Boston Pops' Keith Lockhart: "A Conductor Is a Lot Like a Football Coach"

Photo by Stu Rosner
Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart, with his game face on.

"A conductor is a lot like a football coach," explains Keith Lockhart, conductor of the Boston Pops.

Football comes up a lot in the conversation, probably because his beloved New England Patriots are days away from playing in the Super Bowl but also because of what he sees as obvious similarities.

"I'm the person who calls the plays. I help keep a solid beat and get people 75 feet apart to be synchronized. You can say, 'Who needs a conductor?' But you can also say, 'Who needs a football coach?' until you see the players running in 11 different directions."

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Inner Circle on Culture Room Show: "Gonna Give Them That Jamaica Heat"

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Inner Circle and Chronixx

The late, great Jacob "Killer" Miller said, "Dreadlocks can't live in a tenement yard." He was sick of nosy neighbors messing with his vibe. Just as the world could relate to his words then, it still can today.

That's why Inner Circle has made the song "Tenement Yard" a hit once again, teaming up with Chronixx, the 22-year-old son of reggae singer Chronicle and recent Tonight Show musical guest.

Inner Circle is a group of reggae pioneers, going back to the original birth of the sound. By the time they made hits of "Bad Boys" and "Sweat (A La La La La Long)" they'd already been in the game 20 years. And now they're coming to a club near you, Culture Room, with Spred the Dub, Wraps N Kush, and Bushwood. Here's what founding bass player Ian Lewis said about how the band first met Jacob Miller, making music, and legalizing marijuana.

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Stand for Your Glands: All-Ages Show to Raise Funds for Pancreatic Cancer Research

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The Thieving Hand

One year ago, 16-year-old dynamo Casey McBane's father passed away from complications related to pancreatic cancer. At 53 years old, James McBane died young, but he won't be forgotten. His son organized a tribute show and charity event planned for this Friday, titled Stand for Your Glands. The oddly titled party features seven stellar local and regional acts, and all proceeds will be donated to the Lustgarten Pancreatic Foundation. This nonprofit organization is the nation's largest private funder of pancreatic cancer research. The most lethal cancer, it's known as the silent killer. After a diagnosis, only 6 percent of these cancer patients survive longer than five years.

McBane tells us he's proud that all the money from his event is going directly to research. "This has been a difficult year for my family. I wouldn't want anyone to have to go through what we went through."

Months after his father's passing, McBane found solace in going to all-ages shows, particularly ones held at Anonymous Guitars. It is at this custom guitar shop and music venue where McBane became a regular. He started booking shows and met all the seven bands on this evening's bill. And it's where he planned this fundraiser. "I gathered the most talented bands I could find to perform. I'm so lucky they all agreed to participate," he said.

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Galactic at Hollywood ArtsPark: "A New Orleans Throw Down"

Photo by Zack Smith

A group of college kids with a passion for jammin' and a desire to funk -- that's how NOLA's funkmeisters Galactic got their start in the music biz nearly two decades ago.

"We were all, myself, Rob [Mercurio, bassist], Jeff [Raines, guitarist], and Stanton [Moore, drummer], in school in New Orleans around the same time," recalls keyboardist Rich Vogel. (Harps and horns player Ben Ellman joined later.) "We were all kinda in the clubs checking out music and learning about the local music scene."

Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, "home of the funk," Vogel jokes, the keys player moved to the Big Easy to study history and music at Layola University. A "historically informed funk musician" at heart, he fell head over heels in love with the sounds of the city.

"I used to hear them [Rob, Jeff, and the rest of the jam crew] play at house parties and dirty little bar gigs. At one point, I struck up a conversation and said, 'Hey, I think you need a keyboard player,' and they said something like, 'Do you think it should be you?' I said, 'Yes, definitely!' They said, 'Come over.' 

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Revenge of the Tiki IV Is Back After Three-Year Hiatus

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Michelle Woofter
Jangle Leg's revenge.

Fear not, greaser guys and gals. After a three-year absence, Revenge of the Tiki IV will be in full swing Saturday at Kreepy Tiki Lounge, with plenty of grub, hot rods, and a more guitar action than is proper to experience in one day.

Promoter Rob Stannard and Kreepy Tiki Tattoo owner Jackson Valiente started the festival in 2009 at the space when it was known as the Monterey Club. They noticed something missing in the Fort Lauderdale vintage scene. "There wasn't a lot of it going on down here with the car culture and the bands, so we wanted to put it all together: live music, people vending vintage things, and vintage cars," Stannard says.

Monterey closed in 2011, and since the spot reopened as the Kreepy Tiki Lounge in January 2014, Stannard has been jonesing to resurrect this massive bash. And, of course, to celebrate properly with Kreepy Tiki's new full liquor bar.

See also: Monterey Club Reopens at Same Spot, January 18

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Keller Williams: "Nothing Is Prerecorded; Everything Is Live"

C.Taylor Crothers

Musician Keller Williams came from some humble beginnings. Before becoming a singer, he did construction work for a temp agency. However, Williams soon came to a revelation. "I realized," he said, "I could make more money sitting on a bar stool, drinking beer, and singing." And that's where it all started, folks.

Known for his "looping" technique, covers, and solo performances, Williams has a style all his own. Think of his songs as funky, cool, bluegrassy electronic jams that you can't find on the radio.

Before his stop at Revolution Live this weekend, we spoke with the groovy singer about the story behind naming his music "jazzfunkraggaelectronicagrass," his radio show, and more.

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Merle Haggard, Last of Country's Outlaws, Heads to Parker Playhouse (Update!)

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Sayre Berman
Merle opening for Willie Nelson at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood

UPDATE: The show was canceled on Monday, January 26, due to transportation issues.

Merle Haggard's path to success as a venerable living legend of country music has been marked by periods of incarceration, drug abuse, and enough marriages to fill one hand's count. In other words, the right path for anyone embarking on a successful country music career.

Born in Oildale, California, the "Hag's" first musings on the guitar were by himself and without instruction, a detail that surely aided in the development of his distinctive style and eventual alignment with the outlaw movement. Never one to follow country's trends, Haggard has been outspoken about country music's current state.

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KISS 99.9 FM's Chili Cookoff: The Ultra Music Festival of Country Music

Categories: Concert Preview

Michele Eve Sandberg
This is one crazy party.

There'll be a huge gathering in Pembroke Pines on Sunday. It's not church-related, but people will line up religiously the morning of, as early as 1 a.m., to get a prime spot. This will lead them to tailgate and worship at the altar of their trunks with kegs as their holy communion.

If people actually make it to the concert, shouts of "Hallelujah!" will ring throughout C.B. Smith Park. It's pretty miraculous when folks shooting Fireball all night long are still standing when the sun comes up.

This, dear friends, will be the scene at the annual KISS Country 99.9 FM Chili Cookoff.

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Bonnie Riot Debuts "Backbone" on New Times and Celebrates With Three Album Release Parties

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Ethan Dangerwing
It's a Bonnie thing.

On the surface, it may have seemed like garage-rocking punk troupe Bonnie Riot was out of commission last year. But judging by the feisty, full-throttle brashness of the Lake Worth four-piece's newest release, Backbone, it looks as if it just diverted all its energy into crafting a perfectly raucous follow-up album. The brainchild of lead vocalist Milly La Madrid and guitarist Luis Sanabria, Bonnie Riot formally took shape in 2009, playing plenty of shows and putting out its eponymous power-punk debut EP in 2013.

Today, New Times is debuting the first single, the title track, off Backbone. It's a song that has personal significance for La Madrid, the group's principal lyricist. "Whenever I feel weak or feel like people are trying to walk all over me, I remind myself to have a backbone and stay positive," she says.

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The Bridge Remembers Bloody Sunday With Jazz Music

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Courtesy of Pompano Beach Arts

It's hard to believe that 50 years ago, in 1965, African-Americans were fighting for their rights. It's even harder to believe today in 2015, that while a lot has changed, racism and the racial divide continue to permeate much of American society. That however, is the subject for another day.

But back to 1965. In an incident that would become known as "Bloody Sunday," a galvanizing point in the Civil Rights movement, peaceful protesters en route to Montgomery were attacked by police officers and white supremacists on what is currently known as the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. This bridge, now a Historical National Landmark, is named after Edmund Pettus, a lawyer, politician, and distinguished officer of the Confederate forces during the Civil War. Most famously, though, he was a Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon of the Realm of Alabama after the war while seated in the nation's Senate. The irony of this connection couldn't be less subtle -- you can't make this stuff up, folks.

An unlikely group of jazz musicians has banded together for a performance of The Bridge, which remembers this incident. It's billed as a "musical reminder of those who, 50 years ago, fought for the Civil Rights that today are so often taken for granted."

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