MØ with Erik Hassle at Popscene at Rickshaw Stop | San Francisco, California | 6/3/2014 (Concert Review)

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The Popscene concert at Rickshaw Stop on Tuesday night was one of those rare shows that was very surprising (in a good way).  Danish singer-songwriter MØ (Karen Marie Ørsted) headlined the night that featured Swedish singer-songwriter Erik Hassle supporting, and both put on stellar performances, with awesome bookend DJ sets by Aaron Axelsen.  Candidly, I was not familiar with either of these young artists until recently, and I would mark the night as one of the best concerts I’ve attended so far in 2014.  MØ and Erik Hassle should be on the pop culture watch list as ones to expect big things from in the future.

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Erik Hassle: “Rock Talk” Podcast Audio + Video 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 Erik Hassle. He released his latest work as an EP, Somebody’s Party, which debuted earlier this year.  He is also one of the songwriters for the current single, co-featuring Rihanna, “Can’t Remember to Forget You“.  Erik is just finishing up his U.S. tour with MØ, and took time before his concert at Popscene at Rickshaw Stop last night to participate in this interview.  The full concert review with photos from the live show can be found in my separate article (see: “MØ with Erik Hassle at Popscene at Rickshaw Stop | San Francisco, California | 6/3/2014″).

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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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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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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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Caprices Festival 2013 in Crans-Montana, Switzerland: 9-Day Music Artist Live Concert Event Review & Recap

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Since this was a pretty special experience and International music event, I thought I would share some thoughts and photos in summary here, mostly in an effort to genuinely promote and recommend this event to those who might not have heard of it or ever considering attending themselves.  The 9-day event took place in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, a coming together of twin ski/resort towns to put on Caprices Festival, hosting dozens of musical artists spanning many different genres and styles.  I actually only ran into a couple of Americans during the nine days of concerts (both had come out from New York for Tori Amos), so I think spreading some more information about the event on a U.S.-based site might bring out more people from the United States for future incarnations of this annual event, which celebrated it’s 10th anniversary this year, which also happened to mark some big changes and growth in size and line-up. [Read more...]

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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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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