Today we look back to December 13, 2004…

Jeremy Piven, Keller Williams and Not-Quite Nikki Sixx With Umphreys

Friday night, Umphreys McGee celebrated its first headlining spot at New York’s Irving Plaza with a string of surprise guests and special covers. Near the end of the group’s first set, what looked to be Motley Crues Nikki Sixx (really Chad from Emptybag Productions) replaced bassist Ryan Stasik for a cover of the Who’s Baba O’Riley. Nodding to his hometown of Chicago, actor Jeremy Piven also joined the group on percussion for a run through Party Peeps a few songs into Umphreys second set. Moving uptown after his own gig at Webster Hall, Keller Williams added some mouth flugel during 40s Theme, while, later, OM Trio’s Ilya Stemkovsky acted as a second percussionist during a set closing version of JaJunk. OM Trio played what looks to be its final gig at night earlier at the Tribeca Rock Club.

Vassar’s Holiday Band

This coming Saturday Vassar Clements will perform with a number of familiar players in Athens. The show which is billed as Vassar Clements & His Holiday Band will feature appearances by Mark Van Allen, David Blackmon, Joe Craven, Count M’Butu, and three members of the Codetalkers: Bobby Lee Rodgers, Tyler Greenwell and Ted Pecchio. The performance will take place at Seney-Stovall Chapel, which is located on the Lucy Cobb Institute. An auction will be held during the night with all proceeds going to Nus Space, a resource/support center dedicated to promoting the emotional, physical and occupational well-being of the music community.

Yonder Performs at Mark Vann Foundation Benefit, To Tour With Del McCoury Band

Although Jeff Austin was the only band member officially announced, all of the Yonder Mountain String appeared and performed at short set at the Mark Vann Foundation Benefit on Saturday. The night offered numerous artists in various configurations including one extended segment that began with Vince Herman, Drew Emmitt, Bill Nershi, Pete Wernick, Ross Martin and soon expanded to more than a dozen musicians. Back to Yonder, the group has announced a series of 2005 dates including five southern shows with the Del McCoury Band (and more quite possibly to follow).

Karsh Kale’s Two Nights of Particle

Karsh Kale added percussion to both Particle shows this weekend at the Independent in San Francisco. On Friday, the Indian tabla master joined in for Kraftwerk’s ‘We are the Robots.’ The next night offered a spotlight for Kale and Particle drummer Darren Pujalet during a drum duel which then yielded a cover of the Chemical Brother’s ‘Denmark.’ Particles ‘Japanamation Extravaganza’ will take place on New Years Eve at New Yorks Irving Plaza. Two days prior, the band will offer up a ‘Fan Appreciation Show at 4th and B in San Diego, CA.