TOMORROW! Thursday, October 17 I Nik Turner (of Hawkwind) – Denver, Colorado
Hawkwind are the kings of UK “space rock” which is a driving, hard-rocking version of psychedelia. Formed in November 1969, Hawkwind have gone through many incarnations but Nik Turner was one of the original members and certainly one of the most memorable. Turner plays saxophones, flute, sings and is a composer and while with Hawkwind, Turner was known for his experimental free jazz stylisations and outrageous stage presence, often donning full makeup and Ancient Egypt-inspired costumes.
He originally approached the band offering his services as roadie, given that he owned a van and was a fan. Once the band found out that he played saxophone, however, he was recruited into the fold. He was a member of the band during their most commercially successful and critically acclaimed period, writing or co-writing some of their most popular songs such as “Brainstorm” and “Master of the Universe.” However, complaints about his playing over other members of the band despite numerous requests to modify his behaviour eventually led to his dismissal in November 1976.
In 1982 during the recording of Choose Your Masques, founding member Dave Brock invited Turner to the recording sessions and he was asked to front the band for the album’s tour. Turner’s second stint in the band lasted just over two years and although some live albums and videos were released, the band did not undertake any studio recording. At the end of 1984 while preparing material for The Chronicle of the Black Sword album, he was fired once again.
Since then, Turner has been involved with a number of projects including Sphynx, Inner City Unit, Nik Turner’s Fantastic All-Stars, Galacticos and Space Ritual. All share the tripped-out, heavy, forward thinking approach that Hawkwind is known for, so Hawkwind fans are sure to dig Nik’s performance happening tomorrow night at the legendary Lion’s Lair in Denver, Colorado. Amazingly, there are still some tickets available right over here.
Friday, October 18 I True Sounds of Liberty – San Diego, California
In the early years of Los Angeles punk, one of the premiere hardcore bands was T.S.O.L., which stood for True Sounds of Liberty. The band was formed in Long Beach in 1978 and offered poppier music than many of their contemporaries. They also where known for sporting an image that appealed to punks who wanted to dive deeper into the gothic subgenre already being offered by many British punk bands, T.S.O.L. became hugely popular on the local scene but never translated that success to national exposure because of their ever-shifting lineup and sound.
The band did appear in the cult film Suburbia, a fictional story that revolves around the LA punk scene of the early 80s. The film featured many members of the actual LA punk scene and was many young punks first exposure to punk rock, including this BPT blogger. Their portion of the film is below.
Original singer Jack Grisham left after two studio albums: Dance With Me and Beneath the Shadows. The band got a new singer and started to incorporate a more hard rock/heavy metal sound and look, much to the chagrin of their original fans. But, in 1999, the original lineup began playing shows and releasing new material.
Now, 34 years later, after breakups, makeups, live records, and legal fees, one thing remains the same… These guys put on a hell of a show. Asked to describe on their Facebook page what they sound like, Jack Grisham offers this: “You might as well describe what it looks like to bleed, sh*t, puke, or p*ss.”
This is a rare opportunity to see one of the few bands from the original LA hardcore scene that’s still in action, boasting most of the original lineup. They’ll be appearing at The Shakedown in San Diego, California this Friday, October 19 and there are a few tickets left so pick ’em up, lace up those Doc Martens and we’ll see you in the pit!
** WARNING! This clip contains language that may be offensive to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised. **
Saturday, October 19 I Lee Fields & The Expressions – Arden, Delaware
There aren’t too many artists making soul music today who had a release in 1969, back when R&B was first beginning to give the drummer some. Lee Fields, however, is one such artist, or maybe he’s better labeled a phenomenon. Since the late sixties, the North Carolina native has amassed a prolific catalog of albums and has toured and played with such legends as Kool and the Gang, Sammy Gordon and the Hip-Huggers, O.V Wright, Darrell Banks, and Little Royal. With a career spanning 43 years, releases on twelve different record labels, and having toured the world over with his raucous-yet-tender voice, it’s mind-blowing that the music he’s making today with Brooklyn’s own Truth & Soul Records is the best of his career.
With a catalogue that ranges from James Brown-style funk to lo-fi blues to contemporary Southern soul to collaborations with French house DJ/producer Martin Solveig, Lee Fields has done it all. Today, with The Expressions, Truth & Soul’s house band, Lee Fields continues to evolve, enmeshed into the group’s sweeping, string-laden, cinematic soul sound. Their latest full-length, Faithful Man, released in March 2012 on Truth & Soul, was called “one smoking mother of an old-sound soul record” by Pitchfork and Vice magazine called Lee the “coolest motherf*cker to sing words into a microphone.”
Since the release of Faithful Man, Lee Fields & The Expressions have been touring the world and racking up accolades from critics and fans alike. Lee Fields was featured on Last Call With Carson Daly and has toured the world over, gaining new fans and satisfying old ones. Highlights include opening slots for The Black Keys, Pretty Lights, and Wilco. Performing in front on 7000 people at Rosklide, 10,000 people at Red Rocks, and sold out shows in New York, San Francisco, Los Angles, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Montreal, Austin, Houston, New Orleans and many more.
“In a curious case of musical evolution, the older Fields becomes, the closer he gets to perfecting the sound of soul that he grew up with as a young man.” So said music writer, scholar and DJ Oliver Wang about Fields in a piece for NPR in July 2009.