Former Naomi co-leader and veteran local musician Jason Daniello—as in Jason & the Argonauts—should have copies of his new CD in-hand in a week or so, according to the smilin' little dude himself. A CD release party is, of course, in the works. Stay tuned for more information in issues to come. ... If you're planning to apply to South By Southwest 2005 Music Festival (March 16-20) in Austin, Texas, the time to start getting your shit together is now. By using their online electronic form you receive a $10 discount on the regular application fee. The fee for online applications made on or before Oct. 8 is $10. The fee for online applications made between Oct. 8 and Nov. 8 is $20. All online applications must be completed by or before Nov. 8. Your application will be acknowledged by e-mail, and all acts will be notified of their status (read: “Yay! You get to play!” or “Sorry, you don't get to play!”) no later than Feb. 9, 2005. Go to www.sxsw.com, fill out an application paying close attention to all the rules and guidelines, then put a package together containing a CD with your original material on it, a photo, biography and press clippings and mail it off. Showcasing acts will receive a choice of $175 ($45 for solo or duo acts, including DJs) or a registration package (one badge along with wristbands for each member of the act). You do not need to purchase a registration badge to apply for or to perform at a SXSW showcase. See, Crawl pay for bands isn't really all that bad after all.
There are few bands that can truly be called “unforgettable”—musicians who bring to the stage a collective sound that's magically timeless, whose music sets in motion a chain of events that resonates in the lives of listeners thereafter into infinity. In Celtic circles, Lúnasa are unmatched when it comes to delivering vibrant traditional music folded into contemporary awareness. Their respect for the music's rich history in concert with their virtuosic technical and arranging skill make listening to them more than mildly remarkable.
Thursday, Oct. 7; Launchpad (all ages, 8 p.m.): About 12 years ago, a quartet of angry teenagers got together in someone's Boston garage to take their various shit out on some musical instruments. It wasn't long afterward that the group, now collectively calling themselves Converge, began releasing hardcore albums that spun in all kinds of interesting directions. Using a hardcore foundation as a springboard, vocalist Jacob Bannon, guitarist Kurt Ballou, bassist Nate Newton and drummer Ben Koller leap headlong into the outer extremes of genres spanning metal, thrash, classic punk, progressive hardcore and avant noise. The mix is nothing short of breathtaking, as is made crystal clear on the band's latest platter, You Fail Me (Epitaph).
Considered by many to be among the finest bluegrass and country multi-instrumentalists in history, Ricky Skaggs made his much-heralded return to “pure bluegrass” circa 1997, and has since produced an impressive body of work. But most of it features bluegrass chestnuts by other songwriters. With Brand New Strings, Skaggs ups the ante a little with four contributions of his own among tunes by everyone from Ralph Stanley to Bill Monroe to Guy Clark. Accompanied by his polished band, Skaggs gives peak performances here that come off achingly heartfelt and energetic. A triumph of the high lonesome.