first_imgBaltimore funk quartet, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, came out with their second studio release last week, a full-length album titled Psychology. The album explores true funk taste and hits hard both instrumentally and lyrically in the old-school style that few modern funk bands can authentically replicate, all the while Pigeons Playing Ping Pong adapting an original sound, still. The thirteen track LP flows smoothly between the ears yet still keeps your dome rolling. You can purchase and/or stream the album through BandCamp for a throrough journey through jam funk that will do everything but disappoint. The album sticks out in the genre for the betterment of everyone’s own listening.“F.U.,” the first track on Psychology, is an instant reminder of what funk started out to be. It has everything there is to offer from when funk began; from jabby lyrics to flowing but emphasized horns and on to a catchy guitar riff. It just puts a staple right from the get go that says FUNK. The entire presentation front beginning to end is similar in taste and sound. Even slower songs like “Horizon,” which has such an amazing skill touch to have that groovy dancy feel you can’t resist to move to.There are two things on this album that to me really stick out, and they have to do with each other. First is the jamming in each and every track that exemplifies the band’s talent as musicians and the second is the track length throughout its entirety. There is only one song on the thirteen track album, “Schwanthem,” that is under four minutes, and thank you Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. The jamming is so on point when it comes in to the picture that it almost goes unnoticed at times because it’s that on point.Psychology has just the right amount of everything for a funk album to sound the way it should, especially in this day in age. It has what the scene would consider “modern funk” elements while still going back to the roots of the genre. The band’s capabilties are reached and laid out right in front of your ears for you to take in, and I suggest you do just that.-Brent Greene (@BrentGreene)last_img read more

first_imgThe Word, a supergroup collective featuring Robert Randolph, John Medeski, Luther Dickinson, Cody Dickinson, and Chris Chew, has just tacked on some additional dates to their extensive fall tour. The group recently released their first studio album in over a decade, Soul Food, and are touring extensively behind it.Stream The Word’s First New Album In 14 Years, Ft. Robert Randolph, Medeski and the North Miss AllstarsTickets and more information can be found on the band’s official website. You can see the full fall tour schedule below, with the newly announced dates in bold.The Word Fall Tour9/25 – Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival – Columbia, MO 10/1 – The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA 10/2 – The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA 10/3 – The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA 10/4 – House Of Blues – Anaheim, CA 10/5 – Belly Up Tavern – Solana Beach, CA 10/6 – Brooklyn Bowl – Las Vegas, NV 10/9 – Boulder Theater – Boulder, CO 10/10 – Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO 10/12 – Concord Music Hall – Chicago, IL 10/13 – Mr. Small’s Theatre – Millvale, PA10/14 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC10/15 – The Keswick – Boston, MA10/16 – Webster Hall – New York, NY 10/17 – Paradise Rock Club – Boston, MAlast_img read more

first_imgJon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen have announced the Absolute Monster Halloween with special guest Nigel Hall. The Halloween bash will go down at The Maple Leaf in New Orleans on Saturday, October 31st. Doors open at 10:30 and the show begins at “11ish”. Get tickets here.Listen To Eric Krasno’s Insane Super Jam From Brooklyn Comes Alive Ft. Nigel Hall, Marco Benevento & MoreIn the meantime, we’re getting excited for Nigel’s debut solo album, coming out soon on Eric Kranso’s Feel Good Records. Listen to his cover of the Isley Brothers’ “Lay Away” here, featuring Questlove on drums.last_img read more

first_imgOkeechobee Music & Arts Festival co-founder Paul Peck has been carving out his unique space in the music industry for almost twenty years. As one of the masterminds behind the now famous Bonnaroo SuperJam, Peck has curated insane once-in-a-lifetime performances with just about everyone under the sun, though deep down he’s just another diehard music lover and true fan of creative collaborations at heart. Now, he’s brought his talents over to the inaugural Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival, taking place March 3-6 in beautiful Okeechobee, FL. We went in-depth with Paul about the experiences that have led him to this point in his career, and what fans can expect and get excited for with this new venture (hint: a lot).Live for Live Music: You’ve been doing this for awhile and you’ve done some very cool things in this space. What was your background before getting into the festival industry?Paul Peck: Basically I was a college kid in New Orleans, and before I got to New Orleans my music taste was kind of limited. I liked Phish, Beatles, Grateful Dead, and classic rock. When I got to New Orleans it just opened my eyes to how many different kinds of music I could connect to and that I was inspired by. And from that point it just diversified my music taste. Got there and thought I liked one kind of music, and after a minute in NOLA realized I like just about every type of music. So at that point I was really inspired and I started really diving into the local music scene.I started producing shows as a sophomore in college, and they were always these collaborative things. I loved Tipitina’s and knew the guy who ran the club, and I was begging him to give me a date because I had this idea to get all of my favorite musicians – some of them I knew, some I didn’t, but these were my heroes – to play all of my favorite Stevie Wonder songs. I wanted to get a lot of horns on it and make it a big thing. The club didn’t really believe in the idea, but they eventually gave me the date when something else cancelled. I put on the show and promoted it, and it had members of Galactic, members of Jon Cleary’s band, all of these amazing vocalists, including Walter “Wolfman” Washington, who’s also on the Okeechobee lineup. Basically the show sold out but it was totally understaffed. There were like two security guards there so it was complete chaos. But that was kind of my first taste of how a special show with improv energy could feel. Being a part of that and helping to create that experience was unlike anything I’d ever done.From there, I started doing all of these SuperJam-type shows in New Orleans, which is how I first got to know the guys from Superfly, who were also promoting shows down there at the time. As soon as I graduated college I started working for them. The next summer we did the very first Bonnaroo. So next thing I know I’m at Bonnaroo doing a SuperJam! For the SuperJam the very first year of Bonnaroo we were just like, so at this time on the second stage on Sunday we’re gonna just have a bunch of backline there and that’s gonna be the SuperJam. So show up Stanton Moore, or show up Michael Kang, or Michael Franti. We got Bela Fleck, North Mississippi All-Stars, Robert Randolph, all those guys and we continued to build it up over the next bunch of years. Ever since my first show it was like, let me create something really special that I want to see, something I would be inspired to see. And that just keeps it organic and keeps it noble. That’s always been my mentality when producing these things. Because ultimately, I get to watch it too! And that’s the payoff. You put together a great show and get to stand out in the crowd and watch the show with the crowd and feel the whole crowd’s energy mix with the energy the artists are creating onstage until the entire venue is just buzzing with this indescribable electricity.With Okeechobee, we have the PoWow!, and the idea is that we’re going to get these amazingly talented artists together and we’re gonna allow them to vibe off each other and share energy and see where it takes us. There’s something really spontaneous and exciting about that, because they don’t know exactly where it’s gonna go, I don’t know where it’s gonna go as the producer, and the fans sure don’t know, but we’re gonna find out together at the same time. And that’s kind of what a festival is all about, it’s like we’re all coming together to form this little world, and what that world is gonna be and what’s gonna turn into, we’ll find out together. We’re all a part of it, and I love that.L4LM: What’s the process like of building a collaborative show like this from the ground up?PP: Usually it involves me begging a super talented artist that I love for years to do this, and then ultimately the stars will align and they’ll wear down and say “Yes, I’m down, I have the time, I can concentrate on it, let’s do it.” And then from there the question turns into, “Tell me what you would dream of playing in front of an amazing audience, who you’d dream of playing with, what are your dreams for this?” And they’ll have some ideas, and I’ll have some ideas, and new ideas will spin out of that. It’s a true collaboration right from the start.When I talked to Skrillex for the first time about his SuperJam at Bonnaroo, I was like, “What do you want to do with this? Who do you want to play with?” And he was like, “Well you’ve done this before, so why don’t we start there.” And I said, “Well, let’s explore each corner of your influences. When I look at your show I hear rap influences, I hear reggae influences, I hear punk influences, I hear rock influences. So let’s get some people that represent these worlds, and let’s bring them together with you and create a live mixtape with an amazing band that connects the dots between all these different types of music and different vibes and energies. I think that’s what you’re all about.” And he was like, “Amazing, amazing. My first memory of music is The Doors.” So I was like, “Why don’t we get Robby Krieger from The Doors?” And I did some research and saw that Robby Krieger and John Densmore from The Doors had this project in the 80s where they covered Bob Marley and reggae music. So I was like, “That’s an interest of yours too. Why don’t we get Damian Marley?” And I asked him who else he would want to get and he was like, “Is there any chance we could get Lauryn Hill?” And I was like, “Probably not.” But we went to her together and she did it! He had a million ideas for that show, he was such a creative force. He’s kind of a vibe master. The types of people I like to build these shows around are vibe masters. My best shows are the ones where someone sets a vibe and then everyone in the band can kind of get on board. One of the challenges with this type of show is that in a short period of time you have to create a new identity for this group of 8, 10, sometimes 12 people. And they all have to be willing to play nice with one another. So it’s all about bringing the right type of people, and if you put them in a comfortable situation with good energy and good support you can do something special. And that’s kind of what it’s all about for me.With Okeechobee and the PoWow!, I want to take what I’ve done with the SuperJams to the next level. My goal with this festival is to set a new standard for creative programming full of collaborations and special moments that are completely unexpected and rare. The entire mission of the festival is to allow these moments, connections and experiences to unfold in a collective environment where we are all in this together, in this sort of Never-Never Land, fantastical world that we’ve all created for one another. And that’s kind of what I love. As a music fan, I’m always in search of those types of special moments. And I like taking the initiative to create those moments so I can experience it with great artists and great fans. That’s a really special thing for me.L4LM: What made you want to branch out from Bonnaroo and go out and start your own festival? PP: I felt like I was really blessed and fortunate to have been taught the festival business by the visionaries behind Bonnaroo and to be able to have those experiences. It just felt like the right time to make a change for myself, and this perfect pathway unfolded for me. I came across this property in Florida, and it’s hard to make that change sometimes, to go away from something comfortable and good, but I started feeling like maybe it was time for me to go in my own direction. So I went and saw this property and after seeing the first one percent of it, I was just so blown away by the natural beauty and breathtaking feel of this property, and I quickly realized that there’s never been a live music venue like this. It’s unparalleled. And for me it’s always been about seeing great music, but if you can see it in a really special place, that makes it infinitely more powerful and special, and that was what I thought we could build here. I had this experience in college where I went to Greece and saw Steve Winwood with one of my best friends on top of a mountain outside of Athens, and I think Okeechobee is going to be that type of experience. People are just going to be like, “Wow”. Because it’s just one of those things, no matter where you stand on the property, you’re blown away by how beautiful it looks from that perspective. And there’s a lot of room for a lot of people to have that experience throughout the weekend while seeing some of the best bands in the world. And then the fact that it’s Florida in March, it’s Spring Break. It’s just a perfect time of year in one of the most beautiful places in the country. So it just kind of came together like that.L4LM: What else really makes Okeechobee stand out from other festivals?PP: There are no sound ordinances, so I don’t know what other festival provides music literally around the clock. We’re going to have music 24 hours a day, all-night dance parties throughout the festival grounds and all day grooves on the beach. There’s this big dance space in a tropical jungle, and that’s going to be one of the sickest features of the festival. It’ll go from 9 PM-9 AM every night. And it’s all really well-curated, hand-picked, underground techno & deep house DJs from around the world. Just like the rest of the festival, that area was developed with a great deal of love, care, and thought. It wasn’t just thrown together based on who’s available. It all has a thread to it and sort of tells a narrative story. We really want this to be a place for music discovery, where you’re gonna discover the next band that really inspires you and becomes your new favorite band. A few years later you’ll see them on the main stage headlining the festival, but you can always think back to when you saw them with a couple hundred people and had that lightswitch moment with the band. I remember having that moment with My Morning Jacket at Bonnaroo, and Kings of Leon at Bonnaroo. That’s the experience I want to present to people. You come knowing that you love Mumford and Sons, but then you discover like, 17 bands from other styles and genres and it just expands the scope of what kind of music speaks to you and what you connect with.L4LM: What act are you most excited to see?PP: Oh my gosh. Well, I’m probably most excited about the PoWow! to be honest. We’re not quite ready to announce the artists (hopefully by next week), but it’s going to be one of the biggest and best shows I’ve ever done. I’m really, really excited for this collaboration, because it’s going to combine some really talented artists in a totally new context, and give them an opportunity to reimagine some of the music that has inspired and been the soundtrack to all of our lives. Beyond that, on the bigger side, I’m incredibly excited to see Kendrick Lamar in this setting. Kendrick has grown so big so fast and I am constantly impressed by the caliber of music he releases. Right now, in my mind, he is one of the most inspired and inspiring artists in the world. I am definitely excited about Odesza and the opportunity to see Robert Plant play Led Zeppelin songs in this amazing setting is going to be very special. I’m excited for the Big Boi/Phantogram project, I love Portugal. The Man, love Lettuce, Kamasi Washington. Love White Denim, Marian Hill is incredible, The Heavy is awesome, we have Dr. Dog and Lil Dicky on the bill which is pretty awesome. The Soul Rebels are one of my all time favorite bands. Dungen hasn’t toured America in like five or six years, they’re an incredible Swedish rock band that we were able to pull. The Shelters, who are this really killer rock band. All around, I’m really pleased with the lineup we were able to put together for the first year, and I think it’s going to be a really special experience.L4LM: What other sort of unique features will you have on site?PP: There’s tons of stuff. We’re bringing in all these incredible art installations from all over Florida and all over the country, including some burning man style art from the West Coast. There are two main parts of the festival: The Grove, which is where the three main stages are, and then you pass through the forest that surrounds the Grove and you’re in this other part of the festival called Moonlight Oasis, which has Jungle 51 (our all night jungle dance party) and Aquachobee (an all day beach stage with live music, a Ferris wheel, and areas for fans to lounge out, chill and swim). And then next to that we have something called Chobeewobee Village, where there will be a lot of art installations, intimate performances and comedy… just a little vibey area to hang and relax. And then there’s also Yogachobee, where we’ll have yoga, meditation, spirituality workshops, massages, healing, and a tea sanctuary in this beautiful wooden area.I’m just really excited about how beautiful the site is. There’s trees everywhere, tons of natural shade, the camping is going to be super comfortable and lush, really a next-level camping experience. The property is just perfectly suited for a music festival and camping event. And for a big four-day festival with this level of talent, when you look at other comparable festivals around the country, our festival is a lot less expensive, and our site is just truly unique. I think it’s going to be a very evolved camping experience and a way to just escape the real world into this fantasy wonderland where we’re going to bring all this amazing music and just vibe out for four incredible days together. I just can’t wait to show everyone what we’ve been working on. **Purchase tickets to Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival here!**last_img read more

first_imgHarvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan has been named an advisory board member of the American Indian Empowerment Fund (AIEF). The AIEF, established by the Oneida Indian Nation, builds upon the Oneida Nation’s long-standing tradition of sharing resources to benefit others.“We are gratified to have Elena Kagan join our board,” said Oneida Nation representative and CEO Ray Halbritter. “Her experience at Harvard and previous tenure at the White House working on domestic policy make her an outstanding addition,” added Halbritter, who also serves as chairman of the AIEF board of directors.The AIEF programs focus on empowering children and families, and providing American Indians with the knowledge, skills, and resources to improve their quality of life.last_img read more

first_imgRolf Mowatt-Larssen, director of the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence at the U.S. Department of Energy and former head of the Central Intelligence Agency’s WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and terrorism efforts, will join the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs as a senior fellow on Jan. 19.As director of intelligence and counterintelligence with the U.S. Department of Energy, Mowatt-Larssen and his 600-person organization have been responsible for the areas of nuclear terrorism, nuclear proliferation, science and technology, energy security, and counterintelligence. His office also provides support to policymakers and conducts collection and analysis, with a special focus on harnessing U.S. scientific and technological expertise to solve intractable problems. His primary focus has been preventing a nuclear terrorism attack on the United States by working to keep nuclear weapons and weapons materials out of the hands of terrorists.At the Belfer Center, Mowatt-Larssen will work with the center’s nuclear team on an initiative to reduce the dangers posed by the current unraveling of the global nuclear order. Along with Belfer Center Director Graham Allison, Professors Ashton Carter and John Holdren, Associate Professor Matthew Bunn, International Security Program Director Steven Miller, and others, he will help advance work begun by a Commission of Eminent Persons (launched earlier this year by International Atomic Energy Association [IAEA] Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei) to find ways to maximize contributions of nuclear technologies to human well-being while minimizing the risks of nuclear weapons proliferation and nuclear terrorist attacks. Mowatt-Larssen will focus on building a stronger global community of scholars and policy analysts interested in this goal, as well as on researching, analyzing, and communicating findings to the IAEA, to the incoming administration, and to other relevant governments.In announcing Mowatt-Larssen’s appointment, Allison said, “Since 9/11, Rolf Mowatt-Larssen has led the government’s efforts to find and track potential nuclear terrorists and to prevent a nuclear terrorist attack on the United States. Over a career of almost three decades in the intelligence community and at the Department of Energy, Rolf has likely learned more about the plans and potentials of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups seeking to mount catastrophic terrorist attacks on the U.S. than anyone I know. He is deeply committed to preventing nuclear attacks and restoring a global order that will make that possible. We are extremely pleased to have him join our nuclear team.”“It is a pleasure and an honor to join Graham Allison and his distinguished team at Harvard’s Belfer Center,” Mowatt-Larssen said, in confirming his departure from the government in January. “Their important work lies at the cutting edge of preventing a nuclear catastrophe. I share Dr. Allison’s vision and ambitious agenda to lower the risks and ultimately eliminate the threats posed by nuclear weapons to all mankind. I am looking forward to contributing to this great cause.”In testimony presented to the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee of the U.S. Senate in April, Mowatt-Larssen said he believed the world would be tested during the early years of the 21st century “in our ability to prevent nonstate efforts to develop and detonate a nuclear weapon.” He added, “We must get nuclear materials off the black market and take every possible step to stop global trafficking in these materials. It must be a global effort incorporating police, intelligence services, militaries, government agencies, ministries, and dedicated citizens across the world. In addition, we need broad information sharing across every front — between government and private sector, and among foreign partners, including those who previously were our adversaries. Al-Queda thinks and plans dynamically and they rarely follow straightforward, linear paths to their targets. We need to be just as flexible and dynamic in our efforts to stop them.”Prior to his appointment to the top intelligence position in the Department of Energy, Mowatt-Larssen served for 23 years as a CIA intelligence officer in various domestic and international posts. These included deputy associate director of Central Intelligence for Military Support, chief of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Department, Counterterrorism Center, and most recently, chief of the Europe Division in the Directorate of Operations. His overseas assignments included service in Moscow, Stockholm, Athens, Zurich, and Oslo, among other locations. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy (West Point), Mowatt-Larssen is the recipient of numerous awards including the CIA Director’s Award, the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, the Commendation Medal, and the Secretary of Defense Civilian Distinguished Service Medal.last_img read more

first_imgBUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! Joey Logano is from Connecticut and a New England Patriots fan. David Ragan is from Georgia and is an Atlanta Falcons fan. Add that with the fact that both teams are squaring off in Sunday’s Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas on FOX and the two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers agreed to a good-natured bet that will benefit charity. With the Patriots winning, Ragan will donate $2,200 to The Joey Logano Foundation. If the Falcons had won, Logano would have donated $2,200 to Shriners Hospital for Children. Founded in 2013, The Joey Logano Foundation partners with other organizations to provide comfort and relief to those in need after such unforeseen circumstances. Shriners Hospital for Children has been Ragan’s official charity of choice since 2008. Shriners Hospital for Children served as the primary sponsor for Ragan in one race in 2016 and he rode on the Shriners Hospital float in last year’s 127th Rose Parade. How did this bet come to fruition and how exactly was the total agreed on? Here is a look at the anatomy of that bet. On Sunday, Logano tweeted a photo of the two drivers getting ready to attend the big game. Logan and Ragan aren’t the only ones in the NASCAR world with a friendly wager on the big game. Atlanta Motor Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway have a bet as well. The details of which you can read here.last_img read more

first_imgDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 25, 2017) — Reserved stadium tickets for the 59th annual DAYTONA 500, the season-opening event for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, are sold out, Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile announced today.   Ticket holders for “The Great American Race” on Sunday will enjoy all the amenities that come with the world’s only motorsports stadium including 101,500 permanent and wider seats, five expanded and redesigned entrances, 40 escalators and other upgrades throughout the 11 football-field sized neighborhoods in the facility.   Premium hospitality, infield admissions and UNOH Fanzone/Pre-Race access still remain for the DAYTONA 500 and are available at or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP as well as through, the official ticket exchange and travel package provider of Daytona International Speedway.   This is the second straight year that the DAYTONA 500 has sold out.   “The ticket demand for the DAYTONA 500 continues to be a constant in our sport,” Wile said. “Likewise, the race continues to be the perfect kick-off to a new NASCAR season, showcasing the unique and energized at-track experience that our sport — and our stadium — provides to our fans.   “This is the most prestigious event on the NASCAR schedule and a true American sports tradition. Fans have always recognized those facts. This latest sellout, once again, reflects that recognition.”   This year’s Daytona  500 will be attended by fans representing 41 different countries and every state in the U.S.last_img read more

first_imgThe scheme is designed to help raise awareness for the hospital’s cause, but also to help raise funds with the opportunity for fans to put their names on the hood. For a $250 donation, fans will have their names listed on the hood of the No. 88 Chevy that Earnhardt will drive in the Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts in the Bluegrass State on July 8 (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Dale Earnhardt Jr. revealed the special paint scheme for the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet he’ll drive at Kentucky Speedway, a design that is helping to make a difference for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital. BUY TICKETS: See the races at Kentucky Nationwide — Earnhardt’s sponsor and the namesake of the pediatric center in Columbus, Ohio — helped debut the paint scheme Tuesday over Twitter with the help of three patients at the hospital. The design incorporates Earnhardt’s favorite color — orange — and the hospital’s trademark butterflies. Only 315 spots are available, and that donation also reserves a limited-run 1/24-scale diecast of the car. More information is available at read more