Sunday, March 27, 2011

Coachella Packages Go Live on Gilt City beginning March 28th

Photo info: Here are two of the images I took at Coachella on April 17, 2010. That is Old Crow Medicine Show performing its powerful Americana music "unplugged."

Is it really almost that time again? Indeed it is; Coachella is set to land in Indio in less than 3 weeks!

Gilt City’s Coachella packages will go on-sale Monday morning, March 28, 2011 at 10 a.m. EST at! As a part of Gilt City’s extended partnership with AEG, Gilt City is offering limited quantity VIP packages to the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival :

Package 1: VIP ticket to Coachella, one ticket to the House of Hype party, a digital download of Coachella’s 15-track sampler provided by Universal Music Group: $975

Package 2: VIP ticket to Coachella, one ticket to the House of Hype party, a digital download of Coachella’s 15-track sampler provided by Universal Music Group, and a luxury shuttle service back from the Festival for three days, provided by $1,125

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit

About Gilt City:Gilt City provides access to a broad range of local services at exclusive prices to its membership. Each sale lasts seven days and features many of a city's most sought-after restaurants, spas, concerts, cultural offerings and more. Gilt City is currently available in New York, Boston, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco and Los Angeles. A subsidiary of Gilt Groupe Inc., Gilt City is headquartered in New York City with local curators in each market. To find out more please visit

About AEG:AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, owns or is affiliated with a collection of companies including over 100 facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Home Depot Center (Carson, CA), Target Center (Minneapolis, MN), The Rose Garden (Portland, OR), Best Buy Theater (New York), Sprint Center, (Kansas City), Mercedes Benz Arena (Shanghai), MasterCard Center (Beijing, China), Acer Arena (Sydney, Australia), The Globe arena (Stockholm, Sweden), O2 World arena (Berlin, Germany) and The O2 arena and entertainment district (London, England); sports franchises and events under AEG Sports including the Amgen Tour of California, Los Angeles Kings (NHL) and two MLS franchises in addition to overseeing privately held management shares of the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA). AEG Live, the world’s second largest concert, promotion and touring company, is comprised of touring, festival, exhibition, broadcast, merchandise and special event divisions with fifteen regional offices. AEG has created L.A. LIVE, a 4 million square foot / $2.5 billion downtown Los Angeles sports, residential & entertainment district featuring Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE and Club Nokia, a 54-story, 1001-room convention “headquarters” destination (featuring The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels and 224 luxury condominiums – The Residences at The Ritz Carlton – all in a single tower), the Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14, “broadcast” facilities for ESPN, along with entertainment, restaurant and office space.

'I'm Alright': Kenny Loggins proves it in Anaheim

This review was first posted on the Orange County Register Web site on Saturday, March 26, 2011.

When Kenny Loggins performed an hour-long set at Pacific Amphitheatre in July 2007, the show was not only short on emotional power but further ruined by a crowd more interested in drinking beers and being annoying than enjoying the music. At that gig, I moved out of my seats in the orchestra section and went to the largely empty rear area to escape chatterbugs around me.
Things couldn’t have been more different at the singer-songwriter’s return Friday night (March 25, 2011) before a faithful crowd at a sold-out City National Grove of Anaheim. Even the performance of specific songs were worlds apart: the acoustic “Return to Pooh Corner,” with its wistful lyrics and subtle melody, landed with a thud before the party people of 3 1/2 years ago, but here it was a touching and poignant gem early in a mostly winning two-hour concert.

The show began with projected slides showing Loggins as a child and teen, then with Jim Messina in the 1970s, and finally more recent photos of him with other musicians and his own children. The passage of time and highlights on the fast-moving road of life ultimately was the theme of this night, with Loggins, now 63, and his excellent three-man band performing an 18-song set chronicling his music from early ’70s hits as part of Loggins & Messina to solo smashes he penned with Michael McDonald (“This Is It”) and Bob James (“Celebrate Me Home,” bolstered by Loggins’ still superb voice) through his well-known ’80s material forever linked to the popular movie soundtracks that spawned them.

I continue to be a greater fan of Loggins’ acoustic-flavored California folk-rock; “Angry Eyes” was particularly strong, with lead guitarist Scott Bernard displaying some Stephen Stills-styled fretwork. But a rocking “I’m Alright” (from Caddyshack), “Danger Zone” (Top Gun) and “Footloose” admittedly made for an energetic encore.
Yet all three were outdistanced by a powerful rendition of Cream‘s blues-rock version of “Crossroads,” with both Bernard and Loggins displaying some flashy guitar work. Loggins closed the night with a slow, moving rendition of the jazz-tinged ballad “Forever,” a song he recently performed on Hit Man Returns: David Foster & Friends, a tribute concert released on CD and DVD earlier this month.

Opening the show was singer-songwriter Malea McGuinness, a Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter who pleased the audience with easy-on-the-ears music recalling some of the best female singers of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. McGuinness’ far-reaching voice at times evoked Rosanne Cash, while her songs captured the freewheeling spirit of early Sheryl Crow and Paula Cole.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Upcoming releases announced: Color Theory, Moving Mountains & Thursday

Hardly a day goes by without word of new music worth noting here. That said, read on...

Color Theory to release 'The Silence + Second Thoughts'

The Silence + Second Thoughts, the new extremely limited edition CD, is now available, along with collector's edition t-shirts and several package offers. combines two digital-only EPs into an extremely limited edition physical CD. There are only 300 copies worldwide, 200 of which have already been sold (more on that later), making it an instant collector’s edition. The CD features 7 Color Theory originals plus 10 remixes of songs from Brian Hazard (the lead singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer of Color Theory) latest two albums, The Sound and The Thought Chapter.

In addition to the CD, limited edition high quality T-shirts with the album artwork on the front will be available until the CDs sell out. At that point, one shirt order will be placed with the silkscreening company, after which these shirts will not be made available again.

Click here to purchase this very special limited edition CD release.

Moving Mountains' new album 'WAVES' set for release on May 10

The Official Moving Mountains pre-sale is underway for WAVES, the forthcoming album by MOVING MOUNTAINS which is due out May 10 on Triple Crown Records. It can be found here:

Like their previous works, PNEUMA and FOREWORD before it, the album was recorded and produced by singer/guitarist Gregory Dunn at the band’s home studio in Westchester, NY. It was mixed by Matt Goldman (Underoath, Copeland, Anberlin), mastered by longtime MOVING MOUNTAINS collaborator Mike Kalajian and features an appearance by Kenny Bridges from Moneen on the song "The Cascade."

“When the band first started, a very close friend of mine died,” he continues. “That was the motivation to for all the lyrics on PNEUMAPNEUMA, FOREWORD and now this new album have all been about that…being young and having people around you die, which when you’re young it’s a very strange thing. A lot of it is also my struggle with understanding faith and existence...and just about questioning those ideas--and most importantly--how to overcome that to appreciate what you have,” continues Dunn. (2008 – Deep Elm Records). They’re very figurative and overly metaphorical, because I was embarrassed to talk about it at that time. With this new album, I said to myself that it's the last time that I’m going to write about it, so I’m going to be really blunt, honest and straightforward about the subject.

Tim Karan at Alternative Press magazine recently took to Twitter to post his thoughts about WAVES: “I was THIS close to giving up on music and instead focusing on learning Portuguese. Then I heard the new @MovMou album. I'm back in.”

The band--Gregory Dunn (guitar/vocals), Mitchell Lee (bass), Frank Graniero (guitar/vocals), Nicholas Pizzolato (drums)—performed three shows at SXSW last week, where they played to capacity crowds and won new fans over at every stop. Next up for MOVING MOUNTAINS is an appearance at the Warped Tour Kick Off Party along with The Wonder Years, MC Lars, and Lionize on Friday, March 25 at House of Vans in Brooklyn, NY. Wristbands for the free event are available at five Vans stores in NY and NJ. Click here for more details:

Stay tuned for more tour dates…


New Jersey's passionate rock band Thursday returns on April 12 with their most dynamic album to date, No Devolución. On their sixth studio album, Thursday explores elements of post-rock, indie, art and experimental styles, blending it all with their post-hardcore roots for a beautifully cathartic experience unlike anything they’ve done before. Check the stream of “Magnets Caught in a Metal Heart” at ( and “Past and Future Ruins” at (

"This is a really different record and we thought we should just come out of the gates with a really different song," Rickly “We were always tempering our desire to make something that was more graceful, more sweeping, and this record was the first one where we said, 'You know what? Who cares? Let's say our career is over tomorrow, who fucking cares? Let's make something beautiful.'”

Emotionally charged atmospheric guitars, rhythm and keyboards swirl in unison with Rickly’s inimitably intense vocals, painting a powerful cinematic-like soundscape and grabbing hold of listeners with each twisting turn. No longer merely the “screamo” band of yore, Thursday has transcended the genre they helped to spark with No Devolución, which translates to “No Returns,” an appropriate title for a band consistently moving forward.

No Devolución wastes no time with the frantic urgency of “Fast to the End,” which strikes a perfect balance between new and old styles. Tom Keeley and Steve Pedulla’s elaborate guitar work, Tucker Rule’s driving percussion, Tim Payne’s rhythmic bass and Andrew Everding’s powerful keyboards fuel the narrative for Rickly’s deeply personal tales of undying devotion, a theme found throughout the album. “Records are always written about new love or break-ups but no one ever writes records about long term devotion,” says Rickly. “After 13 years as a band, this theme seemed self-evident.”

No Devolución’s theme of devotion can be felt as the dramatic arc of the album unfolds. Segueing seamlessly from one to another, “No Answers” and “A Darker Forest” find Thursday at their most vulnerable place ever. Rickly’s haunting vocals float through fields of atmospheric guitars and keyboards, building to the album’s first single “Magnets Caught in a Metal Heart,” a stunning and memorable song of love’s bittersweet attraction.

Thursday continues the intensity with “Past & Future Ruins,” a surging blast of post-rock, slowing only momentarily for the somber “Empty Glass,” an emotionally raw song set to an organ that tears at the heart with every word of Rickly’s vocals. “Open Quotes” races back cutting sharp turns with intricate guitars under Rickly’s echoing vocals, right into the searing indie rock anthem “Millimeter.” Rule’s rhythm provides the backbone to Keeley, Pedulla, Everding and Payne’s sonic landscape on “A Gun in the First Act” and “Sparks Against The Sun” while Keeley and Pedulla lead the rhythmic assault on “Turnpike Divides,” which is sure to be a fan favorite.

Thursday’s parting salvo on No Devolución is “Stay True,” a stunning post-rock track that evokes the epic sweep of Explosions in the Sky and the powerful intensity of Mogwai all the while maintaining a sound which is distinctly Thursday. Rickly sings “We've all got a lot to lose. Whatever else you do, Stay True.” And that is exactly what the band has done here. Moving forward yet staying true to themselves along the way.

Upon completing the album, Rickly says he searched for the perfect artwork to capture the record’s evolving sound and eventually stumbled on artist Mia Pearlman. “I saw an image of Mia Pearlman's "Eye" which is a giant white paper installation and kept thinking about it,” says Rickly. “Eventually, I realized she lived near me and approached her about making a cut paper piece as our album artwork. We're thrilled. The record sounds like her work looks.”


No Devolución Track Listing:
1. Fast to the End - 3:21
2. No Answers - 4:53
3. A Darker Forest - 3:40
4. Sparks Against the Sun - 4:47
5. Open Quotes - 2:55
6. Past and Future Ruins - 4:15
7. Magnets Caught in a Metal Heart - 3:42
8. Empty Glass - 4:59
9. A Gun in the First Act - 5:02
10. Millimeter - 2:48
11. Turnpike Divides - 4:54
12. Stay True - 7:53

Thursday Tour Dates:
May 5 – Boston, MA – House of Blues (w/My Chemical Romance)
May 6 – Upper Darby, PA – Tower Theatre (w/My Chemical Romance)
May 7 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom (w/My Chemical Romance)
May 8 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom (w/My Chemical Romance)
May 10 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club (w/My Chemical Romance)
May 11 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle (w/My Chemical Romance)

For More Information:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bell X1 sets release dates for 'Bloodless Coup'

Looking for a fast way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day?
How about checking out the new video from modern Irish rockers Bell X1. "Velcro" is a fantastic video, and it doesn't hurt that the song is great too. Here is the link to catch it now on Youtube.

"Velcro" is set to be included on Bell X1's forthcoming CD Bloodless Coup. As I am a big fan of the band's previous releases, I can hardly wait to hear Bloodless Coup. Here is the official information from the band about the upcoming album:

Bloodless Coup will be released in stores and online on April 1 in Ireland, April 4 in the UK, April 8 in Germany & Benelux, April 12 in the USA & Canada, and April 26 in France

It's now available for digital pre-order via our record label in
North America (Yep Roc) and via iTunes in the rest of the world.

If you decide to pre order, we will send you "Nightwatchmen" from the
album right away.

In North America this will happen instantly via the Yep Roc WebStore.

For The Rest of The World you simply have to send us an email with
your confirmation from iTunes to

and we will send you a download link. In addition, we'll send you
the lyrics & credits booklet, which will also be available for
download from
from April 1st

Also, there is a bonus track called "Amsterdam Says" to be had when
buying the album digitally.

Here are the links:

USA & Canada:


Ireland, UK & Rest of the World:

A video for Velcro

is at

The song is also available for download from iTunes worldwide.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Curt Smith sets Los Angeles Residency, April 14 - June 1

I saw Curt Smith deliver a fantastic performance at McCabe's last year (Nov. 19, 2010). I know many fans of the talented singer-songwriter are wondering when they'll get a chance to catch him in another intimate concert setting. The wait is (almost) over; Curt announced earlier today that he will perform a string of dates in April, May and early June in Los Angeles. Read on friends.

Announcing My Los Angeles Residency!

by Curt on March 15, 2011

Drum roll, please: I’m going to play a six-date residency in Los Angeles, joined by Charlton Pettus, Doug Petty and Jamie Wollam.

The shows will be April 14, April 21, April 28, May 18, May 25 and June 1 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks, CA. (Yes, the first 3 shows are on Thursdays and the second 3 are on Wednesdays.) All showtimes are 8pm, and all ages are welcome.

Seating is general admission and tickets are $25 each. This is an intimate (read: small) venue, so we’re limiting ticket sales to 8 per show per order.

Click here for details how to purchase tickets to the shows.

Click here to be directed to Curt's official announcement on his Web site.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Play ball! Catching up with winning collections

In recent months, I've received a number of strong collections that celebrate the diversity of modern music, a specific genre or even a particular subject on a single disc. I want to highlight some of my favorite new collections with this post.

Artist: The Baseball Project
Title: Volume 2: High and Inside
Tell Me More: Rock 'n' roll and baseball might seem like strange bedfellows, but don't tell that to the four members of The Baseball Project. The band's 2008’s Vol. 1: Frozen Ropes & Dying Quails debut was such an out-of-the-park success, the sonic team is back with more real life-minded tales involving Mark "The Bird" Fidrych (the pop rocker "1976"), slugger Reggie Jackson (the melodic sing-a-long "The Straw That Stirs the Drink") and other greats.
Those under the illusion that a baseball-centered disc might not mine the deepest of emotions should step into the batter's box to hear the Steve Wynn-penned "Twilight Of My Career," a powerful song that explores mortality with the power of a Roger Clemens fastball.
The starting line-up of The Baseball Project features the aforementioned Wynn (The Miracle 3, The Dream Syndicate), Scott McCaughey (The Minus 5, Young Fresh Fellows, R.E.M.), Linda Pitmon (The Miracle 3, Golden Smog) and Peter Buck (R.E.M.); coming off the bench to pinch hit are guest players Craig Finn (The Hold Steady), Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie), Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), Chris Funk and John Moen (The Decemberists) and Ira Kaplan (Yo La Tengo).
After discovering this wonderful collection honoring the world's greatest game, I hope the members of the Baseball Project team take the field for a third season soon.
For more information on the release, visit

Artist: The Thrill Building
Title: The Greatest Game in the World
Tell Me More: Just as there is more than enough room for several great teams in the Major Leagues (heck, even multiple squads in New York and Chicago), The Baseball Project isn't alone on the musical field of play. The Thrill Building is set to issue The Greatest Game in the World, an aptly-titled 22-track tribute to, well, the greatest game in the world. The album is set to be released on March 29, 2011, just in time for the 2011 Major League season!
From the power pop title track and celebratory "Baseball's Coming Back" to the more hard-rocking "The Longest Lineup" and soulful "Uniform," Nashville-based producer-singer and multi-instrumentalist Fran Kowalski has assembled his own team to craft songs around the countless legendary elements that make baseball so special to its followers.
Whether singing songs about the stadium vendor or the exec in the front office or a favorite public address announcer, The Greatest Game in the World really will help the listener connect their own memories of days spent at the ballpark with the melodic gems on this collection.
For more information, visit

Artist: Keane, Jónsi, Mumford & Sons, Rosanne Cash & more
Title: FUV Live 13
Tell Me More: Released as part of public radio station WFUV (90.7 FM, membership drive in September 2010, FUV Live 13 is a compilation that may be difficult to track down but is worth the energy adding to your music collection.
While the wide range of artists who stopped by Studio A of WFUV is almost enough by itself to get you to get the collection, it are the recordings that are the real prize. A raw acoustic version of Brandi Carlile belting out "Dreams," Josh Ritter's poignant "Change of Time," Keane's acoustic version of its U2-flavored "Is It Any Wonder?" and Jónsi's joyous "Boy Lilikoi" all reveal emotional and sonic shades via these intimate performances that contrast with the original studio recordings by the respective artists.
Other highlights include Ozomatli's "45," Rosanne Cash's "Long Black Veil" and Mumford & Sons' "White Blank Page."

Artist: The Grascals & Friends
Title: Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin
Tell Me More: Because the majority of bluegrass fans have long since picked up The Grascals & Friends' Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin since its release in January 2011, this review is to get the word out that lovers of traditional country music and Americana will also find plenty to enjoy across the 13-track disc.
Indeed, the Grascals (the reigning 2010 Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America Bluegrass Band of the year) joined forces with eight of their celebrated friends to blend their sound with the likes of Dolly Parton (notably on the inspired "I Am Strong"), Charlie Daniels (on a fiery "The Devil Went Down To Georgia")and the Oak Ridge Boys (on the wonderfully-arranged "Leavin' Louisiana In Broad Daylight"). Other guests include Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley and Darryl Worley.
Although the CD was issued as part of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store's exclusive music program, there are copies available on the
Tracks on The Grascals & Friends - Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin:
1. Tiger By The Tail (with Brad Paisley)
2. Folsom Prison Blues (with Dierks Bentley)
3. Pain of Lovin’ You (with Dolly Parton)
4. I Am Strong (with Dolly Parton)
5. Louisiana Saturday Night
6. The Year That Clayton Delaney Died (with Tom T. Hall)
7. White Lightning (with Darryl Worley)
8. The Devil Went Down To Georgia (with Charlie Daniels)
9. Leavin’ Louisiana In Broad Daylight (with The Oak Ridge Boys)
10. Mr. Bojangles (with Joe Nichols)
11. Born To Boogie / All My Rowdy Friends Are Comin’ Over Tonight (Hank Williams Jr. Medley)
12. Cracker Barrel Swing (Instrumental)
13. I Am Strong (Bonus Track) Featuring guest appearances by Dolly Parton, The Oak Ridge Boys, Darryl Worley, Charlie Daniels, Terri Clark, Randy Owen, Steven Seagal, Tom T. Hall, Joe Nichols and Ansley McLaurin

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Future releases: Journey, Jeff Healey Band, Owl City, Michael Grimm

In recent weeks, there have been a number of welcome announcements about artists who rose to fame in the 1970s and '80s set to release new albums in 2011. Previously-announced discs from the Steve Miller Band, the Smithereens and the Cars immediately come to mind.

Now comes word, as evidenced by my flooded inbox, that Journey and a number of other emerging artists are getting into the act. In addition, an exciting release from the Jeff Healey Band is finally set to arrive in the U.S. Read on music friends...

* * * *
* * *
Tickets on sale beginning March 11

JOURNEY, one of the most popular American rock bands of all time, is gearing up to unleash their latest album of brand new material, Eclipse. The album will be released in the U.S. and Canada on May 24, 2011 exclusively at Walmart and beginning June 3 in Europe on Frontiers Records. To follow the release of Eclipse, Journey will launch the "Eclipse Tour" with Foreigner, and special guest Night Ranger, beginning July 21 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT. Fans can expect to hear new songs from Eclipse as well as classics such as Don't Stop Believin', Any Way You Want It, Faithfully, Lights, Separate Ways, Wheel In The Sky, and many more. The "Eclipse Tour" dates are listed below.

"I'm in love with this record, which I haven't said about one of our albums for a long time," says founding member and lead guitarist, Neal Schon. "It's a rock record and it sounds amazing." Commenting on the upcoming tour, Schon continued, "We've got a lot of hits to play and there's plenty of time to do some new stuff too, so we're gonna mix it up. We haven't toured with Foreigner for over 10 years, so we're really looking forward to this run."

Tickets for "The Eclipse Tour" go on sale beginning Friday March 11, at all the usual online, phone and physical retail outlets, including select Walmart Ticketmaster locations across the country. Check for complete ticket onsale information.

Journey has once again teamed up with to offer their fans a variety of VIP ticket packages. For more details go to

In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, keyboardist Jonathan Cain recently described Eclipse as "a concept record with some spiritual themes to it...pretty tough, hard-hitting stuff." Jonathan continued, "We just felt like it was time to send a message to the world about how we feel about life in general."

Journey toured the world for two years in support of their 2008 release, Revelation. More than a million fans attended the shows, and welcomed new lead singer Arnel Pineda. Completing the Journey lineup is Schon (guitars, backing vocals), Cain (keyboards, backing vocals), Ross Valory (bass, backing vocals) and Deen Castronovo (drums, percussion, backing vocals). Revelation marked the band's biggest first week's sales in more than a decade, debuting at #5 on the Billboard 200 in June 2008 and taking the top spot on the Independent Albums chart. Revelation earned the band their 11th Platinum album certification to date, leading The New York Times to declare that "the band...feels alive."

Since its formation in 1973, Journey has earned 19 Top 40 singles and 25 gold and platinum albums. The band's Greatest Hits album is certified 15 times platinum, bringing Journey into the elite club of Diamond-certified album holders. The group also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005.

For more information, visit

Initial Eclipse Tour dates:

Thurs. Jul 21 Salt Lake City, UT Rio Tinto Stadium
Sat. Jul 23 Irvine, CA Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Sun. Jul 24 Phoenix, AZ Desert Sky Pavilion
Wed. Jul 27 Maryland Heights, MO Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Sat. Jul 30 Tinley Park, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
Sun. Jul. 31 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
Tues. Aug 02 Cuyahoga Falls, OH Blossom Music Center
Wed. Aug 03 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
Fri. Aug 05 Columbus, OH Crew Stadium, Ohio State Fair
Sat. Aug 06 Noblesville, IN Verizon Wireless Music Center
Wed. Aug 10 Darien Center, NY Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
Sat. Aug 13 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
Tues. Aug 16 Hartford, CT Comcast Theatre
Wed. Aug 17 Wantagh, NY Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
Fri. Aug 19 Virginia Beach, VA Virginia Beach Amphitheater
Sat. Aug 20 Raleigh, NC Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek
Sun. Aug 21 Charlotte, NC Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Charlotte
Wed. Aug 24 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
Sat. Aug 27 Burgettstown, PA First Niagara Pavilion
Tues. Aug 30 Syracuse, NY New York State Fair
Wed. Aug 31 Allentown, PA The Great Allentown Fair
Fri. Sept 02 Saratoga Springs, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Sat. Sept 10 New Orleans, LA New Orleans Arena
Fri. Sept 16 Atlanta, GA Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood
Sat. Sept 17 Tampa, FL 1-800 Ask-Gary Amphitheatre
Sun. Sept 18 West Palm Beach, FL Cruzan Amphitheatre
Sat. Sept 24 Dallas, TX Gexa Energy Pavilion
Sun. Sept 25 The Woodlands, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Wed. Sept 28 Kansas City, MO Starlight Theatre
Sat. Oct 01 Englewood, CO Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
Fri. Oct 07 Chula Vista, CA Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
Fri. Oct 14 Wheatland, CA Sleep Train Amphitheatre
Sat. Oct 15 Mountain View, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre
Wed. Oct 19 Portland, OR Rose Garden Arena
Fri. Oct 21 Seattle, WA KeyArena

Eagle Rock to Issue Stateside Release of THE JEFF HEALEY BAND's 'GET ME SOME' on Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Originally released internationally in 2000, Get Me Some, the fifth studio album from the phenomenal Jeff Healey Band is finally making its way stateside, courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment. This CD hits shelves March 29, 2011. [MSRP $13.98]

A master guitarist and vocalist, Canadian-born singer-songwriter Jeff Healey formed his band in 1985, with drummer Tom Stephen and bassist Joe Rockman. Known for playing the guitar flat on his lap, Healey perfected a unique, vibrato-infused resonance that solidified the band’s signature sound. The trio’s blend of jazz, rock, and blues scored them platinum sales, and hit singles like “Angel Eyes.”

Get Me Some continues to thrive in this versatile style, packed with 13 tracks of electrified boogie and blues-rock. The dynamic quality of these musicians is evident on tracks like “Which One,” “My Life Story,” and “Rachel’s Song.” Topped with supreme fret work, stylistic solos, and memorable hooks, Get Me Some proves it was definitely worth the 10-year wait for American fans.

A multi-faceted musician, who also pursued old-time jazz and played clarinet and trumpet, Healey passed away in 2008, at the age of 41.

Track Listing:
1.) Which One
2.) Hey Hey
3.) Love Is The Answer
4.) My Life Story
5.) I Tried
6.) The Damage Is Done
7.) Feel Better
8.) Holding On
9.) I Should Have Told You
10.) Macon Georgia Blue
11.) House Is Burning Down
12.) Runaway Heart
13.) Rachel’s Song

Owl City Emerges from the Cold Winter With new Full-Length Studio Album – All Things Bright And Beautiful – out May 17th on Universal Republic ;

Follow-Up to Platinum Debut 'Ocean Eyes'

Also Announces Headlining Tour of the World Kicking Off in North America on June 13, 2011 at the Historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville , TN

Owl City is back after a long cold winter with a new full-length studio album – All Things Bright And Beautiful – due out May 17th Worldwide on Universal Republic . Produced by Owl City’s Adam Young and recorded at Sky Harbor Studios in Owatonna, MN, All Things Bright And Beautiful features twelve new songs and was mixed by Young along with Grammy Award-winning engineer and producer Jack Joseph Puig whose credits include Beck, Mary J. Blige, Green Day and John Mayer to name a few.

All Things Bright And Beautiful is the follow-up full-length studio album to Owl City ’s platinum-selling debut Ocean Eyes. Released in July 2009, Ocean Eyes was certified platinum in just eight short months and earned Owl City a slew of critical acclaim (New York Times, Rolling Stone, People, Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, etc.). Ocean Eyes’ sales were led by the runaway single “Fireflies” which is currently quadruple platinum in the US . “Fireflies” hit #1 on the Hot 100 twice and found its’ way to the #1 spot in 24 countries around the world – making this a huge International hit song and leading to several sold out worldwide tours – keeping Owl City on the road for over a year and a half.

In support of the new album – All Things Bright And Beautiful – Owl City will be kicking off a headlining tour of the World in North America on June 13th at the historic Ryman Auditorium – confirmed dates below. For the most up-to-date information, please visit

June 13 Ryman Auditorium Nashville , TN

14 Tabernacle Atlanta , GA

16 House of Blues Orlando , FL

17 Fillmore Charlotte , NC

18 Pier Six Baltimore , MD

20 Olympia Montreal , QC

21 Kool Haus Toronto , QC

23 Roseland Ballroom New York , NY

25 The Mann Philadelphia , PA

26 House of Blues Boston , MA

28 Egyptian Room Indianapolis , IN

29 Fillmore Detroit , MI

30 Summerfest Milwaukee , WI

July 1 LC Pavilion Columbus , OH

11 Uptown Theatre Kansas City, MO

12 Fillmore Denver, CO

13 MacKay Event Center Salt Lake City , UT

15 Paramount Theatre Seattle , WA

16 The Center Vancouver , BC

17 Roseland Ballroom Portland , OR

19 Warfield Theatre San Francisco , CA

21 Club Nokia Los Angeles , CA

23 Fox Theatre Pomona , CA

25 Verizon Theatre Houston , TX

26 Verizon Theatre Dallas , TX

27 ACL Live Austin , TX

29 Aragon Ballroom Chicago, IL

30 Roy Wilkins Auditorium Minneapolis , MN


New Album Features Legendary Talent

Prize Money Used to Build Home Destroyed in Hurricane Katrina for Grandparents

New York, NY – March 10, 2011 – The attributes that led Michael Grimm to win season five of NBC’s America’s Got Talent (AGT), including his sincere humility and undeniable talent has earned him a devoted fanbase of millions eagerly anticipating the release of his first major label debut with Epic Records due out on May 17th. The southern crooner goes back to his roots for his self-titled album, working with Grammy-award winning producer Don Was, (The Rolling Stones, Elton John and Bonnie Raitt among others) staying true to his Americana meets blue-eyed soul sound, creating carefully crafted rock songs with a mature soulful delivery.

“I became aware of Michael Grimm several years ago and jumped at the chance to work with him after he won AGT,” says producer Don Was. “Michael is one of the greatest vocalists I have ever had the privilege to record. He is a world class singer with a level of professionalism that is extremely rare.”

There is no denying the talent of Michael Grimm since winning AGT with a record number of votes, this album will feature both original music written by Grimm as well as some classic covers and sounds that earned him the title of fan favorite on AGT. Lending their legendary talents to Grimm’s record include Ann Wilson (Heart), Ian McLagan (Faces and work with Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer), Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello, Cracker) and Greg Leisz (Avenged Sevenfold, The Eagles). Also, having played on over 30 Grammy-nominated albums, Kenny Aronoff provides drums on the album and the famous Waddy Wachtel, best know for his work with Keith Richards, Stevie Nicks and James Taylor, on guitar.

“It’s me,” describes Michael Grimm of his self-titled album. “I am extremely proud of this album, it really showcases my love for different genres of music from country to soul R&B to rock, the classic Americana that I grew up with.”

Self described as “just a boy from Mississippi ,” Grimm has close ties to his southern roots. His decision to audition for America ’s Got Talent came from having grandparents who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina, Grimm has said he is committed to using a portion of his prize money to give them a new home which was lost in the storm. Grimm was raised by his grandparents who encouraged his musical talents from an early age. By the time Grimm was 12 years old, he was performing locally with his grandmother applauding him at every show. At 15 Grimm was writing and playing his own music when he began to blend the two genres of country and soul. In years since, he has moved to Las Vegas , where he has maintained a busy performance schedule, perfecting his soulful sound and remains committed to creating real music.

Judge Piers Morgan insisted Grimm's victory was well deserved: "Michael's genuine, he's sincere, he's very talented…He'll have a huge career. I think he's like a young Van Morrison."

The High Kings on Regis & Kelly for St. Patrick's Day

Fans of modern-day Irish music are likely already familiar with The High Kings. The Irish folk ensemble, which features Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy, Martin Furey and Darren Holden, offers up stunning folk-flavored Celtic classics that showcase their wonderful voices and winning skills as virtuoso multi-instrumentalists. I've had a chance to listen to a stream of the band's just-released 'Memory Lane' and it's fantastic. From the beautiful and haunting "The Fields of Athenry" to the galloping sing-a-long "On the One Road" and deservedly-popular "Whiskey in a Jar," no need to wait until St. Patrick's Day to play this fine collection.



New Album 'Memory Lane' arrived in stores on Tuesday, March 8

New York, NY (March 8, 2011) --- Young, vibrant Irish band The High Kings, voted Ireland's Best Folk Band, are back in the US on a rousing 'folk n roll' tour in support of their new album Memory Lane (available March 8). The Irish balladeers will celebrate St. Patrick's Day on Live with Regis and Kelly with a performance of the classic "Finnegan's Wake” - an exclusive Amazon Mp3 album bonus track.

While on tour, The High Kings are being profiled on a number of NPR programs including national radio show “Here & Now,” “Performance Place” and “Around Cincinnati,” among others. They will also perform live on the’s Strategy Room, tape an interview with PBS television show “On Canvas,” and stop by the XM Sirius studios in NYC for interviews with several programs.

The High Kings have been delighting audiences around the world since their award-winning 2008 self-titled debut, which reached #2 on Billboard magazine’s world music chart. Embraced by the likes of NPR and PBS here in the states, the band’s incredible live performances feature as many as 13 instruments alongside flawless harmonies.

Monday, March 07, 2011


Jaab paints an ESP guitar at the Elephant Art & Conservation Project in Chiang Mai, Thailand (Photo by Mark Weiss)

The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up & Shout Cancer Fund has teamed with The Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project (AEACP) to create one-of-a-kind guitars painted by the project's elephants in Thailand to raise money and awareness for both organizations. Wendy Dio, president and founder of Stand Up & Shout, board chair Gloria Butler and medical director Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, along with legendary Black Sabbath/Heaven and Hell bassist Geezer Butler and world-renowned photographer Mark Weiss, are currently in Chiang Mai, Thailand, home to the AEACP, where the guitars are being painted.

The talented elephants of the Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project, whose paintings are now exhibited and sold in museums and galleries around the world and have been featured in National Geographic, are painting guitars graciously donated by The ESP Guitar Company. These painted guitars will be auctioned off with half of the proceeds going to AEACP and the other half going to SUAS.

The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund is a privately funded nonprofit organization dedicated to cancer prevention, research and education. It was founded in memory of the late singer who died in 2010. The organization is collecting additional guitars donated by celebrated musicians for a larger fund-raising auction later this year.

The AEACP is dedicated to saving the diminishing number of Asian Elephants and to raise public awareness of the plight of Asian Elephants. National Thai Elephant Day annually celebrates the importance of elephants a part of Thai culture and as part of their environment. Currently, there are between 3,000 and 4,000 elephants living in Thailand, half of which are domesticated.

For additional information on the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, please visit:

For more information on the Elephant Art & Conservation Project, please visit:

Third wave of Jimi Hendrix-centric recordings coming on April 12


Available Everywhere Tuesday, April 12

* * * * *
Experience Hendrix LLC and Legacy Recordings proudly announce the third wave of releases in the monumental Jimi Hendrix Catalog Project, available everywhere Tuesday, April 12, 2011.
The next round of titles from the artist Rolling Stone magazine called "the greatest guitarist of all time" will include the first Legacy edition of Power Of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix, an all-star celebration bringing together 16 high octane performances of best-loved tracks from the Hendrix songbook performed by a who's who of classic and contemporary musicians.

The third wave of Legacy Hendrix reissues offers the definitive edition of the career-spanning posthumous album South Saturn Delta; a deluxe DVD edition of Jimi Hendrix: Band of Gypsys (Live at Fillmore East), winner of the 1999 Best Long Form Music Video Grammy; and "Fire" coupled with "Touch You" a limited edition single available on 7" vinyl and CD (with a third unreleased track), struck in celebration of nationwide Record Store Day on Saturday, April 16.

"Fire" c/w "Touch You" (7" vinyl single and CD single)
The limited edition Jimi Hendrix Experience 7" vinyl single includes an unreleased alternate recording of "Fire" (taken from the West Coast Seattle Boy box set) coupled with "Touch You," a previously unreleased track recorded at London's Olympic Studios on December 20, 1967. The CD version of the single includes a third rare track, "Cat Talking To Me," recorded in June 1967.

Power Of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix (CD)
The first Hendrix tribute album to be curated under the auspices of Experience Hendrix LLC, Power Of Soul includes interpretations of the master by Musiq Soulchild ("Are You Experienced?"), Santana ("Spanish Castle Magic"), Prince ("Purple House"), Sting ("The Wind Cries Mary"), Earth, Wind & Fire ("Voodoo Child (Slight Return)"), Bootsy Collins ("Power Of Soul"), Eric Clapton ("Burning of the Midnight Lamp"), Lenny Kravitz ("Have You Ever Been To (Electric Ladyland)"), Devoted Spirits ("Who Knows"), Robert Randolph ("Purple Haze"), Chaka Khan & Kenny Olson ("Little Wing"), Sounds of Blackness ("Castles Made of Sand"), Eric Gales ("May This Be Love"), Cee Lo Green ("Foxey Lady"), John Lee Hooker ("Red House") and Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble ("Little Wing/3rd Stone From The Sun" (live)).
A special CD single comprised of three tracks -- "Foxey Lady" (Cee Lo Green) and "Spanish Castle Magic" (Carlos Santana) from the Legacy Recordings release Power of Soul: A Tribute To Jimi Hendrix, coupled with a previously unreleased version of “Purple Haze” by Robert Randolph & The Slide Brothers recorded live at Atlanta’s Fox Theater during last year’s Experience Hendrix tour -- will also be available April 12 in conjunction with Record Store Day.

South Saturn Delta (CD and 12" vinyl)
Originally released in 1997, South Saturn Delta is a collection encompassing every incarnation of Jimi Hendrix's recording career -- including both versions of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, his expanded Woodstock ensemble Gypsy Sun & Rainbows, and the Band of Gypsys. The album brings together 15 distinct studio performances, 65 minutes of rare and previously unreleased music.
Alongside lost gems as "Tax Free," "Look Over Yonder," and "Pali Gap" stand previously unreleased recordings including "Here He Comes (Lover Man)," "Message To The Universe" and "Midnight Lightning." From demo recordings to finished masters, the guitarist’s wide embrace of blues, ballads, rock R&B and jazz is celebrated throughout the album which includes a 24 page full color booklet with rare photos, credits and comprehensive liner notes.
Providing new insights into Hendrix’s creative process and unique approach to recording, South Saturn Delta showcases the development of signature songs like "Little Wing," "All Along The Watchtower" and "Angel" while "Power of Soul" and the jazz-influenced title track, among others, represent the guitarist’s tantalizing first forays beyond the frontiers of jazz and funk.
South Saturn Delta will be available in a limited double 12" vinyl edition.
Jimi Hendrix: Band of Gypsys (Live At Fillmore East) (DVD)
Winner of the Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video (1999), the Jimi Hendrix: Band of Gypsys (Live At Fillmore East) DVD includes an 83 minute documentary tracing the revolutionary impact Hendrix's Band Of Gypsys had on rock, R&B and funk. The story of this groundbreaking music is told in interviews with Jimi and, for the first time, all four of his band mates: Mitch Mitchell, Noel Redding, Billy Cox and Buddy Miles. Also contributing are Lenny Kravitz, Vernon Reid and Slash.
Jimi Hendrix: Band Of Gypsys (Live At Fillmore East) features the only known footage of the group in concert, including Jimi's stunning and devastating performance of "Machine Gun". In addition to the documentary footage, the new Legacy edition premieres exclusive bonus material not found on previous versions including black & white video footage as well as stereo and 5.1 surround sound mixes of the group's historic Fillmore East performance on New Year's Day 1970. The bonus footage includes a killer "Foxey Lady" and rarely performed live versions of "Power Of Soul," "Stepping Stone" and "Who Knows."
* * * * *

This year's edition of the Experience Hendrix concert tour, presented by Fender guitars, launches in May with an all-star lineup of musical greats paying homage to the abiding genius of Jimi Hendrix. This year's tour will include performances by Billy Cox, Steve Vai, Robert Randolph, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, David Hidalgo & Cesar Rosas [Los Lobos], Keb' Mo, Eric Johnson, North Mississippi All Stars, Brad Whitford [Aerosmith], Living Colour, Ernie Isley, Chris Layton [SRV & Double Trouble], Indigenous and many additional special guests to be announced.
Initial 2011 Experience Hendrix tour dates include:
5/20 Las Vegas, NV Hilton Theater
5/22 Dana Point, CA Doheny Blues Festival
5/23 Mesa, AZ Mesa Arts Center
5/24 Tucson, Arizona Anselmo Valencia Amphitheatre
5/26 Santa Rosa, CA Wells Fargo Center for the Arts
5/27 Reno, NV Grand Sierra Resort
5/28 Santa Cruz, CA Santa Cruz Blues Festival
5/29 San Luis Obispo, CA Avila Beach Blues Festival

Massively popular with fans and critics alike, the 2010 Experience Hendrix tour inspired Larry Rodgers of the Arizona Republic to rave, "It was encouraging to see fans of all ages, from teens to baby boomers who witnessed Hendrix's career launch firsthand, in the Mesa crowd. The show and that crowd made it clear that Hendrix's magical music will never die."
Dan Durchholz, covering the tour for the St. Louis Post Dispatch marveled at how "...the Experience Hendrix tour showed just how pervasive (Hendrix's) influence continues to be. The three-hour show featured an all-star lineup from a variety of musical traditions, united by a collective debt to the iconic artist's songs, showmanship and trailblazing technique. Despite its creator's demise decades ago, Hendrix's music is still alive and well.”
Experience Hendrix bassist Billy Cox -- who first befriended Hendrix in the 101st Airborne Division of U.S. Army, played in both the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsys and performed with Hendrix at such landmark festivals as Woodstock and the Isle of Wight -- is delighted to play a part in the current tour saying, "It's a thrill for me to play Jimi's music for audiences now as it was in the 1960s."
For more information, visit
* * * * *
PBS will air a broadcast version of the concert film, "Jimi Hendrix Live at Woodstock," during March Pledge Week. Originally released on VHS in 1994, "Jimi Hendrix Live at Woodstock" was reissued last year in a special two-disc DVD package featuring all of the existing film footage from Jimi's unforgettable August 1969 Woodstock concert newly re-edited and presented uninterrupted and in its original performance sequence. Please check your local listings for more information on the PBS Pledge Week schedule.
* * * * *
Legacy's first round of Jimi Hendrix releases opened with the release of Valleys of Neptune, a long-awaited album of previously unavailable Jimi Hendrix studio recordings, which debuted on the Billboard 200 best-selling albums chart at #4 while four additional Hendrix catalog titles -- Are You Experienced (#44), Electric Ladyland (#60), First Rays of the New Rising Sun (#63), and Axis: Bold As Love (#67) -- rocketed back into the Billboard 200 four decades after their original release dates. A testimony to the enduring vitality and importance of the trailblazing artist-guitarist-performer, Jimi Hendrix had five albums in America's Top 100 in March 2010.

The second wave of 2010 Jimi Hendrix titles culminated in the long awaited release of West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology, a definitive career-spanning four CD box set tracking Hendrix’s remarkable journey from R&B sideman to international stardom. The deluxe set is filled with previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix Experience recordings plus demos, alternate takes and more. The newly curated and assembled Jimi Hendrix anthology will include a new Hendrix documentary directed by the Grammy award winning Bob Smeaton (Beatles Anthology, Festival Express, Beatles: The Studio Recordings).
More than 1,000,000 Jimi Hendrix albums were sold in 2010 alone.

* * * * *
About Legacy Recordings
The multiple Grammy-winning Legacy Recordings, Sony Music Entertainment's catalog division, produces and maintains the world's foremost catalog of historic reissues, an unparalleled compendium of thousands of digitally re-mastered archival titles representing virtually every musical genre including popular, rock, jazz, blues, R&B, folk, country, gospel, Broadway musicals, movie soundtracks, ethnic, world music, classical, comedy and more.

About Experience Hendrix L.L.C.
Founded by James 'Al' Hendrix, Jimi's father, in 1995, Experience Hendrix, has been managed since its inception by the family members handpicked by Al during his tenure as Chairman. It is the official family company charged with managing the music, name, image and likeness of Jimi Hendrix. As a part of their daily operations, Experience Hendrix and Authentic Hendrix oversee Jimi's timeless legacy on a worldwide basis.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

R.E.M. rolls out 'Collapse Into Now' album, film project

Photo courtesy of R.E.M.

Thanks to NPR's "First Listen" online feature, I spent much of the weekend listening to the forthcoming R.E.M. album "Collapse Into Now." My first impression is the album is another great one and worthy follow-up to 2008's "Accelerate." I already love several of the songs, and in particular, the emotive ballad "Überlin" with its haunting melody in the verses and deeply-affecting chorus. The acoustic guitar-anchored "Me, Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando and I" boasts a similarly-powerful impact with its Neil Young-styled dreamy Americana soundscape, while "All the Best" finds the band tearing it up with the fiery passion of the group's early '80s material. Below is a press release I received last week with all kinds of details about a film project related to the wonderful songs that fill "Collapse Into Now. Read on!



R.E.M. is gearing up to roll out the Collapse Into Now Film Project, a selection of films accompanying each song on the band¹s upcoming album, directed by notable artists and filmmakers and personally curated by singer Michael Stipe. The list of directors includes Oscar-nominated actor James Franco, filmmaker, photographer, and conceptual artist Sam Taylor-Wood, and Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles. See a full list of directors below.

The films will be unveiled for viewing at broadcast and web outlets over
the course of the next several weeks, so please stay tuned to
for schedule and details.

In its four-star review, Rolling Stone calls Collapse Into Now ³a portrait
of full-grown artists who reached the top long ago but decided to stick
together and ride out the decades. You can hear a lot of shared history in
the music, but you can also hear conflict, confusion, doubt ‹ exactly the
kind of recipe that R.E.M. thrive on.² Spin finds the band ³refreshed and
refueled for a new alt-rock reckoning.²

Collapse Into Now will be released by Warner Bros. Records on March 8, 2011.
"It Happened Today" is currently available on iTunes as an Instant Download track for those who pre-order the Deluxe Version. Visit R.E.M.¹s YouTube channel for lyric videos for several tracks on Collapse Into Now at

R.E.M. Collapse Into Now Film Project

Directors: Michael Stipe and
Lynda Stipe

Director: James Herbert

Director: Sam Taylor-Wood

Director: Jem Cohen

Director: Tom Gilroy

Directors: Jim McKay, Chris Moukarbel
and Valerie Veatch

Director: Dominic DeJoseph

Director: Sophie Calle

Director: Lance Bangs

Director: James Franco

Director: Albert Maysles
& Bradley Kaplan

12) BLUE
Director: James Franco

Thursday, March 03, 2011


The Smithereens, from left, features lead guitarist Jim Babjak, bassist Severo "The Thrilla" Jornacion, drummer Dennis Diken and lead singer-guitarist Pat DiNizio.


The Smithereens have confirmed the April 5 release of 'Smithereens 2011' (eOne Music), their first album of new material in 12 years. Produced by Don Dixon (who helmed Especially For You, the group's breakout debut), Smithereens 2011 features 13 new tracks and finds the seminal New Jersey rockers picking up right where they left off: with irresistibly catchy hooks and rapturously fuzzed-out guitars. Pulsing with the same raw energy and vitality the band first conveyed 25 years ago, the album easily ranks with the best work The Smithereens have ever recorded.

Eschewing extensive pre-production, the band--lead singer/guitarist Pat DiNizio, guitarist Jim Babjak, drummer Dennis Diken, and bassist Severo "The Thrilla" Jornacion--cut a raw and electric album in the best tradition of Cheap Trick or Big Star that just begs you to roll down the windows and crank up the volume. "We cut our teeth on albums that were carefully crafted to take you someplace," says Dixon, who's been dubbed "The Fifth Smithereen" by the band and also co-produced REM's early records. "That's all we ever want to do. Take you someplace better."

The Smithereens first came to national prominence in 1986 with their debut album Especially for You, which was propelled by the instant classic single "Blood and Roses." The band earned a devoted legion of fans through relentless touring and multiple Top 40 hits, including "A Girl Like You" and "Too Much Passion." Twenty-five years into their career, the band's enduring sound remains as relevant today as ever, with their influence on everyone from Nirvana to Weezer playing a major role in shaping the past two decades of alternative rock. Since their last original album, 1999's God Save The Smithereens, the band has toured steadily and released tributes to The Beatles and The Who, and each member has garnered critical acclaim with their own respective solo projects.

'Smithereens 2011' Tracklisting:
1. Sorry
2. One Look At You
3. A World of Our Own
4. Keep On Running
5. Rings On Her Fingers
6. As Long As You Are Near Me
7. Bring Back The One I Love
8. Nobody Lives Forever
9. Goodnight Goodbye
10. All The Same
11. Viennese Hangover
12. Turn It Around
13. What Went Wrong

The Smithereens On the Web:

Go to AOL Spinner to stream the album single "Sorry" -

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

New releases round-up: Queen, Ron Sexsmith, Eisley

I still have grand memories of seeing Queen back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In fact, the first band I ever reviewed for my high school newspaper was Queen!

That said, check out the latest news on the legendary band's 40th anniversary celebration.

QUEEN’S 40TH Anniversary Celebration Kicks Off with Deluxe Reissues


Queen’s 40th anniversary is now upon us, and the band plans to pull out all the stops to celebrate this historic occasion. “2011 is an important year for Queen,” said Brian May “and there will be a lot of activity.” Adds Roger Taylor, "I can’t believe it’s been that long and that we are still around in such a big way. I’m amazed and grateful!” This yearlong event will be marked by a series of releases, re-releases, special limited-edition items and events around the world.

It was in March 1971 that bassist John Deacon joined May and Taylor’s buzzed-about London group, which had changed its name from Smile to Queen nine months earlier, following the addition of multitalented singer/pianist Freddie Mercury, thus completing the classic lineup. The four simpatico musicians proceeded to take the world by storm. The band has released a total of 18 chart-topping albums and 18 #1 singles, while selling more than 300 million albums worldwide, making them one of the biggest rock acts of all time. They’ve received seven Ivor Novello awards in the U.K., were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, the UK Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, and even received their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in October 2002.

As live artists, Queen literally conquered the world. Acknowledged as one of the greatest stadium bands of all time, Queen performed over 700 concerts, reaching into every corner of the world. They achieved rock history by being the first band to open up South America and the Eastern Bloc, with world record- breaking concerts in Argentina, Brazil and Hungary.

This is a timeless band whose music retains such immediacy and undiminished power that new fans continue to discover and embrace it, along the way inspiring a host of diverse artists from Lady Gaga (who took her name from Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga”), and Katy Perry, through to the Foo Fighters. It’s worth noting that Queen’s videos have collectively generated well north of 300 million views online—a remarkable figure that figures to expand exponentially with the launch of a dedicated Vevo channel this spring, in yet another iteration of the anniversary rollout.

As the centerpiece in the 40th anniversary celebration, Queen’s entire 15-album studio catalog is being reissued in a series of deluxe editions. Every note is being tweaked, every piece of artwork is being cleaned, freshened up and resourced, wherever necessary, with the legendary Bob Ludwig doing the remastering, working from the original source material. The albums will be released in three waves, staggered over the next year, with the first wave—comprising the first five LPs—coming this May.

Each studio album will be released in a new two-CD edition, the first containing the updated, remastered original LP, the second disc packed with rarities—and we don’t use the term lightly. Some of these gems have never before seen the light of day, even in crappy bootleg form. To cite a particularly fascinating example, five first-album demos recorded at London’s De Lane Lea Studios in December 1971 were pulled from the only existing copy on the planet—an acetate from May’s personal archives. Not even his bandmates had a copy.

“A huge amount of work has already been put in behind the scenes to unleash a completely newly mastered set of the original Queen LPs and CDs,” May noted. “I know our fans will appreciate the attention to detail, bringing the early albums closer than ever to the magic of the vinyl originals, but with the benefit of up-to-the-minute quality technology.”

In other anniversary activity, the gallery exhibition “Stormtroopers in Stilettos” opens in London on Feb. 25, with plans in place to tour the exhibit around the world. According to May, this unprecedented event “will highlight in some innovative ways the growth of the ‘Early Queen.’” On April 12, Hollywood will reissue Queen’s debut single, “Keep Yourself Alive” b/w “Son and Daughter,” on seven-inch vinyl in a limited edition coinciding with Record Store Day. And on April 19, the label will issue the band’s Greatest Hits II for the first time in North America. This classic collection includes the rock standards “Under Pressure” and “Radio Ga Ga,” plus many other classics from the second half of Queen’s run, including the worldwide smashes “I Want It All” & “Innuendo.” Additionally, the “Queen on Vinyl” reissue program will be completed this year with the release of the final five studio albums.

In the UK, Queen’s Greatest Hits 1 holds the record of being the biggest selling album of all time ahead of albums by The Beatles, Oasis, Dire Straits, and Abba.

This is just the beginning of what promises to be a treasure trove of must-have pieces for Queen fans. More will be revealed in the coming months, so stay tuned.

Bonus Tracks on the First Five Studio Albums:

QUEEN (1973)

1. Keep Yourself Alive (De Lane Lea Demo, December 1971)

2. Great King Rat (De Lane Lea Demo, December 1971)

3. Jesus (De Lane Lea Demo, December 1971)

4. Liar (De Lane Lea Demo, December 1971)

5. The Night Comes Down (De Lane Lea Demo, December 1971)

6. Mad The Swine (June 1972)

QUEEN II (1974)

1. White Queen (Live at Hammersmith Odeon, December 1975)

2. See What A Fool I’ve Been (BBC Session, July 1973 - 2011 Remix)

3. Seven Seas Of Rhye (Instrumental)

4. See What A Fool I’ve Been (B-side Version, February 1974)

5. Nevermore (BBC Session, April 1974)


1. Now I’m Here (Live at Hammersmith Odeon, December 1975)

2. Flick Of The Wrist (BBC Session, October 1974)

3. Tenement Funster (BBC Session, October 1974)

4. Bring Back That Leroy Brown (A Cappella Plus)

5. In The Lap Of The Gods… Revisited (Live at Wembley Stadium, July 1986)


1. Keep Yourself Alive (Long-Lost Retake, June 1975)

2. Bohemian Rhapsody (Operatic Section A Cappella)

3. I’m In Love With My Car (Guitar & Vocal Version)

4. You’re My Best Friend (Backing Track)

5. ‘39 (Live at Earl’s Court, June 1977) TBC

6. Love Of My Life (Live Single Version, June 1979)


1. Tie Your Mother Down (Backing Track)

2. Somebody To Love (Live at Milton Keynes, June 1982)

3. You Take My Breath Away (Live in Hyde Park, September 1976)

4. Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy (Top Of The Pops, July 1977)

5. Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together) (HD mix)

For more information, visit:

Today being Tuesday, there are several new releases out today. One I want to highlight is the new album from Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith. I've been listening to the stream on AOL Music for several days and this album is terrific - already one of my favorites of 2011.

Here is some information on the two new discs. Happy listening everybody.

When Ron Sexsmith headed into the studio with legendary Metallica producer Bob Rock to record his outstanding new album, Long Player Late Bloomer, the collaboration seemed unlikely but instantly blossomed into a supportive, creative partnership. "Bob got me out of my comfort zone," says Sexsmith. "I've made all these Lars von Trier records," he laughs; "I see this record as my action movie!"

Prior to recording the album, Ron knew Bob Rock by his reputation as a hard rock producer - and from his role as the voice of reason in 'Some Kind of Monster,' the rockumentary that chronicled Metallica in a tumultuous period - and was skeptical about partnering with him. "I only saw Bob as a hard rock producer," he says.

But when he learned that Michael Buble had teamed up with Bob on his multiplatinum-selling album, Crazy Love, the pieces started to fall into place. Ron sent Bob some of his songs. Bob loved them. So they headed into the studio with a top-shelf ensemble of musicians - guitarist Rusty Anderson (Paul McCartney), bassist Paul Bushnell (Elton John, No Doubt), keyboardist Jamie Edwards (Aimee Mann), and drummer Josh Freese (Devo, Nine Inch Nails) - and made some magic. "He got me to try things that I normally would have scoffed at such as really belting out my vocals."

Long Player Late Bloomer is out March 1 on Ronboy Rhymes, and Sexsmith will be touring this spring.

For more information, visit

Eisley's new album "The Valley," their first in four years, is out today on Equal Vision Records. And people are loving it:

"An uplifting yet hard record that is perfectly fitted for life's sadder moments, one that consoles and documents without self-pity. For a band that has been through the ringer on almost every conceivable level, Eisley have survived, emerging from their sea of tears with one of the best albums of 2011." -- The Big Takeover

"The tunes are imminently enjoyable and the interplay among the DuPrees' voices is always thrilling. Here, the good thing for listeners was the bad thing for band members; the breakups lend a lyrical and affective heft to the proceedings. And 'Ambulance' may well be the best breakup song of the year, equal parts fragility, grace, pain and resilience." -- Under The Radar

"'The Valley' is equally intimate and gorgeous as it is rough and realistic.... Even when I write that 'The Valley' is the band's best album yet, it still feels like a huge understatement - like I'm not giving the album enough credit. Just believe this: 'The Valley' is an album that will stick with you." -- AbsolutePunk

"Eisley comes off as more orchestrated, more mature, and more inspiring than ever.... Sherri and Stacy DuPree have ridiculously clear, angelic voices that even sound pretty when they're fuming.... This album presents proof that music can help get anyone through anything." -- Creative Loafing Tampa

"You'd have to be a hardhearted bastard not to feel the romance in the love-besotted harmonies of singers Stacy and Sherri DuPree.... There's such a palpable sadness to the DuPree sisters' vocals, they could make a rainbow of kittens sound brutal." -- Boston Phoenix

"A collection of emotive, soaring tracks that veer towards Death Cab for Cutie and Laura Veirs with their anthemic, vocal focus." -- Metromix

"It's rather easy to find someone who can belt a note or carry a tune, but when you find a creative set of minds that can form the blossoming musical bouquet as these five have, you really have something special." -- Bring On Mixed Reviews

Tonight (Tuesday, March 1)
Good Records
1808 Lower Greenville Ave.
Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 752-4663 p.m. - free - all ages

EISLEY at SXSW 2011:
March 16: Paste magazine party @ 508 E 6th St, 7 p.m.
March 16: SXSW showcase @ Barbarella Patio, 611 Red River St, 11 p.m.
March 17: Equal Vision Records party @ Dirty Dog Bar, 505 E 6th St, 4 p.m.
March 18: PureVolume House, 504 Trinity St, 4 p.m.

INXS Listening Party on AOL Music

INXS' 'Original Sin' is streaming on AOL Music's Listening Party now through March 7

Original Sin, the new album from INXS, is streaming now through March 7, 2011 on AOL Music.

Los Angeles, CA - February 28, 2011 - Original Sin, the new album from INXS, is featured this week on AOL Music's Listening Party . The entire album, streaming all week (February 28 - March 7, 2011), features new recordings of the band's signature hits chosen by and re-imagined with some of the world's finest musicians including Ben Harper, Rob Thomas, Pat Monahan, Tricky, Nikka Costa and more. Listen now at AOL Music.

The digital album version of Original Sin is currently available for purchase exclusively on with pre-orders being taken now for the CD version slated for release on April 5, 2011.

An ambitious project two years in the making, Original Sin teams the band with musicians from around the globe, from superstars like Ben Harper, Train's Pat Monahan, Rob Thomas, and Nikka Costa to up and comer DJ Yaleidys of Cuba, to reinterpret and revitalize their own classics for a whole new generation. An eclectic mix of music including Thomas and Yaleidys' sultry take on "Original Sin" and trip-hop superstar Tricky's electrifying version of "Mediate" to Pat Monahans' emotional "Beautiful Girl" and French pop artist Loane's take on "Mystify" with John Mayer & Kirk Pengilly on guitar, INXS boldly embrace their past and future on one album.

One of the most notable and successful rock bands of all time, INXS has sold over 35 million albums worldwide with the group's music remaining in constant radio rotation and in DJ sets nightly across the globe. To this day, the group's multi-platinum landmark albums Listen Like Thieves, Kick, and X are all widely regarded as music collection staples. Huge chart-topping hit singles including "What You Need," "Need You Tonight," "Devil Inside," "Never Tear Us Apart," "New Sensation" and "Suicide Blonde" have been featured in numerous films, advertising campaigns and video games, earning the band countless accolades and awards around the world, including several Grammy nominations, and is the driving force behind selling over 15 million albums in the U.S. alone. With a career spanning three decades, first as the Farriss Brothers, then as INXS, brothers Tim, Jon, and Andrew Farriss, along with Kirk Pengilly and Garry Gary Beers have created some of the most enduring music in rock.

Listen to the entire Original Sin album on AOL Music: - /5

For more information, please visit the official INXS website: