Lamenting a Fallen Artist and Other Thoughts on Robert Randolph: Part 1

Robert Randolph

Nope, Robert Randolph isn’t dead.  He also didn’t retire or do some horrible thing essentially ending his career.  It’s just been a really long time since Randolph did anything to catch my attention, and believe me, I would really like Robert Randolph to catch my attention again.  So, why am I writing about him right now, you ask?  Randolph has been brought to my consciousness twice in the past several weeks pretty randomly.

First, Wes wrote his Public Service announcement piece on heckles, reminding me of the time I effectively heckled Robert Randolph into a top notch performance (more on that later).  The second was looking at the schedule for the Roots n’ Blues festival, and seeing Randolph lined up against Rosanne Cash, and deciding in my head there is no question I will see Cash if I make it to the festival.  So, Robert Randolph is on my mind.  Hit the jump for a brief history of my love affair, the fall, and how I single-handedly took a RR concert from a 3 to a 10.
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Public Service Announcement: Ticket Scalpers, You Are the Worst Kind of Human Being

ticket scalpers

We have all been there. Your favorite band is coming into town, and tickets go on sale at 9:00 AM on Friday morning. You are at your computer at 8:45 AM, just for good measure. is most likely, and most unfortunately, the place of purchase. At 8:55 AM you begin to refresh the webpage, just to make sure the ticket status has not been changed a few minutes early. At 8:56, you refresh again. 8:57, refresh, nothing. 8:58, refresh, still no change. Now is when it gets real: 8:59 AM. For the next 60 seconds, it is a go time! Refresh, load, nothing. Refresh, load, nothing. Refresh, load, nothing. Only 20 seconds have gone by since the clock struck 8:59, but it has felt like 2 hours. The process continues as your now sweaty palms begin to drip onto the keyboard and your heart palpitates wildly.

Finally, the time has come. You click that refresh icon, and something happens. The load wheel is spinning, the page is taking longer to load, and the clock now reads 9:00 AM. “This is it!”, you think to yourself. Your heart begins to race even faster. Spots begin to blur your vision as the excitement of seeing your favorite band for the first time becomes real. Your imagination runs wild with the thought of where your seats will be. “Surely I have to be in the front few rows,” you think to yourself. And why wouldn’t you be? You were there the moment the tickets went on sale! Not only are you proud of yourself, but the friend that you are also buying a ticket for is about to view you as a true hero. The page finally loads. The last five minutes have felt like five years, and all the life’s work you have put into those last “five years” begins to culminate as the text of the page slowly populates your screen. You try to calm yourself. You clear your vision to read the results of this stressful, laboring effort and here it is… “Sold Out!”
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Public Service Announcement: Your Heckles Aren’t That Clever

Statler and Waldorf

We started a new series of public service announcements last week for do’s and don’ts in concert-going, and we opened up with our biggest concert-going sin: the crowd surf.

To continue in my curmudgeonly ways, I want to denounce the artist heckle today. Yes, I realize I’m speaking to a largely inebriated group of people here, but more and more, I’m finding people say dumber and dumber stuff at shows. I’ve even seen heckling create sort of a strange and hostile atmosphere, especially when hecklers interrupt the actual music. I saw St. Vincent at the Riviera Theater earlier this year, and while people heckled throughout the set, it hit a weird breaking point when she played the very quiet “The Party” in her encore, and the audience got ugly as a few idiots were drowning out the music with their “clever” heckles. You also see artists like the Avett Brothers completely unplug for truly acoustic encores, and these are often soiled by this lousy audience behavior.

I have heard some very odd and amusing heckles lately. I recently heard someone shout “Incredibly talented” which was really weird and sincere, and “very enjoyable” which was just flat-out hilarious. I’m not saying the occasional heckle isn’t just perfect, but these are so few and far between it’s not worth it.

(say what you want about Kanye, but this is how hecklers should be dealt with)

While heckling certainly is a way bigger issue in the comedy world, it undoubtedly leaks into live music since there are drunken idiots everywhere. So to you folks think you just thought up some clever nugget to shout at a show, just hold it in. Don’t pollute the show.



Sci-Fi Rundown: It’s Shaping Up to be a Fun Summer


When not much new music is being released that I am interested in, I am forced to turn my attention to TV and Movies.  Therefore, any readers here are subjected to my current tastes.  Science Fiction and Fantasy fare is in these days, starting with Marvel coming into their own on the big screen and then Game of Thrones taking over televisions everywhere.  Science Fiction and Fantasy is no longer genre, but instead has forced its way into the mainstream.  So, it is fitting this summer has a lot of good Science Fiction coming out on television and in theaters.  Hit the jump for the most interesting of the bunch.
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5 Reasons Sirius XM Radio is Still Relevant and Better than Ever

Sirius XM Radio

Hot off a summer vacation with my family, I will be delivering a couple posts related to my time off. The first, being a minor epiphany and ongoing discussion we’ve had at LxL, about how Sirius XM (now 6 years since the merger of XM and Sirius radio) has really hit its full potential, and forms a wonderful alternative when you need a break mining your own musical library or your utilizing your streaming service. Here are five reasons Sirius XM has worked its way back into my heart.
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3 Great Things About “Turn Down For What”

Keep on keepin' on Lil' John.
Keep on keepin’ on Lil’ John.

I drive a lot for work.  And in the summer I drive a decent amount with my windows down.  With my windows down I am privy to hearing what a lot of people are listening to, as well as observe their reactions to whatever is blasting out of their stereo.  One song lately has been inescapable.  You know from the title of the post which song that is.  The thing is, I really like it.  It’s a shame “Turn Down For What” came out in 2013 or it would be knocking on the door of my top ten favorite tracks of 2014.  With all that said, hit the jump for three reasons I’m into this song.
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Amphitheaters Dying Breath


With the weather getting nicer outside, I thought it was time to see who would be coming to The Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis.  Or more appropriately, about 15 miles outside St. Louis.  This Amphitheater is a horrible place, due to parking and location, but I do still love a good show from the lawn.  You know, the type of show where no one pays attention to the opener, and then slowly settles into the main act.  The type of show where you have 10+ friends around to focus on the drinking with before any thoughts of music enter the equation.  Well, after checking the summer line-up for this particular Amphitheater, and then checking the line-ups for various other Amphitheaters, there is little doubt I won’t be enjoying the lawn this summer.
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