Thursday, October 31, 2013

Emptry Chairs: Brooklyn Dream Pop Band Play Record Release Show at Pianos Tomorrow Night (11/1)

"This is the music dreamscapes are made of in outer space. For people who don’t like drugs this might be a good way to explain what tripping is like." (Review Stalker)

Emptry Chairs: Brooklyn Dream Pop Band Play Record Release Show at Pianos Tomorrow Night (11/1)
Colorado native Peter Spear started Empty Chairs as a solo project when he moved to Brooklyn in 2011. While playing live shows at venues around New York City and recording a self-titled EP, Spear picked up band mates Whitney Broadstreet (keys/vocals) and Matthew O’Koren (drums/vocals). Now the fully formed trio is set to unleash their “swirling, kaleidoscopic foray into prismatic, psychedelic pop” (Unholy Rhythms) on their debut full-length album, Caveat Emptor.

Empty Chairs is holding their record release show at Pianos tomorrow night (Nov. 1st) -- advance tickets are $10 and the band's set time is10PM.  There are a number of good bands sharing the bill which include: Boston, MA's Spirit Kid, local experimental pop act Pink Drink  and Night Panther. (Small Plates Records' owner Conner McGlynn describes Night Panther as "sex pop...[t]he vocals scream velvet and black lights, the bass lines are assless leather chaps, etc. That sounds utterly ridiculous and it would be if these guys didn't have the quality and musicianship to back it up".)

Empty Chairs

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Post Teen Daze Remix of "Life Is Hard" and Video of Live Performance on NYC's WVUF

Original Version:

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros just posted an all new video for the single "Life Is Hard". The video features an acoustic version of the song, recorded live at WVUF in New York, set to the World Press Photo Contest winners of 2013, held yearly to showcase the highest standards in photojournalism and share them with millions.

Lead singer Alex Ebert said of the collaboration, "On some sleepless and homeless night, towards the end of my first trip to Amsterdam, I stumbled into what perhaps was a cathedral. It must have been midnight or thereabouts, but it was aglow and bustling. I entered and never forgot the experience not the name of the experience - it was an exhibit of World Press Photo winners. Years later, I am honored to have been given permission to put some of the photography from this year's winners to an acoustic recording of a song that means a lot to me called 'Life Is Hard'."

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have always been passionate about the community. From their earliest days in 2007, the band has consistently created music that uplifts and brings people together from all over the world. Individually and collectively, they've actively supported a variety of charitable endeavors, including: Charity Water, VH1 Save The Music Foundation, The American Red Cross, and many more. It is in this spirit that Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have formed the Big Sun Foundation - a non-profit organization that believes in the power of a unified world community. "We will identify causes and social issues that are important to all of us and work together to create opportunities to make a difference in the world one beautiful human at a time," said the members of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. "In joining together, we will bring awareness and support to causes that are fighting for the rights and basic needs of all beings."

The band just successfully wrapped up Big Top, a SOLD OUT self-curated festival featuring an outdoor bazaar with local vendors and a performance stage, as well as music happening all day under a traditional big top tent in Los Angeles.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

King Crimson: Robert Fripp Unveils New Line Up and Plans for Autumn 2014 Shows

DOWNLOAD: King Crimson - "Snowflake", 3/21/01 (Free Download - Requires Signup on DGMLive.Com)
(From DGMLive: This previously unreleased little gem dates from the writing rehearsals of what would be The Power To Believe. That descending chord sequence has a whiff of the coda to People about it but the electronica-tinged beats take it somewhere else entirely.)

King Crimson: Robert Fripp Unveils New Line Up and Plans for Autumn 2014 Shows
I'm pleasantly shocked that Robert Fripp has reactivated King Crimson as I had thought that his 'war' with Universal Group had sidelined the group permanently.

Uncut Magazine reported the following from Mr. Fripp: "King Crimson is returning to active service. We are on-call to be ready for a live performance on September 1, 2014. Seven members. Four English, three American. Three drummers. It’s a different configuration of King Crimson than before. Some are familiar names, maybe more than others. The first performance will take place in either North or South America," Fripp told Uncut. "There will be rehearsals primarily in England, and the final batch of rehearsals will most likely be in America in August or September 2014. There is a plan to include the UK in the tour dates, but it depends on a number of circumstances. Right now the primary geographical focus is the United States."

While I'm disappointed that Adrian Belew isn't back in the lineup, King Crimson VIII is comprised of Fripp, Gavin Harrison, Bill Rieflin, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Mel Collins and Jakko Jakszyk. Mel Collins return to the lineup strikes me as particularly exciting as he was the saxophonist, flautist, keyboardist, etc. in the 70's Crimso lineups from In the Wake of Poseidon through Red.

King Crimson

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fort Wilson Riot Posts New Single 'Yes Indeed' - A Slinky Synth-Based R&B Dance Number

Fort Wilson Riot Posts New Single 'Yes Indeed' - A Slinky R&B Jam
Rumors have been flying that daring avant pop duo Fort Wilson Riot (FWR) and renowned production wizard Ryan Olcott have been scheming to unleash a new set of sounds into the world. With the former 12 Rods and Mystery Palace man at the production helm, Fort Wilson Riot promise an album that blurs boundaries while immersing the listener in hypnotic waves from some sunset alien shore. With "Yes Indeed" you're about to get a taste of that wash of cosmic synth, dirty guitars and shimmering melodies, resulting in a surreally cinematic train ride.

The new single, “Yes Indeed”, came out of a spontaneous writing session in the summer of 2012 while FWR was hanging out with friends Greg Reese (Demographics), and Jared Isabella (Night Moves). Their only goal out of that was to write a sexy R&B jam, and that they did. In the hands of Olcott the song took on that silky, sultry sound that only he can conjure, and provides a glimmering preview of what's to come.

It has been a while since FWR has come through town so - for those who haven't caught the band live - here is a live video of one of my favorite songs from the band, "For All the Little Things", that was recorded earlier this year.

Fort Wilson Riot

Sammy Hagar: 'Sammy Hagar and Friends' CD Review (Frontiers Records)

Sammy Hagar: 'Sammy Hagar and Friends' CD Review (Frontiers Records)
In the great ‘debate’ in the 80’s over whether Van Halen should carry on without David Lee Roth (or call themselves ‘Van Hagar’), I was firmly in Diamond Dave’s camp. Now, almost 30 years later, my biases have almost completely faded and I found Sammy Hagar’s new disc, Sammy Hagar and Friends, to be significantly better than I ever would have anticipated. This isn’t to say that there aren’t some duds on the album but this disc has warranted an enjoyable couple of spins.

For his first solo disc in five years, Hagar has assembled an all-star cast of ‘friends’ which include Montrose alumni Bill Church & Denny Carmassi , Heart’s Nancy Wilson, Taj Mahal, Kid Rock, Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony and Journey’s Neil Schon. With Hagar’s list of friends including band mates from all points of his career, it is a bit noticeable (and somewhat humorous) that the Van Halen brothers are absent. The strengths on this album are when Hagar leverages these friends and returns to the 70’s hard rock that he played with Montrose. The album’s weakness is when Hagar goes down a pop-country path and sings duets with Ronnie Dunn (Brooks and Dunn) and Toby Keith.

The disc starts out on a strong note with the stomping blues rocker “Winding Down” where Hagar is joined on vocals by blues man Taj Mahal. This is followed by “Not Going Down”, which is a 70’s hard rock number that was written for Hagar by Rival Sons’ Jay Buchanan and features Montrose band mates Bill Church and Denny Carmassi along with ‘southern’ backing vocals from Claytoven Richardson, Sandy Griffith & Omega Rae. Hagar next covers Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” and reinterprets the song as a guitar-grinding blues number (with nice leads from Neal Schon) and big ‘southern’ backing vocals from the same trio of backup singers as on the previous track.

Hagar then completely switches gears and goes into the New Orleans’ soft-rocker “Father Sun” which features backing vocals from Hagar’s son Aaron and eclectic instrumentation that combines electric guitar with lap steel, accordion and mandolin. “Knockdown Dragout” features Kid Rock sharing the vocals and this track has a “Marilyn Manson – Beautiful People” groove that features guitar work from Joe Satriani (though Satch’s leads aren’t showcased until the end of the song). Hagar’s second cover, Bob Seger’s “ Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” is solid but misses the drive of the original. “Bad on Fords and Chevrolets” has a nice rock beat but has too much of a country twang for my taste with Hagar trading off vocals with Dunn. I never liked Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville” so Hagar’s slowed down version (and changing the lyrics to “Waboritaville” is pure cheese) makes me quickly hit “next” on the CD player. “We Need an Island” is another slow number featuring intricate percussion from the Dead’s Mickey Hart, a Tahitian ukulele and shared vocals from Nancy Wilson. This isn’t a bad number but it sounds like a Stephen Stills AOR number and bears no resemblance to the tracks that opened the disc. The disc ends on a strong note with a live in-the-studio run through of “Going Down” (which was made popular by The Jeff Beck Group), featuring raw vocals from Hagar and blistering guitar leads from Neal Schon.

Sammy Hagar and Friends

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Paul McCartney Premieres 'Queenie Eye' - First Official Music Video from 'New'

Paul McCartney Premieres 'Queenie Eye' - First Official Music Video from 'New'
Paul McCartney's 24th studio album, New, came out on October 15th and this disc is McCartney's first album of brand "new" solo material in six years. After unveiling a video of an impromptu acoustic performance of the disc's title track "New", McCartney has now released the first official music video from the new disc, which is for the song "Queenie Eye".

Earlier this month, McCartney played a surprise concert in Times Square and performed four songs from New - "New", "Save Us", "Everybody Out There" and "Queenie Eye". At this impromptu show, Paul commented "We only get fifteen minutes up here. Andy Warhol predicted that I would get 15 minutes of fame. This is it!" He also took time to thank the NYPD for allowing him to perform in such a busy and iconic part of the city.

Paul McCartney

Coney Hatch - 'Four' CD Review (Frontiers Records)

Coney Hatch - 'Four' CD Review (Frontiers Records)
Back in the day, the phrase ‘arena rock’ didn’t have the negative “mass marketing” connotation that it seems to have today so, growing up, I went to a number of shows at the Capital Centre – which was a concrete monolith in the “Middle-of-Nowhere”, MD. I only have vague memories of Canadian arena rockers Coney Hatch coming through town (I didn’t catch the show where the band opened for Iron Maiden) so Coney Hatch’s reunion disc Four was my first exposure to the band’s music.

Even without knowing the band’s back catalog, Four is a surprisingly strong release given this is the band’s first disc in 28 years. For those like me who weren’t familiar with Coney Hatch’s sound, I’d compare the band’s new album to a smoother-edged Kix with some hints/riffs of early AC/DC around the edges. Coney Hatch features two vocalists: rhythm guitarist Carl Dixon, who sings the hook-heavy melodic numbers, and bassist Andy Curran, who sings the grittier bar room rockers.

The disc starts with “Blown Away” (sung by Dixon) which has some insanely catchy melodic hooks and a big sing-along chorus. This is followed by “Boy’s Club” (sung by Curran), which is a gritty guitar-driven rocker. With Dixon and Curran almost evenly splitting lead vocals, these two songs give a good indication of the sound of the rest of the disc. Some of the other strong numbers are the up-tempo “Down & Dirty” and the blues-rocker “Devil You Know” (both sung by Dixon), “Marseilles” (which lifts its guitar riffs from Bon Scott era AC/DC) and the fist-pumping, guitar chugging “We Want More” (these later two tracks are sung by Curran). While the majority of the disc is high-energy, the band slows the pace down a bit on “Revive” (which features upfront vocals from both vocalists) and the disc closer “Holding On”, which is a mellow rockers that is sure to get the lighters in the air. The only “oddball” cut on the disc is “Do It Again” which is a bit lighter weight than the rest of the disc and sounds like a alt-pop modern rock number.

For anyone who missed the pre-hair metal arena rock scene, check out the video for the short film "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" – which was filmed in the parking lot before a Dokken / Judas Priest concert in 1986 at the Capital Centre.

Here is the back story behind Coney Hatch’s reunion: Late one night, on his way home from a recording session in Australia, a weary Carl Dixon had a near fatal head-on car collision that left him clinging to life. While Carl was still in an induced coma, his wife reached out to the other members of Coney Hatch and asked them to offer words of encouragement over to the phone to Carl. She held the phone to his ear as he lay unconscious in his bed. "I told him to get better quick," says bassist/vocalist Andy Curran. "I said we had a lot more rockin' to do with Coney Hatch. I really didn't think we'd play together again but it just came out of my mouth… and Carl remembered it!"

Coney Hatch

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Psychic TV Announces Two Free Shows in December at Brooklyn Night Bazaar / New COUM Transmissions Album Out on Dais Records

Psychic TV Announces Two Free Shows in December at Brooklyn Night Bazaar / New COUM Transmissions Album Out on Dais Records
In place of Psychic TV's annual December show at Europe, the band has announced two free shows in December at the new Brooklyn Night Bazaar space. The shows are Friday, Dec. 27th and Saturday, Dec. 28th and the shows start at 6PM. For Friday night's show, Psychic TV is supported by Heliotropes and House of Blondes. At Saturday night's show, PTV is supported by long-time Genesis P-Orridge collaborator Bryin Dall. Psychic TV fans will want to bring some extra cash as it is probably safe to assume that PTV will have some limited edition merchandise at this show as they have in previous years.

For those who remember Brooklyn Night Bazaar as a limited-time event, Daily News reported last Friday: "Modeled after similar markets found throughout the East, the Brooklyn Night Bazaar — an experimental offering the last three years — has settled down in permanent digs that allow for year-round shopping, drinking and eating every weekend night. The new permanent site of Aaron Broudo’s Brooklyn Night Bazaar at the corner of Banker St. and Norman Ave. Indie bands, local food, beers and even ping pong tables and a mini-golf course are in the offing at the 24,000-square-foot warehouse at 165 Banker St. in the midst of hipster heaven: the border of Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Beginning Nov. 1, the night market will run just north of its unrelated cousin, the successful Brooklyn Flea, a daytime weekend market."

Lastly, Dais Records just released a limited edition compilation from Genesis and Cosey Fanni Tutti's pre-Throbbing Gristle band COUM Transmissions. "The most recent installment of the rare & unheard archival recordings from the transgressive 70's performance art group COUM Transmissions. Founded in late 1969 by Genesis P-Orridge & Jesus Joheero, COUM Transmissions’s provocative performances mixed with visual art solidified the group as one of the most forward thinking breakthroughs within the 70′s conceptual art scene. Only in the past couple years has COUM’s recorded works seen the light of day. This release collects various selections spanning the years 1971 through 1975, including a rare live performance opening for Hawkwind, lost radio interview, obtuse poetry readings by early member Fizzey Peat, piano & violin compositions by Genesis P-Orridge and insightful field recordings. Limited to 1,000 vinyl copies."

This new LP, Home Ages and the 18 Month Hope, is available for $18 though Dais Records' website.

Genesis P-Orridge

The Who Announce Deluxe (And Super-Deluxe) Edition of 'Tommy' Out on Nov. 12th

The Who Announce Deluxe (And Super-Deluxe) Edition of 'Tommy' Out on Nov. 12th
Tommy, The Who’s defining, breakthrough concept album – a full-blown rock opera about a deaf, dumb and blind boy that launched the band to international superstardom – is to be released in Deluxe and limited edition Super Deluxe editions on November 12.

Originally released in May 1969, The Who were at a career crossroads, they were known mainly as a singles band but this project launched them as a serious “album band” and has now sold over 20 million copies as well as regularly turning up in lists of the most influential albums of all time. Coming after The Who Sell Out in 1967, Tommy marked a complete change in style with Pete Townshend's lengthy conceptual narrative bringing exciting new opportunities to rock music. Tommy was and remains an ambitious, complex and controversial work.

This new Deluxe and Super Deluxe remastered version of the album comes with a wealth of previously unheard material in the form of 20 demos from Pete Townshend’s archive and also a full, live performance of “Tommy” from 1969 taken from tapes that infamously Townshend asked the band’s sound engineer to burn! Eighteen of the previously unheard and thought to be long lost live tracks are taken from a live show at the Capital Theatre in Ottowa, Canada, on October 15, 1969. Three others, “I’m Free,” “Tommy’s Holiday Camp” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It” were lost due to tape reels being changed during the show, so they are taken from later shows of the same era. As discussed at length in Pete Townshend’s autobiography, the tapes were all supposed to be destroyed but were kept by longtime Who sound man Bob Pridden, despite Pete’s instructions.

The limited edition Super Deluxe box features a 5.1 mix featuring the complete album remixed in surround sound on new Hi-Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray format. The box set also comes with a hardback 80-page full-color book featuring rare period photos, memorabilia, a 20,000-word essay by legendary Who aficionado Richard Barnes and a rare facsimile “Tommy” poster, all housed in a hardback deluxe slipcase.

Limited Edition Super Deluxe Edition

Disc 1 – The original album (2013 re-master)
- Digitally remastered in HD

Disc 2 – The demos and outtakes
- Features 20 previously unreleased tracks from Pete Townshend’s demo archive

Disc 3 – The 5.1 album mix – Hi-Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray
- The complete album remixed in surround sound on new Hi-Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray format

Disc 4 – The live ‘bootleg’ album
- Features 21 previously unreleased tracks from various live shows from 1969

The super-deluxe edition also includes a hardback 80-page full-color book featuring rare period photos and memorabilia, 20,000-word essay by legendary Who aficionado Richard Barnes and a rare facsimile “Tommy” poster.

Track Listing:

Disc 1 The original album (2013 re-master)
1. Overture 5.20
2. It’s A Boy 0.38
3. 1921 2.49
4. Amazing Journey 5.04
5. Sparks 2.05
6. The Hawker (Eyesight To The Blind) 2.13
7. Christmas 4.34
8. Cousin Kevin 4.05
9. The Acid Queen 3.34
10. Underture 10.01
11. Do You Think It’s Alright? 0.24
12. Fiddle About 1.29
13. Pinball Wizard 3.01
14. There’s A Doctor 0.23
15. Go To The Mirror! 3.47
16. Tommy Can You Hear Me? 1.35
17. Smash The Mirror 1.34
18. Sensation 2.25
19. Miracle Cure 0.12
20. Sally Simpson 4.10
21. I’m Free 2.39
22. Welcome 4.32
23. Tommy’s Holiday Camp 0.57
24. We’re Not Gonna Take It 7.06

Disc 2 Demos and Extras
1. Overture 4:07
2. It's A Boy 0:41
3. 1921 3:13
4. Amazing Journey 4:47
5. Dream One 3:09
6. Sparks 7:38
7. The Hawker 4:45
8. Christmas 4:42
9. Acid Queen 3:35
10. Underture (Dream Two) 1:47
11. Do You Think It's Alright 0:26
12. Pinball Wizard 3:42
13. There's A Doctor 0:24
14. Go To The Mirror! 4:32
15. Success 0:10
16. Tommy Can You Hear Me 1:15
17. Smash The Mirror 1:37
18. Sensation 2:47
19. Miracle Cure 0:11
20. Sally Simpson 4:50
21. I'm Free 2:27
22. Welcome 3:26
23. We're Not Gonna Take It 5:02
24. Trying To Get Through 2:27
25. Young Man Blues 2:47

Tracks 1 - 23 - Pete Townshend - original demos.
All previously unreleased except 2, 11 and 12 – released in 2003
Track 24 - The Who - studio demo/outtake.
Track 25 - The Who - studio recording (NOTE: This version was previously only available on “The House That Track Built” vinyl sampler).

Disc 3 Hi-Fidelity Pure Audio - Blu-ray disc (5.1 mixes)
Overture 5.20
It’s a boy 0.37
1921 2.49
Amazing journey 5.05
Sparks 2.05
The Hawker 2.14
Christmas 4.34
Cousin Kevin 4.07
The acid queen 3.34
Underture 10.05
Do you think it’s alright? 0.25
Fiddle about 1.31
Pinball wizard 3.01
There’s a doctor 0.24
Go to the mirror! 3.48
Tommy can you hear me? 1.35
Smash the mirror 1.33
Sensation 2.27
Miracle cure 0.12
Sally Simpson 4.11
I’m Free 2.39
Welcome 4.32
Tommy’s holiday camp 0.57
We’re not gonna take it 7.06

Disc 4 Live Bootleg
1. Overture (including Introduction) 7.00
2. It's A Boy 0.39
3. 1921 2.28
4. Amazing Journey 5.07
5. Sparks 2.49
6. The Hawker (Eyesight To The Blind) 1.54
7. Christmas 3.11
8. The Acid Queen 3.30
9. Pinball Wizard 2.47
10. Do You Think It's Alright? 0.21
11. Fiddle About 1.12
12. Tommy Can You Hear Me? 0.55
13. There's A Doctor 0.24
14. Go To The Mirror! 3.22
15. Smash The Mirror 1.10
16. Miracle Cure 0.12
17. Sally Simpson 4.01
18. I’m Free 2.12
19. Tommy’s Holiday Camp 0.48
20. We’re Not Gonna Take It 3.28
21. See Me, Feel Me / Listening To You 7.51


2-CD deluxe edition, digi-pak
- CD 1 Original album remastered
- CD 2 Live Bootleg

1-CD remastered version
- Original album (single disc)

Deluxe vinyl edition

2-piece, heavyweight
- Original LP configuration

Digital Formats and Optimized for Digital Formats
Super deluxe box set
- Tracks from SDE box, excluding 5.1 mixes

Digital deluxe edition
- ‘Mirror’ of 2-CD physical

Digital album (original album)
- Mirror’ of 1-CD physical

The Who

A Night With Janis Joplin: Broadway Show Review (Lyceum Theatre 149 W. 45th Street)

A Night With Janis Joplin: Broadway Show Review (Lyceum Theatre 149 W. 45th Street)
Broadway musical “A Night With Janis Joplin” is the first show that I’ve seen that is presented as more of a rock concert than a ‘traditional’ Broadway show. This isn’t a Glee-for-GenXers sing-along like “Rock of Ages” but the focus of the show is on Janis Joplin’s music and the blues singers that inspired her. Mary Bridget Davies, who plays Joplin, really connected with the sold-out crowd at the Lyceum Theatre, and this is the first time that I’ve seen a Broadway audience sway in their seats, wave their hands in the air and stand up to dance.

Davies is no stranger to the music of Janis Joplin as she sang with the reunited Big Brother and the Holding Company and toured with the Joplin musical “Love Janis” so she is able to channel both the passion and the edge to Joplin’s music. Stevie Nicks’ description of Joplin’s music is really what the show is about: “she mak[es] such a powerful and deep emotional connection with the audience…Janis put herself out there completely, and her voice was not only strong and soulful, it was painfully and beautifully real. She sang in the great tradition of the rhythm and blues singers that were her heroes, but she brought her own dangerous, sexy rock and roll edge to every single song.

While Davies nails her portrayal of Joplin, the four blues singers give equally powerful performances. Nikki Kimbrough portrays Etta James and her version of “Tell Mama” transitions into to Joplin's rendition.  De’Adre Aziza portrays Odette (who sings “Down on Me”) and this song also transitions into Joplin's rendition.  Taprena Michelle Augustine, who portrays Bessie Smith, sings “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out”. The most powerful performance of the four is the explosive duet between Allison Blackwell (who plays Aretha Franklin/Blues Woman) and Davies on “Summertime”

The set at the Lyceum is a recreation of a concert stage – where Davies and her backup singers (who also take solos as the blues singers that inspired Joplin) spend most of their show. There is also living room set on the right side of the stage where Davies, alongside her Southern Comfort bottle, take time to narrate the different events in Joplin’s life. Davies talks a lot about having the blues but there is no explicit mention of the demons that Joplin seemed to be exorcising by singing the blues. Having the blues seems to be an everyday occurrence for Joplin and causes range from ‘I got the blues because I don’t have the quarter for a bottle of wine’ to ‘the blues is just a good woman feeling bad’.

The narration isn’t much more than the basic back story for that particular point in Joplin’s life as there is no digging into Joplin’s booze and drugs addiction or her broken romances. Given this, the audience may not appreciate the symbolic reference in Davies’ performance of ''I'm Gonna Rock My Way to Heaven,”, which was a song intended for Joplin’s Pearl album but was never recorded due to the singer’s untimely death. All of Joplin’s crowd pleasing hits are performed along with a few blues numbers and the show ended with a standing ovation as the entire cast backed Davies through an a cappella rendition of “Mercedes Benz”. All-in-all, this is a feel good story about the power of music and the emotional connection between a singer and the audience.

“A Night with Janis Joplin” is currently running at the Lyceum Theatre (149 W. 45th Street). The show runs for two hours (not including intermission) and tickets range from $49 - $199. Tickets are on sale through March 30, 2014.

A Night with Janis Joplin

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Beatles Announce the Release of 'On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2' on Nov. 11th

The Beatles Announce the Release of 'On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2' on Nov. 11th
In 1994, The Beatles’ Live at the BBC was released to worldwide acclaim - hitting number one in the U.K., number three in the U.S. and selling more than five million copies within six weeks. A new companion to The Beatles’ first BBC collection, On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2, will be released Monday, November 11 in 2CD and 180-gram vinyl packages with a 48-page booklet. On Air’s 63 tracks, none of which overlaps with The Beatles’ first BBC release, include 37 previously unreleased performances and 23 previously unreleased recordings of in-studio banter and conversation between the band’s members and their BBC radio hosts.

In the studios of the British Broadcasting Corporation, The Beatles performed music for a variety of radio shows. On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2 presents the sound of The Beatles seizing their moment to play for the nation. Thrilled to hear these exciting recordings again, Paul McCartney said, “There’s a lot of energy and spirit. We are going for it, not holding back at all, trying to put in the best performance of our lifetimes.”

Ten of On Air’s songs were never recorded by the group for EMI in the 1960s, including two making their debuts with the new release: The Beatles’ direct-to-air performance of Chuck Berry’s “I’m Talking About You” and a rocking cover of the standard “Beautiful Dreamer.” On Air also includes different versions of six rarities heard on the 1994 BBC collection: Little Richard’s “Lucille,” Chuck Berry’s “Memphis, Tennessee,” Chan Romero’s “The Hippy Hippy Shake,” Ray Charles’ “I Got A Woman,” and two songs they learned from records by Carl Perkins, “Glad All Over” and “Sure To Fall.”

The Beatles’ tribute to the BBC’s most important pop show of the early ’60s – “Happy Birthday, Dear Saturday Club” – is another surprise. As John Lennon recalled in 1980, “We did a lot of tracks that were never on record for Saturday Club – they were well recorded, too.” Paul remembers, “We’d been raised on the BBC radio programs. One of the big things in our week was Saturday Club – this great show was playing the kind of music we loved, so that was something we really aspired to.

Between March 1962 and June 1965, no fewer than 275 unique musical performances by The Beatles were broadcast by the BBC in the U.K. The group played songs on 39 radio shows in 1963 alone. Ringo Starr said in 1994, “You tend to forget that we were a working band. It’s that mono sound. There were usually no overdubs. We were in at the count-in and that was it. I get excited listening to them.” On their busiest BBC day, July 16, 1963, The Beatles recorded 18 songs for three editions of their Pop Go The Beatles series in fewer than seven hours.

The group played 88 distinct songs in their BBC sessions – some were recorded many times; others performed just once. At the time, three national BBC stations provided all daytime radio broadcasting in the U.K. Only the Light Programme network might occasionally play a record. Most broadcast music was live music. Consequently, to promote their releases, The Beatles had to play live at the BBC. “Everything was done instantly,” remembered George Harrison, “But before that, we used to drive 200 miles in an old van down the M1, come into London, try and find the BBC and then set up and do the program. Then we’d probably drive back to Newcastle for a gig in the evening!

On Air also features BBC recordings of 30 well-loved songs from The Beatles’ catalogue, including five number ones and other favorites such as: “I Saw Her Standing There,” “Twist And Shout,” “Do You Want To Know A Secret,” “Boys,” “Please Mister Postman,” “Money,” “And I Love Her,” and “If I Fell.”

Like its critically acclaimed predecessor, On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2 includes audio of The Beatles talking to DJs Brian Matthew and Alan Freeman and Pop Go The Beatles hosts Lee Peters and Rodney Burke. When first broadcast, pop fans were amazed to hear such witty irreverence on the rather formal BBC and it is great fun to hear these extracts now. In addition, On Air releases, for the first time, the group’s candid interviews for the Pop Profile series recorded in November 1965 and May 1966.

Newly remastered for reissue on November 11, The Beatles’ first Live at the BBC album sounds and looks better than ever. This collection of the group’s BBC sessions mixed versions of their hits with a treasure trove of 30 songs The Beatles performed on air but never released on record in the 1960s. The compelling track list ranged from a rare performance of the little known Lennon-McCartney original “I’ll Be On My Way” to covers of classic rock ’n’ roll and contemporary rhythm and blues songs. At the time of its release, Live at the BBC was hailed by Rolling Stone as “an exhilarating portrait of a band in the process of shaping its own voice and vision.” It earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Historical Album.

Live at the BBC was assembled by George Martin in 1994 and On Air - Live at the BBC Volume Two was compiled and researched by producers Kevin Howlett and Mike Heatley. Both albums have been meticulously mastered by engineers Guy Massey and Alex Wharton at Abbey Road Studios. The booklets for both collections include Kevin Howlett’s essays on the history of The Beatles’ BBC radio sessions and his detailed commentaries on all of the tracks.

Digital Pre-Order
Live at the BBC 1
On Air- Live at the BBC 2

CD Pre-Order
Live at the BBC 1
On Air- Live at the BBC2

LP Pre-Order
Live at the BBC 1 – 3LP
On Air- Live at the BBC2 – 3LP at Amazon

The Beatles

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Broadcast (70's "Grace Slick meets Janis Joplin" Rock) Play NYC Album Release Show at Rockwood Music Hall on Nov. 2nd

STREAM: The Broadcast - "Don't Waste It" (from Dodge the Arrow - released Sept. '13)

The Broadcast (70's Blues Rock/Soul) Play NYC Album Release Show at Rockwood Music Hall on Nov. 2nd
This looks like a fun show as there is certainly enough "Grace Slick meets Janis Joplin" in The Broadcast lead singer Caitlin Krisko's vocals. NYC-to-Asheville, NC transplants The Broadcast are playing their NYC record release show at Rockwood Music Hall on November 2nd in support of their latest disc, Dodge the Arrow, which came out last month. This is a late show (doors at 11PM) and advance tickets are $10.

It sounds like you are going to want to get to the show on the early side as this is the first time that I've seen Rockwood post "Very limited seating".

The Broadcast is hard-edged, soulful rock music bursting-at-the-seams. Drawing much of their ambiance from 70′s classic rock, they’re a band with an explosive female lead singer, riffing guitar, mood-altering keys and a rock-solid rhythm section. A dynamic ensemble known for their powerful live performances, The Broadcast continues to break new ground across the country with vocal powerhouse Caitlin Krisko leading every step of the way. Described by audiences as a modern day “Grace Slick meets Led Zeppelin”, The Broadcast’s infectious energy and authentic approach to rock & roll music has propelled them into the live music community spotlight.

The Broadcast

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mat Sinner - 'Touch of Sin 2' Interview with BrooklynRocks, Oct. '13

Mat Sinner - 'Touch of Sin 2' Interview with BrooklynRocks, Oct. '13
German bassist/vocalist Mat Sinner isn’t exactly a household name in the States but he is a big draw in Europe as Sinner (the band) was formed in 1980 and has over a dozen full-length albums under their belt. Sinner’s style of music is melodic, guitar-driven hard rock and points of reference are U.D.O., Accept and Saxon. Sinner’s newest disc, Touch of Sin 2 (AFM Records), came out on Sept. 10th and is comprised of 11 re-recorded tracks from Sinner’s predominately out-of-print back catalog, a cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Don’t Believe a Word” along with two new songs. Here is a link to a review of Sinner's Touch of Sin 2 disc that I posted last month.

Mike from BrooklynRocks talked with Mat earlier this month about the new disc and the impetus behind it. They also talked about Mat's upcoming projects - a forthcoming Primal Fear disc, which will be followed by a US tour next year, and the 2014 edition of Mat's annual Rock Meets Classic tour which features vocalists Alice Cooper, Joe Lynn Turner and Kim Wilde.

Primal Fear 2014 US Tour Dates
April 29, 2014 -- Baltimore - Soundstage
April 30, 2014 -- New York - Stage 48 (Tickets are $20 and there is a VIP ticket (early admission, meet-and-greet, etc.) available for $50)
May 01, 2014 -- Quebec - Le Cercle
May 02, 2014 -- Montreal - Petit Campus
May 03, 2014 -- Toronto - MOD Club
May 04, 2014 -- Cleveland - Agora Theater
May 06, 2014 -- Joliet, Illinois - Mojoes
May 07, 2014 -- Lawrence, Kansas - Granada Theater
May 08, 2014 -- Denver - Bluebird Theater
May 10, 2014 -- Seattle - El Corazon
May 11, 2014 -- Vancouver - The Venue
May 12, 2014 -- Portland - Hawthorne Theater
May 14, 2014 -- San Francisco - DNA Lounge
May 15, 2014 -- Anaheim California - The Grove
May 16, 2014 -- Tempe, Arizona - Club Red
May 18, 2014 -- Dallas, Texas - Trees
May 19, 2014 -- Houston, Texas - Scout Bar
May 21, 2014 -- Atlanta - The Masquerade
May 22, 2014 -- Louisville - Diamond Pub
May 23, 2014 -- Pittsburgh - Altar Bar
May 24, 2014 -- Rochester - Montage Music Hall


Monday, October 14, 2013

Cold Blood Club, Marco Argiro, The Bushwick Hotel, Graveyard Lovers (etc.) Play CMJ Showcase at Bowery Electric Tomorrow Night

Cold Blood Club, Marco Argiro, The Bushwick Hotel, Graveyard Lovers (etc.) Play CMJ Showcase at Bowery Electric Tomorrow Night
For CMJ this year, my plan was to target specific bands and not get burnt out too quickly by trying to stay out all night but...I may end up breaking this vow early on as tomorrow night's CMJ Showcase at Bowery Electric has a solid lineup of local bands. This is a free show and doors are at 4PM.

Here is the lineup for the night:

4:30 PM - Ula Ruth
Indie rock quartet, Ula Ruth, makes catchy tunes that you're sure to like if you dig The Strokes, The Vaccines, and The Arctic Monkeys. Michael Andronico ( says, "There’s something about Ula Ruth that’s comfortingly familiar, though their fresh take on rock n’ roll is hard to come by in this generation of music. The CT four-piece hint at a ton of potential on their debut, and could become real rock heavyweights if they keep making music like this."

5:10 PM - Whale Belly
"Whale Belly glitter with colour and light,” writes Folk Radio UK. Known for their incredibly energetic live shows, the band has been entertaining crowds everywhere from the Highline Ballroom to venues in Paris and Amsterdam and have performed aside prominent bands like Cults and Beach Fossils.

5:50 PM - Poor Remy
"When you least expect it, things suddenly pick up into a folk-jangled sing-along set to the style of tomorrow. And by 'tomorrow', I mean a new sound that hasn't set itself loose on mainstream audiences, and I'm excited for a band like Poor Remy to help usher in this future." (Baeble Music) With their soaring vocal harmonies, foot stomping choruses and relentless energy; Poor Remy creates emotional, heartfelt and invigorating music and live performances.

6:30 PM - Tam Lin
Praised by Time Out New York as "mellifluous" and like "listening to Jeff Buckley and/or falling in love," Tam Lin is an acclaimed NYC-based storyteller folk-rock band, fronted by Paul Weinfield.

7:10 PM - Cold Blood Club
Brooklyn 6-piece, Cold Blood Club, have been hailed as “almost too catchy for their own good” (The Deli Magazine). Mastering catchy dance grooves, electro-beats and pop sensibilities, they have beeen conquering the New York Indie dance scene one packed venue at a time since they debuted their edgy blend of soul, rock, and pop.

7:50 PM - Marco Argiro
Following a successful stint fronting Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg, The Killing Floor’s Marco Argiro steps out solo with his September 2013 release Love. Channeling psychedelic rock with harmonies reminiscent of the West Coast sounds of the 70s, Argiro reinvents the message, “All you need is love,” for a new generation.

8:30 PM - Animal Years
“Animal Years, a young band packed with promise, channel an eclectic array of acts from John Hiatt to Tallest Man On Earth to Cold War Kids." (When the Gramophone Rings) Bringing a fresh face to indie roots rock, Brooklyn’s Animal Years showcase their free-wheeling, feel-good melodies and heart-tugging harmonies on their September 2013 debut, Sun Will Rise.

9:10 PM - Graveyard Lovers
"A dynamic trio carrying the torch of Pixies, Stripes, Sonic Youth & your favorite indie-grit gods... Graveyard Lovers have grabbed the spirit of rock ‘n roll by the throat and channeled a barrage of gritty, heavy blues riffs through a groove-rich spectrum inhabited by the likes of Jack White and Band of Skulls." (Crave Online) On their September 2013 release, Dreamers, Graveyard Lovers reinvigorate Louisiana-blues-infused grunge-rock for a modern age.

9:50 PM - The Dough Rollers
RIYL: Alabama Shakes, Queens of the Stone Age and Heartless Bastards, the rising blues-rock quartet recently released a 7” on Jack White’s Third Man Records which "simultaneously kicks you in the face and makes you reconsider your life in college for not becoming a rock star," (Vice / Noisey) They’ve toured with Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp and Queens of the Stone Age and plan to put out an EP later this year with a single produced by Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age).

10:30 PM - The Bushwick Hotel
“A raucous band filled with brass and blues... The Bushwick Hotel makes classic rock cool again with aggressive sax solos, hot bongos and a pinch of the absurd.” ( On their forthcoming album Graffiti of the Young Man's Mind, out November 2013, indie rock is dipped in jazz and blues and embellished with the band members' diverse musical backgrounds.

11:10 PM - Motive
RIYL: Divine Fits, Nirvana, Pixies and The White Stripes. "This track feels like ’90s rock to us in all of the best ways and the “Black Hole Sun”-esque video is sure to see the guys back on 120 Minutes” (NYLON Guys). The Brooklyn based foursome have shared the stage with buzzing bands like The Vaccines and Walk The Moon and recently recorded a cover of Talking Head's "Psycho Killer" for Jean Paul Gaultier's fashion video.

11:50 PM - Von Shakes
“One of Ireland’s greatest live acts in years,” (Today FM), Von Shakes is the latest Irish import to embody the sound of youth, angst, and chaos as they take over American soil. Known throughout Ireland, England, Germany, Russia and now the US for providing an onslaught of energy with every melodic vocal, guitar riff and drum beat, the Brooklyn-based quartet is set to release Bohemia in November 2013.

12:30 AM - Slim Wray
"They strip it down so good, you’ll be tempted to put a dollar bill in their g-string." (Rust Magazine) Blues-based, primal rock band Slim Wray have fine-tuned the art of bombastic, irreverent rock 'n roll. Running on thunderous drums and gritty, fuzz-fueled guitar riffs, these raucous and gritty Brooklynites will be welcoming their album Sack Lunch in November 2013.

City Riots: Australian Indie Rock/Dream Pop Band Play Nine NYC Shows in Support of Debut Album 'Sea of Bright Lights'

City Riots: Australian Indie Rock/Dream Pop Band Play Nine NYC Shows in Support of Debut Album 'Sea of Bright Lights'
Australia’s City Riots make their return to North America this week with a whopping nine shows in New York, starting tonight at The Rock Shop in Brooklyn. This set of shows will include a performance at the Lit Lounge on October 15 as part of this fall’s CMJ Music Marathon. The trio will be performing throughout the New York area over the next two weeks in support of their recently released debut full-length, Sea Of Bright Lights.

Upon its initial release in their homeland last year, the praise for Sea Of Bright Lights was almost unanimous amongst media for its blend of jangly guitar hooks with dreamy reverbed pop. This includes snagging the title of “Best Local Release of 2012” by Radio Adelaide and world-focused media such as Sputnik Music proclaiming that the music possesses “choruses that sneak their way into your subconscious until you’re humming them along involuntarily.” With a vibrant live show and sunshine-inflected sound, the band has been able to hold their own while touring. Some tour-mates on these jaunts include The Smashing Pumpkins, indie rock notables Atlas Genius and even psychobilly punkers, The Living End. It has seen them branch out to the U.S. for appearances at recent editions of SXSW, CMJ, and Filter’s Culture Collide Festival.

Check out the video for “Lonely Hearts” which features a collection of live footage taken from the Adelaide-based group’s recent tours.

City Riots’ Upcoming Shows:
10/14 – The Rock Shop – Brooklyn, NY
10/15 – Cake Shop (daytime show, 5pm) – New York, NY
10/15 – Lit Lounge (Official CMJ showcase, 11pm) – New York, NY
10/17 – The Raven (Bulldog Gin Party) – New York, NY
10/18 – Kilmat Lounge (album listening party followed by acoustic set, 11pm) – New York, NY
10/19 – The Delancey (Aussie BBQ) – New York, NY
10/21 – Rockwood Music Hall – New York, NY
10/22 – Pianos – New York, NY
10/23 – Bowery Electric – New York, NY

City Riots

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Wine Women and Song Festival: NJ's Cava Winery and Vineyard Presents Outdoor Music Festival on Oct. 26th

Wine Women and Song Festival: NJ's Cava Winery and Vineyard Presents Outdoor Music Festival on Oct. 26th
Effective Immediately PR and Cava Winery and Vineyard are pleased to announce the first Wine Women And Song, a festival celebrating women, which will take place outdoors on the ground of the Cava Winery in Hamburg, NJ on Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 12-6pm. The event will feature wine tasting from several New Jersey wineries, crafters, food created by Cava’s own award winning chef as well as showcase five select female-fronted musical acts from the NYC/NJ area. General admission is $10-20 in advance ($25 day of) and all ages are welcome.

The musical lineup consists of:
Jenna Torres
Hillary Capps
Shelly Bhushan
The Big Takeover

The gates open at 12pm and the music kicks off at 12:30pm and continues through 6pm. All five music acts are based in the greater New York City area and include genres country music, pop, rock, soul and reggae. Advance Tickets (available until Friday, Oct. 25th):
$20 for adults
$10 for children ages 6-18
Free for kids ages 5 and under.

Tickets will be available for purchase at the gate for $25 the day of the event.

About Cava Winery and Vineyard
Based in the beautiful rolling hills of Hamburg in northwest New Jersey, the Cava Winery and Vineyard was established by the Riccio Family in 2007. Anthony Riccio, the CEO, spent a good part of his youth growing up in Morris County, NJ. After traveling the Tuscan countryside and watching hands take grapes from vine to wine, he decided to bring his heritage and passion for winemaking to the region where his love for working the land began. His goal is to fuse the old world with the place he again calls home.

Cava Winery and Vineyards
3619 New Jersey 94
Hamburg, NJ 07419

Cava Winery

Bruce Springsteen Posts New Cover of Suicide's 'Dream Baby Dream' as the Soundtrack to Tour Retrospective Video

Bruce Springsteen Posts New Cover of Suicide's 'Dream Baby Dream' as the Soundtrack to Tour Retrospective Video
I would have never figured Bruce Springsteen for a fan of NYC proto-punk duo Suicide but The Boss closed his set a number of nights on his 2005 Devils and Dust solo acoustic tour with a modified version of "Dream Baby Dream" played on the pump organ. Mojo Magazine talked with Springsteen right around this time and he said "I've liked Suicide for a long time...I met the guys late in the '70s in New York City, when we were in the studio at the same time. You know, if Elvis came back from the dead I think he would sound like Alan Vaga. He gets a lot of emotional purity. I came across 'Dream Baby Dream' again because Michael Stipe included it on a compilation and I thought maybe I could do it." A live version og the song, recorded in Boston, was released on a limited edition vinyl E.P. celebrating Alan Vega's 70th birthday.

Bruce Springsteen has now posted a thank you letter to fans along with a full band version of the song which serves as the soundtrack to video highlights of the recently wrapped-up 18 month Wrecking Ball tour.

For anyone curious, here is the original Suicide version:

Bruce Springsteen

Thursday, October 10, 2013

First Aid Kit Performed 'Emmylou' on Late Night with David Letterman Last Tuesday / Tour Winds Up Tonight with a Show at Radio City Music Hall

First Aid Kit Performed 'Emmylou' on Late Night with David Letterman on Tuesday / Tour Winds Up Tonight with a Show at Radio City Music Hall
Stockholm, Sweden's First Aid Kit performed their celebrated single "Emmylou" last Tuesday night (October 1st) on The Late Show with David Letterman (Video Below). "Emmylou," chosen by Rolling Stone as the magazine's #10 'Single of the Year' in 2012, is off the duo's acclaimed sophomore album The Lion's Roar. Released on January 17th, 2012 via Wichita Recordings, the album has sold over 75,000 copies in the US to date.

First Aid Kit - sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg - began their run of October US tour dates last week with a headlining show at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, CA on October 3rd. Over the weekend, they also performed at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco (about which the SF Weekly's All Shook Down blog wrote "...Söderberg sisters sounded bright and energetic during the penultimate set of the day") and the Way Over Yonder Festival in Los Angeles, CA. They return to New York City tonight, October 10th, to support Rodriguez at Radio City Music Hall.

On October 15th, First Aid Kit's debut EP "Drunken Trees" will be reissued on 180 gram white vinyl in the US via Wichita Recordings. "Drunken Trees" was first released by The Knife-owned label Rabid in 2008 when the Söderbergs were only teenagers, and re-released by Wichita Recordings in 2009.

First Aid Kit

Junip Plays Le Poisson Rouge Tonight / Self-Titled CD Review (Mute)

Junip Plays Le Poisson Rouge Tonight / Self-Titled CD Review (Mute)
Swedish three-piece psych-folk band Junip were last in town in June for a show at Highline Ballroom and are playing a sold-out show tonight at Le Poisson Rogue along with Brooklyn’s Dawn of Midi. The band is touring behind their new self-titled disc (Mute) which came out on April 23rd and this disc is the band’s follow-up to 2010’s Fields.

Junip’s latest disc is an eclectic affair - the core sound of the band is based around José González’s warm and mellow vocals and hypnotic electronica rhythms but the band branches off from this core into krautrock, California folk, indie dance and hazy psychedelia. The psych-folk label shouldn’t scare anyone off as there are a lot of layers within each of the songs and there are numerous occasions across this disc that bring to mind Spacemen 3. Junip though doesn’t succumb to Spacemen 3’s ‘acid casualty’ extended jams as the interplay between the sounds and instrumentation on this new disc is immaculately precise but the commonality between the bands is that this is music that you can float off to during a late night listen As such, it came as no surprise when reading a review of one of the band’s recent live shows that they played in near darkness for most of the set.

Some of the stronger cuts on the disc are disc opener “Line of Fire” which has a synth-rock opening similar to that of The Bravery and González’s vocals and harmonies carry the song’s melody as the song builds to add lush orchestration over its krautrock percussive foundation. Other strong tracks are the drum machine-driven dance floor number “Your Call”, the pounding garage rock of “Villain” with its fuzzed-out bass line and overloaded synths and the hazy, Spacemen 3-like psychedelic drone of “Walking Lightly”. The lyrics give the songs an additional sense of texture and González said that the lyrics were written to “make you feel something, and create an emotion. There’s a high ambition to reach deep emotions, and I tend to write about these topics.

As with the first album, this new self-titled disc was recorded in the trio’s rehearsal space over the course of a year and self-produced by the band with help from Don Alsterberg (sound guru to artists like Soundtrack of Our Lives, International Noise Conspiracy and Graveyard).


Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Tim Kasher - 'Adult Films' CD Review (Saddle Creek) / Show at The Bell House on Nov. 6th

STREAM: Tim Kasher - "Truly Freaking Out" (from Adult Films - out today on Saddle Creek)

Tim Kasher - 'Adult Films' CD Review (Saddle Creek) / Show at The Bell House on Nov. 6th
Tim Kasher never seems to rest as he released his second solo album, Adult Films (Saddle Creek), today and kicked off a coast-to-coast fall tour last week in Omaha, NE.

Since 1997, Kasher has written and released 12 full-length albums both as a solo artist and with his bands Cursive and The Good Life, and has crisscrossed North America and Europe countless times on tour. His sophomore solo effort, Adult Films, began coming together in late 2011, just shortly after Cursive finished recording their seventh LP I Am Gemini (Saddle Creek, 2012) and some songs from this forthcoming release made their live debut during Kasher's tour earlier this year (see the live video for "You Scare Me to Death" at the bottom of this post).  Kasher continued to work on this disc over the last year before heading to Electrical Audio studio in his adopted hometown of Chicago, IL in spring 2013.

Adult Films doesn't have a fixed story arc as did The Game of Monogamy but it follows a similar theme of colliding with the onset of middle-age, questioning/regretting life's decisions and not going gentle into that good night. As to be expected, Kasher certainly has his moments of raging "against the dying of the light". Lyrically, Kasher exceeds at turning a phrase (Kasher's resignation is palatable on "Raincloud" - "I’m waiting for my ship to come / I’m afraid it may have sunk") and his subtle wit and self-depreciating bile push both the lyrics and music into the forefront and demand active listening. Musically, this album is predominately comprised of heavily textured indie-pop that falls somewhere between the lush orchestration of The Game of Monogamy and Cursive's later output. The music rises and falls along with Kasher's narration and state of mind and some of the songs are musically dense and claustrophobic while others are open and almost Americana sounding.

The disc start on an upbeat note with "American Lit" which is a herky-jerky, organ-driven number where Kasher reminisces about his never-written great American novel ("then the book becomes a film / than the film becomes a modern masterpiece / this is my acceptance speech"). This is followed "Truly Freaking Out" which picks up the tempo and seems to be a short step from spinning totally out of control as Kasher reflects "I was 6 years old learning how to swim / I was 36 wondering how I sunk". It all comes crashing back down with "Where's Your Heart Lie" - a tale of love gone wrong and a couple going through the motions. The upbeat sound of "The Willing Cuckold" hides the song's emotionally cutting lyrics ("I've got my blinders on so I can't see the cruel periphery") and, while the tempo and music stay consistent on the next cut, "Life and Limbo", the song's lyrics about the meaninglessness of the characters' lives show them heading for a crash. As to be expected, the relationship falls apart by the time the hazy and melancholy "Lay Down Your Weapon" starts with its tales of suspected affairs. The next few tracks show Kasher's narrator reflecting on life - "You Scare Me To Death" shows a fear of moving on with new relationships and "A Raincloud Is a Raincloud" is a backward reflection on past life choices. The indie rock "bounce" comes back up on this last cut and "A Looping Distress Signal" is the closest Kasher comes on this outing to Cursive's jagged indie-rock bombast. The disc ends with the reflective and introspective "A Lullaby, sort of".

Tim Kasher Fall 2013 Tour Dates:
NOV. 06 -- BROOKLYN, NY THE BELL HOUSE (Tickets are $15 and the show starts at 9PM)
* all dates with Laura Stevenson and the Cans

Tim Kasher

The Locals: Chicago Alt-Rock/Power-Pop Band Play Two Local Shows Next Week

The Locals: Chicago Alt-Rock/Power-Pop Band Play Two Local Shows Next Week
The Locals are an alt-rock, power pop three piece based in Chicago. Fans of The Pixies, The Whigs and Yeah Yeah Yeahs dig The Locals. They have been steadily gaining more fans with their latest release "Stereostatic Funicular". Produced by Steven Gillis (Filter), The Locals' latest effort delivers guitar heavy sumptuous alt-pop through and through.

On Friday, October 18th, The Locals are playing at 9PM at Gussy’s in Astoria (20-14 29 Street, Astoria, Queens, Last Stop on the N/Q Train Line (Ditmas Blvd), 2 Blocks - Walk North). Cover is $10 and the other bands on the bill are Usurp The King (8PM), Suburban Decay (10PM), Apolline (From France - 11PM) and Wrath of KillenStein (11:50PM).

On Saturday, October 19th, The Locals are playing an 11PM set at Desmond's Tavern (433 Park Avenue South). Other bands playing this night are: 8PM - Paper Apes, 9PM - Bluesy Dan Band, 10PM - Rock ‘n’ Roll Johnny and 12AM - Twin Ghost Dog Howl.

The Locals are:
Yvonne Doll: Vocals, Songwriter, Guitar
Christy Nunes: Bass
Tommy Oerding: Drums

Some interesting facts about The Locals:
  • The Locals were the subject of years of public resentment from The Matches (formerly The Locals, Oakland California) who had to change their name because of a trademark conflict. They released their first record on Epitaph Records and named it "E.Von Dahl Killed The Locals".

  • Yvonne was just featured in Guitar World Magazine as one of the top "10 Female Guitarists You Should Know".

  • Yvonne is a photographer best known for her cell phone photo project, "SleepyUrbanite". ( cell photos of people sleeping on the el train in Chicago) The project was featured on The Today Show, NBC News, Chicagoist, TimeOut, VoxPop magazine (France), Newstalk Radio (Ireland)

  • Christy Nunes (co-founder, bass player) originally hails from San Diego. Christy began playing professionally at the age of 14. She once shoved a kid during a job as the Chuck E. Cheese mascot when he kept kicking her and pulling her tail.

  • When he's not drumming for The Locals, Tommy Oedering makes custom drums at the custom drum shop "Chicago Custom Percussion".

The Locals

Elton John Makes His Debut Appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, Tuesday, October 8, at 11:35pm ("Home Again")

Elton John Makes His Debut Appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, Tuesday, October 8, at 11:35pm ("Home Again")
With the release of his first solo album in seven years, Elton John has been making the rounds of the talk shows to promote his new album The Diving Board. The Diving Board, produced by T Bone Burnett, features 12 new songs written by Elton and his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin, as well as three piano interludes composed by the artist. For tonight's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Elton will be interviewed by the late night host followed by an intimate performance of "Home Again" (from the new disc). Jimmy Kimmel’s additional guest tonight will be Emily VanCamp from ABC’s hit show, “Revenge.”

Over the last few weeks, Elton recorded a live version of "Home Again" at USC with Student Choir & Orchestra and he also performed "Home Again" and "I'm Still Standing" on The Ellen Show. All of these videos are below:

Elton John is currently out on tour and will be playing Madison Square Garden on Dec. 3rd and 4th. Tickets are on sale and range from $49.50 - $179.50.

Elton John

Monday, October 07, 2013

Golden Suits (Fred Nicolaus) - Show Review and Live Photos from Union Pool, Brooklyn, NY 9/25/13

Golden Suits (Fred Nicolaus) - Show Review and Live Photos from Union Pool, Brooklyn, NY 9/25/13Golden Suits made their NYC live debut late last month with a headlining show at Union Pool.  Local band, The Loom, opened the show and the crowd was at near capacity by the time Fred Nicolaus and the other three members of Golden Suits took the stage.  While the set list emphasized Golden Suits new self-titled album (nine of the disc's ten songs were played), Fred also played Department of Eagles' "Family Romance"and he opened the show with a languid cover of "Barbara Ann".

This was a show where the music did the talking so there wasn't a lot of dialogue during the set outside of some self-depreciating wit from Fred (what else would you expect from a John Cheever fan?), which included a well-timed response to some audience cracks about the guitar player's chest hair.  Fred and the band held the audience in rapt attention so the set's eleven songs passed quickly.  There wasn't an encore but - after nailing a very tight set - there really wasn't a need.

For those who missed the show, there are a number of in-the-studio performances of Fred and the band performing tracks from the new Golden Suits album posted to YouTube which should give a good indication of what the band sounds like live. 

In a recent interview with PopMatters, Fred was asked what his plans are after the current tour finishes: "When I get back I’m making a music video for the song “Under Your Wing”. The director and I painted a giant backdrop for it which is currently sitting in his apartment in Astoria, so I’m hoping we can film it quickly so he can get back to using his living room. I also write pretty much all the time, so I have a new batch of songs I’ve written since the album was finished. I don’t know where they’ll end up—either on a new Department of Eagles record, or more Golden Suits stuff, but either way I want to make another album next year. I took too long to make this record, I feel like I did enough overthinking for an entire career. "
Golden Suits

Sunday, October 06, 2013

White Wizzard: Vocalist Joesph Michael Leaves Band During UK Tour / War of Words Follows (Earache Records)

White Wizzard: Vocalist Joesph Michael Leaves Band During UK Tour (Earache Records)
Stories of lineup troubles within Los Angeles 'traditional metal' band White Wizzard have become legendary but the latest - the departure of newcomer vocalist Joseph Michael - really seems to be over the top.

The following tweets have been coming out over the last 24 hours from the band's official Twitter account (@whitewizzard):

10/5 @ 10:09AM: Good times coming in Cardiff Wales tonight at Bogiez rock club!!!!!(BrooklynRocks Note: Calm before the storm)

10/5 @ 4:02PM:  Hey all our singer is drunk in a pub somewhere in Wales when he is supposed to be on stage.....if you see him tell him to get to the venue Bogiez ASAP!! We may have to roll with Jon Leon and various fans on vox.....YIKES!!

10/5 @ 7:11PM: So fans of the Wizzard in London here is the deal. Joseph Michael fucked off our gig in Cardiff and left us... (BrooklynRocks Note: Facebook link is dead)

10/5 @ 9:34PM: Just FYI to all the fans, If Joseph Michael sends you an email stating anything at all negative or suspicious do... (BrooklynRocks Note: It is now getting pretty weird - again, Facebook link is dead)

10/5 @ 11:08PM: Just a last FYI on the erroneous and false things Joseph Michael has began to post about Jon Leon. They are fully... (BrooklynRocks Note: Wha?? - again, Facebook link is dead)

10/5 @ 11:16PM: We are very honored to announce that we have secured amazing singer Giles Lavery to do the rest of the tour. We will have more links and info for you all tomorrow. Amazing singer. Very humbled and excited to get out there and see where it can go. Cheers and thanks again to the Cardiff fans for your support on a difficult but amazing evening!!! (BrooklynRocks Note: I'm shocked/skeptical that any touring band can replace their lead singer in under a day but...this is probably who will be singing at the Webster Hall show.  Lavery sings (sang?) with Australian power-metal band Dragonsclaw)

10/6 @ 6:18PM: Okay WW fans. We want to report that Joseph Michael our now former singer, last week while in Brighton after our first show, stole a bag belonging to a very sweet girl named Charlotte Croucher. Her face book page can be found here please mail her  Her bag contains a wallet, passports and other very important documents. After finally coming clean after we caught him with it, he stated that he would return it to her in London. After fucking off our show in Cardiff last night when he refused to give us the bag to return to this girl in London. She rode up all the way from Brighton to get her bag and sat outside our gig for hours(which he fucked off again) She is now very distraught and on the way back to Brighton with no bag. We feel horrible. Please pressure Joseph Michael to do the right thing and return the girls bag. We hope some face book pressure will get it done. Feel free to write her directly and question the validity of this and try and help her. Hopefully some public pressure will do the trick. Hopefully it also shows you all the character of the kind of person he is. Thanks all. (BrooklynRocks Note: Ok - This one is striking me as the most far fetched...the day after your singer leaves, you post that he stole a handbag. The handbag owner had posted to Facebook a week prior that the bag was probably in a band's (your?) merch. van. What happened over the course of the week? Royal Mail is no worse than USPS...if that wasn't a viable option, I'm sure the police would be a better option than 'face book pressure'.)

Joseph Michael's response:

Here is the real story on White Wizzard

Jon has been stealing money from us . From indie gogo fund and out on tour and i called him out on it.

He then fired me last night on the night off...

Then announced that i was refusing to sing... It's all lies...

I was fired and he couldnt find someone to sing so he begged me 5 minutes before they went on...

Jon Leon is a Con man and has not honored one word he has said since i have joined this band... After i sang on White Wizzard - Devil's Cut he threatened to forbid Earache Records from releasing it with my vocals if i didn't sign a new contract giving no rights and a far worse deal..After the work was done...

If it wasn't for Will Wallner and Jake Dreyer Standing up to this criminal he would have left myself and filmmaker Don Adams stranded in the middle of nowhere...

Jon Leon has paid for nothing on this trip and has acted a child the whole time. Please Do not Let him rip you off if you Purchased From Indie Go Go... Goodnight

White Wizzard