epitaph Records),  next Wednesday, April 23 with a special show in Wilkes-Barre. The band will play a free all-ages unplugged show at Joe Nardone’s Gallery of Sound, 186 Mundy St., Wilkes-Barre beginning at 7 p.m. Both vinyl and CD copies will be available the night of the show, as well as the chance to win one of 10 white-label test pressings from The Menzingers. The band will also be available for a meet-and-greet session with fans. Buy the album on CD or LP and get a wristband for guaranteed entry to see the show. Wristbands will be available at all store locations beginning on Tuesday, April 22. Attendees with wristbands get priority and guaranteed entry into the show.

Fuzz Fest II
FUZZ 92.1  announced Fuzz Fest 2014 headlined by multi-platinum selling alternative rock artists Cage the Elephant. This second annual concert event takes place at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain on Sunday, June 22. Also performing will be Kongos, whose hit “Come With Me Now” is the fastest debut song to reach #1 on the alternative music charts since 2003. The rest of the lineup includes retro-punks Skaters (see Mike Evans review on page 23), Jersey’s  Brick + Mortar and Northern Faces. More artists will be announced soon.
Last year’s inaugural Fuzz Fest event featured The Dirty Heads, Robert DeLong and Unlikely Candidates and reeled in a crowd of more than 2,600 people.
Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster Outlets, the Pavilion Box Office or by-phone at 800-745-3000. All tickets will be general admission.

I Feel a Tantrum Coming
Speaking of Fuzz, the next Private Showcase is coming. Check out The Fuzz 92.1 Private Artist Showcase on Thursday, May 8 as Fuzz welcomes Fitz and the Tantrums. Set time is to be announced. The show takes place at the Fuzz 92.1 Radio Theater, 5th floor of the Times-Tribune Building, 149 Penn Ave., Scranton. Sign up at fuzz921.com for free tickets. The show is all-ages.

Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: Hold Steady Live at Lollapalooza 2006

 

Headphones

Headphones

Remembering RJ
Drummer RJ Minichello passed away unexpectedly last year leaving behind his family and the musical community which he loved. Friends, family and musicians will celebrate “The Concert In Memory of RJ Minichello” this Sunday, April 13 beginning at 3:30 p.m. at three different locations. The concert takes place at Waldos Tavern (406 Green Ridge St., Scranton), The V Spot (906 Providence Rd., Scranton) and Thirst T’s (120 Lincoln St., Olyphant).
Acts confirmed for this year include Asialina & Bryan Banks, Tom Flannery, Russello Project, The Lo-Fives, NoWhere Slow, The JOB, Simon Sez and more. Admission is $5 at the door with additional donations encouraged. All of the money raised will be split evenly between RJ’s two daughters and used for academic purposes.

Phase Two
The Allman Brothers Band  announced the second phase of the 3rd Annual The Peach Music Festival’s line-up, which features added performances by Gov’t Mule, Wake Up With Warren Haynes, Big Gigantic, The Taj Mahal Trio, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Victor Wooten, From Good Homes, Tribal Seeds, The Wood Brothers, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, The Soul Rebels, Particle and The London Souls.
The Peach returns to The Pavilion at Montage Mountain and Montage Mountain Water Park on Thursday, August 14 to Sunday, August 17 for four days of camping, multiple stages, music, a water park and more. The Peach is the first-ever ABB-inspired festival in the Northeast Pennsylvania region and is the only chance for fans to see ABB in PA/NJ this summer.
These bands have been added to the lineup which already includes The Allman Brothers Band, Bob Weir and RatDog, Trey Anastasio Band, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Lotus and Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band.
Early-bird four-day passes are on sale now at ThePeachMusicFestival.com. Every four-day pass includes free access to Montage Mountain Waterpark. For full package, VIP and festival details, visit ThePeachMusicFestival.com.

Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros Global a Go-Go (HellCat) 2001

Headphones

Headphones

Assorted Declarations from Editor Tom Graham

Come On Everybody
Looking for a potpourri of musical adventure this week? Look no further than The Everyone Orchestra featuring Steve Kimock, John Kimock, Ryan Montbleau, Reed Mathis, Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman at River Street Jazz Cafe, Plains on Friday, April 4.
Conducted by founder Matt Butler, The Everyone Orchestra features a rotating line-up of well-known musicians and showcases them during a variety of festivals, theaters and live music rooms. Butler sets the mood of each passing jam as he communicates with the musicians using hand signs, a whiteboard and an assorted array of mime suggestions.
The list of Everyone Orchestra participants includes members of The Grateful Dead, Phish, moe., String Cheese Incident, The Flecktones, Club d’Elf, ALO, Tea Leaf Green and Adrian Belew, Taj Mahal, Maria Muldaur, Tuvan throat singers, live painters, dancers, chanters, choirs, hula hoopers, firespinners, jugglers, stiltwalkers, storytellers and hundreds of others.
Showtime for the 21 and older event is 10 p.m. with tickets ranging from $20 to $25. For more information, visit EveryoneOrchestra.com.

Sweet 19
Sarah Street Grill, one of the only live original music rooms remaining in Stroudsburg, is celebrating its 19th anniversary with a day filled with music, raffles, a pool and dart tournament, specials and prizes on Monday, April 7.
This year, Sarah Street is donating 19 percent of its sales to Wounded Warriors, specifically the Marines Helping Marines Fishing Tournament. Live music starts at 6 p.m. (and goes all night long) with Christian Porter (a former contestant on NBC’s The Voice), Regina Sayles, Ansel Matthews, George Wesley, Brian Schmidt, The Current, Bill Rooth, Steve McDaniel and more.
Over the past 19 years, Sarah Street has featured acts like Railroad Earth, Rick Danko of The Band, Jonah Smith, Cabinet and Hamell on Trial. For more information and to see the complete list of musical offerings Sarah Street has in store, visit sarahstreetgrill.com.

Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: Joe Pernice It Feels Good When I Stop (Ashmount) 2009

Headphones

Headphones

HEADPHONES
Assorted Declarations from Editor Tom Graham

 

Got Guitars?
British blues guitarist Matt Schofield hits the stage at the River Street Jazz Cafe on Friday, March 21. Doors for the show open at 7 p.m. with show time set for 9 p.m. MiZ will serve as opening act for the show. Tickets for the 21 and older show range from $15 to $18.
Schofield snagged the award for Best British Blues Awards Guitarist of the Year in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The guitarist and singer blends blues with rock and funky jazz rhythms. His band, The Matt Schofield Trio, plays a wide range of their own material which is a blend of blues and jazz, along with covers of blues classics. Visit mattschofield.com for more information.

Hop on the Starship
Jefferson Starship, founded by Rock Hall of Fame inductee Paul Kantner (who also founded Jefferson Airplane) and David Frieiberg, celebrate their 40th year in 2014 with a show at the Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg on Saturday, March 22. Local act Flyin’ Blind will open the show
Along with recent television specials on PBS and HDNet, Jefferson Starship have appeared in 30 countries on four continents, including Brazil, Japan, Israel and Serbia at the invitation of the American Embassy. Their live show features hits like “Somebody to Love,” “White Rabbit,” “Volunteers,” “Wooden Ships,” “Jane,” “Miracles,” “Count on Me” and “Find Your Way Back.”

Reflections
Now that most of the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are over (give or take another parade or one more heap of corned beef and cabbage), I’d like to reflect.
Early to rise: The streets were buzzing at 8:30 a.m. in downtown Scranton last Saturday. I scored a prime parking spot, grabbed what I needed out of my vehicle and I never looked back.
Bagpipers everywhere: It seemed at one point, no matter which direction I turned, there were bass drums, snare drums and bagpipes-a-blazing right in front of my face. Pair them with the sound of the long, plastic horns the kids love blowing away on these days, the parade was a loud one.
Grand Parade: I was lucky enough to both ride (in the slick electric city and diamond city limo) and walk in the parade this year and I was truly blown away by the amount of pure joy I saw on people’s faces. Some people may have had a little too much to drink here and there, but while riding along in the parade, I was able to see people celebrating the partly-sunny day with great enthusiasm.
Stiff: It was a long day for me — playing two shows and partaking in the parade itself. I haven’t been this sore and wind-burned in quite some time.
Random: Clowns are still kind of creepy and I don’t trust horses. People love to dress up their dogs. Cotton candy is making a comeback.
Surprise of the day: People ducking down city alleys to pee.
Best moment of the day: Publicly ridiculing people ducking down city alleys to pee and watching them drudge away in shame — with no hand sanitizer in sight.
Let’s do it again next year!

Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: Big Scary Not Art (Barsuk) 2014

Headphones

Headphones

Sugarman
It was announced earlier this week that Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Kristian Bush from Sugarland will perform the Keystone Grand Ballroom in the Convention Center at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Saturday, April 19 at 8 p.m.
Leaving his mark on music for more than two decades, Bush is currently on the road with his 2014 “Put Your Soul In It Tour,” backed by a five-piece band including Rebecca and Megan Lovell of roots duo Larkin Poe. Bush is currently narrowing down 300 plus songs for his debut solo album, due later this year.
Tickets for Kristian Bush are $25 and are on sale now. Ticketmaster customers may purchase tickets by logging on to ticketmaster.com; calling Ticketmaster’s national toll free charge-by-phone number 1-800-745-3000; or visiting any Ticketmaster outlet. Tickets are also available at the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs box office.

Mayday Payday
The Faction official Mayday warm-up show takes place at The Other Side located on South Main Street next to Bart & Urby’s, Wilkes-Barre, this Saturday, March 8 at 10 p.m.  DJs  Evil Bee, Newspy Hundo and Gary Jamze will be spinning deep house, funk house, garage and other dance selections. The $4 cover will go directly to the 7th annual Mayday Music Festival, a free all ages event that will take place from noon until 10 p.m. on May 24 and 25, at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre.

The Hall for All
For the first time in the history of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the annual induction ceremony will take place in an arena, at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The ceremony concert will be held at 7 p.m. on April 10. In previous years, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies were held at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, but this year will mark the very first time that the concert tickets will be sold to the public. About 10,000 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame induction tickets went on sale and promptly sold out in minutes. The primary market face prices range from $66 to $576. There are now over 5,000 tickets is available on the secondary market with an average price of $357 and a get-in price of $108. The most expensive ticket available is priced at $3,030.
Inductees include KISS, Cat Stevens, Hall and Oates, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, Andrew Loog Oldham and The E Street Band. Peter Gabriel is one member of this year’s class that is actually already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a result of his work with Genesis. Gabriel will become the 19th performer to be inducted more than once, joining such artists as Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Neil Young and Eric Clapton, who is the only member to be inducted three times. He was first honored as a member of the Yardbirds in 1992, then with Cream in 1993 and finally as a solo artist in 2000.

Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: Glen Phillips Abulum (PMRC, Brick Red Records) 2001

Headphones

Headphones

Speak Up!
In last week’s action-packed episode of Headphones, I wrote about Scranton’s amusement tax, a tax passed on Dec. 10, 2012 that allows the city “to impose a 5-percent tax upon privilege of attending or engaging in non-exempt amusements, including every form of entertainment, diversion, sport, recreation and pastime, requiring all persons, partnerships, associations and corporations conducting places of amusements.” The City of Scranton wants its share of ticket money (from venues such as Pavilion at Montage, Scranton Cultural Center) and cover charges from local businesses which fall under the same tax. Again, this law has already passed and gone into effect in 2012 and now the city is looking to collect the money.
Shorty after the Headphones take on what I labeled the “Whack Tax” hit the streets and the Internet last Thursday, Scranton City Councilman Pat Rogan caught wind of the volatile situation. Later that same evening during the Scranton City Council meeting, Rogan brought the issue back to the attention of city council, as well as having a discussion with Mayor Courtright, and is looking into ways to possibly amend the ordinance so that it will not hurt local businesses and musicians.
Councilman Rogan is asking local musicians and business owners to contact him at patrogan1@gmail with suggested ways to help him come to some sort of resolution in the matter of the amusement tax.

Winter Blues and Booze
Panked! returns yet again to The Bog, 341 Adams Ave., on Thursday, Feb. 27, as the dancing crowd will join hands and celebrate a glorious night of winter wonder. Panked’s Frosty Bunz Winter Blowout Ball will feature all the usual fantastic staples such as a dance contest, happy hour specials, sweat, prizes and the chance to make winter leave us all alone for a few months. For more information, visit facebook.com/panked.danceparty.

Oscar pick
It’s Oscar time and the nominees for Best Original Song at this year’s Academy Awards are all over the place. The nominees include: “Happy” from Despicable Me 2 by Pharrell Williams, “Let It Go” from Frozen by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, “The Moon Song” from Her by Karen O and Spike Jonze and “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom by an up-and-coming act from Ireland named U2.
I’m calling “Let It Go” the winner with a slight possibility of U2 snagging the Oscar, but I can’t help but wish Karen O and Jonze win the category. If you haven’t heard “The Moon Song,” it’s a simple, poignant acoustic song featuring two intertwined voices clocking in at close to two minutes of spectacular lunar love. Again, I find myself rooting for the underdog.

Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: Creeper Lagoon Take Back the Universe and Give Me Yesterday (Dreamworks) 2001.

 

Editor Tom Graham is a musician and singer/songwriter rooted in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Send email to tgraham@timesshamrock.com

Headphones

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HEADPHONES

Assorted Declarations from Editor Tom Graham

The Whack Tax

If you are a musician playing a gig in the city of Scranton any time soon, be wary: Scranton wants a cut of the money and considers itself part of the act … the over-served yet ineffective tambourine player if you will. It’s not just musicians who are in the city’s crosshairs — it’s actors, directors, magicians, dancers and any other artists who may be involved in what is being generalized as forms of amusement.
If you’re caught amusing someone in the City of Scranton, it’s going to cost you.
What is amusement? According to a notice sent to Scranton business owners by the Department of Licensing, Permits and Inspections dated Jan. 10, 2014, the amusement tax (passed on Dec. 10, 2012) allows the city “to impose a 5-percent tax upon privilege of attending or engaging in non-exempt amusements, including every form of entertainment, diversion, sport, recreation and pastime, requiring all persons, partnerships, associations and corporations conducting places of amusements; imposing duties and conferring powers upon the Treasurer of the City of Scranton; prescribing the method and the manner of collecting the tax imposed by the ordinance; and imposing penalties for the violation thereof.”
Exactly 5-percent of what? 5-percent of every ticketed event (Hi there Pavilion at Montage Mountain. You’re technically in Scranton and they want your money too!) and 5-percent of cover charges collected at the doors of local clubs, bars and performance spaces.
If you visit some of these Scranton venues, you can’t help but feel for owners who are fighting an increasingly difficult battle against the city when it comes to providing entertainment for their patrons. Not only do the businesses have to fork over money to the city in the form of a yearly entertainment licence — which is not common practice  — but must pay substantial licensing fees to The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) which collects performance royalties on behalf of the songwriters and publishers they represent.
Scranton wants a cut of the price of admission from an event that hopes to amuse and entertain. The irony is that most of us look to suspend a portion of our day-in-day-out struggles of living on the fringe of ridiculous laws and licenses through entertainment. If a band makes $400 at the door on a busy Friday night, the owner is being asked to take $20 away from the band’s share and set it aside to help save the city from their financial woes and worries. Maybe $20 seems like a lot or maybe it seems like not enough, but it’s the principle. The city wants another piece of someone else’s pie without taking the time to look down at its own plate.
If things continue to spiral in this direction, the city and its administrators may continue to make even more ridiculous demands — like asking people not to park on the streets of downtown Scranton on Valentine’s night so it can devise a plan to properly remove accumulated snowfall from its streets and sidewalks.
I spoke with Pat Hinton, the recently appointed director of Department of Licensing, Permits and Inspections about the letter sent out to Scranton business owners on Jan. 10 and although he is listed as the writer of the letter and his number is listed under the contact information, he was unaware such a letter exists. He did assure electric city and diamond city that he would send us information as it becomes available, hopefully leading to further conversations about the amusement tax, the city’s policy and the businesses and artists it will affect.
I wouldn’t mind giving a cut of the cover charge here and there to help Scranton, but the city should have to at least play a song or two — or maybe even help carry in the drum set and speakers.
That would be amusing.

Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: Cornershop When I Was Born for the 7th Time (Warner Bros.) 1997

 

Editor Tom Graham is a musician and singer/songwriter rooted in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Send email to tgraham@timesshamrock.com

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assorted declarations from editor tom graham

 

 

The Peach Unleashed
The Allman Brothers Band (two nights), Bob Weir & RatDog, Trey Anastasio Band, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Lotus, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, The Greyboy Allstars, JJ Grey & Mofro, The Revivalists and more will perform at this year’s Peach Music Festival, which will return to Montage Mountain on Aug. 14-17. The Allman Brothers — who will cease touring after 2014 — will perform their classic 1971 album Eat A Peach in its entirety during one of their sets. Four-day passes to the festival are now on sale, and more artists will be added to the lineup in the near future. Other artists included on the Phase 1 line-up include Dopapod, Papadosio,The Infamous Stringdusters,The Soul Rebels, Boombox and Bobby Lee Rodgers.
“The Peach continues to grow every year and we’re particularly excited about this year’s line-up, getting to share the stage with some of our musical friends. We look forward to seeing all of our fans in August,” said the Allman Brothers Band.
The Iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees became one of the biggest American rock bands in the world, famous for their musical prowess and legendary live concerts. Celebrating 45 years of making music together in 2014, the Allman Brothers Band consists of Gregg Allman (vocals and keyboards), Butch Trucks (drums and tympani), Jaimoe (drums), Warren Haynes (vocals, lead and slide guitar), Derek Trucks (slide and lead guitar), Oteil Burbridge (bass) and Marc Quinones (congas and percussion).
Early-bird tickets are on sale now and available at ThePeachMusicFestival.com. Early-bird tickets are $129 (additional fees apply, while supplies last). For full package, VIP and festival details go to ThePeachMusicFestival.com.

On a Mountain Sky High
If you’re looking to kick off festival season a little earlier than most, the folks at Mountain Sky have something lined up for you this weekend. The Still Meadow Winter Moon festival takes place at Mountain Sky, 63 Stillmeadow Ln., Jermyn, on Saturday, Feb. 8. Show starts at 2:30 p.m. Acts scheduled to appear are Still Hand String Band, Mysterytrain, Uncle Jake and the 18 Wheel Gang, When East Meets West and the Mountain Sky Orchestra.
The event features food, vendors and BYOB (no glass). Tickets are $25, $40 for overnight. Tickets are available at mountainsky.net and can also be purchased through the bands.
Mountain Sky is situated on 117 acres of historic land at “The Beginning of The Endless Mountains” in Scott Township. The organization offers artists a unique and intimate venue at which to inspire and become inspired. “Mountain sky was conceived by artists and musicians with the hopes of nourishing and promoting local arts and music,” said organizer Michael “Ragu” Rogowski. “It has been brought to reality by a lot of great people that just want to be a part of something positive.”

Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: The Shins Wincing the Night Away (Sub Pop Records) 2007

Headphones

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HEADPHONES

Assorted Declarations from Editor Tom Graham

 

Grammys Be Gone

Another Grammy season has come and gone, just like the cold winter — oh, wait, it’s still freezing out there. For those of you keeping score at home, I successfully predicted four of the six winners featured in last week’s Headphones. I’m not saying I know what’s good, I’m just saying I have a pretty good idea of how people in the recording industry vote these days. Although my eyes weren’t exactly glued to the television set last Sunday night, here are a few of my favorite memorable moments.
• Robot helmets-wearing electronic music duo Daft Punk are so weird and I couldn’t have been happier when they shimmied off with five Grammys, including album of the year and record of the year for their anthem “Get Lucky.” They cemented their memorable evening with a massive jam with Stevie Wonder, Nile Rodgers and Pharrell. Daft Punk collaborator Paul Williams had one of the best acceptances of the night; “Back when I was drinking and using, I used to imagine things that weren’t there,” he said. “And then I got sober and two robots called me and asked me to make an album.”
• Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won for best new artist and swept the rap category, taking Grammys for best rap song and rap performance for “Thrift Shop” and best rap album for “The Heist.” Their performance of “Same Love,” an anthem for equal rights for same-sex couples, featured Queen Latifah presiding over a group wedding at the Staples Center and Madonna singing “Open Your Heart” backed by a gospel choir.
• Jay Z sent a message to his daughter after snagging a Grammy: “Look, Daddy got a gold sippy-cup for you.”
• Kathy Griffin thanked Lindsay Lohan and her family for providing her with the material for her Best Comedy Album win.
• Lorde’s song “Royals” earned her Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance and left her looking awkward and speechless … because she’s 17 … and she should be allowed to be awkward and speechless at times without being dissected.
• Dave Grohl honored the Beatles when he accepted the Best Rock Song Grammy with McCartney for their Sound City collaboration “Cut Me Some Slack.” “We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Paul and for Ringo.”
• Miranda Lambert and Billie Joe Armstrong twanged along to the Everly Brothers’ “When Will I Be Loved.”
• The Highwaymen performed with Blake Shelton in the absence of Johnny Cash. The group swaggered through Merle Haggard’s “Okie From Muskogee.”
• Metallica played its war anthem “One” slightly out of tune with classical pianist Lang Lang.
• The night’s finale — a supergroup of Dave Grohl, Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham — gave a trippy feel to NIN’s “Copy of A” and Queens of the Stone Age’s “My God Is the Sun,” before advertising appropriately and abruptly ended the night.

Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: Wax 13 Unlucky Numbers (Interscope/Atlantic) 1995

Editor Tom Graham is a musician and singer/songwriter rooted in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Send email to tgraham@timesshamrock.com