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STAR  OFF MACHINE

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JANUS

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SWEET

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TONI HALLIDAY

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THE WAILERS
ROCKWiRED MAGAZiNE
"We cannot  describe sound, but we cannot forget it either" - IGOR STRAVINSKY
DECEMBER 7, 2009
ADAY OF RECKONiNG!
PEARL ADAY TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER DEBUT CD LiTTLE iMMACULATE WHiTE FOX
WORKiNG WiTH MOTHER SUPERiOR
AND MAKiNG CHiCK ROCK COOL AGAiN
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For rock wailer PEARL ADAY, rock n roll was more than a dream. It was in her DNA. While that is not always a good indicator of talent (we don’t need to drop names!) it is a very good place to start from. ADAY’s musical education didn’t come from the classroom but on the road and in stadiums around the world. While attending EMERSON COLLEGE in Boston to study Creative Writing, ADAY took a semester off to tour with her father MARVIN LEE ADAY (better known as MEAT LOAF) as a back up singer. The year was 1994 and MEAT LOAF was on the heels of his comeback album ‘BAT OUT OF HELL II: BACK INTO HELL’ and the surprise hit single ‘I WILL DO ANYTHING FOR LOVE (BUT I WON’T DO THAT)’. Touring with her father was only the beginning. Before long she was the “the” backing vocalist in the rock world having lent her precious pipes to various tours and recordings by MOTLEY CRUE, FILTER, and ACE FREHLEY. Now, ADAY is standing center stage for the release of her debut CD ‘LITTLE IMMACULATE WHITE FOX’. Having worked exclusively with MOTHER SUPERIOR (guitarist JIM WILSON and bassist MARCUS BLAKE) and boyfriend SCOTT IAN of ANTHRAXX, ADAY’s ‘…WHITE FOX’ is more than a mere debut. It is ADAY’s chance to step into the light and rock. “I sang on his [MEAT LOAF’s] stage for like two years and it took me a while to learn how to be the one in the front.” says ADAY. “You are the one that is carrying the show and you are the one that has to keep things moving. You are the main focus and it is something that I am still trying to figure out. I feel more comfortable now but every time we play I learn something new about what I need to do in keeping up the energy and working with the band and making a connection. It’s a hard job but I love to do it.”   (READ MORE)

DECEMBER 7, 2009
DREAM A LiTTLE DREAM
CURTiS STiGERS TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS LATEST CD LOST iN DREAMS
HiS LOVE OF iNTERPRETATiON
AND MAKiNG FOLKS TEAR UP
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Saxophonist and vocalist CURTIS STIGERS is twenty years and ten albums deep into a music career filled with twists and turns. Back when he released his self-titled debut album on ARISTA, it was easy to write off STIGERS as the next BOLTON-in-waiting despite the guy’s rich, soulful delivery and immense musicality. It was no time at all before STIGERS grew disillusioned with ARISTA’s need to mold him into your mom’s favorite singer. STIGERS left the label and approached music on his own terms. The guy’s knack for taking modern day pop songs and giving them the jazz treatment was first realized through his interpretation of NICK LOWE’s (WHAT’S SO FUNNY ‘BOUT) PEACE, LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING which was featured on THE BODYGUARD SOUNDTRACK back in 1992. During his tenure with the CONCORD JAZZ LABEL, STIGERS has continued with his interpretation of the works of modern singer-songwriters while shining a light on his own original material and on his latest album ‘LOST IN DREAMS’ the mixture of the two is truly a revelation. ‘LOST IN DREAMS’ opens with STIGERS exuding a soulful, RAY CHARLES-like howl on ANNIE LENNOX’s ‘COLD’ and takes the slow-burner to church! His interpretation of JOHN LENNON’s ‘JEALOUS GUY’ is just as stirring and haunting as BRYAN FERRY’s interpretation but STIGERS’ understated wail gives the song a new intensity. The original material - punctuated by STIGERS’ ‘falling in love and losing in love’ lyrical approach – goes hand in hand with his hat-tipping to other writers but manages to get a little humorous with the quasi-tango of ‘YOU’VE GOT THE FEVER’. Back in ’91, it was hard to imagine that the long-haired kid with a buttery voice would’ve eschewed pop sensibility for some creative risk taking, but the risks have paid off. “[I never] expected to be so successful making jazz records.” says STIGERS “I’m able to make a living and play as big a concert as I ever did in Europe as a jazz singer. It’s not an easy job being a jazz singer. The money isn’t nearly as big as being a pop singer but I’ve been able to make a really nice living. The whole thing has been a surprise. I was surprised to get a record deal and go from being a pizza eating, barely surviving, ride the subway to work musician to being on the TONIGHT SHOW and playing DODGER’S STADIUM and SHEA STADIUM. Every day is a new experience and I keep pinching myself to see if I’m really dreaming that I get to make a living playing music.”   (READ MORE)

DECEMBER 5, 2009
A DANCE ROMANCE TYPE OF TRANCE
L'iLLON TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER CD WARRiOR ANGEL
THE CREATiON OF LUCiD POP
AND MAKiNG LiSTENERS FEEL ALL SENSUAL iNSiDE
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Washington D.C. provides an interesting backdrop for an artist like L’ILLON. With a shaky economy, high unemployment and an ongoing debate over healthcare raging on, the entire country is turning to the Nation’s Capitol for relief. While Congress may not have a solution, L’ILLON may at least have the perfect panacea. Having been reared in classical music many expected L’ILLON to pursue a career in that vein but the electronic thump of pop music set her on a course that even she couldn’t have imagined – a course that led to finding her own sound characterized by a culmination of musical textures set to a pulsating rhythm – A sound she has branded as LUCID POP. On her debut CD ‘WARRIOR ANGEL’, L’ILLON is no mere anonymous disco diva cooing romantic disillusionment over benign synth riffs. Instead she is a hauntingly sensual vocalist capable of switching from buoyant to serene in a moments notice. At the heart of this vibrant musical soundscape is a message according to L’ILLON. “What I’m creating now is not just for the now but for the future too. LUCID POP is the sound that breaks the barriers of cultural imposition and we’re in an era that is just right for LUCID POP because we need to feel empowered. We are faced with so many crises from financial to healthcare to environmental and we all need to feel empowered and feel good about ourselves. In a way, it’s like embarking on a new music revolution but all in the sense of being positive. It’s a mélange of sound that people from any culture can relate to. As an artist, this is what I am trying to create. I’m not trying to appeal to one specific person but to everyone.”   (READ MORE)

DECEMBER 1, 2009
BREAK ON THROUGH
JOHN TOKARCZYK OF PEPPERDOME
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THE ALBUM LET'S TRY THE OTHER SiDE
BUiLDiNG THE SOUND ON HiS OWN
AND SETTiNG HiS WORLDViEW TO MUSiC
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It’s not merely a matter of sex, drugs and rock n roll with JOHN TOKARCZYK and his musical project – the curiously titled - PEPPERDOME. Rather than screaming the joys of partying and getting a little “nookie”, PEPPERDOME’s musical agenda consists of observations of a world gone mad and finding the good things about it all set to the frantically paced rhythm section and dual guitar sounds all of which are performed by TOKARCZYK. PEPPERDOME’s sophomore release ‘LET’S TRY THE OTHER SIDE’ is the perfect summation of TOKARCZYK’s thoughtful introspection meets bash-and-thrash sensibility. “I guess the main theme is an understanding of self and that comes from the meditation that I practice.” says TOKARCZYK “I’m very much into body, mind and soul so a lot of it has to do with an understanding of yourself and your surroundings but it also has to do with observations of the world. [The songs] kind of have a political twist to them but I try to keep it light-hearted.”   (READ MORE)

NOVEMBER 30, 2009
THREE TiMES THE CHARM
RiCK MCGUiRE TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS LATEST RELEASE DUST AND TEARS
WORKiNG WiTH DONNiE LA MARCA
AND TAKiNG THE SOUND iNTO HiS OWN HANDS
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Despite two albums to his credit, Minneapolis-based singer songwriter RICK MCGUIRE’s third release DUST AND TEARS has that debut album freshness to it. This could be attributed to the fact that MCGUIRE chose to call all of the shots for album no. 3. While previous releases featured impressive casts of prominent Minneapolis session musicians, MCGUIRE’s sole collaborator this time around is keyboardist DONNIE LA MARCA leaving one to suspect before listening that DUST AND TEARS is a stripped down affair. On the contrary, DUST AND TEARS is a rock solid collection of alt-country tinged rockers that at times make falling in love seem like the craziest predicament in the world. Although the CD is merely a party of two, DUST AND TEARS almost has an organic live feel to it – something that MCGUIRE has learned after years of working with producer TOM HERBERS. “It was great learning his [HERBERS’] approach to recording and how he tackles it.” says MCGUIRE “For me it was fun to take everything that I had learned and put it to use on my own stuff and take it to the next level. That was kind of my goal.   (READ MORE)

NOVEMBER 25, 2009
A SENSE OF MYSTERY
MEREDiTH MEYER TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER LATEST CD iT'S SPOOKY TO BE YOUNG
WORKiNG WiTH BiLL RACiNE
AND BEiNG ENCAPSULATED iN THE MUSiC
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Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter MEREDITH MEYER’s love for music grew out of a strong dissatisfaction with the Oklahoma suburbs that surrounded her while growing up. Music provided an escape. After settling in the City of Angels, MEYER cut her teeth musically with a number of bands. Anxious to find her own sound, she teamed up with BRIAN KEHEW who produced her 2005 debut album ‘ITEMS YOU WON’T FIND ELSEWHERE’. Now MEYER has released ‘IT’S SPOOKY TO BE YOUNG’ – a plucky little collection of wistfully crafted odes to innocence and finding wonder in the most unexpected places. Working with producer BILL RACINE, MEYER was able to lose her self in the music in a way she hadn’t before. “I was pretty much there and fully encapsulated in recording that album.” says MEYER “That was the first time I had ever done that. It was really great. It was like going into this warehouse of creativity and being able to totally focus on the work. When I listen to it, I feel the feelings that I had when I was recording there.”   (READ MORE)

NOVEMBER 25, 2009
SECOND CHANCE
KELLi LiDELL OF KELLi AND THE SHADOWMEN
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT RETURNiNG TO MUSiC
TOURiNG THE COUNTRY iN A BiG BLACK BUS
AND HER THOUGHTS ON THE WORD "CAN'T"
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Don’t let the gorgeous eyes, high cheekbones and full lips fool you. KELLI LIDELL is no supermodel and she is not the latest in a line of country divas to come off the Nashville (or is it AMERICAN IDOL these days?) assembly line. Instead, she is a country-blues roadhouse mamma with a sultry purr and a band of ball-to-the wall blues rock slingers. There was never any doubt about LIDELL’s destiny. The daughter of country singer JOHNNY LIDELL ( famed for the hit song PRIMROSE LANE), the young KELLI took to music enthusiastically but there was also a bit of an acting bug that needed to be satisfied (as a child, LIDELL was a regular on the hit TV show THE LIFE OF GRIZZLY ADAMS). For a brief moment, the shot at music stardom was coming true as she was signed to CBS RECORDS but the thrill was short-lived as LIDELL was involved in a serious auto accident. After ten years of grueling rehabilitation LIDELL learned that life was too short to stand still and is hitting the road with her band THE SHADOWMEN with a vengeance. Not forgetting the ten year struggle following her accident, LIDELL founded the SECOND CHANCE FOUNDATION – a non-profit organization geared toward helping individuals faced with adversity to achieve their dreams.   (READ MORE)

NOVEMBER 18, 2009
CREATiVE SPARK
KiNG JULiA AND MUSIC READ OF
TALK TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR DEBUT CD FLiGHT
PUTTiNG THE MUSiC FiRST
AND PROMOTiNG ONENESS WiTH THEiR SOUND
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This could be the beginning of a beautiful musical partnership! Singer/guitarist KING JULIA abandoned her pursuit of a degree in Biology and shifted her priorities toward songwriting – a practice she had put on hold due to practicality. The British-born MUSIC READ’s feel for percussion was first felt when he heard MICHAEL JACKSON. After traveling the world and the seven seas as a military brat, READ settled in Austin, Texas – a town famed for its embrace of all kinds of music. At almost the same time, the California-based JULIA felt a pull from the Eastern direction. The City of Austin not only proved to be the ideal nesting ground for their musical ambitions. It also proved to be the ideal backdrop for the burgeoning romance between MUSIC and JULIA. As FIFTH NATION, the sparks – both musical and romantic - are captured on their debut CD FLIGHT – a wicked brew combining JULIA’s stormy delivery and earth conscious observances with MUSIC’s exhilarating percussion. “It was exciting to work with someone who is so talented.” says KING JULIA of working with MUSIC READ “It put the music on a whole other level and made it grow. The songwriting process between us is very organic and exciting and it continues to evolve.”   (READ MORE)

NOVEMBER 17, 2009
MUSiC CiTY ROCK
MSB DEViLLE OF SHAKY DEViLLE
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR SELF-TiTLED DEBUT CD
TOURiNG THE COUNTRY
AND GiViNG iT EVERYTHiNG THEY'VE GOT
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SHAKEY DEVILLE – the Nashville-based power trio with a need for speed (rhythm, not drugs) – is quickly gaining a reputation along the East Coast and throughout the Midwest for their raw, raucous live shows and primal rock n roll sound. After honing their act and sound in countless clubs and pubs (including Nashville’s EXIT/IN and ARLENES GROCERY STORE in New York City) the blue-collared troubadours have released their self-titled debut CD – a balls-to-the-wall stomper punctuated by lead singer-guitarist MSB DEVILLE’s howls and growls, JOHNNY FOODSTAMP’s slamming bass and TODD SLOCUM’s maniacal drumming. “If you don’t put all that you’ve got into a show then it’s going to come across that way.” says front man DEVILLE “We get up there and we just dive right into it. It’s a high octane show that is all natural. There aren’t any special moves on stage or anything like that.”   (READ MORE)

NOVEMBER 17, 2009
DON'T STOP!
KRiS HEATON OF KRiS HEATON BLUES BAND
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR LATEST CD R-ME STRONG
GiViNG BACK TO HiS NEW ENGLAND COMMUNiTY
AND THE BALANCE BETWEEN BLUES AND ROCK
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Connecticut-based ax-man KRIS HEATON had his fill of the rock n roll lifestyle back in the 1980s as the guitarist for the new wave rock band CONTROL CAMP. A wife and a blossoming family took center stage as his guitar picking was forced into the basement of his homestead. Four years ago, HEATON got the urge to dust of the ax and let her rip but being older and wiser meant settling on a sound the reflected a new outlook on life – the blues. The KRIS HEATON BLUES BAND has released two albums since HEATON made the decision to crank things up – ‘RUNAWAY TRAIN’ (2005) and ‘SHE AIN’T RIGHT’ (2007). Now the band has released ‘R-ME STRONG’, a blistering set of blues rockers - emphasizing the “rock” – that include the punchy ‘WEATHERMAN’, and the snappy ‘SHUT UP’ but the AC/DC inspired stomp of the title track ( a dedication to the men and women serving overseas) and the light-waving ballad ‘WHEN MEN CRY’ are what steal the show.   (READ MORE)

NOVEMBER 12, 2009
i'M STiLL ALiVE
DAVE GRAZiANi OF WHEN SUMMERS GONE
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR DEBUT CD DECEMBER
WORKiNG WiTH CHRiS LEPRi
AND TURNiNG TRAGEDY iNTO MUSiC
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WHEN SUMMERS GONE's debut CD ‘DECEMBER’ is no mere collection of alt-rock compositions that go in one ear and out the other but a loose concept album that explores themes of loss and finding the strength to move on – something that singer/guitarist DAVE GRAZIANI and bassist/drummer CHRIS LEPRI know all about. Inspired by the suicide of a dear friend from years ago, GRAZIANI proves his mettle as a songwriter and takes the listener on a harrowing journey made all the more intriguing by DAVE PIATEK’s top-notch production.   (READ MORE)

NOVEMBER 11, 2009
WiCKED QUEEN
METAL QUEEN LiTA FORD TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER COMEBACK CD WiCKED WONDERLAND
HiTTiNG THE ROAD WiTH A VENGEANCE

AND SETTiNG HER SiGHTS ON REALiTY TELEViSiON
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Rock vixen LITA FORD was metal’s one and only bad girl. Rock n roll has seen its share of female guitar slingers and singers from HEART’s WILSON sisters to COURTNEY LOVE’s full on angst but FORD’s heavy metal thunder was as sharp and jagged as the stiletto heels she sported. Hers was a package made in heaven – a busty blond chick in heals with an axe to grind and her six string assault was one that could put most male players to shame. There weren’t any schematics for a young CARMELITA ROSANNA FORD to follow in pursuing that often times elusive rock n roll dream. She picked up her first acoustic guitar at seven and after witnessing her first rock concert decided to go for something “…big and beefy and mean sounding”. She found it in a GIBSON SG and in short order was approached by KIM FOWLEY to join an all-girl band of his called THE RUNAWAYS. For four years, she served as the bands lead guitarist and shared the limelight and the tears with fellow band mate and future BLACKHEART - JOAN JETT. When the band fizzled, LITA went solo to prove to the world that she was a front woman and a guitarist to be taken seriously. Initially, acceptance proved to be slow with the albums OUT FOR BLOOD (1983) and DANCIN’ ON THE EDGE (1984). It wasn’t until 1988 when the world would catch up with FORD’s vision. Her third, MIKE CHAPMAN-produced album LITA was a gritty rock n roll gem that boasted the breakout hit KISS ME DEADLY and the stirring OZZY OSBOURNE duet IF I CLOSED MY EYES FOREVER. It was then that the British-born FORD became an all-American, heavy metal icon. Sales remained consistent with 1990’s STILETTO and 1991’s DANGEROUS CURVES but with the advent of grunge and the rejection of anything metal in the nineties, FORD’s 1995 release BLACK received a bruising reception. Before the rock world could blink, FORD did the unexpected – she walked away and stayed mum until now. LITA FORD – the metal queen – is back with a whole new album and a whole new set of priorities. Armed with a rock solid marriage to musical collaborator and former NITRO front man JIM GILLETTE and raising two children, FORD is on the road promoting her new release WICKED WONDERLAND – a delectable heavy metal stab at polite society and political correctness. “When we made WICKED WONDERLAND, it was something that we made because it was what was in our hearts and not trying to appeal to society’s taste.” says FORD of her latest offering “After we wrote and recorded the record, the hard part was putting together a band and trying to find the right guys and right rehearsals. We were trying to find the right people to live with basically. That was pretty weird. We’ve hired and fired a few people and that was the hardest part of everything – that and a couple of sore muscles.”   (READ MORE)

NOVEMBER 10, 2009
ROCKWiRED's ViDEO TO WATCH FOR:
NATASHA JAMES - 'TEQUiLA TiME'

In speaking with roost rocker NATASHA JAMES, she was eager to point out that her latest CD ‘TEQUILA TIME’ was in no way a country album but that hasn’t stopped her from proudly accepting a LOS ANGELES MUSIC AWARD for COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR. “I’m no a country singer. We’re roots rock if we’re anything.” says JAMES “It’s quite bizarre. We’re on the Adult Contemporary charts, the Mainstream charts and on the AAA charts. We get compared to acts like JOHN HIATT and LOS LOBOS, JOHN MELLENCAMP and NEIL YOUNG. I think my next album is going to be called ‘BLUES WITH A TWANG’.” Whether you call it roots rock or country, the point comes across – any time is a great time for tequila.

READ THE PREViOUS ROCKWiRED ON-LiNE EXCLUSiVE iNTERViEW WiTH NATASHA JAMES HERE


NOVEMBER 9, 2009
THE KiD iS DYNAMiTE
MATTHEW CURRAN TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS DEBUT ALBUM SiMPLiFY
GROWiNG UP WITH ROCK N ROLL

AND EARNiNG HiS CHOPS THE HARD WAY
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It’s all too easy to say that the nineteen-year-old guitar slinger MATTHEW CURRAN was born in the wrong decade due to his embrace of JIMMY PAGE-styled riffs, but when the tedium of today’s pop set is considered, we need a MATTHEW CURRAN now more than ever. Well versed in the ways of the six-string by the time he was seven, CURRAN cut his teeth in such New York City clubs as CBGB’s and B.B. KING’s when most kids his age are at home writing book reports. Hell! He’s even shared stages with the likes of THE SCORPIONS and DEEP PURPLE when he was twelve. Believe it or not, CURRAN has got life experience and he’s got chops and they all find their way onto his blistering self-produced debut SIMPLIFY. “The album ‘SIMPLIFY’ was based on stuff that I believe in.” says CURRAN “I’m really into the Zen Movement and the Transcendentalism. The idea behind ‘SIMPLIFY’ was that I don’t need a lot of material things to make me happy. Who you are is who you are on the inside. It’s sort of Transcendentalism compressed into rock music.”   (READ MORE)

NOVEMBER 9, 2009
FiNDiNG A GROOVE
MiRANA COMSTOCK OF THEORY OF TiDES
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR SELF-TiTLED DEBUT

A LiFE iN MUSiC
AND FORGiNG A DANCiER SOUND
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It’s a romance made in modern rock heaven! When the JUILLIARD-trained MIRANA met her future husband – guitarist RICK COMSTOCK while auditioning for a cover band, a connection was made – both romantic and musical. As thrilling as the romance sounds on paper, just as thrilling was the duo’s pursuit of their own sound and setting up shop in the eighties New York music scene marked by noted acts as THE TALKING HEADS and BLONDIE. Along with establishing the recording studio SOUNDSPACE, MIRANA and RICK made their presence known with the band SIGHS FIVE – a band often billed as “BLONDIE meets LED ZEPPELIN” by local critics. The duo continued in this hard rock vein with SECRET SERVICE whose songs SEVEN IN NEW YORK and WHEN MEN REMEMBER received moderate airplay on MTV. “It definitely had an effect on our writing and where we were going because we were expose to what was on the circuit at that time.” reminisces MIRANA COMSTOCK of the New York scene “It was a pretty exciting time to see the shift in the music which panicked some of the bands because it was a shift away from the big-haired, excessive things into something that was fresh and young and kind of compact. It was a time of change and it was interesting to be a part of that.”   (READ MORE)

NOVEMBER 6, 2009
A NEW LiFE
ART ALEXAKiS OF EVERCLEAR
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR NEW CD iN A DiFFERENT LiGHT
THE NEW LiNE UP
AND GROWiNG WiSER AS A ROCKER
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It seems like it was only yesterday when EVERCLEAR had established itself as America’s top post-grunge act. Twelve years ago, the band’s third album ‘SO MUCH FOR THE AFTERGLOW’ became the template for punk guitar rock with a pop sensibility. The images of the platinum cropped ART ALEXAKIS and his band mates jumping up and down to their electrifying punk pop indictments against absentee fathers (‘FATHER OF MINE’) and conformity (‘EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE’) were mainstays on MTV and that college music channel that my University subscribed to. While billed as ‘alternative’ it was not easy to find what the band’s melodic crunch was running contrary to. For all intents and purposes, EVERCLEAR were mainstream and ART ALEXAKIS was eager to use the fame as a pulpit for political activism – namely his support of the COMPASSION FOR CHILDREN AND CHILD SUPPORT ACT. Even when teen pop and rap-metal started oozing out of the woodwork, EVERCLEAR got into concept album mode with ‘SONGS FROM AN AMERICAN MOVIE VOL. I: LEARNING HOW TO SMILE’ which yielded their biggest hit ‘WONDERFUL’. By the time the band released ‘…VOL. II: GOOD TIME FOR A BAD ATTITUDE’, the momentum stopped and the glory days were over. The effervescent punk pop sound that defined the later half of the nineties disappeared and was replaced by the dirge of nu-metal - a fitting soundtrack to the instability of the aughties.   (READ MORE)

NOVEMBER 4, 2009
LiVE iT AND BREATHE iT
JOHNNY GOLTZ OF RiSE FOR ORDER
ABOUT THE BAND'S FORTHCOMiNG DEBUT LP
BREAKiNG iNTO THE STATES
AND LiViNG LiFE TO THE FULLEST
AND CAPTURiNG MOMENTS THROUGH SONGWRiTiNG
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You don’t see a lot of dedication in rock n roll these days. Now, all one has to do in the age of reality television is audition before a celebrity panel of judges before millions of viewers while living it up in some swank pad in Hollywood. The evolution of Toronto-based RISE FOR ORDER is a completely different story. The foursome lived and breathed rock n roll by cutting their teeth at the famed REHEARSAL FACTORY in Toronto. News of the band reached the ears of famed producer STEVE THOMPSON (METALLICA, GUNS AND ROSES and KORN) who got the boys into the studio for their forthcoming debut LP. Rock n roll is never a sound career but lead singer and songwriter JOHNNY GOLTZ has found something amidst the bands slick power chords, propulsive drumming and thunderous bass lines. He has found a sense of purpose. "We were very serious about this band and looked at this as our last chance." says GOLTZ "I think that it’s one of the greatest things that I’ve ever done. JORGE, CHAD, TREVOR and I have lost everything. We’ve lost friends and girlfriends but our number one love is this band."   (READ MORE)

NOVEMBER 4, 2009
A BEAUTiFUL NOiSE
GRANT VALDES OF THE EMPTY MiRROR
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR LATEST CD ABSTRACTED CATHOLiC
THE POSSiBiLiTiES OF MUSiC
AND WRiTiNG FROM A PRiVATE PLACE
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GRANT VALDES may be out to make music for himself in the same way that DAVE THOMAS of PERE UBU has claimed to do for the past thirty-five years but VALDES’ THE EMPTY MIROR has an advantage over the other noise rockers that they have been compared to – melody. Far from coming across as discordant, THE EMPTY MIRROR’s sound – cleverly dubbed ‘Nightmericana’ – reels the listener in with sheer musicality on their latest release ABSTRACTED CATHOLIC – a five song collection that defies genre and goes for the gut . Musicianship rules the day with ANTE RUICH’s assault on the bass, BILL KIM’s frenzied drumming and VALDES’ innate ability to let feelings of isolation and tension ring out of just six strings as his voice – at times a gentle SYD BARRETT-like purr and at others a feral scream – careening above the madness.   (READ MORE)

NOVEMBER 3, 2009
LET THE DiCE ROLL
JOHN LEFEBVRE TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS 29-SONG DEBUT ALBUM PSALNGS
FACiNG A POTENTiAL JAiL SENTENCE
AND CAPTURiNG MOMENTS THROUGH SONGWRiTiNG
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ELVIS COSTELLO once said that you have your whole life to prepare for your first album, but I don’t think that even COSTELLO – thirty years ago – could’ve imagined someone like Canadian-born troubadour JOHN LEFEBVRE. LEFEBVRE’s debut PSALNGS is no mere album but a twenty-nine song opus. Perhaps this is to be expected when one has their whole life to prepare for their first album. In LEFEBVRE’s case, that would be fifty-seven years – and what a fifty seven years it has been. The rough and tumbled rock n roller started as a choir boy in Calgary who grew to study piano and learned the guitar after being exposed to the music of the sixties. A drug arrest at seventeen for selling acid to an undercover cop earned him an eight month stay at BOWDEN INSTITUTION. After a series of odd jobs, LEFEBVRE had a daughter and went to law school and embarked on a successful law career until he chose to walk away from it at age forty-five to pursue music.   (READ MORE)

NOVEMBER 2, 2009
THiS TiME WiTH FEELiNG
AMANDA MORRA TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER SELF-TiTLED DEBUT CD
STRiPPiNG THE MUSiC DOWN (ON OCCASiON)
AND PUTTiNG HERSELF iN THE MUSiC
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The debut album is the album that one has their entire life to prepare for and Toronto-based pop singer AMANDA MORRA is no exception to this rule. Raised on both music and dance since the age of five, MORRA’s future was never in question or doubt and eventually honed her craft as a performer at both the CANADIAN VOCAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC and the prestigious CARDINAL CARTER SCHOOL OF THE ARTS. The glorious results of MORRA’s dedication are boasted on her self-titled debut CD where she shows tremendous versatility as a vocalist and a promising start as a songwriter. She is certainly not shy to point out that half of the album is co-written by her. “I really think that you need to write what you know otherwise, it’s not going to come across as authentic or genuine.” says MORRA “I try to write as much as possible. I co-wrote six of the songs on the album so hopefully I will be doing more of that. It is a great way to put all of your thoughts and feelings onto paper. For me, songwriting is an important aspect that you need to have. It’s not just about singing a great song anymore. It’s about being able to put yourself into the music and being genuine with it.”   (READ MORE)

NOVEMBER 2, 2009
DARKLY ROMANTiC
JiLLiAN RiSCOE TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER CD ELEVEN:ELEVEN
WRiTiNG ABOUT DARKER EMOTiONS
AND GETTiNG ALL DRAMATiC
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The Kansas City-based pop rock siren JILLIAN RISCOE is on the verge of getting too big for Kansas City with the release of her electrifying debut CD ELEVEN:ELEVEN. Produced by music industry veteran DAVID PERCEFULL (DAVID COOK, PHIL MARSHAL and BOWLING FOR SOUP) ELEVEN:ELEVEN is a testament to a young singer songwriter finding both her voice and sound. Unafraid of wearing her heart on her sleeve and going for those big dramatic moments in a way that we haven’t seen since BELLA DONNA-era STEVIE NICKS, RISCOE corners a soon-to-be ex-boyfriend on LIE THE TRUTH, brings romantic disillusionment down to a steady rock groove on STUCK and positively burns on ALL FALL DOWN. It was RISCOE’s intention from round one to embrace a definitive sound – one that she has dubbed ‘dark romanticism’. “Typically, my songs are about love.” says RISCOE “One way or another, they all end up being about heartbreak or a relationship or an ex-boyfriend. I typically write with that template in mind as a songwriter. I like to think of my music as ‘dark romantic’ and that is something that I want to get across to everyone that listens to my music.”   (READ MORE)

OCTOBER 30, 2009
SULTANS OF STOMP
JJ AND DAN OF MOJORiSiNG
TALK TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR DEBUT EP FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL
COMiNG TO AMERiCA
AND NOT CHANGiNG THE WORLD THROUGH MUSiC
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It seems silly to me that the FARRIS brothers of INXS went to all the trouble to come to the States to do a silly reality contest show to find a chap to fill the shoes of the late MICHAEL HUTCHENCE when the ideal replacement was down under as well. JJ (JOZSEPH JAMES) – the front man of the pop-rock duo MOJORISING - has got the HUTCHENCE thing down cold in terms of delivery and songwriting so INXS’s loss is our gain as MOJORISING show those old sultans of stomping dance-rock how it’s done with the release of their debut EP ‘FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL’. Adding to the excitement of this dynamic duo’s release is a recent move from Melbourne, Australia to Los Angeles where they hope to lay down the foundation for America’s embrace of all that is MOJORISING. “[People] like to remind you that you are one in a sea of a million bands.” Says lead singer JJ “So we mentally prepared ourselves in coming to the States for a long time. Right now, I think that we’re feeling a sense of pride for all of the work that we’ve done in getting to LA because we worked our butts off. We’re pretty excited because we just played the WHISKY and that was something that I always wanted to do ever since I was a kid. To sing at JIM MORRISON’s old haunt was just unreal. It’s a mixture of pride, excitement and knowing that we’ve got a lot of work to do.”   (READ MORE)

OCTOBER 29, 2009
WE'RE AN AMERiCAN BAND
TRENT RiLEY OF SEXSTONE
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR DEBUT LP THE PAiNFUL SiDE OF TRUE
FiNDiNG THE iDEAL FRONT MAN
AND TAKiNG THAT NEXT STEP
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Nothing is more exciting than a rock n roll dream that is on the verge of coming true, especially in these frightening economic times. Established in 2004, the Kentucky-based SEXSTONE started out with a dark, moody sound reminiscent of THE DOORS. For whatever reason members left but the heart of the band –guitarist STEVE WHEELER and bassist TRENT RILEY – decided to forge on as an eighties cover band in pursuit of a sultry, female singer. What they got instead was a young, dashing front man and prolific songwriter named STEVE BAUER who introduced a more tempered alternative rock sensibility to the band. Having established a devoted following throughout the southeastern states and favorable press, SEXSTONE have released their eagerly awaited debut LP THE PAINFUL SIDE OF TRUE – a rocking catalog of life’s highs, lows and second chances.   (READ MORE)

OCTOBER 28, 2009
GO WEST
DUB OF TONiGHT WE RiDE
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR DEBUT CD OF THE WEST
THE PUNK SCENE iN MONTANA
AND FORGiNG A MORE SOULFUL SOUND
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Growing up, punk music conjured up images of graffiti and brownstone, safety-pins in earlobes, torn tee-shirts and mohawks (not faux-hawks). Nowadays, punk stylings have branched off into retail outlets (HOT TOPIC) and rock operas (GREEN DAY’s ‘AMERICAN IDIOT’). Purists may reject such indulgences but to me, that’s just rock n roll. While its initial defiance may be long forgotten, punk music never, ever brought to mind images of the state of Montana but it’s home to the punk rock trio TONIGHT WE RIDE. Having played in bands since high school, the thought of lead singer and guitarist DUB, bassist GREG and drummer BOMB just seemed like the right thing to do. The Helena-based band’s debut CD ‘OF THE WEST’ boasts punk rock with a decidedly country and western twist recalling early X and walks that delicate line between partying hard (DRINK MYSELF INTO OBLIVION) and the apocalypse (OTHER SIDE OF THE WALL PART II). Despite the humor, ‘…WEST’ has its deep moments. The song CAIN STATION is sung from the point of view of a person with a brother in Iraq.   (READ MORE)

OCTOBER 27, 2009
SHAKY AND SWEATY
A.J. JACKSON OF SAiNT MOTEL
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR DEBUT EP FOR PLAY
THEiR KNACK FOR ViSUALS
AND GiViNG FOLKS A SHOW
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Sometimes, a rock band’s visual sense is just as important as what they offer musically. Having grown up in the 1980s MTV era, I was never of the opinion that visuals take something away from the music. With the MTV era finished thanks to YOUTUBE, it brings a huge smile to my face to see a band like SAINT MOTEL embracing the art form of music video as they have on their first two singles DEAR DICTATOR and BUTCH. It’s no accident that the boys from SAINT MOTEL met at CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY’s prestigious film and media arts program. Visuals aside, the Los Angeles-based foursome deliver a knock out rock n roll punch with the release of their debut EP ‘FOR PLAY’ and are determined to reel folks in with their stunning live shows. “We try to make our shows over the top fun.” says lead singer A.J. JACKSON. “We try to make each show unique and we want everyone to have a really good time. We have been doing that by making every show an event.”   (READ MORE)

OCTOBER 26, 2009
ROCKWiRED's ViDEO TO WATCH FOR:
SAiNT MOTEL - 'DEAR DiCTATOR'

SAINT MOTEL has got film school written all over themselves and that’s perfectly all right. The So-Cal-based band has released their debut EP ‘FOR PLAY’ and are making their presence known visually. “It’s an element that all of us have.” says lead singer AJ JACKSON of the band’s penchant for visual expression. “We all met in film school and we wee all into the visual arts as well but I think that has a lot to do with time we live in. One of the first things I do when I hear a band’s name is look them up on YOUTUBE. I’m a very visual person. I think we all are and it’s something that compliments the music if it’s done right. It’s another dimension of creative expression. We would never want the visuals to detract from the music itself. It is always about music first.”

OCTOBER 26, 2009
PAiNTED DESERT
BRAY TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS LATEST CD @MPHiBiAN
BEiNG iSOLATED iN THE MOJAVE DESERT
AND WORKiNG WiTH PRODUCER GARY ST. CLAiR
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Some people are born to be rock stars. Before he could strum actual strings on an actual guitar (a telecaster by the looks of his CD's inner sleeve photography), San Francisco-based rocker BRAY (BRAYDEN GURNARI) started out by picking up a “guitar” cut from a cardboard box and would lip synch to some of his favorite songs of the time in front of neighbors. Aware of the performer that was inside of him, the young BRAYDEN learned a thing or two about a real six string, shortened his name to BRAY and got a job. After releasing two albums (excluding a live set recorded in Germany) BRAY took off to the Mojave Desert for some solitude and to work with producer GARY ST. CLAIR for his latest album. The ecstasy and the isolation of those sessions resulted in something powerful within the young singer-songwriter and those results are captured on BRAY’s latest CD @MPHIBIAN. “I wanted to explore subjects that I wouldn’t have explored before because I do want to make sure that I do have a positive message in the work that I do but I did want to embrace some of the darker sides of life on this record so that we could view the positive side in stark contrast.” says BRAY “You can’t see the light without comparing it to the dark – jealousy, insecurity, loss and things like that.”   (READ MORE)

OCTOBER 26, 2009
A LiTTLE BiT MORE ORiGiNAL
CRAiG HANDLEY AND RAMONE JONES
OF CR GRUVE
TALK TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR DEBUT EP THE NAUGHTY & THE NiCE
AND TACKLiNG THE SUBJECT OF ADULT RELATiONSHiPS
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A divorced millionaire with a penchant for music and fella who used to open for SNOOP DOG and DIGABLE PLANETS join forces to create a hip-hop act that strikes the fancy of VIRGIN CEO SIR RICHARD BRANSON. It all sounds like the plot for an upcoming JUDD APATOW film starring SETH ROGAN, but in fact it is the real life story of CR GRUVE. Entrepreneur CRAIG HANDLEY’s marriage was coming to an end and found that the best way to not “go crazy” from the experience was to get lost in something that he had put aside in favor of a stable (and obviously lucrative) career in marketing – music. He found the perfect partner in RAMONE JONES – a former member of the neo-soul hip-hop act ILL NATURAL. Together, they spilled the trials and tribulations of their personal lives on top of some beats and the result is the dynamic duo’s debut EP ‘THE NAUGHTY & THE NICE’ – a collection of songs that speak to the ups and downs of adult relationships. “There are a lot of great rap artists out there and sometimes what they are talking about doesn’t necessarily make a ton of sense.” says CRAIG HANDLEY “There is so much out there where they’ve got the money and they’ve got the girls and they’ve got the car and everybody loves them and that is what the relationship is and that’s great, but that’s not always real.”   (READ MORE)

OCTOBER 26, 2009
TERMS OF ENRiCHMENT
iHSAAN KHATiM TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS SELF-TiTLED DEBUT E.P.
ESCHEWiNG LABELS
AND MAKiNG MUSiC FOR EVERYBODY
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R&B crooner IHSAAN KHATIM’s music is a reminder of what much of today’s R&B has lost sight of – sense of melody and lyrics that thoughtfully analyze the dynamics of relationships and the ways of the world. Taking his queue from such legendary performers as STEVIE WONDER and AL GREEN and mixing it with the sensibilities of GARTH BROOKS and ERIC CLAPTON, KHATIM is on a mission to make music for everyone on the planet. His self-titled debut EP is set for a December release with the promise of a full length LP expected to hit stores sometime in 2010. With all of the hustle and bustle in getting the music out there, KHATIM never loses sight of all the people and loved ones who got him to this crucial point in his career. This gratitude is reflected by his use of the word ‘we’ instead of ‘I’. “[T]he word ‘we’ is in observance of everyone who has contributed to our lives to have us where we are and where we are going.” says KHATIM. “We wouldn’t dare stand in a space and go “I did this!” or “I did that!” We are a combination of all individuals, loved ones and souls that continue to enrich us. We say “we” because that is our standpoint.”   (READ MORE)

OCTOBER 26, 2009
EVERYTHiNG'S iN A NAME
LOU BARLOW (NOT THAT LOU BARLOW)
OF TRUE NATURE TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS THRiLLiNG EP FEELS LiKE CENTURiES
STEPPiNG UP WiTH A POSiTiVE MESSAGE
AND STANDiNG APART FROM THAT OTHER GUY
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While he didn’t have the misfortune of being given the surname LUSH, the voice and songwriter behind TRUE NATURE was dealt an equally troublesome fate – being named LOU BARLOW. Being confused for the founder of the late-nineties lo-fi rock band DINOSAUR JR. has been an issue of concern for BARLOW given the disparate sound textures and messages between both men. The moniker TRUE NATURE was established to allow the music to shine through and end such confusion. In listening to TRUE NATURE’s sophomore EP ‘FEEL’S LIKE CENTURIES’ – names become less important and BARLOW’s hope of letting his music’s ENO-esque scope and BONO-esque ideals gleam brightly comes to fruition. With a little help from studio aces TONY LEVIN (JOHN LENNON and KING CRIMSON), AARON COMESS (THE SPIN DOCTORS) and GERRY LEONARD (DAVID BOWIE and RUFUS WAINWRIGHT) FEELS LIKE CENTURIES is a varied set of ambitious rockers (FREEDOM BEHIND THE SUN), smart, contemplative power pop (COLOR OF DAYLIGHT) and plaintive balladry (TRUTH I HAVE TO STEEL). For those who may feel let down by the brevity of ‘…CENTURIES’, they can be comforted by the fact that TRUE NATURE is putting the finishing touches on their as-of-yet-untitled debut LP, due in early 2010.   (READ MORE)

OCTOBER 23, 2009
ROCKWiRED's ViDEO TO WATCH FOR:
JANUS - 'EYESORE'

ROCKWIRED became acquainted with JANUS (guitarist MIKE TYRANSKI actually) near the end of last year after they had released their glorious concept album RED RIGHT RETURN. Now, the Chicago-based rockers have released an equally glorious video for the single EYESORE. “That song is definitely unique.” says TYRANSKI of the band’s epic single. “We found a lot of ways to pull in a lot of different instrumentation and sounds that we had never worked with before. It's got a lot of great parts to it and a lot of originality yet it's very heavy at the same time. Part of our sound is to have these really heavy songs that are bordering on metal but also have these great melodies in there too that are almost like a pop song. I think the combination of the two is very powerful.”

READ THE PREViOUS ROCKWiRED ON-LiNE EXCLUSiVE iNTERViEW WiTH JANUS HERE


OCTOBER 22, 2009
iMMiGRANT SONG
ANNA MADORSKY TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER CD iNCANTATiON
TREATiNG HER SONGS AS CHARACTERS >
AND APPROACHiNG LiFE ON HER TERMS
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The Russian-born, Texas and Tennessee-raised singer-songwriter ANNA MADORSKY thinks about things too much and that is a sweet relief. Her dissections of human behavior and human existence make for exhilarating coffee talk that’ll leave you feeling dizzy and it is those very observations that MADORSKY’s album INCANTATION so engaging. Any female singer with a penchant for the abstract is going to get lumped into that TORI AMOS pile but MADORSKY is an artist that stands alone. Her ethereal coo floats effortlessly over the FEIST-like march of the opener BLOOM, the steady groove of BROKEN ARTIFACTS and the breezy, wistful CHANGE. “I just get the feeling that I’ve kind of hit on the tip of an iceberg creatively.” says MADORSKY of her songwriting process. “I start having this feeling that there is something much bigger underneath so I keep going until it feels complete. As I’m writing it, it is a revelation to me. I start to recognize these certain themes and I realize early on that each song is a character.”   (READ MORE)

OCTOBER 21, 2009
iN A FUNK
MiKE GOETZ OF THE QUiCK AND EASY BOYS
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR CD BAD DECiSiONS WITH GOOD PEOPLE
TOURiNG THE EAST AND WEST COASTS
AND GETTiNG PEOPLE OUT TO THEiR SHOWS

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Just when you thought that Portland’s music scene was littered with autumnal, introspective, singer-songwriter-type bands such as THE DECEMBERISTS or AMELIA, along come THE QUICK AND EASY BOYS. Just as comfortable showing off their WILLIE NELSON and JOHNNY CASH influences as they are their love for PARLIAMENT and THE FUNKADELICS, this sturdy power trio is wired to get you ass on the floor dancing. At press time, THE QUICK AND EASY BOYS were wrapping up their successful tour of both coasts in support of their album BAD DECISIONS WITH GOOD PEOPLE an drummer MIKE GOETZ couldn’t have imagined a better place to be. “It’s wonderful actually.” says GOETZ of touring with his band mates. “You get an opportunity to move around the country and meet new people every night and hang out in cities that you’ve never been to. The three of us get along really, really well.”   (READ MORE)

OCTOBER 20, 2009
DANCiNG ANGEL
ALEXANDRA CELANO TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER DEBUT CD i'M OVERCOME
STEPPiNG iNTO THE LiGHT
AND BEiNG HER TRUE, AUTHENTiC SELF

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The life and music of Christian singer-songwriter ALEXANDRA CELANO is a study in contrasts. While the back and forth between Christianity and bluegrass music is no real surprise to anyone, it is indeed rare to hear such music from a decidedly Catholic perspective. CELANO’s brand of bluegrass is heartfelt and doesn’t come across as if it were the result of years of study which is strange when you consider that she is based in Orange County, California. Produced by Americana veteran ED TREE (SPENCER DAVIS, RITA COOLIDGE, AL STEWART), CELANO’s debut CD ‘I’M OVERCOME’ is a revelation. CELANO wears her faith on her sleeve with songs such as LET THE RIVER FLOW, MY FATHER’S HANDS and IN THIS PLACE and demonstrates an unabashed earnestness on the title track where the comparison to DOLLY PARTON is simply to glaring to be ignored.   (READ MORE)

OCTOBER 19, 2009
ELECTRONiC REVERiE
JARED SHELDON OF TiRRA LiRRA
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR DEBUT LP PiNK LiVE FOREVER
CONSTRUCTiNG AN ENERGiZED SOUND
AND GOOD,OLD-FASHiONED SYNERGiSM

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The Chicago-based TIRRA LIRRA are not the first to marry garage rock tendencies with ethereal electronics but the band’s approach puts melody ahead of anything else. TIRRA LIRRA’s sound has been tested in front of audiences at such Windy City haunts as THE EMPTY BOTTLE, THE WHISTLER BAR and THE SUBTERRANEAN and was given it’s first pressing with the 2006 EP ‘BREATHE BODIES’. Three years later, the band has released their debut LP ‘PINK LIVE FOREVER’ and the results are sonically arresting. Despite BRIAN ‘HANK’ HENRY’s persistent electronic flourishes, JARED SHELDON’s tribal drumming and CHRIS MATHIS’ understated guitar work, there is a certain accessibility to TIRRA LIRRA’s sound which recalls early-CURE or THE COCTEAU TWINS. Where would today’s electronic acts be without such eighties influences?   (READ MORE)

OCTOBER 16, 2009
ROCKWiRED's ViDEO TO WATCH FOR:
ASTRONAUTS OF ANTiQUiTY - 'EVERYWHERE'

A fella that I had interviewed recently told me that he was uncomfortable with the idea of music videos because they denied people the right to envision the music themselves. But when you’ve got INDIA of ASTRONAUTS OF ANTIQUITY in front of the camera, envisioning the music on my own is considerably less interesting. The girl oughta be in pictures but we’d miss that lovely voice. Oh yeah, and the band ain’t slouches either.

READ THE PREViOUS ROCKWiRED ON-LiNE EXCLUSiVE iNTERViEW WiTH ASTRONAUTS OF ANTiQUiTY HERE


OCTOBER 14, 2009
iT HAPPENS iN THREES
BRODiE KNiGHT VANS OF SPROCKETS
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR LATEST CD MEDiCATED EMPTY
WORKiNG WiTH MiKE HERRERA
AND GROWiNG AS A SONGWRITER
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The Vegas-based punk trio SPROCKETS are of that same punk brotherhood mold as GREEN DAY and BLINK 182. Even in his early songwriting efforts, singer/guitarist BRODIE KNIGHT VANS sought to pattern his work after 182’s DAMMIT, but that was high school. One album and an EP later, SPROCKETS have come into their own with their sophomore release MEDICATED EMPTY. Produced by MIKE HERRERA, the thirteen-track concept album builds upon the band’s oh-so-serious approach (something that sets them apart from their aforementioned influences) but also puts the band in a most envious position both musically and artistically. “He gave us a lot of skills that will only help us further down the road of our careers.” says VANS of producer MIKE HERRERA. “He didn’t just record us. He really took a lot of time with us – twelve to thirteen hour days for two months and he was there the whole time. He does about seventy-thousand things at once. Not only are we grateful, we feel really blessed that he was a part of this album. He plays just about every instrument and he has a studio in his house that he let us use. Because of him a lot of doors have opened up for us. Working with him was a very good experience.”   (READ MORE)

OCTOBER 13, 2009
ROCKWiRED's ViDEO TO WATCH FOR:
BABY ANiMALS - 'GOT iT BAD'

Interviewing SUZE DEMARCHI over a year ago was one of the highlights of my musical reportage. Folks Stateside might go "huh?" when you mention the BABY ANIMALS, but in Australia they are rock n roll legends. Now these balls-to-the-wall rockers are back with a vengeance with what looks like NUNO BETANCOURT (SUZE's husband) on bass guitar. GOT iT BAD may not have that signature strut of early BABY ANIMALS, but its fun to see SUZE again.

READ THE PREViOUS ROCKWiRED ON-LiNE EXCLUSiVE iNTERViEW WiTH THE BABY ANiMALS HERE


OCTOBER 12, 2009
DARiNG TO DREAM
ACCLAiMED FiLM COMPOSER MASON DARiNG
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS SELF-TiTLED RELEASE
WORKiNG WiTH DiRECTOR JOHN SAYLES
AND STEPPiNG UP TO THE MiC
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It would be all too easy to write off MASON DARING’s latest release as a bookend to a most prolific career, but the truth is that his self-titled release is more like a brand new beginning. Back in the early seventies, DARING came to the conclusion that rock n roll glory was eluding him, despite being signed to COLUMBIA RECORDS. Eventually, he walked away from the business and pursued a law degree. While doing so, something curious happened – DARING couldn’t put the guitar down. Music got him through his legal education. Even after passing the bar exam, DARING couldn’t stay out of the studio producing releases by local New England folk artists. Things took a turn for the better when DARING’s expertise in entertainment law was requested by a young director named JOHN SAYLES. When it became know to SAYLES that his legal counsel had something of a musical background, he asked DARING to hear a couple of pieces and from there, one of the most prolific director-composer relationships since ROBERT ALDRICH and FRANK DE VOL was formed. You hear DARING’s handiwork in such SAYLES films as LONE STAR, RETURN OF THE SEACAUCUS 7, SUNSHINE STATE, THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH and EIGHT MEN OUT. One would think it would be easier to rest on the laurels of such fine work but making a truly definitive solo album was something that DARING had always dreamed of. Teamed with long time guitarist/collaborator DUKE LEVINE, DARING smiles back at his past on his latest release but also looks to the future with new material. “One day I called him and I said ‘Duke, you’ve got to do this with me’ and bang! He tore into this album like you wouldn’t believe.” recalls DARING. “For the rehearsals and the primary sessions and the recording, he was there. This was truly a vanity project for me. This was the first record that I’ve ever paid my own money for and that’s okay. I did this for me. I had to get this record done and DUKE was just amazing. He really believed in the record and he teamed me up with a lot of good people. Without him, the record never would’ve been made and it sure as hell wouldn’t have been as good.”   (READ MORE)

OCTOBER 8, 2009
THiS AiN'T NO R&B!
DOC PHiLLiPS OF JOE STEEL
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THE BAND'S COMEBACK EP ROCK HARD OR DiE
THE STATE OF BLACK ROCK N ROLL
AND CARRYiNG ON
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For decades, rock’s apologists have paid lip service to the fact that rock n roll is black people’s music. We can argue over whether the chicken or the egg came first but rock music as we know it is most definitely a white boys club. After the arrival of LIVING COLOUR, the door was opened just a crack with artists like SEVENDUST, LENNY KRAVITZ, and FISHBONE (to a lesser degree). Black rock n roll is no schematic for popular acceptance. No one knows this better than bassist DOC PHILLIPS. Almost thirty years earlier, PHILLIPS hijacked an all-black new wave band and turned them into JOE STEEL – the world’s first ever all-black hard rock band.   (READ MORE)

SEPTEMBER 29, 2009
COME TOGETHER
MiKE CLARK OF FiNAL GRAViTY
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THE BAND'S SELF-TiTLED RELEASE
COMPOSiNG AS A BAND
AND FUSiNG EVERY KiND OF ROCK MUSiC iMAGiNABLE
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Given the band’s penchant for eight-minute prog-styled epics, expansive guitar solos and high-minded oh-so-heavy lyrics, I had believed that the moniker FINAL GRAVITY had something to do with a rocket coming down from space. It turns out that that is what is called GRAVITY’S RAINBOW. I was prepared to make a comparison between re-entry and the fellas from FINAL GRAVITY getting back together after a lengthy hiatus but I had to abandon that angle when I learned that the band is named after a beer brewing term. FINAL GRAVITY – the brewing term – is when water, barley, hops, and yeast come together and form a tasty beer. This is analogous to the band whose members have fused their respective influences such as metal, prog, hard rock and alternative into a sonically compelling brew.   (READ MORE)

SEPTEMBER 28, 2009
TEQUiLA SUNRiSE
NATASHA JAMES TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER LATEST CD TEQUiLA TiME
SUCCESS ON THE CHARTS
AND HAViNG THE RiGHT GROUP OF PEOPLE AROUND
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Born in San Francisco and raised in Southern California (and all over the world for that matter), NATASHA JAMES’ appreciation of music was discovered early thanks in equal parts to a transistor radio and the famed MCCABE’S GUITAR SHOP in Santa Monica. A young NATASHA took to the six strings and never looked back. In fairly short order, JAMES began performing her own material in clubs throughout New York City and established her band GOOD N’ DUSTY. As momentum for the band was building, JAMES became pregnant and music was put on hold while she raised her family in Sonoma California. In speaking with JAMES, it is hard for me to imagine such a dynamo fading into suburban obscurity. It was a meeting with the head of a record label that got her musical engines burning again and JAMES released her debut CD ‘BAD JUDGMENTS’ in 2007.   (READ MORE)

SEPTEMBER 18, 2009
POP ANiMAL
ROY COHEN OF JiVE64
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR DEBUT CD GO TO 10
WORKiNG WITH ELLiTA AND DHARMA
AND ELECTRONiC DREAMS OF POP STARDOM
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The past decade has seen an embrace of the cold electronic sounds that signaled the arrivals of acts like DEPECHE MODE and YAZOO two decades earlier. With the aughties coming to a close, beats and melodies generated by synthesizers with distorted vocals floating over the top seems like the norm rather than a nostalgia trip. The Israeli electropop trio JIVE 64 make no apologies for their love of eighties kitsch and sound bites. Founder and programmer ROY COHEN is equally unashamed of his goal for pop glory. “I’m not ashamed to say that I want to be mainstream.” says COHEN “I want to be in the charts. This my wildest dream and I’m a pop animal. I listen to BRITNEY SPEARS for crying out loud!”   (READ MORE)

SEPTEMBER 16, 2009
LiFE MUSiC AND EVERYTHiNG
MICHEL ACKERMANN TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS DEBUT EP KiTE
SUCCESSFULLY MARRYiNG JAZZ WiTH CLASSiCAL SOUNDS
AND THE SiMPLE THiNGS iN LiFE
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Berlin-based piano man MICHEL ACKERMANN has got a song for you. In a musical age where the romance is gone, ACKERMANN proudly presents his debut EP ‘KITE’. If his STING-influenced brand of jazz pop observations of love and life seem a bit seasoned, they are. ACKERMANN grew up with the classics an I don’t mean THE DOORS, JIMI HENDRIX and LED ZEPPELIN but rather MOZART, SCHUBERT and BEETHOVEN. Given his ear for classical music and his rigorous classical training, the chap would’ve been a shoe-in for any orchestra until a mysterious jazz piano player presented himself and rocked ACKERMANN’s world – as much as jazz can rock. “I heard a strange pianist, looking like a robber, who played jazz chords and that was a revelation for me.” admits ACKERMANN “In Germany's boondocks, where I lived in the early eighties, Jazz was still something weird. It was not part of any music lessons at school and there were no radio stations playing this music. How could I know it? And it struck me like a bolt of lightning when those kind of harmonies and phrasings came to my ears.”   (READ MORE)

SEPTEMBER 15, 2009
A FRiGHTENiNG SOUND
TYLEAN TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER CD BETWEEN 2 AND 10
LiFE AS AN EXPATRiATE
AND EMBRACiNG A DARKER SOUND
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Whether you see her as a more ethereal DIAMANDA GALAS or a more volatile TORI AMOS, one can’t argue that the gothic chanteuse TYLEAN leaves an impression. On her official website, she cautions that her music should not be considered music but as art. After listening to her sophomore release BETWEEN 2 AND 10 (a re-release from 2007 on the BAST label) I am inclined to agree, which is not to say that TYLEAN is without musicality. The Pennsylvania-born TYLEAN showed an aptitude for both acting and singing at an early age. It’s hard to imagine such a nihilistic persona getting her start in children’s choirs and a production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, but that was the gig that got her going. It’s not clear when the transformation from wannabe child actress to nightmarish poetess occurred but it is clear that the latter is here to stay. “Oh I’m a nihilist!” laughs TYLEAN. “I am coming from the ‘fuck you! I am who I am and you’ll take it or you’ll leave it’ perspective. A lot of people try to pander to audiences and write for audiences. I write for me.”   (READ MORE)

SEPTEMBER 14, 2009
ONE GiANT LEAP
iNDiA OF ASTRONAUTS OF ANTiQUiTY
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR CD ROCKET SCiENCE FOR DUMMiES
WORKiNG WiTH HER HUSAND BRAD RHYAN
AND BALANCiNG A LOVE/MUSiC LiFE
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I know that it is only music, but the mysterious, spacey pop duo dubbed ASTRONAUTS OF ANTIQUITY attack songwriting and production as if it were the scientific endeavor that the title of their CD – ROCKET SCIENCE FOR DUMMIES – suggests. This is not to say that their mixture of electro lounge, reggae and trip-hop is a studied affair. In fact, the material on ‘ROCKET…’displays a sort of pop music sophistication that the music industry hasn’t heard since DAVE STEWART and ANNIE LENNOX stood in the middle of a cow field wearing matching business suits. Lead singer INDIA’s breathy, assured jazz vocals soar ethereally above and equally compelling mix spearheaded by guitarist/husband BRAD RHYAN. “We’re two different individuals with many different layers to our relationship obviously due to the fact that we are married and are musical partners.” says INDIA. “There are a lot of different things going on in the relationship and it can be very, very challenging. When we sit down and actually write a tune together, we write separately and we collaborate – whatever our muse tells us to do. That can be really exciting and fantastic. We help each other a lot as far as craft goes but there are times when it is incredibly challenging and we want to kill each other but that has a lot to do with artistic opinion. It’s a very passionate relationship when we are trying to make music together. Through that challenge, good music comes out of that.”   (READ MORE)

SEPTEMBER 11, 2009
NO SCHOOL TODAY!
VALERiE NiCOLE TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER DEBUT CD FROM THE HEART
STEPPiNG AWAY FROM THE TEACHER'S DESK
AND PURSUiNG THAT ROCK N ROLL DREAM
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There is nothing more exciting than a person stepping away from an honorable profession in the name of strapping on a guitar and writing pop songs. Oh the risk! Oh the uncertainty! While music was always the first love for singer-songwriter VALERIE NICOLE, she used her degree in Music Education to teach music at the elementary school-level. If memory serves, music education at that level could either be a pleasure or a punishment, but I’m willing to believe that NICOLE was an engaging teacher and not like my elementary school’s music teacher whom everyone had dubbed ‘MR. POTATOHEAD’. Eventually, tunes that NICOLE would hum in her head became too irresistible so she put the teaching aside and threw herself into songwriting and performing. The years spent perfecting her songcraft have resulted in her debut CD ‘FROM THE HEART’ – an earnest collection of ‘heart on her sleeve’ pop gems that run the gamut of country, alternative and sixties pop.   (READ MORE)

SEPTEMBER 9, 2009
SUPERNATURAL
ERiN MUiR TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER DEBUT CD POET'S LOVELY DAUGHTER
WORKiNG WiTH BERNiE LARSEN
AND GROWiNG AS A PERSON (iN AN RV)
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Music is more than a way of life for singer-songwriter ERIN MUIR - it was odyssey as epic as the ILIAD with our heroine’s story beginning in an unassuming, provincial town called Sauk Rapids in Minnesota. As a child, MUIR displayed an amazing aptitude for music which she has since chucked off to musicality running in the family. After studying classical music at ST. OLAF UNIVERSITY, MUIR joined a band and hopped aboard a 1973 VOGUE RV and toured the country for four years. While it wasn’t the first class treatment she would’ve received as an opera singer, the years on the road proved to be character building. Following the band’s demise, MUIR settled into LA life and immediately found work as an actress and lived it up until she came to the realization that music was what she was supposed to be doing. Life experience and MUIR’s own quirky musicality have come together to form her debut CD ‘POET’S LOVELY DAUGHTER’. Produced by BERNIE LARSEN, ‘POET’S…’ is an album that is almost entirely too seasoned to be a debut. With stellar moments such as SUPERNATURAL and HEART GIVEN, try shelving this CD somewhere in between ANNIE LENNOX’s ‘DIVA’ and FIONA APPLE’s ‘TIDAL’.   (READ MORE)

SEPTEMBER 4, 2009
DREAMS
GABY VELAZQUEZ TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS DEBUT CD LET ME iN
GiViNG UP THE DAY JOB FOR MUSiC
AND THE POWER OF SONGWRiTiNG
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Getting up from that dreary cubicle at work and telling your boss to “shove it” is everyone’s fantasy, but for GABY VELAZQUEZ, it was something he had to do. After making a comfortable living as a loan officer, VELAZQUEZ bolted past the glass doors (assuming they were made of glass) and embraced the life of a singer-songwriter. Now, years of self-discipline and soul searching have resulted in VELAZQUEZ’s debut CD ‘LET ME IN’. At times earnest and at others humorous, the 11-song set is no mere debut of yet another well intentioned, oh-so sensitive troubadour. It is a “now-or-never” statement from VELAZQUEZ. “This album is my biggest shot at showing what I can do through music.” says VELAZQUEZ. “It’s time for me to either do this or maybe it’s time to make a left. The album grew out of my need to take my music to the next level.”   (READ MORE)

SEPTEMBER 3, 2009
HANDFUL OF DREAMS
CLAY WiTHROW OF VANGOUGH
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR DEBUT CD MANiKiN PARADE
TRANSiTiONiNG FROM SOLO ARTiST TO BAND
AND THAT COMFY PRODUCER'S CHAiR
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What can I say? Oklahoma-based singer/guitarist CLAY WITHROW went about it a little differently. Rather than getting his start in a band and moving on to that solo project, WITHROW began his career as a solo artist with his 2007 release ‘DISSONANCE RISING’. Enamored by the talents of drummer BRANDON LOPEZ, keyboardist ABE HARTLEY and bassist CARLTON DORSEY, CLAY turned his solo project into the band VANGOUGH. Taking their queue from notable progsters such as DREAM THEATER and THE DEAR HUNTER, VANGOUGH couldn’t be more eager to point out the absurdities and the ills of modern American life on their debut CD ‘MANIKIN PARADE’. The album’s title track mocks the glorification of anti-intellectualism. Abusive Catholic priests are the target on DISORDER QUOTIENT while PARADISE FOR THE LOST is a seething indictment on the Church of Scientology. “I love the tongue and cheek moments in ‘MANIKIN PARADE’ where I directly address the audience with certain little phrases.” says WITHROW. “Those moments stand out the most to me because of the social commentary. That is something that I am always trying to put into the music.”   (READ MORE)

SEPTEMBER 2, 2009
THERE iS NO "i"
CRiSTEN GREY OF THE MOViNG DUNES
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THE CD 10,000 THiNGS
TAKiNG CONTROL OF THE MUSiC
AND GiViNG CREDiT TO A HIGHER SOURCE
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Santa Fe, New Mexico isn’t the most rocking town on the U.S. map. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t rock at all outside of the geological sense, but the art capitol is home to CRISTEN GREY and her band THE MOVING DUNES. Following the band’s 2002 release ‘JUST A LITTLE REMINDER’, GREY and her musical sidekick BRIAN WIDGER were anxious to make music on their own terms without the compromises that bands end up making because of a ticking clock and a shortage of funds. For three years, GREY and WIDGER took the time to learn the ropes of running a console, while still churning out their brand of reflective, roots rockers that recall SHERYL CROW from a decade earlier (strangely enough, I lived in Santa Fe at that time!) and the result is 10,000 THINGS. According to GREY, from here on out, the sky is the limit with what they can do production-wise. “Not only are we happy with the final product, but now we’re in a really good place as far as a platform to launch toward any project that we would want to pursue in the future. It will be interesting to see what we could do in the future.”   (READ MORE)

AUGUST 24, 2009
i'M NO DiVA!
MARTHA DAViS OF THE MOTELS
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT STARTiNG OVER FROM SCRATCH
HER LiFE iN MUSiC
AND MOViNG FORWARD
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In speaking with MARTHA DAVIS – the sultry-voiced lead singer of THE MOTELS – I learned quickly that the “woman in rock n roll” question doesn’t sit well with her. In fact she seems annoyed by it. "It doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is whether or not your music is good and not the gender. Do you have good songs? That’s what matters. The whole thing of being a woman in rock – I just refused to look at it that way. I just wanted to know that my music had value.” says DAVIS “I never think of my gender on those terms. I think when you start to think of yourself as a minority or someone who is suffering, you are going to project that and it’s going to come back and bite you. You’ve just got to be optimistic positive and try to look forward.”   (READ MORE)

AUGUST 20, 2009
BANG! THERE iT iS!
KENNY YOUNG TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS EP THE KENNY YOUNG PROJECT
RETURNiNG TO MUSiC
AND TiPPiNG HiS HAT TO SOUTHERN ROCK
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Back in the mid nineties, KENNY YOUNG was at a crossroads. Torn between family responsibilities and a life in rock n roll that wasn’t paying all of the bills, YOUNG did what GEORGE THOROUGHGOOD sang about. He cut his hair and he got a real job. Once his two sons were old enough (and had demonstrated a certain amount of musical ability of their own) YOUNG stepped back into the light armed this time with the record deal that eluded him years earlier.YOUNG is a Jersey boy with a Southern twang and a fondness for rock n roll blasting from below the Mason-Dixon Line (THE ALLMAN BROTHERS and LYNYRD SKYNYRD). Such influences are not difficult to single out on his debut EP ‘THE KENNY YOUNG PROJECT’ (TOMMY NAPLES MUSIC) – a four-track collection with songs that speak of heartbreak, lifelong devotion and having a good time.   (READ MORE)

AUGUST 17, 2009
TOUGHEN UP!
CANDYE KANE TaLK TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER CD SUPERHERO
BATTLiNG CANCER
AND TAKiNG CHARGE OF HER DESTiNY
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Blues mama CANDYE KANE is no stranger to adversity. When faced with a turbulent home life, music proved to be her salvation. When she became pregnant as a teenager, she knew in her heart of hearts that music was going to be the very thing that she would return to once her own budding family became stable. When she first started penning material for what would be her latest album, KANE was coming out of a ten year relationship and was ready to share her heartbreak with the world until two words changed her life forever – pancreatic cancer. “I pretty much thought that I was going to die.” says KANE “A pancreatic cancer diagnosis is pretty hard core. When they told me that that was what I had, I pretty much thought that that was it. I started making sure that my life insurance policy was intact and thinking about how I was going to leave my house to my kids and trying to get my affairs in order. I had a couple of tours that I ended up having to cancel and I had to figure out when my surgery was going to happen.”   (READ MORE)

AUGUST 13, 2009
AND THEY DANCED
ERiC BAZiLiAN OF THE HOOTERS
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR LiVE CD BOTH SiDES LiVE
STEPPiNG BACK iNTO THE LiGHT
AND ELECTRiFYiNG AUDiENCES
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The band of brotherhood that exists amongst the members of THE HOOTERS is something of an anomaly in popular music. This sort of ‘all-for-one-and-one-for-all’ mentality wasn’t likely to make the band a subject for VH-1’s defunct BEHIND THE MUSIC series, but it does ensure one thing – great music. Founded by guitarist ERIC BAZILIAN and keyboardist ROB HYMAN, THE HOOTERS developed a strong following in their hometown of Philadelphia due to their engaging live sets and spirited power pop. It was this notoriety that caught the attention of producer RICK CHERTOFF who needed writers and a backing band for the debut album of his client CYNDI LAUPER. On the coattails of the success of LAUPER’s ‘SHE’S SO UNUSUAL’, THE HOOTERS struck out on their own with their debut album ‘AMORE’ and on to greater fame with their COLUMBIA RECORDS debut ‘NERVOUS NIGHT’, which boasted platinum sales and the top-forty hits ‘AND WE DANCED’ and ‘DAY BY DAY’. A momentous appearance at LIVE AID (They were the band that opened the show in Philadelphia) truly rocketed the band into the pop stratosphere but as the eighties morphed into the nineties the bands profile declined in the U.S. yet grew internationally before that band took a break. “We blinked.” says guitarist ERIC BAZILIAN “We had been continuously playing as THE HOOTERS for fifteen years at that point. I had something I wanted to do and ROB (HYMAN) had something he wanted to do and everybody had something that they wanted to do so we figured that we’d do it. All of a sudden, six years had gone by and PIERRE ROBERT (DJ for WMMR in Philadelphia) asked us to do his twentieth anniversary show and we got together onstage and we were completely overwhelmed.”   (READ MORE)

AUGUST 12, 2009
CONSiDER THiS
ANA POPOViC TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER LATEST CD BLiND FOR LOVE
A LiFE ON THE ROAD
AND TELLiNG A STORY THROUGH MUSiC
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Some of the best blues music in the world has always been about suffering but more importantly, it has also been about survival. Blues singer-guitarist ANA POPOVIC is something unexpected in a genre known for it’s gritty, down home sensibility. Born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia, POPOVIC was raised on the sounds of ALBERT KING and MUDDY WATERS thanks to her father and –in fairly short order – picked up the guitar as he did. It was the blues that gave POPOVIC her first lessons in the English language. Once the language was mastered, the young guitar slinger was at a loss for what to say. All of that changed when the MILOSEVIC regime of her homeland came under fire from around the world leaving the country and it’s citizens marked by the misdeeds of their leader. It was at this time that POPOVIC was a stranger in a strange land – Holland – but it was here where the young Serbian sharpened her musicality and found her voice. The results of her extensive soul search resulted in her 2007 album STILL MAKING HISTORY – a catalog of songs that told the story of her country and it’s people. Now she is back with her latest offering ‘BLIND FOR LOVE’ (ECLECTO GROOVE RECORDS) – a most optimist blues collection that speaks of the good things that people tend to ignore in life. “I had decided to go for something a little more universal for this latest album.” Says POPOVIC “I started to ask myself ‘If I am going to make one more record, what will I want to leave as a message to all of my fans?’ I wanted to make a one-statement album about my life and what is really important in my life and the result was BLIND FOR LOVE. The album is all about love and all kinds positive and negative stories.”   (READ MORE)

AUGUST 10, 2009
FiRE iNSiDE
SYLVYA NUVYNSKA AND CRiSTiNA BiSHOP
OF SCARLET SiNS
TALK TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR SELF-TiTLED DEBUT CD
NOT PLAYiNG THE SEX CARD
AND WORKiNG WiTH RiCHARD CHYCKi
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No one bats an eye these days when you put ‘women’ and ‘rock n roll’ in the same sentence. It doesn’t take an encyclopedic knowledge of music to list off just as many girl’s names as boy’s names in terms of influential rock artists but a band like SCARLET SINS will have folks wondering ‘How much do women rock?’ Traditionally, women who rock find themselves treading the golden path of disco (we don’t need to drop names). After listening to the self-titled debut CD of the Toronto-based SCARLET SINS, even I can’t imagine these dolls hitting the dance floor anytime soon.   (READ MORE)

AUGUST 7, 2009
TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY
TERRi NUNN OF BERLiN
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR NEW LiVE CD ALL THE WAY iN
DOiNG THiRTY YEARS iN ROCK N ROLL
AND THE BAND'S FUTURE PLANS
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In the twenty-seven years since BERLIN released their debut EP ‘PLEASURE VICTIM’, the band’s electro pop sensibility has unintentionally influenced a generation of electro torch bearers such as TAXI DOLL and GOLDFRAPP, but their sultry lead vocalist TERRI NUNN was probably more ahead of her time than the bands sound. In the days before MADONNA, NUNN was the true music video provocateur with that eighties ode to sexual role playing ‘SEX (I’M A…)’ and the BOWIE-esque new wave romp ‘MASQUERADE’. Aside from her pouty red lips, high cheekbones and blue, bedroom eyes, NUNN possessed an equally sexy purr that could growl like PAT BENATAR and croon (rather chillingly) like EURYTHMICS-era ANNIE LENNOX.   (READ MORE)

AUGUST 4, 2009
ROCKWiRED's ViDEO TO WATCH FOR:
SCARLET SiNS - 'DROWN'

Just when you thought that women in rock had relegated themselves to doing nostalgia tours, along comes SCARLET SINS. Based out of Toronto, Canada, the hard rocking foursome don’t seem as if they need anyone reminding them of the fact that they are girls that happen to do rock n roll. With the release of their self-titled debut CD, vocalist SYLVIA NUVYNSKA, guitarist CRISTINA BISHOP, bassist TANYA NICKLAUS and drummer ELIE BERTRAND change the question from ‘can girls rock?’ to ‘can you rock?’ I must definitely answer ‘yes’ to both questions.

AUGUST 3, 2009
UNLEASHED!
DAN KUSHNiR (PAUSE) OF SWAMPHOUSE
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THE BAND'S EP THE FADE
THEiR UNDENiABLE CHEMiSTRY
AND MAKiNG iT HAPPEN iN THE STUDiO
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In the beginning, DAN KUSHNIR was a white boy who certainly didn’t mind playing that funky music. It was a sound that propelled him from his sweltering basement studio in Colorado and into some of the hottest clubs in LA after he nicked himself PAUSE and let the spotlight shine proudly on his charismatic band SWAMPHOUSE. In speaking with KUSHNIR, one learns that this ain’t some MARK WAHLBERG film that comically yet earnestly demonstrates how one becomes successful without really having to try. It is the story of entirely different musical backgrounds coming together to make some of the funkiest music this side of FISHBONE. The band’s blood, sweat, and tears in the studio (not a big one reminds KUSHNIR) results in their EP THE FADE which kicks off with the BREAK DOWN – an explosive single that touches on almost every genre within the last twenty years of music effortlessly.   (READ MORE)

JULY 31, 2009
ROCKWiRED REViEWS: THE CALL ME iNViNCiBLE TOUR
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I remember DEBORAH HARRY telling VANITY FAIR twenty years ago that she wasn’t into nostalgia. At the time, she was plugging one of her solo albums and her band BLONDIE was a distant yet feel-good memory. Twenty years after making such a statement BLONDIE is still kicking ten years after their reunion and the Divine Ms. HARRY is truly in top form. When LENNON and McCARTNEY wrote ‘WHEN I’M SIXTY-FOUR’, those two blokes couldn’t have imagined such a thoroughly buxom, peroxided vamp stalking the stage with the finesse of a gal a third her age. (READ MORE)

JULY 29, 2009
OWN UP
BEN COOLEY HALL TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS DEBUT SOLO CD OWNiNG UP TO A LiFE
LEAViNG BEHiND THE MARY REiLLYS
AND LiTTLE MOMENTS iN THE STUDiO
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Usually when an artist breaks away from the band and goes solo, it is a time for all of the excesses to start kicking. To a greater degree this has been true with an artist like GWEN STEFANI and to a much lesser degree NATALIE MERCHANT who is still just as granola as she was in her 10,000 MANIACS days. For singer songwriter BEN COOLEY HALL, leaving his band THE MARY REILLYS and going solo for his album ‘OWNING UP TO A LIFE’ (CAUNOUNICUS RECORDS) has been compounded with another life-changing event – fatherhood. ‘OWNING…’ isn’t the sort of debut that comes out guns blazing but it is a solid debut nonetheless with songs that speak to taking charge of ones life and being a friggin’ grown up. It’s certainly not the most exciting thing to say in music in this day and age but HALL manages to give you something to hum in your head and demand repeated listens.   (READ MORE)

JULY 28, 2009
ROCKWiRED's ViDEO TO WATCH FOR:
FACE TiME POLiCE - 'NONE OF THE BELOW'

While this song was initially released on their debut EP ‘EXCELLENCE IN ELOCUTION’, the brothers SERRA (BRIAN and JAMES) of FACE TIME POLICE have brought it back for their latest EP ‘THE DEFINITION OF DEVIATION’. In keeping with their D.I.Y. ethic, the homespun duo got RICK THOMAS and TOM SCHMITZ (STITCH and SHMOTZ of MUSHROOMHEAD) to do all the filming while they stood in the middle of East-Jesus-Nowhere and mimed along to their song.

It looks a lot cooler on video than in print.

READ THE PREViOUS ROCKWiRED ON-LiNE EXCLUSiVE iNTERViEW WiTH FACE TiME POLiCE HERE


JULY 27, 2009
MiSSiNG iN ACTiON
JOEY ALKES AND CHRiS FRADKiN
TALK TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR YEARS AS A SONGWRiTiNG DUO
THE ONCE ViBRANT L.A. MUSiC SCENE
AND RE-ViTALiZiNG THEiR CATALOG
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In the early eighties, the teaming of songwriters JOEY ALKES and CHRIS FRADKIN wrote some of the most influential New Wave tunes for the likes of THE PLIMSOULS (‘A MILLION MILES AWAY’, ‘NOW’, ‘HYPNOTIZED’, ‘HUSH, HUSH’ and ‘LOST TIME’) and PHIL SEYMOUR. Twenty-five years following their last collaboration, ALKES and his label SQUID MUSIC have come across the demo recordings of the ALKES/FRADKIN catalog and have found that the quarter century-old recordings require very little dusting. They will soon be seeing the light of day in an official release entitled ‘SOME SONGS…RESCUED FROM THE EIGHTIES –TUNES WRITTEN AND RECORDED BETWEEN 1980 – 1983’. " I'm excited! It is definitely valid stuff!" says ALKES when asked about the looming release. "There is definitely an album here and it's good power pop. As good as there has ever been and the reaction we've getting on MYSPACE has been great." In listening to an advanced copy of ‘SOME SONGS…’ I must concur with the popular consensus of the songwriting duo’s newfound following on the internet but this collection of demos (and I stress demos!) shows the groundwork for all that was (TALK TO ME was covered by PHIL SEYMOUR) and all that could’ve been (MISSING IN ACTION sounds like it could’ve been a natural selection for TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS while GIRLS IN THIS TOWN sounds like PAT DINIZIO at his moodiest). Despite the rough quality of these demos, ‘SOME SONGS…’ is an intriguing listen – a documentation of a then-thriving L.A. music scene and dare I say a piece of music history worthy of rediscovery.   (READ MORE)

JULY 24, 2009
SAViNG FACE
BRiAN SERRA OF FACE TiME POLiCE
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THE DEFiNiTiON OF DEViATiON
WORKiNG WiTH HiS BROTHER JAMES
AND THE BAND D.I.Y. MENTALiTY
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As much as people love to applaud the D.I.Y mentality, it really isn’t something that people can stick to. When was the last time anyone saw punk clothes that weren’t purchased at HOT TOPIC? To most people, the notion of ‘doing it yourself’ is a cute little three-letter acronym, but for a band like the Illinois-based FACE TIME POLICE, it is how they approach music and life. Comprised of brothers BRIAN and JAMES SERRA, FACE TIME POLICE has its heart in the right place when it comes to combating any sort of cynicism there may be with regard to surviving with your integrity intact in the music business. It will be interesting to see if the brothers SERRA can maintain this sort of muscle grip on their burgeoning careers but in the meantime we have their EP THE DEFINITION OF DEVIATION which does what most LP’s fail to do – take the listener on a musical journey. The genre hop kicks off with the thrashing opener NONE OF THE BELOW and eases its way to the epic electro pop number SEASHELLS. Also included is the lilting acoustic ballad NOTHING LEFT TO BREAK, the positively thumping hip-hop of MINUTE MADE and the manic punk slam-dunk - OF MAN AND MONSTER.   (READ MORE)

JULY 23, 2009
ROCKWiRED's ViDEO TO WATCH FOR:
ZO2 - 'AiN'T iT BEAUTiFUL'

We had no idea there was a video for ZO2’s ‘AIN’T IT BEAUTIFUL’ which had been nominated for a ROCKWIRED READER’S POLL AWARD earlier this year, but by-gum here it is. The New Yawk-based seventies-styled hard rockers – who were the stars of their own critically acclaimed IFC mockumentary series Z-ROCK - have just released their third release CASINO LOGIC, and while we’ve not heard a lick of it, we’re quite sure that Brothers Z are still laying down the finest cock rock this side of SAMMY HAGAR.

READ THE PREViOUS ROCKWiRED ON-LiNE EXCLUSiVE iNTERViEW WiTH ZO2 HERE


JULY 22, 2009
ROCKWiRED's ViDEO TO WATCH FOR:
GALA - 'TOUGH LOVE'

When I spoke with electro-pop princess GALA regarding her latest release ‘TOUGH LOVE’, the conversation was peppered wither fondness for the tough-yet-sexy delivery of classic rock diva PAT BENATAR. During the interview, she had mentioned showing her personal assistant Ms. BENATAR’s ‘YOU BETTER RUN’ clip (the second video ever played on MTV). The reason? “People have been showing me the video for that song after they’ve seen the TOUGH LOVE video.” Says GALA “The songs are different but the energy is about the same.”

JULY 15, 2009
THiS AiN'T NO FiNAL FRONTiER
JOHN O'MARA TALKS TO ROCKWIRED
ABOUT HiS LATEST CD FiVE YEAR MiSSiON
WORKiNG WITH SEAN FLORA
AND PUTTiNG BiTS AND PiECES TOGETHER
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That good old-fashioned electronic New Wave sensibility returned to pop culture consciousness at the start of the aughties and provided a kind of plastic, ironic soundtrack to a decade mired by recession and a couple of wars. Being a child of the eighties, the music of bands such as THE KILLERS and THE YEAH YEAH YEAHS make all of the sense in the world to me with their eyeliner, echo-y riffs and mannequin-like stances. While these bands may tip their hats (or whatever they tip these days) to the New Wave architects of thirty years ago, there is nothing to suggest that these bands are on some kind of transparent, nostalgic I LOVE THE 80’s trip. The same must be said for the Portland – based singer/songwriter JOHN O’MARA and his latest album FIVE YEAR MISSION. Sure the man may wear a BRIAN ENO inspired influence on his short sleeved shirt but FIVE YEAR MISSION’s appeal goes far beyond mere sound texture. It is O’MARA’s sophisticated and detached sense of pop songcraft that wins the day for anyone longing for that moment in time when BOWIE got together with ENO in Berlin and made some noise. Beautiful noise.   (READ MORE)

JULY 14, 2009
A DiFFERENT KiND OF POP
GALA TALKS TO ROCKWIRED
ABOUT HER TRiUMPHANT RETURN TO MUSiC WiTH TOUGH LOVE
FiNDiNG HERSELF iN THE U.S.
AND SHARiNG THE MUSiC
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The comeback interview is always exciting and it’s always got a kind of formality to it. Thereis no such formality when speaking to GALA. The story of a pop presence from the past starting over from scratch and aiming for the stars - or at the very least the heart of a new listener - is endlessly inspiring. This is most certainly true of the Italian-born popstress GALA RIZZATO (just GALA, of course) who for years has been toiling away at her latest collection of tunes ‘TOUCH LOVE’(MATRIARCHY RECORDS) with producer MARCUS ‘BELLRINGER’ BELL. In the mid to late nineties, GALA was a pop force to be reckoned with following the release of her spellbinding single FREED FROM DESIRE, which sold over six million copies and reached number one throughout much of the European continent. After releasing two albums (L’ALBUM and COME INTO MY LIFE in 1997) GALA entered that all to understandable phase where artists want control to wrestle with the record company over the control of their music and identity. The fighting match ended with GALA walking away from the label and setting up shop in Brooklyn to get lost in a grittier electro-pop sound and a whole new lease on life. “It has been a very long journey.” says GALA “This CD is not the result of just sitting down and going ‘Oh, let’s write about this and that!’ This record is the result of years of exploring.”   (READ MORE)

JULY 6, 2009
TOUCHED BY YOUR PRESENCE DEAR
LUiS CARLOS MALDONADO OF iNTO THE PRESENCE
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS BAND'S SELF-TiTLED DEBUT CD
ECTOPLASMiC ENCOUNTERS iN THE STUDiO
AND TOUCHiNG PEOPLE MUSiCALLY
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It’s too bad that rock radio isn’t what it used to be (if there is such a thing anymore) otherwise a CD like the self-titled debut of the San Francisco-based INTO THE PRESENCE would be signaling the return of something that rock n roll has been without since A NIGHT AT THE OPERA from 1975; synthesizer-less musicality. This band of upstarts has been given the “prog rock” label thanks to ANA LECHANTIN’s mesmerizing cello, but it is LUIS CARLOS MALDONADO’s riffs and soaring vocals, and drummer TIM ALEXANDER’s (PRIMUS and A PERFECT CIRCLE) rock n roll thunder clap that steal the show - specifically on the tracks THE GARDEN and BROKEN WORDS.   (READ MORE)

JULY 3, 2009
NOT SOME WEEKEND WARRiOR GUiTARIST!
ALASTAIR GREENE TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS BAND'S LATEST CD WALKiNG iN CiRCLES
WORKiNG WiTH MiTCH KASHMAR
AND MAKiNG MUSiC HiS BUSiNESS
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Recently, legendary British producer/artist ALAN PARSONS had stated that L.A. based blues guitarist ALASTAIR GREENE ‘…should be out playing with the biggest bands in the world. I believe it’s just a matter of time.’ Since the release of his debut CD A LITTLE WISER back in 2002 and his live recordings with French blues guitarist FRANK ‘PARIS SLIM’ GOLDWASSER, GREENE has earned a reputation as one of the L.A. blues scene’s most reliable and entertaining players. Now, THE ALASTAIR GREENE BAND has released the CD WALKING IN CIRCLES – a seamless catalog of smokin’ originals and electrifying covers that pay homage to a sound that GREENE wishes to preserve. “I love this music and want to be respectful of the form and history yet still be true to myself and my musical goals.” says GREENE “If that means that things start to rock out, get experimental, loud and crazy, or I choose to cover more traditional territory, it’s all part of what I love about the Blues and it’s musical off shoots.”   (READ MORE)

JUNE 23, 2009
THE THiRD ACT
CASEY CRESCENZO OF THE DEAR HUNTER
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR LATEST CD 'ACT III: LiFE AND DEATH'
FiNDiNG THE RiGHT GROUP OF MUSiCiANS
AND NOT HOLDiNG A GRUDGE
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Since the band’s inception, THE DEAR HUNTER fronted by CASEY CRESCENZO has been a band on a mission. In an era where the concept album has seen something of a resurgence with bands like RADIOHEAD, GREEN DAY and CARBON 9, THE DEAR HUNTER has done them all one better by telling one cohesive story with their entire catalog thus far (ACT I: THE LAKE SOUTH, THE RIVER NORTH (2006) and ACT II: THE MEANING OF, AND ALL THINGS REGARDING MS. LEADING (2007)). Now, the band – following a drastic line-up change - has released the third chapter of an alternative rock epic that seemingly spans life, the universe and everything. At the time the interview was conducted, ACT III: LIFE AND DEATH was a less than a week away from being released and the band was only minutes away from taking the stage before an ever-growing audience at THE LAUNCHPAD in Albuquerque, New Mexico.   (READ MORE)

JUNE 18, 2009
SOUL SURViVOR
PAPA JEFF STEEL OF BLUES GONE SOUTH
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR CD GOTTA KEEP MOViN'
MAKiNG AUDiENCES A PART OF THE SHOW
AND KEEPiN'ON KEEPiN'ON
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Blues music is the music of survival. It’s about weathering the hard times and coming out of them being able to say ‘Good God that’s what I did!’ In speaking with ‘PAPA’ JEFF STEEL of the Southern California-based BLUES GONE SOUTH, surviving is only part of the story. As the sole original member of BLUES GONE SOUTH, STEEL is back on the stage again with a brand new incarnation of the band that he founded fourteen years earlier. For STEEL, it is more important to keep forging ahead as opposed to getting lost in the past – a strange predicament seeing as how BLUES GONE SOUTH’s latest release GOTTA KEEP MOVIN’(SIGNATURE SERIES) is not much of a “latest” release but a re-tooled re-release from 2002. At the moment, the band is hitting the Southern California circuit with a vengeance despite hesitation from club owners that would rather book a VAN HALEN cover band. “There are not a lot of really good blues clubs here.” Says STEEL “They either want the classic rock or they want a tribute band but we’re getting there. We’re building our fan base to where we can get clubs to give us spots because we’ve got a strong fan base. For most clubs, it’s all about how many people you can bring in."   (READ MORE)

JUNE 16, 2009
A SECOND WiND
GiLSON SCHACHNiK TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS LATEST CD LAMPiAO
HiS EVOLUTiON AS A MUSiCiAN
AND SECURiNG THE RiGHT RECORD DEAL
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Jazz pianist GILSON SCHACHNIK is in the curious position of having to reintroduce his latest CD ‘LAMPIAO’ (CANDID RECORDS) to the record buying public. The music industry is full of stories of record company’s that don’t have enough resources to promote the music when it comes to the good stuff but I’ve got the feeling that the Sao Paulo-born SCHACHNIK is going to come out on top with ‘LAMPIAO’ thanks to its winning combination of top-notch musicianship (featuring alto-saxophonist MIGUEL ZENON and drummer ANTONIO SANCHEZ) and some of the most stunning arrangements this side of HERBIE HANCOCK.   (READ MORE)

JUNE 10, 2009
WHAT A PEAR!
MARiANNE KESLER TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER LATEST CD PEAR iN THE PiNK THiNG
HER LOVE AFFAiR WiTH THE GUiTAR
AND WRiTiNG FROM LiFE EXPERiENCE
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Because there is so much happening in pop music, there is little time for sparseness. Sure every now and then you get a SUZANNE VEGA or a DAMIEN O. RICE but how often does that happen? Singer-songwriter MARIANNE KESLER has been a real folk music trooper since the nineties and on her sixth and latest LP ‘PEAR IN THE PINK THING’ she proves 100% that the never-failing confessional lyric is here bag and she’s sticking to it. Produced by J. BENJAMIN KESLER, the album showcases MARIANNE’s reliable songcraft (namely on the tracks EVERYTIME and POET’S DREAM) and allows the singer’s sweet, wispy alto pay tribute to one of her musical idols –NEIL YOUNG – on the albums two covers OHIO and THE NEEDLE AND THE DAMAGE DONE.   (READ MORE)

JUNE 9, 2009
TOO BLESSED TO BE DEPRESSED
GLENN PATRiK TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS LATEST CD NUTHIN' BUT A THANG!
GROWiNG UP iN KANSAS CiTY
AND SUFFERiNG TO SiNG THE BLUES
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Despite the nonchalant title of GLENN PATRIK’s latest CD ‘NUTHIN BUT A THANG’(SHAKEHOUSE RECORDS), the blues guitarist confesses that this was the album that he had always wanted to make. Given the man’s history, this rock solid labor of love didn’t seem as if it were that laborious. PATRIK’s life even reads like the lyrics that you would expect to hear in your standard twelve-bar blues progression. Growing up the only white kid in the projects of Kansas City, Kansas, PATRIK was in earshot of local blues heroes such as ALBERT COLLINS and ALBERT KING. A turbulent home life addled by abuse and poverty only served to seal PATRIK’s fate as a musician and performer and with the release of ‘…THANG’ the man is able to look back at the rocky road behind him and smile. “[T]imes are really hard right now and in some cases more perceived then real in my opinion.” Observes PATRIK “Times are always hard even when your making money. It just means that you are making enough to get through it. People don’t think like that but I do because I’m from the hood. I will never have a bad time.”   (READ MORE)

JUNE 4, 2009
THE ROOT OF iT ALL
DONOVAN LEiTCH TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS MUSiCAL THE DARK ROOT OF THE DREAM
WORKiNG WiTH THE FISHANK ENSEMBLE
AND FEELiNG EXPOSED ON STAGE
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It was a bit difficult to pin DONOVAN LEITCH down for an interview but with his musical THE DARK ROOT OF THE DREAM just days away from it’s premiere at the LARGO AT THE CORONET THEATRE in Los Angeles (Saturday, June 6th at 8PM), it is easy to understand that things may be a little hectic. LEITCH – the lead singer of the all-star cover band CAMP FREDDY and the son of the shirtless, sixties troubadour DONOVAN – had blended his respective passions for Glam Rock, literature and theater into an intriguing rock musical detailing the life of a frock star named MISTER E – the fictional son of the tormented poet VIRGINIA WOOLF. Serving as the musical background for MISTER E’s descent into madness are the exotic sounds of THE FISHTANK ENSEMBLE and direction by KEN ROHT. For LEITCH – who also starred in an Off-Broadway production of HEDWIG – the staging of THE DREAM is a personal journey for him as well. “For me, the connection really was growing up being the son of a musician who I wasn’t raised with” says LEITCH “[I was] trying to understand who my dad was so I kind of listened to music and sort of imagined what a relationship would be like. That is kind of how the connection between MISTER E, VIRGINIA WOOLF, and myself and my dad started to unfold.”   (READ MORE)

JUNE 1, 2009
THE BLASPHEMOUS AND THE BEAUTiFUL
WESTiN HALVORSON OF DESiLLUSiON
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR E.P. BLASPHAESTHETIC
WORKiNG WiTH MADONNA WAYNE GACY
AND CARRYiNG THE TORCH
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When I spoke to WESTIN HALVORSON of DESILLUSION, it was raining like crazy outside. It was just the sort of setting you would expect when interviewing a member of gothic-industrial band based in Seattle, but according to HALVORSON, the port city known for its rain and fog was engulfed in sunshine. Within the past couple of months, DESILLUSION has released their E.P. BLASPHAESTHETIC and the boys have gone all out in terms of production. With production cred from the like of BRIAN DIEMAR, RAE DILEO, and STEVEN BIER JR. (MADONNA WAYNE GACY of MARILYN MANSON), BLASPHAESTHETIC does what all great industrial music does - treats all things sacred and profane like they’re kid stuff and connects to the disaffected adolescent that slam dances inside of all of us.   (READ MORE)

MAY 21, 2009
NO PARAMETERS
SHAUNA BURNS TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER LATEST E.P. ANAMNESiS
DOiNG RENAiSSANCE FAiRS
AND HER AMBiTiON TO BE A VOiCE ON KiNG OF THE HiLL
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I can always count on SHAUNA BURNS to throw me for a loop! She reminds me of this girl that I took a poetry class with back in my college days. It’s embarrassing for an English major to admit, but this girl used ‘big’ words in her often ‘abstract’ poetry and as a result everyone in the class would scratch their heads at her superfluous vocabulary. Due to our ignorance, there was some scolding by the graduate assistant teacher for us not ‘utilizing’ the language, but who the hell knew what ANAMNESIS meant? I can’t remember if that was one of the words that was used by that poetess with the pierced nose but it damn well could’ve been. ANAMNESIS is the title of BURNS’ latest offering – a five song E.P. that takes the listener on a musical journey through the five senses and does so with BURNS’ inimitable, seductive coo. Despite the brevity, BURNS doesn’t lose sight of the ‘concept album’ leanings which she insists are incidental.  (READ MORE)

MAY 18, 2009
LET iT SWAY
GiNA QUARTARO, PERRY MARTiN AND PAT MATTiSON
OF SWAY
TALK TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR DEBUT CD LET iT ROLL
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For a zip code that gave us NO DOUBT and a re-vitalized New Wave sound, Orange County seems to have fallen off the radar in terms of being the homestead for the next big thing in music. Now, the oh-so-sunny-and-conservative paradise is more famous for its garish housewives. One wouldn’t expect the rustic sounds of Americana to be emanating from said County and in a way, neither did GINA QUARTARO – the lead singer of the country rock band SWAY. With the County’s music scene hi-jacked by tribute bands, QUARTARO is stunned by the overwhelmingly positive response to the band’s original music. “It’s interesting because we are an all-original group.” Says QUARTARO “The country bands that Orange County is used to listening to are the cover bands. All the venues in Orange County have to pay the bands that play there. Who is going to hire a country band that’s not all covers? But, it has worked out. People think that our songs are on the radio and they just start dancing. The beautiful thing is that we’re getting paid for these gigs.”

At first, the notion of a country tinged rock band from the O.C. sounds like the ‘God, Guns and Ammo’ mentality that Nashville had been putting out hand-over-fist all throughout the BUSH-era. Instead, SWAY’s debut CD ‘LET IT ROLL’ is a sincere effort marked by earnest, good-time country rockers (COWGIRL SCENE and the title track), a timely state of the union (‘THIS WORLD), and a positively driving pop crossover (MORE THAN ENOUGH).
  (READ MORE)

MAY 11, 2009
iNTO THE FUTURE
KALEO FUTURiSTO TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS DEBUT CD THE FUTURE iS NOW
BEiNG iNSPECiFiC TO GENRE LUCKY YOU
AND MiXiNG SOCiAL CONSCiOUSNESS WiTH PLEASURE
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I never asked if FUTURISTO was the guy’s real last name but the root of it seems to ring true. The multi-ethnic, multi-genre recording artist and producer KALEO FUTURISTO is all about looking to the future. I am not the first, nor will I be the last to point out the parallels between FUTURISTO’s positive vibe and the vibe surrounding the country’s change in leadership, however there is more to KALEO’s debut album than the social consciousness evidenced in the OBAMA tribute AIR OF THE NIGHT (featuring a sample of the PHIL COLLINS classic IN THE AIR TONIGHT), SUSIE-Q (A tale of teen pregnancy and abortion) and YOUNG ONES. Aside from moments of serious reflection, FUTURISTO knows how o get the party started with equal measure and keeps things interesting by switching from alternative rock to reggae to hip-hop in a moments notice without bewildering the listener. For FUTURISTO, such diversity comes naturally. “I come from a Hawaiian, Spanish, Puerto Rican background on my dad’s side and on my mom’s side, it is Eastern European and Austrian.” Says FUTURISTO. “ I’m all mixed up and I came from Pasadena and I went to school with mostly African-Americans. It was a seventy-percent African American school and about twenty percent Latin. Pasadena itself is an extremely multi-cultural city. The diversity of my on music comes form my own background as well as the culture that I was exposed to in my hometown of Pasadena.”  (READ MORE)

MAY 11, 2009
SO URGENT
CARY JUDD TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS LATEST CD GOODNiGHT HUMAN
PRODUCiNG HiMSELF
AND THE URGENCY OF THE MUSiC
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In a career spanning six years or more, singer-songwriter CARY JUDD has finally released an album that has come out exactly as he had imagined it. GOODNIGHT HUMAN - an album where JUDD makes his debut as a producer – is a rock solid effort that runs the gamut of the pop psychological barometer from the first single HUAN SAN (THE AH-HA SONG), the jangle-y yet timely THE APOCALYPTIC LOVE SONG, the power-pop perfection of ANGEL WITH A CIGARETTE, and the deeply personal A TIME TO LIE. Aside from showing off his chops as a first time producer, JUDD is quick to stress the “urgency” of the work – a word not heard in the same sentence as “pop-rock music” since the late nineties. “In the end, it was (making the album) a lot more satisfying as opposed to having a producer filtering me.” Admits JUDD. “I understand that in some cases that I s probably a good thing but this album felt really urgent and really real because there was no producer.”   (READ MORE)

MAY 6, 2009
LUCKY iN LOVE
CYD FRAZZiNi AND CRAiG ASPENOFTHE BELiEVERS
TALK TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR LATEST CD LUCKY YOU
AND USiNG THEiR DiFFERENCES TO THEiR ADVANTAGE
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It’s probably a little too early to tell if the third time is the charm but it sure as hell sounds that way after listening to THE BELIEVERS latest release LUCKY YOU (clearly they had the same thing in mind when naming the album!). For close to a decade, the band - fronted by the duo of CRAIG ASPEN and CYD FRAZZINI - has wowed Americana press outlets with their alt-country sound that is one part GRAM PARSONS and EMMYLOU HARRIS and part JOHN DOE and EXENE CERVENKA. With the release of LUCKY YOU the ASPEN/FRAZZINI partnership falls under column ‘B’ as they move beyond the roots sound that earned them their acclaim in the hopes of making an edgier album. Fortunately, the band succeeds especially on the blistering title track and the foot-stomping Hurricane Katrina tale ‘RING RING RING.   (READ MORE)

MAY 6, 2009
PEACHY KEEN
FOSTER McGiNTY TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS DEBUT CD PEACH RED
GETTiNG THE MUSiC OUT THERE
AND NOT RE-iNVENTiNG THE WHEEL
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Once again, another twenty-something buck with a guitar is here to announce that he is out to make rock n roll the way his daddy used to do it. I certainly don’t mean to sound cynical in introducing a fellow like singer-songwriter FOSTER McGINTY, but in a decade littered with young troubadours bleeding with overwrought MAYER-styled sensitivity, McGINTY is probably going to be the last of the line given the six months remaining of said decade. But after listening to the kid’s debut CD PEACH RED, I’ve got to say that McGINTY goes a little further than expected by successfully introducing a bit of rock n roll soul to a demographic that is all too content to cut their chops on a spirited game of GUITAR HERO as opposed to picking up a real guitar.   (READ MORE)

MAY 1, 2009
WHAT WE'RE MADE OF
STACEY QUINEALTY OF CARBON 9
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR LATEST CD THE BULL
AND THE BROTHERHOOD BEHiND THE BAND
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It was only a matter of time before the ‘concept’ album made its way to my mailbox. The Los Angeles-based metal band CARBON 9 are one those acts that have me at a disadvantage. Much of the buzz surrounding these lads revolves around their stunning live show that allegedly resembles more performance art than your four-to-the-floor rock n roll. I have not witnessed their show myself so all I’ve got to go on is the band’s third release ‘THE BULL’(WORLDSOUND) – a gloriously sequenced streak of heavy metal thunder complete with slick power chords and the best intentions we’ve seen in metal since QUEENSRYCHE’s ‘OPERATION: MINDCRIME’(though you might have to twist lead singer/producer STACEY QUINEALTY’s arm to get him to notice the comparison). The album’ theme of humanity losing itself to technology is as epic in scope as the entire run of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and certainly more engaging than MR. ROBOTO, but it’s the musicianship of the band and QUINEALTY’s musical direction that steal the show. Aside from a curious cover of DANZIG’s ‘MOTHER’, ‘THE BULL’ is as sturdy and resilient as its title suggests.   (READ MORE)

APRiL 30, 2009
iT'S A HARD ROCK LiFE!
JOE DELANEY OF JOETOWN
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THE BAND'S LATEST CD PiLLS AND AMMO
AND NOT HAViNG TO 'PAY TO PLAY'
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Ever since my relocation to the American Southwest (Albuquerque, NM to be exact), the music coming my way has been of the jazz variety. While the artists are just the sort of thing that could get a music scriber like me taken seriously (MELODY GARDOT and LUCIANA SOUZA), they are hardly the type of road-weary, hard-living, rock-n-roll lifestyle type interviews that have eluded me since my big move. In comes the Connecticut-based JOETOWN, whose independently produced ‘PILLS AND AMMO’ has garnered favorable metal press and praise from the likes of head-banging luminaries as MIKE DUDA and CHRIS HOLMES of W.A.S.P. Fronted by lead singer and guitarist JOE DELANEY, the band rips through eleven tracks that range from balls-to-the-wall metal and gritty numbers that tip their banged heads to the likes of rock mavens LED ZEPPELIN and DEEP PURPLE.   (READ MORE)

APRiL 29, 2009
ONCE AGAiN
LUCiANA SOUZA TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER LATEST CD TiDE
WORKiNG WiTH HUSBAND LARRY KLEiN
AND BALANCiNG CAREER AND FAMiLY
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At the moment, life is considerably less hectic for GRAMMY-nominated jazz vocalist LUCIANA SOUZA. The Brazilian-born songstress is now a new mom and three-years into her marriage with celebrated music producer LARRY KLEIN. While SOUZA has experienced great joy in the past year, she also experienced the loss of both of her parents. One would think that the highs and lows would keep SOUZA beneath the covers , but instead she celebrates the ups and downs with the release of her latest CD – the fittingly titled ‘TIDE’. Produced by husband LARRY KLEIN, ‘TIDE’ combines SOUZA’s natural Brazilian leanings (namely on the rousing medley of HAROLDO BARBOSA’s ‘ADEA AMERICA’ and EU QUERO UNM SAMBA), her appreciation for the work of poet E.E. CUMMINGS as evidenced on the albums title track and LOVE-POEM 65’, and a penchant for confessional-styled songwriting (FIRE AND WOOD, CIRCUS LIFE, and ONCE AGAIN). Not to be lost in the mix of ace musicianship and top-notch production is SOUZA’s smokey, one-of-a-kind delivery.   (READ MORE)

APRiL 28, 2009
WRAPPED AROUND HER FiNGER
MARGO REYMUNDO TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER CD MY HEART'S DESiRE
MAKiNG THE TOUGH DECiSiONS
AND BEiNG REWARDED BY THE EXPERiENCE
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Sultry jazz pop siren MARGO REYMUNDO’s latest release – the self-produced ‘MY HEART’S DESIRE’ (ORGANICATUNES.COM) - is a celebration of love and life set to the most intoxicating Brazilian grooves. It opens with the playful and confident title track and the easy Bossa Nova of ‘TELL ME’. ‘BETWEEN US’ goes for that NORAH JONES moment with it’s bluesy piano, brush-stick drumming and MARGO’s irresistible contralto but the biggest surprise is REYMUNDO’s rendition of THE POLICE’s ‘WRAPPED AROUND YOUR FINGER’. Here, the New Wave classic is transformed into a moody slow burner with a few Middle-Eastern flourishes.   (READ MORE)

APRiL 23, 2009
GO YOUR OWN WAY
TiGRE TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER DEBUT E.P. APT TAFT
CAPTURiNG A MOMENT
AND BEiNG RAW
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After one listen to 'APT TAFT', the curiously titled, self-produced E.P. from Nigerian-born songwriter TIGRE, it's easy to hear that this woman goes for atmosphere when recording. Recorded in her living room with an acoustic guitar, an upright bass and slap dash percussion, TIGRE's odes ot 'keeping on keeping on' and love gone right resonate without the assist of PRO-TOOLS. "I just wanted to do something different." says TIGRE "I wanted to keep it simple. To be honest with you, I picked up this MUDDY WATERS record that was done in 1947 and I noticed how simple the recording was. You could hear things in the background. You could hear someone dropping something and I wanted to do a record just like that."   (READ MORE)

APRiL 16, 2009
ROUGH AND RAGGED
JASON HEATH OF THE GREEDY SOULS
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THE ALBUM THE VAiN HOPE OF HORSE
WORKiNG WiTH TOM MORELLO AND NELS CLiNE
AND REMEMBERiNG DANNY FEDERiCi
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As with many an Americana act, there is always the tendency for folks to throw in the tried and true DYLAN comparison, but ex-SPINEWIRE vocalist JASON HEATH and his band of GREEDY SOULS owe more to the their punk leanings, which is not to say that the band’s debut CD ‘THE VAIN HOPE OF HORSE’ (STILL SMALL RECORDINGS) is a mere collection of punk anthems gone acoustic and topped off by YSANNE SPEVACK’s remarkable fiddle playing. Produced by SHADWRACK (HEATH himself) and MIKE FENNEL, ‘THE VAIN…’ is a musical journey through the harsh, hostile landscape of the human condition (namely on the tracks ‘AMERICAN JESUS’, ‘KEROSONE DREAMS’ and ‘THUNDERSTRUCK’). With guest appearances by NELS CLINE of WILCO, WAYNE CRAMER of MC5 and TOM MORELLO of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, ‘ THE VAIN…’ is the most intriguing brand of Drugstore Cowboy since COWBOY JUNKIES released the ‘TRINITY SESSIONS’. This is the one and only time where a stripped-down version of OZZY OSBOURNE’s ‘CRAZY TRAIN’ is ever going to be taken seriously.   (READ MORE)