As if a touching duet with Jack Johnson wasn’t enough, Pearl Jam brought yet another surprise guest onstage during their headlining set at Portugal’s NOS Alive festival on Saturday: Nashville’s very own Jack White.
White, who performed at the festival prior to Pearl Jam’s set, joined the band onstage to close the show with a rendition of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World.”
This is the first time White has performed alongside Pearl Jam since their joint performance of “Of The Earth” during band’s surprise show at Third Man Records in 2016.
Paul Simon has been traversing North America and Europe since May on his farewell tour appropriately named “Homeward Bound.” As Simon barrels through the British Isles (he plays a show in Dublin tonight and another in London tomorrow night), the famed Simon & Garfunkel co-songwriter has announced one final solo LP, his fourteenth, titled In the Blue Light.
The 10-track collection, scheduled for a September 7th release on Legacy Recordings, consists entirely of reworked renditions of songs from Simon’s extensive back catalog, specifically songs that Simon himself “thought were really good songs that didn’t get much attention when they first came out.”
The album, produced by Simon and Roy Halee, will include contributions from the likes of Wynton Marsalis, guitarist Bill Frisell, and drummers Jack DeJohnette and Steve Gadd. Watch a brief video with footage from the album making process below:
Simon takes Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. on September 14th. Grab your tickets here.
In the Blue Light Tracklist:
01. One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor
03. Can’t Run But
04. How the Heart Approaches What It Yearns
05. Pigs, Sheep and Wolves
06. René and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War
07. The Teacher
08. Darling Lorraine
09. Some Folks’ Lives Roll Easy
10. Question for the Angels
Travis Pastrana completed over 400 feet of jumps last night, breaking three of daredevil Evel Knievel’s own records.
Mounted on an Indian Scout FTR750, Pastrana jumped 143 feet over 52 crushed cars, 192 feet over 16 Greyhound buses, and finally 149 feet to clear the fountain in front of Caesars Palace hotel and casino.
Pastrana even donned his own red, white, and blue costume in honor of Knievel, cape and all. Knievel, who passed away in 2007 at age 69, crushed his pelvis and broke several other bones attempting the same fountain jump on New Year’s Eve in 1967.
Pearl Jam played a headlining set at Belgian multi-day festival Rock Werchter on Saturday night and brought with them a cast of guest performers including none other than singer-songwriter Jack Johnson.
Eddie Vedder invited Johnson onstage to cover John Lennon’s classic “Imagine” after taking some political jabs, suggesting that the audience light up their phones and sing along to show what a “really big crowd in harmony looks like.”
Other guest performers included MC5’s Wayne Kramer, Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil, and Fugazi’s Brendan Canty who joined Pearl Jam early in the set for a version of MC5’s signature “Kick Out The Jams.”
Well, it took 23 years - but the Foo Fighters have finally played Merriweather - and it is a good thing that the Columbia, MD venue recently underwent some renovations - including a raised roof - cause Dave Grohl and co. certainly brought the ROCK last night - before heading 'downne oshun for some jumbos'
U2 and Bono are arguably the most politically active musicians in the scene today - so it should come as no surpise that the band paused a recent show in New Jersey to address the horrible tragedy that took place at the Capital Gazette, when 5 staff members were murdered on June 28th.
Before performing One - Bono spoke of journalists - saying we need them ... and specifically to the staff at the Gazette - There is no THEM - there is only US.
90s icons Beavis and Butt-Head have come out of hiding for the first time since their 2011 revival to rip apart the music video for Portugal. The Man’s latest pop hit, “Feel It Still.”
The show’s creator, Mike Judge, created this two-minute video in which the raucous duo attempts to make fun of “Feel It Still” before quickly realizing that “when you compress this much crap under the force of this much pretention, you create a beautiful diamond.” Butt-Head goes on to call Portugal. The Man “better than the Beatles, better than the Rolling Stones, better than Silverchair, almost as good as Pantera.”
The band have been using the video to open their shows on tour for last summer’s Woodstock. You might just be able to see it on the big screen yourself when they play Merriweather Post Pavilion on September 21. Get your tickets here.
It has been said that Bruce Springsteen is the ultimate bar rocker .. but for the past year - but its been a few years since THE BOSS played at a local dive bar - he's even been on Broadway for the past year ... but last night - he joined Portugal. the Man and Danny Clinch's Tangiers Blues Band for the grand re-openning of the bar/bowling alley/live music space - Asbury Lanes... The show's capacity? 700!
The Boss commented: “We didn’t know if we would ever see Asbury come back or not, in our lifetime, so it’s been a joy watching what’s been happening in town over the past 10, 15 or 20 years ... I walk down the boardwalk now, I feel like the Ghost of Christmas Past ... But that’s okay. It’s fun to watch Asbury’s future unfold in front of me.”
The second full day of Firefly 2018 ... the line up was all over the place - so setting your schedule was key!
We learned that the lead singer of Firefly Fine Print Band - Middle Kids - used to live in Annapolis! We learned that Portugal. The Man are already wrapping up a new album and are still some of the coolest dudes on the planet. And we learned that 2018 Firefly Vibes are pretty amazing!
We knew that Ben Gibbard and Death Cab for Cutie were hitting the road this fall ( they play The Anthem on October 17- you might want to get tickets ASAP ) ... and since bands usually tour around a new album - we were thinking the new record would be out any day ... well, we have that info - Thank You for Today will be out on August 17th ... AND we have the first single from the record - Gold Rush - a song about neighborhoods and how they evolve over the years. Check out the video for the song below:
With less than a week now until the long-awaited Firefly Music Festival kicks off in Dover, Delaware, fans are no doubt gearing up to see some of their favorite big-name bands: Arctic Monkeys, Foster the People, The Killers, and more! If you’ve been tuning into WRNR, you probably already love a few of the up and coming acts who will grace the Firefly stage this weekend as well, such as WRNR favorite Jade Bird. Still, with such a dense and prolific lineup for this year’s festival, you might be wondering what some of those smaller-name acts listed in the “fine print” are all about. Fear not! WRNR has taken out the guess work and compiled a list of ten must-see bands you’ve probably never heard of playing the festival this weekend.
Garage rock enthusiasts won’t want to miss the grungy, ecstatic stylings of Philadelphia native Ron Gallo, who takes the Firefly stage on Friday. His latest record, Really Nice Guys, was released in January on Nashville’s New West Records, and the Nashville tradition is in no way lost on Gallo. Dirty tones, bluesy vocals, and witty, observational lyrics make him a must-see for any fan of the blues looking to get in touch with their inner punk-rocker, or vice versa!
For fans of: Ty Segall, The Black Keys, FIDLAR
Up-and-coming Australian indie rockers Middle Kids consist of classically trained pianist Hannah Joy, her multi-instrumentalist husband Tim Fitz, and drummer/Sydney Conservatorium of Music graduate Harry Day. Together, they create subdued, sometimes melancholy indie rock that doesn’t shy away from memorable hooks and pop-oriented production. Their debut LP, Lost Friends, was released on famed indie Domino earlier this year. They’ll be taking the Firefly stage on Saturday.
For fans of: Gang of Youths, Alvvays, Japanese Breakfast
Festivalgoers looking to get in touch with a less cheerful side will find solace in the heartfelt, often pained indie rock of singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus. Her two studio records, both released on popular indie label Matador, comprise of a catalog of deeply personal and oftentimes gloomy material that draws heavily from the original emo and indie rock traditions of the 90s. Don’t miss her on Saturday at Firefly.
For fans of: Courtney Barnett, Julien Baker, Soccer Mommy
Indie singer-songwriter Damon McMahon, aka Amen Dunes, brings an entirely unique psychedelic flavor to the Firefly stage this summer. With folk-rock as his foundation, McMahon incorporates elements of blues and psychedelia to create atmospheric rock songs that are both dreamy and nostalgic. His latest record, Freedom, was released on Sacred Bones Records in March. You can catch Amen Dunes on Sunday at Firefly.
For fans of: The War on Drugs, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Kurt Vile
Fans of traditional American folk and bluegrass will be blown away by the musical dexterity, unpolished vocal harmonies, and unrestrained soul of Central Pennsylvanian folk trio Vulcans. The multi-talented threesome rotate instruments and lead vocal duties, each of them proficient in guitar, banjo, mandolin, and the bass drum. The result is a body of songs that are both creative and diverse. Their latest record, Ghostfolk, was self-released last year. Don’t miss their performance on Saturday at Firefly.
For fans of: City and Colour, The Decemberists, The Avett Brothers
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
Lukas Nelson rose to modest notoriety after contributing vocals to his father Willie Nelson’s 2012 album, Heroes. From there, the younger Nelson’s band, Promise of the Real, offered touring and studio support to the famed Neil Young for two years, and went on to work with none other than Lady Gaga on their recently released self-titled record. With so much star support, it’s hard to believe that the band’s soulful, country-rock flavor sounds so dirty, raw, and genuine. You can catch them on Friday at Firefly.
For fans of: Eric Clapton, Leon Russel, Willie Nelson
The improvisational stylings of Arizona-based jam band Spafford won’t be lost on those with an ear for great jazz-fusion. When the band takes the Firefly stage on Saturday, fans can expect tenacious, virtuosic jams that incorporate elements of rock, funk, reggae, and pop, resulting in vibes as fit for summer as you’d expect. Get familiar with the band’s latest record, For Amusement Only, which was released earlier this year.
For fans of: The String Cheese Incident, Twiddle, moe.
Named after a street in Memphis, soulful five-piece Southern Avenue serve up all the poignant, riff-driven southern blues you’d expect from a band of their Tennessee origins. Guitarist Ori Naftaly emigrated from Israel to Memphis in 2013, where he met vocalist Tierinii Jackson and her drumming sister, Tikyra. The resulting chemistry spurred a catalog of blues rock that stands up to the classics. Their debut self-titled record was released last year on Stax Records and reached #6 on the Billboard Top Blues Albums Chart. Don’t miss when they take the Firefly stage on Friday.
For fans of: Alabama Shakes, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix
Sister-Brother duo Flint Eastwood make what has been described as “spaghetti-western inspired” indie pop. On the lead single “Queen” from their recently released EP, Broke Royalty, this manifests as icy, hook-driven synthesizers, enormous brass and bell sections, and an epic chorus, all tied up neatly in a glossy pop package. They’ll be taking Firefly by storm on Friday.
For fans of: Lorde, MisterWives, Lights
At only twenty-one years old, singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi has already made a name for himself, becoming the fastest unsigned artist to ever reach 25 million plays on Spotify and supporting and working with such talent as Sam Smith and Frank Ocean. The sultry Scottish tenor, usually accompanied only by dry, intimate piano, writes songs about love, loss, and heartbreak. Wind down from an exciting festival weekend on Sunday to the soft, tender balladeering of this young star.
Remember back in 2015, when Foo Fighters were scheduled to headline an epic 4th of July show at RFK Stadium ...
And then a few weeks before this epic show - at a gig in Sweeden - Dave wanted “to shred some tasty licks for the kids up front" and ended up falling off the stage and dislocating hisankle and snapping his fibula "like an old pair of take out chopsticks”. But being the true rock star Dave Grohl is - he made it to RFK and rocked the show from a throne made of guitars.
Fast forward to 2018 - when the Foos returned to the scene of the accident for a gig in Gothenburg, Sweden. Check out the video of the Dave imposter falling off the stage below:
And yesterday, he decided 2 DC shows weren't enough and decided to head to Woodrow Wilson High School (Ian McKaye's alma mater no less) and play a lunch time pop up show for the students and faculty. The show lasted 45 minutes, during the kid's lunch hour and culminated with Jack being joined on the 'stage' by the students as he blistered through the White Stripes classic, Seven Nation Army ...
David Byrne'sAmerican Utopia tour rolled through Portland, Oregon recently - and before his show at the Keller Auditorium - the Talking Head stopped into the Alibi Tiki Lounge to unwind and sing some karaoke .... his selection? When Doves Cry by Prince
It's been a minute since we've heard from our favorite shore girl, Maggie Rogers - but she surfaced with some new music this week - and its a banger - produced by fellow DMV native, Rostam of Vampire Weekend.
Check out the song, Falling Water, below - along with a hand written note she posted to twitter explaining the song and how it relates to the ride her career has been on the past 2 years.
Friday May 18, 2018 - marks the one year anniversary of Chris Cornell's passing, and at a recent concert in Los Angeles, U2 paid tribute to the late singer - with a cover of the Soundgarden classic- Black Hole Sun. Check out the clip below.
“I dance like this because it feels so damn good...If I could dance better, well, you know that I would.”
Dance moves or not - David Byrne and his 11 piece ensemble blazed through an incredible set Saturday night at The Anthem ... yes - they played Burning Down The House, as well as several other Talking Heads songs, an emotional cover of Janelle Monae's Hell You Talmbout, and other jams from Byrne's collaborations.
Byrne claimed earlier this year that the tour was going to be his most ambitious since the Stop Making Sense shows (as well as his first solo tour since 2009). Despite a minimalist stage setup - no amps, no cords, no shoes (!) - the show lived up to the hype and then some
We fell in love with Austrailian Singer Songwriter - Amy Shark - upon hearing Adore back in 2017 ... and now she's got another single from her forthcoming album - Love Monster - that we can't stop listening to. Check out the video, that Amy co directed, for the song 'I Said Hi'
Bonus footage - here's a flashback to when Amy Shark played a WRNR Pop Up Show at Fado:
On a recent visit to The Late Show with Steven Colbert - Jack sat down and helped revisit some classic commercial jingles before performaning his new single - Ice Station Zebra ... Check out videos below -
We've seen a lot of crazy things at Foo Fighters concerts - guys wearing KISS make up rocking out with the band, Dave playing the show from a throne cause he broke his foot, heck - there was even a live Rick Roll with Rick Astley ... but one Dallas couple took things to the next level - and got married while the Foos played Everlong at a recent show at the Starplex Pavilion!
Congrats Belinda Marie Ramos and Tony Rosales - you're tweet says it all - Foo Fighters are the best choice for a wedding band!
Father John Misty's new album - God's Favorite Customer - is due out June 1 (maybe you were lucky enough to snag an early copy from Apple when they leaked it?)
The album's first single - Mr. Tillman (Father John Misty's real name is Josh Tillman) tells a bizarre tale of FJM checking into a hotel and what happened the last time he was there. The video - co-directed by Jeff Desom and Carlos Lopez - is a dark and strange visual representation of the song in which FJM is trapped in a loop and can't check out of the hotel ... check it out below
Yes, Sinead O'Connor had a worldwide hit when she released Nothing Compares 2 U in 1990 as the second single from her second album - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got ...
But did you know the song was written and composed by Prince for one of his side projects - The Family? Maybe you didn't, because Prince's version was never released - until now ... check out the newly unearthed recording of the Purple One [RIP] perforoming the song from 1984 - along with some sweet rehersal footage of Prince and The Revolution!
If you're gonna get onstage and play Monkey Wrench with Foo Fighters - why not do it in full KISS makeup?
That must be what one fan was thinking before heading to a Foo Fighters show in Austin, TX on 4/19/18 ...
YAYO Sanchez caught the eye of Dave Grohl mid way through the show with his KISS make up and sign asking to play Monkey Wrench with the band ... and Mr. Sanchez pretty much killed it! At one point - Dave loses his place and forgets the lyrics! Check it out!
It's been 5 years - but we finally have new music from Neko Case! Check out her new single, Bad Luck, below! Oh - by the way - she's going on a massive tour with Ray LaMontagne called the Hell On Tour (full dates below)! Or is Ray LaMontagne going on the Part of the Light Tour with Neko Case? Who cares ... they can figure that out amongst themselves - just don't miss the tour when it comes to Merriweather Post on June 20th!
It's always great when Saturday Night Live incorporates the musical guests into some of the skits - and this week - the writers were able to work Jack White into a hilarious skit as the guitar player in a wedding band ....that had a big reveal to the groom. Check out Cut for Time: Wedding Toast below ... and then keep scrolling to watch Jack White perform Over and Over and Over & Connected By Love
Maybe you heard ... Beyonce took over Coachella 2018 with an epic headlining performance Saturday night ... But there was more to weekend one of the first major festival in 2018 than Bey and Destiny’s Child (the Wal Mart Yodeller was there too)… check out some other highlights below:
St. Vincent –
Benjamin Booker –
Greta Van Fleet -
Yodelling Wal Mart Boy aka Mason Ramsey
after the yodel kid followed me i dmed him to try and get him to come out as whethans guest at coachella. and it happened. ur welcome everyone. i love u mason and i love the internet pic.twitter.com/VSjLjS9mU4
Sure, you love January through November ... but deep down - you're a DECEMBERIST at heart - and we want you to have the most intimate of experiences when Colin Meloy & company headline The Anthem on April 21st ... that's right - we want you to go to the show - AND attend a private 2 song pre-show-performance AND get the chance to chat with Colin and the band AND we'll even throw in a signed tour poster!
Want in? Email the question you would ask of the band to firstname.lastname@example.org and we might just send you as the RNR correspondant!
Our longtime friend Robyn Hitchcock stopped by the station ahead of his performance at Rams Head on Stage ... he and Bob Waugh got to talking about being movie stars - Bob was in New Wave: Dare to be Different and Robin was in Storefront Hitchcock - which featured Robyn performing in a New York City store front window with passers by catching a free performance of his back catalog. Here's the clip Bob and Robyn discussed of Devil's Radio:
50 years ago (!), The Beatles debuted the George Dunning-directed film– Yellow Submarine, and this summer - the groundbreaking psychedelic animated movie will return to theaters! The film has been restored to a stunning 4K resolution and the soundtrack remixed to a 5.1 stereo surround sound. Restoration for the film was done by hand, “frame-by-frame,” without the use of any automated software!
No word on local theaters that will be showing the film- but you can check out the trailer for the screenings for now:
Food and Fashion ... This spring's hottest combo meal?
This week we've gotten announcements of two collabs already - the first one - which kind of makes sense - Dunkin Donuts and shoe maker Saucony have teamed up to bring us these bad boys that will literally have America Running on Dunkin!
In a much odder pairing - online eye glass retailer Warby Parker and roast beef sandwich maker Arby's announced a collab this week as well ... not sure if this one is some sort of April Fools Prank or not - but the WARBY'S swag is pretty sweet and includes eye glass cleaning kits, shirts, bags, and of course - an onion ring monocle. Want in on this - better get it here sooner than later - they are already selling out!
How do you honor someone as iconic as David Bowie in one statue? Trick question .. you can't ... that's why sculptor Andrew Sinclair's new sculpture honoring the Starman, titled Earthly Messenger, features a mature Bowie looking over his younger self as many of his personas - including Ziggy Stardust (a character who was debuted at the Friars music venue in Aylesbury in the 1970s), Aladdin Sane, the Goblin King, Lazarus, and more.
That's not enough - the statue has mounted speakers that will play a Bowie song every hour!
Check out the unveiling of the statue by none other than Howard Jones!
The big college basketball tournament is down to the Elite 8 and it got me thinking of some elite songs that came out in 2008 ... hard to believe that was 10 years ago ...
8. If I Had Eyes - Jack Johnson
If I had eyes in the back of my head there would be so many benefits of it, except of course the actual look of it.
7. Lay Me Down- The Dirty Heads
This California sounding song featuring Rome from Sublime really makes me want to lay on a beach with a corona and lime in my hand.
6. Human- The Killers
“Are we human or are we dancers”, still unsure how to answer the question. I always thought why can’t we be both?
5. A-Punk- Vampire Weekend
This song is one of Vampire Weekends most well known songs and really made you fall in love with their sound. Also - this video kicks a$$
4. I Will Possess your Heart- Death Cab for Cutie
A great song from a great album and definitely delivers a strong message. Also, I feel like my crazy totally sane ex girlfriend might have wrote this song.
3. Believe- The Bravery
Great song by a great band. This jam got The Bravery on the map and the recognition they deserved.
2. Sex on Fire- Kings of Leon
Lets hope you don’t actually feel like something is burning, if you get what I mean but this song was a classic hit when it came out.
1. Viva La Vida- Coldplay
The instruments in this song make the song as great as it is and is the reason it is at number one.
On the heels of Facebook’s role in the 2016 election, this is just another reminder of how volatile our personal information is on the Internet.
So what can you do? Log off of Facebook for good? But how will you see all those funny cat videos and remember when it’s your cousin’s birthday?
Well, for now – you can at least keep your data from going through Facebook’s API (Application Programming Interface) by controlling your privacy settings. Keep in mind though – making these changes will mean you can no longer log into other apps, like Instagram, Twitter, etc. using your Facebook Login. (But by doing this - you also won't be able to post TO Facebook when using other apps. So you won't be able to share the fact that you played the word QI in Words with Friends or the picture of you watching funny cat videos with your cousin on their birthday to your newsfeed. )
So here’s what you need to do:
Head to your Facebook account and go to the settings menu.
Then select the Apps key
Now click the "Edit" button under "Apps, Websites and Plugins."
Now click "Disable Platform."
Don’t want to go to the extreme of cutting all your data off?
You can also limit the personal information accessible by apps that others use. To do this – from the settings page - click "Edit" under "Apps Others Use." Now you can check and uncheck what data you want and don’t want other apps to access … you'll probably want to uncheck everything!
Or ... you can just throw your phone and keyboard away and live off the grid.. forgetting your cousin's birthday every year!
We get excited for the Annapolis Film Festival every year, because we love when we can have no shame in binge watching movies for 3 straight days ...But this year, we're really excited for the fest - because one of our own is featured in one of the movies being screened - that's right Bob Waugh will make his big screen debut right here in Annapolis on Saturday March 24th, when 'New Wave: Dare to Be Different' , is shown at Maryland Hall! The movie chronicles how a small independent radio station (sound familiar?) paved the way for bringing new indie rock to the masses!
As a bonus - Bob Waugh and the film's director Ellen Goldfarb, will host a Q&A before the screening...and our friends Pressing Strings will perform after the movie. You can purchase tickets HERE or - text RNR AFF to 49330 for a chance to win 2 tickets !
With St. Patrick’s Day upon us – we’ve called upon our resident Irishman, Conor Kelly, to build us a playlist of his top hits from the Emerald Isle … so just here’s a mini playlist to fire up while you’re sipping some Guinness … or a green bud lite -
1.) U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday
I mean, come on - this is a given, U2 is one of the most prolific rock bands in the past 40 years EVER. They’re incredible, live and recorded. They started out in the 80’s with memorable albums like War and Joshua Tree, and haven’t slowed down since. With over 20 Grammys to their name, I don’t think Bono or Edge’s edgy guitar will stop anytime
2.) Van Morrison – Moondance
Sir Morrison deserved to be #2 on this list for sure. His jazz infused rock songs also have a soulful sound to them that make his songs so memorable. In addition to “Moondance” – there’s classics like “Brown Eyed Girl” and “Into the Mystic” are just a few of his legendary songs. His iconic albums include Astral Weeks, Into the Music and Tupelo Honey stay on repeat in the Kelly house.
3.) The Cranberries- Zombie
A huge hit in the 90s, The Cranberries have been a part of a rare club of Irish musicians who have topped the U.S. music charts. R.I.P Dolores O’Riordan, with your howlin’ voice and unforgettable presence on stage, you will be missed for sure.
4.) Rory Gallagher – Bullfrog Blues
Jimi Hendrix once called him the best guitarist in the world, enough said. Just watch this live performance of “Bullfrog Blues” by him and argue that.
5.) The Pogues – If I Should Fall From Grace With God
With their Irish folk infused with their punk swag sound, The Pogues a huge influence in Ireland and will always be legends in the Irish eyes. Just come to one of my family reunions. But everyone in my family has better teeth than Shane MacGowan. Some of the wildest times in my life were while seeing them live in concert
One of the most moving moments of the 2018 Oscars was when Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder performed Tom Petty's "Room at the Top" during the ceremony's In Memoriam segment. Vedder playing a Rickenbacker guitar, as a nod to Petty, was a nice touch.
Jack White has gifted us with the next single from his upcoming album, Boarding House Reach - Over and Over.
White has been working on the track for a while ... it was originally slated to be a White Stripes song and later he tried to collaborate with Jay Z on the track. "It was sort of my white whale ... I chased it and chased it and finally, all of a sudden, it worked"
Well- he is right ... it worked ... It just makes us wonder why this wasn't the first single!
Every year in February, the Downtown Annapolis Partnership makes it possible to get out and try the best restaurants the city has to offer, without breaking the bank. Behold – Annapolis Restaurant Week.
What Annapolis Restaurant Week offers that makes it stand out from other cities? The fixed price menus! Yes – all participating restaurants offer up 3-course dinners for the same price, $34.95. Plus – some restaurants take it to the next level – offering a 2-course lunch for $15.95 and even a 2-course breakfast for $12.95.
With over 40 restaurants participating this year – its hard to decide where to even start!
So we asked RNR Roadshow Captain Conor - our resident self-proclaimed Foodie - what his top picks for Annapolis Restaurant Week 2018 are:
Buddy’s Crabs and Ribs – a downtown staple – don’t miss the Blackened Chicken Tacos for lunch and for dinner – how can you beat the Seafood Trio (Crab Cake, Lobster Tail, and Grilled Shrimp) for $34.95!?
Caliente Grill – after showing off my figure skating skills over at the Quiet Waters Ice Rink – I like to refuel with some guac (you don’t have to pay extra when it’s Restaurant Week!) and the Bistec Encebollado. If I have my girlfriend and I am showing off couples figure skating style- and we need dinner – don’t mess around and get the Ceviche Mixto, Camarones Al Ajillo, and Flan for dessert.
Carpaccio Tuscan Grill – can we start by saying how amazing this place is because instead giving each table some plain bread and olive oil before the meal – they bring out pizza bread! Which is basically a basket of slices of cheese pizza. Take that Olive Garden! Anyways – Carpaccio is offering lunch and dinner specials – so if you go during the day – I would go with the Insalata Cesare and the Penne Vodka Carpaccio Style. Dinner time – switch it up and start with the Insalate Mediterranea and have the Vitello Marsala for your main course. They haven’t listed their desserts – so maybe you can ask to have more pizza bread?
Fado – Fado is offering lunch and dinner menus – but the star here is the salmon bites – these mini slices of heaven feature salmon, on boxty, with horseradish sauce. Full Disclosure - you could put just about anything on Fado’s boxty and I would eat it…
The Federal House – if I am downtown on Tuesday – this is where I am having lunch – cause the steak fajita tacos sound legit and you know the Federal House’s Cream of Crab Soup is A+. For dinner- I would go out on a limb and try something new – like the Shrimp Tostadas, Baseball Sirloin, and the Apple Strudel.
Galway Bay – all I can say is that if you have never had the Shepherd’s Pie from Galway Bay – run, don’t walk, over to Main Street and get one … it is the best I have ever had – and I have had a lot of Shepherd’s Pies.
Lighthouse Bistro – as you might have deciphered from my last choice – I am a fan of the savory pies. So a chicken pot pie at Lighthouse Bistro will be consumed by me at some point during Restaurant Week
Middleton’s – I love the steamed shrimp from Middleton’s! But they aren’t on the Restaurant Week menu – but you know what is – Oysters Rockefeller and the Middleton Special! Plus – they have $6 Stella draughts!
Miss Shirley’s – Miss Shirley is shaking it up- offering lunch and breakfast, but no dinner. And while I love me some Miss Shirley’s French Toast – I am going with the BBQ Mac and Cheese Skillet. I don’t think I need to explain this any further - it’s a skillet loaded with mac n cheese House-Made Pulled BBQ Pork with local Baltimore BBQ Co. Chesapeake Sauce. I might just order 2 … haven’t decided yet
O’Leary’s – Wil is always cooking up something fantastic – but the menu winner to me is the Shrimp and Grits. They are stick to your ribs low country goodness in a bowl. Gotta have it every time.
O’Brien’s Steak House – don’t get fooled by the Shepherd’s Pie – we already know where to get that – but do stick with Oysters Rockefeller and the Stuffed Salmon. Salmon stuffed with Crab Imperial – yes please!
Rams Head Tavern – have you ever been to an RNR Private Artist Showcase and seen the guy in the corner stuffing his face with Crabby Tots? Yeah, that’s me – no shame in my game – they are incredible and definitely worth getting for Restaurant Week!
Sam’s on the Waterfront – good thing the Kobe Burger isn’t on the restaurant week menu – because it will force me to try something else. The seafood is always on point here – so the Rockfish is going to be the go to here … and if you don’t know, now you know – the Crème Brulee Cheesecake is outrageously good.
If you're going to show up to a Foo Fighters concert .. with a sign asking Dave Grohl to let you come on stage and play Monkey Wrench with the band .. you'd better be able to come through - and that's exactly what this fan in Brisbane did ... check it out!
Meiko has decided to release the track early as a tribute to Dolores, one of her favorite singers of all time. She also decided to donate a portion of the songs proceeds to mental health charities. The track is out officially January 26th - and the full album will be out in August.
If the stars of Beck's new video for the song Fix Me look familiar, it might be because you're one of the 250,000 people who follow Mame and her poodles - Riku, Gaku, and Qoo, on Instagram.
As part of the video's release -Beck has partnered with the ASPCA to help put an end to animal abuse and neglect.
When asked about the video, director Brook Linder said - “There’s something really special happening in the mountains of Yamagata, and we were lucky enough to enter Mame’s world for two afternoons in November. That home is heaven on Earth.”
But because we know you love being the first to get your hands on tickets HERE - you can access them a day early with our presale - just use the code ALIENDAYS
**presale is Thursday 1/18 12p-10p**
Here's the tracklisting for Little Dark Age:
1. “She Works Out Too Much” 2. “Little Dark Age” 3. “When You Die” 4. “Me and Michael” 5. “TSLAMP” 6. “James” 7. “Days That Got Away” 8. “One Thing Left to Try” 9. “When You’re Small” 10. “Hand It Over”
And the complete tour itinerary:
Jan. 30 -- Berlin, Germany @ Huxley’s
Feb. 2 -- Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso Feb. 3 -- Brussels, Belgium @ AB Main Hall Feb. 5 -- Paris, France @ La Cigale Feb. 6 -- London, England @ Electric Brixton March 2 -- St. Paul, MN @ Myth March 3 -- Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre March 5 -- St. Louis, MO @ Peabody Opera House March 7 -- Dallas, TX @ South Side Ballroom March 8 -- Austin, TX @ ACL Live at Moody Theater March 9 -- New Orleans, LA @ BUKU Music & Art Project March 11 -- Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium March 13 -- Atlanta, GA @ Coca-Cola Roxy March 15 -- Washington, DC @ The Anthem March 16 -- Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theatre March 17 -- Montreal, Quebec @ MTELUS March 19 -- Toronto, Ontario @ Massey Hall March 20 -- Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory March 24 -- Brooklyn, NY @ Kings Theatre March 25 -- Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel May 7 -- Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium May 9 -- Calgary, Alberta @ Big Four Building May 11 -- Vancouver, British Columbia @ Orpheum Theatre May 12 -- Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO May 15 -- San Francisco, CA @ Warfield Theatre May 18 -- Hollywood, CA @ Palladium May 19 -- San Diego, CA @ San Diego Civic Theatre May 20 -- Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre June 14-17 -- Dover, DE @ Firefly Music Festival June 29-July 1 -- Beuningen, Netherlands @ Down the Rabbit Hole Festival July 6 -- Hérouville Saint Clair, France @ Festival Beauregard July 12 -- Madrid, Spain @ Mad Cool Festival July 1 -- Milan, Italy @ Milano Summer Festival
More new music? Yes please ... from The Decemberists? Pretty Please!
Indie pop vets The Decemberists have released the first single, Severed, from their forthcoming 8th album - titled I'll Be Your Girl - due out March 16th! The song has a very 80s / synth vibe going on ... should be an interesting album!
Check out the video for Severed below ... and stay tuned for a tour announcement :)
After getting festival lineup after festival lineup in our newsfeed for the past week, we finally have the one we were waiting for - Firefly Music Festival's 2018 lineup - complete with a new logo.
Placement on a festival's lineup poster is a huge deal these days, just ask 2 Chainz. So let's take a deeper look at the bands we'll be seeing at the Woodlands this June -
The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem - Not shocked to see Slim Shady and The Killers... had been predicting them for a few days ... I think the shocker here is Arctic Monkeys ... I know this is their only announced show as of now - but I don't see them on the same level as the other three headliners ... I am kind of suprised not to see a big name DJ or EDM act on the top line - but hey, I'll take some rock over bass drops any day of the week!
Middle of the Pack Bands -
So gald to see some of our favorite humans on the bill. 2017 was a great year for Portugal. The Man and Vance Joy and it shows in their placement on the lineup. Psst - hey Portugal. The Man - let's chug beers in the parking lot again in 2018!
Other notable acts in this section of the lineup -
Foster the People, Alt-J, MGMT, Cold War Kids, Rag n Bone Man will all be good ...
Looking forward to seeing Alice Merton for the first time of course!
The setting sun at the Woodlands will should make a magical background for Lord Huron.
Jimmy Eat World's set should be an hour of sing a longs - and Royal Blood's set should be sweaty, loud, and awesome.
In 2017, we did a segment called Firefly Fine Print bands, where we found our favorite bands on the lineup we never heard of ... we'll be bringing that back in 2018 - and here's a few of the bands we think we'll be into based on the names alone:
San Holo, Ron Gallo, Fly By Midnight, Welshy Arms, and The Glorious Suns!
All in all - this is a solid lineup ... tickets are on sale at FireFlyFestival.com and range from General admission ($269) to Super VIP ($2,499) ... and you know that'll we'll be giving some away in the coming weeks :)
Last month, Jack White teased his new album by releasing a bizare montage of several songs . Now we finally have the first proper single, Connected By Love, off hisforthcoming solo album - Boarding House Reach:
Also released was a B-Side (remember those?) for the single - Respect Commander - a track that White tips his hat to his Michigan roots by paying homage to Detroit Techno.
White is headlining several big festivals this spring and summer - including Governor's Ball and Shaky Knees ... but so far we don't have any live dates in the MD/DC/VA area ... but we don't have the Firefly lineup up either ... so here's hoping Jack will be back at the Woodlands again in 2018!
If we're going to be forced to sit through another winter, we might as well have something to look forward to in the spring and summer ... here's a rundown of some of our favorite music festivals for 2018 :
Firefly - The Woodlands, Delaware
Our favorite festival of the summer bounces back from (IMO) a weak 2017 lineup ... the headliners are great and the middle of the lineup has a lot of bands we are digging right now!
Forecastle - Louisville, Kentucky
Three solid headliners here - it doesn't hurt that Arcade Fire are one of them and their live show is amazing!
Sloss - Birmingham, Alabama
Same weekend as Forecastle ... almost the same lineup ...
Coachella - Empire Polo Club - Indio, California
April 13-15 and April 20-23
The granddaddy of all festivals has 3 headliners that aren't bands in 2018!
Governor's Ball - Randalls Island Park - New York City
Looking for a festival in the middle of the city that never sleeps - check out Governor's Ball
Homecoming - Smale Park - Cincinnati, Ohio
Two unique sets by The National and a festival that takes place at the park and other venues all over the city - I love it!
Hangout Fest - Gulf Shores, Alabama
Dude - does anything sound better than checking out your favorite bands from the white sands beaches of the Floribama Shore? I'll wait...
Summercamp Music Festival - Chillicothe, Illonois
This festival gets bonus points for being in a town called Chillicothe
Boston Calling - Harvard Athletic Center
Another stacked lineup for Memorial Day ... Starting to see some lineup trends
Shaky Knees Music Festival - Central Park -Atlanta GA
This Festival has awesome artwork ... and the impressive lineup makes the quick trip to Atlanta appealing!
Bonnaroo - The Farm at Great Stage Park - Manchester TN
Get your camping gear ready and road trip down to Manchester TN!
SweetWater 420 Fest - Centennial Parl - Atlanta, GA
Two sets from a bunch of the acts- including the headliners ... plus the return of Ghostland Observatory!
Peach Music Festival - Montage Mountain - Scranton, PA
I dont see Scrantonicity on this Scranton PA lineup - but the lineup is pretty solid none the less!
Mountain Jam - Hunter Mountain, Kentucky
Woah - this is amazing ...Jack Johnson - are you touring or what?
2017 … what a year … there were certainly some low moments but there were also a lot of amazing things that happened. Before we head into 2018 – we’d like to take a moment and reflect on some of our favorite 2017 memories –
Private Artist Showcase with LP - January 25, 2017
We started 2017 Private Artist Showcases with LP after falling in love with her single, ‘Lost on You’. I don’t think anyone was ready for what happened on that cold Wednesday morning at Rams Head on Stage. LP gave an honest, raw, and haunting seven song performance that left everyone stunned. Oh yeah - she can whistle real good too
Meals with Musicians – Jain – January 31, 2017
Two of our favorite things – music and food! We took the concept of Meals with Musicians off Main St and to the Blackwall Hitch for a private happy hour, complete with French inspired cuisine from Chef Sennigan and a private performance by Jain!
Holistic Health Fair – February 18, 2017
For the 5th year in a row, we took over the Loews Hotel for a day filled with holistic health practitioners, products, services, counseling, educational information, alternative and complementary therapies, mind body and spirit modalities, lectures, workshops, and demos! Details on the 2018 event coming soon!
Private Artist Showcase - Hamilton Leithauser – February 23, 2017
We love Hamilton. We love that he tours in his SUV, we love that he brought his kids to Rams Head on Stage, and of course we love his music!
Carrie played hooky with listeners at Ski Liberty – February 24, 2017
The ski conditions weren’t ideal – but hey, a day on the slopes beats being in the office every time, am I right?
WRNR Debuts ‘Feel it Still’ by Portugal. The Man – March 2, 2017
It’s no secret we love Portugal. The Man. I mean, they gave Carrie a lifetime backstage pass after hanging with them a few years ago. When we got the single for Feel It Still in the mail back in March, we knew the song was a hit – but we had no idea the success the band had in store for the rest of 2017. Proof we liked the band before they sold out? Here’s a pic of Carrie drinking buds with the boys from Alaska in the Fire Fly parking lot!
Carrie Shaves her head for St. Baldricks – March 12, 2017
Carrie loves the kids. So much in fact, that was willing to shave her entire head for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation at Fado in Annapolis! Carrie raised over $4,000 for children’s cancer research and we couldn’t be more proud of her!
Cage The Elephant records Unpeeled in Washington DC – April 22, 2017
After Carrie shaved her head – we ran a fun promotion giving away 3rd, 2nd and 1st row tickets to see Cage The Elephant play a ‘stripped down’ show in DC. Little did we know they were recording the show for a new record called ‘Unpeeled’ and that it would have one of our favorite covers of the year on it – Whole Wide World
Private Artist Showcase – Dispatch – June 1, 2017
When the opportunity to have a Private Artist Showcase with Dispatch came up – there was no turning it down. Have a band, with a new amazing record out, who is headlining Merriweather Post, come to Rams Head on Stage and play an acoustic set for us? Yes please!
Meals with Musicians at Merriweather – Jack Johnson – June 11, 2017
How would we top Meals with Musicians with Jain? How about giving a few eco-conscious listeners the chance to break bread with Jack Johnson before his show at Merriweather Post!
Rockin River Cruise – Hippo Campus – June 14, 2017
Boy did we have some fun on the Harbor Queen this summer with the Rockin River Cruises! A little band from Minnesota called Hippo Campus started our summer series off in June with an amazing set and an even more amazing karaoke session during load out!
Firefly Music Festival – June 15-18, 2017
We were back at the Woodlands once again for Firefly weekend. Highlights included Muse, Bob Dylan, Mondo Cozmo, The Shins, and of course the infamous Waka Flocka / Sign Language incident.
Travis Pastrana brings his Nitro Circus to Navy Stadium – July 26, 2017
When local motocross star Travis Pastrana said he wanted to bring his Nitro Circus to Annapolis, MD – he was met with a lot of resistance. But we helped his grassroots charge and he eventually won the fight and he was able to bring his team of high flyers to his home for a show no one will soon forget #NapTownNitro
Meals with Musicians at Merriweather – Spoon – July 3, 2017
One of our favorite albums of 2017 was Spoon’s Hot Thoughts. And one of our favorite nights was inviting some friends (who posted Spoon inspired art to social media with the hashtag #RNRSpoonfed) to break bread with Britt and the band before their show at Merriweather.
Rockin River Cruise – Bay Ledges – August 10, 2017
The August weather was hot but that didn’t stop our cruises – and in August the coolest band from California, Bay Ledges, joined us on the Harbor Queen for an amazing night.
Pop Up Show – Deer Tick @ Rams Head Tavern – August 15, 2017
Carrie had a crazy idea- lets bring some of our favorite up and coming artists to town and have free pop up performances. This crazy idea came to fruition in August when Deer Tick showed up and played on the back patio at Rams Head!
Rockin River Cruise – Eclipse Edition w. Vance Joy – August 21, 2017
Where else would you want to see the moon eclipse the sun than on a boat in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. Oh yeah, did we mention we invited Vance Joy along too? So much fun … when’s the next eclipse?
First Taste at Great Frogs – Jack Johnson Listening Event – September 8, 2017
We celebrated the new fall wines at Great Frogs with a listening party for Jack Johnson’s new album All the Light Above it Too. Oh – did we mention we also gave someone a trip to see Jack in Atlanta?
Win Butler’s Butlered Suite – Arcade Fire at Capital One Arena – September 16, 2017
Sure you can go to an Arcade Fire Concert – but what about seeing Win Butler and the band from a butlered suite? Well – that’s what we did for a lucky winners – hooked them up with sweet suite seats!
Rockin River Cruise – Anderson East – September 21, 2017
We had our last cruise of the season on the last day of summer. And Anderson East certainly brought the heat aboard the Harbor Queen. Not a bad way to end the summer.
Manchester Orchestra Live in Studio – October 3, 2017
We had really been digging The Gold by Manchester Orchestra – but when they stopped by the studios to perform it live – it was game over. This still gives me chills to hear!
WRNR debuts Life Lines: A Bridge to Recovery – October 8, 2017
Having seen the tolls the opioid epidemic has taken on our community, we decided to stop the music once a month and start a new conversation on addiction and recovery. Life Lines features medical experts, musicians, and is also an open platform for listeners to contribute on the phone or via the web.
Eastportaricans for Puerto Rico – Eastport Democratic Club – October 21, 2017
After a relentless hurricane season, the damages sustained by the island of Puerto Rico were catastrophic. We wanted to raise some money and awareness for the situation – so we invited some bands to play (including Moon Taxi, Common Corpse, Alexander Peters, Swampcandy, and Van Meter) and raised over $6,000 for Friends of Puerto Rico.
Private Artist Showcase – The Lone Bellow – November 10, 2017
We closed out the PAS schedule for 2017 with The Lone Bellow at Rams Head on Stage. The show was high energy and the band got personal with the fans- answering questions and telling fun tour stories.
Pop Up Performance - Amy Shark @ Fado – November 18, 2017
We had such a good time with the Deertick pop up – we brought in Amy Shark to play a matinee at Fado. Once the soccer fans had cleared out – the Amy Shark fans filled the room and got a free pop up show from one of our top discoveries of 2017
Pop Up Performance – Brandi Carlile @ The Avalon – December 4, 2017
Sure the first two pop ups were fun – but you know how we do – go big or go home. So for our final Pop Up Performance of 2017, we brought Brandi Carlile to the eastern shore. A few hundred lucky fans piled into The Avalon in Easton for a once in a lifetime experience
Soundcheck with The National @ The Anthem - December 5, 2017
Speaking of once in a lifetime … some bands don’t like to pull the curtain back too much…Count The National as one of those bands … except when we’re involved. The band graciously invited us and a few listeners to an exclusive soundcheck before their show at The Anthem. This was the ONLY time they have EVER done this!
RNR Snowball w. Dispatch, Grizfolk, & Andreas Moe @ Rams Head Live – December 20, 2017
How do we cap off an amazing year – we convince one of our favorite bands, Dispatch, to extend their tour one more night and play our Christmas Party at Rams Head in Baltimore! They even brought some friends along – Grizfolk and Andreas Moe.
So that’s 2017 in a nutshell. But you know us – we’re already working on topping this for 2018!
Death is inevitable – and year after year – we are faced with the passing of our favorite musicians. We feel a special connection to these musicians through the art they share with us. It gets us through tough times. It helps us celebrate the good times. And it’s there for us all the times in between as well. So it is no shock that when an artist dies, it hurts. It’s as if we lost a close friend – that we have never met. But as we reflect on some of the lives the music world lost in 2017, we will always have their music to remember them by.
Tom Petty (1950-2017)
News of Tom Petty being hospitalized for cardiac arrest came as a shock … maybe TMZ had bad info? They almost never do though… Then reports of his death surfaced and were announced prematurely – so maybe he would pull through? Unfortunately, he would not and at 8:40pm on October 4, 2017, the world lost one of the true rockers – Thomas ‘Tom’ Earl Petty.
In his 40+ year career, Tom sold more than 80 million records, headlined the 2008 Super Bowl Halftime Show and was a 2001 inductee into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. While best known as the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Tom was also a member of the supergroups – The Traveling Wilburys and Mudcrutch.
In 2017 – Tom Petty embarked on what would be his final tour – the Heartbreakers 40th Anniversary Tour. The tour stopped in Baltimore on July 23rd and concluded at The Hollywood Bowl on September 25, 2017. The final song Tom performed? The timeless - American Girl.
Walter Becker (1950 - 2017)
Steely Dan co-founder, guitarist, bassist, and co-songwriter Walter Becker passed on September 3, 2017. Steely Dan has been dubbed one of rock’s most influential bands by numerous media outlets, including VH1. News of Becker’s death was shocking as it came just weeks after the Steely Dan Band had announced a fall tour. The tour went on though, with Becker’s Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen vowing to "Keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band."
Chris Cornell (1964-2017) & Chester Bennington (1976-2017)
2017 was a tough year for alternative rocker icon’s lives being cut short due to their struggles with substance abuse and depression. On May 18, Chris Cornell took his own life in a Detroit hotel room just hours after his band, Soundgarden, had performed in concert. Cornell was a major influencer in the 1990’s and 2000’s with his bands Audioslave, Temple of the Dog and the afore mentioned Soundgarden.
Just two months later and on what would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday, Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington committed suicide by hanging in his California home. The two were close friends and Bennington was the godfather of Cornell’s son, Christopher. Following Cornell’s death, Bennington had written on Instagram - "I can't imagine a world without you in it."
Gregg Allman (1947 - 2017)
On May 27th, Gregg Allman passed away after a bout with liver cancer. In 1969, Gregg formed the Allman Brothers Band along with his brother Duane. The Allman Brothers Band would go on to become one of the greatest bands – with a unique blend southern rock/jam/jazz/country music. Their live shows, especially at Merriweather Post Pavilion are legendary… In his autobiography, My Cross To Bear, Allman reflected: Music is my life's blood. I love music, I love to play good music, and I love to play music for people who appreciate it. And when it's all said and done, I'll go to my grave and my brother will greet me, saying, "Nice work, little brother—you did all right." I must have said this a million times, but if I died today, I have had me a blast.
Pat DiNizio (1955-2017)
On December 12, 2017, Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens passed away following several years of declining health. The Smithereens enjoyed a 26 year career with the original lineup (!), were named after a Yosemite Sam quote, and still get turned up to full blast whenever Girl Like You comes on the radio. Interesting fact about Pat? He ran for US Senate in 2000 and finished in 4th place.
Malcolm Young (1953-2017)
You know them … you love them … the original thunder from down under was AC/DC – and on November 18th, cofounding member Malcolm Young passed away.Minus a brief period in 1988 – Malcolm was in the band from 1973 to 2014.While many people consider AC/DC a heavy metal band, they always referred to themselves as "a rock and roll band, nothing more, nothing less”.Malcolm Young – we salute you.
Chuck Berry (1926-2017)
If you look up rock n roll in the dictionary – don’t be shocked to see a picture of Chuck Berry. According to Bruce Springsteen - "Chuck Berry was rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock & roll writer who ever lived". Chuck Berry might not owe his career to his career to cousin Marvin like the film Back to the Future would have you believe – but we owe a debt of gratitude to Chuck Berry for giving us rock n roll. Chuck Berry passed on March 18, 2017.
Fats Domino (1928-2017)
Chuck Berry wasn’t the only rock n roll pioneer who passed in 2017. On October 24th, we also lost Fats Domino. While his shyness and humility may have caused his career to be overlooked – he is surely not forgotten.
Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul have reimagined and brought their one of a kind sound to The Ramones' classic song - "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight). Little Steven and the Disciples recorded their version live at a soundcheck(!) before their show on November 28th in Utrecht, Netherlands. The new version includes a third verse about Frosty the Snowman and Christmas Carolers. Check out the video below
We asked our winner, Theresa Sanchez, if she would let us come along with her - virtually - and she agreed - check out the experience - in her words, photos, and videos below.
Anticipation. Rocky Horror has mocked it. Carly Simon has sung about it. I was now feeling it. My eyes darted all over the tiny, dimly lit Lower East Side authentic Prohibition-era speakeasy known as the Back Room. Posters with images of U2 and their 14th studio album adorned the bar mirrors and the red velvet-covered walls. The bathrooms even had song lyrics strategically displayed at the sink stations. Sensory overload extended from sight and sound to taste. A constant delivery of delectable hors d'oeuvres (single serving Shepherd’s Pie anyone?), liquor-filled teacups, and brown-bag beer, satisfied my appetite but did little to calm my nerves. Yondr and their lockable technology pouches made fiddling with my phone impossible. What was a U2 super fan to do?
A copy of William Blake’s illustrated poems “Songs of Innocence and of Experience” briefly helped occupy my mind. Fellow fans shared stories attesting to their U2 fandom and debated why only three chairs occupied the stage. A spotlight illuminated thirteen song titles printed on the left side of the large wall facing the small seating area. At about 8 p.m. the room darkened and people with all-access credentials started swiftly moving about. One man pulled out his cell phone and plugged it into a cable connected to the main sound booth towards the rear of the room. The listening party had officially begun.
The album ended about fifty minutes later to resounding applause. More people then entered the room and two additional chairs were placed on stage. Finally, the moment everyone had been waiting for arrived. Documentary filmmaker and local resident Morgan Spurlock took the stage and introduced himself as the moderator. He noted: “This is an incredibly special night on so many levels.” He also acknowledged U2 felt it was “incredibly important” to share their new music with their biggest fans. This was the third of three listening parties, the other two being in London and Los Angeles.
The Edge [Daniel H. Evans] and Adam Clayton emerged from the bookcase door and sat in the seats stage left next to Spurlock. Larry Mullen Jr. followed thereafter and sat right in front of me and my friend to stage right. Bono [Paul D. Hewson] was the last to arrive, having been delayed by what Adam and The Edge jokingly called a “most exciting pee.” Each member’s long-awaited entrance prompted emphatic applause, but that of bespectacled Bono’s certainly invoked the longest and loudest.
Not to gloat, but our proximity to these four Irish rockstars was both astounding and surreal. We were sitting so close to them that I could see the detail of the yellow threading on Adam’s $630 black “Dublin Star Bee” Slip-On Gucci sneakers.
The primary purpose of the night’s event was to experience the band’s thirteen newest tracks. Given that, Bono asked everyone if they liked what they had just heard. The cozy crowd hollered various affirmative exclamations, while clapping and cheering. He then inquired about specific favorite song choices, to which the audience enthusiastically obliged. I praised the record’s fifth track, the anthemic tune, “American Soul,” and got a nod of approval from the burgundy-haired, scarf-wearing singer himself! [I later learned it’s the band’s second collaboration with Grammy-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar. It’s an alternate version of the single ‘XXX’ from his fourth album, Damn (2017). Lamar also worked on ‘Get Out of Your Own Way.’ Bono revisited it later in the evening’s discussion.]
From there, Spurlock commenced with the pre-submitted fan questions (one was mine!), beginning with band influences and song covers.
[Queries were addressed to the entire group, while others targeted specific members. At times, one member would finish another’s statement or pick up where another left off. Unless otherwise noted with quotation marks, the majority of the answers have been paraphrased from detailed shorthand notes.]
Influences and Favorite Covers to Perform Live:
During this past year’s massive worldwide 30th anniversary tour for TheJoshua Tree, the band interspersed lyrics from David Bowie’s 1977 hit ‘Heroes’ into the 1984 single ‘Bad’ (The Unforgettable Fire). This isn’t the first time they’ve done it, but it’s turned into a special tribute following Bowie’s 2016 death. Over the years they have incorporated lyrics from 50+ songs and other salient snippets into live performances of this fan favorite. Many recent shows took place in outdoor venues. Bono would look up into the night sky and point out different constellations while the band played an extended instrumental of “Bad.” Here is what they had to say:
The Band: Sometimes you just stumble into something. ‘Heroes’ is very special to us. David Bowie was a gigantic person in our life. He lived in this city and loved New York. It gave him a freedom he didn’t get anywhere else. All of us had his posters in our bedrooms. He was a teenage idol. He was a strange creature who gave people permission to be different. It’s strange when you get to know someone as famous as Bowie. We played him an early version of 1991’s ‘The Fly’ (Achtung Baby). He said, “I think you should record it again.”
Bono:David Bowie was there producing us, and “we didn’t take his advice, even though after the fact, I think he was right.”
Adam: “The group was most unfamiliar with playing ‘Red Hill Mining Town’ live, and this past tour was the first time we had ever performed it in concert.” We could only do it after adjusting the vocals. An additional brass component was also added.
The Edge:“I didn’t appreciate ‘Bad’ enough until we played it live.”
Larry:“The audiences are the arbiters at the end.”
Bono: “The title of ‘Bad’ comes from when we were teenagers and Andy Warhol made a movie called ‘Bad’ (1977). We went to see it trying to feel artsy, bohemian, and interesting. We saw this sort of art film and we had a spectacular argument about the film. A friend of mine [Gareth Spaulding] ended up being a heroin addict [who overdosed in 1987 on his 21st birthday].”
Concert Audience Size:
The next question was a shorter version of the one I crafted with my friend Susan Gibbons. “December 6, 2017 marked the 37th anniversary of their first U.S. live performance at The Ritz in New York City. Can a band of this notoriety ever play smaller, more intimate venues again – maybe under an alias as a surprise to fans? The moderator conveniently left off the part about playing a rooftop pop-up concert like the one they did in 1987 for ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’.”
Two days later, on December 2nd, they showed up on a NY street corner to play their newest material! Coincidence? To think we had any kind of influence on this super band is incomprehensible, but reassuring this day and age.
Larry:“All gigs for a band like U2 come with a big sign. Performing can be intimidating because we have become accustomed to pushing boundaries and our fans expect that. Size does matter!” [The double entendre evoked laughter].
Adam: “We always try to make our shows as intimate as possible. [I remember] that first show and it felt very big and I felt very small. The combo of going on late and jet lag didn’t help. It wasn’t one of our best nights.”
Bono:“Anyone who went to that probably thought it was the best gig they ever saw, but it really wasn’t. We went to the Mudd Club [counterculture nightclub operating from 1978-83] afterwards. What’s that Groucho Marx quote? ‘Who would want to belong to a club that will have people like me as a member?’ Madonna and Basquiat went there.” We knew people who could get us in, but they were outside with us. Our great friend/promoter was knocking on the door. He climbed up the scaffolding and eventually got us in.
Adam:“New York was a lot of fun.”
Choosing Concert Set Lists:
The Edge: “It’s an instinctive thing. You imagine what the best show would be like and you make it happen.As lead singer, Bono has a very particular role. He gets more votes than the rest of us.”
Bono:“We’re not a jukebox kind of band. We’re not playing the songs. We’re playing the occasion. It’s just not the same show night after night. We want to create a feeling and a connection. Forgive me for this – we want to achieve a sort of transcendence. It’s like the Shakespearean structure [of a play]. We’re trying to play the best night of our life every night. One day we’ll get it right.”
Quality of Music Today:
U2 has hope for today’s music and are in touch with all types of genres. They even gave a shout out to the British band The Horrors who just released their fifth album V. Bono specifically mentioned the award-winning English garage rock duo Royal Blood and Irish singer-songwriter Imelda May.
Adam:“There’s always so much good music around. There’s Kendrick Lamar, of course [as aforementioned, they’ve recently worked on two projects together]. Jay-Z too – it was extraordinary for him to admit all he did [on his 13th studio album 4:44].” Twenty One Pilots is good. “There’s this new guy out named Noel Gallagher.”
Incidentally, the “Life” section headline of the November 29, 2017 USA Today available at most hotels read: “Grammy Awards: Hip-hop giants Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar lead the field.” Maybe they read the seemingly ubiquitous newspaper that day.
The New Album:
Bono: “The two albums [Songs of Innocence (2014) & Songs of Experience (2017)] talk to each other.” ‘American Soul’ samples part of ‘Volcano.’ “I wrote a lot about my wife Ali [Hewson] – having met her as a teenager. We were just kids.” ‘13 (There is a Light)’ samples lyrics from ‘Song for Someone.’ There was some preaching of what you had to hear.
What Makes New York City Special To You:
Larry: “In the 80s, in Dublin, nothing seemed possible. New York is full of possibilities. Ireland has changed thankfully. And thankfully, New York hasn’t!” [laughter]
How Has Politics Affected the New Album:
Bono sighed and picked up his beer. That about explains it all. [laughter]
The Edge: “A lot has changed over a year. We try to avoid political processes and political issues. We went through a time period of many years looking at the developing world and truth is - in fact - history zigzags. There was a very long run that one could consider was in a positive direction. In 20 years it may not feel as significant. What’s important is to look at the wider swath of history. The bottom line is that we are still issues based and hopeful. We don’t want to let politics deter us.”
Adam: “I still want to know if Obama was born in Kenya.” [laughter]
Bono: “What the Edge said is a very wise way to look at the world. I’m splintered with anxiety [mentioned Charlottesville, UK, and Ireland]. The Edge referred to the last 70 years. Every day you wake up to things being just a little bit better and that just seems to have changed. What about the past 5,000 years? We are not giving up that progress. Don’t agonize. Organize! Whatever you believe in, get out and vote.”
The musicians ended their discussion with a strong message and even stronger handshakes to many of the fans closest to the stage (yes, I got to thank each one of them!). The lights raised and a quick frenzy ensued as the collective contest winners assembled together to pose for a group shot. I pointed out the obvious: “If you can’t see the camera, it can’t see you.” The Edge validated my advice by repeating the exact instruction to the overly eager throng. After the camera flashed, final brief band-directed salutations were exchanged, and then the Irish quartet departed. Desserts were served, but the ‘sweetest thing’ – a once-in-a-lifetime night with larger-than-life legendary band - was over almost as quickly as it began. We were then directed through the cavernous exit, handed a deluxe gift bag, and whisked off to the hotel in the same luxury coaches in which we arrived. It was hard to sleep after such an unforgettable experience. Good thing we have the 2018 Experience & Innocence Tour coming up. Let the countdown commence! Patience is a virtue, right?
See the full gallery if photos HERE and check out the video of her trip below:
For their 8th Saturday Night Live Appearance - Foo Fighters started with "Everlong" and then went into a medley of Christmas songs - including “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” and “Linus and Lucy.”
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl performed a song for this year’s Oscars’ In Memoriam tribute. His solo acoustic rendition of The Beatles’ “Blackbird” featured a montage that featured David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and Leonard Nimoy. Watch the video below.
Bono, Hozier, Glen Hansard,The Script, The Coronas and Kodaline were among a group of Artists who performed on Grafton Street in Dublin on Christmas Eve. This event has become an annual tradition for Bono who gets a group of musicians together to perform on the street without amps or mics. The group performed a number of songs including Hozier's "Take me to Church," and multiple U2 songs.
All proceeds from the street show went to The Simon Community, which is a charity combatting homelessness. The show has become a holiday tradition for many in Ireland.
You can check out some of the spectator videos above.