When you think of Augusta, Georgia in April, one thing naturally comes to mind: The Major Rager concert series! Okay…SOME of you may make mention of some golf tournament happening the same weekend, but whatever. With The Flaming Lips, Moon Taxi and The Eric Krasno Band playing, and for a great cause to boot, the place to be in Augusta that blustery Thursday wasn’t on a putting green…it was front and center at a rocking downtown day-long jam.The charity clearinghouse Friends With Benefits pairs great bands with great causes. The Major Rage uses the opportunity presented by The Masters coming to town to create unique fund raising opportunities. Since their founding, they have raised a quarter of a million dollars for a variety of worthy non-profits.Sunny skies were filled with gusting winds and unseasonably chilly temperatures for the event but music lovers were undeterred. There were plenty of opportunities for craft beer and BBQ but the main course on the menu was served onstage. After a fun warm-up set from Stop Light Observations, one of the hardest working men in the music scene did what he does best…bending his guitar strings until they sang the blues.Eric Krasno BandEric Krasno brought his new band to the Major Rager and wowed the fans with his blues licks and wailing solos! While still getting the funk down with his bands Lettuce and Soulive, Krasno seems to relish the chance to do his own thing. Krasno has gathered a band he seems to trust, including multiple members of the Dap Kings, to form the Erik Krasno Band.Keyboard player and vocalist Deshawn Alexander brought a burst of energy and stage presence with his contributions on the mic and ivories. Vocalist Mary Corso had the crowd in awe of her emotional, bluesy delivery. Krasno got in on the act as well, singing while playing the blues. While his schedule may not allow much time for sleep, with this many amazing bands to play with, Krasno doesn’t have time to rest anyway.Watch Krasno and company pump up the jams below:“Jezebel”“Move Over”People Of The Sun (Moon Taxi)Nashville’s own indie-rockers Moon Taxi have a secret. Though they write artful, melodic rock songs for themselves they secretly kinda wish they were the most bombastic rap rock protest band of all times! So, whenever they can’t fight the urge to go buck wild, they metamorphose into “People Of The Sun” and play tribute to Rage Against The Machine, pioneers of the anger-rock movement of the nineties.Organizers of The Major Rager were more than happy to let them work out their identity issues on stage. Throughout the crowd, fists were raised and middle fingers were unfurled. Classic RATM tunes like “Bulls On Parade” and “Guerilla Radio” were dropped left and right as People Of The Sun quickly moved from hit to hit. Check out a couple of their most brutal jams below:“Bulls On Parade”“Bombtrack”The Flaming LipsSince their inception, the Flaming Lips have purposefully followed a path all their own. Mercurial frontman Wayne Coyne serves as nexus for the swirling mayhem the band has created in the studio and on stages for decades. Whether The Flaming Lips are building a monument to the psychedelic insanity in their hearts, or pleading for love to conquer all, they are always remembering to first and foremost…ENTERTAIN!Flips shows are a senses shattering cacophony of sights and sounds designed to overwhelm onlookers and leave them receptive to new ideas. Wild man Coyne serves as the eye of the storm, urging listeners to embrace love and insanity. Music fans at the Major Rager were lost in a wave of jubilation. Confetti filled the air, Coyne ventured out into the crowd on a giant LED illuminated unicorn, and the general ridiculousness factor needle was buried on eleven.That sense of irreverence has served to connect the band and their fans on a very instinctive level. Humor has a way of disarming a situation. In the context of a Flaming Lips show, it allows the overall message the band shares, peace, love and unbridled artistic expression, to resonate on a more personal frequency.See The Flaming Lips play a pair of the most beloved tunes below:“Race For The Prize”“Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robot (Part One)”
Ghana winger Andre Ayew refused to sign a new contract extension at Marseille on Tuesday to heighten his imminent departure from the club.The French side are desperate to hold onto the Ghana star and handed him a fresh contract on Tuesday with new terms which would see his wages increase after several failed negotiations.Sources close to the player disclosed that the player was handed the new deal in their bid to force him to stay.But Ayew opted not to sign the contract which means he will leave the club by the end of the season unless something dramatic happens.The 24-year-old will see his deal run out with the Ligue 1 side by the summer, and he is thought to be on the radar of a host of European sides – including Liverpool, Napoli, Newcastle, Hull City and lately West Ham United.The French side have not responded favourably to the request of the Ghanaian midfielder who would require £70,000 per week. With a roomful of English clubs on his heels, the eldest of the Ayew brothers could find a wage size at his discretion in the Premier League, a championship in which he is eager to evolve in.Having rejected a new deal with Marseille, the French club would now be forced to sell him in the upcoming transfer window or else they would risk losing him for good come next summer.Ayew was an integral part of Ghana’s squad in the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil, featuring in all the Black Stars’ Group G games.
The death is announced of the Rev. Dr. Walter D. Richards, former Deputy Minister of Education, former principal of Ricks Institute in Virginia, former president of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention and former Chairman of the Board of the Baptist Theological Seminary. This sad event occurred on Friday, May 29, 2015 in his sleep at his home in the Jallah Prall compound on Broad Street, Snapper Hill, Monrovia. He was in his 84th year. Rev. Richards was also instrumental in the coming to Liberia of the Liberia Opportunities Industrial Corporation, which trained thousands of Liberians in many technical and vocational trades. He was also a founding member of the Liberian Council of Churches (LCC) and a member of the Inter-faith Council, later named the Inter Religious Council, which in 1990 intervened along with Roman Catholic Archbishop Michael K. Francis, Sheikh Kafumba Konneh, Canon Burgess Carr and others to help stop the Liberia civil war. Rev. Richards was also former pastor of Brewerville’s Salem Baptist Church and Clay Ashland’s First Baptist Church. He served both churches for extensive periods. A powerful Baptist preacher, his sermons often incurred the wrath of the Samuel Doe government. Indeed, when soldiers loyal to Doe entered the Richards family’s native Clay Ashland one afternoon in June, 1990, they went looking for Rev. Walter Richards, but mistook his brother, the eminent Liberian sculptor R. Vanjah Richards for Pastor Richards. The soldiers arrested R. Vanjah, beheaded him and threw his body into the Po River on the Bomi Hills highway.Family sources say Rev. Walter Richards was on his knees in a state of prayer when at between 12 and 1 o’clock p.m. on Friday, May 29, 2015, the household staff went to his room. By that time he had already answered his eternal summons.His wife Mrs. Ora Gibson Richards and their children are in the United States of America. They are due in Monrovia shortly for the funeral.Walter Dossen Richards was born on August 24, 1931. His father was the Rev. David Richards, long time pastor of First Baptist Church, Clay Ashland and former Senator of Montserrado County.Walter’s two brothers, R. Vanjah and the eminent Liberian architect Winston D. Richards, like Walter himself, were all born the same year, 1931.A graduate of the University of Liberia, Walter began his career in eduction as principal of the Student Union at the foot of Benson Street on Crown Hill, Monrovia. The school was run by the Liberia National Students Union (LINSU).He later became the private secretary to the Vice President of Liberia, Dr. William R. Tolbert. It was Dr. Tolbert who sent Walter to the United States for further studies. He obtained a Master’s degree in Divinity and Religious Education.He was twice married, first to a Brooks lady from Harper, Maryland County, to which union a son was born. Walter later wedded Ms. Ora Gibson Richard and to this union several children were born.His brothers R. Vahnjah Richards and Winston D. Richards predeceased him.He leaves to mourn his loss his wife, Ora G. Richards, his children Audrey Catherine Richards, Julius Wilfred Richards Sr., Walter David Richards, William Fred Cooper, Ingrid Martha Richards, David Sherman, Walter D. Richards, Jr., Warren Dean Richards and Hadiya Richards; 15 grand children; his sisters Bendu Moore and Louise Richards; nieces, nephews and a host of other family and friends. The Home-Going Events are as follow:June 26, 2015 – 1-3 p.m. Prayer Service & Viewing at Providence Baptist Church, MonroviaJune 26, 2015 5 p.m. – Wake Keeping at Salem Baptist Church, Brewerville (All Tributes Will Be Done At The Wake Keeping Except For Immediate Family, Churches, Liberia Baptist Convention, LOIC and Official Tributes)June 27, 20159 a.m. – Viewing at First Baptist Church, Clay Ashland11 a.m. – Funeral Service & Burial at First Baptist Church, Clay AshlandRepast Immediately Following Internment. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)