Poplife is dead. Long live Artcetera.

Posted on September 22nd, 2009 – 2:05 PM
By Chris Riemenschneider

My posting on today’s Phoenix in-store set at the Electric Fetus marks the end of Poplife and the beginning of a new, all-things-A&E blog called Artcetera, which debuted today. Click here to reset your RSS feeds to the new blog.

Once there, you can set the category to just “Music,” and thus not have to read about Joe Dowling’s favorite brand of licorice or whatever fascinating topic the theater guys are writing about. But we’re actually hoping this promotes a little cross-pollination between all the local arts worlds. Jon Bream and I will be doing the same post-concert posts with set lists, gig announcements and other matters to spout off about. Please stay with us and continue posting your own comments, although you’re going to have to log in to the Strib mothership log-on center to do so (pretty easy).

Rascal, Rucker @ Xcel

Posted on September 20th, 2009 – 1:48 AM
By Jon Bream

Some post-concert reflections after writing my review of Rascal Flatts and Darius Rucker at Xcel on Saturday:

Did Rascal Flatts seemed rushed? Many songs segued into the next one — even in non-medley situations.

Did the elaborate runway(s) to the stage sort of suggest Prince’s symbol?

Why would Gary LeVox expect many fans to know the new number “American Living”? It’s not on my version of “Unstoppable.” Tied to the group’s new campaign with JC Penney, the song is available only on CDs sold at Penneys.

So we got three songs from “Unstoppable.” Glad that the helping from the new album was limited because this is not a particularly strong album.

What was louder: Gary LeVox’s bespangled shirt, his bespangled jeans or his blinged out watch?

I liked the contrast of LeVox’s choir-boy tenor and Darius Rucker’s rich as molasses baritone, especially when they teamed up on “Life Is a Highway.”

While Rucker was convincing at the X, I thought he was much more impressive at his longer, looser Cabooze gig last fall.

Darius’ “It Won’t Be Like This for Long” musically echoes the Bonnie Raitt hit “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”

Did we really need Cletus T. Judd as an opening act? His lamest joke was threatening the first person who yelled “Hootie” at Darius Rucker with being escorted by security to a Dixie Chicks concert 100 miles away. The Chicks haven’t been on tour for a few years.

Click here for the full review.  Here are the set lists

Rascal Flatts: Summer Nights/Stand/Fast Cars and Freedom/Me and My Gang/Bless the Broken Road/Still Feels Good/FRONT PORCH SET Mayberry/Lean on Me (Bill Withers)/Backwards/Praying for Daylight/American Living/Here Comes Goodbye/FULL BAND I Melt/Let’s Get It On (Marvin Gaye)/Love You Out Loud/Take Me There/My Wish/What Hurts the Most/Bob That Head  ENCORE Revolution (Beatles)/Hold My Hand (Hootie & Blowfish, with Darius Rucker singing lead)/Life Is a Highway (with Rucker)

Darius Rucker: Forever Road/Alright/It Won’t Be Like This for Long/All I Want/History in the Making/Family Tradition (Hank Jr.)/Drinkin’ and Dialin’/I Only Want To Be with You (Hootie & Blowfish)/Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It/Purple Rain (Prince)

Oh yeah … Lucinda rocked it, too

Posted on September 19th, 2009 – 9:46 AM
By Chris Riemenschneider

lucindawilliams.jpg

Somebody asked me if I planned to review Lucinda’s show last night at First Ave, and I have to admit I hadn’t really even thought of it. What with the whole wedding report and all (look for the news story on the home page).

Nobody would want to dis the bride on her wedding day, but the truth is the show would’ve been completely satisfying even if there hadn’t been any vows exchanged. Lucinda was incredibly focused, and her revamped band (longtime guitarist Doug Pettibone is out, ex-Iggy Pop sideman Eric Schemerhorn is in) definitely added spark in all the right places. Just like her second set at First Ave last year on the night of her “Little Honey” webcast — and what she’ll presumably do throughout her forthcoming 30th anniversary tour – she went through all her albums chronologically and picked 1-3 songs off each of them, talking intermittenly about that particular stage of her career. When she made her breakthrough “Lucinda Williams” record for Rough Trade, for instance, she said, “L.A. said I was too country for rock, and Nashville said I was too rock for country … so a punk label out of England signed me.”

Besides the usual highlights (“Joy,” “Changed the Locks,” “Righteously”), most of the standouts were the rockier numbers such as “Pineola,” “I Lost It” and “Real Live Bleeding Fingers,” although “Sweet Old World” sounded incredibly tender, too. How could it not on a night like this? Here’s the set list:

Motherless Children / Stop Breaking Down / Lafayette / Happy Woman Blues / I Just Wanted to See You So Bad / Big Red Sun Blues / Changed the Locks / Pineola / Sweet Old World / Concrete & Barbed Wire / I Lost It / Joy / Out of Touch / Essence / Real Live Bleeding Fingers / Righteously / Come On / Honey Bee

ENCORE: Plan to Marry / I’m Happy I Found You (adapted Hank Williams song) / “I take thee, Lucinda…” / Happy (Rolling Stones) / It’s a Long Way to the Top (AC/DC)

Thanks, Perez!

Posted on September 18th, 2009 – 2:47 PM
By Chris Riemenschneider

perez_hilton.jpgDue to illness, Ida Maria had to drop off the bill of Monday’s Perez Hilton Presents concert at the Fine Line, but Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head (who opened for Lily Allen at First Ave) has been added to the bill and all the other bands including headliner Ladyhawke are still going to perform — for free now! The publicist says Perez himself is even footing the bill for the show. Gosh, what a sweet guy. To get in, all you have to do is say, “I’m a friend of Perez,” at the door. Of course that’s the catch.

Fogerty, Hornsby coming

Posted on September 17th, 2009 – 11:28 PM
By Jon Bream

Rock Hall of Famer John Fogerty returns Nov 18 at the State Theatre to promote his new Blue Ridge Rangers album. Bruce Hornsby is set for Nov. 1 at the O’Shaughnessy in support of his new CD, “Levitate,” which features lyrics by Robert Hunter and guitar work by Eric Clapton.

Ticket details for these concerts will be announced soon.

Also, look for an acoustic version of DeVotchka to open for Leo Kottle on Nov 28 at the State.

Phoenix to electrify Fetus

Posted on September 16th, 2009 – 5:07 PM
By Chris Riemenschneider

wap.jpg(That headline almost rhymes)

Yes, the French dudes who’ve been making us politely shake our tail all summer with “Lisztomania” and “1901″ will be gracing the Electric Fetus in Minneapolis for a performance and signing at noon on Tuesday, the day of their sold-out First Ave show. To get in, you need to buy a copy of their album “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” at the store — kind of an insult to fans who bought it the day it came out, but a great show of support for a local indie store (so buy one for your Mom or whoever). Click here for the details on the band’s site. Word is the group even wants to record the Fetus set, maybe for some kind of indie-store-only live release on down the line or something like that.