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View all videos It was three hours before the opening practice of the NASCAR Nationwide Series weekend at Kentucky Speedway, and Jeb Burton was in the garage in his jeans and cowboy boots, peering into the hood of the No. 34 Arrowhead Chevrolet as crew members chatted around him.The 21-year-old circled the vehicle a few times with studious eyes, helped remove the jack from the left side and pushed the car with his team to the Sunoco fueling truck. Once full, Burton helped give it another shove as the group looped back around the garage to take his car to the inspection station.Last weekend was Burton’s first time in a Nationwide Series ride, and the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wanted as much hands-on time with the car as possible. View all articles FULL SERIES COVERAGE READ: Paint Scheme Preview; see Kenseth’s wrap READ: Dover’s Top 10 Monstrous moments WATCH: Throwback: Dale Jr. wins, Sept. 2011 WATCH: Preview Show for Dover’s AAA 400 His curiosity and astute acumen paid off — Burton finished his first Nationwide race in eighth place. And he wasn’t the only Truck Series driver moonlighting at the Nationwide Series’ final stand-alone event of the year who had success.In fact, Ryan Blaney won last Saturday’s Kentucky 300 in his No. 22 Penske Racing Ford, and Truck Series points leader Matt Crafton finished third in the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.Those drivers are all confident that the momentum from their Kentucky conquests is transferrable as the Truck Series returns to the track this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.”This race was a lot of fun,” Burton said. “The style and feel is completely different from trucks. I think if we had gotten more time in the car during practice, we could’ve run in the top five. But hey, for getting only 20 laps in the car before racing it, I think a top-10 finish is a win for us. … We learned a lot, had fun and now we’re even more ready for Vegas.” The Smith’s 350 on Saturday in the Sin City is the 17th Truck Series race of the season, and drivers are running out of time to catch points leader Crafton. In the No. 88 Chevrolet, Crafton has notched 16 top-10s in 16 races. He leads second-place James Buescher, the defending series champion, by 41 points.The 37-year-old driver’s success this year hasn’t been limited to his full-time Truck Series schedule, either. In three Nationwide Series starts, he’s finished with two top-fives and three top-10s. His third-place effort at Kentucky Speedway this week complemented his third-place finish at the 1.5-mile tri-oval earlier this year.”It’s just a confidence-booster, without a doubt,” Crafton said. “Each and every week, you get in something and run in the top five and be in contention to win races, it’s always a boost for the driver. We’ve had some very fast trucks this year, and hopefully we can go win a couple of these next six races and close this deal out.”Vegas has produced some fantastic finishes for Crafton. In his past five races there, he has five top-fives, including three runner-up showings.Then again, those three second-place showings can hurt worse than seeing a blackjack dealer draw a 5 while showing 16. The most painful of the bunch came last year when Crafton, who led 15 laps and was out front when the white flag dropped, couldn’t hold off Nelson Piquet Jr. Piquet had stalked Crafton throughout the final laps, finally pulling off the pass on a slide job coming out of Turn 2.”It sucks. It just plain and simple sucks,” Crafton said minutes after last year’s race concluded. “My God, that’s a tough one to lose on the last lap. That’s a very, very hard one to swallow.”Crafton has 12 starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, so he likely would have felt comfortable heading into the track regardless of his Kentucky finish. Blaney and Burton, meanwhile, are two of five drivers making their Vegas debuts — Darrell Wallace Jr., Dakoda Armstrong and German Quiroga are the others.Blaney has vaulted up to fifth in the standings, one spot behind Burton, with two top-fives and three top-10s in his past four Truck Series races. The victory at Kentucky was his first career Nationwide Series win in 15 starts and had the driver acknowledging he’d love to drive one of the Roger Penske Fords in the series full-time in 2014.First, though, there’s the matter of trying to win two consecutive races in two different series.”Confidence of a driver is such a big thing, especially when you go win a Nationwide race and go back to trucks, you feel like you’re on top of the world,” Blaney said. “So I think it’s going to help out a lot, give more confidence to everyone. Especially to me.”We’ve had a lot of good runs the past few months, and it’s unfortunate we got ourselves so far behind in the first half of the season, but that’s what racing is all about. … Right now our focus is to try to go out there and win these last, final races, and I think that, if the points work out to our favor, maybe we’ll be right there.”MORE: Burton, Blaney and Crafton prove themselves in the Nationwide Series View all photos
Details surrounding the New York Attorney General’s office investigation into the ever-increasing problem of the online ticket scalping market have emerged. A 41-page report details the legal and illegal ways that these brokers are engaging in the selling of tickets to concerts, sporting events, Broadway plays, and even the recent trip to New York by Pope Francis (which was free, mind you). While ordinary fans are searching for a pair of tickets, brokers are using “scalper bots” – a computer program that ticket scalpers use to buy tickets faster than actual humans can – to scoop up hundreds of tickets within minutes, then immediately reselling them for double the price, or more in some cases.New Petition Urges Congress To Pass Bipartisan Bill Banning Scalper BotsThe settlement that has been reached between New York State and six individual ticket broker sites is apparently worth $2.76 million, as the sites TicketToad.com of New Jersey; Flying Falco Entertainment of California, which operates under the name Avery Tickets; Charm City Entertainment of Florida; All Events Utah; and Just in Time Tickets and A2Z Tix, both of New York, have all been found guilty of operating without a proper license.Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman spoke about the judgement, “New Yorkers deserve a fairer ticket marketplace….Our office will continue to enforce New York’s ticket laws by investigating ticket brokers who are breaking our laws, and making them pay for their illegal acts.” The settlement also requires these companies to obtain the proper licensing to resell tickets and to cease the use of scalper bots.[image via Forbes]According to The New York Times: “The inquiry found that TicketToad had illegally bought 520 tickets to a Beyoncé concert at Barclays Center in August 2013 within three minutes, and that Avery Tickets bought 522 tickets to a One Direction show at Jones Beach in June 2013 within five minutes.” Think about how much money those companies are making. If you sold a $60 One Direction ticket at a marked up price of $110 (and that’s reasonable for some of these broker sites), that is a $50 profit. Multiply that by 522, and that one ticket broker company just made $26,100 on one show, while essentially shutting out all of those normal fans from buying the ticket at face value.While a dent has been made in this otherwise shady operation, along with the attorney general’s office laying out more plans to pressure the major players in the reselling of tickets, and suggesting reforms to the illegal scalper bot operation (we are still waiting on information with regards to those “suggested reforms”), there is still a long road ahead in this ongoing battle. At least we have Cash or Trade, for honest people trying to buy and sell tickets at face value.[via The New York Times]
The soul-tinged flare of Con Brio knows no bounds, as the San Francisco-based band continues to make a name for themselves in the scene. Led by singer Ziek McCarter, Con Brio packs an emotional punch with every song. It’s a treat to watch them gain followers through hard work, dedication, and a whole lot of talent.In a new segment for KQED, Con Brio pack the van full of bandmates and instruments, and cruise in it across the Golden Gate Bridge. The band sings Stevie Wonder’s anthemic “Living For The City” during the car ride, emotionally referencing the violence and disarray plaguing this country.Watch Con Brio’s “Living For The City,” streaming below.
After 22 years in prison, Grateful Dead fan Timothy Tyler has been shockingly granted clemency. The man, who was 25 at the time of his arrest and is now 47, was sentenced after continuously (and casually) selling LSD to a friend who had secretly been working with the DEA as an informant. Tyler may have made some mistakes, but getting sent to prison with a life sentence was far too much. Adding to this tragedy is that Tyler’s father was also implicated in his sales–simply by Timothy living at his father’s home and using his address in the packages he was sending and receiving. Tyler’s father was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and died 8 years into his sentence.This story is extremely sad, but now seems to be heading towards a happy ending. Tyler has been surprisingly been granted clemency by President Barack Obama after over 400,000 people signed a petition on Change.org asking grant him clemency. Now Tim can see his 70-year old mother, and he can see his beloved Grateful Dead (or something similar to it) once more. Kudos to President Obama for changing up the way America approaches clemency for non-violent offenders.Click here to read more about Tyler’s harrowing tale, and be happy to know that he will soon be out of prison!In celebration of his pending release, watch a video of Tyler’s favorite Dead song, “Althea”, from last summer’s Fare Thee Well concerts, courtesy of YouTube user LazyLightning55a.[H/T Wikipedia and HeadCount]
Joe Russo‘s love affair with the Grateful Dead and their extended catalog continues, as the energetic drummer has just announced a unique tribute to Jerry Garcia and Howard Wales‘ jazz-fusion album Hooteroll?. The show, billed as “Hooteroll? + Plus”, will take place on April 7th, 2017 at Port Chester’s Capitol Theatre. The show will focus on the jazzy album, as well as other like-minded recordings. Announced special guests for this unique show include Stuart Bogie, Erik Deutsch, Jonathan Goldberger, Dave Harrington, Kevin Kendrick, and Jordan McClean.Get pumped for this incredible show by listening to part of the original album that inspired it. Below, check out side one of Hooteroll?, featuring “South Side Strut”, “Uncle Martin’s”, and “One A.M. Approach”.Listen to the first side of “Hooteroll?” below, courtesy of YouTube user shivaya77.Tickets for this exciting show go on sale at this link on Friday at 10:00am Eastern.
“I’m excited for people to hear it,” Theo explains. “It’s a combination of real life meets songwriting, which is to say it’s not like it’s an auto-biographical record. It’s more like my experience channeled into song craft, where I thought… “What could that be? It’s a murder mystery. Oh! There we go!” Then I wrote that. That’s one of the songs on the record, “My Heart is Dead.” I think it’s rad, it’s rock, it’s just like, “ahhh-ahhh!!”, in a cool way. But it’s also fun and creative.” Read the full interview here about “Heartbreak Hits” here.In the words of producer Tyler Duncan, “it’s somehow a living dichotomy of tragic/comedic, serious/satirical, over-the-top/subtle, healing/hurting, and I love it.” The album includes fellow Vulfpeck members Joe Dart and Woody Goss, among other incredible musicians. Also, read Then & Now: Theo Katzman Discusses What It Means To Be Vulfpeck. Today is the day!If you’ve heard the name Theo Katzman recently, you probably know him as the singing drummer and guitarist in the funk band Vulfpeck. But with his 2017 release, Heartbreak Hits, now officially here, Katzman returns to his roots as a rock and roll inspired singer/songwriter with a ten-track collection of musings on loss and letdown.“Heartbreak Hits is basically a concept album about heartbreak,” Theo told us in an interview recently. “It was my first time really feeling that in my life, and it was these multiple things… There’s some stuff on it that is the deepest I’ve ever gotten towards expressing some of my dark feelings, and then there’s also some stuff where I’m just straight up laughing at some of my dark feelings, and there’s some stuff where I’m being really sarcastic about them. There’s some stuff where I’m totally serious and sincere, and I just feel really loving about it. It’s pretty manic in a great way, I think, and it’s all rock & roll to me.”After several online teasers, the full studio album is officially here. Having recently wrapped up a solo tour, Katzman will be hitting the road with Vulfpeck for 15 dates this summer. Full schedule here. We anticipate seeing a lot more from Katzman in 2017.,“I’m excited for people to hear it,” Theo explains. “It’s a combination of real life meets songwriting, which is to say it’s not like it’s an auto-biographical record. It’s more like my experience channeled into song craft, where I thought… “What could that be? It’s a murder mystery. Oh! There we go!” Then I wrote that. That’s one of the songs on the record, “My Heart is Dead.” I think it’s rad, it’s rock, it’s just like, “ahhh-ahhh!!”, in a cool way. But it’s also fun and creative.” Read the full interview here about “Heartbreak Hits” here.,In the words of producer Tyler Duncan, “it’s somehow a living dichotomy of tragic/comedic, serious/satirical, over-the-top/subtle, healing/hurting, and I love it.” The album includes fellow Vulfpeck members Joe Dart and Woody Goss, among other incredible musicians. Also, read Then & Now: Theo Katzman Discusses What It Means To Be Vulfpeck.
My Morning Jacket has announced eleven new summer tour dates, in addition to their festival appearances at Electric Forest and The Peach Music Festival. Their headlining amphitheatre run will kick off in Cincinnati, OH on June 22 and include shows in Nashville, TN (July 7), Columbia, MD (July 14). Additionally, Jim James and company will play their first concert at the historic Forest Hills Stadium on July 17 in Queens, NY, marking the band’s only 2017 concert in New York City. With opening performances from The Record Company, Margo Price, Gary Clark Jr., Jaw Gems, and The Districts, this summer tour is sure to be the best yet.My Morning Jacket recently played three nights at their own “One Big Holiday” event in Mexico, playing on the Mayan Riviera beaches, with no song repeats, pulling from band’s deep archive. You can download the audio from that weekend here, for a taste of what’s to come.The Roll Call/fan club pre-sale for the newly announced dates launches tomorrow, March 14, at 10 AM local time for all shows except Cleveland, where the pre-sale will kick off Tuesday, March 21, at 10 AM ET. Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning on Friday, March 17, with the Cleveland on-sale Friday, March 24. For more ticketing information, head to the band’s website.One dollar from every ticket purchased will benefit My Morning Jacket’s Waterfall Project. See below for full tour schedule.
The Night Lights Music Festival started seven years ago as a two-day romp in the woods with friends and family. What began with less than 100 attendees, a dozen bands, one stage, and 10 hours of music spread over two days has now grown into a three-day event featuring over 30 bands over three stages and 36 hours of live music. This year, the event will return to The Heron, a music venue and organic farm in Sherman, NY, from August 24th through 26th. The woods surrounding the festival’s three stages are lit by a variety of LED installations, and the walk between the venue’s Main Stage and Café stages is truly an enchanted jaunt. The event continues to be owned operated by the same small group of friends that simply want to bring an end of the summer party to their friends. Long time attendee Tom Sgrio explained, “I think it’s more of a homecoming festival. It’s really the close of the local season to me and it’s great. Like a big family reunion.”This year’s festival is anchored by a diverse line-up with a unique variety of music and tribute sets. It goes without saying that you won’t want to miss this year’s headliners space-rock masters Papadosio, who will be playing the event’s main stage, neatly centered under a huge patch of open night sky during the festival’s “Space Disco” theme night. Electronic, funk, rock fusion outfit Dopapod will be returning to Night Lights after playing the event in 2014. But beyond the headliners, here are eleven artists at Night Lights 2017 that you won’t want to miss this year!Aqueous In 2016, the Buffalo groove rockers Aqueous played 115 shows across the greater United States. Their hard work seems to be paying off, with 2017 seeing Aqueous support Umphrey’s McGee and Twiddle on tour, while maintaining their own jam-packed tour schedule, which included stops at Summer Camp, Peach Fest, and Disc Jam. 2017 will mark Aqueous’ fifth straight appearance on the festival’s line-up. The Heron is centrally located between Buffalo, NY and Erie, PA, two of the band’s proudest fan bases. With a high energy crowd and the band often digging deep into their catalog with unexpected breakouts, Night Lights is premiere time to experience the Aqueous Live Show. Brandon Barnhardt from Dansville, NY explained, “They play like they are comfortable. Like they are home.” Check out Aqueous in one of three sets including a special “AQoustic” on the venue’s cozy Café Stage. [Video: AqueousBand]Mihali SavoulidisUnless you live in the greater Burlington area, until recently, you really haven’t had the chance to see Twiddle frontman Mihali Savoulidis perform solo or with his side projects Gubbulidis or Mihali and Frends. Now, after a handful of solo dates already in 2017, Savoulidis will serve as the festival’s first-ever Artist at Large and showcase his skills over course of the weekend while working with a laundry list of former tour mates. Papadosio, Dopapod, Aqueous, Mister F, and Jimkata have all worked together over the past several years, setting up a plethora of weekend possibilities. The weekend’s Mihali and Frends (SIC) set will bring together some of Mihali’s favorite musical “frends” for a mix of Twiddle songs, covers, and improv jams. Each Mihali and Frends set is generally as varied as the musicians performing with him. Exactly who will be involved in the set is currently a well-guarded secret. The festival will make an announcement in the next few weeks. [Video: gort81]SunSquabiColorado live electronic trio SunSquabi is having a banner year in 2017. Their “Electronic Hydro Funk experience” has landed them on some major line-ups this summer including Electric Forest, Summer Camp, Camp Bisco, and High Sierra. They are quickly becoming one of the premier up-and-coming acts in the live electronic jam world. Their two debut EP’s Deluxe and Odyssey feature a variety of heavy hitters including GRiZ, Dominic Lalli (Big Gigantic), Russ Liquid, Nick Gerlach (Turbo Suit), and Late Night Radio, proving that SunSquabi is respected by their peers along with their growing fan base. The band recently opened in support of Papadosio at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheater this past May. [Video: SunSquabi]The Bright Light Social HourThe Bright Light Social Hour is an American psychedelic rock band from Austin, TX. The four piece released their self-titled debut album in 2010 and, in March 2011, swept the 29th Annual Austin Music Awards during SXSW, with an unprecedented six awards, including Band of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year. The band doesn’t get to the Northeastern United States often, with a tour schedule that keeps them close to the Western United States, which makes The Bright Light Social Hour a must-see set at Night Lights. Check out why their complex musical structures, social commentary, tinges of Southern Rock, and high energy performances make them a hallmark of the competitive Austin music scene.[Video: The Bright Light Social Hour]MungionChicago four-piece, Mungion, is riding an incredible wave of buzz in 2017. Formed in 2015, Mungion is a young band with sheer technical skill. They combine elements of rock, jam, groove, and funk into live shows that are rich with musical storytelling. The band enjoyed several sold out shows with Spafford in Spring 2017 and continues to turn heads at several summer festivals. Based on Night Light’s history of bands producing creative, mind-bending sets, Mungion’s set this year is among the “be there” moments at this year’s festivals. [Video: Mungion Band]Mister F – The Game Genie SetThe Mister F “Game Genie” set at this year’s Night Lights Music Festival is a lifelong dream for Mister F keyboardist Scott Hannay. As a kid, Hannay taught himself to play by ear by hammering out 8-bit video game music on the family’s piano. Now, Hannay recreates some of his favorite bands including Twiddle, Dopapod, Aqueous, and lespecial into 8-bit tunes (check out his Soundcloud page.) The Albany four-piece will be weaving 8-bit video game classics amongst their own musical catalog. With the wide variety of 8-bit options, anything is possible as Mister F debuts this specialty set. Hannay wouldn’t give away the weekend’s pending secrets but did promise at least one or two sit-ins during their set. Check out this clip of Mister F performing music from Super Mario Bros. 64 this past January at the Hollow in Albany. Boss Tweed and the CarpetbaggersNot much is known about the mysterious origins of this indescribable trio. However, some local music fans swear that the masked musicians seem vaguely familiar. Wearing only Lucha Libre Wrestling masks and jorts, the band’s onstage antics feel part 13-year-old boy in the basement, part internet troll. No one knows what will happen during a Boss Tweed and the Carpetbaggers performance, not even the band themselves. But fans of the band will tell you once you see the Carpetbaggers, your entire life changes. The band doesn’t perform often. Jimmy Thompson of Falconer, NY, a die-hard Carpetbagger enthusiast, is planning on hyping the band’s set through Boss Tweed style tactics, noting “I plan on telling people what I know they want to hear, to lure them to the stage. Once there, much like ‘Hotel California’, they will never be able to leave.”This video contains adult language and images.[Video: Nick Sonricker] Intrepid TravelersWestern New Yorkers are well in the know about the Intrepid Travelers. “IT” has only been together since 2013, but they already have been turning heads around the country. They have launched multiple full-length tours throughout the Northeast, Midwest and the Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. Much like Aqueous, the band’s fanbase in WNY is strong, so catching a set at Night Lights will be packed with power and energy. Look for the Intrepid Travelers and their creative mix of funk, jazz, and psychedelic rock to make a strong showing on the festival scene over the next year. Fellow WNY musician Ellen Pieroni (Folkfaces) noted that the band’s appeal is their ever-changing repertoire. “I’ve never see the same show twice,” she said, “They might take you to church. Or they might take you to space. True improvisation by talented young musicians.”[Video: Intrepid Travelers]AircraftThere are only a handful of bands that have played the festival every year since the festival started in 2011. Buffalo-based psychedelic indie art-rock band Aircraft is one of them. The band weaves spacy sounds and layered vocal harmonies with surf rock style hooks, combining into a finished sound that is uniquely Aircraft. Aircraft stays close to their roots, opting for smaller art-house venues and indie festivals, which makes them an unexpected continued tradition at Night Lights. You’ll leave the band’s set wondering why you don’t see this quirky four-piece at more festivals around the Northeast.[Video: Aircraft Band]Holy Hand GrenadeThis Brooklyn-based new music collective is “inspired by world-grooves and memorable melodies.” Holy Hand Grenade’s sultry mix of jazz, soul, hip hop, and funk is led by saxophonist and teaching artist Lynn Ligammari. Known for her versatility, Ligammari has played with a number of diverse artist at a variety of venues including the Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra, Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), Carnegie Hall, NPR, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, America’s Got Talent, The Newport Jazz Festival, the Rochester Jazz Festival and Summerstage. [Video: Lynn Ligammari]Neon VeinsImagine your delusional but musically hip uncle combining rare cuts and booty-shaking favorites as you and your friends rage late night at your favorite music festival. Neon Veins aka Joe Urge aka Jorge the Impaler, a longtime mixologist (both beats and booze) is a name in WNY synonymous with a dance party. For the Night Lights Family, he’s literally the last thing you hear before packing up and going home to settle in for the fall and winter. Enjoy the late-night dance party as Neon Veins will literally keep it going until Sunday sunrise or until they cut off his supply of electricity. [Video: strawberryIsland Dweller]Night Lights 2017 is set to take place August 24-26 in Sherman, NY. Get tickets and more info here.
Today, the world is mourning the loss of the legendary soul singer, Charles Bradley, who died today at the age of 68 years old. In October of last year, the iconic musician announced that he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer and had canceled his tour dates, later returning to the road this past summer with an extensive tour. Earlier in September, Bradley was forced to cancel his upcoming tour dates after the cancer had spread to his liver.The Brooklyn-raised Daptone Records singer has been a cornerstone of the funk/soul revival in recent years, and is nothing short of being a positive force and inspiration both on stage and in the studio. Bradley was scheduled to play all over the world from September through December, including a gig this weekend in Brooklyn at OctFest, dates in South America and Europe, Suwannee Hulaween, and a New Year’s Eve support gig for My Morning Jacket in Colorado.You can read the statement via Bradley’s official Facebook page below. Rest in peace, Mr. Bradley. You will be missed. It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Charles Bradley.Mr. Bradley was truly grateful for all the love he’s received from his fans and we hope his message of love is remembered and carried on. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following organizations:– All-Stars Project: https://allstars.org– Music Unites: http://www.musicunites.org