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Monday, Mar 31, 2014
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s pop sound probably won’t connect with the southern NASCAR demographic that favors country music, but it is connecting with the West Coast party people.

Indie pop duo Dale Earnhardt Jr.Jr. are on a North American headlining tour in support of their 2013 LP The Speed of Things, as well as a new mixtape titled Produce Vol. 1. But the group has no relation to racing or the iconic NASCAR driver of their namesake. The moniker is simply one of those oddball ideas that somehow seems to fit with the band’s experimentally eclectic sound.

The Detroit-based duo of Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott have caused great confusion for NASCAR fans in this regard, but they say they just wanted a name that wouldn’t come with any preconceived notions.

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Friday, Mar 28, 2014
Josh Ritter wrapped up the Winter leg of his acoustic tour with two shows in New York City.

When Ritter asked for the house lights to be turned off, leaving just the dim sconces lining the walls of Town Hall illuminated, he went into his heartbreaking tales, “The Curse”. Sniffles arose in the audience just audible enough over the solo performance Ritter was giving to let him know how affecting his music was. It was perhaps the highlight of the evening, the second to last show of Ritter’s Winter acoustic tour in a venue he lavished praise upon. The Idaho singer was joined by Colorado based Gregory Alan Isakov as the tour opener. These two singer-songwriters made a great match as performers. Isakov is touring on the release of his third album 2013’s The Weatherman, while Ritter mixed up his setlist a lot with material from his recent release The Beast in its Tracks alongside many of his older favorites and some covers. Soon Ritter will perform some new tunes for a Chicago audience before a few summer shows but for now check out the pictures and setlist below.

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Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014
The men of Umphrey's McGee did their best to triumph over the adverse conditions with a series of high-energy jams to get some good vibes going.

Many bands like to take some time off after a big New Year’s Eve run, such as the four nights that Umphrey’s McGee played in Denver to close out 2013. But these prog-rock road warriors seem to be on an endless tour, living to rock and rocking to live. Many of their fans will follow the band for a week or more, or at least catch multiple shows since the Chicago-based group has a huge repertoire that changes nightly. This also enables them to tour more heavily than standard rock acts who play the same set night after night.

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Thursday, Mar 20, 2014
Melt Yourself Down create a wild, psychedelic party with not one but two face-melting saxophone players.

Melt Yourself Down‘s New York City debut took place at Piano’s and though one might think six musicians on a small stage would be cramped, the tiny space was well-suited for the band’s style. MYD are not hesitant to wade into the crowd. Founder and saxophonist Pete Wareham and the saxophonist on the other side of the stage, Shabaka Hutchings were both sweating within the audience at different points throughout the band’s set. Kushal Gaya, the band’s main vocalist is the most eager (and the most unencumbered) to be a part of the audience, releasing his pent up energy within the crowd mic in hand. Like Red Baraat, MYD are an instant party, attuned to the global sound.

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Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014
Not all burlesque shows are fortunate enough to be winners. In New York, Doc Wasabassco holds the trump card.

The Wasabassco Family Striptease ‘70s Variety Hour is the full name of the latest themed burlesque production from Doc Wasabassco. But this time, Doc didn’t take credit for putting together the excellent show. One of his troupe has proven to be the trump card. That impresario is Nasty Canasta and she prepared, hosted and danced in the hilarious, fixating and titillating show.

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