Sunday, May 24, 2009

R.I.P. Jay Bennett

The Chicago Sun-Times has the sad news about longtime Wilco member Jay Bennett, dead in his sleep at age 45.

R.I.P. Jay.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Jon Troast: halfway to a hundred

Singer-songwriter Jon Troast hit the halfway mark the other night on his "100 Concerts in 100 Days" trek across the United States. Since launching this latest run of 100-dollar-a-night house concerts in March, Troast has traveled through Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, and is currently in my neck of the woods, California.

Having hosted one of Troast's living room concerts last year, I can testify to what a unique and memorable experience it is. The comfort and ease this approach offers for the audience is unbeatable, and Troast is a blast to hang out with, as evidenced by his road diary, full of wry observations and affectionate asides. He even played a show the other day for a guy named Jon Troast. No, really -- a different guy named Jon Troast. I can relate, having discovered a doppelganger of my own.

In any case, it's a little late for "bon voyage" or "break a leg," so let's just borrow a baseball phrase here and wish Troast a great second half of his road trip...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Talking Heads take over

Once you've ascended to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and been repeatedly declared one of the most influential acts of your era, what's left?

Being named Artist Of The Month on The Daily Vault, of course.

Talking Heads get the nod this month in a retrospective fueled by fans Sean McCarthy, Michael R. Smith, Kenny S. McGuane, Christopher Thelen, Jeff Clutterbuck and Bruce Rusk. As if the band's parade of classic albums (starting with memorable debut Talking Heads: 77) wasn't enough, we'll also be covering a number of discs from side project Tom Tom Club and frontman-gone-solo David Byrne. Trust us, this one's going to burn down the house for sure...