The Zombies at Harrah’s South Shore Room | Stateline, Nevada | 8/23/2014 (Concert Review + Photos)

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“Before I sing each song, if you’re ever thinking, ‘what’s going through his mind?’, I’m thinking: ‘sing from your ass, project out the back of your neck, and try and get your tits over your shoulders!'” Colin Blunstone, vocalist for The Zombies, giving the summation of his three anecdotes regarding decades of experience with singing techniques, offered to visiting students from The Royal Academy of Music.  The concert at Harrah’s South Shore Room in Lake Tahoe last night marks the third time I’ve seen the band live in the past year (having seen them at the indigO2 in London and at Yoshi’s in San Francisco in 2013) and they are still full of surprises.  Joined on stage with co-founding member Rod Argent on keyboards and vocals as well as rock veterans Tom Toomey on guitar, Jim Rodford (from Argent and The Kinks) on bass, and Jim’s son Steve Rodford on drums, the British Invasion band continues to prove that they are both music legends of the past as well as relevant today, with their mix of classics and all new music (with one newly polished gem previewed last night and due to be to be recorded in studio in the next two weeks).  These guys are the real deal, and represent real rock and roll. [Read more...]

The Invisible Lighthouse – A Film and Live Performance by Thomas Dolby at Crest Theatre | Sacramento, California | 11/23/2013 (Concert Review)

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It’s a happy and a sad occasion…”  Thomas Dolby talking about his last stop at Creat Theatre in Sacramento last night, in his preface to “performing” his very personal documentary film, The Invisible Lighthouse Tour.  Really a film unlike any I’ve ever experienced, it was just that – an experience.  Dolby has been a pioneer in pop culture from his very beginnings, well known for his 1982 New Wave hit, “She Blinded Me With Science” among a number of other accomplishments in and out of music.  Dolby’s partner on the stage, Blake Leyh, produced some amazing “analog”, impressionistic sound effects during the film, which Dolby scored and narrated, which made it clear that each performance of his film has been quite unique and different.  A real pioneer in the arts, Dolby certainly has consistently blazed his own path, and after hearing his candid thoughts throughout the event, it would seem that he operates in a bit of a pop culture bubble, and looks to technology to find new ways in which to create meaningful art and vehicles for expression, and currently he is inspired by the ability today to make powerful films, sans Hollywood budgets and crews.  The result is something that literally has to be experienced in a theater, and hopefully this event is truly not the last for The Invisible Lighthouse.

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The Zombies at Yoshi’s San Francisco | San Francisco, California | 9/5/2013 (Concert Review)

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“It sells more every year now than it ever did when it did first came out in 1968″…  Rod Argent, keyboardist and vocalist, talking about the second studio album put out by The Zombies, Odessey and Oracle, as he and vocalist Colin Blunstone took the time between stretches of songs to provide some history and context into their “musical journey” through the history of the British Invasion band.  After a stellar opening set from supporting band Et Tu Brucé, the two founding members of The Zombies along with rock veterans Tom Toomey on guitar, Jim Rodford (front Argent and The Kinks) on bass, and Jim’s son Steve Rodford on drums demonstrated with their performance why their legendary status continues to grow.  Yoshi’s San Francisco was as packed as I’ve ever seen it, and the audience seemed to be swept away with their brilliant and timeless music.

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Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits to Play Four October Dates in California and Vegas in Support of Upcoming “Privateering” Due September 10th

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Mark Knopfler, who is best known as the founder, singer, and guitarist for British rock band Dire Straits and their Grammy Award-winning “Money for Nothing”, will be playing for special dates in California and Las Vegas supporting his eagerly anticipated U.S. release of his latest studio album, Privateering, due September 10th. [Read more...]

Exclusive New Music Preview: Jack Littman’s “The Leaving” (The Rasadon Return remix by DJ Rasadon)

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Below you can listen to the all new Rasadon Return remix of Jack Littman’s “The Leaving” by DJ Rasadon.  The original studio version of “The Leaving” can be found on Jack Littman’s EP, The Remedy, Vol. 1, which was released earlier this year.  DJ Rasadon is formerly part of the Grammy Award-winning hip hop group Arrested Development. [Read more...]

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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Spencer Page, Daniel Taylor, Chris Ellul, and Kelvin Swaby are The Heavy: “Rock Talk” Interview (Caprices Festival Special)

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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...]

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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Visit & Tour of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas (Music Memorabilia Collection Photos & Pictorial)

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In my recent trip to Las Vegas to cover concerts, I visited the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino as “The Joint” – their official concert venue – is inside the resort.  The Hard Rock is world famous for their collection of music and rock and roll memorabilia, and the displays within this location is the most impressive I’ve seen.  [Read more...]