On Sale: Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra…The Flatlanders feat. Joe Ely…Back To The Eighties Show with Jessie’s Girl

Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra
Friday, June 14th • 8:00 pm

Ottmar Liebert is best known for his distinct New Age, Jazz Flamenco sound. He has received 38 Gold and Platinum certifications in the United States alone! We are delighted to host him at the beautiful Infinity Hall!

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The Flatlanders featuring Joe Ely

Tuesday, April 16th• 8:00 pm

The Flatlanders are comprised of  Texas music titans Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock. Their diverse yet complimentary styles – Joe the street-wise rocker, Jimmie Dale the mystic with the classic country voice and Butch the cerebral folk singer – form one of the most extraordinary kinships in American musical history. Joe Pug will open the show.

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Back To The Eighties Show with Jessie’s Girl

Friday, May 10th • 8:00 pm

Their last time here was a dance frenzy with folks having more fun than should be legal.  This is the band that’s been selling out NYC’s  Canal Club every Saturday night for the past three years! If you’re a fan of 80’s pop rock, this is your night!

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The Flaming Lips get Super Bowl billing with a car commercial


For the latest installment in our things-ain’t-like-they-used-to-be series, let’s consider the Flaming Lips. We’ve already talked about how TV has helped certain artists get exposure in a way that radio doesn’t, whether it’s Paula Cole singing the theme for “Dawson’s Creek” or Robyn getting a boost in sales after her song played in the background on the Golden Globes.

Now the Flaming Lips have taken things one step further by contributing a new, original song to a Hyundai ad that will air during the Super Bowl this weekend. “Ten years ago, people would call it selling out pretty hard. Now it’s more powerful than radio,” said Christen Green, co-manager of the Lumineers, whose song “Ho Hey” appeared in a TV commercial last year.

In an interview yesterday, Flaming Lips multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd told me that the band wasn’t at all fazed by the notion that anyone would think they’ve sold out, noting that the Lips have a long history of alternative marketing gambits: they appeared on “Beverly Hills 90210” in 1995, on “Charmed” in 2002 and have taken to releasing music on flash drives encased in skulls made out of gummy candy. Writing a song for Hyundai was a no-brainer.

That’s a good thing. After taking flack a couple years ago for placing a song in a car commercial, Wilco responded with a statement that read, in part, “With the commercial radio airplay route getting more difficult for many bands (including Wilco), we see this as another way to get the music out there.”

That’s exactly right: like radio used to be, TV can serve as a discovery tool for music. Then, of course, you can go see your new discoveries in concert, which is how most acts support themselves anyway. As for the Flaming Lips’ Hyundai spot, tune in Sunday during the Super Bowl — you won’t even miss a show at Infinity Hall that night. Just make sure you come back next week when Ibis and Forward Motion headline the latest show in the New and Emerging Artists series.

Questions about music? The Internet can help

Ian Hunter

Ian Hunter

The Internet is hardly a bastion of well-reasoned commentary, it’s true, but few things are more annoying online than people who are willfully, proudly ignorant about pop culture, especially music, and weigh in on it anyway.

For example: When the Arcade Fire won album of the year for “The Suburbs” at the 53rd Grammy Awards in 2011, the web was quickly choked with comments like “Arcade Fire? Never heard of them” and “Who’s the Arcade Fire?” It’s fair enough not knowing that the Arcade Fire is a band from Montreal that had released two previous albums, but the magic of the Internet is that it’s super easy to find out who they are, and to hear their music.

What’s most irritating about simply spouting off is that, to someone who’s a fan of Music in General, it implies a dead-eyed lack of curiosity. The same is true of callow youngsters who ask questions like “Who is My Bloody Valentine” or, upon the announcement of this year’s Coachella lineup, “Who are the Stone Roses?” There’s a certain comfort to listening to the same old favorites over and over, but it precludes the discovery of new favorites, whether you insist that music wasn’t any good after the Beatles broke up or you haven’t looked past the current flavor of the month to see who they might have listened to.

Popular music isn’t static: it’s constantly changing, and while it’s not necessary to keep up with the minutiae, a simple Google search will help clue you in to the music of veterans like, say, Ian Hunter (performing Feb. 8 at Infinity Hall) or up-and-comers like Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, performing Feb. 28.

Whatever Beyonce does, there’s no lip-syncing at Infinity Hall

Of all the dumb things for the media to fixate on, Beyoncé apparently lip-syncing the national anthem during President Obama’s inauguration earlier this week has to be one of the absolute dumbest. In fact, the best (sarcastic) analysis came from the AV Club, the entertainment section of the satirical newspaper The Onion, which ran this headline: “Beyoncé faked singing at the Inauguration, calling legitimacy of Obama presidency into question.”

Say what you want about singing along to recorded tracks, but it’s hardly uncommon: music videos, national anthems at sporting events, vocals at Justin Bieber concerts — all of them feature lip syncing. And so what? It is what it is. There’s no question Beyoncé can actually sing — that was her voice, even if she recorded the song with the Marine Band under more controlled conditions a few days before the swearing-in.

Fortunately, there are places like Infinity Hall, where lip-syncing is never an issue. The concept of authenticity is a slippery slope in entertainment, but there’s no question that John Mayall will be actually singing and playing guitar when he stops at Infinity on Feb. 1. Same goes for Ian Hunter when he’s there Feb. 8. They’re about as different as can be from Beyoncé, but the only question lingering after their shows will be, how soon can they come back?

On Sale Now: Los Lobos…Vinny Vella from ‘The Sopranos”…West Lowe as Mark Twain

Los Lobos
Sunday, April 14th • 7:30 pm

Los Lobos were one of America’s most distinctive and original bands of the ’80s. They may have had a hit with “La Bamba” in 1987, yet that cover barely scratches the surface of their talents. Their influences range from rock, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues, and traditional Spanish and Mexican music.

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Vinnie Vella – A comedic conversation with Vinnie from the hit HBO Series “The Sopranos”

Sunday, March 3rd• 1:30 pm

Vinnie is probably best known as “Jimmy Petrille” from the hit HBO series The Sopranos. His stand up routine is filled with hilarious stories  about his parents, adventures, and his long career in show business!

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West Lowe as Mark Twain: An Afternoon of Wit and Wisdom

Sunday, May 26th • 2:00 pm

West Lowe has performed as Mark Twain before young and old, in theaters of the same description… bringing America’s foremost author and humorist to life before captivated audiences. Don’t miss out on this one of a kind performance!


Townes Van Zandt lives on in rare recordings, lasting influence

When you’re not busy listening to the Voice of Infinity Hall (great idea), it’s an excellent time to revisit the songs of Townes Van Zandt. For one thing, there’s a new two-disc collection of his rarities on the way: “Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions and Demos 1971-1972” is due Feb. 5.

The self-defeating tortured genius thing gets pretty overplayed, but Van Zandt was the archetype. He was all of those things, and his songs reflect it. In a too-short career that ended when he drank himself to death in 1997 at the age of 52, he wrote desolate songs like “Pancho and Lefty” (a song I’d pick as one of the 10 best country/folk tunes ever written), wistful songs like “No Place to Fall” and world-weary songs like “Rex’s Blues.”

“Sunshine Boy” is a treasure trove of Van Zandt material, and it’s a worthy companion piece to “Live at the Old Quarter,” the live album recorded in Houston in 1973. When you’re finished with your Van Zandt refresher, you can hear his influence in the music of, well, pretty much every folk singer since. More specifically, try Greg Brown (performing Jan. 31 at Infinity Hall), Richard Shindell (Feb. 10) or the Cowboy Junkies (March 4).

Golden Globes Boost Triples Sales for Pop Singer Robyn

We’ve talked before about how artists can benefit from their songs appearing on TV and in movies, but here’s a new twist: sales of “Dancing on My Own” by pop singer Robyn tripled after the song played twice in the background on Sunday night’s Golden Globes telecast. Who knew anyone was paying that close attention?

Dance-pop isn’t a regular topic of discussion here, but Robyn sure deserves whatever boost she gets. Not only are her songs amazingly catchy, they’re smarter and, in their way, more subtle than the music most of her peers are making. On the Golden Globes telecast, “Dancing on My Own” accompanied a pair of wins by the HBO series “Girls,” which has featured the song on the show and on the new soundtrack album that came out this week. The tune first appeared on Robyn’s 2010 album “Body Talk,” an underrated pop gem that would serve as an excellent introduction for the curious (or anyone looking to add uptempo songs to a workout mix).

Just as dance music doesn’t come up often on this blog, dance acts don’t appear often at Infinity Hall, which is not to say Infinity doesn’t feature acts you can dance to. Try the Wailers on Jan. 26, for one: Bob Marley’s backing band knows a thing or two about getting crowds moving. And then there’s the Soul Sound Revue on Feb. 9, for you old-school Motown fans — it’s probably not possible to stay still while listening to those classic songs.