Backbeat: Umphrey's McGee Rolls Strikes At Text-Driven Jam Session @ Brooklyn Bowl
Bowling, Texting & Jamming: (from left) Paul Dryden, product manager, ATO Records; Umphrey McGee manager Vincent Iwinski; guitarist Brendan Bayliss, drummer Kris Myers, bassist Ryan Stasik and the band's executive producer Kevin Browning. (Photo: Brian Spady)
Onstage at Umphrey's McGee's packed Sept. 8 show at the Brooklyn Bowl in Wiliamsburg, Brooklyn, venue owner Peter Shapiro described an earlier conversation he'd had over drinks with the Chicago jam band's guitarist, Brendan Bayliss.
"We were having a couple of cocktails and Brendan said, `Did you make a wish?'" recalled Shapiro, a long-time promoter on the jam band scene, who is also now publisher of the Relix Media Group. "I said, `You know, I did. I want to see you guys play some Steve Miller Band… with Biz Markie!"
Shapiro got his wish, and then some. First, Markie joined Umphrey's McGee for the band's extended cover of "The Joker," then Steve Molitz of Particle sat in on keyboards for "Hangover," the night's encore.
But this show, the third date of a four-night stand at the Bowl, was more than just a guest-star-studded club gig. The veteran Midwest ensemble also were staging one of their Stew Art Series events, during which fans were invited to inspire the band's improvisational jamming by texting descriptive lines, cultural allusions or whatnot to an on-stage screen. The band took it from there.
These Brooklyn dates also precede the Sept 13 release on ATO Records of UM's latest album, "Death By Stereo," which the band is offering as a CD, via download, and as a double vinyl LP. On the band's website, umphreys.com, fans can pre-order the set in a package that includes a cassette(!) containing nine demos spanning 15 years of the band's history, access to a live, in-studio webcast, as well as other goodies.
Among those on hand for the Thursday night session were Umphrey's McGee's manager Vincent Iwinski, longtime sound engineer and executive producer Kevin Browning, and ATO Records product manager Paul Dryden.
Backbeat: Indian Food on the Lower East Side With Doro Pesch Post-Hurricane Irene
Metal Tandori: Earsplit PR owner Dave Brenner (left) Giving Doro Pesch a squeeze before the food arrived. (Photo: Christa Titus).
Indian food flowed as much as shop talk at Lower East Side restaurant Mitali East on Sept. 7, where metal industry members celebrated German singer Doro Pesch and the North American release of her DVD "25 Years in Rock...And Still Going Strong" (Nuclear Blast, Sept. 13).
Despite recently losing her Long Island home during Hurricane Irene, Pesch is determined to keep touring to support the DVD. Dinner guests included Skateboard Marketing owner Munsey Ricci, Bravado head of creative services Ute Linhart and Guitar World web producer Josh Hart.
Conversation ran from the etiquette rules of enjoying a sauna in Europe to marveling at how much Big Four Yankee Stadium concert tickets cost. (StubHub is reselling them for as much as $1,000 a piece.) Giving Pesch a squeeze before dinner arrived is Earsplit PR owner Dave Brenner.
-- Christa Titus
Backbeat: Misra Records' New Owner Leo DeLuca Rocks Mercury Lounge
Ecstatic & Indietastic: Billboard indies/DIY reporter Devon Maloney, Misra Records owner/Southeast Engine drummer Leo DeLuca, Billboard.com editor Jillian Mapes (left to right).
While NYC's Fashion's Night Out celebration was in full swing last night, These United States (D.C.) and Southeast Engine (Athens, OH) invaded Mercury Lounge for a late night of folk-rock. Leo DeLuca, who took over indie label Misra Records last year, played with his band Southeast Engine before catching up with Billboard to discuss developments with his small Durham, NC label - the early home of Destroyer, Shearwater and Phosphorescent.
DeLuca spent the early part of the year whipping the label back into shape. And what does he have to show for it? Misra's handsome distribution deal with Chicago's Bloodshot Records, and releases from The Black Swans ("Don't Blame the Stars") and Southeast Engine ("Canary"). Up next are albums from Wooden Wand, Bears, and various vinyl releases from the label's back catalogue.
-- Jillian Mapes