Monday, May 21, 2012

New JPR/Cascade Season Lineup Is A Dream Come True

Thorogood's Lips, circa 1980

Back in 1980, I had a dream that has stuck with me all these years. It involved a George Thorogood concert and a magical kiss from his giant lips. So when I heard that George Thorogood and the Destroyers are one of almost 30 acts Jefferson Public Radio will be bringing to the Cascade Theatre as part of our next season lineup, I immediately asked my boyfriend for permission to get a kiss from the rocker...you know, just in case the opportunity to make my dream come true arose. It was an interesting negotiation, to say the least.
JPR has certainly made some of my musical dreams come true over the past couple of years (perhaps some of yours as well), and the roster of artists for our 9th JPR/Cascade Theatre Performance Series looks like it's going to be another amazing year. Today's the day we release the entire list of shows that we've booked for the season so far, which includes Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Styx and WAR!
Elvis Costello
 Today is also the day you can purchase tickets, if you're a Cascade Theatre member. Fortunately, you can get your membership and purchase tickets at the same time (either on the phone, on line or in person at the box office). I highly recommend it, because the benefits are great.
 Foremost, you get to purchase tickets right now. Well, as soon as the clock strikes 11am today you can buy tickets...on line, at the box office, on the phone. Everyone else has to wait until June 20th*. It's worth the $50 annual membership, because not only do you get first crack at the best seats, but if it turns out you can't attend the show (until a day or two before), you can exchange your tickets for another JPR show. Or if you've got a ticket already but would like to move to another place in the hall to be next to other friends, the box office will do its best to accommodate you. The membership is good for the entire season, which means if we add on a show later in the season (and we always do!) you'll still get first crack at those tickets. OK, enough of the hard sell, right? You just wanna know who's coming. Fair enough. I am happy to oblige. A complete list of JPR/Cascade Theatre Performance Series shows is below...and I'm including a playlist of as many performers that I could dig up to include on the list. And of course, if you see something you like, click to the Cascade Theatre Website and get thyself a membership and some tickets. See you at the theatre, and I'll let you know if I get that kiss.

* Tickets to some of the early shows in the season are already on sale to 2012-13 season members, and tickets to Trace Adkins is already on sale to the general public.


For more playlists, check out Grooveshark!
  • June 22, 2012 - Bach, Rossini & more with The Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra
  • June 24, 2012 - The Honkeytonk Sound of Trace Adkins
  • July 9, 2012 - Texas Crooner Lyle Lovett
  • July 11, 2012 - Alt Country Goddess Lucinda Williams
  • July 24, 2012 - Reggae Superstar Ziggy Marley
  • Aug 29, 2012 - Singer Songwriter Brandi Carlile and her band
  • Sept 11, 2012 - Legendary Rock Band Styx (featuring hometown boy Ricky Phillips on bass!)
  • Sept 20, 2012 - Eye Popping Acrobatics of Cirque Chinois
  • Sept 24, 2012 - Original Hipster Songwriter Elvis Costello
  • Sept 25, 2012 - Blues Rocker & Great Kisser George Thorogood & The Destroyers
  • Oct 4, 2012 - Music Pioneer Emmylou Harris
  • Oct 5, 2012 - Manhattan Short Film Festival
  • Oct 27, 2012 - Blues Legend John Mayall
  • Nov 2, 2012 - Classic Rock with WAR
  • Nov 4, 2012 - Blue-Collar Comedian Bill Engvall (2 shows)
  • Nov 23 - Dec 1, 2012 - A Cascade Christmas
  • Dec 7, 2012 - Christmas, the Cowboy Way with Riders In The Sky
  • Dec 21, 2012 - A Traditional Irish Holiday Celebration with A Celtic Christmas
  • Jan 8, 2013 - Mark Hummel's Blues Harmonica Blowout featuring John Hammond
  • Feb 10, 2013 - Mamma Mia Sing-A-Long on the big screen
  • Mar 12, 2013 - In The Mood, a Historic Revue of 40's Jazz
  • Mar 14, 2013 - Roots & Boots with Aaron Tippin, Sammy Kershaw & Joe Diffie
  • Mar 16, 2013 - An Evening of Keyboard Prodigies with A Touch of Classical Piano
  • Mar 19, 2013 - Celebrate St. Paddy's with Dervish
  • Apr 14, 2013 - The Return of Kathy Mattea
  • Apr 21, 2013 - A Doubleshot of Blues with the Taj Mahal Trio & Shemekia Copeland
  • Apr 26 - May 4, 2013 - Fiddler On The Roof
  • May 17, 2013 - Guitar Virtuoso Leo Kottke



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

RIP MCA


Adam Yauch
Boy Beast
1964 - 2012
It’s nice to know, after all these years, that my first impression of the Beastie Boys was the one they had of themselves – it was all a crazy joke. But it was like one of those really, really brilliant inside jokes that takes a while to sink in, and when it does, just conjuring up the punch line in your brain brings on a chuckle. And it turns out that my later impression was also correct – the Beastie Boys are far more brilliant, musically talented and diverse than they have ever been given credit for, perhaps because they took that joke and ran with it so far people forgot it was a joke.
Back in the mid 1980’s, when I was still firmly entrenched in the alternative music scene, the Beastie Boys hit the airwaves with the frat rap anthem “Fight For Your Right To Party.” There can’t be a soul alive who hasn’t heard this song. (And don’t worry…if I’m wrong about that, you’ll have the opportunity to right that wrong before our hour is up today). 
I thought it was ridiculous. I disliked rap intensely. My friends and I, in our Black Flag t-shirts and ripped jeans, thrift store dresses from the 50s and ratted hair, weren’t impressed. And then when I got an eyeful of the Beastie Boys, I laughed uproariously. They called themselves Ad-Rock, Mike-D and MCA. But they’re real names were Adam Horowitz, Mike Diamond & Adam Yauch. They were three white Jewish kids from New York. Hilarious! What a joke, right? Turns out it was. Only I never knew that until now. 
The Beastie Boys began as a hardcore punk group, and were poking fun at rap when they conjured up their first spoken lyrics/scratched lp song. Except people liked it. In fact, they liked it better than the music they were originally trying to be serious about. So they went with it. And eventually became Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, celebrated worldwide for their little prank on the music world.


At some point things changed. I guess the Beastie Boys grew up, and grew out of the caricatures they had created. They did an album of instrumentals, which I loved even before I knew it was them. In fact I was floored when I found out it was them. Fatboy Slim remixed one of their songs and turned it into something even more amazing, and they began working with other musicians, other sounds, moving on. And they moved on to other things in life, like marriage, and kids, and finding causes to fight for. And then one of the trio, Adam Yauch, known as MCA to Beastie fans, got sick. Throat Cancer. He fought it for three years until he passed away just a few weeks ago. 47 years young. Now that he’s gone, I’ve read so much about this brilliant soul, mostly from posts that all my high school and college friends posted on Facebook, that I want to share a little bit of him with you today. Just a few tidbits that you may not have known (like I didn’t) until hearing of his passing: 
  • He was a Buddhist, married to an American-raised Tibetan and he was an activist for Free Tibet, organizing concerts, trying to raise funds for disaster relief there. 
  • He was a filmmaker. Under the pseudonym of Nathaniel Hornblower he directed music videos, concert films, and a full length feature film about high school basketball, “Gunnin’ for that #1 Spot.”
  • He was a daddy of a very cute little girl whom he loved so much. The photo of them above just melted my heart.
  • He’s a much cooler, conscientious guy than we ever knew. If you really want to know the whole scoop on his life, read this great obit in The New Yorker.
  • Another thing Yauch did that moved me to dedicate today’s column to him was that somewhere along  the way he realized that maybe some of the careless lyrics of his youth had contributed to something shameful that’s taken over current rap music – the rampant verbal disrespect of women that permeates lyrics. He called his contemporaries on the carpet for it with this brilliant line from Sure Shot: 

I wanna say a little something that’s long overdue, the disrespect to women has got to be through. To all the mothers and the sisters and the wives and friends, I wanna offer my love and respect to the end.

Well Adam, you’ve got my respect to the end. Sorry you’re not around to see your beautiful daughter grow up and become a beautiful woman. In your honor, I've put together a playlist that combines some of your biggest hits, some of my own personal favorites, and some of the Beastie jewels that most people don't even know exist, like the album of Beatles/Beastie Boy mashups, collectively entitled "The Beastles." Genius stuff.  In fact, I have to admit that the Beastie Boys seem to be most tasty when served not alone, but with a variety of other tasty morsels, mashed.

My very favorite taste of the Beastie Boys, in this BB vs. Matt & Kim Mash Up

A quick warning: This playlist is definitely not for everyone. I don't blame you if you can't spend an entire hour listening to the Beastie Boys. But I did include all my favorite songs that even have a slight odor of the Boy Beasts, including Fatboy Slim's amazing remix,  and a mess of The Beastles. Try the first 4 or 5 songs, and check out the very last, where you can really hear the difference in MCA's voice, from their last release, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2, which shows just how hard he tried, right up until the end.


You can always check out the playlist on Grooveshark or just hit the play button above.

In a separate box, please put a highlighted note: Readers, be sure to check back in to A News CafĂ© next Tuesday morning, when I’ll share a special edition of Mistress of the Mix with you. This is the day Jefferson Public Radio and the Cascade Theatre announce our upcoming season, and tickets will go on sale that day to members. You can be one of the first to get the scoop on all of the amazing shows JPR will be bringing to the theatre, along with a special playlist featuring the artists you’ll have an opportunity to see in the coming year.