Category Archives: Jambands

The New Deal: Spring Dates In Northeast Announced!


Spring is in the air…well at least the notion of it is. While the rest of the country flips out over Bruce Jenner and shovels snow out of their driveway, we’ve got our heads in the distant sunshine. That’s partly because The New Deal just added some live tour dates in the Northeast this April. After they take of care of things in Colorado, they’ll be hitting Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and more importantly two nights at the Brooklyn Bowl! It seems like the Toronto-based live techno group is sticking around for another year (they just got back together after a 2 year hiatus). Those Brooklyn gigs are going to explode too. Don’t worry, you could take refuge in the bumping walls of the Output nightclub, located just across the street. Yes, those are the makings of an epic night on town indeed. Take a look at the dates here and start planning your Spring with us!



Lotus Tour Hits New England This Week!

Lotus (10-30-2011) Newport Music Hall, Columbus, OHLet’s give it up for an epic “Jam-uary 2015” guys! I’m not positive if that’s actually a real thing or not. If it is, then what could be better than a Lotus tour to close out the month?! Their stops in Vermont, Boston, and Connecticut this weekend are still only the beginning of a four month stretch of shows, one of the longest running tours of their career. Such a commitment to the asphalt might seem overwhelming to some, but these guys are killing it to be frank. The great thing about jambands and improv-acts is that the more they play, the better they get. I suspect after a week’s worth of “warming up”, these guys will be riding a mean wave by the time they get to Boston on Friday night. Check out a fan video of their recent performance in Pittsburgh >>>

Unlike a lot of other bands in their class, you can almost always count on Lotus to deliver. Over the last few years this Philly-based electronic jamband seems to have really found the sound they’ve been looking for. They’re taking more risks in their improv, their song-writing is getting more intricate, and they’re taking the old material to new places with considerably developed jamming (that’s “improvising” to the Lamens). Mike Rempel is still good at weirding you out with over-abundant eye-contact, but he’s also shredding the funk better than ever. With Electron being back in the picture, drummer Mike Greenfield is the most live getting practice he could ask for. A lot is happening for this quintet, and this tour is a huge testimony of that. They put the work in and that’s what counts these days. You can tell they practice, and that they’re serious about what they do and don’t take it for granted. They’re locked into their music 100% of the time, regardless of taste or quality, although they shine in both contexts. If The Disco Biscuits or Phish have taught jam-fans anything, it’s that we shouldn’t take them for granted either. Every show is a new adventure into the funky, jam-fueled Cosmos. Head out to one of the dates below and you’ll see what I mean. Who could ever take such a thing for granted? (wink wink)


Normal Instruments Coming Your Way This Weekend!


Time for a Pants-Off/Dance-Off with one of the jam scene’s best kept secrets- Normal Instruments has hit the road and they’re coming our way! This mini-super group is collectively based in the northeast and features Jules Jenssen and founder Mike Carter of The Indobox, Matt Becket of Cosmic Dust Bunnies, and the key-wizard Jeff Bujak. Separately they all have something to bring to the table, but together they form the perfect storm of 100% IMPROVISED jam-tronica. (We hate that word but with groups like this, describing their sound can be quite tricky, you know what I’m saying?) Just watch this clip from their performance in Philiadelphia last weekend and things will start to fall into place. 

Pretty neat, huh? Mike Carter has an undeniable knack for improvised playing. Back in 2010 The Disco Biscuits chose him to stand in for lead-guitarist Jon “Barber” Gutwillig for a stretch of shows after a wrist injury put him out of commission, which are not the easiest shoes to fill. Matt has been always been a go-to bassist for this type of playing. The ‘Dust Bunnies might not have a far reach, but their grip is firm. Jeff Bujak could do this show by himself, and often does under his own name. He’s been quietly tearing up the Northeast with his episodic soundscapes for over a decade. All of that combines into one unique force, relentlessly propelled forward by Jenssen’s digital and acoustic percussion. Like we said, a perfect storm. If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing these musicians perform, this weekend is a perfect opportunity to get your ears blasted out with dynamite. If you plan actually dancing your pants off though, you might want to consider wearing shorts underneath.

Head to their Facebook for more info on the events >>>

Side Projects Are Getting Old, Well Maybe Not This One…


Billy & The Kids have officially arrived! The newest side project from jamband land played a solid gig at the 26th Annual X-Mas Jam in Asheville, NC last Saturday. This “super-group” is lead by Bill “Billy” Kreutzmann of The Grateful Dead, and features members from Brother’s Past, The Disco Biscuits, and more. Now that lineup certainly looks explosive, but how does it sound? Is this new band going to sweep us off our feet, or are they going just going to remind us of what’s gone? We’re leaning toward the former but we’ll let you decide. Check out this video of them performing The Dead’s “Crazy Fingers -> Bertha” below and see how they stack up! Read the rest of this entry

Galactic 2015 Tour Announced

The New Orleans funk legends Galactic are beaming down for a cross-country tour in 2015! Along  the way they’ll be hitting 3 shows in New York, including the two back to back shindigs at the Best Buy Theater that were just announced! Check out their tour dates below and see where they’re headed. There are some real gems rolling through that venue in the next few months, keep an eye out for acts like Tipper, The Disco Biscuits, and many more!

1/27 – Vinyl Music Hall – Pensacola, FL
1/28 – The Plaza Live – Orlando, FL
1/29 – Freebird Live – Jacksonville, FL
1/30 – Hollywood ArtsPark – Hollwyood, FL (FREE SHOW)
1/31 – State Theatre (St. Petersburg, Florida)
2/5 – First Avenue & 7th St Entry – Mainroom 1st Ave – Minneapolis, MN
2/6 – Concord Music Hall – Chicago, IL
2/7 – Turner Hall – Milwaukee, WI
2/13 – The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY
2/20 & 21- The Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO
2/22 – Belly Up, Aspen – Aspen, CO
2/23 – Park City Live – Park City, UT
2/24 – Knotty Pine Supper Club – Victor, ID
2/26 – Wild Buffalo – Bellingham, WA
2/27 – Showbox – Seattle, WA
2/28 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR
3/1 – The Crystal Bay Club Casino, Crown Room – Crystal Bay, NV
3/3 – McNears’s Mystic Theatre – Petaluma, CA
3/4 – Belly Up Tavern – Solana Beach, CA
3/5 – El Rey – Los Angeles, CA
3/6 & 7 – The Fillmore Auditorium – San Francisco, CA
3/20 – House Of Blues – Boston, MA
3/22 – Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland, OH
3/24 – 20th Century Theatre – Cincinnati, OH
3/25 – Mr. Smalls – Pittsburgh, PA
3/26 – Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA
3/27 & 3/28 – Best Buy Theatre – New York, NY
4/3 & 4/4 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC

Lotus Announce Massive Tour In Early 2015!


Lotus just announced a massive 32-date Winter Tour, starting in January 2015 and ending in March! Get ready for a synth-heavy, guitar-shreddy, jazzy good time ladies and frogs. Things have only been going up for this band lately. The recent success from their Talking Heads: Deconstructed shows last summer will only add to the momentum they’re no doubt coming at us with. Since the turn of 2013 they’ve hit a stride that hasn’t let up. They’ve always had talent obviously, as years of sold-out shows will prove, but they seem to have really found the sound they’ve been looking for in recent years. The new material is becoming more dynamic, and they’re Read the rest of this entry

Asheville Police Shut Down STS9 Show Last Night

10659236_10152789624382710_4848020673671108438_nAsheville, NC was the site of some not-so-great jamband debauchery last night. Just after midnight on October 26th, local police shut down the STS9 performance at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. After 7 patrons were rushed to the hospital for confirmed overdoses, and 4 others landed in Police custody, officials ended the concert early for security reasons. The fans present didn’t take the news too well, as bottles and various items were being thrown at police officers. Not long after that, social media outlets and various message boards were buzzing with furious posts and pictures of fans allegedly convulsing and falling ill. Police comments confirmed that drugs were the cause of last night’s calamity. Many fans seem to claim that some particularly malignant substances were being circulated under the guise of something else. We won’t release the names like other sites have, but the charges being pressed on the currently-incarcerated don’t typically match such allegations. While irresponsible use of such chemicals is never acceptable, knowledge is power folks. We’re not condoning substance abuse here, but to each their own. You’re free to live your own lives through what experiences you choose. However, please do be responsible. Times have changed for the better, and instances like these are much more preventable than before. It’s a shame that this happened, and we wish the people receiving medical care the best. If you think someone or someone’s illicit actions are doing outright harm to a person, then alert the authorities. Help your fellow fans experience the same music you love in a healthy and safe way. STS9 posted this reply to the incident an hour ago:

“Hey all, we’re real sorry about last night in Asheville. We were indeed asked to wrap things up a little bit early due to some folks at the show that needed some extra medical attention. We hope everyone is feeling better today. It’s a good reminder to keep an eye on our friends and family out there and try to help everyone make solid decisions. Our thoughts go out to those that need it most right now.” 

Notice how they said “hey all”, instead of “y’all”? It seems their grammar skills have improved quite a lot in David Murphy’s absence.

New Original Track From The New Deal

The New Deal dropped a brand new track this week. Since returning from hiatus, the Toronto-based live electronica group has been quite unpredictable. The fact that they’re even the studio is a sign they’re here to stay though. This is the first studio track they have done together in over 3 years. Check out their new song “Sabotage The System” now!

This is definitely where they start to define a line between their old material and the sound they currently have. I can already see a lot of the older fans being disappointed by this so. I don’t agree nor disagree, but I have been listening to them for quite some time and the song is definitely a far cry from previous works like “Gone Gone Gone” or even newer material like “Octobong”. There some merit to the direction this song has taken. To some it might sound a little too close to “big room house”, but the choice of sounds and dramatic melodies more closely resemble the old school Russian synth music of the 80’s. That’s a very integral influence to their style, and I hope their newer material will hold true to that. We will just have to see how the next tour goes won’t we?


American Babies Announce Fall Tour

American_BabiesAmerican Babies is hitting the road for a fall tour! You can’t go far in the Northeastern jam-scene without hearing about these guys lately. Babies is yet another Philadelphia super group featuring guitarist Tom Hamilton as the frontman. Since forming in 2007 the band has done impressively well to fill the hole that his other group, Brother’s Past, has left since going on hiatus. When they’re not playing their own compositions, this band takes classic songs like Dylan’s “Tangled Up In Blue” and open new doors with improvised experimental jamming. With Phish playing out West, and The Disco Biscuits going into hibernation until New Years, it’s a great feeling to get excited about a jam band tour again. See where they’re playing below>>>

10339755_10152383129287036_64790385780509985_nIf Mugatu was a real person, he’d probably say “Tom Hamilton…so hot right now”. The Philly guitarist has been making headlines left and right lately, and it’s no surprise. Hamilton has made a name for himself as one of the most respected musicians in the jamband circuit. It seems like that audience is only getting bigger these days too. Whether playing with Electron, his cult followed group Brother’s Past, or his many other side-projects, he puts 100% passion into his performances. American Babies are here stay it appears, and if they keep going at this rate they’ll be headlining theaters like The Best Buy in no time at all. I think we can even say, guitar-wise, that 2014 is indefinitely The Year Of The T-Ham.


The New Deal Still Has It…LISTEN HERE > > >

NewDeal-colourThe New Deal just released their first fresh soundboard recording in years, and it is good my friends. Toronto’s live techno trio have skipped the warming up stage by miles from the sound of their recent performance in Silver Springs, MD. Listen to the entire second set below! After a two year absence, band members Dan Kurtz (currently of Dragonette) and Jamie Shields (Suckerpunch) answered the fan’s demand for a reunion, not without some unfortunate conditions though. Sadly, original drummer and frontman Darren Shearer decided he would not move forward with the group. Joel Strouffer has taken his place, but not without a skeptical eye from their followers. Can the New Deal capture the interest of fans and musicians alike as they did back in the day?

Hopefully I can put some of your worries to rest. After their hiatus-breaking performance at the now infamous Hudson Music Project (no doubt a highlight in a cataclysmic weekend), they shot over to Silver Springs for two personalized sets at the Fillmore. Missed the shows? Apprehensive to buying tickets for their upcoming tour? We don’t blame you, but check this out! While Darren did have a lot to offer in the trio’s dynamic sound, we think you might be pleased with what you hear. From a fan’s perspective, this group still fully accomplishes what they set out to do in the first place: To be a truly live house/techno group, an exclusively electronic band, and to do it well. The style has shifted a little bit of course, but not as much as you may think. They still have that classic sound, plus a lot of new tricks as well. The direction in their improvising hasn’t veered much. However, now they’re going different places on top of the old ones. Jamie has a whole new batch of effects and momentum to go with them, and that alone is worth the time. They still milk those huge build-ups to their fullest peaking potential. Joel’s drumming is slightly less evolved than Shearer’s, but it sounds like even that might change after some more shows together. It’s The New Deal 2.0 and if you embrace that concept, you might find that you’re not too far from home.