Heart of a Hero: firefighter benefit concert to be held in December

We know a good cause when we see one…

The California wildfires that have dominated the news recently remind us of the sacrifices the brave men and women of the firehouse do for us everyday.

Last year, the First Annual “Heart of a Hero” Benefit Concert in southern California raised over $14,000 for the five families of the fallen firefighters in last year’s Esperanza, Ca. wildfire. And thanks to the help of country artists such as Big & Rich, Lonestar, Charlie Daniels, Brooks & Dunn, Wynonna and others, 100% of the money went to these families.

The Second Annual Heart of a Hero Benefit Concert and Auction will be held on December 1st and, once again, all the money will go to the Wildland Firefighters Foundation (this was set in motion WELL before these last devistating wildfires in California).

Your support will benefit the families of fallen firefighters.

For more information on the concert and how YOU can help, please visit:

http://www.myspace.com/heartofahero

Man-About-MySpace: Billy Gibson Band

The Billy Gibson Band is perfect for MySpace: They play blues, which has a national fan base that’s sparse but passionate–in fact, one might argue that the Internet kept blues alive, hooking up fans with the music at a time when the commercial music world left it for dead.

Gibson’s a harmonica player from Memphis, and it’s not just blues he can appreciate, but the Memphis Stax soul tradition as well, evidenced in his adventurous but interesting cover of Booker T. & the MG’s hit “Hip Hug-Her,” substituting his harp for the classic Booker B-3 organ line.

billy gibson

If you’re a blues fan who likes the Chicago stuff or the more B.B. King electrified side and not the Delta hollerin’ acoustic blues or country-drenched Texas style, Billy Gibson’s for you. Stop by his MySpace and stay awhile, and if you like the sample bites, dive into the 99-cent download buffet.

Ruby Tuesday: Les Rythmes Digitales, “Soft Machine”

Oh, that silly Stuart Price. Not content to see the French get all of the headlines and hit singles during that big wave in the late ‘90s (Daft Punk, Air, Dmitri from Paris), the Reading, England native christens himself Jacques Lu Cont and records a French house music-style album under the name Les Rythmes Digitales. It would be years before anyone was wise to his ruse, even though he left a pretty big clue at the very beginning: one of the collaborators on LRD’s only album, 1999’s Darkdancer, was…Nik Kershaw. Yes, that Nik Kershaw.

Our Ruby Tuesday selection, “Soft Machine,” was not released as a single, a decision that baffles us to this day. Perhaps its mid-90s BPM (that’s beats per minute, by the by) was considered too slow for a club scene that was all about speed – go back and listen to the remixes for Madonna’s “Music,” where the warp-drive beat track renders the song unrecognizable – but damn, check out that drum track. Stop, start, thump, backwards snare, fat-ass keyboard squawk. It’s like Sly Fox’s “Let’s Go All the Way” on steroids. Take that however you like.

Les Rythmes Digitales – Soft Machine.mp3

Where have all the good times gone

Now don’t get me wrong when reading this bit. I fully appreciate getting the free music sent to us for review. I love music as much as I ever have, and never see that diminishing in my life. I love hearing those new artists that really get me excited, or an older group that I haven’t yet explored that makes me want to explore their entire catalog. But I’ll be damned if I just can’t get excited or be excited or thrill at all to actually going into a music section of a store shopping for music. What happened?

I remember growing up and feeding my addiction with my weekly allowance and just really digging it. And finding a new music store was always a thrill, too. Going into used vinyl shops was fun, and generally just being a music consumer in the store and purchasing the product was satisfying. Nowadays, though, I can’t care less if I go music shopping in a brick and mortar store. It probably has everything to do with the Internet and the ease of being able to basically find nearly anything at anytime for a price (or not). I remember when I lived in TN making a road trip out to Nashville every now and then to go to the Tower Records there and just spending hours looking around. Now it’s all down to a simple search and mouse click and it’s all mine.

My iPod probably has a lot to do with the change as well. Hauling around a bunch of CDs in my car to enjoy wasn’t something so far in my past. I used to dig making new mix CDs and listening to them through again and again much like back in the mix tape days. But now, having given myself fully to the thrills of my iPod, I can hardly imagine taking a CD wallet around and all thoise mix discs. It seems that all my previous excitement has been replaced by mere convenience. That’s not really a bad thing at all. I welcome change and the freedom the new technology gives me. I’ve alwats liked the latest stereo gadgets. Shit, I even believed in the MiniDisc format there briefly.

But in addition to technology changing things…maybe it’s also just that there really aren’t music stores themselves anymore. Big box stores changed a lot of that with the Internet. It’s a shame in a way, but then again, to me it isn’t at the same time as I do love that push button convenience of the modern world. And I suppose the act of collecting the music itself has filled that void of going to the store and basking in the glow of the racks of releases. Someday, though, when the format is finally kaput, those CDs are going to seem as imposing as all those damn tapes I don’t listen to anymore. Someone bring a shovel or two.

If anyone knows a member of World Leader Pretend…

…would you please tell them that their MySpace page has been hacked?

Thank you. That is all.

A second box for Pink

Good news for Pink Floyd fans. The band is readying a box set collecting their entire studio output. The set is going to be limited to 10,000 copies, and US fans will have to buy it as an import. Suggest retail price: $250. Ah, the regurgitation of the band’s catalog yet again will certainly send a few cash registers ringing, I’m sure.

Video Vault – The Cult

Having had the good fortune to speak to The Cult’s lead singer, Ian Astbury, earlier this afternoon (I’d originally been scheduled to talk with guitarist Billy Duffy, but, what, like talking to Astbury instead is complaint-worthy?), I thought I’d favor ESDM’s readers with a video from the album he declares to be his favorite of all the band’s works. As is so often the case, it turned out to be one of their least successful, but one should always be true to oneself. I mean, the label won’t buy into it, but, still, you’ll feel better in the long run.

Road Warriors 37

Dave Matthews Band fans are still in full force, especially among college age kids. But recently the US Army beat out more than 100 colleges to win the World’s Largest Pep Rally contest, bringing DMB in for a pair of shows for the Army cadets next month.

The second annual Rock To Roll charity event spearheaded by SideOneDummy Records is set for December 11 at the Avalon Theatre in Hollywood. Headlining the event will be Flogging Molly and Bouncing Souls. Rock To Roll benefits Wheels For Humanity, which provides increased self-sufficiency and mobility to people with disabilities throughout the world.

After a four-year hiatus, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are back with their Hometown Throwdown again, which will be held in Boston at The Middle East from December 26 to December 30 (five shows). Unannounced special guests will also be on hand, and the band has said that you never know who is going to show up.

San Diego band My American Heart spent this past summer on the Vans Warped Tour and hit the road again last night for its Pure Volume/Rise From The Ashes club tour in support of their latest album, Hiding Inside The Horrible Weather. Here are the confirmed Read the rest of this entry »

DMed’s Video of the Week: The Lodger, “Kicking Sand”

Picture the Lightning Seeds if they covered a Buzzcocks record. Can U Dig it?

Man-about-MySpace: Clan Neville

Most of the time, the Man About MySpace is at your service to find great new bands for the sampling. Today’s blog, however, offers a tip of the cap to a phenomenal fan site, Neville Tracks.

See, few families in America have put out solid music output for as many decades as the Nevilles, starting with keyboardist Art in the 1950s when New Orleans R&B was a national phenomenon. One could argue for Clan Cole (Nat & Natalie) or the Jacksons or (most legimiately) the Nevilles’ New Orleanian colleagues the Marsalises (patron Ellis teaches at Tulane and still records, and sons Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason have all released good and sometimes great recordings for the better part of 30 years), but the Nevilles pop up everywhere, from the pop to the soul to the rock to the world music charts.

And there’s not just the brothers Art, Aaron, Cyril and Charles. There’s Aaron’s son Ivan, a veteran who played with Keith Richards and the Stones, a member of the current Neville Brothers band, and leader of the edgy funk band Dumpstaphunk. There’s Charmaine, Charles’ daughter, whose jazzy world-beat club act is a party wherever it alights.

If you enjoy the Bros., try dipping into the next generation.

But wait, there’s more: Art’s group The Meters added a great Big Easy vibe to straight up funk and whose early-’70s records set the blueprint for the Neville Brothers sound as well as a thousand jam-band acolytes. The Meters’ grooves, today, still sound fresh and creative. Can’t say that about a lot of the dinosaurs from funk’s heyday, enjoyable as they are to spin.

Neville Tracks does its best to track the family’s in-print recordings as well as tour dates. Not an easy job after Katrina forced scattered the family throughout several states. But they persist, and so do the superfans who power this MySpace.

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