The technological advancements in music-making have truly soared over the last couple of years. Among the newest projects is one run by researchers at Plymouth University and the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, where they’ve given patients who are unable to walk or talk the ability to use electrical signals from their brains to select musical passages that are played by musicians in real-time. Ultimately, this gives the disabled musicians a way to express their musical creativity despite their inabilities to speak or physically interact with instruments.It all came together when Professors Eduardo Reck Miranda and Joel Eaton created a Brain-Computer Music Interface to measure brain activity in the visual cortex by combining an EEG with a computer. According to Discover Magazine, “The computer displays four musical sequence options, and each option has a corresponding matrix of flashing lights. The four musicians choose the desired sequence by concentrating on the light matrix that corresponds to their choice. The choice is then sent to another musician who physically plays the part. The members of the ensemble could even modulate the volume by changing the intensity of their concentration.” These advancements are simply incredible.Scientists Have Discovered The Area Of The Brain That Responds To MusicIn addition to interacting with instruments, the disabled musicians are also able to interact with each other, allowing them to get involved with something musical at the same time, or as we like to call it, “jam.” Dubbed the Paramusical Ensemble, these musicians are making some serious moves in the jam-band world.So how does this work? Each patient wears a cap on their head that is wired with electrodes, one specifically above the visual cortex. “When an image is held in the brain, the visual cortex produces a unique electrical pattern that the Brain-Computer Music Interface System identifies. By concentrating exclusively on the marker accompanying the piece of music they wish to play, the EEG can read and translate their brain activity into commands,” DM explains.The Paramusical Ensemble’s piece, entitled “Activating Memory,” was composed by Professor Miranda and was performed for the first time last July with the physical accompaniment of the Bergerson string quartet. Watch how it goes down:Paramusical Ensemble – Trailer from PACMF-2015 on Vimeo.[via Discovered Magazine]
Bruce Springsteen is certainly known for his lengthy concerts, as “The Boss” has amassed a rich catalog of music over a long career. Thus, when one father took his fourth grade-aged son to a concert, they were sure to be late for work and school, respectively, the next day.Last Tuesday, March 15th, at Springsteen’s concert in Los Angeles, father Scott Glovsky and son Xabi held up a sign saying “BRUCE, I WILL BE LATE TO SCHOOL TOMORROW PLEASE SIGN MY NOTE :)” Not only did the rocker respond, but he invited the Glovsky’s back stage for a quick meet and greet, not only signing a letter but writing his own too.Check out the tweet from the father, below: A full report in Backstreets sheds more light on the story.“We waited outside Bruce’s dressing room, then he came to the door and invited us in. Although there were many musicians and celebrities at the concert, we were the first people to see Bruce after the show. He said, ‘There’s the big guy!’ to my son. It was just the three of us. He then said, ‘I understand that you need a note, I think I can help you out.’“Bruce sat down on a couch and started to talk with Xabi, asking for the name of his teacher and how Xabi spelled his name, pulling out a piece of paper and a pen. As Xabi sat next to him on the couch, Bruce thoughtfully and artistically created this beautiful note. It was very interesting to watch the artist at work. They talked for a few minutes, and Bruce was incredibly nice, caring and gracious.”Just further evidence that Springsteen is, indeed, The Boss.
Yesterday’s surprise, under the radar announcement of two nights of Phil Lesh & Friends at LOCKN’ Festival got us really excited for such a fun weekend of improvisational glory. With hugely anticipated sets by headliners Phish, Ween, and My Morning Jacket, a slew of returning festival all-stars in Tedeschi Trucks Band, Lettuce, Umphrey’s McGee, and Chris Robinson Brotherhood, and an awesome cast of newcomers in Gary Clark Jr., Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Vulfpeck, White Denim, and Turkuaz, the potential is high for the Grateful Dead bass legend to roll out a very special set of “Friends” for to play with him at performances. So many talented musicians will be on site at that weekend at Oak Ridge Farm, and we can’t wait to see who will play in the band with Phil Lesh.So, without further ado, here are our top 10 picks for the “Friends” lineup at LOCKN’ 2016!10. Ryan Zoidis and Eric “Benny” Bloom a.k.a.The Shady Horns – LettuceThis dynamic duo have been active of late, playing shows with Umphrey’s McGee and Gramatik on top of their full touring schedule with Lettuce, which has already taken them to Red Rocks and Bonnaroo this summer. It was recently announced that the pair will play with Soulive, Jackie Greene, Karl Denson and Jason Crosby as Phil’s friends for an upcoming two-night run at The Amphitheatre at Coney Island this September, so it would make sense for Zoidis and Bloom to be in the mix for one of Phil’s two shows at LOCKN’.Check out The Shady Horns with Soulive and Chris Robinson performing “West L.A. Fadeaway” below, courtesy of YouTube user Marc Millman.9. Jason Hann & Michael Travis – String Cheese Incident & EOTOThese two inventive drummers have a way of making sounds their own. After spending years on the road with String Cheese Incident and EOTO, Hann and Travis are masters of percussion and rhythm, and their energy and creativity would be a unique fit for the dual-drumming of the Grateful Dead catalog. We’d love to hear them on a song like “The Other One” or “Fire on the Mountain”, and of course “Drums” > “Space” would make for an unforgettable LOCKN’ moment.Watch the String Cheese Incident play “Eyes of the World” at Horning’s Hideout in 2010 below, courtesy of YouTube user Vraciusmusicjones.8. Neal Casal – Circles Around The Sun, Hard Working Americans, Chris Robinson BrotherhoodIt looks like Neal Casal is going to be all over LOCKN’ this year, as he’s already playing in three bands on the festival lineup. Alongside shows with Hard Working Americans and Chris Robinson Brotherhood, he’ll bring his Grateful Dead-inspired Circles Around The Sun project to the festival. Circles Around The Sun will make their live debut at LOCKN’, and it’s sure to be a memorable and psychedelic late-night performance. Casal has performed with Phil & Friends before, and it wouldn’t surprise us to see his name on the lineup for at least one of the shows. Casal sitting in with Phil & Friends would cement him as a 2016 LOCKN’ MVP.Listen to Circles Around The Sun’s “Kasey’s Bones” below, courtesy of YouTube user PANGEA.7. Chris Robinson – Chris Robinson BrotherhoodWhenever Chris Robinson plays with Phil & Friends, great things happen. He can really belt it, and his passionate vocals add a totally different dynamic to the band. Robinson is also a LOCKN’ veteran, having performed with The Black Crowes in 2013 and again 2014 with The Brotherhood, and he also performed with Lesh at last year’s festival. He should feel right at home on stage with Phil Lesh at LOCKN’, and we hope to see him join Phil for at least one set as a “Friend”. Watch Chris Robinson perform a full show with Phil Lesh & Friends at LOCKN’ Festival 2015, courtesy of YouTube user BurningShoreProphet3.6. Gary Clark, Jr.This blues-man is modern day legend. His guitar playing is reminiscent of a bygone era, and his addition to Phil Lesh & Friends would make for an extremely interesting change of pace. Clark’s swampy, bluesy psychedelia would be an excellent fit to the band and LOCKN’ would provide the perfect setting for this once-in-a-lifetime performance. LOCKN’ is all about unexpected collaborations, and we’d love to see Gary Clark make his mark on the festival with a sit-in with the festival’s de-facto godfather, Phil Lesh.5. Brendan Bayliss – Umphrey’s McGeeWhile Phil Lesh famously sat in with Umphrey’s McGee in San Francisco in 2004, no one from Chicago’s progressive-jam sextet has ever been invited to play in his “Friends”. That being said, there’s no denying that Brendan Bayliss would crush a performance with Phil & Friends. His technical skills, along with his ability to play both lead and rhythm parts during improvisation, make him a prime candidate to take on the Dead’s catalog, as he would be perfect in the “Bob Weir” role. With Umphrey’s on-site for a performance on Thursday night, it would awesome to see Bayliss get the nod from Lesh to join his rotation of “Friends.”Listen to Bayliss lead Umphrey’s McGee through “Help On The Way” -> “Slipknot!” from UMBowl III, courtesy of YouTube user Michael Defillippo.4. Joe Russo & Marco Benevento – Joe Russo’s Amost DeadAt this point, Russo and Lesh are a veteran rhythm section, having toured together for years in Furthur and P&F. Of course, Marco Benevento has also put his time in as a “Friend”, and he and Russo have been playing music together for years in The Duo, Bustle in your Hedgerow, and their current project, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. When this pair of musicians take on the Grateful Dead catalog, they breathe new life into the tunes, as their confident playing brings an undeniable energy to the table.Watch Almost Dead perform an epic 30-minute Terrapin Station at The Capitol Theatre in 2013 below, courtesy of YouTube user LazyLightning55a.3. Derek Trucks – Tedeschi Trucks BandDerek Trucks is arguably the best guitar player on the planet. His playing has evolved so much over the years, and he continues to blow people’s mind’s on a nightly basis with Tedeschi Trucks band. His unique, rapid-fire style of soulful slide-guitar creates harmonic fireworks, and Phil would likely welcome him back with open arms to his “Friends”, after Trucks first performed with the Grateful Dead man in the late 90s. Tedeschi Trucks band is the only band to have played at every LOCKN’ Festival, and in the past they have brought Bob Weir out for special guest appearances during their set. With no Weir on the lineup this year, it would make sense for Derek to get his Dead-fix in by strapping-up with Phil & Friends for a legendary comeback performance.Check out Derek Trucks as the featured guest with Phil & Friends in back in the year 2000, courtesy of YouTube user b t.2. Any Member Of PhishIf any of the four members of Phish are announced as part of Phil Lesh & Friends at LOCKN’, prepare for pandemonium to ensue. The members of Phish and Phil Lesh have a long history of playing together, as Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell broke the Phish/Dead barrier back in 1999. Their legendary performances with Phil Lesh & Friends at The Warfield Theatre in San Francisco were a huge moment for the members of Phish, and the Dead legend returned the favor by sitting in with Phish at Shoreline Amphitheatre that same year. In 2005, Trey and Mike Gordon memorably paired with Marco Benevento and Joe Russo as G.R.A.B. to open for Phil & Friends on tour. Trey sat in with Phil on most nights, while Gordon made a few guest appearances on guitar and banjo on the bluegrass-based tunes. After last summer’s Fare Thee Well concerts, which saw Anastasio nail the “Jerry”-role for the Grateful Dead’s farewell shows, fans are clamoring for another opportunity to see him or any of the other members of Phish as part of Phil’s band. Notably, Drummer Jon Fishman is the only member of Phish that hasn’t appeared on stage with Phil & Friends, and it would be amazing to watch him tackle the dual-drum parts of Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart while locking in with Phil. LOCKN’ provides the perfect environment for collaborations, and we hope to see at least one member of Phish on the bill when Phil announces his Friends.Watch a full set of Anastasio and McConnell’s triumphant Phil & Friends debut from 1999 below, courtesy of Vimeo user gigpedia.1. Jim James – My Morning JacketJim James is one of the best performers alive. He puts his heart and soul into every performance, and the passion he puts into his vocals and guitar playing with My Morning Jacket is a sight to behold. The band’s headlining performance on Saturday night lines James up perfectly with the first night of Phil & Friends at LOCKN’, and we can only imagine what this dream pairing would sound like. The emotional vocals of The Grateful Dead would be a perfect fit for James. We’d love to see him take “China Cat Sunflower” into “I Know You Rider”, or take us into outer space with an intense version of “Dark Star”. James recently contributed to the Day of the Dead album by The National, and Bob Weir has sat in with My Morning Jacket on several occasions, so it would certainly be familiar territory for him to hop on stage and play a few tunes. Jim James brings all the energy, and a performance with Phil Lesh & Friends would be breathtaking.Listen to Jim James & Friends’ cover of “Candyman” from the Day of the Dead compilation, thanks to YouTube user 4AD.Who do you want to play with Phil Lesh & Friends at LOCKN’ Festival? Let us know!
See below for album art and the full track list from Mt. Crushmore.Mt. Crushmore Track List:1. Mt. Crushmore2. 116th St.3. ‘Lude, Pt. 54. Elephant Walk5. Ransome6. The Love You Left Behind7. ‘Lude, Pt. 6 Funk titans Lettuce have announced a brand new EP called Mt. Crushmore. The new release, which officially comes out November 11th, features a mix of new material and b-sides from recording sessions from their most recent full-length album, Crush. Along with this announcement, the band has released the first track from Mt. Crushmore, a high-energy tune called “The Love You Left Behind” that features their good friend and special guest Alecia Chakour‘s powerful and soulful vocals.Check out “The Love You Left Behind,” streaming below.
While the Dave Matthews Band is on an official touring hiatus, two of its most esteemed members aren’t giving up life on the road. Today, frontman Dave Matthews and guitarist Tim Reynolds have announced an extended European tour schedule, bringing their stripped down acoustic offerings to fans across the Atlantic Ocean.The tour runs through spring of 2017, starting in London and running through major cities like Dublin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin and more! For 15 nights, Dave & Tim will be treating fans to acoustic renditions, intimate storytelling moments and more.Tickets for the tour go on sale now for Warehouse members, and all information can be found via this link. You can see the full schedule below.Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds – 2017 European Tour Dates20 March: London, England – Eventim Apollo21 March: London, England – Eventim Apollo23 March: Dublin, EI – Olympia Theatre25 March: Groningen, NL – De Oosterpoort26 March: Amsterdam, NL – AFAS Live (Heineken Music Hall)27 March: Köln, DE – Palladium29 March: Copenhagen, DK – Royal Arena30 March: Berlin, DE – Columbiahalle1 April: Vienna, AT – Wiener Konzerthaus2 April: Prague, CZ – Forum Karlin4 April: Torino, IT – Teatro Colosseo6 April: Padova, IT – Gran Teatro Geox7 April: Milan, IT – Teatro Arcimboldi10 April: Lisbon, PT – Coliseu Lisboa11 April: Porto, PT – Coliseu Porto
Fans of Major League Baseball have their eyes on the playoff series between the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers, as the Cubs are leading the tight race with a slight 3-2 edge in a best-of-7 series. Naturally, some baseball-loving musicians have been paying attention, putting their strong team preferences forward whenever possible. Two such artists have taken their fandom to the next level, as the Chicago-based Umphrey’s McGee and Los Angeles-based Los Lobos have placed a friendly wager on the series.In a new bet between friends, Umphrey’s McGee and Los Lobos have agreed that the losing artist will cover a song from the catalog of the winning artist following the conclusion of the series. If the Cubs win, Los Lobos will have to play an Umphrey’s song, but if the Dodgers win, Umphrey’s will have to play a Los Lobos tune. From our searches, neither has covered the other before, so this should be an exciting twist however it plays out!Game six of the series will be played tomorrow night, with an if-necessary game seven scheduled for Sunday, October 23rd. The winner will go on to play the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. Meanwhile, Umphrey’s McGee plays shows tonight and tomorrow, and Los Lobos’ next scheduled performance is on October 29th.
Last weekend, Greensky Bluegrass got the Halloween festivities going with a matinee performance at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, playing an afternoon set before Phish at the MGM Grand. Knowing their audience was quite Phish influenced, Greensky opted to play a set that was filled entirely with songs that Phish has covered.Whether it was the regular Phish covers like “Funky Bitch” or “Rock And Roll,” or the more obscure selections like Pink Floyd’s “Time” or Grank Funk Railroad’s “We’re An American Band,” there was no denying that this was a show for the ages. Fortunately, taper ToddHodulik has offered up a full stream of the performance for our listening pleasure.Check out the full audio from the GSBG’s Phish cover show below![Photo taken by On The DL Photography, via Greensky Bluegrass’s Facebook Page]
Load remaining images Jam scene up and comers Spafford continued their takeover of the East Coast last night, hitting The 8×10 in Baltimore, MD for a thrilling Thursday night performance. The band has been firing of late, coming off of a major tour schedule with Umphrey’s McGee (who they’ll link up with again in March). As such, the group delivered a standout show that truly impressed the packed audience, treating fans to their improvisationally-fueled electro funk jams.Check out the setlist and a full gallery below, courtesy of Mark Raker Photography. Spafford will perform this evening in Pittsburgh, PA’s Spirit with the Mike Dillon Band.Setlist: Spafford | The 8×10 | Baltimore, MD | 2/9/17Set One: Ain’t That Wrong, Catfish John, The Postman, Shake You Loose, The RemedySet Two: Windmill, Take Your Mama, Electric Taco Stand > Weasel, Beautiful DayEncore: Galisteo Way
There’s no love lost when it comes to Phish and the classic Rolling Stones’ album Exile On Main Street. The band took the Stones’ album and made it their own during Halloween of 2009, but, one full decade earlier, fans got a taste of some classic rock when Phish decided to introduce “Sweet Virginia” into their repertoire on September 26th, 1999.Why Phish’s “Musical Costume” Tradition Is So Important To The Band’s LegacyThough the band had been playing “Loving Cup” for years by the late 90’s, there was no stopping them from digging further into the Stones’ catalog. As Exile On Main Street is one of the group’s best albums, it’s no surprise that Phish drew from that work for many years. The band debuted “Sweet Virginia” right at the front of the show, opening the night at the Kiefer UNO Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, LA, with the debut.Rolling Stones’ Making Of ‘Exile On Main Street’ To Be Featured In New BiopicListen back to the full audio of this Phish performance below, courtesy of fromthequarium. In addition to the Phish’s debut of “Sweet Virginia,” the show also included appearances by Michael Ray and Tim Green as guests during the first set, making it one you’re going to want to check out.Setlist: Phish at Lakefront Arena, New Orleans, LA – 9/26/99Set 1: Sweet Virginia, First Tube > AC/DC Bag, Dirt, Guyute, Bouncing Around the Room, Cars Trucks Buses, Funky Bitch, Mozambique, CavernSet 2: Twist > Piper, Mountains in the Mist, Heavy Things, Birds of a Feather, Meat, Down with DiseaseEncore: Meatstick > Rocky Top Phish debut. Michael Ray on trumpet and Tim Green on saxophone.Sweet Virginia made its Phish debut at this show. The last four songs of the first set featured Michael Ray on trumpet and Tim Green on saxophone. Call to the Post was teased before and during Birds.[Setlist via Phish.net]
To celebrate the great Stevie Wonder‘s birthday, we wanted to revisit some classic tidbits about the illustrious musician. Without further ado, here are ten fun facts about the legend himself, Stevie Wonder.1. Stevie Wonder wasn’t born Blind.In an interview with Larry King, Stevie Wonder stated that he wasn’t born blind. A major cause of Wonder’s blindness was an overabundance of oxygen he experienced as an infant in a hospital incubator. This was an accident on the part of the hospital, which coupled with being six weeks premature resulted in Wonder becoming permanently blind. You can watch him talk about the incident below:[Video: CNN]2. As a result of a 1973 car crash, Stevie Wonder temporarily lost his sense of smell and taste.On August 6, 1973, Stevie Wonder was in a car accident. The crash left Wonder in a coma for four days and ultimately resulted in him losing both his sense of smell and taste for a short time. In a twist of fate, exactly 15 years later on to the date, Wonder was gifted with a son named Kwame.3. He was the youngest solo artist to have a #1 song on Billboard.In 51 years, no one has come close to the record Stevie Wonder achieved when he was only 13. As Little Stevie Wonder, his song, “Fingertips – Part 2”, reached #1 on the Billboard Top 100, making him the youngest artist to do so. The track simultaneously became the #1 R&B song in the country—also a first. Here’s a clip of Little Stevie performing the song:[Video: TheEyesofwonder]4. He once sang “No Church in the Wild” to Frank Ocean.Around the time of Channel Orange, many music critics and fans were comparing Frank Ocean to Wonder, as they were both R&B proteges that sought to change the world through music. When the two met at a party, Wonder sang “No Church in the Wild” back to Ocean. The song was a collaboration off the album Watch the Throne, where Ocean provided a stellar hook for hip-hop’s current titans, Jay-Z and Kanye West.5. Wonder helped popularize the Moog Synthesizer.Synthesizers have become the norm in popular music over the past 50 years. If you’re listening to the latest pop or EDM hit, chances are there are a variety of synths at work. However, the synthesizer wasn’t always regarded as a legitimate instrument. In a 1972 interview from Rock’s Backpages, Wonder had to defend his own use of the new technology stating, “A lot of people don’t consider the Moog an instrument, in a sense, and they feel it’s gonna take a lot of work away from musicians and all that. But I feel it is an instrument and is a way to directly express what comes from your mind. It gives you so much of a sound in the broader sense.”6. He performed “Superstition” on Sesame Street.“Superstition” is one of Wonder’s best and most popular songs. For that reason, it’s not a surprise he performed the track on Sesame Street. However, what is surprising is how intact Wonder keeps the original composition. The intensity of the song isn’t dialed down for a child audience, and is even improved upon. Stevie and his band go on a 3-minute jam session, and the energy from the kids dancing is palpable. If you’re a fan of Wonder, then this performance is one to watch.[Video: Ryan’s Smashing Life]7. He once told Lil Wayne to shut up.According to Lil Wayne, Stevie Wonder once told the New Orleans rapper to shut up at a party. Allegedly, Stevie was in the middle of a performance at a club when Wayne came in. Lil’ Wayne didn’t know Stevie was performing at the time, but that didn’t stop the singer from yelling at the former Best Rapper Alive to be quiet while he was playing.[Video: Mass Appeal]8. Wonder was the first person to own the E-Mu Emulator, an early sampler.It would be hard to imagine what the last thirty years of music would be like without sampling technology. The art of sampling has been instrumental in a wide variety of genres like hip-hop and electronic dance music, helping both genres shape the foundations of their sound. The E-Mu Emulator was one of the first affordable samplers on the market, and Stevie Wonder was its first owner.9. Stevie Wonder’s Eivets Rednow is actually “Stevie Wonder” spelled backwards.Stevie Wonder’s 1968 easy-listening album, Eivets Rednow, saw the legendary artist play harmonica, drums, piano, and clavinet, though he does not sing. Marking his ninth studio album, Eivets Rednow was actually his first album with songs credited solely to Wonder alone. However, the name of the album comes from spelling “Stevie Wonder” backwards, something that many fans missed initially, causing several reissues to have “How do you spell Stevie Wonder backwards?” to be printed on the album sleeve.10. Stevie Wonder’s single, “Happy Birthday,” is a big reason why Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday is a National Holiday.In 1981, Wonder, along with many other supporters, were rallying for the government to recognize Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a national holiday. “Happy Birthday” was Wonder’s way of spreading the word. He even helped organize the Rally for Peace Conference in 1981. President Ronald Reagan would ultimately approve the holiday thanks to these efforts two years later.