Friday, June 26, 2009

The death of Michael Jackson

There were two sides to Michael Jackson.
One one hand, there was the singer-dancer-songwriter who recorded a score of good albums in the 1970s and 1980s; the so-called King of Pop whose heyday was, in truth, long ago.

There was also the admittedly-freakish, troubled and hard-to-look-at "Wacko Jacko" (the name given to him by the tabloids) who admitted to sharing a bed with children, wore a surgical mask, was briefly married to Lisa Marie Presley and had an odd interest in exotic animals.

For my part, I will focus only on his music since the celebrity-driven media will focus on the tragic side of his life. I might be the odd man out/music critic who lost interest in Michael Jackson's music after 1982's "Thriller." That album, as well as his previous solo album "Off The Wall" (1979), were masterworks. But in retrospect, with the benefit of 25+ years of hindsight, I think the endless comparisons of his recordings with The Beatles and other music icons is a stretch.

The Beatles wrote and recorded an amazing number of now-classic songs while having an incredible impact on society. Michael Jackson is best remembered for dangling his infant son over a hotel balcony in Berlin back in 2002, his Neverland ranch, dancing on top of a car outside a courtroom, and a handful of music videos directed by others (John Landis' "Thriller," Steve Barron's "Billie Jean" and Disney's "Captain EO" immediately come to mind).

His best-remembered musical moment is likely a 1983 appearance in connection with the 25th anniversary celebration of Motown, which featured his moonwalking and brief reunion with his brothers. His musical recordings for the most part, whether it were his poor duets with Paul McCartney or co-writing credit for "We Are the World," simply can't match the excitement and power of pop music's best records.

Until his death yesterday, I truly can't remember the last time I've heard any music he has recorded after 1982 on the radio or television. And until a brief video clip was run yesterday, I had forgotten completely about his song "Ben." Much of his music doesn't hold up when played today.

Time will likely sort all this out, but don't count me among the many who will run out and purchase/download Michael Jackson music this week.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Carbon Leaf, Joie Calio, Trevor Hall - a night to remember

I snapped this photo of Carbon Leaf while the band was performing "Learn to Fly" unplugged to kick off their encore.
Carbon Leaf
With: Joie Calio, Trevor Hall
Where: The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano
When: Wednesday night, June 24

When it comes to magical performances, sometimes they happen when you least expect it.
Count the satisfying triple bill that played at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on Wednesday night, June 24, 2009, as one of those amazing shows that will linger in my memory years from now.
Being a Wednesday night, the venue was sadly less than capacity despite a promising lineup that featured a rare Orange County appearance by Richmond, Virginia’s Carbon Leaf, as well as Laguna Beach singer-songwriter Trevor Hall and Seattle-based singer-songwriter Joie Calio.
The last time I caught Calio with Dada, he played several acoustic songs in the middle of the band’s set, but that didn’t prepare me for how strong he could be for a 45-minute solo set armed only with his soaring voice, an acoustic guitar and hand-written notes positioned nearby.
Playing a mix of songs from his 2003 solo debut “The Complications of Glitter,” as well as Dada, his 2008 release with X Levitation Cult and material from a forthcoming untitled effort, Calio’s nine-song set was somewhat of a revelation with dense Dada material such as “Feet to the Sun” and the X Levitation Cult rock tune “Happiness In Hell (Spaceman)” translating easily to his singer-songwriter approach.
He also recognized the significance of the setting, noting 17 years earlier Dada performed their first-ever show on the stage of the Coach House.
Hall, singing and playing guitar, mixed a Southern California folk-rock vibe with reggae rhythms to good affect, particularly on the hard-driving “Volume” and new single “Unity” (a song he co-wrote with Matisyahu).
There was likely no way that Carbon Leaf could please everyone, considering the quintet has released a number of strong full-length albums since the mid-1990s. Carbon Leaf is one of those bands where you could ask five listeners to name a favorite song and you would get five different titles.
The troupe’s set list this night was a strong one, drawing heavily from the group’s ‘00s albums. Including gems such as the folk-rock of “Life Less Ordinary,” infectious “What About Everything,” alt-countrified “One Prairie Outpost,” ”haunting“ The War Was in Color” and regular set-ending “Miss Hollywood” proved effective across the 110-minute set.
Fans that have wisely picked up the Amazon.com exclusive edition of “Nothing Rhymes With Woman” were not as surprised as some concertgoers with the band’s occasional breaks from a standard full band presentation. After all, one of the highlights of that special release is an acoustic version of “Lake of Silver Bells” that captures the magic of the original rock version, while also showcasing an ensemble especially skilled at playing traditional folk minus clich├ęs.
So when it came time for an encore, Carbon Leaf stepped away from their microphones and positioned themselves with their acoustic instruments at the utmost front of the stage. The group then performed a beautifully-rendered version of “Learn to Fly,” with Barry Privett’s emotive voice soaring over the acoustic instruments and harmony vocals.
One couldn’t help but wish that Carbon Leaf will be back around real soon.
Immediately after performing (12:10 a.m!), the band members came out into the crowd to chat with fans. My friend and I ran into Barry Privett when we were getting up and he couldn't have been nicer. And then when I was purchasing a copy of the band's "5 Alive!" CD at the merchandise booth, Terry Clark came up to us (not knowing we were both music writers) to thank us for coming to the show. Wow, the perfect way to cap a memorable night.

Guitarist Pete Huttlinger comes to Orange County

Photo credit info: Kim Sherman
There are two sides to Nashville, Tennessee-based Pete Huttlinger’s musical world.
There is his acclaimed role as a sideman, playing alongside the late John Denver, as well as recent appearances with LeAnn Rimes. In fact, Rimes selected Huttlinger to play guitar with her when she appeared on the popular BBC-TV series “Live From Abbey Road” in 2007.
There is also the talented fingerstyle guitarist’s burgeoning solo career, which has included a growing number of strong albums such as “Catch & Release” (1995), “The Santa Rita Connection” (2004) and “Things Are Looking Up” (2007). He has also released a number of instructional titles on DVD, including “The Songs of Gordon Lightfoot,” “Arrangements for Solo Acoustic Guitar” and four discs focusing on John Denver’s songbook.
In March 2009, Huttlinger released his latest full-length album, “Fingerpicking Wonder: The Music of Stevie Wonder.” Huttlinger’s instrumental versions include an up-tempo “I Wish” and “Sir Duke,” a beautiful “My Cherie Amour” and tender “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life.”
The challenge of translating Wonder’s music – usually centered on his keyboard playing and distinctive vocals – might seem at odds with instrumental guitar. Huttlinger, a 1984 graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, proves otherwise throughout his outstanding 10-song tribute to Wonder.
“Anytime you take music which is predominately keyboard oriented and translate it to guitar or some other instrument, you are immediately faced with some interesting challenges,” Huttlinger said in a recent interview conducted via email.
“But that is part of the work and the joy of playing music – how in the world am I going to make this work? Sometimes we get lucky and everything falls into place.”
In crafting the arrangements and recording the disc, Huttlinger faced a number of choices – and challenges – that made the project every bit as demanding as completing an album of all-original material.
“With this new CD, the song ‘I Wish’ is the most difficult to play,” Huttlinger explained. “But I think that ‘My Cherie Amour’ may have been a little more difficult to record because I wanted that second guitar part to hint at the style of the 70’s but I wanted to make sure I didn’t overdo it.”
Those who catch Huttlinger when he performs in Orange County on Friday and Saturday night can count on hearing the acclaimed guitarist perform selections from his tribute to Wonder, as well as his other outstanding releases.
“Yes, I will be performing some of that (Wonder) music at these concerts. It’s what we do whenever we have a new CD – we have to get out there and perform the new material,” Huttlinger said when asked about his upcoming set lists.
“I try not to repeat myself too much if I’ve been somewhere before but I also try to take into account which tunes get a great response from the audience. I also like to take requests from the audience. That way I am sure to make the most people happy that they came out.”
Here is more information about Huttlinger's performances this weekend:
Where: Dana Point Community House, 24642 San Juan Ave., Dana Point
When: 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 26

Where: Mission Viejo Civic Center, 200 Civic Center, Mission Viejo
When: 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 27

How much: $25
Call: 949-842-2227
Online: www.LordoftheStringsConcerts.com

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

OC Fair's Pacific Amphitheatre Concert Series Schedule Finalized

OC FAIR ANNOUNCES PACIFIC AMPHITHEATRE COMPLETE SCHEDULE

DAILY CONCERTS FEATURE DURAN DURAN, TEARS FOR FEARS,
THE MOODY BLUES & MORE


Costa Mesa, Calif. (June 24, 2009) – The OC Super Fair Summer Concert Series at Pacific Amphitheatre runs from July 10 – Aug 9 and tickets start at $12.50 (all tickets include Fair admission). Super Pass holders may purchase seats for select concerts at a 2-for-1 price – starting at $6.25. For more information, visit: ocfair.com. Schedule:
· Heart: Fri, July 10, 8 p.m.
· Duran Duran: Sat, July 11, 7:30 p.m.
· Rick Springfield: Sun, July 12, 8 p.m.
· Smokey Robinson: Wed, July 15, 8 p.m.
· An Evening with Joan Jett & The Blackhearts: Thurs, July 16, 8 p.m.
· Tears For Fears: Fri, July 17, 8 p.m.
· Anita Baker: Saturday, July 18, 8 p.m.
· The B-52's / The 88: Sun, July 19, 7:30 p.m.
· The Moody Blues: Wed, July 22, 8 p.m.
· Kelly Clarkson: Thurs, July 23, 8 p.m.
· X with special guest Maria McKee: Fri, July 24, 7:30 p.m.
· Maldita Vecindad: Sat, July 25, 8 p.m.
· Pat Benatar & Blondie / with special guest The Romantics: Sun, July 26, 7 p.m.
· Pacific Symphony performs The Magical Music of Disney: Wed, July 29, 8 p.m.
· Huey Lewis and The News: Thurs, July 30, 8 p.m.
· KC & The Sunshine Band/ Evelyn “ Champagne ” King: Fri, July 31, 7:30 p.m.
· Steve Miller Band: Sat, Aug 1, 8 p.m.
· Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez / Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles / Mariachi de Las Vegas: Sun, Aug 2, 7:15 p.m.
· Judas Priest / Whitesnake/ PopEvil: Wed, Aug 5, 6:30 p.m.
· Alan Jackson: Thurs, Aug 6, 8 p.m.
· The Black Eyed Peas: Fri, Aug 7, 7:30 p.m.
· Melissa Etheridge: Sat, Aug 8, 8 p.m.
· Three Dog Night: Sun, Aug 9, 8 p.m.
For more information, please visit www.ocfair.com or pacamp.com. Tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com or from the OC Fair Box Office at Pacific Amphitheatre, open Wednesday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Follow us on twitter.com/ocfair09 or be our friend on Facebook: OC Fair

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Carbon Leaf to perform in SJC on June 24


Photo credit: David Johnson
This story was originally posted on the Orange County Register Web site on Monday, June 15, 2009.
One of modern rock's best bands is coming to San Juan Capistrano later this month.
Richmond, Virginia-based Carbon Leaf – on tour in support of the quintet's excellent 2009 album "Nothing Rhymes With Woman" – will headline a strong bill that also includes singer-songwriter Trevor Hall and a rare solo appearance by Joie Calio (of Dada fame) at the Coach House on June 24.
"It's a good venue and definitely a good spot to hit," said lead singer-song lyricist Barry Privett of Carbon Leaf returning to the Coach House. The band last performed at the venue in September 2006.
"When you play along California, you make either make the decision to play in L.A. and then San Diego, or you can really dig in a little bit more and hit the great spots in between and that's what we do. We want to hit as many places as we can and the Coach House is a great room, and we've been fortunate to have people show up and listen."
In addition to Privett (who also plays penny whistle, acoustic guitar and bagpipes), the band's lineup currently includes Terry Clark (guitar, vocals), Carter Gravatt (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Jason Neal (drums) and Jon Markel (bass).
Carbon Leaf's previous full-length disc "Love, Loss, Hope, Repeat" was this writer's top album of 2006, beating out strong releases by Bruce Springsteen, Keane and Neil Young that year. "Nothing Rhymes With Woman" (released by Vanguard Records last month) reaffirms the band's greatness.
Songs such as the shimmering "Lake of Silver Bells," blues-minded "Another Man's Woman," introspective "Miss Hollywood" and Celtic rocker "Pink" showcase a band that clearly has established a unique place for itself in the musical universe.
Fans of Toad the Wet Sprocket, early R.E.M. and the Young Dubliners will all find something to admire in a troupe that blends folk-rock, Americana, power-pop and modern indie styles together effortlessly.
"For me, this album is about really getting back to the foundation as to why we started out as a band and really examining why we do what we do," explained Privett in a phone interview on May 28, the morning after the band performed in New York City.
"A lot of the themes on the album explore the transition as you go through life – and life is more complicated (as you get older) – and how you retain those dreams and youthful spirit you had and still be able to allow yourself to grow and mature. And although your dreams perhaps alter as you go along, you learn that's OK."
Privett noted that although Carbon Leaf has undergone several personnel changes since the outfit was formed in the early 1990s, the artistic aim of the band has remained strong with a focus on songs that seamlessly explore a number of styles.
"The guys like to switch it off and Carter is a great multi-instrumentalist and the guys are very versed on different styles (of music)," Privett said.
"Our fan base really likes that about us that there are places for us to go and you're not watching a two-hour show where you're hearing the same thing over and over again. (And) It keeps us from getting bored. And I think the fact that the vocals kind of tie everything together gives it certain continuity within the different styles."
Privett said because of the countless number of concert choices that listeners have nowadays, Carbon Leaf is appreciative of the bond the band has with fans.
"The focus for us is creating that (musical) world and really focusing on our live show and our fan base because everything else that comes along whether it's licensing or radio – that's all great and definitely helps – but really at the end of the day it's got to be a one-on-one connection with people in the audience and that's going to be our life blood."

Friday, June 12, 2009

Interview with JD Souther


Photo credit: Erick Anderson
Even if you don't know JD Souther, you've heard his songs.
One of the most gifted songwriters to emerge out of the Southern California country rock movement of the early 1970s, he co-wrote many of the Eagles' best-known songs, including "Heartache Tonight," "Victim of Love," "New Kid In Town" and "Best of My Love."
And when the re-formed Eagles went into the studio to record the band's first album in 28 years, they released their version of Souther's "How Long" as the debut single in August 2007.
In addition to his work with the Eagles, Souther wrote classics for Linda Ronstadt ("Faithless Love," "Simple Man, Simple Dream" and "Prisoner in Disguise") and scored hits of his own including 1979's "You're Only Lonely" and his 1981 duet with James Taylor, "Her Town Too."
However, after the release of his acclaimed 1984 album "Home By Dawn," fans of the talented singer-songwriter would have to wait a generation to hear a full-length collection of new songs from Souther.
But the long wait is over. Souther made a rare appearance in Orange County on Thursday night, June 11 in support of his latest album, 2008's "If The World Was You," an outstanding 11-track disc featuring his masterful lyrics positioned in a lush musical landscape of rock, jazz, soul and Latin styles that defies easy categorization.
"Its been since then (1984) that I made a studio album of all new stuff but I've done a few of these tours," Souther explained in a June 2, 2009 interview from his rural home outside of Nashville, Tenn. This writer then asked Souther if it took 24 years to release a new album because he had "finally" penned enough new songs to fill an album.
"Well, 'finally' might be a mistake because I wasn't writing them (songs) all of the time," said Souther, 63.
"The simplest answer to 'Why now?' is yes, the material. I went to Cuba in 1998; I had a really powerful musical experience a weekend I was there and I started this batch of songs and I was itching to get out and play something but I wasn't exactly sure what but I had really been missing music I grew up with which was small group jazz. … I was just lonesome to hear this really."
Although John David Souther was born in Detroit, and lived briefly in Cleveland, he spent most of his childhood and early teens living in Amarillo, Texas. Although he fell in love with rock 'n' roll in his teens, his earliest musical memories include listening to everything from Puccini operas and Beethoven symphonies to jazz recordings by Nat King Cole and Miles Davis and country pioneer George Jones.
Souther headlined at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on June 11, and was scheduled to feature many of the songs from "If The World Was You," as well as songs he has written and recorded throughout his acclaimed career.
"The fact that I'm playing alone means I don't have a set list," Souther explained.
"I can change keys; I can wander around and play anything I want. If I'm in the mood to play 'New Kid In Town' one night, I'll do that. If I'm in the mood to play 'Faithless Love,' 'How Long' or 'Best of My Love,' I do that. It's very unrestrictive."
Souther said he was looking forward to his solo appearance at the Coach House, with some of his fondest memories including appearances from San Diego to Los Angeles as a member of the folk duo Longbranch Pennywhistle that he formed with Glenn Frey shortly after moving to Southern California in the late 1960s.
"Well, you know, I've been playing music since I was nine," Souther recalled.
"The Texas Panhandle in 1968 or so when I migrated west did not have what existed along the beaches of Southern California. And that was beautiful weather, the most fabulous ocean in the world and the prettiest girls in the world, and an easy place to be poor. I didn't have any money; I had a Triumph motorcycle and a guitar."

Friday, June 05, 2009

Pet Shop Boys to tour Canada and U.S.


Depeche Mode isn’t the only legendary electornica-styled artist to celebrate a big return in 2009.
On their latest release, England’s Pet Shop Boys (singer-keyboardist Neil Tennant and keyboardist Chris Lowe) also prove they haven’t lost a sonic step.
“Yes” is a bona fide gem, with the instantly- “Beautiful People” recalling the duo’s best-known classics (“West End Girls” and “It’s a Sin”). But “Yes” is a strong album from start to finish, with “Love etc.,” “Did you see me coming?” and “The way it used to be” also delivering dance-minded songcraft.
The album’s production is excellent, with the lushly-textured “King of Rome” and “Legacy” showcasing the dreamy reaches of Pet Shop Boys’ magical blend of electronic and synthesizer pop soundscapes.
Now comes word from the duo's label EMI that a Pet Shop Boys tour in coming to Canada and the U.S. later this summer. Here is the release that arrived in my inbox this morning.
PET SHOP BOYS BRING PANDEMONIUM ON TOUR TO NORTH AMERICA, Aug. 29 - Sept. 26, 2009
Month long tour kicks off in Montreal on August 29 and ends in Vegas on September 26
"Yes," that's the name of Pet Shop Boys tenth studio album.
"Yes," it's their highest-charting record since 1993's "Very."
Yes, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe's career as Pet Shop Boys spans over two decades and they have sold over 30 million albums.
Yes, Pet Shop Boys will bring Pandemonium on tour to North America this Fall.
Yes, The Pandemonium Tour is a multi-media show that will include Pet Shop Boys' greatest hits and celebrate the new album.
Yes, it will be directed by Es Devlin, choreographed by Lynne Page with live music produced by Stuart Price.
Yes, it's a very 'up' show, one you won't want to sit down for....
Yes, Chris Lowe says 'Every night is Friday night' on the tour.
Yes, USA Today said the new album 'affirms their greatness.'
Yes, Entertainment Weekly said that 'No one writes better dance-pop odes'.
Yes, Rolling Stone said "On their excellent 10th album, the music leans toward the ornate, with snatches of Tchaikovsky and spaghetti-Western atmospherics enveloping the synths and house beats."
Yes, People said "Here they're at their best on melancholy-streaked songs such as "Beautiful People".
Yes, their website is www.petshopboys.co.uk.
The Pet Shop Boys will be offering pre-sale tickets to their online community for the up-coming North American dates. In addition, a limited number of VIP packages (including the opportunity to meet Neil and Chris) will be made available for purchase. The pre-sale will begin Monday, June 8th, at 1:00 PM in the time zone of the performance. To purchase pre-sale tickets please click here: http://tix.concertmaps.com/petshopboys
Aug 29 Montreal Metropolis
Sept 1 New York, NY Hammerstein
Sept 2 New York, NY Hammerstein
Sept 3 Washington, DC Constitution Hall
Sept 5 Boston, MA House of Blues
Sept 6 Atlantic City, NJ House of Blues
Sept 9 Miami, FL Fillmore
Sept 10 Tampa, FL Tampa Bay PAC
Sept 11 Orlando, FL House of Blues
Sept 12 Atlanta, GA Chastain
Sept 14 Chicago, IL Chicago Theater
Sept 15 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Ballroom
Sept 19 Vancouver, BC Vancouver Centre of Performing Arts
Sept 20 Seattle, WA Moore
Sept 22 San Francisco, CA Warfield
Sept 23 San Francisco, CA Warfield
Sept 24 Los Angeles, CA Greek
Sept 26 Las Vegas, NV Joint

Thursday, June 04, 2009

(500) Days of Summer soundtrack coming in July


This press release caught my eye because the incredible Simon & Garfunkel and amazing Hall & Oates, as well as several of my favorite modern rock outfits from the 1980s and '00s are featured. Any collection that features The Smiths, Hall & Oates, Doves and She & Him on a single disc is worth a very strong recommendation.
SIRE RECORDS TO RELEASE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK TO FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES' (500) DAYS OF SUMMER ON TUESDAY, JULY 14, 2009
Burbank, CA- Sire Records will release the original soundtrack to the Fox Searchlight Pictures' feature film "(500) Days of Summer" on July 14, 2009. The film received a standing ovation at its debut screening during the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and releases in select theaters on July 17, 2009.
"(500) Days of Summer" is not a love story. It is a story of boy meets girl, begins the wry, probing narrator, and with that the film takes off at breakneck speed into a funny, true-to-life and unique dissection of the unruly and unpredictable year-and-a-half of one young man's no-holds-barred love affair.
"(500) Days of Summer" is the feature film directorial debut from Marc Webb, a noted music video director who has lensed clips for such artists as Regina Spektor, My Chemical Romance, Weezer, and Green Day. So it's no surprise that pop music plays an important role in setting the tone in "(500) Days of Summer." In keeping with the film's playfully unorthodox nature, the soundtrack features a host of offbeat artists, including Regina Spektor, Feist, Black Lips, Doves, Carla Bruni, and The Smiths. In a key moment in the film, Tom (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is listening to the latter's song "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" on his iPod, while riding in an elevator with Summer (played by Zooey Deschanel), who overhears it and comments that she loves The Smiths.
"(500) Days of Summer is a movie about love, sure, but it's also a movie about music," says Webb. "These songs build bridges between Tom and Summer and they tear them down. They can make you dance and they can make you cry. They describe how we feel and express emotions that just couldn't get out any other way. Music is the soul of this movie."
Robert Davis, writing in Paste Magazine said of the film: "The dialogue is sharp and witty, the soundtrack is hip and indie, Gordon-Levitt is effortlessly funny, and wide-eyed Deschanel is a good foil for his quirks."
"(500) Days of Summer" had its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Marc Webb and written by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, (500) Days of Summer stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. The film was produced by Mason Novick, Jessica Tuchinsky, Mark Waters, and Steven Wolfe.
The track-listing for the Original Soundtrack to (500) Days of Summer is as follows:
1. A Story of Boy Meets Girl - Mychael Danna and Rob Simonsen
2. Us - Regina Spektor
3. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out - The Smiths
4. Bad Kids - Black Lips
5. Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want - The Smiths
6. There Goes The Fear - Doves
7. You Make My Dreams - Hall & Oates
8. Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap
9. Quelqu'un M'a Dit - Carla Bruni
10. Mushaboom - Feist
11. Hero - Regina Spektor
12. Bookends - Simon & Garfunkel
13. Vagabond - Wolfmother
14. She's Got You High - Mumm-Ra
15. Here Comes Your Man - Meaghan Smith
16. Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want - She & Him

Monday, June 01, 2009

Cheap Trick's new album set for release this summer


I was thrilled to learn today that Cheap Trick has announced details about the band's forthcoming album, "The Latest." The CD cover is pretty cool too, huh?
Multi-platinum rock band Cheap Trick announce the pre-order of the new album "The Latest," currently available exclusively through the band’s official website- www.cheaptrick.com- and on Amazon.com. "The Latest," produced by Julian Raymond & Howard Willing, continues Cheap Trick’s reign as power-pop progenitors as they celebrate their 35th anniversary together. Julian Raymond says, “Cheap Trick are fun to record because they are each a master of their craft, and there are so many great new songs on this record. But we also included an old one called ‘When The Lights Are Out.’ I couldn’t believe it wasn’t released in ‘76 when the band did it. I insisted they put it on the record just as it was.” See the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikLBEJtK6PM.Those who take advantage of this unique offer will receive the album on June 23rd just as the band kicks off their summer tour with Def Leppard (tour dates below).
Additional limited edition merchandise including the LP and 8-Track will also be available on www.cheaptrick.com. Amazon is the exclusive digital retailer of The Latest for one month with the album hitting national retail in mid-July. Cheap Trick formed in the city of Rockford, IL in 1974. The band has since released six platinum albums and had numerous hits including “Surrender,” “I Want You to Want Me" and “Dream Police." Cheap Trick features the original line-up of Robin Zander - vocals and guitar, Rick Nielsen - guitar and backing vocals, Bun E. Carlos - drums and backing vocals & Tom Petersson - bass and backing vocals.
"The Latest" track listing:
Sleep Forever
When The Lights Are Out
Miss Tomorrow
Sick Man of Europe
These Days
Miracle
Everyday You Make Me Crazy
California Girl
Everybody Knows
Alive
Times of Our Lives
Closer, The Ballad of Burt and Linda
Smile
Cheap Trick hits the road this summer for a 40-city tour with Def Leppard, including an
August 30, 2009 date at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine.

Greg Johnson to perform two shows on June 6


For young singer-songwriters based in Europe, Australia or even relatively-nearby Canada, conquering America is a challenge. So while Greg Johnson is a well-known and celebrated name in his native New Zealand, it was ultimately his decision to relocate to the U.S. that has helped better introduce his talents here.
Based in Los Angeles since 2002, Johnson is a recipient of several New Zealand music awards including Best Male Vocalist and the prestigious Silver Scroll honor for songwriting in 1997 (for his song “Liberty”). Johnson will perform two shows as part of the Music at the Library concert series in San Juan Capistrano on Saturday, June 6, 2009.
Johnson is touring in support of his latest album “Seven Day Cure,” a disc that features 12 of his original songs.
In addition to new material off “Seven Day Cure” and the hit song “Save Yourself” from his 2007 album “Trouble Shooter’s Manual,” Johnson will likely play strong material from 2004’s “Here Comes the Caviar” and 2001’s “The Best Yet.”
With an arsenal of great songs, the ability to use his powerful voice and top-notch piano playing abilities, Johnson is sure to attract plenty of more fans when he performs as part of the Music at the Library concert series at San Juan Capistrano Regional Library, performing shows at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. on June 6.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12.
Information: 949-493-1752.