EVENTS

The Dock - Ithaca, NY

with Dynamic Inkline

Nov 28

Nov 28

Doors open at 9:00 pm Starts at 10:00 pm Ages 16+ Only

Price: $10-$15

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Off the beaten path, nestled in the deep gorges of Ithaca, New York, there are whisperings of a musical revolution in the air. The streets are abuzz as the cutting edge new school hip hop sound of The Gunpoets takes the scene by storm. Heavy bass, hard hitting drums, silky smooth keys and sexy guitar licks sweep audiences away as listeners find their bodies unable to resist the explosive rhythms. Add turntables and a microphone? Well, let's just say they won’t know what hit ‘em. With partner in rhyme Jayhigh by his side, front man Rising Sun owns the stage and captivates the crowd at every twist and turn. To witness The Gunpoets in action is to see live rap music at its best! Their display of passion and energy is indeed a sight to behold. Powerful, positive, peaceful and at times political, they can work fans into a frenzy with one song and seduce them into a trance with the next. The Gunpoets seamlessly fuse hip hop with pop, rock, soul and funk to bring the world their own unique flavor. They have all the ingredients. Their recipe? Music with a message that inspires and uplifts the heart and soul. The Gunpoets have shared the stage with artists and bands such as Arrested Development, Talib Kweli, Midnite, John Brown’s Body, Donna the Buffalo, Sim Redmond Band, and many more. They recently released their highly anticipated sophomore LP, "Come With Us", an album stuffed to the rafters with catchy tunes and cleverly crafted rhymes that showcases the bands versatility and musicianship. In 2010, their debut album "Shoot the Stars" won several local music awards, as well as the hearts of fans around the world. Whether they're on the road rocking crowds or in the lab working on their latest concoctions, they're making music around the clock and loving every minute of it.

The Haunt - Ithaca, NY

Nov 29

Nov 29

Doors open at 8:00 pm Starts at 9:00 pm Ages 16+ Only

Price: $12-$15

Event Information

Age policy: 16+ with ID / under 16 with a parent or guardian

In 2002, Clay Ross embarked on a musical odyssey that brought him closer to home. The South Carolina native moved to New York to pursue a jazz career and several years later found himself in Recife, Brazil studying the region’s folkloric music. Along the way he rediscovered the straightforward songs of his native South.

The guitarist and singer titled his Ropeadope Records debut Matuto, after a Brazilian slang reference to a man from the backcountry. Described as “Weird and Wonderful… Unorthodox and Delightful” by Jazz Times Magazine, the set allows Ross to carve a niche in a musical tradition created on another continent. He performs North American folk songs like “Home Sweet Home” and Blind Willie Johnson’s “John the Revelator” over South American rhythms Maracatu, Forró, and Coco typical of the northeastern region of Brazil.

In recording the album, Ross called upon the talents of NYC’s most sought-after musicians, including master accordionist Rob Curto. Born in New York, Curto is widely regarded as forró’s foremost ambassador in the States. An early devotee of North American swing music, bebop piano, funk, rock, and blues, he has combined these influences with his mastery of their Brazilian counterparts forró, chorinho, samba, maracatu, and frevo to produce stunning new results. He spent years living and playing in Brazil, completely absorbing and interpreting the country’s musical traditions. Curto was a member of the original scene that established forró, the dance music of northeastern Brazil, as an official dance craze in downtown New York.

Ross and Curto began exploring a shared musical vision and set about combining their individual repertoires into an extensive library of Pan-American influences. Focusing their talents, resources, and experience Ross and Curto set out to establish Matuto as a band.

In February of 2009 they received a prestigious Fulbright Grant and completed a six-week residency in Recife, Brazil. There, with drummer Richie Barshay (Herbie Hancock Quartet) and bassist Edward Perez, the band thrilled audiences at the Garanhuns Jazz Festival and the massive Rec Beat Festival, finding equal comfort along side jazz and blues legends, folk music traditionalists, and indie rock experimentalists. They also lead educational workshops in underserved communities and performed public concerts in theaters and auditoriums across the city. Later that year they headlined the American Folk Festival in Bangor, ME and the Montmagny World Accordion Festival in Canada.

Employing renowned musicians across NYC’s diverse jazz, roots, and world music scenes, Matuto features violin, guitar, accordion, bass, drums, and various Brazilian percussion instruments: the alfaia (a large, wooden, rope-tuned bass drum), the pandeiro (a Brazilian tambourine), the berimbau (a single-string on a bow struck with a small stick), and the agogô (a pair of small, pitched metal bells.)

Currently working on a new album, Ross and Curto have produced a compilation disc of their respective best. This compilation reflects the inspiring live show that the band has developed in the last year. Appalachian fiddle tunes bounce with a Northeastern Brazilian lilt while the one string Berimbau resonates with a strangely effective blues riff. Curto spins long chromatic melodies over intricate arrangements and infectiously funky folkloric rhythms. Like a true southern preacher, Ross delivers colorfully satirical lyrics reminiscent of David Byrne, Tom Ze, and Caetano Veloso.

With an honest love for roots music, genuine Brazilian styles, and improvisational experimentation, Matuto creates a unique and inspired sound from the heart of New York City’s diverse musical culture.

The Haunt - Ithaca, NY

Dec 4

Dec 4

Doors open at 8:00 pm Starts at 9:00 pm Ages 16+ Only

Price: $12-$15

Event Information

Age policy: 16+ with ID / under 16 with a parent or guardian


PEELANDER-Z, the Japanese Action Comic Punk Band based in NYC, was originally formed in 1998 by Peelander-Yellow, Peelander-Red, and Peelander-Blue, after meeting in New York City (although they’ll tell you they’re all from the Z area on the planet Peelander). Peelander-Green was welcomed in July 2008 after Blue left the band. Peelander–Z has appeared at major music festivals including Bonnaroo and the Vans Warped Tour and has also been featured on TV programs such as VH1’s “Best Week Ever” and Comedy Central’s “Upright Citizens Brigade” among others. The band has also been covered by SPIN, Rolling Stone, Village Voice, NPR and The Onion among many others. At its live shows, Peelander–Z guarantees intense audience participation and a chance to exercise. You’ll see the band in colorful costumes reminiscent of Japanese anime, though they describe their outfits as their skin. You’ll also see The Red Squid, human bowling and all around insanity. A Peelander–Z performance is a rare occasion for the entire family to rock out and have a great time.

State Theatre of Ithaca - Ithaca, NY

with special guests Donna The Buffalo

Dec 5

Dec 5

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

Event Information

From their days playing together as teenagers to their current acoustic and electric blues, probably no one has more consistently led American music for the last 50 years — yes! — than Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, the founders and continuing core members of Hot Tuna.
The pair began playing together while growing up in the Washington D.C. area, where Jack’s father was a dentist and Jorma’s father a State Department official. Four years younger, Jack continued in junior high, then high school — while playing professional gigs as lead guitarist at night before he was old enough to drive — while Jorma (who had played rhythm guitar to Jack’s lead) started college in Ohio, accompanied his family overseas, then returned to college, this time in California.
Along the way, Jorma became enamored of, then committed to, the finger-picking guitar style exemplified by the now-legendary Rev. Gary Davis. Jack, meanwhile, had taken an interest in the electric bass, at the time a controversial instrument in blues, jazz, and folk circles.
In the mid 1960s, Jorma was asked to audition to play guitar for a new band that was forming in San Francisco. Though an acoustic player at heart, he grew interested in the electronic gadgetry that was beginning to make an appearance in the popular music scene — particularly in a primitive processor brought to the audition by a fellow named Ken Kesey — and decided to join that band; soon thereafter he summoned his young friend from Washington, who now played the bass.
Thus was created the unique (then and now) sound that was The Jefferson Airplane. Jorma even contributed the band’s name, drawn from a nickname a friend had for the blues-playing Jorma. Jack’s experience as a lead guitarist led to a style of bass playing which took the instrument far beyond its traditional role.
While in The Jefferson Airplane, putting together the soundtrack of the 60s, the pair remained loyal to the blues, jazz, bluegrass, and folk influences of the small clubs and larger venues they had learned from years before. While in San Francisco and even in hotel rooms on the road, they would play together and worked up a set of songs that they would often play at clubs in the Bay Area and while on the road, often after having played a set with the Airplane. This led to a record contract; in fact, they had an album recorded before they decided to name their band Hot Tuna. With it they launched on an odyssey which has itself continued for more than 35 years, always finding new and interesting turns in its path forward.
The first thing an early Hot Tuna fans discovered at their concerts of the early 1970s was that the band was growing louder and louder. In an era in which volume often overtrumped musicianship, Hot Tuna provided both. The second thing a fan would discover was that Jack and Jorma really loved to play. “Look around for another band that plays uninterrupted three- to six-hour sets,” wrote reviewer Jerry Moore. What Moore could not have known was that had there been no audience at all, they would have played just as long and just as well, so devoted were they to making music. Of course, the audience wasn’t superfluous by any means; it energized and continues to energize their performances. Album followed album — more than two dozen in all, not counting solo efforts, side projects, and appearances on the albums of other bands and performers — and they continued to develop their interests and styles, both together and in individual pursuits. In an era in which old bands reunite for one last tour, Hot Tuna can’t because Hot Tuna never broke up.
Along the way, they have been joined by a succession of talented musicians: Drummers, harmonica players, keyboardists, backup singers, violinists, mandolinists, and more, all fitting in to Jorma and Jack’s current place in the musical spectrum. And along the way there was no list of outstanding guitarists that didn’t include Jorma, nor was there anyone who seriously thought there is a better bass player than Jack.
After two decades of acoustic and electric concerts and albums, the 1990s brought a new focus on acoustic music to Hot Tuna. More intimate venues with a more individual connection to the audience became increasingly frequent stops. Soon, the loud electric sound (and the semi trailer load of equipment) disappeared entirely from Hot Tuna tours. Maturity brought the desire to do things not instead of but in addition to being a touring band. Both had become interested in teaching, passing along what they had learned and what they had uniquely developed to a new generation of players.
In 1998 Jorma and his wife Vanessa opened Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp, in the beautiful rolling Appalachian foothills of southeastern Ohio.
Here, on a sprawling and rustic yet modern campus, musicians and would-be musicians come for intensive and enjoyable workshops taught by Jorma, Jack, and other extraordinary players, learning things that range from different styles of playing to songwriting and even storytelling (the musician in performance has to say something while changing that broken string!), to making a song one’s own.
In addition, there is now BreakDownWay.com, a unique interactive teaching site that comes closest of anything yet to make individual instruction available to students anywhere there is a computer and an Internet connection.
But the teaching doesn’t replace Hot Tuna’s busy tour schedule; it’s in addition to the tours. Nor have they lighened up their individual schedules. Jack released his first solo CD, Dream Factor, on Eagle Records in 2003. He has a busy and elaborate website at jackcasady.com. Jorma has a website, too, and achieved enormous critical acclaim and a Grammy nomination for his 2003 solo album, Blue Country Heart. (Both are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame due to their pioneering work in The Jefferson Airplane.) As 2006 began, they launched another exciting website, Hot Tuna Tunes, where fans may inexpensively download professionally made recordings of full Hot Tuna concerts in both MP3 and lossless encodings, suitable for portable player and home-burned CDs respectively. Hot Tuna Tunes is added to all the time, so it’s almost as if Hot Tuna were releasing numerous live concert albums every year. Collect the entire set!
For the last few years, Jorma and Jack have been joined in most of their Hot Tuna performances by the mandolin virtuoso Barry Mitterhoff. A veteran of bluegrass, Celtic, folk, and rock-influenced bands including “Tony Trischka and Skyline” and “Bottle Hill,” Barry has found a new voice in working with Hot Tuna, and the fit has been good — watching them play, it’s as if he’s been there from the beginning and they’re all having the time of their lives.
Jorma and Jack certainly could not have imagined, let alone predicted, where playing would take them. It’s been a long and fascinating road to numerous exciting destinations. Two things have never changed: They still love to play as much as they did as kids in Washington D.C., and there are still many, many exciting miles yet to travel on their musical odyssey.

State Theatre of Ithaca - Ithaca, NY

Dec 7

Dec 7

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

Event Information

Voted one of Variety’s “10 Comics to Watch,” Ralphie May has released, a record-setting, four one-hour comedy specials and will be releasing two more this year, proving that his relatable comedic genius is in higher demand than ever. In addition, he recently released a vintage comedy album recorded in Houston in 1998 and his new line of barbecue sauce called “Fat Baby Jesus.” Lovable enough to get away with anything, Ralphie continues to capture the hearts of thousands on his sold out tours and promises to make you gleefully uncomfortable. Since his debut on season one of “Last Comic Standing,” audiences can’t get enough of the larger than life comedian. Ralphie has a proven track record of selling out multiple shows in venues of all sizes. He has a no nonsense point of view and the ability to connect with a diverse audience by pointing out society’s hypocrisies. Ralphie doesn’t shy away from touchy topics or ethnic jokes, nor does he bite his tongue when society suggests, because he sincerely believes that as long as what he’s saying is true, people need to hear it. Born on February 17, 1972 in Chattanooga, Tennessee and raised in Clarksville, Arkansas, Ralphie was one of four kids raised by his single mom. At the age of seventeen he won a contest to open for his idol, Sam Kinison. He later moved to Houston to develop his comedy routine, at Kinison’s suggestion. “All the comics I’ve ever admired, whether it be Kinison, Lenny Bruce, Buddy Hackett or Richard Pryor, all share a commonality,” says May. “They’re a tour de force. When they speak, there’s no room for rebuttal. They’ve thought it all out. Even the pros and cons of their argument, they raise openly and debate in the midst of their conversation and it’s a beautiful thing to watch.” On the small screen, Ralphie has worked as a writer and producer on ESPN's “Mohr Sports” starring Jay Mohr and performed stand-up on numerous late night talk shows including four appearances on CBS's “The Late Late Show w/ Craig Kilborn” as well as eleven appearances on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” He has appeared on “The Man Show” and MTV’s “Bash” as well as guest-starred on NBC’s “Whoopie.” As if that’s not enough, he’s also one of a handful of comedians to have received a standing ovation on “The Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno.” When he’s not on the road, Ralphie divides his time between Nashville and Los Angeles with his beautiful wife Lahna, their wonderful dog Hoochie Mama, and their two children, April June May and August James May. He contributes much of his time and energy to helping others. Since establishing a residence in Nashville, he has been actively involved with the 100 Club of Nashville, various youth organizations and the Humane Society.

The Haunt - Ithaca, NY

Dec 10

Dec 10

Doors open at 8:00 pm Starts at 9:00 pm Ages 16+ Only

Price: $12-$15

Event Information

Age policy: 16+ with ID / under 16 with a parent or guardian


On his new release Another Day (Eusonia Records, 2011), Zach Deputy demonstrates his extraordinary ability to perform and record in multiple contexts and conveys the sensibilities of a mature singer/songwriter. Another Day offers another look at Zach Deputy and seeks to help him cross over into other audiences. Rich with ballads and mid-tempo songs, the music on this recording is best described as soulful rhythm and blues, with flavors of Al Green, Taj Mahal and Stevie Wonder emerging in the swells, changes and modulations of the music, in the voice and even in the lyrical content. The record will appeal to fans of contemporary artists like Jack Johnson and Amos Lee, but the origins of the style and feel remain classic. Recorded over 5 days in August 2010 at Mission Sound Recording in Brooklyn, NY, Another Day is the truest example of pure musicianship. As heard in this recording, Grammy winning producer Scott Jacoby and his team of musicians demonstrate that large budget recordings and “over-production” are simply not necessary. Drummer Graham Hawthorne (Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, David Byrne), bassist Al Carty (Lou Reed, Alicia Keys, Gavin DeGraw) and pianist / organist Will Buthod (Jay-Z, Swizz Beatz, The Harlem Gospel Choir) and Zach Deputy met for the first time on day one of recording and– despite their diverse backgrounds– instantly clicked with each other and created the perfect landscape to support Zach’s songs. In contrast to the music and feel of Another Day, Zach Deputy has made his mark thus far as a touring powerhouse. As a boy, the music of his Puerto Rican, Cruzan and Irish heritage was cooked up in the South Carolina heat. The Calypso rhythms and folk songs of St. Croix competed with the R&B / soul of pioneers like James Brown and Ray Charles for space on the family stereo. As Deputy honed his craft, a unique hybrid of these influences emerged, ultimately creating the signature Zach Deputy sound. To bring this sound to the stage, the big, impossibly upbeat South Carolinian with the infectious smile puts on a solo show– enhanced by looping technology– that is essentially a one man dance party offering up what he calls “Island-infused, Drum ‘n’ Bass, Gospel-Ninja-Soul” to the enthusiastic crowds of dancers who flock to clubs from coast-to-coast. It is these late night dance parties— more than 250 per year– that have made Zach Deputy one of the hottest up-and-coming performers on the camping festival circuit and “jam band” scene. For Zach, most days begin in a hotel room and end a couple of hours after walking off stage. The constant touring and the compelling live show may be the key to Zach’s success on the road, but it is an unlikely inspiration for Another Day, as there is little similarity between what fans have come to expect from Zach and what is offered up in this new record. Thus, Another Day is an appropriately titled album, and it is truly an album in the classic sense— a collection of songs that come from the same time and place, inspired by the same muse. Reflective and introspective, it provides a glimpse at the soul of an artist and the depth of a songwriter. Full of hope and anticipation of the promise of another day, a new day, it is a pivotal point in the career of a touring musician. Whereas it is a departure for Zach Deputy, it is one that he feels confident his fans can relate to, but it isn’t the end in itself. Deputy’s multi-faceted diamond gets one side polished in this offering, and it is a side that will shine brightly for a new audience.

The Haunt - Ithaca, NY

This is a free event. Advance tickets are available online or at: State Theatre Box Office, The Haunt, and McNeil Music of Ithaca

Dec 12

Dec 12

Doors open at 8:00 pm Starts at 9:00 pm Ages 16+ Only

Price: $0

Event Information

Age policy: 16+ with ID / under 16 with a parent or guardian

The Haunt - Ithaca, NY

**Jimkata/Hotel Ithaca NYE Room Special: Need a hotel room for the night of the show?? Call The Hotel Ithaca (www.thehotelithaca.com - 607.272.1000) and mention Jimkata at The Haunt to receive a special rate!! A room with two queen beds is just $79.**

Dec 31

Dec 31

Doors open at 8:00 pm Starts at 9:00 pm Ages 16+ Only

Price: $20-$25

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Jimkata’s innovative, fan-funded record Die Digital turned the heads of critics and musicians when it dropped in the Fall of 2012, solidifying the band’s reputation as forward-thinking artists to pay attention to. Jimkata’s refined electro-rock sound is one of a band that has found its voice after years of experimentation; It’s more indie rock than jam, and more 90′s electronica than modern day EDM; yet the five-piece appeals to each of these audiences. In the spirit of LCD Soundsystem, MGMT and Talking Heads, Jimkata’s relevant, quotable lyrics create moods not just for fleeting moments, but for the lifestyle of an entire generation. Following the release of their first live record 10 More Songs! (2013), Jimkata is poised to unveil their third studio EP and sixth official release Feel In Light on 3.4.14. Recorded with Die Digital producer Jocko Randall at his MoreSound Studios in Syracuse, NY Feel In Light represents the continued evolution of this modern rock band’s sound - one which will be simpler in essence – exploring themes of love, triumph and appreciating second chances in life. A staple of the festival circuit from the Rockies to the Atlantic, Jimkata’s 2013 schedule included heavy hitters like Gathering of The Vibes, Summer Camp, Catskill Chill and Rootwire, on top of hosting their very own inaugural festival, Katalyst. Fans can catch the band this winter on their extensive national tour taking them up and down the east coast and to Colorado.

The Dock - Ithaca, NY

with Cheers Elephant

Jan 25

Jan 25

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm Ages 18+ Only

Price: $12-$15

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Fiercely independent road warriors Wild Child, an “indie powerhouse,” has spent the past year stepping into that spotlight, playing stages as major as Austin City Limits Music Festival, Wakarusa, Firefly Music Festival, Bonnaroo, Osheaga, and Savannah Stopover. Behind their second album, The Runaround, the premiere release on Ben Kweller’s Noise Company label, the Austin six piece earned NPR’s Top Ten Songs of 2013 honors for the song “Living Tree,” and saw five additional songs hit number 1 on Hype Machine’s Popular chart. Their Spotify, Soundcloud, and YouTube streams have eclipsed ten million listens, and they’ve appeared on NPR’s World Cafe and an airing of eTown Radio. The lead single from The Runaround, “Crazy Bird,” debuted on Specialty Radio at number one fueled by an electrifying performance on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson. Together since 2010, the band has been hailed as one of the top acts in music-rich Austin since the release of debut album Pillow Talk; their mix of folk, pop, and gypsy melodies make them sound like little else. Kelsey Wilson has “the voice of a Jazz Age Broadway baby,” writes NPR, “all coos and hiccups and shivers.” Among unanimously illustrious praise from the likes of Paste Magazine, Relix Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Indie Shuffle, The Austin Chronicle, and American Songwriter, the Austin American­Statesman has anointed Wild Child as “Austin’s next national breakout act.” Countless sold-out shows across the US suggest that that foretold future may in fact already be upon us. Incorporating violin, ukulele, cello, piano, bass, banjo, and horns in ways that few bands could conceive of today, Wild Child has broken through as one of the preeminent bands in one of the most storied music cities in the world, winning back-to-back honors as the city’s Best Indie Band at the Austin Music Awards. “Music defines us,” says Wild Child’s co-frontman Alexander Beggins. “We get up every day to stomp, clap, whoop, holler, and dance with our family on stage and our friends in the crowd. We’re always looking for ways to expand our sound and push our boundaries musically, and we’re always looking for the next thing, the next sound, the next song. But in the meantime, it just blows our mind to stand on stage and look out into the crowd and see people singing along.”

State Theatre of Ithaca - Ithaca, NY

Feb 10

Feb 10

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

Event Information

The New Pornographers' sixth album, Brill Bruisers, has a name that brings multiple connotations to mind, all of them apt, since band founder A.C. Newman acknowledges liking "titles that, in my mind, could have five different meanings." But you wouldn't steer yourself wrong if you gathered from the name that what you are about to hear will be both brainy and pugilistic. If you could put a face on an album title, this one might be represented by a boxer's mug with a monocle. A reference to "brilliant bruisers" occurs in what became the title track, "and it was shortening it to 'brill' which made me think of the whole Brill Building connotation," Newman says. "Even though I hesitate to give it any exact meaning, I like the idea that it's bruising songs in the style of the Brill Building," the legendary office tower where the greatest pop songwriters of the 1960s pumped out their classics. "Or, it makes sense as just short for brilliant. The whole idea of being a brilliant bruiser–isn't that what everybody ultimately strives for, or what a person needs to succeed in this world? To be really intelligent and really strong at the same time? It just seemed to match this group of songs somehow." This is a set of bruisers four years in the making, as several of the collective's more prominent members have been otherwise occupied by their day jobs, or moonlighting. Newman issued a solo album last year, while Dan Bejar found acclaim with another record with his other band, Destroyer; Neko Case was doing her usual under-her-own-name world conquering. Yet the promise of New Pornography continues to bring these disparate talents together just as it has since the first album they made back in 2000, Mass Romantic–a then-lark that now shows up on so many lists of the best albums of the 20th century, it borders on counting as classic rock. Newman has learned to not resist the terms that writers have always applied to the Pornographers to reflect the unusual nature of the lineup. "The irony is that as the years go on, these things become less true and more true," he laughs. "We weren't a 'supergroup' at the beginning, but now we arguably are. The band means different things for different people. For Dan and Neko, it's a side project. For me, ironically, it's a career, and my solo career is just something I dabble in. But who else has all these people in the band? Look at us. When you consider that Neko's as popular as she's ever been and Dan's coming off Kaputt, the biggest Destroyer record yet, it's like: Yeah, we're a fucking supergroup!" Mantle accepted. On Brill Bruisers, bassist/producer John Collins returns to the co-pilot's chair that he inhabited on the Pornographers' first three albums. The band's last couple of recordings, made without Collins as primary producer, had slowed down a bit from their original indie-power-pop ethos, and Newman's latest solo album went for "a Glen Campbell vibe." Having gotten the singer/songwriter stuff somewhat out of his system, Newman decreed early in the going that this Pornographers album needed to be "shinier and faster." To that end, a couple of very specific touchstones were invoked. "Before we started the record, I was talking to Dan and I remember saying, 'Yeah, I want to go with a slight Sigue Sigue Sputnik vibe.' I think he took me very literally on that," Newman chuckles. "So he sped up all of his songs quite a bit. And I had to speed up my songs as well, because I thought 'My songs can't be slow when his are so fast!' So that Sigue Sigue Sputnik comment really served its purpose." That covers the "faster" part, but what about the "shinier"? "We were going for 'Xanadu'," Newman says. Just in case there's any doubt, he is not alluding to Citizen Kane but directly referencing, yes, the roller-disco movie to which ELO contributed much of the soundtrack. Brill Bruisers doesn't just draw inspiration from Jeff Lynne's genius in general but from the synth sounds of a very specific two- or three-year period in that group's career. "It's basically Discovery, Xanadu, Electric Dreams ELO pretty much," he allows. "There are a lot of influences that I try and avoid when they come up, but that's not one of them. If something sounds like ELO, I think, yes, let's do this! It feels like everybody's influenced by the same bands nowadays, but if you're going to be influenced by early Depeche Mode, why not just move over and be influenced by early '80s ELO?" But maybe think Secret Messages meets Surfer Rosa, because there's a deep and propulsive core almost constantly thundering away under those celestial flourishes. "On this record, I think what we wanted to do was bridge the gap between a sort of late '70s/early '80s ELO synth-pop and just being a rock band. I thought, why can't we have these arpeggiators swirling but at the same time be a driving rock band with loud guitars? That was one spot where I felt: this is a space that we can currently inhabit in rock music, because there's nobody else doing this." It wasn't just a matter of picking up vintage keyboard sounds, but also using all the modern technology and apps at their disposal. "Not that we're trying to make EDM, but we've never been afraid to use as much modern technology as possible. So there are a lot of loud sections in songs like "Champions of Red Wine" and "Dance Hall Domine" that have very chopped-up sounds. I think of taking a sample of a men's choir and chopping it up with a square-wave tremolo... and really embracing the artificiality of those sounds. But at the heart of it, there's nothing artificial about the band that's playing it. It's real bass, real drums, real guitars." And real sentiments. Newman didn't necessarily want to get as introspective on Brill Bruisers as he was on his last solo album, 2012's Shut Down the Streets, where he dealt with the death of his mother and birth of his son. But personal concerns inevitably snuck in anyhow. "Wide Eyes" is "definitely a song about my son. Though it's not sung in a very, very literal way, that song is about how he changed my life." "Fantasy Fools" also deals with the transition from young man to family man. "Not that I feel like an old man, but you can't help, when you get in your 40s and all of a sudden you have a family, to start thinking about whether there are ways of growing older correctly." Newman was able to keep a work/family balance by making most of the album over a period of two years at his home studio in Woodstock, with Collins frequently flying in for long stays to work on the production as a duo, much as they did when they made the first three albums in the band's original home base of Vancouver. A certain amount of travel still figured in, "chasing Neko around" to Texas and Vermont, and heading back to Canada for much of the work involving the three songs written and sung by Bejar as well as contributions from drummer Kurt Dahle. The result, arrived at with some sense of leisure to get it right, "is stylistically as close as we can get to what I think I've always imagined us being," says Newman. I feel like what we did on this has always been in the back of my mind, even from the first record, but we just never did it, like using all the arpeggiators and adding that spacy synth element. It just never seemed right before, and with this record, it completely did. I feel more confident about this record than I've ever felt about anything before. My reaction to somebody not liking this record is 'Well, I don't know what else to do!'"

State Theatre of Ithaca - Ithaca, NY

Feb 14

Feb 14

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

Event Information

Ira Glass is the host and creator of the public radio program This American Life. The show premiered on Chicago’s public radio station WBEZ in 1995 and is now heard on more than 500 public radio stations each week by over 1.7 million listeners. Most weeks, the podcast of the program is the most popular podcast in America. The show also airs each week on the CBC in Canada and on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s radio network.

Glass began his career as an intern at National Public Radio’s network headquarters in Washington, DC in 1978, when he was 19 years old. Over the years, he worked on nearly every NPR network news program and held virtually every production job in NPR’s Washington headquarters. He has been a tape cutter, newscast writer, desk assistant, editor, and producer. He has filled in as host of Talk of the Nation and Weekend All Things Considered.

Under Glass’s editorial direction, This American Life has won the highest honors for broadcasting and journalistic excellence, including several Peabody and DuPont-Columbia awards. The American Journalism Review declared that the show is “at the vanguard of a journalistic revolution.”

A television adaptation of This Ameri-
can Life ran on the Showtime network for two seasons, in 2007 and 2008, winning three Emmy awards, including Outstanding Nonfiction Series. The show has put out its own comic book, three greatest hits compilations, DVDs of live shows and other events, a “radio decoder” toy, temporary tattoos and a paint-by-numbers set. Half a dozen stories are in development to become feature films. In 2013 Ira Glass received the Medal for Spoken Language from the American Academy of Arts & Letters.

Glass is married and owns a disturbingly allergic dog

State Theatre of Ithaca - Ithaca, NY

Price: $49.50-69.50

Mar 5

Mar 5

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

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PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS PERFORMANCE HAS BEEN RECHEDULED FOR MARCH 5, 2015. ALL TICKETS WILL BE HONORED.



Lily Tomlin is an award-winning star of stage and screen, known especially for comedic performances going back to her days on TV's Laugh-In in the early 1970s. She grew up in Detroit, but went to New York in 1965 to be a performer. Tomlin became a regular cast member of the comedy sketch show Laugh-In in late 1969, and soon became one of the most popular players, thanks to recurring characters such as Ernestine the telephone operator and Edith Ann, a sagacious five year-old. Tomlin left the show in 1973, having released two successful comedy records of her own, the Grammy-winning This Is A Recording (1971) and the Grammy-nominated And That's The Truth (1972, as Edith Ann). She's had a stellar career, one that includes an Oscar nomination for her performance in Robert Altman's Nashville (1975), as well as hit films such as The Late Show (1977), Nine to Five (1980, with Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton) and Flirting With Disaster (1996, starring Ben Stiller). She's won Emmys for writing TV specials in 1974, 1976, 1978 and 1981, and been a regular cast member on Murphy Brown (1996-98), The West Wing (2002-06), Damages (2010, the third season) and Desperate Housewives (2008-09). Her one-woman Broadway show in 1977, Appearing Nitely, earned a special Tony award, and she won another Tony for her performance in The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, a 1985 one-woman show co-written with her longtime life and writing partner, Jane Wagner. A frequent stage performer who pops up in small TV and film roles, Tomlin is also a 2003 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

The Haunt - Ithaca, NY

with Little Daylight and Secret Someones

Mar 6

Mar 6

Doors open at 8:00 pm Starts at 9:00 pm Ages 16+ Only

Price: $15

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Age policy: 16+ with ID / under 16 with a parent or guardian


 


Jukebox the Ghost’s third album Safe Travels marks a period in the band’s career that’s steeped in change, both personally and professionally. Relationships dissolved and crumbled. Loved ones passed on. The band themselves relocated from Philadelphia to New York City and played over 200 shows since the release of their last album in 2010. In the midst of so much change, the band spent months in the studio creating what would become Safe Travels, a record that represents a shift in the band’s creative trajectory. “It felt like the music was finally growing with us—Songs that relate to who we are as people right now, not who we were when we were 19 or 20,” Siegel said. “This record is more heartfelt; part of that came from not worrying about exactly what kind of music we were supposed to be making and instead just working on songs that felt genuine and natural at the time.” Safe Travels, at its core, represents three people going through universal life changes—A way of coping with how quickly things can turn around, for good and bad. And though it’s clear their sound and outlook have matured to addressing some darker subject material, their brand of upbeat pop still remains intact. “We’ve always been the kind of band that juxtaposes darker lyrics with upbeat music, but this record feels a little more personal,” Thornewill said. “In the grand scheme of things, it’s certainly not a downer record but you need pain to get joy, and joy to get pain; they’re inseparable.” Bolstered by an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, an appearance at Lollapalooza, and extended opening tours with Ben Folds, Guster, Adam Green and Jack’s Mannequin, the band has acquired an incredibly loyal (and sometimes rabid) fanbase since the release of 2008’s Live and Let Ghosts. Over the years, Jukebox the Ghost has maintained a tour schedule that most bands would balk at, playing over 150 shows a year and becoming a well-oiled, high energy live band. This summer, the band embarks on their biggest headline tour to date after performing at Bonnaroo on the album’s release weekend—Their Bowery Ballroom show in June has already sold out two months in advance. Safe Travels also marks the first time that the band had been afforded unlimited studio time. The sessions took place in Brooklyn, with their friend Dan Romer (Ingrid Michaelson, Jenny Owens Young) producing and engineering. The result is a collection of 13 songs that finds the band maturing both musically and lyrically. The band was also able to work with a string section for the first time, which gave Thornewill the chance to flex his compositional skills and formal classical training. They’d be the first to admit that their previous two records had a charming, “hyperactive” quality about them, but you don’t get that sense here. There’s a balance between the peppy piano pop of songs like the album’s upbeat opener “Somebody”, the bouncy synth-pop of “Oh, Emily” and the radio-ready drama of “Don’t Let Me Fall Behind” to more poignant, contemplative songs in the album’s second half that represent the band’s desire to travel into new sonic territory. “In the past Ben and Tommy sometimes wrote from various fictional perspectives” says drummer Jesse Kristin, “but the songs on this album feel closer, more personal, and steeped in actual life experiences.” This creative shift is best exemplified by “Dead,” “Adulthood,” “Ghosts in Empty Houses,” and “The Spiritual” – songs that deal with death and mortality head on, with an immediacy that was masked on previous albums. “Adulthood” was initially a difficult song for Thornewill to perform. Written before his grandfather’s death from lung cancer, the line “In my lungs I still feel young” was painfully prophetic and the overall message that “from adulthood, no one survives” became all too real. “Dead” approaches a similar theme with understated elegance. The song begins with Siegel’s innocent, boyish croon over a ghostly drone and builds into a climax with post-rock ferocity entirely new to the band’s catalogue. “Even though we’re tackling some difficult themes this go-round, we’re still a band that wants people to feel good,” said Tommy. “We’re the same upbeat band we’ve always been, but we’re firm believers that pop music can have depth.” Ask Brooklyn’s Jukebox the Ghost why their third album is called Safe Travels, on a surface level, it’s likely they’ll tell you about a song by Austin’s Red Hunter, who performs as Peter and the Wolf. The song, from his 2006 album ”Lightness” became something of a mantra for the band. “Since we’re always in new cities and away from the people we love, that song really hit home for us,” said Ben. “It was a song that represented saying goodbye.” On Safe Travels, Jukebox the Ghost manages to contrast these darker themes with the same optimistic sound and a familiar sense of youthfulness that stays true to their core.

State Theatre of Ithaca - Ithaca, NY

Mar 13

Mar 13

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

Event Information

ROBERT CRAY IN MY SOUL "First and foremost, the stories are where my heart lies," says Robert Cray. "In the blues guitar thing, most of the time, you carve out the section for the solo and that's really what the song is based on. And I love that, there's a time for that, but then I have to get back into the meat and bones of storytelling." With his seventeenth studio album, In My Soul, the five-time Grammy winner (and 15-time nominee) reasserts his position as one of his generation's great musical storytellers—this time steeped in the down-home sound and rich emotion of Southern Soul, yet never straying far from his incomparable guitar mastery. Produced by Steve Jordan, whose long list of credits includes extensive work with Keith Richards and John Mayer, the album blends funky originals with surprising covers, and captures a new configuration of the Robert Cray Band: long-time bass player Richard Cousins is joined by keyboardist Dover Weinberg (returning to the group, with which he played in the 1970s and '80s) as well as new drummer Les Falconer. Robert Cray is widely recognized as one of the greatest guitarists of our time. The New Yorker recently called him “one of the most reliable pleasures of soul and blues for over three decades now.“ He has written or performed with everyone from Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughan, from Bonnie Raitt to John Lee Hooker, and in 2011, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. But when it comes time for a new recording, Cray remains as open as ever to pure creativity. "In my recollection, we have never sat down and decided what kind of record we're going to make," he says. "This time, I knew we were going to do an R&B thing, because that's what we've done whenever we work with Steve, but we didn't have a concept—that develops because of the songs and the people who play on it." The first song they worked on for In My Soul was a Booker T & the MGs-style instrumental, written by Cousins and Hendrix Ackle; making no secret of the inspiration, they gave it the winking title "Hip Tight Onions" (as in the MGs three biggest hits—"Hip Hug-Her," "Time is Tight," and "Green Onions"). "That really helped set the tone," says Cray. "We ran that song for a bit, continuously playing that groove, and we got a feel for each other, and for Steve, and for a new tune. And from there, we fell into this real funk feel." Jordan, whom Cray describes as "almost a fifth member of the band," proposed a couple of covers—Otis Redding's "Nobody's Fault But My Own" and "Your Good Thing (Is About to End)," initially recorded in 1966 by Stax artist Mable John but later turned into a hit for Lou Rawls. "When I think of Robert Cray, I think of a great singer," says the producer. "Most people gravitate to his guitar playing because he's such a gunslinger, but I don't. He's got so much soul it's ridiculous. 'Good Thing' just sounded like Robert to me—it has a touch of jazz, and that strong, Chicago-based R&B in the Lou Rawls version. With the Otis tune, I just thought, 'Robert can eat this up,' and not a lot of people can do justice to that vocal." Cray countered with the idea of doing a song that would ultimately give the album its title, "Deep in My Soul" by the late Bobby "Blue" Bland. "I didn't want to change it—just do it pretty straight up as a tribute to Bobby, who was one of my real heroes," says Cray. The bulk of In My Soul, though, is made up of original material, composed by various members of the band. The album opens with the hard-charging "You Move Me," instantly identifiable as classic Cray, with his signature slicing guitar leads woven throughout. "I Guess I'll Never Know," co-written by drummer Falconer with Jeff Paris and Rick Whitfield, adds a slipperier groove to the mix, in the style of Willie Mitchell's productions for Hi Records. Bonus track "Pillow," available on a limited edition CD version of the album, began as a melodic snippet written by the late session guitarist Jerry Friedman, which Cray extended (complete with a sitar-like guitar effect) into what Steve Jordan calls "a '70s-Blaxploitation movie kind of vibe—it's Robert as Shaft!" "All the originals that came in were really good, and that's not always the case," says the producer. "It sure made my job easier—I just had to make sure the arrangements and sound and groove were right." Perhaps most notable is "What Would You Say?," an aching tune that finds Cray longing for a better world. "It's just a response to all that's going on—wars, disease, or just someone standing outside the supermarket asking for food or for a job. That's all part of everyday life, and I just had to talk about it." In My Soul includes plenty of Cray's blazing guitar work, which Rolling Stone recently said “introduced a new generation of mainstream rock fans to the language and form of the blues.” But he maintains that he's most excited about the way in which this project presents the complete Robert Cray Band. "I like that I got to play as part of a unit, as a quartet," he says. "That, to me, is just as much fun as playing a solo. There are lots of different grooves and styles on this record, and we had to give each song its own identity. That's where we're at as a band—the most important part is to lay down a groove that's going to carry the story. The solos are just icing on the cake." This year marks Robert Cray's fortieth anniversary as a musician, and with In My Soul, he is celebrating in style. He notes, with pride and with some amusement, that he continues to see new, younger faces in his audience. "There's a younger generation now whose parents turned them on to our music," he says. "It reminds me of when I was young and going to see Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, all the blues I could. It is kind of funny to be in the position of being the older generation now. But I'm just going to continue to do what we do. I can only do what I know, and we'll see what happens." -- IN MY SOUL TRACK-BY-TRACK You Move Me—"That's just a bluesy, upbeat type of tune, talking about my loved one, talking about the way she does me. It's a fun, simple, straight-ahead square beat, a nice rocking tune." Nobody's Fault But Mine—"An Otis Redding cover. All of us in the band, we grew up listening to that kind of music, and it's pretty dear to our hearts." Steve Jordan: "I just thought, 'Robert can eat this one up.' It's got the guitar stuff, but also the singing. Not a lot of people can do justice to that vocal. Also, we were looking for song to get vocals out of Les, so we approached this Otis tune like it was a Sam and Dave song." Fine Yesterday—"I'd been working on this over the summer and fall, and just pieced it together. It kind of has the feel of an early '60s thing, a song like 'Sitting in the Park.' I thought I would just be bold and go, 'What makes you think you could do something like that?'" Your Good Thing (Is About To End)—"That was Steve's idea. The cool thing is that when he mentioned it, I said 'Fantastic!'— I always loved that tune, and Dover happens to be one of the biggest Lou Rawls fans ever, so I knew it was going to go over big. But Steve didn't want to do just that version; it's really a combination of the different versions, the original by Mable John and also the OV Wright version. Steve said, 'Let's you and me go cut it,' and just the two of us went in and did it. We didn't rehearse, just played it and tried to make it as funky as possible." I Guess I'll Never Know—"A song about somebody losing their loved one. The cool thing about this song is that it's got a really funky beat, and it's co-written by our drummer, Les Falconer. It's nice and funky, almost reminiscent of a Hi Records, Willie Mitchell production." Hold On—"This one was written by Richard Cousins and Hendrix Ackle. We played it from the music they gave us, but then we changed up the lyric a little to make it more of a '70s Philly kind of thing. It's a departure from the Memphis sound, but still in that classic soul thing." What Would You Say—"A song that's about making the world a better place. Saying 'Can we do that? Can we help homeless people, can we try to cure diseases?' It's a response to all that's going on, from wars to someone outside the supermarket asking for food or for a job, all of that is part of everyday life. I was reading about Syria and the gas attack on those children—everybody forgets about kids during war and how horrible that is. So this is just how it came out, I just had to talk about it." Hip Tight Onions—"I don't think we've ever recorded an instrumental before. This was penned by our bass player, Richard Cousins, and his writing friend Hendrix Ackle, and it's a tribute to Booker T and the MGs." You're Everything—"Just a love tune, talking about how my world has changed because of who I'm with." Deep in My Soul—"I knew I wanted to do Bobby Bland tune, and I was banging my head as to which one. Then I found one CD with a massive amount of Bland songs on it, and I hadn't heard this one for a long time. I brought it in, and everybody loved it. I didn't want to change it—just do it pretty straight up as a tribute to Bobby, who was one of my real heroes. He came to see us before he passed, about a year and a half ago, he came to a show with his wife and son and just stood in the wings, and it was such a big honor, really cool." Steve Jordan: "We had nine or ten songs recorded, but we didn't really have a deep blues song—I wanted to get that feel, something riveting that lays the gauntlet down. Robert pulled out this song, and I had never heard it before. It was haunting and very deep, and the way he sang it, I got chills. You'd be hard pressed to think you could get as good as Bland did, but Robert gave a really extraordinary performance. Put that one on and you just have to shut up!" Pillow—"Steve had sent me a piece of music by a guy named Jerry Friedman, a great session player who played on 'Supernatural Thing' and a bunch of other stuff. It wasn't complete, there was no lyric, so we just kind of put it together—we started from music we had, tried to make it funky, came up with the idea for an electric sitar sound. It sounds great as instrumental, and we may still put it out like that, but the original title was 'You're My Pillow,' so we just kind of worked a story around that."

State Theatre of Ithaca - Ithaca, NY

**NOTE: All Orchestra seating is general admission. If you want reserved seating in the balcony please choose "Loge Reserved" seating.**

Apr 10

Apr 10

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

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Formed as a quartet in Chicago in 1998 and relocated to Los Angeles three years later, OK Go (Damian Kulash, Tim Nordwind, Dan Konopka, Andy Ross) have spent their career in a steady state of transformation. The four songs of the all-new Upside Out EP represent the first preview of Hungry Ghosts, due out in the fall on the band’s own Paracadute. This is the band’s fourth full-length and the newest addition to a curriculum vitae filled with experimentation in a variety of mediums. The band worked with longtime producer and friend Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Weezer, MGMT), while also enlisting a new collaborator in Los Angeles, veteran Tony Hoffer, (Beck, Phoenix, Foster the People) to create their most comfortable and far-reaching songs yet. Building on (and deconstructing) 15 years of pop-rock smarts, musical friendship, and band-of-the-future innovations the EP, Upside Out, offers a concise overview of forthcoming Hungry Ghosts’ melancholic fireworks (“The Writing’s on the Wall”), basement funk parties (“Turn Up The Radio”), IMAX-sized choruses (“The One Moment”), and space-age dance floor bangers (“I Won’t Let You Down”). Drawn from the same marching orders issued to big-hearted happiness creators as Queen, T. Rex, The Cars or Cheap Trick, and a lifetime of mixed tapes exchanged by lifelong music fans, Upside Out is a reaffirmation of the sounds and ideas that brought the band together in the first place. The four songs provide an assured kick-off to a new sequence of interconnected performances, videos, dances, and wild, undreamt fun. “As the band has evolved over the last 15 years, the creative palette we work with has expanded in so many unexpected and gratifying directions,” says frontman Damian Kulash. “This record feels like it’s the musical manifestation of that — like we can speak in a clearer voice when we are playing in a bigger sandbox. Just as the band’s whole project became clearer to us as we learned to find more homes for our creativity — we triangulated it from more directions. And, I think the music itself has gotten more focused for similar reasons. We went in with fewer preconceptions of who we are or what our sound is, and came out with a record that sounds much more uniquely our own because of it.” Continuing a career that includes viral videos, New York Times op-eds, a major label split and the establishment of a DIY trans-media mini-empire, collaborations with pioneering dance companies and tech giants, animators and Muppets, OK Go continue to fearlessly dream and build new worlds in a time when creative boundaries have all but dissolved.

The Hangar Theatre - Ithaca, NY

Apr 11

Apr 11

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm Ages 16+ Only

Price: $29.50-$35

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Iris DeMent says of that elusive inspirational spark, “I didn’t know when or if I’d make another record. I gave up on trying to steer it or force it and decided to just make myself available in my heart and mind as much as I could and leave the rest up to fate.” Sixteen years after the last collection of DeMent songs, that time has come. Sing The Delta presents twelve self-penned compositions from an artist whose first three albums established her as one of the most beloved and respected writers and singers in American music. DeMent, the last of 14 children, born in Arkansas and raised in Southern California, grew up immersed in gospel music and traditional country. She was somewhat of a late bloomer as an artist, writing her first song at age of 25. Her first release, Infamous Angel, initially issued on Rounder in 1992 before being picked up by Warner Bros., immediately established her as a promising and talented artist. Its 1994 follow-up, My Life, earned a Grammy nomination in the Contemporary Folk category. Her 1996 album The Way I Should addressed political as well as personal themes and earned a Grammy nomination, as well. Along the way, several of DeMent’s songs became cultural touchstones. “Let The Mystery Be” found its way to MTV Unplugged as a duet by David Byrne and Natalie Merchant. “Our Town” was played over the farewell scene in the series finale of Northern Exposure. Merle Haggard, who said of DeMent, “She’s the best singer I’ve ever heard,” invited her to sit in as his piano player touring with his legendary band The Strangers. He subsequently covered two of her songs “No Time To Cry” and the gospel-tinged “The Shores of Jordan.” DeMent remained active as an artist. She sang four duets with John Prine on In Spite of Ourselves and had a minor role in the motion picture Songcatcher as well as contributing a song to its soundtrack. She continued playing live shows and in 2004, she recorded an album of gospel songs, Lifeline, which included her rendition of “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.” In 2010 the Coen Brothers chose that song for the closing credits when they remade the classic western “True Grit.” Still, DeMent never took for granted the arrival of an album’s worth of new songs. “Songs would come along here and there and I’d go out and sing them for people, but for a long time I just didn’t know what would become of any of them. Then last year, a door kinda opened up, and a handful of songs walked through and a few unfinished ones came together and I knew I had a record.” As with Lifeline, DeMent is releasing Sing The Delta on her own label, Flariella Records. It was recorded at Richard McLaurin’s House of David studio in Nashville with co-producers Richard Bennett and Bo Ramsey, with a supporting cast that included Bryan Owings on drums, Dave Jacques on bass, Al Perkins on pedal steel and Reese Wynans on B3 organ, as well as horn players Jim Hoke and Steve Herman on a couple of numbers. Of the time it took, DeMent says “Some of these songs I’ve had around awhile but I needed time to grow into them. I guess you could say I just wasn’t ready to deliver them in the way that they deserved. I’m glad I waited. It’s taught me to surrender…to trust the natural flow and order of things and not worry about it,” DeMent says. It’s an instinct she’s learned to trust ever since she first sat down to write her first couple of songs at age 25 and found “Our Town” spilling out onto the page. “It was like somebody walked right into that room and said, ‘There you have it, Iris’ — I knew then and there that I had gotten my calling,” she relates. “I had always been taught in church that God, or spirit, if you will, calls us to a life work. I got mine that day. Whether I write one song a year or ten, it doesn’t matter. It’s a ‘knowing’ that I have that hasn’t left me since that day. That’s what I check in with and as long as that’s there, the rest of it doesn’t matter. The time it takes is just the time it takes.”

The Hangar Theatre - Ithaca, NY

Tickets are available online or in person at The State Theatre Box Office.

May 3

May 3

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

Price: $35-$40

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Bruce Cockburn has always been a restless spirit. Over the course of four decades, the celebrated Canadian artist has traveled to the corners of the earth out of humanitarian concerns—often to trouble spots experiencing events that have led to some of his most memorable songs. Going up against chaos, even if it involves grave risks, can be necessary to get closer to the truth. “My mother once said that I must have a death wish, always going to what she called ‘those awful places,’” laughs Cockburn. “I don’t think of it that way. I make these trips partly because I want to see things for myself and partly out of my own sense of adventure.” Small Source of Comfort, Cockburn’s 31st album, is his latest adventurous collection of songs of romance, protest and spiritual discovery. The album, primarily acoustic yet rhythmically savvy, is rich in Cockburn’s characteristic blend of folk, blues, jazz and rock. As usual, many of the new compositions come from his travels and spending time in places like San Francisco and Brooklyn to the Canadian Forces base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, jotting down his typically detailed observations about the human experience. “Each One Lost” and “Comets of Kandahar,” one of five instrumentals on the album, stem from a trip Cockburn made to war-torn Afghanistan in 2009. The elegiac “Each One Lost” was written after Cockburn witnessed a ceremony honouring two young Canadian Forces soldiers who had been killed that day and whose coffins were being flown back to Canada. It was, recalls Cockburn, “one of the saddest and most moving scenes I’ve been privileged to witness.” “Here come the dead boys, moving slowly past the pipes and prayers and strained commanding voices,” Cockburn sings solemnly on “Each One Lost.” Over a mournful accordion, the simple chorus sums up the gravity of the hymn-like song: “each one lost is a vital part of you and me.” In contrast, one light-hearted number reflects Cockburn’s frequently underappreciated sense of humour. “Called Me Back” is a comic reflection on the frustrations of waiting for a return phone call that never comes. Meanwhile, listeners are bound to be intrigued by “Call Me Rose,” written from the point of view of disgraced former U.S. president Richard Nixon, who receives a chance at redemption after being reincarnated as a single mother living in a housing project with two children. Brooklyn-based violinist Jenny Scheinman is one of Bruce’s two female collaborators on Small Source of Comfort. Scheinman, best known for her work with Bill Frisell and Norah Jones, provides some thrilling flourishes to instrumentals like “Lois on the Autobahn” and the bluesy, gypsy-like swing of “Comets of Kandahar,” a track that Cockburn describes as “Django meets John Lee Hooker.” Produced by longtime associate Colin Linden, the album also features Annabelle Chvostek, a Montreal-based singer-songwriter with whom Cockburn wrote two songs on which they also harmonize: the introspective “Driving Away” and the driving, freewheeling “Boundless.” In addition to newcomers Scheinman and Chvostek, Small Source of Comfort includes such regular Cockburn accompanists as bassist Jon Dymond, drummer Gary Craig and producer Linden, who also plays guitar. As always, there’s a spiritual side to Cockburn’s latest collection, best reflected on the closing “Gifts,” a song written in 1968 and but recorded here for the first time, and “The Iris of the World,” which opens the album. The latter includes the humorously rueful line, “I’m good at catching rainbows, not so good at catching trout.” That admission serves as a useful metaphor for Cockburn’s approach to songwriting. “As you go through life, it’s like taking a hike alongside a river,” he explains. “Your eye catches little things that flash in the water, various stones and flotsam. I’m a bit of a packrat when it comes to saving these reflections. And, occasionally, a few of them make their way into songs.” Those songs, along with his humanitarian work, have brought Cockburn a long list of honours, including 13 Juno Awards, an induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award and several international awards. In 1982, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Officer in 2002. Last year, the Luminato festival honoured Cockburn’s extensive songbook with a tribute concert featuring such varied guests as jazz guitarist Michael Occhipinti, folk-rapper Buck 65, country rockers Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, country-folk singers Sylvia Tyson and Amelia Curran, pop artists the Barenaked Ladies and Hawksley Workman, and folk-pop trio The Wailin’ Jennys. Never content to rest on his laurels, Cockburn keeps looking ahead. “I’d rather think about what I’m going to do next,” he once said. “My models for graceful aging are guys like John Lee Hooker and Mississippi John Hurt, who never stopped working till they dropped, as I fully expect to be doing, and just getting better as musicians and as human beings.” Small Source of Comfort, a reflection of Cockburn’s ever-expanding world of wonders, is the latest step in his creative evolution.

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Feb 10

State Theatre of Ithaca - Ithaca, NY

Mar 6

The Haunt - Ithaca, NY

with Little Daylight and Secret Someones

Mar 13

State Theatre of Ithaca - Ithaca, NY

Apr 11

The Hangar Theatre - Ithaca, NY

May 3

The Hangar Theatre - Ithaca, NY

- Social Updates -

BIG WEEK AHEAD! Friday: The Gunpoets with Dynamic Inkline at The Dock Saturday: Matuto with The Xskavators at The Haunt More new shows coming soon as well!

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P.O. BOX 736
Ithaca, NY 14851