The Treatment’s Debut LP Keeps Pace Solidly With Rock’s Big Dogs

Courtesy:  Spinefarm Records

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records

The 1980s is one of the most important decades in the history of the music industry.  Disco evolved into New Wave during that decade.  Rap and Hip-Hop started burgeoning during those years, too.  And in the world of rock, audiences were presented with both the New Wave of Heavy Metal (NWOHM), and the rise and fall of the hair metal movement.  While the age of big hair and big rock came and went seemingly in the blink of an eye, it also produced some of the biggest names in the history of rock and metal.  Def Leppard, Poison, Motley Crue, Dokken and others of that ilk dominated radio stations and arenas across the country in that ten-year span.  Motley Crue is officially calling it a career.  The others called it a career years ago.  And while they may be gone, many bands since have shown that they are hardly forgotten, producing record after record that pays homage to said forebears.  Now another act has added its name to that long list of bands keeping the age of big guitar riffs and equally big hair alive in the form of The Treatment.  The five piece from Cambridge, England released its full length deut record Running With The Dogs on indie label Spinefarm Records back in February of this year.  It is a fittingly titled record, too.  That’s because the band, whose members are each in no more than their late teens, stays right with the rest of the pack on its debut.  The band keeps up with other bands of its genre (E.g. Buckcherry, Airbourne) in its debut.  That’s thanks both to its full-throttle, no nonsense rock and roll sound, and its equally old school lyrics.  The combination of the two makes this record a must hear for anyone that  wants a break from the seemingly constant barrage of cookie monster growls and poppy rock songs dominating so much of the rock world today.  Right off the top, front man Matt Jones and his band mates–Dee Dammers (guitar), Tagore Grey (Guitar), Dhani Mansworth (drums), and Rick “Swoggle” Newman (bass)–show that they mean business in the album’s opener ‘I Bleed Rock N’ Roll.’  This song is classic rock and roll all the way around and will have audiences instantly rocking and singing along.  By and large, the band keeps things moving throughout the record, slowing only once in the album’s penultimate acoustic opus ‘Unchain My World.’  Even being an acoustic piece, it harkens back to the acoustic ballads of Poison and other big hair bands from the 80s.  And what rock record is complete without an up-tempo piece about a female figure that all the guys want?  It’s there, too in the form of ‘She’s Too Much.’    These three songs are each enjoyable in their own right for anyone nostalgic for real  rock and roll.  Along with the other ten songs that make up this album, the whole thing proves to be a record that any old school rock and roll fan will enjoy.

The Treatment’s debut album Running With The Dogs is an aptly titled collection of songs.  The band’s members show exactly why right off the top in the album’s high-energy opener ‘I Bleed Rock and Roll.’  Musically speaking, this song instantly shows influences from veteran rock acts the likes of AC/DC and Motley Crue.  Drummer Dhani Mansworth’s solid 4/4 time set against the dual guitar attack of Dee Dammers and Tagore Grey instantly gets the body and the blood moving.  The duo’s old school shredding and harmonies will transport audiences back to rock’s era of big riffs and even bigger hair.  Front man Matt Jones’ vocal styling adds to that musical trip back in time even more.  It’s incredible how much Jones’ vocal style soudns so much like Motley Crue front man Vince Neil.  Lyrically, the song is just as much of an homage to rock’s “biggest” era with the band singing in the song’s chorus, “I live rock and roll/It’s my destiny/All I bleed is rock and roll.  the message is clear and simple not just here but in the song’s verses, too.  That simplicity and clarity of the song’s lyrics couple with its musical side to make this song the perfect opener for the band.  To another extent, that it finishes in such bombastic fashion makes it an equally fitting closer both on the album and in a live setting.  It’s just one of so many of the album’s opuses that shows what makes it a pure rock record well worth the listen.

It goes without saying that The Treatment chose the right song in ‘I Bleed Rock and Roll’ to open its debut full-length record.  Interestingly enough, that same song would work just as much as a closer for the band as the album’s closer and even as a show closer in a live setting.  The energy exuded by the band in this song is carried throughout every one of the songs that follow it right up to the album’s penultimate piece ‘Unchain My World.’  This acoustic ballad is just as much a throwback to the 80s as the album’s opener and any other song on this record.  Stylistically, listeners will instantly be able to make comparisons between this song and the ballads churned out by veteran rock bands such as Motley Crue, Poison, and even Mr. Big just to name a few.  This applies to the song both musically and lyrically.  The comparison to Mr. Big comes especially in the song’s chorus as the band sings “Unchain my world/Cause you’re all I’ve really got.”  Musically, one could even mistake the song for one of Mr. Big’s biggest hits of all time if one were listening to this song not knowing it was said band.  The song’s verses highlight that comparison, too with Jones singing how much a certain love interest has changed the subject’s life.  He sings of said subject’s view of the love interest, “I’m still fascinated/How deep inside I feel so incomplete/Indiscreet.”  Just as with the album’s opener, that mix of music and lyrics is just as certain to take audiences back to what is perhaps one of rock’s most underrated eras.

‘I Bleed Rock and Roll’ and ‘Unchain My World’ are both prime examples of the old school 80s influence presented on The Treatment’s debut full-length album.  Any old school rock and roll aficionado will appreciate thanks to that direct influence.  They aren’t the only good examples of that influence and enjoyment on this record, either.  The blues-based rocker that is ‘She’s Too Much’ is another great example of that influence and enjoyment.  It’s not as up-tempo as some of the album’s other songs.  But it leaves no one guessing in regards to its lyrical content.  It is presented very much in the vein of AC/DC’s ‘Whole Lotta Rosie.’  Jones sings over the bluesy riffs of his band mates, “She’s too much/Everything is not enough/She’s too much/Better load your gun boys/Take aim/Now fire.”  The song is thankfully not a direct mirror image of ‘Whole Lotta Rosie.’  But the blues-based rock sound churned out by Dammers and Grey definitely makes the comparison easy and not in a bad way, either.  Again in a time when so much of the rock and even hard rock world is dominated by cookie monster growls and crunching, down-tuned guitars, such a comparison is especially welcome considering that The Treatment has taken an influence as respected as AC/DC and crafted its own equally fun rock song.  It’s just one more of the thirteen total songs on this record that classic rock buffs will enjoy.

The songs noted here are each good examples of just what makes The Treatment’s debut album Running WithThe Dogs one more album released this year proving that contrary to Gene Simmons’ own views, rock and roll is not dead.  Nor is it even in the hospital so to speak.  It proves that rock and roll is alive and well.  It takes audiences back to an era when rock and roll was indeed rock and roll; an era when rock and roll was truly fun.  European audiences will agree with that sentiment when they see the band live on its current European tour.  Audiences will get to hear the band live when it rolls into Rotterdam, Netherlands next Thursday, November 27th, Paris, France next Friday, and Brussels, Belgium next Saturday, November 29th.  Audiences can pick up the band’s CD at those shows and each show after.  Whether in Europe or in the United States, audiences can pick up Running With The Dogs in stores or online now.  Fans can keep up with the band’s current tour schedule and all of its latest updates online now at:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheTreatmentOfficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheTreatmentUK

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Royal Blood Joining Foo Fighters For Band’s 2015 North American Tour

Courtesy:  Warner Brothers Records

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Records

Foo Fighters announced the schedule for its upcoming worldwide tour this week. The tour, which kicks off Wednesday, December 10th in Cape Town, South Africa, is in support of the band’s new album Sonic Highways. The European leg of the band’s tour runs through June 23rd, 2015. The North American leg of the band’s tour kicks off July 4th, 2015 at RFK Stadium in the nation’s capital. That performance is followed by twenty-six more dates that will take the band across America throughout the remainder of the summer. British rock duo Royal Blood will join Foo Fighters for a number of those dates beginning July 6th in Camden, New Jersey. That is the second date on the North American leg of Foo Fighters’ tour in support of Sonic Highways. Of the twenty-six dates set for Foo Fighters’ North American tour, Royal Blood will join Foo Fighters for eleven dates from July 6th to August 25th.

Before Royal Blood hits the road with Foo Fighters, the duo—Michael Kerr (bass/vocals) and Ben Thatcher (drums)—it will wrap up its own current slate of headlining dates in support of its self-titled Warner Brothers Records debut album. That album was released August 25th, 2014. Box office-only pre-sales for Royal Blood’s dates with Foo Fighters begin this Saturday, November 22nd. All price levels are subject to availability. Online pre-sales begin Monday, December 1st. Public ticket sales will run Thursday December 4th and 5th. Royal Blood’s latest schedule of live dates is listed below.

ROYAL BLOOD NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES

December 1 – House of Blues – Chicago, IL

December 3 – The Altar Bar – Pittsburgh, PA

December 5 – War Memorial Auditorium – Nashville, TN

December 6 – Juanita’s Cantina – Little Rock, AR

December 7 – Diamond Ballroom – Oklahoma City, OK

December 9 – Seattle Center – Key Arena – Seattle, WA

July 6 – Susquehanna Bank Center – Camden, NJ*

July 9 – Molson Canadian Amphitheater – Toronto, ON*

July 16 – Citi Field – New York, NY*

July 19 – Fenway Park – Boston, MA*

August 12 – Rexall Place – Edmonton, AB*

August 13 – Scotiabank Saddledome – Calgary, AB*

August 17 – Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater – Denver, CO*

August 19 – Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre – Maryland Heights, MO*

August 22 – Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, MN*

August 24 – DTE Energy Center – Detroit, MI*

August 25 – First Niagra Pavilion – Pittsburgh, PA*

 

Royal Blood was released August 25th on Warner Brothers Records. It debuted at Number 1 on the UK Album Chart and was nominated for the Mercury Prize. The Mercury Prize is awarded to the best new records from the U.K. and Ireland each year. One album is awarded the prize each year from a list of twelve albums nominated for the award. The albums in question come from every genre of music. More information on Royal Blood is available online at:

 

Website: http://royalbloodband.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RoyalBloodUK

Twitter: http://twitter.com/royalblooduk

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Rolling Stones’ Second “From The Vault” Recording Leaves Audiences Wanting More In The Best Way Possible

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

The Rolling Stones have been making music together for well over half a century.  Over the course of the band members’ now fifty-two years together, they have released some twenty-two albums and seemingly just as many greatest hits compilations.  The band has also released its own share of live recordings along the way, too.  The most recent of those live recordings is 2013’s Sweet Summer SunHyde Park Live.  That recording is one of the band’s best live recordings to date if not the best to date.  That recording was released by Eagle Rock Entertainment, the same company responsible for the release of the band’s archived 1981 Chicago show Live at the Checkerboard Lounge in 2012 and a handful of other recordings that followed.  2014 has been no different for Stones fans as Eagle Rock released two more archived live concerts from the band early this month.  One of those recordings takes audiences back to the band’s 1981 performance at Virginia’s Hampton Coliseum.  The second takes audiences even farther back, going all the way back to 1975 and the band’s performance that year at the famed Forum in Los Angeles.  There is just as much to enjoy about the Stones’ 1981 show in Hampton, Virginia as there is about its companion concert from the band’s ’81 show in Virginia.  The most obvious of the show’s positives is its set list.  Many of the songs that are presented in this show are also presented in the band’s ’81 show.  The difference between the two shows’ set lists is that there is far less of the slower stuff in this show than in its companion recording.  Another great reason to check this concert is the band’s stage presence and its overall stage show.  And last but hardly least of all worth noting is the show’s collective production values (I.E. audio and video mix).  Taking into account the recording technology of the day, the audio quality is rather impressive.  And the video mix isn’t that bad, either.  It does serve to show how much recording tech has advanced since this concert’s recording.  That is not to take away from the importance of the recording’s companion booklet, either.  Even the companion booklet serves its own purpose in the concert’s overall presentation.  All things considered, From The VaultThe Rolling StonesL.A. Forum Live in 1975 proves to be one more reason that The Rolling Stones is considered to still be one of rock’s elite acts and why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains the leader in live recordings to this day.

The members of The Rolling Stones have been making music together for well over half a century.  While so many other bands have gone by the wayside in that time, Mick Jagger and company have remained one of rock’s elite acts.  Eagle Rock Entertainment has more than proven why in recent years why exactly The Rolling Stones is still one of the music world’s top acts with each one of its archived Stones concerts.  From The VaultThe Rolling StonesL.A. Forum Live in 1975 is no exception to that standard established by Eagle Rock so many years ago.  The most obvious way that it shows this is through the concert’s set list.  The band was not touring in support of any new release at the time of this performance.  As audiences will learn in the recording’s companion booklet, the band was roughly a year removed from the release of its most recent release at the time, It’s Only Rock and Roll (1974).  That album was the band’s fourteenth (yes, fourteenth) U.S. release and twelfth for the band’s fans in the U.K.  That was over the course of eleven years since the release of the band’s delf-titled U.K. debut and U.S. debut England’s Newest Hit Makers.  That means that even without a “new” album to tour behind, Mick and company still had more than their share of material with which to entertain audiences.  And they did just that, pulling from that album and going even farther back in the band’s catalogue all the way back to the band’s earliest days.  It would be interesting to see if there is a band out there today that has as much material under its collective belt today.  Most of today’s music acts regardless of genre only have on average three albums to their names  after ten years.  So that’s really saying something in the case of this recording and for the band’s creativity.  In all, the set list for this show totals twenty-six songs and well over two and a half hours.  That is a lot of music and a lot of enjoyment for Rolling Stones fan of any age.  It’s just one of so many ways in which this recording proves to be another welcome addition to said fans’ personal collections.  The band’s stage presence throughout the course of those nearly three hours is another way in which it proves this argument.

The band’s stage presence over the course of its nearly three hour performance at the Forum is definitely worth noting.  The companion booklet that comes with the concert notes that this concert was not the first for the band that night.  It was the fourth of five shows in a row at the Forum that the band held between July 9th and July 13th.  One would think that having performed three shows before this one and having one more to go, the band’s members would have been exhausted and perhaps saving their energy.  But that certainly isn’t the case here.  Jagger and his band mates kept the energy high and in turn, the audience in house fully engaged from start to finish.  Adding to the interest of the band’s stage presence is the fact that these shows marked part of the band’s first tour with then new guitarist Ronnie Wood.  The cemistry between Wood and the rest of the band was quite obvious throughout the course of the show.  It definitely went a long way toward making the show more enjoyable both for the band and the audience in attendance that night.  It does just as much for audiences that purchase this recording today and watch it themselves.  Audiences will especially understand this when they purchase the concert’s DVD recording.  In seeing that energy and chemistry, audiences will agree that the band’s stage presence throughout the course of its nearly three-hour show is one more way in which it proves to be another welcome addition to any Rolling Stones fan’s personal collection.

The set list and the stage presence of The Rolling Stones throughout the course of From The VaultThe Rolling StonesL.A. Forum Live in 1975 both serve as prime examples of why every Rolling Stones fan will enjoy this recording.  One more important factorto consider in the recording’s overall presentation is its production values (I.E. audio and video mix).  Nearly four decades have passed since this performance was first recorded.  It goes without saying that since that time, recording technology has evolved by leaps and bounds.  Even with the tech available at the time of the concert’s recording, it still looks and sounds relatively good.  The sound quality is especially impressive considering the size of The Forum within its walls.  The shots that made up the concert do an impressive job in their own right showing just how expansive The Forum’s inner workings were at the time.  That vastness coupled with the band’s stage set explain by themselves why so few of the shots were taken up close but rather from a distance.  Even being taken from a distance, the shots in question still give audiences a clear view of the band when not recorded from the stage.  The combination of the audio and video together make the overall viewing experience even more worth it for fans regardless of their age.

The production values presented in From The VaultThe Rolling StonesL.A. Forum Live in 1975 alongside the recording’s set list and the band’s stage presence collectively make the recording more than worth the watch regardless of audiences’ ages.  As much of a role as they play, one would be remiss to note the recording’s companion booklet as an important factor to the whole experience.  The companion booklet that comes with the cocnert’s DVD presentation offers audiences a thorough look at the concert from start to finish, much as with the band’s other archived live performance from 1981 at Virginia’s Hampton Coliseum.  It even goes into detail on the band’s backing musicians instead of just the band itself.  As if this isn’t enough the companion booklet includes an equally thorough summary on the evening’s concert once again written up by Richard Havers.  Havers composed the liner notes for the band’s other From The Vault concert from 1981.  This in-depth look at this concert plays directly into the aforementioned factors to make it just as important to the whole as them.  Together with those aspects, it completes the experience and proves ultimately again why The Rolling Stones is one of rock’s elite acts.  Having so much content and such a quality overall experience, it also shows once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader in live recordings.

From The VaultThe Rolling StonesL.A. Forum Live in 1975 is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Zodiac’s “Sonic Child” Is Another One Of 2014′s Most Surprisingly Enjoyable Pure Rock Records

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records/Napalm Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records/Napalm Records

When Prosthetic Records added Zodiac to its roster two years ago, it went without saying that doing so was something of a gamble for the label.  It was such a gamble because much like Century Media, Metal Blade, Roadrunner, and others, Prosthetic is known more for the “extreme metal” bands that make up its roster than for the likes of the Munster, Germany-based band.  That’s not to say that Prosthetic sticks primarily to that more extreme sound.  Acts such as Niacin and Felix Martin both stand out among Prosthetic’s other acts.  Zodiac however has become the label’s most commercially viable band since Lamb of God was signed on with the company.  Zodiac’s mix of blues-based and neo-stoner rock has helped the band to stand out among its label mates ever since the release of its 2012 Prosthetic Records debut A Bit of Devil.  Now with its third full-length studio effort, Zodiac has one again set itself apart from its label mates and grown just as much musically.  From the slow blues-based opener ‘A Penny & A Dead Horse’ to the more up-tempo neo stoner rocker that is ‘Holding On’ to the equally catchy closer ‘Swinging on the Run,’ this record proves to have not one bad moment.  It proves to be one of the year’s most surprisingly enjoyable rock records and one that any rock purist should hear at least once.

Sonc Child, Zodiac’s third full-length studio effort, is by and large the band’s best work to date.  With its mix of blues-based and neo-stoner rock sounds, this record proves to be one that every rock purist should hear at least once.  Right off the top, the band grabs listeners without really trying in the album’s opener ‘A Penny and a Dead Horse.’  The twelve-bar blues churned out in the song’s “A” section conjures thoughts of Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, and so many of the forefathers of the blues.  Anyone that is a fan of Fireball Ministry, Black Stone Cherry, and other bands of that ilk will enjoy the more straight forward neo-stoner rock sound of the song’s “B” and “C” sections.  Lyrically, the song is just as enjoyable.  Vocalist Nick van Delft sings about an unnamed woman that has left a man, and left him with basically nothing.  Thus the song’s title.  van Delft sings of the woman, “Oh, woman/Where have you gone with that/Pot of gold/Oh, woman/Where have you gone/You had to leave me/Before the break of dawn/Somebody been haunting you/Somebody run you down/Over the yonder/Beyond the fields/Someone call your name/Oh, woman/Where have you gone/Sweet darlin’/You left me to die alone/With a penny and a dead horse.”  van Delft paints such a vivid picture thanks to the way in which he sings these lines.  The gradual tempo increase as the song progresses makes that picture just as vivid.  The picture goes from a man sitting alone in the darkness, perhaps drinking from a bottle of cheap whiskey to someone who feels something stronger as he and his band mates sing, “So long, so long” in the chorus.  The song’s final strains exhibit perhaps the man’s collapse.  This is of course just this critic’s own interpretation on the song.  Audiences can check out the song’s official video online now at the Prosthetic Records website at http://store.prostheticrecords.com/products/531769-zodiac-sonic-child-cd.  While there, audiences can also order Sonic Child, which was just recently released at the end of September.

‘A Penny & A Dead Horse’ is a wonderful addition to Sonic Child. It is also just one excellent example of what makes this album such a surprisingly enjoyable record.  ‘Holding On’ is another solid example of why this record proves to be such a surprisingly enjoyable rock record.  Where the album’s opener almost tells its own story, ‘Holding On’ is more of a straight-forward rock song.  It harkens back to rock and roll’s golden era much like Black Stone Cherry, Fireball Ministry, and others of that ilk.  van Delft sings against drummer Janosch Rathmer’s solid timekeeping and fellow guitarist Stephen Gall’s own work, “What is the point of your life/Your life/All covered up in those eyes/Those eyes/So now free mind/You’re one of a kind/Take a hold of the good things/And give sight to the blind/Tell me the one thing you see/Tell me the one thing you know/Show me the one thing you live for/Holding on.”  This set against the song’s opening verse in which van Delft sings, “Time keeps on ticking/Revealing your patience/It’s only a matter of self-defense/Eager to please/Your only disease/It’s just the weight on your mind/A day of your life/A step on your way to return” makes the song especially interesting.  There is a seeming message about each one of us having a meaning in life and it being just a matter of finding that meaning.  Again, that could be completely wrong.  Hopefully it is right, though.  Regardless, the very fact that it could lead to such deep thought serves to make this song all the more enjoyable.  The guitar solo in the song’s final movement adds even more enjoyment to the whole work.  Between that impressive guitar work, the deep, thoughtful lyrics and the overall talent displayed here, ‘Holding On’ shows again why any rock and roll purist should give this record at least one listen.

Zodiac shows throughout the course of its latest full-length release why this record is just as good as any album released by its bigger-named counterparts.  That is evidenced in the songs previously noted here.  From its more blues-tinged rock to its more neo-stoner sound, there is not one moment that disappoints on this record.  There is almost something of a more modern rock and roll influence in the album’s closer ‘Swinging on the Run.’  Much like the album’s opener and other tracks on this disc, ‘Swinging on the Run’ is not one for anyone with a short attention span.  This track clocks in at just over six minutes.  It’s not the album’s longest work.  that honor belongs to the aptly titled ‘Rock Bottom Blues.’  That song comes in at just over the nine minute mark.  And anyone that is a fan of the likes of The Allman Brothers Band will especially enjoy this piece with its smoky, old school blues-rock sound.  Getting back to ‘Swinging on the Run,’ audiences can clearly hear influences from the likes of The Allman Brothers Band, Cream, The Doobie Brothers, and so many others that have come before as the song progresses.  It shows a good song doesn’t necessarily always need lyrics to be enjoyable.  that being the case, it makes perfect sense why it was chosen as the band’s final statement on this record.  It leaves audiences knowing that they have experienced something very special.  It leaves listeners knowing that along with those tracks noted here, and the remaining seven not noted, they have in Sonic Child an album that is just as deserving of respect from rock purists as any album released by the band’s more well-known counterparts.  And given the right support from listeners and radio programmers alike, it could become just as big a record as those released by said bands.

Sonic Child is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct from the Prosthetic Records online store at http://store.prostheticrecords.com/products/531769-zodiac-sonic-child-cd.  More information on Sonic Child and all of the latest updates from Zodiac is available online at:

Website: http://www.zodiac-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Zodiac.Rock

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Celebrates Four Decades Of ACL With Special Anniversary Concert

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS’ Austin City Limits hit a major milestone this year.  The network’s hit music series celebrated forty-years with PBS.  In celebration, PBS is releasing a special DVD celebrating the long-running series next month.

PBS will release Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years on Tuesday, December 2nd.  Austin City Limits’ four-decade long run on PBS is especially important to both the network and to music lovers alike.  In the four decades that Austin City Limits has been on PBS, it remains the only TV series to be awarded the Medal of Arts.  Also in that time, MTV’s Unplugged and VH1′s Storytellers have gone by the wayside.  And even CMT’s on Crossroads series has failed to maintain the stability and reputation of ACL.  Throughout its now forty-years on television, ACL has seen and continues to see some of the industry’s biggest names take to the stage.  Those names include the likes of Elvis Costello, Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails, and so many others.  Many more names are sure to be added to that list as there appears to be no end to this landmark series.

In honor of the series’ fortieth anniversary, many of those same big names have come on board for this celebratory concert.  Bonnie Raitt joins Jimmie Vaughan, Gary Clark, Jr and Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes for a performance of the Sam & Dave classic ‘Wrap It Up’ to open the concert.  Howard returns later in the show alongside Gary Clark, Jr. for a special performance.  Willie Nelson, the red-headed stranger himself, joins Emmylou Harris for a performance of Nelson’s ‘Crazy.’  Singer/actor Kris Kristofferson and Sheryl Crow team up for a performance of Kristofferson’s ‘Me and Bobby McGee.  Foo Fighters even make an appearance to perform Roky Erickson’s ‘Two-Headed Dog.’  That performance was recorded at the original ACL television studio especially for the concert.  Actor Jeff Bridges hosts the night’s festivities.  He also performs a special rendition of ‘What A Little Bit Of Love Can Do’ from the late singer-songwriter Stephen Bruton.  Bruton was a big influence on Bridges’ Oscar-winning role in the movie ‘Crazy Heart.’  As if all of this isn’t enough, Joe Ely and fellow local legend Robert Earl Keen make an appearance.  Blues legend Buddy Guy rounds out the show with a performance of ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb.’  And finishing off the whole thing is a star-studded tribute to Buddy Holly and the one and only Stevie Ray Vaughan.  A who’s who of guitarists performs Holly’s ‘Not Fade Away’ and SRV’s ‘Texas Flood’ for the night’s biggest finish.

Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years was taped live at the ACL Live at the Moody Theater and the show’s original studio, Austin PBS affiliate KLRU’s Studio 6A.  The complete list of performers is: Alabama Shakes, Doyle Bramhall II, Jeff Bridges, Gary Clark Jr., Sheryl Crow, Double Trouble, Joe Ely, Mike Farris, Foo Fighters, Grupo Fantasma, Buddy Guy, Emmylou Harris, Robert Earl Keen, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Randolph, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jimmie Vaughan.

Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years will be available Tuesday, December 2nd.  It will retail for MSRP of $24.99.  It can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=50214636&cp=&sr=1&kw=austin+city+limits&origkw=Austin+City+Limits&parentPage=search.  More information on Austin City Limits is available online at

Website: http://acltv.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/austincitylimitstv

Twitter: http://twitter.com/acltv

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Datsik Announces New Tour Dates, EP

Courtesy:  MSO PR/Firepower Records

Courtesy: MSO PR/Firepower Records

EDM star Datsik announced this week announced the dates for his upcoming Datsik’s “Ninja Nation Tour” this week.

The “Ninja Nation Tour” kicks off Thursday, January 22nd in Boston, MA. At this point, a total of thirty-seven dates have been confirmed including a performance at The Fillmore in Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday, April 10th. More dates are expected to be announced soon. The tour’s name stems from Datsik’s own obsession with ninjas and all things martial arts. It is a tribute of sorts to his fan base, which he calls the “Ninja Nation.” The current schedule for the “Ninja Nation Tour” is listed below.

Dates for DATSIK’s Ninja Nation Tour thus far are:

DATE CITY VENUE
Thu 1/22 Boston, MA House of Blues
Fri 1/23 Montreal, QC Metropolis
Sat 1/24 New York City, NY Terminal 5
Sun 1/25 Burlington, VT Higher Ground
Wed 1/28 Buffalo, NY Town Ballroom
Thu 1/29 Syracuse, NY F Shed at The Market
Fri 1/30 Hartford, CT The Dome
Sat 1/31 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory
Wed 2/4 Knoxville, TN The International
Thu 2/5 Norfolk, VA Norva
Fri 2/6 Washington, DC Echostage
Sat 2/7 Richmond, VA National
Sun 2/8 Pittsburgh, PA The Altar Bar
Mon 2/9 Pittsburgh, PA The Altar Bar
Wed 2/11 Cleveland, OH House Of Blues
Fri 2/13 Atlanta, GA Opera
Sat 2/14 Detroit, MI Royal Oak Music Theatre
Thu 2/19 Indianapolis, IN Egyptian Room
Fri 2/20 Chicago, IL Concord
Sat 2/21 Chicago, IL Concord
Wed 3/4 Aspen, CO Belly Up
Thu 3/5 Grand Junction, CO Mesa Theater
Fri 3/6 Denver, CO Ogden
Sat 3/7 Denver, CO Ogden
Sat 3/14 San Francisco, CA Warfield
Sun 3/15 Reno, NV The Knitting Factory
Wed 3/18 Victoria, BC Distrikt
Thu 3/19 Edmonton, AB Encore
Fri 3/20 Vancouver, BC Commodore
Sat 3/21 Calgary, AB Flames Central
Fri 3/27 Seattle, WA Showbox Sodo
Sat 3/28 Portland, OR Roseland Ballroom
Wed 4/1 Lubbock, TX Wild West
Thu 4/2 San Marcos, TX The Marc
Fri 4/3 Houston, TX Stereo Live
Sat 4/4 El Paso, TX Tricky Falls
Fri 4/10 Charlotte, NC Fillmore

 

Courtesy: Firepower Records

Courtesy: Firepower Records

Along with the announcement of his upcoming Winter/Spring tour dates, Datsik also announced the upcoming release of his new EP Down 4 My Ninjas. The four-track disc will be released Tuesday, November 25th. It features collaborations with veteran rapper KRS-One and DJ Paul from Three 6 Mafia along with two other guests. The EP’s full track listing is noted below.

The tracklisting for Down 4 My Ninjas is:
1. Datsik – “Katana” (Feat. Mayor Apeshit)
2. Datsik – “Get Smashed” (Feat. DJ Paul K.O.M of Three 6 Mafia)
3. Datsik – “No Requests” (Feat. KRS-One)
4. Datsik – “Astronomical” (Feat. Walt Grizzly)
5. Datsik & Twine – “When They Drop”

All of the latest news and updates on Datsik’s tour, his upcoming EP and much more is available online now at:

Website: http://www.datsik.ca.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/djdatsik

Twitter: http://twitter.com/datsik

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

Three Cheers For “Genesis: Three Sides Live”

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Last week was a big week for Eagle Rock Entertainment.  The leader in live recordings, Eagle Rock released not one, not two, not even three, but four new archived concert recordings.  Yes, four new recordings.  Two of those new recordings are newly released live recordings from The Rolling Stones.  Another was from blues/rock great Eric Clapton.  And the fourth of last week’s new releases from Eagle Rock is the Genesis rarity Three Sides Live.  The last time that this recording saw the light of day was as part of Genesis’ 2007 box set release The Movie Box: 1981 - 2007.  Before that release, the last time that it was released was on VHS in 1981.  While it may seem like having the same concert recording released three times now seems a bit much, take into account the it has only been released once on VHS and once on DVD.  That is the first and most important aspect of this recording that Genesis’ fans will appreciate. it will be discussed shortly.  Being that its release last week marked only the third time it has seen the light of day, the transfer of the original tapes to Blu-ray (and other formats) becomes another imporatnt aspect of the recording.  Staying on that same train of thought, those that purchase the recording’s Blu-ray recording will appreciate the audio-only tracks included in the recording as bonus companion material to the primary concert.  Each of the three factors noted here play their own important role in the success and enjoyment of Genesis: Three Sides Live.  All three tie together seamlessly to make it another wonderful release from Eagle Rock Entertainment and more proof of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains the leader in live recordings.

Genesis’ Three Sides Live is one of four new archived live recordings released by Eagle Rock Entertainment last week.  The concert as originally recorded some thirty-three years ago as part of the band’s North American “Abacab” tour.  The concert was released not long after the tour wrapped in celebration of the tour and the band’s albums Abacab and Duke.  After its release on VHS in 1981, the concert recording wouldn’t see the light of day again for another twenty-six years in 2007.  That release was a DVD release as part of the band’s box set The Movie Box: 1981 - ­2007Only seven years would pass between that release and this latest re-issue of the classic concert recording.  Some might think this somewhat excessive.  In comparison to bands that put out new live recordings seemingly every other year and even re-issue others just as often, it makes this concert’s new re-issue more impactful and enjoyable for the band’s long-time fans.  And considering the direction that music in general is taking in terms of its distribution, physical releases are becoming increasingly rare.  That means that the previous releases are difficult to find to say the very least.  That makes this recording even more important for the band’s fans.  By direct connection, the  quality of the footage in its transfer from VHS to DVD to Blu-ray makes the recording even more a success.

Last week’s re-issue of Genesis’ Three Sides Live marks only the third time in nearly three decades that this classic recording has seen the light of day.  That really isn’t very many times when examined from a larger view.  It isn’t all that makes this recording enjoyable and an overall success.  The quality of the footage in its transfer from VHS to DVD and now to Blu-ray shows how well the footage has stood the time.  Whether it be the actual concert footage, the interview segments, or the other material inter-spliced into the overall presentation, audiences will agree in watching this presentation it hasn’t lost any of its quality in its transfer from its original 16mm footage.  It sounds and looks great.  Much like so many of Eagle Rock’s previous archived live shows, the quality of the recording’s audio and video mix makes the experience like cracking open another musical time capsule; a time capsule that has kept its contents in perfect condition throughout the years.  The sense of nostalgia that such quality production values creates is yet another way in which this recording proves to be another success for Eagle Rock and another enjoyable watch for the band’s legions of fans.  It still isn’t all that audiences will appreciate about this recording, either.  Last to be examined in the recording are the companion audio-only tracks included as bonus material.

The very rarity of Genesis: Three Sides Live is by itself more than enough reason for long-time fans of this groundbreaking band to pick up this new recording.  The fact that the footage has more than stood the test of time in its transfer from its original 16mm tapes to DVD and now to Blu-ray makes it even more of a must-see if only once.  Last but hardly least worth noting of this recording that makes it a joy for fans is the inclusion of a handful of audio-only tracks as bonus material.  Seven full-length live songs are included as bonus material, rounding out the whole presentation.  Four of those songs are also included as part of the primary concert feature.  The other two songs–’Follow you Follow Me,’ and ‘Fountain of Salmacis’ are extra bonuses that were not included in this recording’s set list.  Just as the primary concert has stood the test of time so has the audio quality of the bonus audio-only tracks.  Sure, it’s not the whole concert.  But it’s a good portion of the concert plus a couple bonuses that weren’t included in that primary presentation.  So now with that inclusion, audiences can take in the concert without having to fully invest themselves in it or they can in fact fully invest themselves thanks to both a full a/v experience and an audio only experience.  It’s one more way in which this rare live recording from Genesis shines so brightly for fans.  Together with the overall quality of the footage and that rarity of the concert itself, it is one more way in which Eagle Rock continues to prove itself the leader in live recordings.  Altogether, all three factors together make this concert recording another must see if even once for any Genesis fan.

Genesis: Three Sides Live is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.  It is available in stores and online.  More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.