New albums from Scottish rockers Simple Minds, Aussie singer-guitar great Orianthi and New York power pop hero Richard X. Heyman along with a timely reissue from singer-songwriter Chris Berardo are featured in my column this week.
Sunday, October 30, 2022
Saturday, October 29, 2022
REVIEW: The first ever Mystery Science Theater 3000 Halloween special The Mask 3D provides plenty of laughter to go along with the thrills and chills.
Review by Robert Kinsler
Looking to get an early jump on Halloween? I fully recommend the newly-released The Mask 3D, the first ever Halloween special from Mystery Science Theater 3000. Indeed the 1961 Canadian surrealist horror flick directed by Julian Roffman is given the deluxe treatment as Jonah Heston (Jonah Ray) and the bots skewer the film via witty dialogue and song throughout from the comfy confines of the Satellite of Love.
This writer had never heard of The Mask before its inclusion as the centerpiece of this special but the film itself must have been shocking for audiences six decades ago with its unsettling story about a psychiatrist, Dr. Allen Barnes (Paul Stevens), who obtains a mysterious ancient tribal mask and enters a dark dreamscape when he puts on the mask. He increasingly becomes drawn to the power of the mask and becomes more violent. The premiere of The Mask 3D on Oct. 28, 2022 marked the 61st anniversary of the film's original theatrical release.
The monstrous and spooky events in the film ultimately take a back seat to the sharp wit, satire and comedic skits of the MST3K cast. Indeed, it takes a MST3K special to somehow bring together references ranging from Game of Thrones, Superman II, Lord of the Rings and the B-52's to Night of the Living Dead, The Beatles, conservative talk radio, Morrissey, Pee-wee's Big Adventure and Talking Heads.
To watch The Mask 3D, head to the Gizmoplex – MST3K's indie streaming platform and the only place to see new episodes of MST3K. The Gizmoplex features all of the season 13 episodes and shorts that have premiered so far, along with brand-new MST3K content available in special livestream events every two weeks. Tickets to livestream events are $8, and new episodes can be rented for $5 – including the new Halloween Special, which is available now.
Friday, October 28, 2022
Sadly, Jerry Lee Lewis passed away today at the age of 87. TJR and yours truly pay tribute to "The Killer" in a new episode available HERE.
Below is my March 3, 2000 review of Jerry Lee Lewis' March 1, 2000 concert at the Galaxy Concert Theatre in Santa Ana originally published in the Orange County Register. A special "Thank You" to Kelly A. Swift for her photo taken at the concert...Robert Kinsler
|Jerry Lee Lewis performing at the Galaxy Concert|
Theatre in Santa Ana on March 1, 2000.
Photo: Kelly A. Swift
JERRY LEE LEWIS, HELLBOUND HAYRIDE
Where: Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana
When: Wednesday night, March 1, 2000
REVIEW: Legendary pianist's spirited Galaxy performance is a lesson in Rock History 101.
By ROBERT KINSLER
Special to the Register
Although rock music is somewhere under age 50, its pioneers are mostly gone. The voices of Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, Eddie Cochran and Roy Orbison live on only through the magic of recordings. However, one of rock's true survivors proved to be alive and well in an hour-long performance at the Galaxy Concert Theatre in Santa Ana on Wednesday night. Jerry Lee Lewis may walk — and talk — like a senior citizen being satirized, but get him behind a grand piano and he is transported back in time to the birth of rock 'n' roll.
Such was the case throughout his 16-song set before a capacity crowd at the Galaxy, where — backed by a solid three-man band — the so-called "Killer" displayed plenty of fire.
Although Lewis didn't perform standing up, climb all over his instrument like he has for much of his career, the music-making itself provided plenty of opportunities to celebrate his living legacy.
The Louisiana native launched things with a roaring version of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven," his vocals confident and fingers nimble as he fired off the boogie-woogie style that has been imitated by countless blues and rock players since the mid-1950s.
There was a slow and sparse rendering of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," a runaway take on the classic "Sweet Little Sixteen" and his own classic "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On."
And "Great Balls of Fire" remains an exuberant celebration of youth, even in the dancing hands of the 64-year-old Lewis.
Opening act Hellhound Hayride came to the stage armed with a heavy brew of rockabilly and blues. The quartet may never be able to escape completely out of te shadow of te '50s artists who developed early rock, but like te Reverend Horton Heat, an energetic dose of punk thrown in with roots-rock structures can go a long way in able hands.
The bluesy "Sad Romance" and blistering "Hot Rod Soul" (dedicated to Social Distortion guitarist Dennis Danell, who died this week) were standouts.
Jerry Lee Lewis, legendary singer-songwriter/pianist and Country Music Hall of Fame member, passes away at 87
|Jerry Lee Lewis at the 2022 Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee |
announcement press conference on May 17, 2022 at the Country Music Hall of Fame®
and Museum in downtown Nashville. Photo credit: John Russell/CMA
JERRY LEE LEWIS, LEGENDARY ENTERTAINER, MUSICIAN AND COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME MEMBER, PASSES AWAY AT 87
Throughout his extraordinary career, Lewis, also known as “The Killer” for the way he knocked out his audiences, mastered a unique, piano-driven sound all his own. He placed 28 Top 10 Billboard Country singles across four decades, including hits, “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On,” both of which have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Lewis was also the first person inducted into the first class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. The Recording Academy honored Lewis with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 and earlier this month, he was formally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
“One of my most vivid memories of Jerry Lee was in 1997, when he was a guest on “Monday Night Concerts” at the Ryman. Ricky Skaggs and Brian Setzer joined Jerry Lee for a set that started with the classic “Great Balls of Fire” and ended with a stirring rendition of “The Old Rugged Cross.” A true force of nature, it was amazing to be able to witness Jerry perform in person that night. As one of the most talented musicians and entertainers of our time, it warms my heart to know that he got the chance to accept his rightful place in the hallowed hall as a member of the newest class of Country Music Hall of Fame inductees just a few weeks ago. My deepest condolences go out to Jerry Lee’s family and friends during this time.” –Sarah Trahern, Country Music Association CEO.
Thursday, October 27, 2022
BARE THEIR SOUL….
~NEW CD & LP OUT NOVEMBER 4, 2022~
Monday, October 24, 2022
Title: Ed Sullivan's Rock & Roll Classics (Time Life)
You might like if you enjoy: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Four Tops, The Animals, Fats Domino, Janis Joplin, classic rock and soul music
Tell me more: Watching the enthralling 10-disc collector's set of Ed Sullivan's Rock & Roll Classics is to be immersed in the groundbreaking sounds of a wide-ranging lineup of groundbreaking artists who made their collective mark on the charts in the 1950s, '60s and early '70s. The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Bee Gees, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, The Jackson 5, The Rolling Stones, Fats Domino, The Supremes, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Stevie Wonder and Creedence Clearwater Revival are among the many notables who are seen via 128 live and uncut performances on the stellar collection.
Long celebrated for his uncanny ability to recognize up-and-coming music greats, Sullivan brought icons including Presley, Holly, The Beatles, Bee Gees, The Supremes and The Rolling Stones to his Sunday Night prime-time variety show early in their careers. This deluxe collection (which retails for $119.96) allows modern-day audiences to fully appreciate The Ed Sullivan Show's unique role in history as a showcase for several generations of popular music legends. Among this writer's favorite performances on the 10-disc set are The Four Tops' medley of 1965 hits ("It's the Same Old Song/Something About You/I Can't Help Myself"), The Lovin' Spoonful's "Do You Believe in Magic," The Animals' rocking "Don't Bring Me Down," The Rolling Stones' rousing "Paint It, Black," and Holly's "Peggy Sue" and "That'll Be the Day," as well as the thrilling turns from Presley, The Band, The Byrds and The Beatles. Throughout the years, the studio sets and production values of the performances grew more ambitious as evidenced by the cosmic-styled medley of The 5th Dimension's "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" filmed in May 1969, and the Ike and Tina Turner Revue's explosive version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival hit "Proud Mary" in January 1970.
In addition to the performances, there are bonus interviews and brief newsreel-aided segments that shed light on the cultural and historic highlights of the times in which these performances were captured. A 36-page "Collector's Book" that features liner notes, trivia and wonderful photos enhances the title.
The best of popular music from the 1950s, '60s and early '70s is truly captured across Ed Sullivan's Rock & Roll Classics.
Thursday, October 20, 2022
Today (October 20, 2022) marks the 45th anniversary of the tragic plane crash that took the lives of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, along with backup singer Cassie Gaines (Steve's older sister). A number of other members of the famed group suffered serious injuries in the crash. Below is my review of the most recent time I caught the enduring Rock and Roll Hall of Famers in concert...Robert Kinsler
Review by Robert Kinsler
Photos by Bob Steshetz
|Rickey Medlocke, left, with Damon |
Johnson on May 13, 2022.
Who: Lynyrd Skynyrd
Where: Los Angeles County Fair
When: Friday, May 13, 2022
Next: Visit www.lynyrdskynyrd.com
Music historians — as well as the rock and roll faithful — know better than to ever count Lynyrd Skynyrd out. Indeed a tragic plan crash on Oct. 20, 1977 that took the lives of three band members including singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines marked the beginning of a series of tragic turns that have seen the passing of guitarist Allen Collins, keyboardist Billy Powell, bassist Leon Wilkeson, drummer Bob Burns, backing vocalist JoJo Billingsley and guitarist Hughie Thomasson.
The latest challenge for the enduring Southern rock troupe included founding guitarist Gary Rossington undergoing emergency heart surgery in July 2021.
|Johnny Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd.|
Fast forward to Friday the 13th (May 13, 2022) and the band was headlining before a capacity crowd at the Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona, CA. Although not able to run about, Johnny Van Zant — who noted he underwent knee surgery a month ago — was on his feet during most of the set and sounded great.
Early in the set Van Zant said of Rossington: "He is still on the mend and getting better." The singer also noted that Rossington had told his band mates to go to California and "I'll be there in spirit."
|Peter Keys of Lynyrd Skynyrd.|
Delivering more than 90 minutes of Skynyrd favorites, this kickoff of the "Big Wheels Keep On Turning' World Tour" (continuing through the end of September) found Southern rock's most enduring Rock and Roll Hall of Famers celebrating their survival and legacy with a set that inspired throughout. Touring guitarist Damon Johnson (Alice Cooper, Thin Lizzy) did an excellent job filling in for the recovering Rossington, ably trading lead and slide guitar work with long-time members Rickey Medlocke and Mark Matejka.
|From left, guitarists Mark Matejka, Rickey Medlocke, Damon Johnson |
and bassist Keith Christopher. Also seen are backing vocalists Carol Chase and
Early highlights of the concert included the rootsy blues rocker "Whiskey Rock-A-Roller" bolstered by backing gospel vocals, a rousing "That Smell" featuring all three of the guitar greats in action, and an affecting acoustic medley of "Mississippi Kid" and "Red White & Blue."
|From left, Mark Matejka, Rickey Medlocke, Johnny Van Zant, Michael Cartellone and |
Damon Johnson during their mini-acoustic set at the Los Angeles County Fair.
The momentum built as the band performed their biggest hits, ending the night with the audience on their feet for bona fide greats like the powerful "Simple Man" (featuring some of Van Zant's greatest vocals of the night), along with the rollicking "Gimme Three Steps," a cover of JJ Cale's "Call Me the Breeze," rocking "Sweet Home Alabama" and marathon 12-minute run through "Free Bird" from its piano-anchored sing-along early section through the mighty guitars-on-steroids finale.
Lynyrd Skynyrd Concert Setlist for Friday, May 13, 2022
|Guitarist Mark Matejka on May 13, 2022.|
1. Workin' for MCA
2. You Got That Right
3. Double Trouble
4. Whiskey Rock-A-Roller
5. That Smell
6. Cry for the Bad Man
7. Saturday Night Special
8. What's Your Name
9. Tuesday's Gone
10. Mississippi Kid
|Drummer Michael Cartellone behind the kit.|
11. Red White & Blue
12. Simple Man
13. Gimme Three Steps
14. Call Me the Breeze
15. Sweet Home Alabama
16. Free Bird
Monday, October 17, 2022
The Cult, Librarians With Hickeys, Billy Idol and Mountain City Four are back with essential new releases.
Saturday, October 15, 2022
While I was on a hiking trip in Utah this week there was a number of major music news headlines. Here is a recap of some of the biggest announcements...Robert Kinsler
Neil Young's 'Harvest' to be reissued as a 50th anniversary edition on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022 via Reprise Records
Neil Young's best known album, 1972's Harvest, will be reissued in a 40th anniversary edition on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022 via Reprise Records. Harvest was Young's third solo album and reached number 1 in many nations; the enduring album features the hit single "Heart of Gold" as well as classics including "Old Man," "The Needle and the Damage Done" and "Alabama." Among the artists who contributed to the proceedings on Harvest were Linda Ronstadt, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, James Taylor and David Crosby.
The 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Box sets will be released on vinyl and audio CD. The box sets include the original album released in February 1972, three outtakes from the Harvest sessions, two DVDs and a hard bound book tat includes 40 photographs (as well as liner notes by Joel Bernstein).
Both the vinyl box set and the CD format will include Young's oft-bootlegged Feb. 23, 1971 BBC In Concert performance (a version of "Heart of Gold" from that show is out now, and the previously-unreleased two-hour documentary Harvest Time. Watch the video performance of "Heart of Gold" HERE.
Queen's 'The Miracle Collector's Edition' to be released on Nov. 18, 2022. Listen to the rediscovered gem "Face It Alone" featuring the late Freddie Mercury
On Nov. 18, 2022, Queen will release The Miracle Collector's Edition, revisiting the band's 13th studio album The Miracle (originally released in May 1989).
In retrospect, the world is fortunate that the aptly-titled album was recorded. Indeed, after playing their biggest concert ever on Aug. 9, 1986, Queen took a hiatus from each other. The four members only reunited three years later to record The Miracle.
The recording of the album also played out around the same time as Mercury's positive HIV diagnosis being shared with the other band members (but not yet with the public).
The Miracle Collector's Edition will include a remastered LP version of the original album, along with a slew of bonus material including “original takes, demos and rough cuts, and six previously unreleased tracks – plus intimate fly-on-the-wall audio of the band at work in the studio.”
Get more details on the upcoming release via Queen's official website.
Bruce Springsteen releases video for advance track 'Nightshift' from forthcoming album 'Only The Strong Survive' coming Nov. 11, 2022
Check out the latest official music video from Bruce Springsteen; the song "Nightshift" will be featured on his forthcoming album Only The Strong Survive due on Nov. 11, 2022.
Watch the video HERE.