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Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014
The free, traveling 'Evolution Tour' put together by Mercedes-Benz launched in New York with a performance from Alabama Shakes and some interactive art from Mr. Brainwash.

New York has been host to countless corporate-sponsored shows in just the past few months which in turn means there is an air of exclusivity to the event with the possibility of celebrity-spotting and obtaining giveaways (knowledge of the band isn’t the primary draw). Mercedes-Benz’s ‘Evolution Tour’ was one of the most recent but instead of a one-off, this invite-only series is touring and will head to Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Washington D.C. following the NYC show. Although the specific acts for each date have not been announced what is known is the headliners would be either Alabama Shakes, Mayer Hawthorne or Young the Giant. Other DJ’s and acts may be involved, with Questlove of the Roots gracing the decks in New York.


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Friday, Jul 18, 2014
Little Daylight have the enthusiasm of Chvrches and the infectiousness of Charli XCX which turns one listen of their debut into several repeats.

The Little Daylight trio Nikki Taylor, Matt Lewkowicz, and Eric Zeiler (plus a fourth member for the show) celebrated the release of their debut album Hello Memory on July 15th at a sold out Mercury Lounge show. The band had recently opened for Au Revoir Simone at Brooklyn Bowl but they had a funny story to share about an early performance at the Mercury Lounge. Taylor spoke of them booking the gig under an alias so they could test out their material but somehow people got the wrong belief Phoenix would be performing so the venue packed with folks. Te ruse was still successful in the end however, everyone had fun. Now Little Daylight were back with an opening set from their friends Stationary Set, whom they shared a bill with recently.


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Thursday, Jul 17, 2014
When you live in a cutting-edge state where marijuana is legal, it’s easy to forget how far behind so much of America still is.
Photo courtesy of Gregory M. Schwartz


With marijuana having been legalized in Colorado and Washington state, there were activists who decided it was high time to go for legalization in the nation’s capital. Hence, the D.C. Cannabis Campaign was launched this spring to collect the signatures to get Voter Initiative #71 on the fall ballot in the District of Columbia.


When members of the campaign feared that they might not obtain the 22,373 valid signatures from registered District voters by the 7 July deadline, organizers sought to bring in reinforcements from afar. A handful of activists from California and other distant states soon took up residence at the campaign’s headquarters on Embassy Row to help push the initiative over the top.


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Thursday, Jul 17, 2014
A holiday Panic show provides the intrepid traveler with another flashing chance at bliss amidst the economic chaos that passes for the dwindling American Dream in 2014.

When legendary journalist Hunter S. Thompson visited Las Vegas in the early ‘70s to report on a district attorneys’ conference on narcotics, he wound up penning a soliloquy for Rolling Stone magazine on the California counterculture revolution of the ‘60s that still resonates decades later:


“There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning… And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave… So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.”


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Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014
Andrew Bird's newest album Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of... features covers of the Handsome Family that were brought to life at Summerstage.

After Luke Temple, of Here We Go Magic, opened to a crowd that had already reached the venue’s capacity Andrew Bird started off his Summerstage show with three solo offerings before bringing out his backing band. The troupe called The Hands of Glory performed with Bird for the rest of his lengthy set reimagining his originals (draw from nearly a dozen albums) and some covers, mainly those from Bird’s most recent album, Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of… consisting entirely of songs originally by The Handsome Family. This backing band included regular collaborators Tift Merritt, Kevin O’Donnell and a few others and they gave Bird a country nest from which to perform though there was a couple chances for him to go on one of his more abstract, whistling journeys. A fine performance for the outdoor venue on an evening that remained undisturbed by rain.


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