Music

Music

Fri
22
Feb

2CELLOS String Together Another Memorable Performance

2CELLOS play beautiful songs. They are very romantic.

My third time seeing 2CELLOS, aka Stjepan Hauser and Luka Šulić, at the Fabulous Fox Theatre was every bit as exciting as my first time. The Croatian sensations took the internet by storm back in 2011 with their GQ model looks, unassuming charm, and their virtuosity with their instruments. They attack the strings with reckless abandon, welding classical and pop/metal into an unforgettable sonic experience.

Seeing 2CELLOS live is even better than watching them on YouTube. Šulić and Hauser playfully interact with the audience between songs, whipping the ladies into a frenzy with their sexy European accents. The guys in the audience don’t mind because once the lads start playing AC/DC covers the men have no choice but to headbang and air jam in their seats. It’s genetic. Trust me.

Thu
20
Dec

Straight No Chaser's "One Shot" Tour Is A Holiday Tradition In St. Louis

Straight No Chaser on the "One Shot Tour" played the Fox Theatre  on December 18, 2018. Photo Credit: The Fabulous Fox

Who doesn’t love the tradition of the holidays? Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, crazy lines at department stores, Charlie Brown, the Grinch, Rudolph and Frosty…and live a cappella music to delight the mind and warm the heart. For as many years as Straight No Chaser has been coming to the Fabulous Fox Theatre to perform around the holidays, I’ve had the privilege to attend and review their show. It’s always a fun evening of new and classic pop songs and holiday favorites.   This year, Straight No Chaser is on tour to promote their seventh full length album, One Shot.

Tue
20
Nov

A Breath of Fresh Old-School Country Air: TJ Hernandez, "Who I Am"

TJ Hernandez Who I Am

It’s amazing to me how modern country music has lost its differentiation from other forms of modern music, like it sold its soul to rock and roll. Today it all seems like just rock music with just a touch of country added, no doubt to stay more mainstream and modern.

What a breath of fresh air it was, then, for me to listen to WHO I AM from TJ Hernandez.

Immediately upon clicking on the first track in my player, I realized I wasn’t listening to mainstream country pop music. (Huzzah!) I was listening to old school country--in voice, lyrics and musicianship, this was country music as it was when it was known as Country and Western!

The songs are lyrical stories, with the first song, “Corporate Man,” being a well-constructed song. Just by reading the lyrics you would say, “This is a Country & Western song.” And with its pedal steel and twangy guitar, it completes the picture.

Mon
19
Nov

Compelling Songs of the Human Condition Form Sevi Ettinger's EP, Salty Water

Sevi Ettinger Salty Water

Sevi Ettinger is a 15 year old with a heart for her fellow human being’s suffering. And while there are many songs written about the ravages of war, few are written about the suffering of all the refugees on this world, as humans flee for their lives and the lives of their children to start a better life, only to find themselves still living in harsh conditions and unable to fulfill their dreams.

SALTY WATER is an EP album of 4 songs filled and expressed with the long suffering that Sevi has felt for these refugees. The title song, “Salty Water,” was written by her while living in Shanghai, with the aid of an app on her phone as she was moved by the plight of the Syrian refugees.

Thu
25
Oct

Can’t Say No to This YES 50th Anniversary Release

Yes 50th at the Apollo

This new release from Eagle Rock Entertainment captures a 50th Anniversary concert of the classic Prog-Rock band YES, held in Manchester, England’s famed Apollo Theater.

As you can imagine, over a 50 year spread there have been several personnel changes to the band’s line-up. This current one is billed as “YES Featuring Jon Anderson-Trevor Rabin-Rick Wakeman." Jon, one of the originals, formed the band in 1968. Rick Wakeman first joined in 1971, and Trevor Rabin back in 1983. Performing with them for this concert is Lee Pomeroy on bass and Lou Molino III on drums.

Wed
24
Oct

Blood and Stardust Finds KISS Enlisted in a Supernatural Battle

They're the world's most iconic rockers. With their black-and-white facepaint and their over-the-top stage presence, KISS is on top of the world.

And then they were dead. Killed through the machinations of the mother of demons, all so that she could recruit them to fight a greater evil that existed beyond her grasp.

It seems there's another rock star on the rise in the mortal plane, and he's anything but mortal. He's a vampire, and he's got the protection of a group of occultists keeping him safe from Lillith. In exchange, they tell him who he needs to kill. And Lillith wants him dead, even though she created him.

Wed
10
Oct

Best New Artists of 2018

New Artists of 2018

Each year, new names emerge in the music industry. Some of these new names soon become household names while others will scatter into oblivion after just one hit song. While we don’t know what the future holds for each and every one of the following artists, all we know at this point is that these are the best new artists of 2018. If you encounter an artist you haven’t heard of on this list, then you can simply visit cresus casino to play profitable games and earn that extra cash to purchase their songs online.

Bassette

Thu
09
Aug

Tommy Shaw and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra: "Sing for the Day!"

Tommy Shaw and CYO Sing for the Day

Jaw dropping on every level!

Fri
06
Jul

The Cowboys Ain't Gone Yet: Paul Bogart, "Leather"

Paul Bogart, "Leather"

It's bee a truism for a while now that Country and Pop have blended together so much that there's not much of the old school Country left. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as it's produced a lot of great music. But it's also come at the cost of the original sounds -- the steel guitars and the honky tonk piano -- that you maybe didn't realize you'd been missing until you hear it.

Fortunately, there are still country artists who still walk the walk, and draw inspiration from their music from the lived life.

A prime example: Paul Bogart, whose just released his latest single, George Jonesin', off his CD, LEATHER. If you've even a passing reference with the genre, you get the reference, and Bogart deftly encapsulates the zeitgeist of the Silver Fox with this story-song of lost love and drowned sorrow lyrically and melodically.

Mon
14
May

Murphy's Ford Drops My Bar First (Video)

My Bar First - Murphy's Ford

In a time when country music almost never sounds like country music, it's refreshing to hear a song with rhythm, twang, and quintessential country feeling.

My Bar First from rising stars Murphy's Ford hits every not perfectly -- not just the musical ones, but the cultural ones as well. Sure, big city people can and do love country music, but it's the places with populations that don't exceed the triple digits that most often embody the heart and soul of country songs--towns with one grocery store, a single barber shop, a church with a steeple that makes it the tallest building in town, and, of course, the bar. Having grown up in such a place in southern Illinois, this song immediately struck a chord with this reviewer, and the video release is so real you can almost smell the cigarettes and spilled beer.

Thu
10
May

You Need Kendall Gary's "Your Love" (VIDEO)

Kendal Gary Your Love

We first introduced you to country music ingenue Kendall Gary a few months back with the release of her video, Head Held High.

Hot on the heels of that, and in advance of her summer album release, the Lewisville, Texas singer -- who began her training in opera before settling into country -- is ready to melt hearts with her new single, Your Love.

Mon
30
Apr

Reinventing Pink Floyd Packed with Enough Info to Leave You Comfortably Numb

Reinventing Pink Floyd

REINVENTING PINK FLOYD, published by Roman & Littlefield, is written by Bill Kopp, who, as the book denotes, is a lifelong music enthusiast, musician, collector and, since the 90s, a music journalist. The book covers the Pink Floyd's history from the time founding member Syd Barrett left the band in 1968 through the release of the album DARK SIDE OF THE MOON in 1973, detailing how the band members interacted, grew, and evolved along the way.

For those only familiar with Pink Floyd from DSotM, it may be hard to grasp why someone would write a book concerning such a narrow, though important, time frame, when everything they did since kind of went along the same path. But as you dig into early Floyd and listen to the music from that time period, you realize the music was indeed very different pre-DSotM, as with THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN, A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS, ATOM HEART MOTHER, and others, highlighting the eccentricities of the group's leader, Syd Barrett.

Tue
10
Apr

Ace Frehley to join Gene Simmons for Australian Tour

From Ultimate Classic Rock:

They've certainly had their ups and downs, but it looks like Gene Simmons and his former Kiss bandmate Ace Frehley have enjoyed their recent reunions. In fact, Frehley will join Simmons for a series of upcoming tour dates in Australia.

Source: Ultimate Classic Rock

Mon
12
Mar

Dynavector P75 MKIV Opens a Window Allowing Music to Breathe Freely

Dynavector P75 MKIV

Dynavector of Australia, the acclaimed maker of many things phono from the land down-under (differing from Dynavector of Japan, who only make phono cartridges; Dynavector of Australia only makes electronics) and imported into the states by Dynavector USA, has just released its newest version of the wonderful P75 phono stage, of which I own the MKII version.

Now, to my knowledge, they are not ones to release new or updated things all that often, so when I was told about this new updated version, and urged by that proprietor of all things wonderfully stereo, Charlie Schnyder of Stereo Haven, I just had to audition it.

While my MKII, and all the the versions before the MKIV, were highly musical and engaging phono stages, not only for the money but regardless of cost, the new version here I am pleased to say takes music to the next level. But I will get that in a minute...

Thu
08
Mar

Kendall Gary Releases Empowerment Anthem on Heels of International Women's Day

Kendall Gary

Country music newcomer, Kendall Gary, drops her new single, Head Held High tomorrow, March 9, 2018. 

It's a natural anthem, empowering and encouraging, with a focus on forging ahead in the face of negativity from others. The beat is modern country that skews pop in the bridge, but the overall zeitgeist is true to country music ideals.

The video (embedded below) is done simply, using only two settings -- a two-lane highway and a grassy field, cutting from one to the other with minor costume changes. The video could have been made a little more impacting if the opening monologue lines had remained internal to the performer but done with the voices of others, male and female, as the song is directed more at ignoring outside influences than self doubts, but that doesn't impact the song itself.

Mon
12
Feb

Madonna: Rebel Heart Tour Proves She Still Has What It Takes To Be Modern Pop Standard

What can be said about Madonna Louise Ciccone, aka Madonna, that hasn’t been said, seen, or written dozens of times before? Nothing really, I suppose, so I’m just going to focus on this CD/DVD set what it is and what it does.

This set shows that despite the passage of time, Madonna at 59 is still the Queen of Pop she was in the eighties, able to put on a pop show unlike any other, still the consummate professional who knows what she is doing and what needs to be done to turn an already frenzied audience into a frenzied mob. What helps makes this possible is the technical advances enabling the “off the charts” stage show that they could only hint at back in those “dark ages.”

Tue
06
Feb

Wizard World 2018

Wizard World comic con returned to St. Louis this past weekend. It boasted big name celebrities such as John Barrowman and Sebastian Stan (note Stan Lee was supposed to attend but canceled after being rushed to the emergency room.) But despite some of the star power, Wizard World 2018 overall was rather lackluster.

The past couple of years the con has been shrinking, fewer vendors, fewer celebrity guests, and fewer panels, all of which contributed to lower attendance numbers. And the fact that it was Super Bowl weekend didn’t help either. (Hey Wizard World, comic con attendees like football too! Just saying.) While Wizard World brought in some guests that had never been to St. Louis before, the con itself lacked its usual excitement. Even the vendors seemed concerned about lack of attendance. That said, the cosplayers yet again came out in force and did not disappoint.

Fri
22
Dec

Jocko Marcellino: Rock and Roll (and Ugly Christmas Sweaters) are Here to Stay

Jocko Marcellino

I grew up watching SHA NA NA as a television variety show. And I was into it. Somewhere there exist blackmail photos of me with my (brown) leather jacket, my hair slicked back with Alberto VO5, and my oversized sunglasses. I was the most bad-ass 12-year-old you'd ever seen! So I was more than happy when the offer came to interview band frontman Jocko Marcellino. But it turned out there were things about SHA NA NA I did not know.

My first introduction to SHA NA NA was the television show, and I never looked back farther than that. But you guys actually played at Woodstock! What kind of tentpole was that in the band's history?

That was an extraordinary opportunity that was given to us by Jimi Hendrix. When we were starting out, we had stayed in school that summer. Then we decided to try and make it with the act. We had done eight professional gigs, and our eight professional gig was Woodstock.

Tue
28
Nov

The Message Driven Music of Kaylee Keller

Kaylee Keller

In 2003, I was reviewing a music reality series called NASHVILLE STAR. It was sort of the country music version of AMERICAN IDOL, before Carrie Underwood made AI go country itself. The winner of that first season was Buddy Jewell, but I was particularly drawn to the singer who didn't win the big prize, coming in third instead--a young lady named Miranda Lambert.

That particular quality I saw then is similar to what I see now in the music of Kaylee Keller, a twenty-year-old country music ingenue with a quickly growing discography and fanbase.

With her most recent music video, "Nowhere America," Keller garnered the attention of the folks at FOX, who put her on their airwaves and introduced her to a wider audience, who might be a bit surprised to find a millenial who's not quite into millenial things.

Mon
27
Nov

The FLUX HiFi Sonic Electronic Stylus Cleaner: You Only Thought You Were Cleaning Your Stylus Before

As a bonafide vinyl junkie and dyed in the wool stereophile, I have seen my fair share of gizmos, tricks, and gadgets come down the pike that promise to “remove veils from the listening experience” and “open up new windows in the recordings.” While some did work to a degree, many were a bunch of hooey. Some only delivered a minute portion of what they promised. So to say I have become jaded about such things would be a fair cop.

Now, as a vinylphile, I will be the first to stand on the soap box to state you have to keep your stylus clean if you want to maintain your records and continue to get the best out of your cartridge, which in turn will continue to give you listening enjoyment.

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