Friday, June 16, 2017

New Music: Styx, Matthew Sweet, Cheap Trick

Happy Friday everybody. Here is an overview of three highly-anticipated albums available today...


Friday, June 16 – Ladies and gentlemen, we have liftoff.
STYX’s highly anticipated and critically acclaimed 16th studio album, THE MISSION, has officially launched into the sonic atmosphere around the world on the band’s label, Alpha Dog 2T/UMe.
The first single, “Gone Gone Gone,” quickly rocketed up Mediabase’s “Classic Rock” charts. A video can be seen here.
Various interview video clips with singer/guitarist Tommy Shaw and producer Will Evankovich have premiered all week leading up to today’s official release on and
THE MISSION--which was recorded over a two-year period at Blackbird Studios, The Shop, and 6 Studio Amontillado in Nashville--displays the best aspects of the ongoing in-harmony musical intersection of the six-man STYX team: the aforementioned guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw, co-founding guitarist/vocalist James “JY” Young, keyboardist/vocalist Lawrence Gowan, original bassist Chuck Panozzo, drummer/percussionist Todd Sucherman, and bassist Ricky Phillips.
The new music was created to reflect the viewpoint of the six-person crew enlisted for the maiden voyage of Khedive, the first entry in a new fleet of nuclear-powered interplanetary spacecraft underwritten by the Global Space Exploration Program (or GSEP, for short). The Khediveteam consists of The Pilot, a fully hands-on, seat-of-the-pants born leader; a First Officer who serves as the team’s big-brother figure; an Engineer who is skeptical of every phase of the mission but remains confident in his own abilities to make the best of any technical situation; and a Top-Shelf Trio of science, astrophysics, and survivalist experts.
THE MISSION has been racking up many early rave reviews:
THE MISSION is right up there with the very best of Styx, a remarkable achievement considering it’s 45 years since they signed their first recording contract. No wonder guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw describes it as the band’s ‘boldest, most emblematic album since [1978’s] PIECES OF EIGHT.’” -- Classic Rock
“The concept album is an adventurous, 43-minute thrill ride chronicling the trials, tribulations and ultimate triumphs of the first manned mission to Mars in 2033. From the hopeful drive and classic STYX sound on tracks like ‘Gone Gone Gone’ and ‘Hundred Million Miles’ to the stargazing machinations of ‘Locomotive’ and the elegiac optimism of the closing track, ’Mission to Mars,’ THE MISSION succeeds in delivering the good from a band that continues to fire on all cylinders more than 45 years after signing their first recording contract.” Guitar World
“The entire band is firing on all cylinders...There is a theme and flow here that is edgy yet comfortable, astral yet grounded...The band gives us so many places to live, and we can call each of them home. It may be too early to call it a masterpiece, but I can safely say that Styx has released one of the best albums in their catalog, and that’s saying a whole lot.” --
“With THE MISSION, Styx have taken a trip back in time to when they flirted with progressive rock and created some of the most adventurous music on FM radio...what the band have done here is make a quintessential Styx record.  From beginning to end, the album runs like a brilliant movie with great epic moments and captivating urgency...Good to see the band back and let’s hope this is just the beginning.”
“...shining brightest among the set – a pair of perfect gems. “Radio Silence” is cut from the same stylistic fabric as their 1976 FM staple, ‘Crystal Ball’ – an engaging, arena-worthy earworm, indeed. But wait, that track has an even sexier big sister – seemingly sprinkled with aural cocaine, ‘Locomotive’ proves simply irresistible. Driven by Shaw’s honest and pure vocals and accented by a splash of ‘Have a Cigar’-inspired guitar swagger, ‘Locomotive’ is not only the pick of this particular 14-pup litter, it’s one of the band’s absolute ALL-TIME best....THE MISSION still stands tall as a powerful collection of rock solid songs. Hence, when band members tout the record in the press as being their best work since PIECES OF EIGHT, you can believe the hype.” --
In touring news, STYX is teaming up with REO SPEEDWAGON and very special guest star DON FELDER—formerly of the Eagles—for the “United We Rock” U.S. summer tour, which kicks off in Ridgefield, WA on June 20. Produced by Live Nation, tickets for various cities are on sale now. A video trailer can be seen here.
Check out STYX at any of the following tour stops:
DATE               CITY                             VENUE                                     CLOSER
“United We Rock” tour:
Tue 6/20            Ridgefield, WA              Sunlight Supply Amphitheatre    REO Speedwagon
Wed 6/21          Auburn, WA                  White River Amphitheatre           STYX
Fri 6/23             Concord, CA                 Concord Pavilion                       STYX
Sat 6/24            Los Angeles, CA           Greek Theatre                            REO Speedwagon
Sun 6/25           Paso Robles, CA          Vina Robles Amphitheatre          REO Speedwagon
Tue 6/27            Salt Lake City, UT          USANA Amphitheatre                REO Speedwagon
Thu 6/29            Denver, CO                   Pepsi Center                             STYX
Sat 7/1              Tinley Park, IL               Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre STYX
Sun 7/2             Maryland Heights, MO   Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre REO Speedwagon
Tue 7/18            Tampa, FL                    MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amp.REO Speedwagon
Wed 7/19          West Palm Beach, FL    Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre      STYX
Sat 7/20            Jacksonville, FL                        Daily’s Place                             STYX
Sat 7/22            Nashville, TN                 Ascend Amphitheatre                STYX
Sun 7/23           Alpharetta, GA              Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre   STYX
Tue 7/25            Detroit, MI                     DTE Energy Music Theatre         REO Speedwagon
Thu 7/27            Indianapolis, IN             Klipsch Music Center                 STYX
Sat 7/29            Houston, TX                  Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion            REO Speedwagon
Sun 7/30           Dallas, TX                     Starplex Pavilion                       STYX
Mon 7/31          Cedar Park, TX              H-E-B Center                             REO Speedwagon
Fri 8/11             Bethel, NY                    Bethel Woods Ctr. for the Arts   REO Speedwagon
Sat 8/12            Atlantic City, NJ                        Borgata Event Center                STYX
Sun 8/13           Bristow, VA                   Jiffy Lube Live                          REO Speedwagon
Tue 8/15            Gilford, NH                   Bank of NH Pavilion                  STYX
Wed 8/16          Wantagh, NY                 Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater STYX
* Fri 8/18           Niagara Falls, NY          Seneca Niagara Events Center   STYX/REO Speedwagon only
Sat 8/19            Syracuse, NY                Lakeview Amphitheatre              REO Speedwagon
Sun 8/20           Bangor, ME                  Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion      REO Speedwagon
Tue 8/22            Holmdel, NJ                  PNC Bank Arts Center               STYX
Headlining tour:
Thu 8/24            Trois-Riviers, QUE.        Trois-Pivieres en Blues
Fri 8/25             Pointe-Clare, QUE.        Fairview Shopping Centre
Sat 8/26            St. Joseph de Beauce, QUE.     Accelleration de Camion de St.Joseph
Sun 8/27           Chicoutimi, QUE.           Le Centre Georges - Vezina
Sat 9/9              Hinckley, MN                 Grand Casino Hinckley Amphitheatre
Sun 9/10           Mankato, MN                Vetter Stone Amphitheatre
Fri 9/15             Rancho Mirage, CA       Agua Caliente Casino
Sun 9/17           Jackson, CA                 Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort
Sat 11/11          Wisconsin Dells, WI       Crystal Grand Music Theatre
Tue 11/14          Lima, OH                      Veterans Memorial Civic Center
Wed 11/15        Kalamazoo, MI              State Theatre

Power pop icon Matthew Sweet returns with "Tomorrow Forever" 

A 17-track CD/double LP out today on his new Honeycomb Hideout 
label distributed through Sony/RED

Omaha, NE: Matthew Sweet returns after a six-year hiatus to release Tomorrow Forever, "another of Sweet's power pop leaning gems" (Billboard). The expansive 17-song work, available in CD, double 180-gram-vinyl LP and digital configurations, is available via Sweet's newly launched Honeycomb Hideout label through Sony's RED Distribution. Sweet and his band will be touring through the fall (scroll down for dates). 

The album is an introspective collection inspired by Matthew's move to his native Omaha and the tragic loss of his mother. From that loss, Matthew overcame writer's block with a burst of creative spirit, recording in his newly built full production home studio, Black Squirrel Submarine. Exploring psychedelia, garage rock and 60s-influenced pop, Tomorrow Forever finds Sweet at the top of his game, while still pushing these familiar elements into previously unexplored territory, reflecting the profound changes in his life over the past six years. 

Though Matthew plays and sings on every track, he's joined by a talented group of guest artists including guitarists Jason Victor (Steve Wynn & the Miracle 3, Dream Syndicate), Val McCallum (Jackson Browne), John Moremen (The Orange Peels) and Gary Louris (The Jayhawks). His longtime rhythm section of Paul Chastain (Velvet Crush) and Ric Menck (Chastain's partner in Velvet Crush) are joined by the Bangles' Debbi Peterson and there's a keyboard cameo from The Zombies' Rod Argent.

When an uncommonly gifted artist trusts and follows the lead of his intuition, the results can be magical. In terms of its musical density, thematic depth, emotional immediacy and sheer scale, Tomorrow Forever could be described as Matthew Sweet's All Things Must Pass. That wasn't the plan -- there was no plan. The music just turned out that way.
"Right after we moved here," says Matthew, "I was promising myself that I was going to make a really heartfelt record."
Mission accomplished.

Praise for Tomorrow Forever:

"Matthew Sweet... has been responsible for a ridiculous number of great songs over the years"

"The chiming chords of "Circles" and sturdy hooks of "Finally" resurrect the joyful appeal of Sweet's golden age."

"sinfully catchy, ornate rock 'n' roll with a '60s bent"  
-- SALON.COM "The Hottest New Albums Dropping this Summer"

"'Tricky' bursts out with the same power pop crunch riffs, instantly memorable melody and eternally boyish vocals he patented on his 1991 classic Girlfriend." 

Available Now:

Track Listing



SA 7/08  Omaha NE - The Waiting Room
SU 7/09  Omaha NE - The Waiting Room
TU 7/11  Minneapolis, MN - Turf Club
WE 7/12  Des Moines, IA - Wooly's
TH 7/13  Chicago, IL - City Winery  
FR 7/14  Chicago, IL - City Winery
SA 7/15  Springfield, IL - Bedrock 66 Music Fest
SU 7/16  St. Louis, MO - Blueberry Hill Duck Room
TU 7/18  Kansas City, MO - Knuckleheads
TH 7/20  Dallas, TX - Kessler Theater
FR 7/21  Austin, TX - 3TEN Austin City Limits Live
SA 7/22  Austin, TX - 3TEN Austin City Limits Live
SU 7/23  Houston TX - Heights Theatre
TU 7/25  Jackson MS - Duling Hall
WE 7/26  Atlanta, GA - City Winery
TH 7/27  Atlanta, GA - City Winery
FR 7/28  Nashville, TN - City Winery
SA 7/29  Louisville KY - Headliners 
TU 8/15 - Los Angeles, CA @ Echo
WE 8/16 - San Diego, CA @ Casbah
FR 8/18 - San Francisco, CA @ Independent
SU 8/20 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
MO 8/21 - Seattle, WA @ Triple Door
TH 9/07  Alexandria, VA - Birchmere
FR 9/08  Annapolis, MD - Rams Head On Stage
SU 9/10 - New York, NY @ City Winery
WE 9/13  Northampton, MA - Iron Horse Music Hall
TH 9/14  Derry, NH - Tupelo Music Hall
FR 9/15  Brownfield, ME - Stone Mountain
SA 9/16  Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
SU 9/17  Norfolk, CT - Infinity Hall
MO 9/19  Fall River, MA - Narrows Center for the Arts
WE 9/20  Hudson, NY - Club Helsinki
TH 9/21  Wilmington, DE - The Queen
FR 9/22  Tarrytown, NY - Tarrytown Music Hall
SA 9/23  Port Washington, NY - Landmark on Main Street
SU 9/24  South Orange, NJ - SOPAC


"The new Cheap Trick album may be their best in 35 years."
-Associated Press

"Few acts inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as Cheap Trick deservedly was in 2016, are cranking out music as fresh, honest, energized and explosive as these guys have released in the past two years. And if this recent burst in activity keeps going,
they will be the poster boys for how ageing rock and rollers
can stay relevant without selling out or trying to be hip."
-American Songwriter ( 
4 out 5 stars)


Cheap Trick's new album, WE'RE ALL ALRIGHT! arrives everywhere today via Big Machine Records.

Cheap Trick's 18th studio album, WE'RE ALL ALRIGHT! was co-produced by the band and their longtime collaborator, GRAMMY® Award winner Julian Raymond (Glen Campbell, Fastball). The album will be available in Standard and Deluxe Editions, with the latter including three additional bonus tracks, among them a kaleidoscopic cover of The Move's "Blackberry Way."
The Rock & Roll Hall of Famers - whose four decade-plus career has seen them play more than 5,000 shows and counting - will celebrate WE'RE ALL ALRIGHT! with a worldwide tour. The dates - presented by Live Nation and also featuring Foreigner and Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience - begin July 11th at Syracuse, NY's Lakeview Amphitheater and then continue into September. Additional dates and support will be announced soon. For complete details and ticket availability, please visit
In addition, Cheap Trick have set a number of U.S. festival performances as well as a European tour slated to get underway June 23rd with a much anticipated set at Spain's Azkena Rock Festival. The trek will be highlighted by a trio of U.K. headline shows set for London's O2 Kentish Town Forum (June 27th), Manchester's Academy (June 28th), and Bristol's O2 Academy (June 29th).
Cheap Trick are an indisputable American institution, beloved around the globe since 1974 for their instantly identifiable, hugely influential, brand of pop rock 'n' roll. The band - Robin Zander (vocals, rhythm guitar), Rick Nielsen (lead guitar), Tom Petersson (bass guitar), and Daxx Nielsen (drums) - are true pioneers with an unparalleled streak of certifiably classic tunes, from "He's A Whore," "California Man" and "Dream Police" to "Surrender," "I Want You To Want Me" and the worldwide #1 hit single, "The Flame."
2016 saw Cheap Trick's long awaited induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The induction honored both the band and the pioneering sound that has earned them total record sales well in excess of 20 million featured appearances and more than 40 international gold and platinum certifications. Cheap Trick closed the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony with an show-stealing performance of "Surrender," "Dream Police," and "I Want You To Want Me," prompting Rolling Stone to rave, "Their smoking three-song set (was) played to perfection, with Zander hitting all the notes he hit at Budokan back in 1978." Members of the evening's other top inductees - including longtime friend Steve Miller - then joined the band for a memorable all-star jam on Fats Domino's "Ain't That A Shame" - a song famously featured on the immortal CHEAP TRICK AT BUDOKAN
BANG ZOOM CRAZY...HELLO made a spectacular chart entry following its release on April 1st, 2016 - officially designated "Cheap Trick Day" in their beloved hometown of Rockford, IL. The collection arrived at #3 on Billboard's "Top Rock Albums" chart while also entering the overall SoundScan/Billboard 200 at #30. "When I Wake Up Tomorrow," the album's powerful first single/video, also proved a multi-format smash, spending more than 15 consecutive days at the top of the Classic Rock airplay chart. As if that weren't enough, Cheap Trick ruled the Classic Rock chart in the weeks preceding BANG ZOOM CRAZY...HELLO with a stunning 11 tracks in the format's top 15, including material recorded at a special iHeartRadio ICONS concert in New York City.
BANG ZOOM CRAZY...HELLO was also among 2016's best-reviewed releases. Kerrang! noted how Cheap Trick's "ability to write sugar-coated riffs that stick in your head as though made of golden syrup has not diminished" while Classic Rock's Paul Lester applauded "the consistency and urgency of this, their 17th studio record." "The album "swings at the kind of big-riff, mutant-guitar rock and near-falsetto, multi-layered vocal melodies that have long been a part of the band's 40-year repertoire," raved The AV Club as Ultimate Classic Rock noted, "Really, they haven't sounded this strong in years." "A guns-blazing reinforcement of classic tropes," declared MOJO with Uncut praising the album as "the band's most consistently thrilling long-player since the Carter administration." "A rugged, uncompromising platter that will satisfy existing fans and might find new ones to add to their cultish following," exclaimed American Songwriter, further praising the album's 11 "swaggering selections, any one of which could have come off albums recorded decades ago in their prime... BANG ZOOM CRAZY...HELLO is everything anyone would want from the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers at this late stage, and likely far more than even their staunchest fans expected. Here's to another 40 years."

(Big Machine)
Release Date: Friday, June 16th
1. You Got It Going On 
2. Long Time Coming 
3. Nowhere 
4. Radio Lover 
5. Lolita 
6. Brand New Name On An Old Tattoo 
7. Floating Down 
8. She's Alright 
9. Listen To Me 
10. The Rest Of My Life 
11. Blackberry Way 
12. Like A Fly
13. If You Still Want My Love
Produced by Julian Raymond and Cheap Trick
Executive Producer: Scott Borchetta
# # #
ON TOUR 2017

23                  Vitoria-Gasteiz, ES                  Azkena Rock Festival
25                  Hinwil, SW                  Rock The Ring Hinwil
27                  London, ENG                  O2 Kentish Town Forum
28                  Manchester, ENG                  Academy
29                  Bristol, ENG                  O2 Academy
07                  Peoria, IL                  Peoria Riverfront
11                  Syracuse, NY                  Lakeview Amphitheater
13                  Camden, NJ                  BB&T Pavilion
14                  Bethel, NY                  Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
15                  Hershey, PA                  Giant Center
17                  Boston, MA                  Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
18                  Saratoga Springs, NY                  Saratoga Performing Arts Center
20                  Wantagh, NY                  Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
21                  Darien Center, NY                  Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
22                  Holmdel, NJ                  PNC Bank Arts Center
25                  Bristow, VA                  Jiffy Lube Live
26                  Virginia Beach, VA                  Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach
28                  Nashville, TN                  Ascend Amphitheater
30                  Pelham, AL                  Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
01                  West Palm Beach, FL                  Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre
02                  Tampa, FL                  MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
05                  Charlotte, NC                  PNC Music Pavilion
06                  Raleigh, NC                  Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek Amphitheater
08                  Cincinnati, OH                  Riverbend Music Center
09                  Chicago, IL                  Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
11                  Clarkston, MI                  DTE Energy Music Theatre
12                  Burgettstown, PA                  KeyBank Pavilion
13                  Noblesville, IN                  Klipsch Music Center
15                  Kansas City, MO                  Starlight Theatre
16                  Maryland Heights, MO                  Hollywood Casino Amphitheater - St. Louis
19                  Woodlands, TX                  Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
20                  Austin, TX                  austin360 Amphitheater
23                  Albuquerque, NM                  Isleta Amphitheater *
24                  Phoenix, AZ                  Ak-Chin Pavilion *
26                  West Valley City, UT                  USANA Amphitheatre *
29                  Chula Vista, CA                  Sleep Train Amphitheatre *
30                  Los Angeles, CA                  Greek Theatre *
01                  Marysville, CA                  Toyota Amphitheater *
02                  Mountain View, CA                  Shoreline Amphitheatre *
04                  Morrison, CO                  Red Rocks Amphitheatre *
08                  Ridgefield, WA                  Sunlight Supply Amphitheater *
09                  Auburn, WA                  White River Amphitheatre *
* Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience not appearing on this date

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