BRAVE NEW WORLD: Corporate America and music have long been uneasy bedmates. Usually, the corporate tour sponsor is primarily willing to take a chance on rock stars who have proven themselves capable of selling out larger venues such as arenas and stadiums. Among those in the how-much-money-do-you-need-anyway category are Elton John, The Rolling Stones and The Who.
How refreshing, therefore, to learn that the richest man in America is paying homage to his own garage roots by co-sponsoring the "Transmissions from Space" tour. Yes, Microsoft and World Domination have teamed-up to bring you three Seattle bands: Sky Cries Mary, Sweet 75 and Hovercraft. Microsoft will be demonstrating a new technology--CD Plus--during the tour. Concert goers will have the opportunity to experience CD Plus themselves via a specially designed interactive kiosk that will travel with the tour. This new technology integrates music, video, graphics and sound onto the same compact disc.
The seven-member techno-ambient rock band Sky Cries Mary was formed in 1987 and is known for incredibly visual performances which incorporate light shows, film and elaborate costumes. They made cyberhistory a year ago by being the first band ever to perform a live concert (via real-time video and sound broadcast) over the Internet, beating out The Rolling Stones, who followed suit a few days later.
Their newest release, This Timeless Turning, has been described by CMJ as "Early Trangerine Dream-meets-David Gilmour...haunting, trance-inducing...." Whatever they are, they're definitely a marked departure from what most of us identify as the Seattle sound.
Sky Cries Mary has just completed a full CD Plus title for Windows 95, being one of the first artists to take advantage of this new technology. They will also be working with the company to broadcast the tour over the Internet at http://www.eden.com/cdplus and http://rocktropolis.com/skycriesmary following each show. Given the band's desire to explore new technology, this corporate sponsorship seems to be a bit more of a natural pairing.
Krist Novaselic's new band, Sweet 75, and Beth Vedder's band, Hovercraft, are slated to open this electronic gizmo fest at 9 p.m. Sunday, November 19, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Arrive early to interact, explore or just enjoy a lot of new music. Tickets are $6.
DAWG DAY: On Friday, November 17, KXCI presents The David Grisman Quintet at 8 p.m. at the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway, at the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind. Grisman is recognized as the world's leading mandolinist and has played with many musical legends in his life, including jazz violin great Stephane Grappelli and the late Jerry Garcia. The New York Times once called Grisman "The Paganini of the mandolin."
His most recent release, Dawganova, debuts a new member, Argentine guitar master Enrique Coria. The sultry sounds of Argentina, Mexico, Cuba and Brazil are all found on this album, due in part to the addition of Coria. Grisman seamlessly weaves his own original style with traditional Latin rhythms, moving from playful and upbeat to romantically rendered compositions. Dawganova features his current quintet and the group that will perform in Tucson.
All seating is reserved, with tickets ranging from $15 to $19. They'll be $3 more at the door, so fetch them in advance from Hear's Music, Loco Records, Mars-Hall, Zips at Speedway and KXCI. For credit card orders and information, call 623-1000.
LAST NOTES: On Thursday, November 16, Capricorn recording artists The Freddy Jones Band and Sonia Dada land at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave. The band's newest release, North Avenue Wake Up Call, is as solid a straight-up rock experience as they come. Special guest The Badlees open the show at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8 and are available at all Zia locations. Call 629-9211 for information.
Since the release of their stunning debut album, a lot of people have been making a point of seeing The Drakes perform live. In case you've yet to see one of their shows, here's a prime opportunity. Sharing the bill are Zero Hour artists 22 Brides, on the road to promote their new album Beaker. The vocal performances on the album are quite enchanting, and for $2 you just can't go wrong on this one.
The show begins at 9 p.m. Friday, November 17, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Call 622-8848 for information.
On Wednesday, November 22, former 10,000 Maniacs lead vocalist Natalie Merchant takes the stage at the TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Tigerlily, Merchant's first solo album, represents a second start in her musical career. Merchant spent several months writing and gathering material before assembling this new group of musicians to record her album. The Innocence Mission opens the show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 and $23 in advance, $20 and $24 day of show. Call the TCC box office, 791-4266, for information.
Green Day is scheduled to play the TCC Arena on Monday, December 11. Tickets are only $15 and are available at all Dillard's outlets. To charge by phone call (602) 678-2222 or (800) 638-4253.
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