Friday, October 1, 2010

ArtsPreview 2010-11: The season in pop music

Blond Fuzz.

By Bill Meredith

There are more reasons than just abundant area classic rock radio for the popularity of veteran touring acts in South Florida.‭ ‬Baby boomers and their disposable incomes certainly factor into the retro stars‭' ‬price-gouging ticket costs,‭ ‬but Sunshine State geography also literally has its place in the equation.

Unlike most of the Lower‭ ‬48,‭ ‬Florida is a cylindrical state.‭ ‬There's no driving through to get to other destinations‭ ‬--‭ ‬heading south means having to turn back north to get out.‭ ‬Which may help to explain why classic rock jet-setters The Eagles,‭ ‬Crosby,‭ ‬Stills‭ & ‬Nash,‭ ‬and estranged Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters take frequent paid vacations here.

‬All appear during the‭ ‬2010-2011‭ ‬season,‭ ‬naturally,‭ ‬but so do some artists who are younger,‭ ‬hungrier,‭ ‬and taking the bus to work.‭ ‬Or even doing their own driving.

Crosby, Stills & Nash, at the Hard Rock Live
in Hollywood in August 2009.
(Photo by Tom Craig/Seminole Hard Rock)

‬Crosby,‭ ‬Stills‭ & ‬Nash may not equate to the Woodstock-era socio-political drama that was Crosby,‭ ‬Stills,‭ ‬Nash‭ & ‬Young,‭ ‬but Neil never factored heavily into the group's lasting legacy‭ ‬--‭ ‬its signature vocals‭ ‬--‭ ‬during his brief tenures.‭ ‬Singing guitarists David Crosby,‭ ‬Stephen Stills and Graham Nash offer arguably the greatest three-part harmonies in‭ ‬pop history,‭ ‬which they're sure to serve up on classics recorded both with Young‭ (‬Carry On,‭ ‬Woodstock,‭ ‬Deja Vu,‭ ‬Teach Your Children‭) ‬and without‭ (‬Wooden Ships,‭ ‬Long Time Gone,‭ ‬Dark Star,‭ ‬Southern Cross‭) ‬tonight‭ (‬Oct.‭ ‬1‭)‬ at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood‭ (‬8‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬$40-$100‭)‬.

Few lasting rock bands have emerged out of Canada,‭ ‬but the longest-lasting has been Rush.‭ ‬The original trio of vocalist/bassist Geddy Lee,‭ ‬guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer John Rutsey formed in Toronto in‭ ‬1968‭ ‬and released a self-titled‭ ‬1974‭ ‬debut,‭ ‬but the group gelled after Rutsey was replaced by drummer Neil Peart shortly thereafter.‭ ‬Still one of the most important additions in rock history‭ ‬35‭ ‬years later,‭ ‬Peart has been the centerpiece of progressive albums‭ ‬from Fly By Night‭ ‬(1975‭) ‬to a forthcoming‭ ‬2011‭ ‬release.‭ ‬The trio will play material from throughout its career during its‭ “‬Time Machine Tour‭” ‬stop‭ ‬Oct.‭ ‬2‭ ‬at the Cruzan Ampitheatre in West Palm Beach‭ (‬7:30‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬$47.10-$143.50‭)‬.

The Eagles.

The Eagles may be the American equivalent of the Rolling Stones‭ ‬--‭ ‬a touring act that can dictate its own ticket prices even though it hasn't released a memorable album in‭ ‬30‭ ‬years.‭ ‬But through the band's first decade,‭ ‬drummer Don Henley and guitarist Glenn Frey wrote and sang some of the top pop hits of the‭ ‬1970s in‭ ‬Take It Easy,‭ Take It To the Limit‭ ‬and‭ ‬Hotel California.‭ ‬With guitarist/vocalist Joe Walsh and bassist/vocalist Timothy B.‭ ‬Schmidt since the mid-‭'‬70s,‭ ‬The Eagles‭' ‬soaring vocal harmonies defined Los Angeles through the decade,‭ ‬and are sure to highlight an Oct.‭ ‬8‭ ‬show at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise‭ (‬8‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬$45-$230‭)‬.

Old-school hip-hop had a strong presence in South Florida last month,‭ ‬with shows by Snoop Dogg and Public Enemy.‭ ‬But both appeared in nightclubs,‭ ‬while the Fall Frenzy Festival‭ (‬featuring Everlast‭) ‬is an all-day outdoor concert.‭ ‬Everlast was part of fellow rapper Ice-T's Rhyme Syndicate in Los Angeles in the late‭ ‬1980s,‭ ‬and has since enjoyed huge hit singles with the‭ ‬hip-hop group House of Pain‭ (‬Jump Around‭) ‬and as a more rootsy solo artist‭ (‬What It's Like‭)‬.‭ ‬Expect both at the fest,‭ ‬which also features Universal recording artists Rehab,‭ ‬Boston-based Crimbon Bile and more than‭ ‬20‭ ‬area acts on Oct.‭ ‬9‭ ‬at Sunset Cove Ampitheater in Boca Raton‭ (‬10‭ ‬a.m.,‭ ‬$25‭)‬.

Stone Temple Pilots.

One of the top touring acts of the‭ ‬1990s,‭ ‬Stone Temple Pilots blend hard rock,‭ ‬grunge and glam influences in ways that few others envisioned.‭ ‬After nearly‭ ‬20‭ ‬years,‭ ‬the Los Angeles quartet of vocalist Scott Weiland,‭ ‬brothers Dean DeLeo‭ (‬guitar‭) ‬and Robert DeLeo‭ (‬bass‭) ‬and drummer Eric Kretz remains intact‭ ‬--‭ ‬despite Weiland leaving often to record solo CDs,‭ ‬front bands like Velvet Revolver,‭ ‬and serve heroin rehab stints or jail terms.‭ ‬Criticized for borrowing from the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin‭; ‬Soundgarden and T.‭ ‬Rex,‭ ‬STP may either be ahead of their time or retro rip-off artists.‭ ‬Decide for yourself on Oct.‭ ‬12‭ ‬at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood‭ (‬8‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬$52-$104‭)‬.

Like many successful country acts in the music video era,‭ ‬Atlanta-based duo Sugarland features ample doses of pop.‭ ‬Lead singer Jennifer Nettles was a soulful rocker a decade ago‭; ‬guitarist/vocalist Kristian Bush was previously in the acoustic duo Billy Pilgrim,‭ ‬and Sugarland covered songs by the B-52s,‭ ‬Beyoncé,‭ ‬and the Kings of Leon on its‭ ‬2009‭ ‬CD/DVD package‭ ‬Live On the Inside.‭ ‬Their‭ ‬2008‭ ‬CD‭ ‬Love On the Inside‭ ‬won multiple Grammy Awards,‭ ‬thanks to Nettles‭' ‬soaring voice and the duo's genre-blurring songwriting.‭ ‬They're sure to perform compositions from their new release,‭ ‬The Incredible Machine,‭ ‬on Oct.‭ ‬16‭ ‬at Cruzan Ampitheatre in West Palm Beach‭ (‬7:30‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬$29-$49.75‭)‬.

The Flaming Lips‭' ‬sound may seem modern and new,‭ ‬but the Oklahoma band actually released its first album in the mid-1980s.‭ ‬After several lineup changes,‭ ‬the group issued its major-label debut,‭ ‬Hit‭ ‬to Death in the Future Head,‭ ‬in‭ ‬1992.‭ ‬A slot on the Lollapalooza tour,‭ ‬and a minor hit in‭ ‬She Don't Use Jelly,‭ ‬finally brought the group's sound to the masses.‭ ‬Vocalist and guitarist Wayne Coyne,‭ ‬the lone remaining original member,‭ ‬has since crafted stellar releases like‭ ‬Yoshime Battles the Pink Robots and last year's orchestral‭ ‬cover of Pink Floyd's entire‭ ‬Dark Side of the Moon album.‭ ‬The Flaming Lips appear on Oct.‭ ‬16‭ ‬at the Sunset Cove Ampitheater in Boca Raton‭ (‬8‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬$48.60‭)‬.

Nouveaux Honkies.

ROOTS‭! ‬puts the spotlight on three rising groups from the Treasure Coast area.‭ ‬Stuart-based Fresh Catch has two CDs‭ (‬Foul Hooked and‭ ‬So Far‭) ‬featuring their reggae-meets-rock style‭; ‬The Kregs are a jam band with original material by guitarist Ron Hart and influences ranging from the Allman Brothers to Miles Davis,‭ ‬and headliners the Nouveaux Honkies exemplify the concert's theme with their mixture of blues and swing‭; ‬country and pop.‭ ‬The Port Salerno act started out as the duo of singer/guitarist Tim O'Donnell and violinist Rebecca Dawkins,‭ ‬but has grown into a house-rocking quartet.‭ ‬Hear the future of roots music on Oct.‭ ‬23‭ ‬at the Lyric Theatre in Stuart‭ (‬8‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬$25‭)‬.

Boca Raton-based Blond Fuzz is an ascending rock trio with glam on the brain and blues in its heart.‭ ‬Vocalist/guitarist Jordy Asher,‭ ‬lead guitarist Dave Barnard and drummer Jeff Rose are throwing the release party for their brand-new‭ ‬Perfect Breakfast CD at the oldest alternative music nightclub in the Southeastern United States,‭ ‬but the venues and ticket prices are sure to grow soon.‭ ‬Asher uses the White Stripes‭' ‬formula of separate amplifiers to create both guitar and bass lines,‭ ‬and the trio proves impossible to ignore by adding touches from Led Zeppelin to David Bowie.‭ ‬Fort Lauderdale band Sweet Bronco opens on Oct.‭ ‬23‭ ‬at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach‭ (‬9‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬$15‭)‬.

British duo Massive Attack pioneered the sub-genre called trip-hop,‭ ‬and now they've paired up on a co-headlining tour with another duo‭ ‬--‭ ‬Washington,‭ ‬D.C.-based Thievery Corporation‭ ‬--‭ ‬that furthers their influence.‭ ‬Consisting of deejays Rob Garza and Eric Hilton,‭ ‬Thievery Corporation often features more than‭ ‬15‭ ‬musicians in its live shows,‭ ‬and just released the best-of compilation‭ ‬It Takes a Thief.‭ ‬Massive Attack also adds different collaborators to its performance and production team of Robert Del Naja and Neil Davidge,‭ ‬and released its fifth studio CD,‭ ‬Heligoland,‭ ‬in February.‭ ‬They team up on Oct.‭ ‬26‭ ‬at Bayfront Park Ampitheater in Miami‭ (‬6:30‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬$41.60-$62.50‭)‬.


The Southern Monster Smash Festival features an entire day of groove-conscious acts from Florida,‭ ‬Georgia,‭ ‬Louisiana and beyond.‭ ‬Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band headline the New Orleans contingent‭; ‬J.J.‭ ‬Grey‭ & ‬Mofro,‭ ‬The Heavy Pets and Crazy Fingers represent the Sunshine State,‭ ‬and the Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio's namesake guitarist is a Savannah-based artist vastly deserving of wider recognition.‭ ‬The fest also features Karl Denson's Tiny Universe,‭ ‬The Lee Boys with Oteil Burbridge‭ (‬bass‭) ‬and Kofi Burbridge‭ (‬keyboards,‭ ‬flute‭)‬,‭ ‬The Auctioneers,‭ ‬and the Hill Country Revue,‭ ‬all on Oct.‭ ‬30‭ ‬at the Pompano Beach Ampitheatre‭ (‬11‭ ‬a.m.,‭ ‬$60.85‭)‬.

At age‭ ‬64,‭ ‬British guitarist and singer/songwriter Dave Mason remains a force as a touring solo act‭ ‬--‭ ‬but arguably for the hits he's written for other artists and the bands he's been a part of.‭ ‬Mason was a founding member of Traffic before leaving due to artistic differences with Steve Winwood,‭ ‬and he's also recorded and toured with Delaney‭ & ‬Bonnie,‭ ‬Mama Cass Elliot,‭ ‬and Fleetwood Mac.‭ ‬The biggest hit of his‭ ‬40-year solo career is‭ ‬We Just Disagree‭ ‬from‭ ‬1977,‭ ‬but his biggest hit overall is‭ ‬Feelin‭’ ‬Allright,‭ ‬which graced Joe Cocker's‭ ‬1969‭ ‬debut‭ ‬With a Little Help From My Friends.‭ ‬Mason performs on Nov.‭ ‬8-9‭ ‬at the Lyric Theatre in Stuart‭ (‬7‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬$35‭)‬.

Being billed as‭ “‬New Orleans‭’ ‬Premier Bass Player‭”‬ on his website is no idle boast by George Porter Jr.‭ ‬The bassist/vocalist teamed with drummer Zigaboo Modeliste in the Crescent City group The Meters during the‭ ‬1960s-1970s,‭ ‬and that futuristic duo‭ (‬along with James Brown's rhythm sections‭) ‬helped to create modern funk.‭ ‬Porter still plays with the updated Funky Meters,‭ ‬as well as its offshoot trio with drummer Russell Batiste and guitarist Brian Stoltz,‭ ‬plus guitarist John Scofield.‭ ‬The bassist's sessions include recordings with Paul McCartney,‭ ‬Robbie Robertson,‭ ‬and Tori Amos.‭ ‬Porter plays with his group The Runnin Pardners on Nov.‭ ‬12‭ ‬at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale‭ (‬8‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬$23.20‭)‬.

Pink Floyd may be the most enigmatic rock band of all-time,‭ ‬having changed personalities every time it changed personnel.‭ ‬Singing guitarist Syd Barrett crafted the British group's‭ ‬1960s psychedelic sound‭; ‬bassist/vocalist Roger Waters led the band to‭ ‬1970s stardom after Barrett's departure,‭ ‬and singing guitarist David Gilmour‭ (‬onboard since the late‭ ’‬60s‭) ‬took over after Waters left in the early‭ ‬1980s.‭ ‬Yet Waters‭’‬ absence has loomed as large as his presence,‭ ‬especially since he's the one replicating Pink Floyd‭’‬s‭ ‬1979‭ ‬double-album for two nights here in‭ ‬The Wall:‭ ‬Live.‭ ‬See Waters‭' ‬elaborate stage show on Nov.‭ ‬13-14‭ ‬at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise‭ (‬8‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬$60.50-$219.25‭)‬.

Paula Cole’s voice was just as memorable singing backup on Peter Gabriel's‭ ‬1993‭ "‬Secret World Tour‭" ‬as‭ ‬it was on her‭ ‬1994‭ ‬debut CD‭ ‬Harbinger.‭ ‬Born to musical parents in Rockport,‭ ‬Mass.,‭ ‬her songwriting also goes beyond the pop clichés of most of her contemporaries,‭ ‬and for good reason.‭ ‬Cole studied at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston,‭ ‬where she turned down an offer from a jazz recording label as a senior.‭ ‬She'll showcase her genre-bending talents on songs from her new‭ ‬Ithaca CD,‭ ‬plus hits like‭ ‬Where Have All the Cowboys Gone‭?‬ and I Don't Want to Wait,‭ ‬on Dec.‭ ‬1‭ ‬at the Kravis Center's Rinker Playhouse in West Palm Beach‭ (‬6‭ ‬and‭ ‬9‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬$38‭)‬.

Guitarist Joe Satriani practically resurrected instrumental rock music nearly‭ ‬25‭ ‬years ago.‭ ‬It was the mid-1980s,‭ ‬10‭ ‬years after the sub-genre's champion,‭ ‬Jeff Beck,‭ ‬had semi-retired.‭ ‬MTV was pushing all music without vocals further into the abyss,‭ ‬but‭ “‬Satch‭”‬ released his molten‭ ‬1987‭ ‬sophomore disc‭ ‬Surfing With the Alien,‭ ‬which went from mail-order-only item to gold album.‭ ‬His follow-up EP‭ ‬yielded the instrumental hit‭ ‬The Crush of Love,‭ ‬catapulting Satriani toward a masterful self-titled‭ ‬1995‭ ‬CD,‭ ‬the formation of the still-active G3‭ ‬Tour,‭ ‬and his new‭ ‬Black‭ ‬Swans and Wormhole Wizards‭ ‬release.‭ ‬See Satriani on Dec.‭ ‬2‭ ‬at the Pompano Beach Ampitheatre‭ (‬8‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬$26.95-$72.50‭)‬.

Singing guitarists have been clamoring to replace Stevie Ray Vaughan since the iconic blues-rocker died in a‭ ‬1990‭ ‬helicopter crash.‭ ‬Twenty years later,‭ ‬Joe Bonamassa may finally be the one with the goods.‭ ‬Still only in his early‭ ‬30s,‭ ‬he started his recording career in the early‭ '‬90s with the blues/rock act Bloodline.‭ ‬Bonamassa was then tutored by famed recording engineer Tom Dowd,‭ ‬who produced his‭ ‬2000‭ ‬solo debut,‭ ‬A New Day Yesterday.‭ ‬Bonamassa's new‭ ‬Black Rock CD features contributions by another mentor,‭ ‬B.B.‭ ‬King,‭ ‬plus biting originals and stellar covers of classics by Jeff Beck and Otis Rush that he's likely to play on Dec.‭ ‬10‭ ‬at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood‭ (‬8‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬$43-$73‭)‬.

The Travelin‭’ ‬McCourys.

Bluegrass is a difficult genre of music to gain name-recognition in‭ ‬--‭ ‬unless,‭ ‬of course,‭ ‬it's built-in.‭ ‬Such is the case with The Travelin‭’‬ McCourys,‭ ‬led by the sons of decorated bluegrass veteran Del McCoury.‭ ‬Featuring mandolinist Ron McCoury,‭ ‬banjo player Rob McCoury,‭ ‬violinist Jason Carter and bassist Alan Bartram,‭ ‬the group is also known for its far-reaching collaborations,‭ ‬which have included country star Vince Gill and veteran rock acts the Allman Brothers Band and Phish.‭ ‬The quartet blends the Appalachian traditions the McCourys learned from their banjo-playing father with open-minded jazz improvisation on Jan.‭ ‬9‭ ‬at the Lyric Theatre in Stuart‭ (‬7‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬$35‭)‬.

Jerry Garcia's death in‭ ‬1995‭ ‬effectively ended the long,‭ ‬strange‭ ‬30-year trip of the Grateful Dead.‭ ‬The remaining members formed various splinter groups,‭ ‬but none have had the rhythmic force of The Rhythm Devils.‭ ‬The group features the Grateful Dead's original drummer,‭ ‬Bill Kreutzman,‭ ‬and Mickey Hart,‭ ‬the second drummer who joined in‭ ‬1967.‭ ‬Both played with the Dead until its disbandment.‭ ‬The two worldly percussionists have already played chestnuts like‭ ‬Friend of the Devil‭ ‬and‭ ‬Fire on the Mountain during‭ ‬2010‭ ‬shows with Davy Knowles‭ (‬guitar,‭ ‬vocals‭)‬,‭ ‬Andy Hess‭ (‬bass‭) ‬and Sikiru Adepoju‭ (‬talking drum‭)‬.‭ ‬They appear on Jan.‭ ‬9‭ ‬at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale‭ (‬8‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬$37.25‭)‬.

Motown Records fell long before its home city of Detroit hit hard times,‭ ‬but the Motown sound will never die‭ ‬--‭ ‬especially on a night when two of its legendary vocal groups join together.‭ ‬The Temptations‭' ‬hits like‭ ‬My Girl,‭ ‬I Can't Get Next To You‭ ‬and‭ ‬Papa Was a Rolling Stone will be performed by Otis Williams,‭ ‬Ron Tyson,‭ ‬Terry Weeks,‭ ‬Joe Herndon and Bruce Williamson.‭ ‬The Four Tops‭ ‬go back even further,‭ ‬as Abdul‭ “‬Duke‭”‬ Fakir,‭ ‬Roquel Payton,‭ ‬Theo Peoples and Ronnie McNeir sing smashes like‭ ‬Baby I Need Your Loving and‭ ‬It's the Same Old Song‭ ‬on February‭ ‬17‭ ‬at the Kravis Center's Dreyfoos Hall in West Palm Beach‭ (‬8‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬$20-$110‭)‬.

Bill Meredith is a South Florida-based freelance writer who has written extensively on pop and jazz.

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