Tupelo Music Hall comes to White River Junction

Via an email from Scott at Tupelo Music Hall:

I am very pleased to announce to you all that we are opening a new Tupelo Music Hall this Fall in WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VERMONT!! I’ll tell you more about this next week. What I will tell you now is it’s going to be a carbon copy of the Londonderry venue! Very cool town for a very cool venue.

Of course, anyone who’s been to Tupelo in Londonderry knows that the venue features great sound, an intimate seating environment and great national, regional and local bands.  Here’s a list of what’s coming to New Hampshire – don’t be surprised if a few show up on the Vermont side of the river:

Jul 16 Johnny A (Blues/Acoustic)

Jul 17 The Glengarry Bhoys (Celtic/Irish)

Jul 18 Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian circus of Dreams (alt Rock) SOLD OUT

Jul 19 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Swing/rock)

Jul 20 Mat Kearney (pop/rock) SOLD OUT

Jul 29 The Fabulous Thunderbirds (Blues / Rock)

Jul 30 Katie Herzig (pop/folk)

Jul 31 Sonny Landreth (Blues)

Aug 1 Living Colour (Rock)

Aug 5 Open Mic (Features Kate Klim)

Aug 6 Shelby Lynne (pop/rock/country)

Aug 7 The Dan Lawson Band (Blues/Rock)

Aug 8 Ana Popovic (Blues)

Aug 12 DeadFish (Reggae/Rock)

Aug 13 Tupelo Night of Comedy

Aug 19 The Wailin’ Jennys (Folk)

Aug 20 Liz Longley (Amy Petty Opens) SOLD OUT

Aug 21 Dave Mason (Rock)

Aug 27 New Riders of the Purple Sage (Country Rock)

Aug 28 The Ron Noyes Band (Rock)

Sept 2 Open Mic (Kangaralien)

Sept 4 Kenny Neal and Joe Louis Walker (blues)

Sept 8 Chris Duarte Group (Blues)

Sept 11 Hal Ketchum and Johnny Hiland (Country/Rock)

Sept 12 Chad and Jeremy (Folk/Soft Rock)

Sept 15 The Alarm (Rock)

Sept 17 Smokin Joe Kubek and Bnois King (Blues)

Sept 18 Paula Poundstone (Comedy)

Sept 22 Griffin House (pop rock)

Sept 23 Christopher Cross (pop/soft rock)

Sept 24 Maria Muldaur (Blues/Pop)

Oct 1 Entrain (Rock)

Oct 8 Rory Block (Blues)

Oct 15 Carl Palmer and His Band Celebrating the Music of ELP (Rock)

Oct 16 David Bromberg (Folk)

Oct 21 The Tubes (Rock) SOLD OUT.

Oct 30 Average White Band (Rock)

Nov 5 Dave Mason (Rock)

Nov 13 Beatlejuice (Rock)

Nov 19 Tartan Terrors (Celtic Rock)

Nov 21 The Subdudes (Pop)

Nov 26 Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers (pop/Rock)

Dec 2 Railroad Earth (Americana Jam Band)

Dec 3 Tom Rush (Folk)

Dec 5 George Winston (Acoustic)

Dec 11 Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters (Blues)

Dec 12 7 Walkers (Rock)

Dec 17 Bellevue Cadillac (R&B/Swing)

Jan 22 Steve Forbert (Folk)

This Week’s Hippo – The Middle makes a move

Meet me in the Middle:

Ask any kid to name the best part of a sandwich cookie. Doesn’t matter if it’s an Oreo, Nutter Butter or E.L. Fudge®, the predictable answer is “the middle.” For a group of civic boosters, this sweet spot also provided a perfect metaphor for their goal of reviving Franklin’s arts scene.

So in April 2009, Franklin Opera House became the Middle New Hampshire Arts & Entertainment Center. But the idea went well beyond Cookies 101.

Plus, Nite Roundup

This week’s Hippo – Huey Lewis, Comedy and more

Huey Lewis – Still Beating:

The secret of Huey Lewis’s success: keep busy, but not too much.

“As long as you don’t have to do it 250 days a year, it’s the best job in the world,” Lewis told a gathering of journalists recently. “When you reduce your schedule a little bit, it’s like falling in love all over again.”

When Huey Lewis and the News hit the stage at the Casino Ballroom on Sunday, July 11, fans can expect familiar hits — “Heart of Rock and Roll,” “Power of Love,” “I Want a New Drug” — along with what Lewis terms “greatest misses, obscurest stuff,” a cappella doo-wop and a few tracks from an album the band recently completed in Memphis.

The new record focuses on music from the Stax/Volt era.

Men Fake Foreplay – Mike Dugan tries to be a better man

“Growing up, I had one major flaw,” Mike Dugan says early in Men Fake Foreplay, his one-man show playing this weekend at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord. “I laughed at the people I should have listened to, and I listened to the people I should have laughed at.”

When he was 13, Dugan’s father caught him reading Playboy magazine and banned it from the house. At the time, Dugan found it amusing. But he realized later that the old man was right — Hugh Hefner’s free love philosophy was the tip of a pernicious iceberg.

And Nite Roundup

This week’s Hippo

Jerry’s kids  – Shades of Grateful Dead in Greensky Bluegrass

Years before the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia was a dedicated banjo player. In 1964, he and a pal drove to Kentucky and auditioned for “Father of Bluegrass” Bill Monroe’s band. Garcia didn’t get the gig, and when he got home to California, the dearth of pickers pushed him toward guitar-playing. The rest is history.

Gravity Tavern pulls them in

One quick look around the remodeled Gravity Tavern, located in a former 19th-century axe factory across the parking lot from Kiki’s Restaurant in New Boston, and the sense is immediate: this is a listening room.

Hippo Seacoast – Gallagher goes fruit free

Gallagher is primarily known for his work with a sledgehammer, which tends to get in the way of his ideas for solving the world’s problems. Before becoming a prop comic, Gallagher earned a degree in chemical engineering from the University of South Florida, and he regularly attends the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to pitch his ideas.

On the phone recently from a tour stop in Tacoma, he talked about one of them, a design for a Subatomic Action Figure that would help explain the innards of iPods and cell phones to youngsters. “I try to get the companies to back me on this,” he said. “If Lucent or Sony were behind it, that would have a lot more validity than a guy who smashes watermelons.”

The Tampa resident also wonders why no one’s drafted James Cameron to tackle the Gulf oil spill. “He did a lot of research on underwater vehicles. If you can find the Titanic, you should be able to go down a mile and cap off this leak.”

He has a plan to build family reunion resorts, but the producers of Extreme Home Makeover rebuffed it.  He’d like to mount a Wild West Show, starring injured NBA star Yao Ming, and tour China.

Then there are his questions of the ages, many of which are detailed in the World’s Smartest Man section of his web site (www.gallaghersmash.com). “I talk about gray areas,” he says.  “How we can’t decide whether something is up or down, left or right, black or white an adult or a child, a citizen or an alien, a tax or a fee, a black person or white person, boy or girl, truck or car.  There’s no meaning anymore in life and our society, and I talk about this.”

Most of his musings are more fanciful than serious. He is, after all, a stand up comic – one of the most successful of all time.  “I wonder why old people don’t have gangs,” he says. “Because they have nothing to lose; they’re already old, so putting them in jail is no big thing. They don’t mind if you kill ’em.   They could be a gang and they’d already have vehicles – instead of motorcycles, those little scooters.”

This offbeat wit forms most of Gallagher’s act, but more than a few people can be counted on to arrive with plastic sheets in tow, waiting for his signature prop, the Sledge-O-Matic. However, some shows, like the one happening this Saturday, July 3 at Jonathan’s in Ogunquit, are pre-advertised as “smash-free.”

Isn’t that a bit like Lynyrd Skynyrd refusing to play “Free Bird”? Gallagher doesn’t think so.

“My audience is old enough now that they can see from my videos that I have a lot more than just smashing,” he says.  “They don’t mind. I still have a fairly crazy show.”

During his early 80’s heyday, Gallagher routinely sold out theatres. These days, after a heart attack forced him to take a break that his brother Ron tried to capitalize on with a Gallagher II show (which a lawsuit later shut down), the comic must out of necessity play a wider range of venues.

He views this adaptability as an asset. “I have to have a lot of different skills and material,” he says, “because I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I think I’m about the best guy you can hire to do a show anywhere in America.  There are plenty of comics that can work in L.A. or New York, but can’t work in the middle.

But it’s also created some problems.  “I don’t like stupid people who won’t shut up and can’t handle their alcohol,” says Gallagher. “Whether or not there’s alcohol changes the show.” He’s not afraid to berate audience members who cross the line.  At a recent New York City comedy club performance (captured by several cell phones and uploaded to YouTube), his dressing down of an inebriated couple in the front row seemed to last longer as his act.

In an era where reality television has fans asserting equal footing with the person onstage, Gallagher maintains control, even if it alienates the audience. “I don’t want them to be quiet, I’m there live and it is a live experience – but up to a point,” he says.  “When it becomes their show and not my show, they have to back off.  I just tell the truth. I say the world doesn’t revolve around you, other people paid to see a Gallagher show, and you haven’t been funny yet.”

Warming up to the idea, he continues.  “I think that’s why I’m not on television.  People find the truth too dangerous. They really don’t want phone calls, emails and problems.  I like it.  I am a troublemaker.  Anybody who will smash fruit on people is also going to smash their revered concepts.   I think that’s what it’s all about.   Comedians give you a fresh point of view – especially about things that you thought were important.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean Gallagher takes himself too seriously.  “I’m still just a joke writer, commenting on the passing American scene,” he says. “People are always going to be goofy.”