Gettin’ all up in Ultra Music Festival

ultraFinally, I get my festival on.

I missed out on my chance earlier this year when Langerado was called off for 2009 — and honestly, I’m kind of glad. The festival picked the wrong venue (Miami’s in-the-middle-of-the-city Bicentennial Park) and seemed to lose its way with its core audience a bit.

But the Ultra Music Festival seems to have a handle on what it provides. Unlike Langerado, Ultra’s choice of Bicentennial Park fits it to a tee. As the centerpiece of the World Music Conference, Ultra has its place in the city. Langerado’s more laid-back style has its place more in the country.

Friday, the first day, has more bands than the second day. Both days, however, are pretty much about the men and women on the decks — DJs. And some of the best DJs in the entire world: Carl Cox. The Prodigy. Paul Van Dyk. Tiesto. Roni Size with Reprazent. BT. Crystal Castles. Cut Copy. Mstrkrft. Hercules and Love Affair. Deadmau5. And on and on and on.

The music acts are excellent as well — Bloc Party, Santogold, Ting Tings, Shiny Toy Guns, even Black Eyed Peas.

Definitely worth a visit down south. I’ll be there…

Tinsley Ellis: Still at the blues

ellisI’m not sure if I’ve followed Tinsley Ellis or if he’s following me.

A cool Southern blues guitarist, Ellis first came to my attention when he was starting out in Georgia and I was in school in Athens, Ga. He’d play a local club, and I’d hear about how he’d take his guitar outside and play for the guys who couldn’t get in.

Well, he’s still at it. He plays quite a bit down here, and people know him for his showmanship and his technical skill.

He’s playing Friday at the Back Room in Boca Raton.

Please to enjoy “To the Devil a Dime”:

Get spaced out with EOTO

eotoSometimes it’s good to just let the mind go.

To zone out at the planetarium light show as psychedelia plays. To find yourself in and out of the music with Thievery Corporation or Brother Bean (local band, worth a look.)

EOTO, the electronica duo formed by Micheal Travis and Jason Hann of the String Cheese Incident, takes you out to those outer reaches. Or at least the outer reaches of Miami’s Purdy Lounge on Wednesday, Delray’s City Limits on Friday and as part of Locofest at the Palm Beach International Raceway on Saturday.

EOTO’s peg is that everything is improvised. They just go off on a tangent and dare you to follow them. Worth the trip, it seems, every time.

Jaw-dropping weekend in store for music fans

When a door closes a window opens. Or something to that effect.

When Langerado 2009 was canceled, many bands decided to cancel their Florida trips. But not all of them.

Modest MouseFor example, Modest Mouse decided that Florida in March is still a nice place to visit, so they’re going to make the trip. They’ll play Revolution on Sunday.

It’s been heady times for what has become one of the U.S.’ most popular indie bands. Modest Mouse’s last album, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, went to the top of the charts, and they had some fortuitous lineup changes — former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr was the most celebrated, but percussionist Joe Plummer’s addition from Black Heart Procession was also a pretty big move.

Check out Joel Francis’ review of their show Monday in Kansas City.

Also on their way down here are:

— Friday: Against Me!, Pompano; Holy F*ck/Tricky, Revolution; Bad Brains, City Limits; Propagandhi, Culture Room
— Saturday: Over The Rhine, Lyric Theatre, Stuart; The Pogues, Pompano; Less Than Jake, Revolution; Ozomatli, Culture Room.
— Sunday: Tokyo Police Club, City Limits.
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The mighty Mozzer revisits Boca

NOTE: See update.

mozzfornfMorrissey is one of those artists that I personally have never warmed to. I’m just going to put that out there.

However…

I can’t deny the man has done what few others have been able to do — become one with a style, sound and attitude. When you think of that kind of music, there can’t be anyone else that comes to mind. And I respect the hell out of him for that.

He’s returning Saturday to the Center of the Arts in Boca Raton, where in 2007 he played an extremely well-received show.

For the uninitiated, the Morrissey experience is… well… how did The Times of London put it? “Dramatic…bleak, funny vignettes about doomed relationships, lonely nightclubs, the burden of the past and the prison of the home.” (Thanks to his Wikipedia entry for the help.)

He is literate, he is stylish and he is his own man. Worth a look.

UPDATE: Morrissey decided to cancel. He said it was due to “illness”, making it the second time he’s canceled due to illness since he played Boca in 2007.

Every Dr. Dog has his day — at Culture Room

 

Dr. Dog in concert (Photo by Paolo Proserpio)
Dr. Dog in concert (Photo by Paolo Proserpio)

The time has come for Dr. Dog to take the lead.

Dr. Dog is one of those bands that other bands would fear opening for them, because the quintet’s three-part harmonies and boundless energy are very hard to follow.

I had the chance to see these guys at Langerado last year, and this Philadelphia band is a lot of fun. Their music has bounce. 

It’s just worth a trip to Culture Room on Friday to check them out.

Cowboy Junkies: Celebrating a great achievement

Margo Timmins of Cowboy Junkies

Margo Timmins of Cowboy Junkies

I heard The Trinity Session for the first time in college.

Margo Timmins has one of the most truly haunting voices ever. And this album, released in 1989, enveloped it into a warm country sound that the band fell in love with when they toured.

This year, the band released Trinity Revisited, a 20th anniversary celebration of their achievement — featuring such luminaries as Ryan Adams and Natalie Merchant.

Cowboy Junkies will be bringing their wonderful sound to the Lyric Theatre in Stuart. And while their whole career will be on display, the special feeling of The Trinity Session will likely be at the center.

From that album, my personal favorite song — “Misguided Angel”: