Aqueous is on a tear right now. The Buffalo-based groove-rock quartet is hot off two fiery sets at Summer Camp Music Festival, where the band debuted an Oystertune cover, “Pseudo Suicide”, and invited moe.‘s Vinnie Amico to join them during a cover of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”. Following upcoming appearances at Disc Jam Music Festival (6/7) and Mountain Music Festival (5/31), Aqueous will shift gears to a more intimate setting, performing a headlining show at Denver’s Bluebird Theater on June 9th.Fans are eager to see Aqueous headline the Bluebird, particularly given the past year they’ve had. As previously reported,Aqueous has been taking the live music space by storm over the past year. The group has been touring nationally in support of heavyweights like Umphrey’s McGee, moe., and Papadosio, as well as playing numerous national and regional music festivals like The Peach Music Festival and Summer Camp Music Festival. They’ve certainly played shows in Colorado—like last year’s inaugural Canyon Jam at the Mishawaka Amphitheatre and a support slot during UM’s most recent New Year’s run at Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium—but Aqueous has yet to headline their very own high-profile show at one of the city’s historic venues. On June 9th, Aqueous will finally headline a Denver venue in their own right, taking over the historic Bluebird Theater. For the upcoming performance, the band will be joined by Colorado’s own Evanoff, a trio that blends analog and digital sounds to create a style they call “dream rock.”“Denver is by far one of AQ’s favorite cities to play music in; Colorado just seems to totally get it, and some of our favorite sets of the past year have gone down out there,” shared guitarist and vocalist Mike Gantzer in March. “We’re gonna go really big for this Bluebird show, and we can’t wait to rage properly with the CO fans on this one!”Tickets for Aqueous’ headlining performance at Denver’s Bluebird Theater on June 9th can be purchased here. For more information about the Bluebird Theater performance or any of Aqueous’ other upcoming shows, head to the band’s website.
On Friday, June 1st, Spafford headlined the 2018 Purple Hatter’s Ball, delivering a multi-faceted set that ranged from signature rock jams to remarkably heartfelt ballads. The band’s lengthy seven-song set opened with an impressive take on John Hiatt‘s “Memphis In The Meantime” and featured fan-favorite originals like “Ain’t That Wrong”, “Todd’s Totts”, “The Remedy”, and “America”. After the fiery performance, the Arizona quartet returned to the amphitheater stage for a moving two-song encore.First, the band slid into their cover of Van Morrison‘s “Into The Mystic”, the crowd swaying along to Andrew “Red” Johnson‘s vocals. Without missing a beat, Spafford flowed into “The Reprise”, building to a sky-high jam to bring their headlining set to a close. Watch Spafford’s “Into The Mystic” > “The Reprise” encore from Purple Hatter’s Ball below:Spafford – “Into The Mystic” (Van Morrison cover) > “The Reprise”It was no surprise Spafford delivered such an amazing set, as the Spirit Of The Suwannee hosts this annual event for a truly inspiring cause. Promoter Paul Levine founded the Purple Hatter’s Ball as a loving memorial the life of a fallen friend of the music scene, Rachel Morningstar Hoffman. Though her life was cut short due to a tragic entanglement with law enforcement and the remnants of the War on Drugs, her family has used her untimely death as a rallying cry to fight unfair police tactics across the nation.All the performances over the weekend from Spafford to bands like Lettuce, Breaking Biscuits, Toubab Krewe, Roosevelt Collier, Southern Avenue, Hive Mind, and the rest had a common factor: Each band was dead set on honoring the life and sacrifice that had brought them all together. You can learn more about the life and death of Rachel and donate to help keep her memory alive at the Rachel Morningstar Foundation here.For a full list of Spafford’s upcoming performances, head to the band’s website.Setlist: Spafford | Purple Hatter’s Ball | Live Oak, FL | 6/1/18Set I: Memphis in the Meantime* > People, Ain’t That Wrong, Todd’s Tots, Lonely, The Remedy > AmericaEncore: Into the Mystic** > The RepriseNotes:*John Hiatt, **Van Morrison
This year has been huge for Umphrey’s McGee. The band released their highly anticipated new album, it’s not us, in January, cleverly surprising fans with a thank-you follow-up record this summer, it’s you. After an explosive three-night run at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the band has been proving that they’re more dialed in as ever as they continue with their summer tour plans.Today, Umphrey’s Mcgee has released a special video, treating fans to a stripped-down, intimate version of “Push & Pull”, off it’s you. Featuring Brendan Bayliss solo and stationed behind a baby grand piano, the song takes on dramatic new heights. Bayliss’ vocals are impeccable during the rendition, while the simple piano additions make this version of “Push & Pull” all the more emotive.Written and performed by Brendan Bayliss, this new music video was filmed and edited by C.J. Strehlow, recorded and mixed by Shane Hendrickson, and produced by Kevin Browning. You can watch this stunning solo piano rendition of it’s you‘s “Push & Pull” below.
The Beatles have announced a new limited-edition “Beatlemania” pinball machine in partnership with Stern Pinball Inc. and Ka-Pow Pinball.The new machines have been manufactured in three different editions—Diamond, Platinum, and Gold—with only 100 Diamond Edition units and 250 Platinum Edition units produced. While the Diamond and Platinum machines are already sold out, the Gold Edition units are available now via The Beatles’ online store—for the meager price of $10,000.Notes the product description of the Gold Edition machine on The Beatles Store website, “Only 1964 units will be produced in recognition of the year in which the world forever changed when Ed Sullivan introduced America to four young mop-topped musicians from Liverpool, England.”The machine pays specific tribute to the “Beatlemania” era—the early days when the band went from pop hitmakers to international cultural sensations as they made their way across the pond to the U.S. The “Beatlemania” pinball machine will feature nine Beatles songs from that fateful era including “A Hard Day’s Night”, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, “Ticket To Ride”, “All My Loving”, “Help”, “Drive My Car”, “It Won’t Be Long”, “I Should Have Known Better”, and “Taxman”.As the product description continues, “The game also features iconic introductions by Ed Sullivan along with custom speech and callouts by Hall of Fame disk jockey, Cousin Brucie.”The announcement of the new pinball machines dedicated to The Beatles comes on the heels of a similar band-oriented machine announced by Stern Pinball and Primus last month.Watch a product preview video for the new The Beatles pinball machine below:Beatlemania Pinball Teaser Video[Video: Stern Pinball]
On Thursday, the Newport Folk Festival announced that Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio will be returning to the Fort on Sunday, July 28th. The long-running annual festival is set to return to Newport, RI’s Fort Adams State Park on July 26th-28th.In partnership with The Mockingbird Foundation, the Newport Festivals Foundation has made a donation on Trey’s behalf to support the music program at Mt. Pleasant High School in Providence, RI. Mt. Pleasant is an ethnically diverse learning community where most students are the first of their families to receive formal music education, and NFF’s donation and Mockingbird’s match will be used to purchase musical instruments for their students to play.As Trey notes in a statement,The benefits of music education in the lives of young people are countless and yet music programs in our schools continue to be seriously underfunded. Thankfully, there are organizations like The Mockingbird Foundation that are on the frontlines of this very worthy cause. They have donated over $1.4 million for both musical instruments and supporting staffing of school music departments in all 50 states. The fact that this non-profit organization was founded and funded by the Phish fan community is incredibly inspiring and humbling. THANKS!The announcement does not specify with whom Trey will play at Newport Folk Festival 2019. However, when Trey played the event back in 2008, he delivered a solo acoustic performance. Based on the image shared by the festival, it appears that Anastasio’s 2019 Newport Folk performance will follow suit. You can watch Trey’s 2008 Newport Folk performance below:Trey Anastasio – Newport Folk Festival 2008 – Full Video[Video: Jam & Psych on MV]The historic New England folk festival will include previously announced performances by Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band, Maggie Rodgers, Cedric Burnside, Todd Snider, Gregory Alan Isakov, Haley Heynderickx, Jade Bird, Jeff Tweedy, Mountain Man, Bonny Light Horseman, If I Had A Song and more.Newport, RI’s Fort Adams is situated at the mouth of Newport Harbor with panoramic views. The festival at the Fort features 4 stages, food and crafts, two beer and wine gardens, and more. The festival is held rain or shine, so get ready for a weekend stacked full of the finest folk musicians and more.Stay tuned for more artists announcements from Newport Folk Festival as the event draws closer. For more information, head to the festival’s website.
Future funk heroes Lettuce will celebrate 4/20 at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York on April 20th, 2019 with a very special guest.After spending the last four nights with John Scofield on the west coast, Lettuce has added the legendary guitarist to the bill for the special evening. And, lucky for us, a limited supply of tickets are still available here.Lettuce is currently on their Vibe Up Tour throughout the early months of 2019 with a run of supportless “evening with” shows that will take them into spring festival season, when they’re scheduled to perform Suwannee Rising, their own RAGE!FEST and RAGE ROCKS, 4848 Festival, Forecastle, and more. So far, 2019 has seen the band play a bevy of unreleased material on the live circuit–though an official release date of the forthcoming album has yet to be confirmed.For a full list of upcoming dates, head to the band’s website.
Using a system that analyzes blood samples with unprecedented detail, a team led by Harvard Medical School (HMS) researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has developed the first “chemical snapshot” of the metabolic effects of exercise. Their findings, reported today’s edition of Science Translational Medicine, may improve understanding of the physiologic effects of exercise and lead to new treatments for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.“We found new metabolic signatures that clearly distinguish more-fit from less-fit individuals during exercise,” says Gregory Lewis, an HMS instructor based at the MGH Heart Center, the paper’s lead author. “These results have implications for the development of optimal training programs and improved assessment of cardiovascular fitness, as well as for the development of nutritional supplements to enhance exercise performance.”The beneficial health effects of exercise – including reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes – are well known, but the biological mechanisms underlying those effects are unclear. Previous investigations of exercise-induced changes in metabolites – biological molecules produced in often-minute quantities – have focused on the few molecules measured by most hospital laboratories. Using a new mass-spectrometry-based system that profiles more than 200 metabolites at a time – developed in collaboration with colleagues from the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, led by Clary Clish, PhD – the MGH-based team analyzed blood samples taken from healthy participants before, immediately following, and one hour after exercise stress tests that were approximately 10 minutes long.Exercise-associated changes were seen in more than 20 metabolites, reflecting processing of sugars, fats and amino acids as fuels as well as the body’s utilization of ATP, the primary source of cellular energy. Several changes involved metabolic pathways not previously associated with exercise, including increases in niacinamide, a vitamin derivative known to enhance insulin release.Another experiment that analyzed samples taken from different vascular locations indicated that most metabolite changes were generated in the exercising muscles, although some appeared to arise throughout the body. In both experiments, several metabolite changes persisted 60 minutes after exercise had ceased.In an experiment designed to assess the effects of prolonged exercise, pre- and post-race samples were taken from 25 runners who completed the 2006 Boston Marathon. Extensive changes in several metabolites – some different from those produced by brief exercise – were seen in the post-race samples. Indicators of increased metabolism of fats, glucose and other carbohydrates rose in response to both brief and prolonged exercise, but in marathoners amino acid levels also fell significantly, reflecting their use of amino acids as fuel to maintain adequate glucose levels during extended exercise.The researchers also analyzed how these metabolite changes related to participants’ level of fitness – determined by peak oxygen uptake in the short-term experiments and by finishing times for the marathon runners. In both groups they found that several changes, including those reflecting increased fat metabolism, were more pronounced in participants who were more fit.Pursuing the hypothesis that metabolites which increase in response to exercise act on pathways involved in cellular respiration and glucose utilization, the investigators applied different combinations of metabolites to cultured muscle cells. They found that a combination of five molecules increased expression of nur77, a gene recently shown to regulate glucose levels and lipid metabolism, making it a possible treatment target for the combination of cardiovascular risk factors known as metabolic syndrome. The association of nur77 levels with exercise was supported by an experiment that found gene expression increased fivefold in the muscles of mice that had exercised for 30 minutes.“Our results have implications for development of both diagnostic testing to track and improve exercise performance and for interventions to reduce the effects of diabetes or heart disease by improving a patient’s metabolic ‘fingerprint’,” explains HMS associate profressor Robert Gerszten, MD, director of Clinical and Translational Research at the MGH Heart Center, the study’s senior author. “Improving the health of people with cardiovascular disease is our number one goal, but defining which metabolites become deficient and need to be replenished during exercise could also lead to the next generation of sports drinks that can help healthy individuals achieve their best exercise performance.”The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, Fondation Leducq, and the American Heart Association.Additional authors of the Science Translational Medicine paper are Laurie Farrell, Malissa Wood, MD, Maryann Martinovic, Susan Cheng, MD, Rahul Deo, MD, PhD, Aarti Asnani, MD, Marc Semigran, MD, and Thomas Wang, MD, MGH Heart Center; Eugene Rhee, MD, and David Systrom, MD, MGH Department of Medicine; Amanda Souza, Elaine Yang, Xu Shi, MD, Steven Carr, PhD, and Clary Clish, PhD, Broad Institute; Zoltan Arany, MD, and Glenn Rowe, PhD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Elizabeth McCabe, MS, Framingham Heart Study; Frederick Roth, PhD, Harvard Medical School; Ramachandran Vasan, MD, Boston University School of Medicine; and Marc Sabatine, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Historian Robert Allison, an instructor at Harvard Extension School, colors in Cape Cod’s record with photographs, historical figures, and far-from-dry tales. “A Short History” is part beach read, but suitable for the most scrupulous history buffs.
The repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is a historic step. It affirms American ideals of equal opportunity and underscores the importance of the right to military service as a fundamental dimension of citizenship. It was no accident that Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation not only guaranteed freedom to black Americans, but at the same time opened the Union Army to their participation. Because of today’s action by the Senate, gay and lesbian Americans will now also have the right to pursue this honorable calling, and we as a nation will have the benefit of their service.I look forward to pursuing discussions with military officials and others to achieve Harvard’s full and formal recognition of ROTC. I am very pleased that more students will now have the opportunity to serve their country. I am grateful to the Massachusetts congressional delegation for its unified support for repeal.— Drew Faust
A subpopulation of the immune cells targeted by HIV may play an important role in controlling viral loads after initial infection, potentially helping to determine how quickly infection will progress. In the Feb. 29 issue of Science Translational Medicine, a team of researchers from the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard describe finding a population of HIV-specific CD4 T cells — cells traditionally thought to direct and support activities of other immune cells — that can directly kill HIV-infected cells.“We observed the emergence of CD4 T cells able to kill HIV-infected cells in those patients who are able to control viral replication soon after acute infection,” says Harvard Medical School Assistant Professor of Medicine Hendrik Streeck, a Ragon Institute faculty member and senior author of the report. “These cells appear very early in HIV infection, and we believe they may set the stage for the course of the disease.”The primary role of CD4 T cells is to assist other cells of the immune system; and their importance is illustrated by how completely the immune response collapses after the cells, the main cellular targets of HIV, are destroyed. Ironically, CD4 cells that are specifically targeted against HIV are preferentially infected and depleted by the virus.However, although HIV-specific CD4 cells have not been a major focus of vaccine research, these cells may have an important role in controlling HIV infection. “Every successful licensed vaccine induces CD4 T cell responses to some extent,” Streeck explains, “and we know from many other viral infections that the success of the immune system in gaining control is best achieved in the presence of strong CD4 T cell responses.”To investigate whether CD4 T cell responses are important in the early control of HIV infection, the Ragon Institute team enrolled a group of 11 volunteers who were in the earliest stages of HIV infection, a time when viral levels are exceedingly high. A year into the study, participants were divided into two groups based on the level of HIV in their bodies — one group was able to keep HIV at low levels while the other group apparently had no immune control over HIV replication. Retrospective analysis of samples taken throughout the year showed striking differences in the CD4 T cell responses in both groups. While the HIV-specific CD4 responses in the group that did not control HIV replication quickly dropped and stayed low, the same response increased significantly in participants able to effectively control the virus, suggesting a role for HIV-specific CD4 cells in viral control.Additional experiments revealed that the HIV-specific CD4 T cell responses showed activity associated with cell-killing and could even destroy HIV-infected macrophages — an unusual function for CD4 T cells, which have traditionally been seen as helper cells. In addition, the researchers determined that the presence of a specific cell-death protein called granzyme A prominently distinguished HIV-specific CD4 cells of participants maintaining a lower “viral set point” from those less able to control viral levels.To validate these findings, the researchers examined a larger group of HIV-infected individuals and found that those with higher levels of granzyme A in their HIV-specific CD4 T cell response immediately after infection progressed more slowly to AIDS and did not require antiretroviral therapy as quickly as did those with lower levels of the protein. “The key baseline difference between these two groups has to do with the quality, not the quantity, of the HIV-specific CD4 T cell response,” explains Streeck. “In those who progressed to a lower viral set point, the early CD4 response was dominated by granzyme A expression, which was highly predictive of the rate of disease progression.”Associating a particular CD4 T cell activity with more successful suppression of viral levels suggests that inducing such responses with a vaccine may be beneficial, Streeck notes. In addition, the association of granzyme A expression with a more effective HIV-specific CD4 cell response suggests that measuring levels of the protein may allow prediction of disease outcome at the earliest stages of infection, something that is not currently possible. Future studies will need to explore the mechanisms underlying the cell-killing activities of the CD4 cell response and the functional and prognostic role of granzyme A.The lead author of the Science Translational Medicine report is Damien Soghoian of the Ragon Institute.The study was funded by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.