Levitation lands Wilson, ‘Pet Sounds’

Brian Wilson will resurrect "Pet Sounds" for the 2016 edition of the nation's largest psychedelic music festival, Levitation. The performance marks a half century of the Beach Boys album, considered one of the top albums in the history of rock. Wilson's booking comes a year after the Austin, Texas, fest arranged for the historic reunion of hometown heroes the Thirteenth Floor Elevators. Other key performers announced for Levitation 2016 are Animal Collective, Lee Scratch Perry, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Flying Lotus and Sleep. The festival runs April 29-May 1, back for the fifth year at Carson Creek Ranch outside Austin. Levitation formerly was known as the Austin Psych Fest. Wilson has performed the 1966 Beach Boys masterpiece on and off since the turn of the century, … [Read more...]

Fare Thee Well set lists

Here are the set lists for the Grateful Dead's final concerts, dubbed "Fare Thee Well." The concerts were on the band's home turf in Santa Clara, Calif., and in Chicago. Almost no songs were repeated, the exceptions being "Cumberland Blues," Bob Weir's "Truckin'" and the instrumental workout "Drums / Space." The Grateful Dead veterans were Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. They were joined by Trey Anastasio (guitar), Jeff Chimenti (keyboards), and Bruce Hornsby (piano). The Dead called the shows "our final stand," vowing there will be no further concerts. "This is it." CDs and Blu-rays/DVDs from the concerts are due for release Nov. 20. Concerts were divided into two sections, with the sets divided by an hourlong break. (Years refer to Dead originals' … [Read more...]

Dead adds pair of California concerts

The surviving members of the Grateful Dead will say "Fare Thee Well" two more times with a pair of shows in Santa Clara, Calif. The shows on June 27 and 28 will come before the trio of concerts at Soldier Field in Chicago (July 3, 4 and 5). The new shows had been widely rumored and tipped, but not confirmed. "Since we made the decision to go back to Chicago to say our final goodbye, it has become clear to us that we first need to return to our beginnings, where we first said hello -- to each other and to all of you," the band wrote in a letter to fans. As with the Chicago shows, the lineup for Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara includes backing from Trey Anastasio (guitar), Jeff Chimenti (keyboards), and Bruce Hornsby (piano). The Grateful Dead 2015 are Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart … [Read more...]

Gilmour powers up for album, tour

David Gilmour quickly sold out a trio of London concerts in support of his upcoming solo album, and quickly added two more. The additional shows at the Royal Albert Hall are set for Oct. 2 and 3. The concerts of Sept. 23, 24 and 25 sold out in under an hour. Those shows and other European dates (in "some of the world's most beautiful cities and venues") are in support of Gilmour's fourth solo album. Gilmour told Rolling Stone it would be an "old man's tour" and not a global affair. No U.S. dates were announced. No title or release date was unveiled for the Gilmour album. The guitarist's latest and probably final work with Pink Floyd, "The Endless River," came out in late 2014. That double album and Gilmour's third solo effort, "On an Island" (2006), both focused on … [Read more...]

13th Floor Elevators playing Levitation

Psychedelic music pioneers the 13th Floor Elevators are reuniting for a 50th-year celebration this May in Austin. The performance by all surviving original members -- Roky Erickson, Tommy Hall, Ronnie Leatherman and John Ike Walton -- comes most appropriately at the psychedelic music festival Levitation, which was named after a song by the band. It'll be the 13th Floor Elevators' first show since 1968. They'll close the festival the night of May 10. "Having the 13th Floor Elevators on the festival lineup is just something we hadn't even dared to dream about," Levitation co-founder Rob Fitzpatrick said. "The band is massively influential and important to psychedelic rock and music in general." The signing was "surreal," he said. Erickson (pictured), who has gone on to a … [Read more...]

Grateful Dead reuniting for final shows

Playing in the band one more time -- and maybe one last time. The surviving key members of the Grateful Dead have set a series of July Fourth holiday shows -- when else? -- to mark their 50th anniversary as a band. The shows will be the last by the Grateful Dead, the band says. Participating in the July 3, 4 and 5 concerts at Chicago's Soldier Field will be Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. They'll be joined by longtime allies Trey Anastasio (guitar), Jeff Chimenti (keyboards), and Bruce Hornsby (piano). The concerts are billed as "Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead." The shows come almost 20 years to the day after the last Grateful Dead concert, at the same venue. "Lookin' forward to this one, oh boy, you bet," said singer … [Read more...]

Bill Graham spotlighted at L.A. museum

The life and times of Bill Graham will be celebrated in Los Angeles with the first major museum show dedicated to the king of rock concert promoters. The Skirball Cultural Center, just north of metro L.A., will run the exhibition May 7-October 11. "Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution" will include memorabilia, photographs and, of course, classic psychedelic art posters from the two Fillmore auditoriums. The Graham family is contributing items not previously seen by the public. It is billed as the first major exhibition dedicated to the concert promoter and band manager. The Skirball, dedicated to preserving the Jewish heritage, previously hosted "Bob Dylan's American Journey, 1956-1966." Graham came to the U.S. at age 11 while fleeing the Nazis (his mother died at … [Read more...]

Austin psyched for Impala, Lips

Tame Impala, the Flaming Lips, the Jesus and Mary Chain and Spiritualized will headline Levitation 2015 -- aka the Austin Psych Fest -- running May 8-10 in Texas. Other top acts include Primal Scream and fest founding fathers the Black Angels. Update: A 13th Floor Elevators reunion closes the festival. The nation's largest psychedelic music festival dates back to 2008. It returns for a third year to rural setting of Carson Creek Ranch, located east of town, with weekend tickets now on sale ($165). The festival was renamed in honor of some hometown heroes from the first psychedelic era: "The title comes from one of our favorite tracks from Austin legends the 13th Floor Elevators, who have provided us with endless inspiration," festival organizers the Reverberation … [Read more...]

Weir, Ratdog cancel tour, suddenly

Bob Weir and Ratdog are coming off the road, with the former Grateful Dead singer-guitarist connected to another string of mysterious concert cancellations. One of the band's web sites said, "Circumstances have necessitated that all scheduled tour dates for Bob Weir & RatDog are being cancelled." There was no elaboration as to why the tour was spiked. The cancellations included a much-anticipated stand in Jamaica, Jan. 19-23. Many of the cancelled shows, included one in Boston on Thursday, were with the Chris Robinson Brotherhood band. The lead post on Ratdog's community forum Sunday was titled: "I wish they would just tell us WTF is wrong with Bob." Weir attracted significant bad publicity and tongue-wagging in April 2013 when he collapsed on stage in Port Chester, N.Y., … [Read more...]

Experience Hendrix Tour rides again

Billy Cox once again leads the Experience Hendrix Tour on a nationwide swing beginning in March. The lineup will be familiar, but vibrant nonetheless. Notable Hendrix tour veterans include Buddy Guy, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Dweezil Zappa, Jonny Lang, Eric Gales, Eric Johnson, and Cesar Rosas and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos. Cox, a longtime friend of Jimi Hendrix and a member of Band of Gypsys, provides authenticity on bass. The other half of the rhythm section is Chris Layton (Double Trouble). Performers do songs in the spirit of Hendrix, most of them written by the master. The artists get solo spots, sometimes with other billed performers supporting them. The axemen won't all be stars. Experience Hendrix LLC is running a talent contest with the top prize a slot on the tour, all … [Read more...]

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