The Revivalists’ Rob Ingraham Goes Hilariously In-Depth About TODAY Show Experience

first_imgNeo-soul group The Revivalists have a lot to look forward to, as the New Orleans band gets geared up for the Jazz Fest season. Touring on the heels of their recently released Men Amongst Mountains, the band had a unique opportunity last week, when they performed “Wish I Knew You” on The TODAY Show.The Revivalists’ Guide To Surviving Jazz FestWe reached out to the band to hear about their national television debut, and luckily saxophonist Rob Ingraham had planned to write about it all along. Ingraham is the chosen one who keeps up with The Revivalists Tour Blog, which he updates sporadically with stories from the road. A group of seven young men facing the world from their car seats, chasing dreams down the highway, and rightfully landing themselves in places like The TODAY Show are of the monumental stories you will read. The most recent post, “THEY LET US KEEP THE CLOTHES/A STUDY IN PURPLE,” was published on the day of Prince’s death. Enjoy “THEY LET US KEEP THE CLOTHES/A STUDY IN PURPLE,” by Rob Ingraham:Studio 1A, Rockefeller Center, New York, NY. Tuesday, April 12, 2016. 8:30 AM.We take up entirely too much space.It’s not really our fault. We’re a seven-piece band. There isn’t much we could do short of firing someone. Our actual dressing room, a 5’x5′ nook with two chairs and four coat hangers through a door across from one of the makeup stations, can barely accommodate our jackets and backpacks. As is our custom, we have spilled into the common area between all of the various dressing rooms. This is the crossroads, the Great Nexus, the place where all paths converge. Hoda Kotb breezes through the common area and into make-up, easing her pace just long enough to look us over and remark that we “look like trouble.” A few minutes later, she wafts back through the room singing “Love Will Keep Us Together” in honor of Toni Tennille, who has finished her interview and is in her own 5’x5′ nook with two chairs and four coat hangers through a door across from one of the makeup stations waiting for a car to arrive. On my way back from the part of the room where there are bagels, a cameraman waves me through an interview with a woman whom I only later realize had been controversial former NAACP chapter president Rachel Dolezal. At one point, a production assistant approaches us:P.A.: “Are you all with keeping up?”Revs: “[collective hesitation, general confusion]”P.A.: “‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians?’”They didn’t have enough 5’x5′ nooks with two chairs and four coat hangers through doors across from the makeup stations for all of their guests, so “Justified” star Timothy Olyphant and the “second-chance” shelter dogs from the ASPCA both have to make do with sections of the grand foyer just outside of the common area that have been partitioned off with black sheets hanging from tall metal frames. It’s like an off-puttingly cheery version of a scene from a World War II movie at the triage station of a makeshift hospital in a shelled-out cathedral.The program is scheduled down to the minute. At 3:30 AM, our anointed two-man crew heroically ventures to Studio 1A to touch base with the production team and begin setting up our gear. At 5:15 (which, as a rare, bitter twist, is too early for hotel breakfast), we amble over and finish setting up. At the prompting of the ground-level studio’s stage manager, we perform a brief sound check and rehearse an abridged version of “Wish I Knew You” in the gaps between live segments. After this we have an hour or two to nap, eat, or just sort of take up space somewhere and try to make sense of it all. I return to our hotel, a mercifully short walk away, and spend the time doing a crossword puzzle (my new morning ritual when we stay in hotels that stock complimentary copies of USA Today). At 8:00, I get dressed. From the waist down I am wearing clothes I brought with me, and from the waist up I am wearing clothes chosen for me by Robyn Victoria, our stylist for the day.Come to think of it, the most surreal aspect of this whole experience may very well have been the stylist. Not that there was anything particularly odd or unbelievable about Robyn, or her assistant, Jeremiah- they were just two hip young folks who, over the course of about about thirty minutes per band member and armed with two large racks of apparel in an already economically sized hotel room, did a fantastic job of making us look like crisper, more cohesive versions of ourselves. The surreality came from the simple fact that we had a stylist at all. On Saturday, we were playing a frat party in Auburn. On Monday, we were flying into New York early to meet with our stylist. I like to act all cool and unflappable whenever possible, but how could I not be flapped by this?Which brings us back to the beginning of the story. By 8:30, we are all in the common nexus of the green room area, eating bagels and ducking through other people’s interviews and taking up too much space and answering production assistants’ questions with puzzled stares. At some point during this nebulous period we are summoned two or three at a time to makeup, where skilled tradespeople use powdered brushes to disguise the fact that we’re all running on about four hours of sleep. At 10:00 we return to the studio and set our instruments back onto marked positions on the floor, pausing briefly so Kourtney Kardashian can sit down with Kathie Lee and Hoda to talk about a new line of smoothies and the status of her relationship with her sometime-partner Scott Disick (they’re not currently together, but they’re on good terms and they just went on a nice vacation with their children).If, throughout the whole Today experience, I had taken a sip of beer every time I thought to myself “is this real life?” I’d have been too drunk to stand come performance time.At 10:20 Zack and Dave give a brief interview. During the following commercial break, we do a final run-through of the song. At 10:38 (pushed up from 10:48), we do the thing. Our phones explode. The internet trembles. We pack up our gear and decamp from the common area of the green room. We have a celebratory meal nearby with some close friends and a few representatives of our management posse. I curse myself for forgetting to stop in the Nintendo store next to the studio. By 2:30 PM, we and our things are smushed into two SUVs bound for LaGuardia. Two hours later, we’re in the sky, heading home. All told, our trip to New York will amount to roughly twenty-four hours.In the end, despite the vague sense of pressure, the rough hours (even rougher on the real heroes of this story: our crew), and the intimidating, down-to-the-minute schedule, our first foray into national television was a pretty fun adventure. The on-screen personalities at The Today Show were all very good at making us feel at ease, and the behind-the-scenes staff were utterly remarkable in their efficiency, professionalism, and geniality. Plus, it was just kind of cool to get swept up in the pace of this huge, incredible machine and to see what it’s like being a small part of a massive system.These days, most of our shows are just that- our shows- in the sense that when we headline a club, for a brief time our music and our performance becomes the center of a tiny universe. Not that this is a particularly good attitude for any professional to have, but to some degree, if we’re behind schedule, the world is behind schedule. If our time is up but the audience begs for more music, we can play more music. The house lights stay down. The bar stays open. The more we grow as a band, the more things flex and move to accommodate us. Our time on Today was an enjoyable reminder that we, not just as musicians, but as people, are part of a much greater ecosystem; one to which we owe both deference and stewardship.Wardrobe: 5/5Catering: 4/5Hosts: 5/5Crew: 10/5Hours: 3/5Unexpected Philosophical Implications: Numbers are just like, a construct, man…/5Accommodations: 5/5Overall Rating: 5/5 would recommend to others. Special thanks to tastemaker and erstwhile New Orleanian Elvis Duran for showing us so much love.EDIT: Well, shit. I wrote this entry this morning, left my house for a few rehearsals, and by the time I got back home to edit and post it, Prince was dead. What a year. So many heroes are gone. As with David Bowie, part of what I always found inspiring about Prince was how he never compromised. He was perfection personified. Not many people ever have as much control over their own worlds as he did, and even fewer actually manage to do anything good with that kind of authority. Prince was a hundred-year-storm of talent, drive, grace, and authenticity. To paraphrase a quote from Picasso: If he had been a soldier, he would have become a general. If he had been a monk, he would have become the Pope. Instead, he was a musician, and became Prince.Sleep well. Thank you for showing us the way.——————————————————————————————————If you haven’t already, check out the song Rob and David Shaw co-wrote for David Bowie after his passing. Also, watch some of The Revivalists’ most recent tributes to Prince, which will surely continue in the months to come.You can catch the septet performing live in their own city during Jazz Fest both at the fairgrounds and during the late-night shenanigans. While they are scheduled to play the Orpheum Theatre with Vulfpeck and The Soul Rebels on Saturday, April 23, at 9pm (tickets) and at the Gentilly Stage on Friday, April 29 at 3:40pm (tickets), you never know where else the guys will show up masking the spirit of Jazz Fest-ivities. [Photo via The Revivalists Facebook]last_img read more

Bob Weir & Phil Lesh Open First-Ever Duo Tour At Radio City Music Hall [Videos]

first_imgLast night, after months of excitement and speculation as to what fans could expect, Bob Weir and Phil Lesh opened their 6-date Bobby & Phil Duo Tour with their first of two performances at New York’s iconic Radio City Music Hall.Going into this performance, nobody was entirely sure what to expect. Would they play acoustic or electric? Would they invite out any special guests? What would the songs we know and love sound like played by just these two? The only other real basis for expectations was the pair’s Super VIP performance at LOCKN‘ last year, and that “very special hour” featured only two songs of just Bobby & Phil before Joe Russo and various others joined them for the remainder of that set, so this new project represented relatively uncharted waters.Lesh and Weir began to answer those questions when they emerged for an “Uncle John’s Band” opener, with Weir on acoustic and Lesh on his go-to 6-string Alembic bass. They were joined by percussionist Wally Ingram, who would come and go from the stage throughout the night adding tastefully subtle rhythmic texture while keeping the focus on Bobby & Phil.That focus on the two men in front would prove to be a theme of the performance, as it will no doubt be a theme of this brief tour. While Bobby spoke about “special guests” when originally announcing the shows, Ingram was the only other person to join him and Lesh on night one. And while rumors of heavy-hitting sit-ins were abundant pre-show, the response to the lack of guests on night one was overwhelmingly positive. Guests wouldn’t have felt right at this special performance. A deviation from the celebration of this pair’s decades-long musical partnership would have been out of place. On this night, all eyes were rightfully on Phil Lesh and Bob Weir. (That said, there’s always tonight…)After taking a few minutes to get their footing during “Uncle John’s Band”, the two settled in on “Operator”, Phil’s noticeably stronger-than-usual vocals leading the way. After a brief moment of banter in which Weir mused about how “every one of these tunes means something different to each person,” Bobby led the duo through a slow-and-steady “Ramble On Rose”, the audience audibly singing along throughout.After noting that “this next song has been really good to all of us,” the duo shared vocal duties on “Friend of the Devil”. Next, Bobby told a short story about the sounds he would hear from Pigpen‘s room when the late founding Grateful Dead member was entertaining his girlfriend. While the story itself didn’t amount to much, hearing Bob Weir do his best impression of Pig’s lady—a girl named Janis [Joplin]—(“Daddy! Daddy!”) proved to be one of the more amusing moments of the evening.A beautiful “Bird Song” came next, with Phil handling the vocal duties impressively. That was followed by a rendition of “He’s Gone” which the two built methodically into an interesting, pulsing jam. Next, Phil pleaded, “Tell me a story, Bobby.” Weir acquiesced as he traded out his acoustic guitar for his Stratocaster, telling a story of a summer he spent writing on a ranch in Wyoming. He was having writer’s block and needed to find an inspirational vision, so he set off on a hike in the mountains. As he explained, “It came to me…I just don’t fuckin’ know what I’m looking for here. But I gotta keep at it.” As he finished, he made the connection between that aimless Wyoming hike and the “Lost Sailor”/”Saint of Circumstance” that followed to close the set (“Sure don’t know what I’m going for/Sure don’t know/But I’m gonna go for it for sure”).The duo returned for their second set with “Loose Lucy”, with Bobby back on the acoustic to help thank the fans for a “real good time” all these years. “Peggy-O” followed and provided one of the night’s most memorable musical highlights, as Phil availed himself admirably on lead vocals and the two played off each other to emotionally moving effect.After attempting and promptly aborting another story, the duo moved into “Me and My Uncle”. Next, Bobby once again strapped on his Strat as Phil led them through a bittersweet “Mountains of the Moon” which eventually fluttered into a well-received reprise of the “Bird Song” from set one. “Let It Grow” followed and featured some remnants of “Bird Song” in its winding jam before eventually moving into Bob Dylan‘s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” and, finally, a set-closing “Not Fade Away” featuring a hot, impassioned blues jam.Phil came back out first after the encore break for his usual Donor Rap, also taking time to speak about the recent shooting in Parkland, FL and encourage all those in attendance to register to vote and “vote the motherfuckers out,” an appeal which was met with thunderous applause. A “Box of Rain” encore sent the audience back into the damp New York chill.With one show down, the Bobby & Phil duo tour has come further into focus. The two will get some rhythmic assistance from Wally Ingram, Weir will make use of both his acoustic and electric guitars, and Phil and Bob will trade lead vocal duties. As far as guests go, we’ll have to wait and see. But what was perhaps most surprising on night one–and thankfully so–was Weir and Lesh’s apparent mental approach to these shows.Unlike other “special,” stripped-down, intimate runs like this, the stories and the banter were not the focal points (however hard they may have tried to work them in). They’re not just going through the motions for a campfire-style sing-along, where the actual musicianship is less important than the experience, the audience interactions, the simple fact that it’s happening. There was not a stool or a chair in sight for either one of them. To Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, these shows are not a novelty. They are taking the music of their duo show seriously. On night one, they came to play for real, and in doing so exceeded the musical expectations of many fans. It wasn’t perfect–but it was good, and they’re just getting started…You can check out a selection of videos from the opening night of Bobby & Phil tour below:Bob Weir & Phil Lesh – “Uncle John’s Band”[Video:] Bob Weir & Phil Lesh – “Operator”[Video: rdeal1999]Bob Weir & Phil Lesh – “Ramble On Rose” [Video: Matt Frazier]Bobby & Phil – “He’s Gone”[Video: Matt Frazier]Bob Weir & Phil Lesh – Banter, “Lost Sailor/Saint of Circumstance”[Video: Matt Frazier] Bob Weir & Phil Lesh – “Mountains of the Moon”[Video: jomissa]Bob Weir & Phil Lesh – “Not Fade Away”Setlist: Bob Weir & Phil Lesh | Radio City Music Hall | New York, NY | 3/2/18Set One: Uncle John’s Band, Operator, Ramble On Rose, Friend of the Devil, Bird Song, He’s Gone, Lost Sailor > Saint of CircumstanceSet Two: Loose Lucy, Peggy-O, Me and My Uncle, Mountains of the Moon > Bird Song (Reprise) > Let It Grow > A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall > Not Fade AwayEncore: Box of RainBobby & Phil tour continues tonight with the second of two Radio City performances. You can see a full list of upcoming shows below. For more information, head to Weir And Phil Lesh Duo Upcoming Tour DatesMarch 3 – New York, NY – Radio City Music HallMarch 7 – Boston, MA – Wang TheatreMarch 8 – Boston, MA – Wang TheatreMarch 10 – Chicago, IL – Chicago TheatreMarch 11 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatrelast_img read more

Saint Mary’s students react to renewed indoor dining by reservation, introduction of plexiglass partitions

first_imgIn past years, campus dining at Saint Mary’s consisted of students cramming almost 12 people around a table, enjoying meals and studying for hours on end.Since August, dining at Saint Mary’s has looked a little different — students laying out blankets, eating on the grass or dining in a tent on the Student Center lot. Some students eat their meals in the dorm lounges or even in their rooms. The College’s dining experience is changing once again, following a Sept. 30 email from dean of student academic services Karen Chambers, announcing a return to indoor dining. The email explained if students wish to dine inside, they are to make reservations through PRISM — similar to signing up for a class — and are expected to appear within the designated block of time.Students are now able to dine indoors with four to a table behind plexiglass barriers separating them from each other. While some students said they are grateful for the effort put forth, others are struggling to adapt to the new dining experience.Sophomore Erin Dotson emphasized that the plexiglass barriers are an impediment to having an enjoyable conversation.“You can hear your voice reverberating through the glass, and it’s incredibly difficult to hear while trying to have conversations with your friend group, even when at the same table,” Dotson said.Though indoor dining options offer an opportunity to escape the cooler weather, the glass partitions look strange and separate friends from each other, first year Emerson Henry said.“I think it’s great to have indoor dining again since it’s getting cold, but I am also not a fan of the plexiglass,” Henry said. “It’s kind of hard to hear with the plexiglass, especially for being hearing impaired.”As the days get colder and more individuals might wish to eat inside, Henry said she’s worried the limited seating space might create problems for the student body.“We want to eat inside, but it’s just going to get harder as it’s gets colder and people are going to fight for tables,” she said.Juniors Isabella Thompson-Davoli and Sarah Frick agreed that the half-hour time slots provide another challenge, as normally meals are very casual and people tend to meet up at arbitrary times.“It is very difficult to plan and stay on a strict schedule of exactly when we should eat,” Frick said.Thompson-Davoli and Frick said they think a better approach would be to have a restaurant-like system, where a host directs you to a table, instead of the current system which requires that one abide by a strict schedule and routine.“The limit of only four people to a table due to the plexiglass barriers was difficult,” Thompson-Davoli said.Some students voiced concerns about the elimination of the ice cream machine, which was considered a dining hall staple in previous years.“I was expecting dining to be a focal point of where you meet your friends, where you interact and see other people that you didn’t see during the day,” first-year Reese Bauer said. “[The dining hall is] supposed to be a place to get away from any social drama or stress that we’re feeling and a place to just relax. Especially during COVID, there is no way to ‘get away,’ and this can’t serve as a getting away place either.”Despite these difficulties, Dotson said she is happy to have the opportunity to eat indoors again.“I think the efforts put forth by the school are taken into consideration,” she said. “If they forced us to eat in our rooms, then I wouldn’t be able to do that. They are putting forth an effort and I am grateful.”Tags: Campus DIning, covid precautions, Noble Family Dining Halllast_img read more

Private debt activity slowed sharply in 2019, but 2020 starts crowded

first_imgFundraising and deal-making in the private debt market declined sharply last year although fund managers have kept launching new vehicles, according to data provider Preqin.In 2019, 152 funds reached a final close, securing a combined $107bn (€96bn) from investors, the lowest annual total since 2015 and an 11% decrease compared with 2018.Last year marked the first time since 2014 that the industry did not cross the 200 and $100bn thresholds for fund closes and fundraising volumes, according to Preqin.There were 830 private debt-backed deals with an aggregate value of $48bn in 2019, marking the end of a steady rise in the number of deals and aggregate deal value since 2009. At the beginning of this month there are 436 funds in the market targeting a combined $192bn, compared with 399 and $168bn in January 2019, respectively, and 354 and $169bn at the start of 2018.“Suggestions that the [private debt] market has reached saturation are not fully substantiated, but many investors do seem to be holding off on making commitments, and fundraising has seen its largest ever year-on-year decline,” said Tom Carr, head of private debt at Preqin.“But long-term appetite among investors remains robust, and fund managers certainly believe that there is significant potential yet to be tapped. They will point to declining dry powder as an indication that they are still able to put capital to work, and this may prompt investors to start making commitments again and boosting 2020 fundraising activity.”BNPP AM partners with German SME loan originatorIn other news, BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM) has added a Germany prong to its small and medium-sized (SME) alternative financing platform, partnering with German digital SME finance provider platform creditshelf.Creditshelf will originate unsecured SME loans between €500,000 and €5m with a term of five to eight year for BNPP AM’s institutional investor clients. The asset manager will make the final credit decision on the loans.Stéphane Blanchoz, head of BNPP AM’s SME alternative financing business, said: “Our partnership with creditshelf will allow us to bring our unique SME loan product to the German market, alongside our existing offering in the UK and the Netherlands.”Banks in Germany do not typically offer terms of five to eight years for unsecured growth financing, noted Daniel Bartsch, founding partner and board member of creditshelf.BNPP AM’s SME alternative financing platform is part of the asset manager’s private debt and real assets investment group. It already has strategic partnerships with origination platforms CODE Investing and Caple; it has a 10% stake in the latter. In 2018 there were nearly 1,400 deals with a total deal value of more than $75bn.center_img Dry powder fell from a peak of $292bn at the end of 2018 to $261bn as of December 2019. This marks the first time the cash pile shrank since 2014 as fund managers deployed capital at a faster pace than they raised it during the year.However, new funds continue to be launched and the marketplace is more crowded than it has been since 2017, according to Preqin’s data.last_img read more

Silverwood replaces Bayliss as England head coach

first_imgLONDON (Reuters) – Chris Silverwood was named England head coach on Monday in place of Trevor Bayliss as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) opted against another overseas candidate to take the team forward.British media reported last week that former India and South Africa coach Gary Kirsten had emerged as the leading contender, but Silverwood, the team’s former bowling coach, was preferred.Australian Bayliss departed last month after England’s drawn home Ashes series against Australia having led the team for four years.They struggled for consistency in tests under his guidance, slipping to fourth in the world rankings, but enjoyed sustained success in one-day cricket, rising to the top of the rankings and winning their first 50-over World Cup title this year on home soil.The 44-year-old Silverwood played six Tests and seven one-day internationals for England as a fast bowler during his playing career, the majority of which was spent with his native county Yorkshire.He moved into coaching and in 2017 led Essex to their first County Championship title for 25 years before becoming England pace bowling coach.“Chris was the standout candidate,” England director of cricket Ashley Giles said in a statement“He is what we need to take our international teams forward. He’s somebody we know well, but it is his intimate understanding of our structures and systems and his close relationships with test captain Joe Root and white-ball captain Eoin Morgan that will help us develop our plans for the next few years,” Giles added.“He has performed exceptionally well during his role as an assistant coach and has the ultimate respect of the players’ that have worked with him.”Silverwood’s first assignment will be England’s tour of New Zealand on which they play five Twenty20 internationals starting on Nov. 1 and two tests, before they travel to South Africa.“I’m excited to get started and build teams that the whole game can be proud of,” Silverwood said.“There is a tremendous amount of talent coming through, and enormous potential for growth. The hard work starts now, and I’m confident we can make a positive impact during our winter tours of New Zealand and South Africa.”Former England captain Nasser Hussain said Silverwood was a safe pair of hands, but that the job represented a big step up for him.“There is a massive difference between being a friendly bowling coach and being the main man, picking and choosing your time to get hard and tough with the players, especially in the test arena. That will be a challenge,” Hussain told Sky Sports.“At the moment he is popular but if he wants to do a good job he might have to upset a few people.” Caption:  Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain – July 31, 2019 England’s Jofra Archer (right) talks to bowling coach Chris Silverwood during nets Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers/Fileslast_img read more