Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Jazz Fest 2015: Club Passes on sale, October 24, plus venue changes announced

Abilene Bar and Lounge and Inn on Broadway replaced with new stage.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 4:00 AM

Club Passes for the 2015 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival will go on sale Friday, October 24, at 10 a.m., the festival announced today. Club Passes will sell for an early bird price of $174 (plus $6 service charge, $8 if mailed) until midnight on December 31. The price will then increase to $194 (plus service charges) until passes are sold out.

The Jazz Festival also announced venue changes to its 14th edition, which will take place June 19-27, 2015. A new combined Squeezer's Roots and Americana Stage will open on the second floor of the Sibley Building on Main Street, and will present two sets nightly, 7:45 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. The venue will replace the stages at Abilene Bar and Lounge and Squeezers at the Inn on Broadway.

Another new, unidentified major Club Pass venue, with a capacity of 1000 people, will host sets nightly from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. More details will be announced in November, the Jazz Festival said.

The 6 p.m. shows at the Rochester Regional Health System Big Tent will now be free and feature regional big bands. The 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows will still be $20 at the door or accessed with the Club Pass.

Two nights will be added to Harro East Ballroom, allowing the venue to be open the full nine days of the festival.

Club Passes will offer access to 234 Club shows at 13 venues across downtown Rochester during the 2015 edition of the Jazz Festival. Passes can be purchased online at rochesterjazz.com or by phone at 454-2060.

Update: Abilene management says it will continue on its own next year with the same national-level entertainment, under the same big tent during past Jazz Fests. There will be three nights booked, two shows nightly at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., $15 per show -- June 19, 20, and 21, 2015 -- and a late night band on the club’s indoor stage every night of the festival.

"We're appreciative of our past participation in XRIJF and are tremendously excited as we pursue a different path," said Abilene owner Danny Deutsch. -- BY FRANK DE BLASE

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Concert Review: The Empty Hearts at Sticky Lips Juke Joint

Posted By on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 4:00 AM

From my balcony perch at Sticky Lips Juke Joint during The Empty Hearts' positively packed show Tuesday night, it was as if I was staring into a boiling, balding caldron of Scorgie's remnants and black-clad bon vivants. All the kids were there. We're getting older, but still love our rock 'n' roll. And this was a fantastic show; a memorable show; the band's maiden voyage on stage anywhere. As this quartet continues to grow and time goes by, the amount of people that were at that show will grow like all the people -- "I was there, man" -- who claim to have been at Woodstock.

This was an event to be remembered and filed under "tough shit" if you missed it. The sound was big and beautiful and loud, and the band rocked boldly between sniper precision and a swaggering stroll. Yes, The Empty Hearts has staggering rock star pedigree and collectively a pile of instantly recognizable hits that, when wedged into the band's mostly original set, made the influence of The Cars, Blondie, and The Romantics a little more apparent. The Chesterfield Kings weren't represented sadly, but I did what I could, kids, and screamed "Richard Speck" half a dozen times.

The Kings' Andy Babiuk held the bottom end admirably while bounding around proudly; Blondie's Clem Burke swung mightily at the drums with a thundering blue collar ethic; The Cars' Elliot Easton was the master of classic big tone and lumbering cool; and The Romantics' Wally Palmer wailed and crooned while leading the charge. I love The Empty Hearts' CD and loved the show even more. If you had just strolled in off the street you would have thought "Hey, what a happenin' scene. Rochester is pretty cool." And I was there, man.

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Concert Review: Heavy Trash at Water Street

Posted By on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 4:00 AM

If you couldn't slow down and go down to the Heavy Trash low-down throw-down at Water Street Music Hall, then I'm here to rub it in. You missed a mondo killer rockabilly shock transmission from the very heart of primal rock 'n' roll. Direct from New York Cit-ay, Heavy Trash heaped on the sleaze just swimming in grease and reverb.

Like I've said before, Heavy Trash is more about the spark than the flame. Coming on like an Elvis Christ carnival barker, front man Jon Spencer proved to be essentially the same microphone-eating, wild-ass personae as when he fronts the Blues Explosion -- it's just that the Blues explosion is all about the detour and pioneering fresh mayhem. Heavy trash is a lot more rudimentary, drawing from the period when the stitches that held R&B, blues, and hillbilly boogie together still hadn't completely healed. Matt Verta Ray, of Speedball Baby fame, wielded his big guitar like a savage and show opener Bloodshot Bill danced with his upright bass like a drunken prom date. The whole show was sweltering and swinging culminating in Spencer raving and testifying from atop the bar. Have Mercy.

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My Gal Patsy: The Ultimate Tribute to Patsy Cline @ OFC Creations Theater Center

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