Full Band Lineup Announced For 2015 Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival

Courtesy:  BSG PR

Courtesy: BSG PR

The organizers of the annual Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival have announced the complete lineup for the 2015 edition of the festival.

The festival’s organizers announced previously that Rancid, Refused, and Dropkick Murphys will share the bill as the headliners for this year festival.  It was also previously announced that The Muffs, Bad Manners, Swingin’ Utters, Discharge, and The Business had all been tapped to perform this year.  Now it has been announced that along with all of those bands, another group of bands has been added to this year’s festival.  Those bands are:  Sick Of It All, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Anti-Flag, A Wilhelm Scream, Mahones, Sniper 66, PEARS, I.R.A., Success!, Get Dead, Avenue Rockers, Eliza Battle, Sounds of Threat, and Battle Born.  Festival founder Mark Stern was upbeat when discussing the official announcement.  He discussed not only his pleasure at having all of the bands for this year’s festival in place, but the importance of having them on board.  “We are very excited about the 2015 lineup” he said.  “We strive to keep things fresh and over 80% of these bands have never appeared at PRB. With bands from all over the States as well as Sweden, UK, Canada and even Columbia, it’s going to be another classic Punk Rock Bowing weekend!”

The 2015 edition of the three-day festival will take place over the course of May 23rd – 25thin Las Vegas, NV.  It will be held on 7th Street and Stewart Avenue near the city’s famed Fremont Street.  All of the latest updates on band lineup, ticket information, and more is available online at:

Websitehttp://www.punkrockbowling.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Punk-Rock-Bowling-and-Music-Festival/288077407910557

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/PRBCommittee

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.

Like Monroe Joining Mushroomhead On The Road To Open New Year

Courtesy:  eOne Entertainment

Courtesy: eOne Entertainment

Houston, Texas-based Like Monroe has announced that it will join Mushroomhead this winter.

Like Monroe will join Mushroomhead beginning Thursday, January 8th in Erie, PA. The band will serve as a co-support act for Mushroomhead alongside Thira. The upcoming tour dates are part of the band’s tour schedule in support of its latest full-length studio release Things We Think, But Never Speak, out now via eOne Entertainment. Like Monroe guitarist Wade Concienne spoke on behalf of the band expressing the band’s being tapped to join Mushroomhead. “We are excited to take on the road with these talented guys,” he said. “We encourage everyone to try and make it out to one of these tour dates because each and every show will be full of energy and bands that will put on an awesome show!” The band’s tour includes a pair of dates in North Carolina on January 15th and 16th in Winston-Salem and Jacksonville respectively. The band’s current schedule of dates is listed below.

Jan 08 Basement Transmissions Theatre w/ Thira Erie, PA
Jan 09 Montage Music Hall w/ Thira Rochester, NY
Jan 10 The Altar Bar w/ Thira Pittsburgh, PA
Jan 11 Empire w/ Thira Springfield, VA
Jan 13 Shakas Virginia Beach, VA
Jan 14 Capone’s w/ Thira Johnson City, TN
Jan 15 Ziggy’s By The Sea w/ Thira Winston Salem, NC
Jan 16 Hooligan’s w/ Thira Jacksonville, NC
Jan 17 Ground Zero w/ Thira Spartanburg, SC
Jan 18 Zydeco w/ Thira Birmingham, AL
Jan 19 Soul Kitchen w/ Thira Mobile, AL
Jan 20 Scout Bar w/ Thira Houston, TX
Jan 21 210 KAPONES LIVE San Antonio, TX
Jan 22 Trees w/ Thira Dallas, TX
Jan 23 Rock 3405 w/ Thira Joplin, MO
Jan 24 Clarksville w/ Thira Erode, India
Jan 25 The International w/ Thira Knoxville, TN

All of the latest updates on Like Monroe’s tour schedule and all of the latest updates from the band are available online at:

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/likemonroeband

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.

Dan Crow’s New Album Will “Fly” With Kids, Grown-Ups Alike

Courtesy:  Alls House Family Entertainment

Courtesy: Alls House Family Entertainment

The realm of children’s music is one of the most underrated within the music industry. Even now in the 21st century, there is still something of a stigma attached to children’s music. The reason for that is anyone’s guess. Maybe it’s just because it’s music meant for children. But in comparison to the glut of cookie cutter acts across the genres in the world of grown-up music, albums released in recent years within the world of children’s music have proven to be far more creative and in turn entertaining for audiences of all ages. As the Crow Flies, the latest release from educator and children’s entertainer Dan Crow is proof positive of this. Crow’s new album boasts an interesting mix of music throughout the course of its twelve songs and roughly forty minute run time. It is anchored by a trio of songs that teach some important lessons and entertain at the same time. The first of that trio is the simply-titled anti-bullying song ‘Bully Girl and Bully Boy.’ Crow teaches his young audiences about the folly of being a bully through this song. In ‘Too Much Stuff,’ Crow presents a simplistic start to what is in reality a much deeper topic in the issue of having a messy room. The topic in question is one of health safety. And if one wanted to, one could even say that it could lead to a discussion on hoarding, as hoarding can even begin in childhood. So as simple as this song seems, it really proves to be an important addition to Crow’s new album. Last of the album’s three strongest moments on As The Crow Flies is the pro-literacy song ‘Dig Deep Down.’ Any song that promotes literacy and even reading books in a digital age is well worth the listen and worthy of respect. All three of the songs noted are good examples of what makes As The Crow Flies enjoyable. They are only a portion of what Crow offers audiences, too. The album’s closer ‘Greyfriar’s Bobby’ is a wonderful piece based on the real-life story of a Skye Terrier that spent fourteen years at the grave of its master John Gray, who was allegedly a police officer for the Edinburgh City Police sometime in the late 19th century. The song incorporates an actual Celtic sound, making the song even more enjoyable especially for those that are fans of the Celtic sound (this critic included). Crow also offers audiences an updated take on the children’s standard ‘Apples and Bananas.’ And then there is the fun ‘Playground,’ whose energy and lyrical side together do a good job of illustrating both the energy felt by kids as they play and the need to get kids active. These songs also exemplify what Dan Crow has to offer in his new album. They and the other songs not noted here come together with the album’s trio of anchors to make As The Crow Flies another good example of why children’s music deserves just as much credit as any music crafted for grown-ups.

Dan Crow shows throughout the course of his new album As The Crow Flies that he has plenty to offer audiences of all ages. His album is one more that proves despite its reputation in some circles, music for children is just as viable a genre as that for grown-ups if not more so. One way in which it proves this is Through one of the album’s anchors, ‘Bully Girl and Bully Boy.’ The song is a strong and solid anchor both in its simple title and its equally simplistic lyrical approach. Bullying is an important issue that needs to remain on the front burner whether it be across the United States or in other parts of the world. And Mr. Crow is to be applauded for doing his part in the ongoing battle against bullies in this song. He writes in this song about the folly of being a bully, hoping to get potential bullies to see how pointless their actions are. He writes, “Now if you are a hobbledehoy/Don’t become a bully boy/Misbehaving like a churl/That makes you a bully girl/To pick on others brings you joy/That makes you a bully boy/A banner of meanness you unfurl/That makes you a bully girl.” He goes on in this same vein through the song’s second verse, explaining how different actions make a person a bully. There’s a certain attitude in his delivery that indirectly points the finger at people who engage in such acts. But he doesn’t do so in an accusatory fashion, either. It’s sort of Crow saying, “you know who you are” without actually saying it. He refrains in the song’s chorus that “Bully boy and bully girl/We don’t need bullies in this world.” He’s right. We don’t need bullies in this world. We don’t need bullies whether they be children or adults. Crow’s approach in sending this message helps to make both the song and the message more enjoyable and memorable among the album’s other songs.

The message sent through Crow’s anti-bullying song ‘Bully Girl and Bully Boy’ is an important piece of the whole that is As The Crow Flies. It comes at a time when every volley against bullying that can be used should. It is such a simplistic song. Yet it sends an important message without being preachy at the same time, making it a song that children and grown-ups alike will appreciate. It’s only one of the important additions to the album in whole, too. Just as important of an addition is the song ‘Too Much Stuff.’ As with ‘Bully Girl and Bully Boy,’ Crow has taken a simplistic approach with this song. His approach is simplistic both musically and lyrically. He writes in this song about a young person that simply put, has too much stuff in his or her room. He writes, “The pile of toys is very steep/I think I’ll climb it before I sweep/Here’s the fins I use to swim/And a basketball, and here’s the rim.” That verse alone paints a rather vivid picture. The scary thing is that there are people that live like this. Children aren’t the only ones, either. He goes on to write, “Clothes are here and clothes are there/And books are scattered everywhere/Papers cover up the floor/Cleaning up is such a chore.” Again, the image is rather clear. And so is the message. And again, there are adults that live in such squalor, too. So adults could get as much from this as children. It probably wasn’t Mr. Crow’s intention to craft a song in ‘Too Much Stuff’ that presented itself as the door to a much bigger issue. But it most certainly could be the starting point in discussing at least with children the importance of a clean room (and clean house). A clean room helps keep out all kinds of things from mold and mildew to even the potential of other things (god forbid). A clean room is a very important issue in terms of health. A clean room is also a room in which it is safe to walk around without fear of hurting one’s self in one way or another. So yet again, here we have Crow tackling a very serious topic in a way that makes it accessible to young audiences. It also makes it accessible enough that parents and teachers alike could use it as a starting point in a discussion with those young audiences about the importance of cleanliness and even personal health. For that, he is to be applauded yet again. It makes clear once more why he is an award-winning musician. And it makes even clearer why As The Crow Flies works as well as it does.

Both ‘Too Much Stuff’ and ‘Bully Girl and Bully Boy’ are important and enjoyable additions to Dan Crow’s new album As The Crow Flies. They both tackle very serious topics in a manner that makes them accessible to both children and grown-ups. They are simplistic enough that they will entertain young audiences while serving as good starting points for discussions on their given topics. What’s more they serve as said starting points without being preachy, too. That is even more impressive. They aren’t the only songs on this album that are so impressive. Crow’s pro-literacy song ‘Dig Down Deep’ deserves attention, too. Crow writes in this song about the joys of reading, plain and simple. He writes, “Reading is a pleasure and it passes the time/In my imagination and I keep it in mind/Like humor and adventure/The things people tried/And when the book is finished I feel so satisfied.” Any bibliophile out there will agree to Crow’s sentiment. Though sometimes, it’s just as tough to want to finish a book when it’s a really good one. But anyway, he writes about going to the library to check out a book in the song’s lead verse, and of being excited to find a shady place to sit and read said book. Again, the image is so vivid. It’s an image that sadly so few of today’s youths can envision considering that everything seems to be going digital. Digital is fine as a companion. But in the view of this critic in particular, the digital will never replace the physical object. We as adults need to make sure that books stay around as physical objects. And we need to make sure that the next generation grows up with more love for books than video games. There is nothing wrong with the digital industry taking on a bigger role in the world’s economy and schools. But it should not overtake the importance of a child’s ability to read. As Crow sings, “We’ve got a lot of reading to do.” We sure do. And hopefully we always will have a lot of reading to do for generations to come. Yet again, it’s such a hefty topic approached in a manner that makes it enjoyable and accessible for audiences young and old alike. It’s one more piece that makes As The Crow Flies enjoyable and that makes it work as well as it does.

Dan Crow has plenty to offer audiences on his new album, as should be evident here. He offers some pretty hefty topics in an accessible fashion. They make for good starting points for longer discussions on the topics in question. For all of the seriousness that he handles on As The Crow Flies, Crow also offers some more easygoing pieces, too. One example of that comes in the form of the album’s closer ‘Greyfriar’s Bobby,’ which is based on the story of a real life Scottish Skye Terrier. The song outlines the dog’s devotion to its master, who was apparently a night watchman for the Edinburgh City Police sometime in the late 19th Century. The song’s Celtic sound and even Crow’s own attempt to sing with a little bit of a Celtic tongue adds to the song’s enjoyment. Crow also offers on his new album an updated take on the standard children’s song ‘Apples and Bananas.’ Instead of using apples and bananas in his updated take, he uses gravy and potatoes as the pneumonic devices to teach the vowels. And it’s all sung in much the same fashion as ‘Apples and Bananas’ just with a slight EDM twist about it. It’s definitely an interesting piece to hear. As if all of this isn’t enough, Crow also offers late in the album a piece simply titled ‘Playground.’ Crow and his fellow musicians do a good job of exhibiting the energy felt by a child who wants to go out and play as Crow sings about all the joys of childhood play on the playground. From playing hopscotch to climbing on a jungle gym to swinging on the swings (always a childhood favorite…..perhaps because of the freedom one feels when swinging) and so much more, all of those pleasures are there. And much like the album’s core trio of songs, it could really serve as a starting point for a discussion on the need for play and getting kids active. That is especially the case considering childhood obesity remains such a hot button topic today. It’s just one more example of why As The Crow Flies is so enjoyable and why it works as well as it does.

Crow has shown a certain understanding of child mentality and of music and its power throughout As The Crow Flies. Whether it be these additional pieces, the album’s core songs or the others not noted here, each piece on this album works in its own way to make As The Crow Flies an album that every parent, teacher, and child should hear at least once. Who knows? They might be jumping for joy just as Crow himself does on the album’s cover after giving it a chance. They might even be jumping for joy when they experience his music live. Crow is currently touring in support of As The Crow Flies. He is scheduled to perform live this Thursday and Friday, December 18th and 19th in Los Angeles. Audiences can get the full details on those upcoming shows and keep up with the latest updates from Crow online at: http://www.dancrow.com.

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.

Devour The Day, Like A Storm Join Hellyeah For Upcoming Tour

Courtesy:  Eleven Seven Music

Courtesy: Eleven Seven Music

Hellyeah is hitting the road again this winter.

The band announced a new slate of tour dates in support of its latest full-length studio release Blood for Blood.  The band’s fourth full-length studio effort, Blood for Blood was released June 10th, 2014.  The upcoming tour includes twenty-three total dates.  Among those dates is a pair of dates in North Carolina on the tail end of the tour.  The first of those two dates will bring Hellyeah and support bands Devour The Day and Like a Storm to Ziggy’s by the Sea on Friday, March 6th, 2015.  Ziggy’s by the Sea is in Wilmington, North Carolina.  The second of the bands’ North Carolina performances will bring them to Amos’ Southend in Charlotte on Saturday, March 7th.

Devour the Day is currently touring in support of its debut full-length album Time & Pressure, which was released May 7th, 2013.  The album made Devour the Day one of 203’s biggest Cinderella stories.  Its lead single ‘Good Man’ reached #10 n the “Active Rock” Chart and #15 on the “Mainstream Rock Tracks” Chart.  The band was also one of the Top 40 most played artists of 2013 at Active Rock stations across the country.  The album’s latest single ‘Respect’ made its way to the Top 20 on Mediabase’s “Active Rock” Chart this past September. The band’s upcoming tour with Hellyeah is not its first with a big name act.  It has also toured with: Butcher Babies, Three Days Grace, and Sevendust and has shared the stage with Rob Zombie and All That Remains.

Like a Storm will release its new album Awaken The Fire on Century Media’s sister label Another Century early in 2015.  The album will be the band’s first for Another Century and second overall full-length release.  The band has already released two singles–‘Love The Way You Hate Me’ and its latest single ‘Wish You Hell.’

The full schedule for the upcoming “Blood For Blood 2015” Tour is listed below.

HELLYEAH with DEVOUR THE DAY and LIKE A STORM dates:

FEBRUARY
Friday, February 6, 2015 LAS VEGAS NV BROOKLYN BOWL
Saturday, February 7, 2015 RENO NV KNITTING FACTORY CONCERT HOUSE
Sunday, February 8, 2015 SACRAMENTO CA ACE OF SPADES
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 SPOKANE WA KNITTING FACTORY CONCERT HOUSE
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 BOISE ID KNITTING FACTORY CONCERT HOUSE
Friday, February 13, 2015 SALT LAKE CITY UT THE COMPLEX- GRAND ROOM
Saturday, February 14, 2015 DENVER CO SUMMIT MUSIC HALL
Sunday, February 15, 2015 WICHITA KS THE COTILION
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 KANSAS CITY MO ARVEST BANK THEATRE @ THE MIDLAND
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 LINCOLN NE THE BOURBON THEATRE
Friday, February 20, 2015 COLUMBIA MO BLUE NOTE
Saturday, February 21, 2015 SIOUX CITY IA HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO
Sunday, February 22, 2015 MINNEAPOLIS MN MILL CITY NIGHTS
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 FLINT MI THE MACHINE SHOP
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 FORT WAYNE IN PIERE’S
Friday, February 27, 2015 PHILADELPHIA PA THE TROCADERO THEATRE
Saturday, February 28, 2015 UNCASEVILLE CT MOHEGAN SUN WOLF DEN
MARCH
Sunday, March 1, 2015 SAYREVILLE NJ STARLAND BALLROOM
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 BALTIMORE MD RAMS HEAD
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 KNOXVILLE TN THE CONCOURSE @ THE INTERNATIONAL
Friday, March 6, 2015 WILMINGTON NC ZIGGY’S BY THE SEA
Saturday, March 7, 2015 CHARLOTTE NC AMOS’ SOUTHEND
Sunday, March 8, 2015 ATLANTA GA CENTERSTAGE

 All of the latest updates from Hellyeah on its tour, its latest album, and more is available online at:

Website: www.hellyeahband.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/hellyeahband

Twitter: www.twitter.com/hellyeahband

All of the latest updates from Devour the Day on its tour, its latest album, and more is available online at:

Website: www.devourtheday.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/devourtheday

Twitter: www.twitter.com/devourtheday

All of the latest updates from Like A Storm on its tour, its latest album, and more is available online at:

Website: http://www.likeastorm.com

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

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.

Judas Priest Reveals Release Date, Specs For Upcoming Re-Issue

Courtesy:  Columbia/Legacy

Courtesy: Columbia/Legacy

The members of Judas Priest made a big announcement regarding one of its classic albums this week.

Judas Priest just released its seventeenth full-length album Redeemer of Souls this summer. Fresh on the heels of that album’s release, the band has announced that it will re-issue its hit 1984 album Defenders of the Faith early next year. Defenders of the Faith will be re-issued on March 10th, 2015. While Defenders of the Faith will be re-issued next spring, this year marks the 30th anniversary of the album’s original release. The album, the band’s ninth at the time of its original release, is anything but just another re-issue. The upcoming re-issue will include Judas Priest’s original album re-mastered by producer Tom Allom and a complete live performance spanning two discs. The triple-disc package will be released via Columbia/Legacy.

The bonus full-length concert included with the upcoming re-issue of Defenders of the Faith was recorded at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, California on May 5th, 1984. The performance was part of the band’s tour in support of the then new release. Its set list features a total of twenty-one songs spread across two discs. Among those twenty-one songs are classic hits such as: ‘Metal Gods,’ ‘Breaking The Law,’ ‘Sinner,’ ‘ Electric Eye,’ ‘The Green Manilishi (Wit the Two-Pronged Crown),’ ‘Victim of Changes,’ and ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Coming’ among lots of others.

Defenders of the Faith was last re-issued in 2012 as part of a double album set alongside the band’s 1978 album Killing Machine. That album was known as Hell Ben For Leather in the United States. Before that release, Defenders of the Faith was also re-issued in 2001. The complete listing for the upcoming re-issue of Defenders of the Faith is noted below.

CD1 ‘Defenders of the Faith’ Re-Mastered 

1.   Freewheel Burning
2.   Jawbreaker
3.   Rock Hard Ride Free
4.   The Sentinel
5.   Love Bites
6.   Eat Me Alive
7.   Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
8.   Night Comes Down
9.   Heavy Duty
10. Defenders of the Faith

CD2 Live at Long Beach Arena, California 5th May 1984 

1.   Love Bites
2.   Jawbreaker
3.   Grinder
4.   Metal Gods
5.   Breaking the Law
6.   Sinner
7.   Desert Plains
8.   Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
9.   The Sentinel
10. Rock Hard Ride Free

CD3 Live at Long Beach Arena, California 5th May 1984 

1.   Night Comes Down
2.  The Hellion
3.   Electric Eye
4.   Heavy Duty
5.   Defenders of the Faith
6.   Freewheel Burning
7.   Victim of Changes
8.   The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown)
9.   Living After Midnight
10. Hell Bent For Leather
11. You’ve Got Another Thing Coming

More information on Defenders of the Faith’s upcoming re-issue and all of the latest news and tour updates from Judas Priest is available online at:

Website: http://www.JudasPriest.com

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

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.

TARLD Could Be Around For A While Thanks To Its Sophomore Full-Length Studio Release

Courtesy:  Red Light Records

Courtesy: Red Light Records

French punk rock four-piece The Amsterdam Red Light District likely is not a band with which most American rock fans are familiar.  Over the course of almost ten years since its creation, The Amsterdam Red Light District has released two full-length studio albums and an EP.  The second of those full-length record, Gone For A While, was just recently released for the world to hear.  If the band’s latest album is any indication, The Amsterdam Red Light District will be around for a while rather than gone for a while.  That is the band will be around for a while given the chance by American radio programmers and open-minded audiences.  Those programmers and listeners that actually give this surprisingly enjoyable record a chance will hear an album that barely lets up from start to finish.  The frenetic energy established early on in the album’s opener carries throughout the course of the album’s roughly thirty-eight minute run time.  The only time that it lets up even the slightest bit comes halfway through the record in the short instrumental track ‘Final Boarding Call.’  That song runs just over ninety seconds.  But in that time it does plenty to help break up the record’s ten total tracks and in turn make Gone For A While a record that is a breath of fresh air within the realm of punk rock.  Right off the top, the band—Elio Sxone (vocals), Maxime Comby (guitars), Julien Chanel (drums), and Gregory Clert (bass)—sets quite the tone in the album’s opener ‘Time Flies.’  Both musically and lyrically, ‘Time Flies’ grabs listeners by the ear and the mind and refuses to let go.  Sxone waxes philosophical in this seemingly singing about letting go of all of life’s negatives and remembering life’s positives.  That supposed message set against the song’s manic energy makes it a wonderful first impression from the band on this record.  The seeming lyrical and musical positivity exuded by the band in the album’s opener is carried right over into the album’s second song ‘Just Have a Good Time.’  Lyrically, it presents something of a carpe diem message.  And again, that same wild energy presented in the album’s opener is quite prominent here with the song actually bordering between hard rock and punk.  It’s one more clear cut example of what makes this record stand out so brightly among all of the other hard rock and punk bands out there today.  If the energy and the messages of the first two songs on Gone For A While aren’t enough for listeners, then ‘Million Miles Away’ is sure to get listeners moving.  While it maintains the same musical energy of the album’s first two songs, it does change things up lyrically.   This time, Sxone covers the standard topic of a broken relationship.  But it isn’t one of those typical ‘Oh woe is me’ type of songs.  Rather it is a proud moment in which Sxone’s subject exits the relationship with pride.  The song’s musical backing adds quite a bit of punch to the song, too.  And while it is the third track in on the record, it is still just the beginning of the ride presented in Gone For A While.  By the time the album ends, listeners will agree that in Gone For A While, The Amsterdam Red Light District is sure to be around for a while.

The Amsterdam Red Light District has proven on its sophomore full-length record that given the right support from American listeners and radio programmers alike that this band is sure to be around for a while.  The band and its new album stand out from so many of the punk bands that populate punk’s various sub-genres from start to finish on this record.  The album walks a fine line between the worlds of punk and even hard rock without ever letting itself get bogged down into any of those sub-genres in question from start to finish.  This is evident right off the top in the album’s opener ‘Time Flies.’  ‘Time Flies’ is such a strong start for TARLD due to the juxtaposition of its almost philosophical yet seemingly optimistic lyrics and manic musical energy.  Front man Elio Sxone sings against the song’s musical backing, “I found myself alone/I found myself in the desert/I had nothing but a piece of paper/I found myself alone/Can someone tell me what happened/Here is what I wrote to you in this letter/This is not the real world/If life seems so unreal to you/Keep your eyes fixed on the sun/Time flies but memories will stay with you.”  Sxone is speaking metaphorically, obviously. He seems to come across as saying, if life doesn’t feel like it should, then look for the positives in life (I.E. life’s memories).  That argument is made stronger as Sxone sings, “I can see many faces/Standing in the rain/Their lives seem to fade away/I’ve seen so many people/Waiting for someone who could save them/Looking for some better day.  He goes on to sing the previously noted chorus, reminding listeners “Time flies but memories will stay with you.”  Again, it seems as if Sxone is reminding listeners that no matter what, there will always be positives in life, even if they’re in the past.  Such a possibly positive message set against an equally powerful musical backing proves this song to be the perfect first impression from TARLD on its new album, an album that is anything but a sophomore slump.

TARLD sets a great tone for listeners with the opener Gone For A While.  The song mixes a musical backing that is sure to have listeners on their feet with a lyrical message that seems to send a positive message to listeners.  The end result is a song that every listener will love regardless of their familiarity with the band.  It is just as solid a first impression for those that are new to TARLD’s music as for those that have been following the band since its inception nearly a decade ago.  The positive vibe exuded by the band in its new album’s opener doesn’t let up after the song ends.  In fact, that same energy is carried over into the album’s second song, ‘Just Have A Good Time.’  This song leaves no question as to its message as Sxone sings about making the most of life.  He sings against the song’s full-on musical backing, “Not gonna be the one/To stay there/Waiting to the end/Not gonna be the one/Just talking to myself/Heaven can wait/We’ve got something to do tonight/So don’t be late/Don’t be late/You will not be the same when the morning comes.”  Simply put, Sxone comes across as expressing the sentiment that a single day can make all the difference in a person’s life.  And that would go right along with what seems to be the song’s overall theme of taking life by the proverbial horns.  He goes on to sing, “Jump into the crowd/We’re outside in the middle of the night/Just have a good time.”  It echoes the previous line’s sentiment of making the most of each day.  And again, set against the song’s thrill ride of a musical backing, the song is even more of a wonderful representative of what Gone For A While has to offer audiences.

Both ‘Time Flies’ and ‘Just Have A Good Time’ are excellent examples of what TARLD has to offer audiences in Gone For A While.  They are hardly all that the band has to offer audiences, either.  The album’s third track, ‘Million Miles Away’ is proof of that.  The song tackles the standard lyrical topic of a broken relationship.  But unlike so many other songs of its ilk, ‘Million Miles Away’ takes the road less traveled, presenting a man that has made a clean break in said relationship.  As Sxone sings in this song, “I’m driving this car a million miles away/A million miles away from you/There’s nothin’ you can do/I’m driving away from you/Because you know it’s over now/Put the pedal to the metal/I wouldn’t come back anymore/Cause tonight, tonight I’m on the road/And I will not be alone.”  Such a defiant tone in a song that tackles such a standard subject makes the song shine amongst all of those songs.  It makes the song well worth the listen by itself.  The song’s equally driving musical backing adds to the song’s edge, making it even more of a success.  Sxone goes on to essentially sing about how he is headed full steam ahead and not looking back as he sings, “Pretty girls, long legs/Tonight is gonna be perfect/Because you know we’re just men/Dancing with ladies all night long/We’re gonna tear this place down/And I will not be alone.”  There are other songs out there that take a similarly defiant tone in covering such a subject. But they are few and far between.  Even with there being other songs of this style out there, the more self-pitying style ballads still outnumber the more head-held-high moments.  That knowledge makes this song even more of a welcome addition to Gone For A While. It is one more addition that along with every one of the songs that follow makes Gone For A While an album that is just as enjoyable as any of its more well-known major label counterparts.

Gone For A While is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct via the band’s website at http://www.tarld.bigcartel.com/product/gone-for-a-while-lp-2014.  Audiences will also be able to purchase the band’s new album in February when it gets back on the road.  The band currently has a number of performance dates in Spain beginning Friday, February 27th.  The band’s current tour schedule runs nine dates from February 27th – March 7th.  Full details are TBA.  Audiences can keep up with those details and all of the band’s latest news online at:

Website: http://www.tarldtheband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tarldtheband

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.

Feast Of Friends Is Truly A Feast For The Eyes And Ears Of Any Doors Fan

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

The tour documentary is, in the music industry’s current era, one of the most overused recordings released by record labels and their roster of acts each year.  Next to those “making of the record documentaries” and singles collections that so many acts and labels like to call “greatest hits” records, the tour documentary has over the years become overly abundant that it has largely lost any importance that it might have previously had within the music industry.  The end result of so many labels and acts releasing tour documentaries is that the documentaries in question have become relatively bland and useless.  This is especially the case being that the world now lives in an era in which social media dominates almost every avenue of everyday life.  By comparison, bands that laid the groundwork for today’s music industry didn’t have any of today’s technology.  So the only glimpse that audiences had at said acts was the occasional live show that audiences could attend when said acts came to their towns.  That makes the rare documentaries released today on said acts all the more valuable for audiences.  Eagle Rock Entertainment released one of those important and valuable rarities late last month in the form of The Doors’ Feat of FriendsFeast of Friends was produced by and about The Doors.  It was also the only tour documentary ever produced by the band itself.  The catch is that it was never actually fully completed.  Until now, Feast of Friends has never been officially released to the public for purchase.  That within itself is a major reason for audiences to pick up this documentary.  It’s just one reason for audiences to check it out, too.  The amount of material presented to audiences within the documentary is just as important to the whole.  And last but not least of all is the quality of the footage itself throughout the presentation.  Considering how many decades have passed since the video presented in Feast of Friends was originally recorded.  But it looks surprisingly clean in its transfer from its masters.  Together with the documentary’s content and the fact that it has never before been released, it becomes a presentation that any fan of The Doors and any music historian will want to add to their collection.

One of the main reasons that today’s tour documentaries and making of presentations have become so annoying and useless is the fact that there are so many of them.  More often than not, many of the pieces that make up that mass are “documentaries” that have been released more than once over the years.  Given some might not have been.  But there are those that have been released and re-issued more than once.  Eagle Rock Entertainment’s release of The Doors’ Feast of Friends is the first time ever that this documentary has seen the light of day since its original recording during the band’s 1968 tour.  That means that at least the primary feature material contained within this Blu-ray is material that has not been seen before.  Given, there is one piece that looks like it was taken from the band’s 1968 show at the Hollywood Bowl. And “The Doors Are Open” has been previously released, too. It was released on DVD in 2002.  But other than that, the material presented in this documentary is material that has not been seen before by audiences.  That means that there is nothing to which this release can be compared in terms of The Doors’ previous releases.  That in itself is plenty of reason for any music historian and fan of The Doors to pick up this recording.  It also leads to another reason that audiences will appreciate Feast of Friends.  That second reason that audiences will appreciate Feast of Friends is its very breadth of material.

The fact that Eagle Rock Entertainment’s recent release of Feast of Friends marks the first time that the documentary has been released to the public for purchase is reason enough for any music historian or Doors fan to pick up this recording.  The amount of never before seen material that is shared throughout the recording is even more reason for audiences to check it out.  Audiences get to see the primary presentation after which the Blu-ray is titled for the first time.  Audiences get to see another side of Jim Morrison especially through the course of this feature.  They get to see his more well-known enigmatic side.  But they also get to see a more laid back Jim Morrison, playing a piano backstage at one of the band’s gigs.  They get to see him with his band mates and all of their friends and family at a lake, just enjoying time together.  They also see early on a man who was obviously a reluctant celebrity despite his ability to connect with the band’s fans on and off stage.  It is truly an interesting juxtaposition to see.  And it’s not all that audiences will enjoy seeing, either in this presentation.   Also included with Eagle Rock’s new release of Feast of Friends is a rather interesting look at the band from across the pond in the feature “The Doors Are Open.” This feature does has actually been released before. It does quite the job of juxtaposing the band’s concert footage against all of the unrest running through America at the time. There is also an impressive concert feature in the presentation’s closer “The End.” It shows the band’s performance of what is one of its greatest songs of all time in ‘The End.’ It is complemented by the inclusion of interviews with John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, and Danny Sugerman. Whether or not audiences are familiar with the Doors, the collective material featured throughout this Blu-ray is material that will enlighten and entertain anyone with any interest in classic rock and the foundations of today’s rock world. It is most definitely a collection of material that makes the presentation in whole well worth the watch.

 

The material culled for Feast of Friends will definitely enlighten and entertain audiences regardless of their familiarity with the Doors or even the history of classic rock in general. That Feast of Friends has never been released before, and that over ten years have passed since “The Doors Are Open” was last released makes this collection even more worth the watch for any true fan of The Doors and any music historian. As important as all of this is to the success and enjoyment of The Doors: Feast of Friends none of it would mean anything without the work of those charged with restoring the footage for its presentation here. In watching the Blu-ray in whole, it is obvious that while some of the material has been previously released, painstaking efforts were taken to ensure that Feast Of Friends maintained the high standard set by Eagle Rock with each and every one of its releases, whether it be a live concert recording or documentary. There are those Blu-rays out there that present classic concerts and movies in which the footage obviously hasn’t been touched. And those releases look awful to say the least. This Blu-ray however, is not on that level, thankfully. It maintains Eagle Rock’s high standard quite well. And because of that, it leaves no doubt in any viewer’s mind that Feast of Friends is indeed a feast for the eyes and ears of any Doors fan and music historian.

 

The Doors: Feast of Friends is available now 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.