Charli XCX with Kitten and LIZ at Slim’s | San Francisco, California | 11/1/2013 (Concert Review)

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Charli XCX’s first U.S. headlining tour kicked off this past week, making an early stop in San Francisco at Slim’s last night to a dedicated and enthusiastic young crowd.  The high energy evening kicked off with opening sets by LIZ and Kitten, providing a showcase of music with three young women fronting acts with three different styles of music.  While Charli has been making music and performing going back several years, she broke much wider into the pop culture consciousness in the past year with Icona Pop’s “I Love It”, which she wrote and also provided vocals to in the hit pop song.  Her own music, off her debut album True Romance, is a bit more experimental and darker by contrast, which is why she gave the song to the synthpop Swedish duo for their own album.  Charli has had a productive time since I last saw her opening for Santigold in the Summer of 2012, having toured with Coldplay, Paramore, Marina and the Diamonds, as well as put out a lot of new music and music videos like the recently released “SuperLove“.  She is definitely one to continue to watch as she forges her own unique path through the music industry.  She put on a great show last night and really seems to have grown into having a real command on the stage (with new band in tow) and has inspired and sparked the imagination of a generation of fans.

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Charli XCX: “Rock Talk” Podcast Audio Interview

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This article features the latest in an ongoing series of “Rock Talk” podcast audio interviews for the Rock Subculture Journal. Today’s guest is Charli XCX.  She released her first studio album, True Romance, earlier this year, and is embarking on her first headlining tour of the U.S. this month.  This month she also released a new song and music video for SuperLove, with plans to release a second studio album in the Spring.  She took the time to call in from Stockholm this morning to participate in this interview.

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The Top 50 Best Songs of 2013 (So Far…) – A Rock Subculture Journal Editorial

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This feature is really born out of my own music playlists…  I thought I would take my latest current playlist and break it down to music that was published in 2013 and limit it to 50 songs.  Also, the songs have to be off of albums that came out in 2013 (not singles released in 2013 for albums that debuted in 2012).  My only other restriction was limiting it to no more than one song per artist.  Oh, and no covers…  Included is a lot of music that I enjoy that likely include artists that some readers have never heard of, so hopefully this will result in some people finding new music and new artists.  The songs are not ranked in an order of preference, but more in a flowing, playlist style.  In any event, 2013 is a great year for new music… [Read more...]

Chloe Chaidez, Kitten: “Rock Talk” Podcast Audio Interview

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This article features the latest in an ongoing series of “Rock Talk” podcast audio interviews for the Rock Subculture Journal. Today’s guest is Chloe Chaidez of Kitten.  Chloe is the singer and driving force in the very young band that has been blowing up the music industry with their high energy live shows and interesting blend of musical genres.  They will be supporting the upcoming Charli XCX tour, which has recently been rescheduled.  Kitten just released their new EP, Like A Stranger.

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Susan Ottaviano, Book of Love: “Rock Talk” Podcast Audio Interview

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This article features the latest in an ongoing series of “Rock Talk” podcast audio interviews for the Rock Subculture Journal. Today’s guest is Susan Ottaviano with Book Of Love.  The pioneering New Wave favorite from the 80s and early 90s will be releasing some all-new music later this year and will be playing some special live concert dates in California in October.

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Kevin Preston, Prima Donna: “Rock Talk” Podcast Audio Interview

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This article features the latest in an ongoing series of “Rock Talk” podcast audio interviews for the Rock Subculture Journal. Today’s guest is Keven Preston with Prima Donna. The Los Angeles-based rock band will be embarking on a North American tour with Adam Ant starting later this month, running July, August and September.

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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at The Fillmore | San Francisco, California | 4/22/2013 (Concert Review)

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We did something rather foolish here…” Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Robert Levon Been, reminiscing about a past performance at the historic Fillmore, in San Francisco where the band was born.  A fitting venue from which to launch their North American tour last night, supporting the new studio album, Specter At The Feast.  Robert never came back around to explain their past foolishness, but there is always a bit of mystery about this band and their music, as well as a genuine politeness, on and off stage.  In any event, Robert and co-singer/guitarist Peter Hayes and drummer Leah Shapiro did not hold back at all with their overpowering sonic performance; a virtually non-stop set clocking in at about two hours and fifteen minutes.   The hard rocking band only slowed down a little for a few acoustic numbers in the second half of the show and at the end, and later with the encore and set closer, “Lose Yourself”, which played out in a way that felt as if the building were unwinding itself like an overspun vintage pocket watch, beat by beat, with minimalist yet powerful drums that even improve on the studio recording.  But I’ve learned to expect the unexpected with this band, who take their live sets to levels only dreamed of by other artists.  It was one of those shows that felt like a special one, and I can’t imagine a better way for them to kick off what is likely to be a stellar tour.

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Steve Marker, Garbage: “Rock Talk” Podcast Audio Interview

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This article features the latest in an ongoing series of “Rock Talk” podcast audio interviews for the Rock Subculture Journal. Today’s guest is Steve Marker with Garbage.  The band is finishing a tour in the United States currently (and I will be covering their show in Las Vegas at The Pearl Theater at The Palms Casino Resort next week), and news has begun to circulate about the possibility of a new studio album coming early next year.  Steve was kind enough to talk with me today about the music industry in general, being part of the band, what they have planned for Record Store Day this year and more.

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Method Man & Redman: “Rock Talk” Podcast Audio Interview (Caprices Festival Special)

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This article features the latest in an ongoing series of “Rock Talk” podcast audio interviews for the Rock Subculture Journal. My latest guests are Method Man and Redman. The guys were kind enough to make some time to sit down and chat with me at their hotel prior to their performance. This special edition of the podcast was recorded at Caprices Festival in Crans-Montana, Switzerland on March 16th, 2013.

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Peter Hayes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: “Rock Talk” Podcast Audio Interview (Caprices Festival Special)

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This article features the latest in an ongoing series of “Rock Talk” podcast audio interviews for the Rock Subculture Journal. My latest guest is Peter Hayes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The band will be releasing their seventh studio album,  Specter At The Feast, next week, and the full album can be streamed on their official website at www.BlackRebelMotorcycleClub.com.  This special edition of the podcast was recorded prior to their gig at Caprices Festival in Crans-Montana, Switzerland on March 14th, 2013.

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Adam Ant Is Back, Releases First New Studio Album in 18 Years Following World Tour

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New Wave lives.  One of the primary worries of music fans is the prospect of a favorite artist releasing new material after a significant absence from the music scene.  Not only because it might suck, but it could be so bad that it consequently tarnishes the great works for which someone holds genuine love and nostalgia.  Kind of like the music equivalent of George Lucas releasing new Star Wars and Indiana Jones films.  Today, Adam Ant has released his first new studio album in 18 years.  Characterized as autobiographical, the lengthy title – Adam Ant is the Blueback Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter – raises more questions than it answers.  Thankfully, the music is fantastic; while true to the Adam Ant signature sound, it is definitely not merely a reimagining of what has already been done. [Read more...]

Jack Hues, Wang Chung: “Rock Talk” Podcast Audio Interview

This article features the sixth in an ongoing series of “Rock Talk” podcast audio interviews for the Rock Subculture Journal. Today’s guest is Jack Hues of Wang Chung.  The band is today releasing their first new album in 23 years, Tazer Up!, and front man Jack Hues took the time to talk with me from England about the new release and his thoughts as a veteran of the music industry going back to his pioneering days at the forefront of the New Wave movement of the 80s.

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