The 1982 US Festival on DVD/Blu-ray

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From Clint Weiler/MVD.

Taking us back to the years of Stranger Things. . . this looks wonderful.  From Clint Weiler, MVD Media:

The Us Festival: 1982 The Us Generation
The authorized story of the 1982 Us Festival with remastered live performances from
The Police, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Santana, The Cars, The B-52s, and more
Coming to Blu-ray / DVD on August 10th
The Us Generation: The Making Of the 1982 Us Festival is an in-depth look at one of the most influential music festivals of all time. The Us Generation is from award winning filmmaker and rockumentarian Glenn Aveni, who is also the film’s director. Co-Directed by Jay Cederholm and Produced by Bruce Gibb & Rich Schmig, the film blends rare concert footage and insightful interviews with both organizers and performers.
The film tells the story of the groundbreaking 1982 Us Festival–an epic three-day event featuring an eclectic and unprecedented lineup boasting some of the biggest names in music, performing live in front of over one million people at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, CA. The Us Festival was the brainchild of Apple visionary Steve Wozniak, who wanted to create something that was a true celebration of Americana, cultivating positive vibes and building a deep sense of community through the power of technology and music.
Highlights include performances by chart-topping superstars, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, alt-rock trio The Police, blues rock heroes Fleetwood Mac, guitar virtuoso Carlos Santana, retro-chic favorites The B-52s, and new wave icons The Cars; as well as archived appearances by Johnny & Joey Ramone, Carlos Santana, Sting, Ric Ocasek, Danny Elfman, and Fred Schneider; plus exclusive sit-downs with festival founder Steve Wozniak, Mick Fleetwood, Eddie Money, Marky Ramone, Kate Pierson, Stewart Copeland, and Mickey Hart, among others.
The film is produced by Icon Television Music, Inc., Plum Media, and in association with Us Festival original founders Unuson Corporation.

Black Stone Cherry (Mascot)

It was my ubercool English friend, Steve Dalton of the Black Vines, who originally introduced me to Black Stone Cherry–a band that makes me realize that rock is not only not dead, but it’s breathing like mad!  And, I’m quite partial to Mascot, too!

Exclusive ‘Kentucky’ CD+DVD with alternate cover
Available from the MLG US store!

We got a hold on the last few copies of the limited edition CD+DVD of Black Stone Cherry’s 2016 album “Kentucky”. This version, with an alternate rusty brown cover, was previously only available at Best Buy stores.

It can be yours for the incredible low price of $9.99 (plus shipping). We have BSC’s other Mascot Records albums in stock as well, so why not treat yourself to a truckload of Black Stone Cherry!

Kentucky (CD/DVD) – Alternate cover

$9.99

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Family Tree

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Black To Blues EP

Available on CD and vinyl

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Dany Laj and The Looks (Hilarious)

I don’t know these guys, but this email made me smile, and I had to repost.  I don’t smoke, but, unlike so many other Americans, I don’t think it’s the pestilential stink of the devil, either.

So, Dany Laj, glad to know you’re living life on your own terms.  Best to you.

Hey Brad,

I’m like Guy Lafleur – I do everything the hard way. And I smoke.
My band and I have spent the better part of the last six years bringing our high-energy, power-pop mayhem to crowds across the continent. Our brand new single, “Left Right To One,” found us branching out from the recording studios we’ve frequented in our homeland of Canada, and in Rockford, Illinois. Produced at Midwest Sound by Dan McMahon (Bun E. Carlos, Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts), and engineered by Jeremy Koester, “Left Right To One” gives a glimpse into the longstanding, rock ‘n roll partnership between bassist Jeanette Dowling and myself.

Continue reading “Dany Laj and The Looks (Hilarious)”

Dear “The Gift”: An Ode to Bruce Springsteen

by Stephen Klugewicz

Springsteen from TEAMROCK
Bruce Springsteen in the 1980s.  Photo borrowed from Teamrock.com.

Dear “The Gift”

An Ode to Bruce Springsteen

 

In a world of oaths forsaken,

In a time of prophets bought and sold,

To the faithful along the avenue

You offered a gift of the purest gold.

 

Politician declares, “So help me God,”

Priest proclaims, “Let no man put asunder.”

But your whispered sweet sounds,

Were a bond sealed with thunder.

 

At once a stranger and yet a friend,

At once young and always old,

Singing the silent song of our souls,

Like that between mute lovers in the cold.

 

Now years are dissolved into dust,

Into the wind, into the mist.

Meaning made deep by memory,

Like a lover long and tenderly kissed.

 

You might have gone forever home,

You might have instead quietly slept,

Leaving us alone, betrayed and broken.

But you proved the gift a promise kept.

You proved the gift a promise kept.

Review: Barry Weinberg – Samsarana

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Fresh from the warm South Florida, comes a prog rock veteran Barry Weinberg, with his debut album “Samsarana” dropping January 25th.

The fifteen-piece musical beast of a debut appears very much ready to stand next to plethora of amazing albums that the genre gave birth to over the years.

After short and atmospheric intro titled “Conception,” forward comes “Creation” leading off with a very Floydian feel and with a full sized chorus following all verses, it seems there may be an easy ride ahead for more cautious listeners. “Welcome to my World” is a laid-back stripped down acoustic piece with Weinberg’s voice over leading to “This Vicious Circle,” which sees Weinberg’s circling melody wash over the pebbles and steal away the shoreline behind, whereas “Come Out and Play” is a groovy and funny little piece.

“Beyond the Astral Sky” kicks in through a silent verse, attacking with a slightly alternative-flavoured chorus, and some sharp instrumentation, before the leviathan-sized hook belonging to “Taking it All” take things to a further level, with occasional hard rock sprinkle. We hear the same good work kept up through “Endless Sea” and “A Passage of Time,” the latter ringing the Genesis influence.

After another instrumental interlude “Perception,” “You Cannot Burn the Fire” comes as, arguably, the heaviest piece, incorporating heavy metal riffing and evil-flavoured singing. “Come My Way” brings in the folk element, while the following “The Way” comes with a steady pace, making for one of the highlights.

“Samsarana” is an absolutely accomplished piece of playing, writing and performance that should see the genre pushed out of its confines.

“Samsarana” is out on January 25th; pre-order it from Barry Weinberg’s official website.

An Angry Ted Nugent, 1977

I post the following not to start any kind of war against Nugent or any internet dog piling.  I did, however, find this absolutely fascinating.

As some of you know, I’m a professor by profession.  At the moment, I’m writing an intellectual biography of a very interesting sociologist, Robert A. Nisbet (1913-1996).  In my research, I came across this quote from Ted Nugent.  It was, by the way, next to a quote by Irving Kristol about Robert Nisbet.

If the punk rockers think they’re so punky with the pins in their face, I’ll show ’em my nine millimeter, put a couple of slugs in their chest and let’s see how punky they think that is.–Ted Nugent, quoted in THE REGISTER (November 17, 1977), F5.

I guess some things never really change.

Ghost Community: The Unceasing Brilliance of Matt Cohen

A review of Ghost Community, CYCLE OF LIFE (2016).

Tracks: Rise Up; Mirror Lakes; Anything and Everything; Blue December Morning; Ghost Community; and Cycle of Life

Ghost Community: Jake Bradford Sharp (drums); Matty Cohen (bass); Moray Macdonald (keyboards); Simon Rogers (guitars); and John Paul Vaughn (vocals).

ghost community
Ghost Community

Imagine if Styx hadn’t gone down the AOR and pop road in the second half of the 1970s, but instead had remained deeply embedded in the prog tradition of the early part of that decade.

Imagine, for just a glorious moment, that we remembered Styx not for KILROY WAS HERE, but rather for CRYSTAL BALL and EQUINOX?  Then, throw in some British rockers to replace the ones from Chicago.  Then, add the perfectionist and never-wavering mighty bassist and Welshman, the brilliant and steadfast Matt Cohen.

What you might find yourself with is a little piece of perfection in a rather dreadfully fallen world.

And, thus, you’d hold in your hand, Ghost Community’s CYCLE OF LIFE.

From the opening note to the closing one, Ghost Community is nothing if not utterly earnest.  I’m not sure if everyone in the prog community would classify this as strictly prog—but, then, really, what is?  The more unclassifiable the better—at least to me, when it comes to art as well as to individual human lives.

I must admit a bit of bias here.  I have rather proudly enjoyed the friendship of Matt Cohen (though, strictly through the internet) for many years, and I find him to be one of the most compelling artists of our day.  He loves to rock, he loves to get things exactly right, and he possesses the will power of ten great men.   No matter what life throws at him, Cohen NEVER sits down and he never wallows.  He thinks, and he acts.  And, the world is so much better for it.

He’s also one incredible bass player.

As I listen to this album, I can’t help but feel immense satisfaction.  It’s full of intensity and enjoyment.  There are great lyrics, great playing, great flow, great engineering, and great production.  There’s nothing more to desire.  At one level—hence, the comparison to early Styx—the album is rather obvious and straightforward.  Upon several listens, however, especially when paying attention to the lyrics, several more layers emerge—all quite subtle and nuanced.  My guess is that even a decade of listening will still reveal more nuances.

This is an intelligent release, an excellent contribution to the current wave of prog rock.  Maybe more rock than prog, it’s a delight.

“Light up, everybody.”

THE QUEEN IS DEAD: 30 Years Later

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Wait, that doesn’t look like the queen.  Yes, the subtlety was lost on me when I was 18.

Amazingly, THE QUEEN IS DEAD came out thirty years ago today.  For me, it was that magical time between graduating from high school and heading off to the University of Notre Dame.  I spent that summer of 1986 dreaming of college, working as an overnight DJ at a local radio station, and rather madly chasing around a young woman (who is now, thankfully, happily married and living in central Kansas).

 

Strangely, though, THE QUEEN IS DEAD did not inspire or trouble me once that summer.  For whatever reason, I completely missed its release.

It wasn’t until I arrived at Notre Dame that a great friend (and now an extremely famous philosopher) introduced me to THE QUEEN IS DEAD.  From the first listen, I was bowled over.  Being rather partial to prog rock, I didn’t cotton easily to non-progressive music.  Yet, there was something in THE QUEEN IS DEAD that captured my imagination.  There was a wit, a whiny intelligence, a reference to some of my favorite writers, and a strange cynical romanticism that pervades the whole album that tugged at my soul.

With Morrissey, I wanted to walk the cemetery gates, and I knew that there was a “light that never goes out” when it came to that Kansas girl I chased for almost two years.

I felt sorry for the Queen and for Prince Charles, of course, but I chuckled about the vicar, and I thought I knew a Bigmouth, here or there.

Thirty years ago.  Amazing.  It could’ve been yesterday.

Spiritual Beggars – Sunrise To Sundown – Album Review

Artist: Spiritual Beggars Album Title: Sunrise To Sundown Label: Inside Out Records Date of Release: 18 March 2016 If you’re looking for a musical experience to surprise you and offer something completely different from what has gone before, I wouldn’t recommend Spiritual Beggars to you. Theirs is not a blueprint that seeks to challenge listeners […]

https://manofmuchmetal.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/spiritual-beggars-sunrise-to-sundown-album-review/