Music

Music

Fri
23
Sep

Anna Danes Find Your Wings Soars with the Eagles

Anna Danes Find Your Wings

This newest album from Anna Danes recorded at Capital Records Studio A, the same studio and microphone by the way used by her role models Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole, is one of those albums that sounds both new and classic at the same time.

That’s no small feat, considering Anna didn’t start really singing until 3 years ago when, as fate would have it, her daughter refused to sing at a vocal lesson. And, with the lesson already paid for, Anna stepped in. And the rest, as they say, is history.

This new album, set to release in October during National Breast Cancer Awareness month, turned out to be not only an album of great songs but also an album of great strength, comfort and peace. Because while Ms. Danes was working on marketing and promoting this record, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Sun
18
Sep

The Head and The Heart Show Signs of Light With Their New Album

The Head and the Heart, Signs of Light

The Head and the Heart, an indie folk band from the Seattle area, has been unfairly grouped with the singalong bands The Lumineers and Of Monsters and Men. While all leaped into the opening created by Mumford & Sons, what differentiates the band from their banjo-blending peers are excellent songs. The group is composed of songwriters Jonathan Russell and Josiah Johnson along with pianist Kenny Hensley, bassist Chris Zasche, violinist (and sometimes fan favorite vocalist) Charity Rose Thielen, and drummer Tyler Williams. Their debut was self-released in 2010 and later picked up by Sub Pop. The album was a breath of fresh air, with 11 terrific songs that didn’t rely on the banjo inflection (or bro-fans). While not breaking any new ground, their 2nd album, Let’s Be Still, released 2 years later in 2012, continued their journey to open hearts and ears with acoustic guitars, pianos and heartfelt songs.

Mon
12
Sep

Harry Potter in Concert - An Amazing Experience

Harry Potter Live Concert Series

I got the chance to see the Harry Potter Concert Series live at Powell Hall last Friday, and it was a fantastic experience! 

One of the best parts of the Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone movie is the iconic score composed by the incomparable John Williams. I remember first seeing the film when it came out and getting chills during "Hedwig's Theme." For such a popular franchise with such great characters, intense action, and magic, I'm so happy John Williams was able to lend his immeasurable talent to the score. 

But the only thing better than seeing the movie in theaters is seeing it on an equally big screen while the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra plays the score live below. The movie Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone plays on a massive screen, but with the music removed - the soundtrack is instead played live by the orchestra.

Fri
09
Sep

Justin Freer and the Sorcerer's Stone: Bringing Harry Potter's Musical Magic to Life

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Film Concert Series

Justin Freer is performing stage magic. No, he's not pulling rabbits from his hat or sawing women into two pieces. It's much more enchanting than that.

Freer is a conductor and producer of film music, as well as the founder and president of CineConcerts, a company dedicated to the preservation and concert presentation of film, TV and media performances live with film. His current project, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, is currently playing at the St. Louis Symphony as part of a mind-blowing concept that blends film with live music.

Tell our readers what sets what you're doing apart from your standard afternoon at the symphony.

Fri
02
Sep

Soft Voice, Strong Opinions. Dede Wedekind Discusses Her Vision of America United

Dede Wedekind's "America United."

Nearly every musical artist has something to say. Otherwise, why bother with the art?

Indie Music Channel's 2016 Best New Female Artist, Dede Wedekind, has several things to say about several things, but more recently she's garnering attention for her latest number, a patriotic piece called "America United" that contains a lyric that ought to ring familiar with anyone who has come into contact with a working television set for the past year. We spoke with Dede about the inspiration for "America United," her experiences growing up in music, and her own vision to "Make America Great Again."

How has your history of making music led up to what you put into “America United?”

Mon
22
Aug

Sugden's A21SE Signature Integrated Amplifier: Simply Stated, Simply Wonderful

Sugden

I am reminded by dialog spoken by King Osric (Max Von Sydow) in the movie “Conan The Barbarian.”

When King Osric needed Conan to rescue his daughter from Thulsa Doom, upon dumping out a bag full of jewels and offering them to take all they wanted, he says,

“ There comes a time, thief, when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the throne room becomes a prison, and all that is left is a father's love for his child.

So it is with me in my audiophile time of life, where what matters most to me now is not high power, not large heavy pieces of equipment, not stacks of individual components, nor even high and flighty names. While I freely admit all those “jewels and gold” did, at one time, matter to me; I have had Krell, Audio Research, Martin Logan, Duntech, Focal, Oracle, SME, Koetsu, Convergent …the list goes on and on.

Tue
16
Aug

Tesla, "Psychotic Supper" -- Big Hair, Big Sound, Big Reissue

Tesla Psychotic Supper 2LP set on vinyl

Tesla’s now classic 1991 release PSYCHOTIC SUPPER was the band’s 3rd studio album. It is thought by many, including myself and the band members, to be their best. Now it is being reissued in a 2LP set, which, I believe (but I could be wrong; it happens), is the first time this album will have been released on vinyl. The album contains the hits “What You Give”, “Call It What You Want”, and “Song & Emotion” (my favorite along with “Toke About it”), and it is not one that I had on vinyl.

Fri
05
Aug

Time Life Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Live-Volume 1 Prince Tribute Edition On Purple Vinyl Fitting Tribute

Rock and Roll Hall of Fave V1 - Prince Tribute Edition on Purple Vinyl

Time Life's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Live-Volume 1 Prince Tribute Edition on Purple Vinyl a Fitting Tribute to an Artist Who had the Most Memorable R&R HOF Performance

When Time Life released their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live-Volume 1 it was just after Prince had passed away. The album, containing his performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” quickly sold out its first pressing.

Time Life felt that it should honor the artist by re-releasing the album in a limited edition pressing on purple vinyl.

Mon
01
Aug

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Greatest Hits on Vinyl? Oh My My, Oh Hell Yes!

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Greatest Hits 2-LP Vinyl Release

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers needs little or no introduction from me. Since they released their self-titled album back in 1976, the band has had a string of hits any number of which can be found as staples on any classic rock radio or Sirius XM station, and they have had a Greatest Hits compilation in print since ’93.

What does bear introduction is that the Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Greatest Hits is being released here for the first time ever on 180gm vinyl, in a 2 LP set from Geffen Ume.

Tom Petty is one of those iconic voices that fits the music he writes and sings; although sounding more and more like Bob Dylan as he grows older (just my opinion), the songs on this set are mostly from what I consider his heyday of 1976 thru 1993.

Fri
22
Jul

Note To Music Artists: All Right Now, You Can't Always Get What You Want

Donald Trump, Queen, Rolling Stones, George Harrison

Every election cycle, there is always a story or three about some politician running for office who picks a theme song and forgets that he has to pay the band. And it's such a simple thing to do -- you contact ASCAP or BMI and you get yourself a license. It's simple enough that every high school band director or local cheerleading camp instructor knows the drill. And after one or two lawsuits making the news, you can bet that every campaign strategist knows this as well.

So why is it that the campaign for Donald Trump is angering so many musicians? Surely they know better.

Well, the fact is, they do know better.

Tue
12
Jul

Kitsch and Cool Clash Colossally on Music of DC Comics Volume 2

Music of DC Comics Volume 2

I've often thought to myself, "Self, our life needs theme music." I hope it gets composed by Danny Elfman or Hans Zimmer, but I'm afraid it might get done by Arthur Korb.

These are the thoughts I now think as I listen to the tracks from The Music of DC Comics, Volume 2. Now, I know, comics are printed on paper and don't usually come with musical accompaniment. These are (mostly) from animated and live-action adaptations, smart-ass. And what an eclectic mix it is, starting with "The Baby from Krypton" from the 1940 SUPERMAN radio show, all the way through the opening theme credits for CW's LEGENDS OF TOMORROW.

Fri
01
Jul

ABC's "Greatest Hits" (1980-1985) Recap: Messin' Around Kept to a Minimum

ABC's "Greatest Hits"

The perfect summer series, IMHO, is mindless, full of music, has plenty of dancers, and is unabashedly nostalgic. ABC's six-week summertime event, Greatest Hits, fits the bill. When I heard about it from Steve Spears over at Stuck in the '80s I immediately thought back to the summer of 2005, when the limited series Hit Me Baby One More Time trotted out bands from the '80s to sing one of their hits, then tackle a newer pop song. Greatest Hits blessedly skips the "competition" format and just presents the musicians to let them do what they do best: perform in front of an appreciative crowd, just like the good ol' days.

Thu
23
Jun

KISS Rocks Vegas Right Into Your Home

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas...right? Well not if your America's #1 Gold Record Award-Winning band of all time: KISS!

For this all-time great Rock-n-Roll event, 'KISS Rocks Vegas', they are changing the mantra to: "what ROCKS in Vegas, ROLLS into your home"!

Wed
22
Jun

DC Launches Official Spotify Playlist for Superman: Rebirth

Superman has his own Spotify playlist, of over 30 songs, for readers of his latest adventures and some of the song choices are very interesting.

Coming in at just under 2 hours long the playlist has several tracks from both MAN OF STEEL and BATMAN V SUPERMAN original motion picture soundtracks.

The first two songs 'Love Kills' and 'Hurt by Love' carries a pretty interesting theme to start off the playlist. Then you throw in 'Occupy the Love' and 'The Lady is a Tramp' and one would assume that 'Rebirth' Superman is the comic book version of Taylor Swift.

Wed
22
Jun

Going Some Rounds with The LOOP

iPocketLoop

Let me introduce you to a concept called every day carry. Commonly referred to as EDC, it is a term that is familiar to the survivalist communities, and frankly isn’t really deliberately considered by most other people, despite the fact that they practice it on a daily basis. Confused? Let me clear it up.

When you wake up in the morning, you take a shower, brush your teeth, and drink your coffee. You then grab the items that you need to propel yourself head long into your day. For most guys, it’s a simple as your keys, wallet, and phone. For the ladies, I have no idea. A purse similar to Mary Poppins bag that holds a delightful and terrifying assortment of crap.

Tue
14
Jun

Paul Simon Brings A Joyful Noise To St. Louis

Paul Simon at the Fabulous Fox Theatre, St. Louis, 06/12/16

My top five favorite concerts are all act that have been around for several decades: Chick Corea’s Return to Forever, John Fogerty, Rush, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and now Paul Simon. I will let you draw whatever conclusions you will from that with regards to the staying power—or presumable lack thereof, of many contemporary pop acts. These acts are all Hall of Famers for a multitude of reasons, be it musicianship, songwriting, the ability to connect to a wide audience of diverse demographics, and more. On a hot humid Sunday evening at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Paul Simon demonstrated that fantastic music is absolutely timeless.

Mon
13
Jun

Totally Stripped of Hype, This Rolling Stones Set is Awesome!

Rolling Stones Totally Stripped Eagle Rock Music Review Dennis Russo Critical Blast

THE ROLLING STONES: TOTALLY STRIPPED from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available in many different configurations: as A DVD or SD BluRay, on DVD+CD, or on DVD+LP as well as a deluxe edition that contains a 60-page hard book set containing 5 Discs (4bluRay and 1 CD) or (4DVD, 1 CD for slightly less money).

The set I am reviewing here is the DVD/CD set.

TOTALLY STRIPPED may sound familiar to a lot of Stone’s fans, since the album STRIPPED was released in 1995 following the VooDoo Lounge tour. But don’t be thinking this is just a repacking of that release. Nay, nay, I say! TOTALLY STRIPPED itself is a brand new version of the documentary of the same name, which tells the stories of the studio sessions and three live shows that make up this project. (The Deluxe editions contain DVDs of each live show in its entirety!)

Fri
03
Jun

Death Cab for Cutie, Chvrches Will Play NC Despite Opposition to 'Bathroom Bill'

Death Cab Cutie Chvrches

While several artists have cancelled appearances as an expression of dissent over North Carolina's House Bill 2, aka the "bathroom bill" established as a protection from potential predators posting as transgendered people, pop bands Death Cab for Cutie and Chvrches have released a statement that, while they oppose the sentiment of the bill, they will honor their commitment to fans and play the venues in North Carolina for which they have been booked -- but that these would be the last concerts played so long as HB2 remains the law.

In their statement today, released through Atlantic Records, the groups collectively state:

Thu
26
May

Osbournes Split: Actual Infidelity or Fight for Relevancy?

Ozzy Sharon Osbourne Split Steven Machat Critical Blast

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne are in the news. That's nothing unusual, they've been there before, back when they headlined the reality-series THE OSBOURNES over a decade ago. After the series, Sharon went on to THE TALK, Kelly went on to have a spot at E! Entertainment, and Jack became a spokesperson for MS awareness. And Ozzy?

Well if you believe the press, Ozzy went for a beautician.

But not everybody believes the press.

Steven Machat was Ozzy's former business manager, responsible for putting together "Blizzard of Oz." In his book, GODS AND GANGSTERS, he discusses the details of Ozzy and Sharon's marriage, intimating that it was a union of financial gain rather than one of romance. And he thinks the whole crazy train the press has been riding lately is all an Osbourne family business decision.

Wed
25
May

The Winding Stream Traces Roots of Country Music

Carter Family Winding Stream

Beth Harrington directs and co-produces this important and informative documentary that follows the modern river of country music back to the winding stream that is it's source -- The Carter Family.

Before there was country music, before there was a Grand Ole Opry, there was A.P, Sara and Maybelle Carter. THE WINDING STREAM follows in great detail how these three family members became the foundation cornerstone of American country music, without glossing over the family tragedies and heartaches, including A.P.'s singular focus on collecting songs from the mountains and Sara's eventual divorce. The documentary is never dry, and is wholly engrossing, telling the story without the benefit of any dramatic re-enactments, relying instead on actual footage, photography and, of course, recordings of the songs and interviews.

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