Award-winning English pop star Kim Wilde will be performing her first solo concert dates since 1986 next month. With her Wilde Winter Songbook having been released this year, she will be kicking of her select dates of “Kim Wilde’s Christmas Party” on December 14th at Ankerhallen in Saasveld in the Netherlands, which will be followed three special O2 dates in the UK. Supporting these special concert engagements will be Nik Kershaw. [Read more…]
“Thank you so, so much for being here tonight. It means so, so much to us.” Lizzy Plapinger, the “MS” in MS MR thanking the crowd at the Independent in San Francisco last night for being “early adopters” of their music, while the “MR” half, Max Hershenow, preps the crowd for the last song of the night, “Hurricane”. Appropriately enough, the new band has taken the music industry by storm with their phenomenal first studio album, Secondhand Rapture, which I certainly rank as one of the Top 10 Albums of 2013. Their unique blend of at once dark and poppy electronic music has taken me back to those same feelings I had when I found Yazoo 30 years ago (with another male-female duo in Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet), though updated and reflective of our time today. This was the third of three sell out shows at The Independent in the past week, which is remarkable since it was only four months ago that I saw them take the same stage supporting CSS back in June. In much the same way Imagine Dragons graduated from The Independent (they played there as well earlier this year) to filling sports arenas, I suspect that MS MR will continue on with their upward trajectory, carried by their awesome music and brilliant live performances, which sound as sublime as the studio recordings. This is definitely a tour that fan who are lucky enough to check out will not forget.
It’s rare that audiences are treated to a real triple header concert, but that was my take on the female fronted trio of bands that owned the stage at The Independent in San Francisco last night. How I ended up there… I blame the Swiss (more on that later), but it was a real showcase of contemporary alternative bands that are making incredible music and bringing it on the road. All three have also released amazing new albums this year (more on that later as well) and this material seemed to please the sold out crowd of 800 at the intimate Bay Area club. They are all doing it again tonight at the Great American Music Hall, and I can’t recommend enough checking it out. If they aren’t coming to a city near you, I can’t recommend enough picking up their albums, each released this year. CSS’s Planta, MS MR’s Secondhand Rapture and IO Echo’s Ministry of Love are, for me personally, three of the best releases of the year, and there is a good chance all three will appear in my Top 10 Albums list for my 2013 End Of Year article.
Today MS MR have released their debut album, Secondhand Rapture, and will continue their world tour with their own headlining shows as well as some dates supporting CSS and some festival appearances. I am a huge fan of the New York-based recording duo of Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow, and definitely count their new album among the best released in 2013. CSS themselves today released their official video for “Hangover”, and will be touring North America in June and July, not only with MS MR but MNDR and IO Echo as well. [Read more…]
“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.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs have this week published their upcoming new album, Mosquito, in its entirety, two weeks ahead of the official April 16th release date. In addition, they are at the beginning of a somewhat haphazard tour that will have them playing Coachella and a handful of U.S. dates before heading out for England early next month and then back and forth between Europe & the UK and the U.S. through July. They have already played about 10 shows and festivals thus far in 2013. [Read more…]
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.
Yesterday I had the opportunity and honor to meet with The Heavy backstage in their dressing room after their soundcheck for their set at Caprices Festival in Crans-Montana, Switzerland to talk to them a little bit and ask some questions about their band and perspective on a variety of topics. You can also check out my thoughts on their subsequent performance was well as photos over in my Day 7 coverage of this event. [Read more…]
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.
Electronic Beats will be presenting a special Depeche Mode concert in Vienna next month, which will be free (via contest to fans) and streamed online worldwide. The Delta Machine launch party concert is slated for March 24th at MuseumsQuartier in Vienna, Austria. “Reporter Fans” are encouraged to submit their own case for why they should get an invite to the exclusive concert event via the Electronic Beats Facebook page (due by March 7th). [Read more…]