Wednesday, August 31, 2005

For New Orleans, from What America Needs filmmaker

This note is from Mark Wojahn. His film, "What America Needs," a documentary from his travels across the U.S. asking citizens that question and filming their response, is very powerful and beautiful.

Dear Friends Peers and Family,

As a person who has loved New Orleans, my heart goes out to the people in that
city and in the area of the hurricane. Attached are some heartbreaking images I
found on the web. My tears and prayers are with you. I have so many memories of
Louisiana, going down there 5x, two for "What America Needs" and the others on
jobs or for pleasure. I urge everyone to do whatever they can, to send support
their way.

I cant do much, but for the next three months, every WHAT AMERICA NEEDS dvd that
is purchased from my website at:

What America Needshttp://

I will donate $5 to the RED CROSS relief effort. It is easy and you can use
paypal with your credit card.
affec, Mark Wojahn

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Last Chance to catch my KFAI show fe: local, old-time, punk

My substitute radio show on KFAI will be up through Monday, Aug. 29. Go to KFAI Audio Archives, scroll down to Dig Up the Roots, click on "Previous Show." I also played songs off hot, brand-spankin' new CD's by the Knotwells and Fort Wilson Riot, as well as Thunder in the Valley and other locals (Get Up Johns, Charlie Parr. . . and more. If you're interested in the Tim Foss CD, by the way, email me at and I'll pass your contact info to him -- he lives near Soldier's Grove, WI and only here once in a while these days. Have fun, and play fiddle! Banjo's okay, too! Or just get up and dance!

Thanks to guest host Cindy Collins who came in with an amazing collection of "New music based on traditional genres, old-time, old country, honky-tonk, gypsy . . . and a few of their influences." But that's not all! She also brought in her expertise of local Minneapolis / Minnesota music and featured it throughout the show.

{Show Theme}David Lindley and Tarika Rakoto Frah
Rakoto Frah Two Step
A World Out Of Time
Government Issue Orchestra
Black Eyed Susie
An Old-Time Portland Potluck: A Fine Selection of Stringband Music From Portland, Oregon
Foghorn Stringband
Georgia Railroad /
Reap What You Sow
Late Last Night When Willie Come Home
Dickel Bros Vol. 1
Empty Records
Tommy Jarrell
Ida Red
The Legacy of Tommy Jarrell Vol 2: Rainbow Sign
Uncle Earl
Ida Red
She Waits for Night
Rounder Records
Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerard
Long Black Veil
Pioneering Women of Bluegrass
Smithsonian Folkways
Get Up Johns Local
Trouble in Mind
Old Crow Medicine Show
Hard to Tell
The Wilders
My Bucket's Got a Hole In It
Rural Grit Records
Hank Williams
Honky Tonk Blues
Alone With his Guitar
Mercury Records
Laura Cantrell
Poor Ellen Smith
Humming by the Flowered Vine
Matador Records
The Knitters
Little Margaret
The Modern Sounds of the Knitters
Zoe Records (div. of Rounder Records)
Charlie Parr Local
I Wish I Was a Mole In the Ground
Minnesota Folk Tour
Crush Collision Trio Local
Cold in Hand
Cold in Hand
Tim Foss Local
Farewell Whiskey
Cat Came Back
Rayna Gellert & Susan Goering
Goodbye Girls
Starch & Iron
Heard Her Squeal Records
The Hammons Family
Jimmy Johnson
The Hammons Family
Handsome Family
When the Helicopter Comes
In the Air
Orange Carrot
Crooked Jades
Heaven Holds All My Treasures
The Unfortunate Rake Vol. 2 -- Yellow
Dirk Powell & Tim O'Brien & John Hermann
Mountain Air / Washington's March / Bonaparte's Retreat
Songs from the Mountain
Sugar Hill
Fort Wilson Riot Local
Orange-Haired Woman
Fort Wilson Riot
The Knotwells Local
Fistful of Dynamite
Blood River Melodies
Thunder in the Valley Local
Thunder in the Valley
Tim Foss (Seven Foot Dilly tune) Local
Sand Mountain Drag
Cat Came Back
Dickel Brothers
Chitlin Cookin' Time in Cheatham County
Dickel Brothers Vol. 1
Uncle Earl
How Long
She Waits for Night
Holy Modal Rounders
Black Eyed Suzie
Rayna Gellert & Susan Goehring
Say Darlin' Say
Starch & Iron
Heard Her Squeal Records
Gillian Welch
One More Dollar
Almo Sounds
Fort Wilson Riot Local
Angelitos Negros
Fort Wilson Riot

Friday, August 26, 2005

A Picture Share!

Cyns usual start to a fun fri the liquor pigs viking

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

the Knotwells new CD!

Hey! It's arrived! The new Knotwells CD, Blood River Melodies, which is ultra-fantastic. With Arik's intelligent songwriting skills and charismatic hardcore, agressive, and yet somehow nearly breaking your heart or making you feel his anger and angst sometimes all at the same time, with the excellent instrumentation of fellow Knotwells on banjo, viola, drums, guitar and assorted handmade instruments, some by luthier "the Joel."

Spontaneously I went to their CD release party which was high energy and hundreds were moshing, this on the same night ironically as Gogol Bordello, who I think are brothers from two different mothers as far as bands go . . . but, the Knotwells were not hosted by Clear Channel, so the price and the ideology were right. I LOVE Gogol. But Ritual Music? I cannot go. (In case you care to know, and didn't, Ritual is Clear Channel).

Featured on the CD are the Knotwells uniquely revolutionary and rebellious songs about survival, treachery, religion being a big letdown, poverty, drug abuse, folklore, dark dangers from a Neo-Nazi in New Orleans and a mythical creature in the woods, friends that abandon you in times of trouble such as a bike crash. Fistful of Dynamite is inspired by the Sergio Leone western of that title, with a "unique sense of class consciousness and a sense of being on the sidelines of a revolutionary war," the Knotwells' classic "Nothing New (for Trash Like You)" inspired by film Gummo, and a favorite of mine, "Treblinka," "an imaginary story of a Gypsy junkie on the way to a death camp . . . "

The show was extremely intense, like a freight train. The Knotwells reverence for, and connect of old Appalachian Folk Songs (Harry Smith Collection), old country (Hank!) and film and literary and ballad references to punk are done so well. They've been playing in these here parts for a long time, and Lee's for several weeks recently and have worked really hard on this CD which is a true work of art on many levels. Lyrics, liner notes, art, beautiful package . . . this and friends Fort Wilson Riot's CD make burning a crime because you won't get the art with it!

I highly recommend this . . . they're on tour now, but will be playing here in September, a fast hard intense live show not to be missed. Here's the schedule in case anyone reads this from these other towns.

aug. 16- chicago,il- the mutiny (2428 n. western ave. logan sq.) w/ your
loving tiger, and drop earrings
aug. 17- st. louis,mo- fredericks lounge (4454 chippewa) w/ the homewreckers
aug. 18th, Des Moines, IA - Hairy Mary's (2307 University Ave. ) , opening for Totimoshi,
and Skin of Earth.
aug. 20- denver, co- benders tavern (314 e. 13th ave.) w/ reckless kelly,
and the railbenders
sep. 23- triple rock- w/ new model army
nov. 3- lee's w/ reverend glasseye

Wilson County Riot CD Release and the Alarmists at Turf

Last Thursday, Fort Wilson Riot had their CD release party at the Turf, with the Alarmists opening. Fort Wilson Riot is a new favorite, who I feel is one of the best new bands in town and will go far! As may the Alarmists as well, who were a music wake-up call, refreshing in their energetic Brit-pop that reminded me of the Beatles, Spoon, Supergrass, and seemed on the verge of experimenting with stuff that the Super Furry Animals, one of my favorite live bands did. They pushed edges of guitar experimentation, and had cool solos that ended leaving you wanting more, which is a tricky timing thing in the world of solos. They're playful and have great vocals and guitar chops and are definitely a fantastic new band I recommend checking out.

There'll be a chance for you to do so when they play at Big V's on Sept. 8 with Fort Wilson Riot and another group Maudlin they recommend in the umbrella category of gypsy punk that is becoming the rage which includes these groups, the Knotwells, Murzik, Mike Gunther and His Restless Souls and Thunder in the Valley.

Fort Wilson Riot started their show literally dramatically with lead singer Amy Hager curled on the floor in an Italian renaissance-looking outfit, singing atmospherically and the rest of the band looking like they'd either just got off hopping trains or working in a coal mine for 3 months who after the "Overture," tore directly into early punk riffs and carnivalesque rhythms, like a Tilt-a-Whirl out of control. Elements of classical keyboards wove around '70's style female vocals and Carpenter's like harmonies, and Spoon/Wilco/Beatles infused guitar of Jacob Mullis (Seldom Seen). The versatile Hager and Mullis alternated on the keyboards with melodramatic songs about politics, hair loss and self-pity in the midst of global warming, hair spray, the war, and infused with magical realism elements such as a shrinking and flying orange-haired woman, all performed in front of a fantastically painted backdrop in black and white by Hager.

Their new CD also features phenomenal artwork done by their friend Brian Squillace who relocated to Nevada City, CA, who's also an architect working towards green housing, using minimal cost and renewable resources to build structures.

Lyrics such as: "Smooth Lager Beer, take me away from here" sung precariously close to a Calgon commercial ditty, continues, "I live in a country and I'm heir to a throne, but of an evil king, bent on ruining his own. . . we don't know much but we know its wrong. These laws and this war can only lead to harm."

Why Can't the God's be Laughing is a nice twist on Christian guilt, and Forget about Legs is strangely funny and dark.

There are so many cool and often funny surprises in a Fort Wilson Riot show, such as "harmonoboxing" something that Joe Goggins "on bass, weirdness, beatbox, vocals" does that is a cross between playing harmonica inside a little flowerpot and the beat box, the image of which sent I and a friend into peals of laughter. This happened many times throughout a show, and I got spoiled, wanting to hear more dark, macabre gypsy punk music that made me laugh and think and dance all at once. I love hearing intelligent lyrics infused with tongue-in-cheek dark humor by obviously literary people. Goggins also did lots of cool Tom Waits-style mouth percussives. Together the band make vocals that sound like birds chittering, slide kazoos, and trumpets. There are Spanish guitars and vocals on Angelitos Negros and classic rock riffs teasing the memory throughout . . . I could go on all day.

Two parts of the future 5 - 7 part Idigaragua were played at the Turf show which drummer Ben Smith says will also probably be their next recording project, with an EP solely consisting of that song cycle. The Lens is another new song that they're experimenting with, "working on writing different musical sections to theme a show sometime in the future." Their intent is to make a collage with a song and its various lyrics and twists throughout a show.

You'll have a chance to see them for yourselves at their CD Release Party, Part 2 at the Hexagon this Friday along with Pretty Boy Thorson and the Fallen Angels, Steve Jacksaw, and Murzik at 9:30.

You can check out their music, shows, and favorite links (which resonate with me) here:

Fort Wilson Riot

Here's their setlist:

Why Can't the Gods Be Laughing
Orange Haired Woman
Satin Sheets
Forget About Legs
Bitch Tit
Heir to a Thrown
Angelitos Negros
Ass Hair
Hairspray that Holds
Bumble Fuck

Monday, August 15, 2005

Radio Show at KFAI Tuesday 9 - 11 a.m. "Dig Up the Roots"

Tune in tomorrow, Tuesday August 16th as I substitute host for KFAI's Dig Up the Roots!

The focus will be today's generation of musicians inspired by the old stuff, Old-timey, East European folk, gypsy and old country. Just getting back from Old-time and bluegrass festival, I'll be playing some hot new CD's by Uncle Earl, Rayna Gellert, and local Tim Foss!

Having gotten to camp with original Dickel Brothers' fiddler phenomenon Clancy and his family, of course there'll be some Dickel Bros. in there, with yet another of the plethora of Willie tunes. The Dickel's are possibly coming to town in September, so look out! Hopefully the Dickel Bros. (and another band named after whiskey mentioned later, won't run into the same fate as the Hopefuls.)

Also camping with us were an awesome couple from Eli, who are great players. One of them, fantastic fiddler Chad Yost was one of the original students to take over KFAI from the faculty in the mid-90's. He knows three of the Current's founders very well from those days. Chad (who looks strikingly like Jude Law) and I talked radio and forest service work at 5 a.m. between tunes under the falling stars and swigs of Jag, chardonnay, and Maclellan's scotch. In honor of the beauty of Chad's playing in general and particularly the Deadman's tuning (DDAD) so sweetly at 6 in the morning as I drifted to sleep in my tent, I'll play the tunes he learned from off of the Songs from the Mountain CD by Tim O'Brien.

O'Brien was also at the festival with Dirk Powell (who played for the Cold Mountain film). It was very cool meeting Dirk . . . we talked politics for a while before I knew who he was, I was stunned to have gotten to talk with him. Of course I'll feature his "touring band" Foghorn Stringband, as well.

I'll also play some brand new CD's by Fort Wilson Riot who are having a CD release party at the Hexagon this Friday (their live show is not to be missed and their CD is great!), The Knotwells (who had their fantastic "Blood River Melodies" CD release party of the last night), Murzik, and Thunder in the Valley. Arik Knotwell said a friend described music such as theirs, "Carnival Core." At last, a name for this new kind of old carnivalesque stuff.

Other local artists will be Charlie Parr, the Get Up Johns, Crush Collision Trio, and Pert Near Sandstone, as well as great old-time artists from further away such as Old Crow Medicine Show. You'll hear bone-chilling ballads by: The Knitters (members of X, and Dave Alvin), The Handsome Family, and Laura Cantrell (who hosts one of my favorite old-time and old country and Americana shows, Radio Thrift Shop, and I'll sprinkle in some old Ernie Carpenter, Hammons Family, and Tommy Jarrell so you can hear where this stuff came from.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Sam Keenan with Jesse Lukes this Friday at Varsity Theater

A show is perfect for the Varsity Theater this Friday at 9:00 pm is quietly charismatic Sam Keenan with Jesse Lukes. I've heard Sam's shows a couple times and really enjoy his rich versatile vocals and honest, poignant songwriting, a rare talent. He's been experimenting and pushing himself and his musical boundaries. I recommend highly going to hear him live. You can click on his name above to listen to his music.

While I haven't yet heard Jesse Lukes' music, I hear it will be a good show perfect for the phenomenal sound and lighting and hushed theater environment of the Varsity, one of my favorite venues in town.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

All-time great fiddler, Vassar Clements will be leaving us soon

Vassar Clements "hillbilly jazz" fiddler, who influenced so many fiddlers (and did phenomenal work on Grateful Dead's 1973 classic "Old and In the Way") is ending medical treatment for cancer which has gone into his brain. Go to the link for more info.

Monday, August 08, 2005

A Picture Share!

Everything i do will be funky from now on! Esp when willie is playin. Yeah.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

A Picture Share!

Kruddler rox the turf

A Picture Share!

Now @ turf babygrant weding celeb. That's what u get! Kruddler next 115

Saturday, August 06, 2005

A Picture Share!

Blaksmithing.The last 1 was a litle rowdier, the next 1 is sappy love song john sez

A Picture Share!

We're all dodgin our way thru the world.

A Picture Share!

John stomps out some great ol tunes.

A Picture Share!

Bill n judy kick off palmfest w a fiddle tune & jokes. Spider john is up in an hour. Catch these phc stars while you can!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Sam says "Hi."

Keep on rockin in the free world

! Devaney and Hyer are playing great music, now, an old gospeley twangy boozy tune. Yep. Great for enjoying inside during this thunderstorm. A Hank song, I think it's Lost Highway, with terrific Cajun style fiddle. . . whoo I've said it before, I'll say it again. Jake's the fiddler to catch, any ol' time.

Sam comments on Martin Devaney

Sam Keenan, program director of Misplaced Music said Martin went to bat for Misplaced Music in the 9th hour. Keenan likes Devaney's music for his honest vocals, "he sings like he talks.' He likes the folky music and the non-rock star approach to his playing and singing and presentation. He also loves Jake's humble ways, "he's humble, and amazingly good."

"Flowers on the Doorstep"

Ah, sweet harmonies of Martin Devaney, and Jake Hyer. Sweet fiddle of Jake, guitar of Martin. Perfect for listening to at Misplaced Music. Martin is a great songwriter. There are about 50 people here at the Turf Club. A toast to listeners out there. If you are listening to the show, and have any comments you'd like to add, please add to the comment section. Enjoy the show.

Now, they're doing a great old-timey country song. Whew whew! Jake rocks the bow, yeah.

Martin Devaney & Jake Hyer till 1 pm at the Turf!

Martin & jake take the stage

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Misplaced Music Featured Artist Showcase Weds live from Turf Club!

Hello everyone -- I'm at the Turf Club reporting the brand new Rock Show Wednesday to you live. High on Stress has just started, playing some really good Americana guitar stuff. You should check them out, if you're at home awake or come on down, and see 'em. Tune in now 11:05 to listen to the very first Misplaced Music Featured Artist Showcase.

Up in about an hour is Martin Devaney, with one of my favorite local fiddler/mando players, Jake Hyer of the Get Up Johns.