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Mike Dow

Mike Dow

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Wednesday, 05 September 2012 14:24

The other Boston Tea Party

In the mid 80s, a friend gave me a cassette containing live recordings of a February 1970 Fleetwood Mac performance (the original Fleetwood Mac - with Peter Green on guitar and lead vocals) recorded in Boston. The tape was labeled 'Live at the Boston Tea Party,' and to this day, that tape contains some of the best live rock recordings I've heard.

In those pre-internet days, information about The Boston Tea Party was hard to come by. That tape instilled an ongoing curiosity for me about the venue itself. Where was it? Who played there? What is currently occupying that space? That's where it gets a bit complicated.

Beginning in the early 1980s, actress Diane Franklin portrayed an array of diverse roles on the big and small screens. She was the innocent Karen in 'The Last American Virgin' in 1982.

Franklin famously portrayed Monique, the sexy French foreign exchange student who gave John Cusack the will to live in 'Better off Dead' (1985).

Shortly before stepping away from the spotlight as a new decade approached, Franklin appeared as Princess Joanna in 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.' Throughout the decade she appeared in episodes of 'Matlock,' 'Murder She Wrote' and 'Charles in Charge.'

Wednesday, 15 August 2012 11:55

Inside the Last Summer on Earth Tour

Featuring Barenaked Ladies, Blues Traveler, Big Head Todd and the Monsters and Cracker

This Sunday night, many concert-goers on the Bangor Waterfront will be partying like it's 1995, but for the bands involved in the tour dubbed Last Summer on Earth, it has less to do with nostalgia than it does hitting the road with old friends to give the audience some serious rock and roll bang for their buck.

In addition to a full set by headliners Barenaked Ladies, the tour includes sets by three other bands that rose to prominence in the 90s: Blues Traveler, Big Head Todd & The Monsters and Cracker.

When the tour was announced earlier this year, Barenaked Ladies' vocalist and guitarist Ed Robertson said, 'I love playing outside in the summertime. To travel and hang around with a bunch of bands, and get a chance to do some collaboration, is part of the magic of a summer tour.'

bringing smiles to chronically ill children

'The whole theme of the fund is to bring a smile to a child's face during those times when they have to undergo procedures,' says Lucille Koncinsky, grandmother of Brianna Rachel Koncinsky. 'The reason the fund exists this was her idea.'

Brianna was 6 years old when she lost her two year fight with brain cancer. Twelve years later, her spirit continues to make a powerful impact on the lives of people she never knew.

Shortly after her passing, Brianna's family established The Brianna Rachel Fund for Kids to assist with the non-medical needs of chronically ill and hospitalized children and their families.

Wednesday, 01 August 2012 15:10

Phish: focused ferocious fun on Chicago 94'

Following the release of last year's seven-disc box set 'Hampton/Winston-Salem '97,' which captured a pivotal funky moment in the evolution of Phish, another thematic archival release has arrived in the form of 'Chicago 94' (JEMP Records), featuring two stellar Phish performances recorded six months apart at Chicago's UIC Pavilion.

1994 was probably the busiest year Phish has ever seen. In March, Elektra Records released the band's fifth studio album, 'Hoist,' a record that helped Phish reach a wider audience with songs like 'Down with Disease,' 'Wolfman's Brother' and 'Sample In A Jar.' As drummer John Fishman told Richard Gehr in 'The Phish Book,' 'Both we and Elektra wanted to have something on the radio, so we tried to write a hit single. But we never committed ourselves to it totally.'

Wednesday, 25 July 2012 12:23

Gregg Allman 'such a wonderful life'

Gregg Allman is on the phone, and he's laughing as he recalls a trip to Maine with The Allman Brothers Band in the 90s. 'We were playing there and they took us out to this island,' he remembers. 'There was a 50 gallon drum full of lobsters and man, we partied let me tell you. We had boats and it was just a very memorable time.' When I asked if he could recall the approximate date of that visit, he thought about it for a few moments. 'It was probably the early 90s no, wait a minute. It was probably the later part of the 90s because I had already gotten clean and sober and that was in 1996. Man, we had a ball.'

When The Allman Brothers Band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, the ceremony was capped with the usual all-star jam session and after-party. Allman says his party began a week early technically, decades earlier. He recounts this story with vivid detail at the beginning of his new memoir 'My Cross to Bear' (William Morrow), written with journalist Alan Light.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012 14:26

New music: just the good stuff

2012 has been a good year for music so far. Here's a look at some of my favorites from the past few weeks.

Regina Spektor 'What We Saw From the Cheap Seats' Sire Records

Born in Russia and raised on classic 60s and 70s rock, Spektor moved to New York with her family at age 9 and soon began making up songs about her life and the world around her - a trait that the classically trained pianist has perfected over six albums.

Her best work to date, 'What We Saw From The Cheap Seats' offers instantly accessible, endlessly melodic songs that unfold with a mosaic of unique sounds. From the island-infused 'Don't Leave Me' to 'Oh Marcello,' which quotes The Animals' 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood,' 'Cheap Seats' is the sound of an artist at the top of her game.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012 12:16

A day in Mayberry

When Andy Griffith passed away last week at the age of 86, many of us felt like we'd lost a very good friend.

In its eight years (1960 1968) and 249 episodes, 'The Andy Griffith Show' provided much more than just laughter. Over 249 episodes, the show's writers came up with believable stories and characters that we cared about. Griffith reportedly paid very close attention to the scripts, and if anything appeared to be off the mark, it was changed before the episode was shot.

'The Andy Griffith Show' was never cartoonish, the laughs never cheap and the stories never preachy. It's a show that would never be given the green light today, and I think that's one of the secrets to its endurance. It was of its time, yet it remains timeless. In 30 minute doses, it offers an escape from the craziness of the modern world while also reminding us of the things that are truly important family, friends, honor and virtue.

BANGOR - Live music will fill the air in and around the Bangor Waterfront on Wednesday, July 4 during Chords For Cure VIII a benefit concert that guarantees attendees the best seat in town for the largest fireworks display in Maine.

Scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. at Waterfront Concerts Pavilion and continue up to the fireworks at 9:30 p.m., Chords For Cure will be headlined by The Stone Doctors, a group of medical professionals who perform note-perfect versions of classic material by The Rolling Stones. The band only performs for charity.

Orthopedic surgeon Ian Dickey of Bangor handles lead guitar and backing vocals for The Stone Doctors and says the rest of the band will arrive from Montreal a couple of days before the show. 'This will be our eighth Chords For Cure event and we're looking forward to a truly rocking and explosive event,' Dickey said during a recent appearance on The Mike and Mike Show.

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