Crowbar Front Man’s Debut Solo LP Is A Surprisingly Engaging Presentation

Courtesy: eOne

Kirk Winstein has spent the better part of his professional career at the helm of the famed sludge metal band Crowbar.  That band has released eleven albums over the course of its more than 25 year life.  After having spent so many years focusing on writing, performing and touring with his band mates in Crowbar, Windstein has broken out on his own for the first time this year with his debut solo album Dream in Motion.  The 10-song record is an interesting offering from Windstein, who is known mainly for his gravelly vocal delivery, which is just as present here as ever, but he also takes a slightly lighter tone at times, which when coupled with the album’s overall instrumentation, leads to comparisons to works from the likes of Type O Negative.  At others, Crowbar’s sound can be heard just as much here as can other influences.  The record’s lyrical themes, coupled with the noted musical arrangements, add more interest to the album.  From themes of perseverance (as in the album’s opener, which will be discussed shortly) to the issue of dealing with people who are anything but good for a person in ‘Toxic,’ (which will be discussed a little later) to taking on societal issues, such as in the album’s closer – a cover of Jethro Tull’s ‘Aqualung’ – the album proves itself an interesting first solo outing for Windstein that is worth at least an occasional listen.  That is just as much the case when the record’s other songs not noted here are taken into consideration along with the songs directly addressed in this review.

Kirk Windstein’s debut solo record Dream in Motion is an intriguing presentation from the longtime Crowbar front man that is deserving of at least an occasional listen.  That is proven in part through its musical arrangements and its lyrical themes.  The record’s opener/title track.  ‘Dream in Motion’ is anchored by an arrangement that take some elements of Crowbar’s music and crosses that with a bit of an old school metal influence for a whole that is in itself a unique presentation.  It is a work that makes for a good start, musically, to the record.  It also serves well in translating the emotion exuded through the song’s lyrical theme.  That theme is one of perseverance.

The theme of perseverance is noted right from the song’s outset as Windstein sings in the song’s lead verse, “A song of hope/A burning mind/Unleashing strength from deep inside/The will to fight/To carry on/Within my heart/It’s never ever gone.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “I’ve seen so much through all these years/I’ve seen the light through burning tears/I’ve done my best to turn away/And kill the darkness every single day.”  Windstein adds in the song’s third and final verse, “My light will never ever fade/I stand alone/My mind will rise above it all/I’ve learned the pain will slowly die/I’ve touched the sky.”  Additionally, he states in the song’s chorus, “This is a dream in motion/It will never end/It’s an eternal hunger/Growing life again.”  Once again, this comes across as a determined statement of perseverance.  This message gains even more traction when it is considered along with the song’s powerful musical arrangement, which works to really express so much frustration yet positive emotion and thought.  The coupling of the elements makes the song in whole a good start for the album, and an equally strong example of what makes the album a notable presentation.  It is just one of the album’s most notable songs, too.  ‘Toxic,’ which comes later in the album’s run, does just as much as ‘Dream in Motion’ to exhibit what makes the album so unique.

‘Toxic’ takes Windstein in a somewhat new direction again in its musical arrangement.  The guitar riff, drums and bass here come together to create a sound that at some points, is comparable to works from some 90s hard rock bands.  One could argue that there is a hint of a Pantera influence here, as a matter of fact.  At the same time, there is still an element of Crowbar in the song’s arrangement.  In bringing those influences together, the song in whole presents itself as a standout addition to the album.  It also does well to help translate the frustration of the song’s subject with that person whose influence is not so positive on the subject.

Windstein opens the song, singing from the subject’s standpoint, “You twist up my words/My voice speaks the truth/Slashed into my thoughts/you’re pulling up roots/the seeds that you bury deep into the earth/Grew vines that are rotting/they stole my self worth.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “I listen to you and hear only lies/My ears have been burning with infinite cries/Your presence is toxic, so please go away/uprooting the evil/It’s your turn to pay.”  This is relatively straight forward.  It paints the picture of someone dealing with an individual who is narcissistic, to say the very least.  The song’s chorus adds to that impact even more, with Windstein singing, “Your misery in frozen time/I’m feeling pain that isn’t mine/The hold you had on me is gone/The growing need burns on and on.”  Once more, this is someone standing up to another individual whose impact has been anything but positive.  It is another song to which so many listeners can relate and connect.  Keeping that in mind, it is one more way in which Dream in Motion proves its value.  That is especially, again, considering the use of that content with the song’s musical arrangement.  It is just one more example of what makes Dream in Motion a positive solo debut for Windstein.  The cover of Jethro Tull’s ‘Aqualung’ is one more way in which the record proves its strength.

‘Aqualung’ stands out because when one thinks of Jethro Tull, one’s mind does not necessarily go to thoughts of Crowbar or even to thoughts of its front man.  The fact of the matter however, is that the cover featured here actually is surprisingly entertaining.  It stays largely true to its source material.  Windstein, in his vocal delivery, even does well taking on Jethro Tull front man Ian Anderson’s own vocal delivery.  Considering that the song and album were considered such a stark stylistic departure for Jethro Tull from its own past works, that makes it even more of a fitting finale for Windstein’s record.  That is because it is such a stark contrast to everything else featured throughout Dream in Motion.  Yet it does so well in itself.  Everyone involved in the song’s presentation here did an admirable job of generating that classic rock vibe here while also giving the song a slightly amped up update.  When the arrangement is considered along with the song’s lyrical theme, which takes on the societal issue of how we treat those in situations less positive than our own, it makes the song in whole a statement that is just as strong as the album’s opener.  That is especially considering that in the song, it is noted that Aqualung, the song’s title character, does actually see some hope despite everything.  It echoes the theme in the album’s opener, and reminds us that hope is there.  When this is considered along with the other songs noted here — and the rest of the album’s works — the album in whole shows once more why it is a surprisingly entertaining listen.  It proves itself a record that for a debut, is a good start for Windstein and is worth at least an occasional listen.

Crowbar front man Kirk Windstein’s debut solo record Dream in Motion is a surprisingly engaging offering.  That is due to its musical arrangements and its lyrical themes, which will connect to its listeners from start to end, as evidenced by the analysis presented here.  Between the songs noted here and the rest of the album’s entries, the album in whole proves itself worth hearing at least occasionally.  More information on Dream in Motion is available along with all of Kirk Windstein’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/crowbarrules

 

 

 

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Alvarez’s Latest Zardonic LP Is Sure To “Become” A Favorite Among EDM Metal Fans Alike

Courtesy: eOne

World-renowned producer Federico Agreda Alvarez, aka Zardonic, released his latest full-length studio recording Become late last month via eOne.  The album, his ninth full-length studio recording, comes three years after the release of his most recent recording, 2015’s Antihero.  The record’s musical arrangements, which boast a solid mix of dubstep and industrial metal creates a sound that will appeal to fans of Ministry, Gravity Kills, The Prodigy and other similar acts.  Its lyrical content adds just as much interest to the record as its musical content, with its engaging themes.  Keeping in mind the lyrical and musical content presented throughout, ‘Children of Tomorrow’ proves to be one of the album’s most powerful entries.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Takeover’ is another notable addition to the album, and will be discussed a little bit later.  ‘Follow The Light’ is yet another of Become’s most notable entries.  Between these songs and the eight others that round out the rest of the album, the 11-song album in whole proves to be a surprisingly enjoyable effort for those unfamiliar with Alvarez’s work and just as enjoyable for his more seasoned audiences.

Zardonic’s new studio album Become is a powerful new offering from the Venezuelan producer/DJ/keyboardist that will appeal just as much to his seasoned audiences as his new fans.  That is due to the combination of the record’s powerhouse musical arrangements and its equally engaging lyrical themes.  ‘Children of Tomorrow’ is one of the most notable examples of how that joining of elements makes Become a strong new offering from Zardonic, aka Federico Agreda Alvarez.  This is proven in part through the song’s musical arrangement, which is a heavy, driving composition.  The brooding, contemplative vibe makes it even more impacting.  In the same breath, that engaging vibe is a good accent for the song’s equally brooding, contemplative lyrical theme, which focuses on those people who have and do stand against oppression.  As Alvarez pointed out in an interview, “ ‘Children of Tomorrow’ is an anthem for the resistance; for the people who have raised their voice as the system continues to oppress us.Many sadly took this fight to the streets and violence, leading eventually to riots and their death. This is our homage to them.”  As the song’s lead verse states, “Got a heart full of sorrow for the children of tomorrow/Fire in the sky/Beg, steal, kill or borrow/Their purpose is worthless/their days numbered/Can’t take the heat/Watch it rise to the surface/Death or dishonor/Grab the dog by its collar/Dog eat dog, let us fight over dollars/They don’t know/They will never ever show what we go through/Red lights on/Won’t stop until you do.”

The second verse illustrates that message just as much, stating, “We’re not safe/devastate when they legislate/Designate hate/Take the food off your plate/And the clothes off your back/We’re under attack/We’re under attack/Gear up/Rise up/Put on your gas mask/Take that Molotov/Blast counter attack/This is streetside manpower fighting back.”  The song’s chorus is just as direct in its message, following the wording in the verses closely.  What listeners get overall is a song that is not just another protest song or even just another industrial or Electronic Dance Music (EDM) work.  It is a work that sets a solid hybrid EDM/Industrial metal arrangement alongside a tribute to those who have fought against corrupt powers in Venezuela for a work that could just as easily inspire those fighting against corruption around the world.  Simply put, it is entertaining and inspiring all in one, and in turn, clearly one of Become’s most powerful entries.  Of course it is just one of the album’s most notable additions.  ‘Takeover’ is another of the album’s most notable compositions.

‘Takeover’ is its own important work because it bears its own identity separate from the rest of the songs included in Become.  This song, composed along with the work of the Qemists, does boast that noted familiar feel in its arrangement.  What is truly interesting here though, is that along with the clear influences from Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, Celldweller’s influence can be heard, too.  The joining of those influences makes this arrangement another powerhouse presentation that will definitely appeal to a wide range of listeners.  That hard-driving arrangement is only one part of what makes the song so worth noting.  Its lyrical content plays into its importance, too.  Alvarez pointed out in his interview about the album that the song, musically and lyrically is a tribute to Zardonic’s forefathers.  He said, “Takeover’ is a reminder to the world that before EDM and rock/metal became the trend it is today, we were pursuing this sound since 2004, and there were also many before us all the way back to the 60s…We pay homage to the great artists before us, those who made it big, those unsung – Pendulum, The Prodigy, Celldweller, Ministry, Linkin Park, and all other great artists that contributed to bring electronic-fused rock to the mainstream, and as the scene takes shape, you better be ready to brace for ‘Takeover!”

That tribute is clear in the song’s lyrics.  The song’s lead verse reads, “Oh, we’ve been doing this since the dark ages/With fast paces/Takin’ rock and metal/Throwin’ drum and bass in/And this one goes out to the cell dwellers/Who stood alone/metronome full force to the trendsetters/Rock the people/Rush the stage/keepin’ bodies movin’, yeah/But melting the face/Crushin’ the metal/Punchin’ the bass/Rockin’ the place as you brace for takeover.”  The tribute continues in the song’s chorus, reminding listeners to “be ready for takeover.”  It’s a message that the biggest and best is yet to come, and is sent defiantly and proudly, too.  That pride and positivity in the song’s message couples with the equally upbeat and infectious nature of the song’s arrangement to make it another standout addition to ‘Takeover.’  The end result is a song that clearly proves why it is another of Become’s most notable works.  It is not the last of the album’s most notable compositions, either.  ‘Follow The Light’ is one more of the record’s most notable works.

‘Follow The Light’ stands out in part because unlike the arrangements presented in the previously discussed songs, this song comes across as the most EDM-centered arrangement.  Yes, the industrial metal influences are there once again, but this time, they seem present more in a supporting sense, while the EDM elements take more of a center stage.  What really make the arrangement stand out is its sense of urgency, which makes the little lyrical content in the song more relatable.  The one real line of lyrics states simply, “We reunite as the worlds collide/Fear is an illusion/We are your salvation/By eventide our journey begins/So heed the call and follow the light.”  As Alvarez noted of that content, “The worlds collide is a perfect analogy to our manipulated society.  It pains me to see this, because I see the results of it in every aspect of our lives.  How through fear, people are led to create enemies out of fellow humans, and are capable of the worst atrocities against them.”  He goes on to note that because of the negativity and hate filling the world, he follows the light “that lets me see the with real eyes, what is going on once you look at the bigger picture.”  He is saying that people in general need to see that light and stop the evil and hate filling the world, thus that noted seeming urgency in the song’s arrangement.  That urgency and the urgency evoked through the song’s growing tension drives the message home even more.  When one takes all of this into consideration, the whole of the song proves even more important and notable.  When it is joined with the other songs discussed here and the rest of the album’s works, the end result is an album that is not just another EDM/Industrial presentation, but a work that combines those elements in a unique fashion while also presenting some equally engaging lyrical themes.  The combination of that engagement and entertainment makes the album in whole a presentation that is sure to impress Zardonic’s fans new and old alike.

Multi-talented producer/keyboardist/DJ Zardonic, aka Federico Agreda Alvarez’s latest full-length studio recording Become is a powerful new offering from the veteran composer, producer and performer.  It is a work that is certain to have a wide-ranging appeal.  That is proven in part through arrangements that solidly balance Alvarez’s EDM influences with his more rock and metal influences from one song to the next.  That in itself guarantees listeners’ sustained engagement and entertainment.  The record’s wide range of lyrical themes is sure to keep listeners engaged.  This is just as clear from start to end.  When all of this is considered in examining the album in whole, the record proves to be a solid new offering from Zardonic, and easily one of the year’s best new industrial and EDM offerings.  It is available now via eOne.  More information on Become is available online now along with all of Alvarez’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.zardonic.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/zardonic

 

 

 

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Ace Frehley To Perform Live On ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ Monday Night

Courtesy: eOne

Ace Frehley will release his new album next month, and in anticipation of its release, will make an appearance Monday night on ABC.

Frehley, one of the original members of KISS, will appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live! asa special guest member of Kimmel’s house band, Cleto and the Cletones as part of the promotion for his new album Spaceman.  The album is currently scheduled for release Oct. 19 via eOne.

 Spaceman is Frehley’s first album of original material since the release of his 2014 album Space Invaders. It features a cover of Eddie Money’s ‘I Wanna Go Back’ the singles ‘Bronx Boy‘ and ‘Rockin’ With The Boys‘ and six other songs sure to be their own fan favorites.

The album’s full track listing is noted below. Pre-orders are open now.

 

Courtesy: eOne

1. Without You I’m Nothing
2. Rockin’ With the Boys
3. Your Wish Is My Command
4. Bronx Boy
5. Pursuit Of Rock and Roll
6. I Wanna Go Back
7. Mission To Mars
8. Off My Back
9. Quantum Flux

 

 

 

Frehley is scheduled to perform on the KISS Kruise VIII from Oct. 31 to Nov. 5.  The cruise leaves from Miami, Florida before heading to Key West and Nassau before returning to Miami on Nov. 5.

Three more dates in Florida are scheduled following the cruise, from Nov. 9 to 11.  All of Frehley’s current live dates ate noted below.

Oct 31, 2018 – Nov. 5, 2018 – Miami to Key West and Nassau, KISS Kruise VIII
November 9, 2018 – Clearwater, FL, Capitol Theatre
November 10, 2018 – Melbourne, FL, King Center for the Performing Arts
November 11, 2018 – Miramar, FL, Miramar Amphitheatre

More information on Ace Frehley’s new album, live dates and more is available online no along with all of his latest news and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.acefrehley.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Ace_Frehley

 

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Zakk Wylde Adds More Dates To His “Book Of Shadows II” Tour

Courtesy: eOne

Courtesy: eOne

Zakk Wylde has added more dates to his current live schedule.

The veteran guitarist and Black Label Society front man announced recently a brand new schedule of live dates.  The new schedule, which is in support of his new album Book of Shadows II, launches this Friday, July 8th in Dallas, Texas and runs through September 3rd in Los Angeles, California.  The roughly eight-week tour will take Wylde across North America and Canada and even includes a stop in North Carolina along the way on Friday, July 22nd.  There also performances scheduled in Texas, New York, Ohio, Utah, and many other cities.  Jared James Nichols will serve as direct support throughout the tour at various dates along with Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown.  Tickets and VIP packages are available now for all dates.  They can be purchased online now here.  The full schedule for the upcoming tour is noted below.  .

 

7/8: Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live
7/9: Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
7/10: Austin, TX @ Emo’s
7/12: Houston, TX @ House of Blues
7/13: New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
7/15: Orlando, FL @ The Plaza Live
7/16: Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
7/18: Millvale, PA @ Mr.Smalls Theatre
7/19: New York, NY @ Webster Hall
7/20: Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa
7/22: Charlotte, NC @ Amos’ Southend
7/23: Louisville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom
7/24: Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
7/26: Minneapolis, MN @ Skyway Theatre
7/28: Detroit, MI @ The Majestic Theatre
7/29: Cleveland, OH @ The Agora Theatre
7/30: Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre Of Living Arts
7/31: Boston, MA @ Royale
8/2: Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live
8/4: Uncasville, CT @ Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun Casino *no support
8/7: Montreal, QC @ HEAVY MTL
8/8: Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
8/10: Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
8/11: Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theatre
8/13: Sturgis, SD @ Full Throttle Saloon *no support
8/15: Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
8/16: Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
8/18: Missoula, MT @The Wilma
8/19: Calgary, AB @Flames Central
8/20: Saskatoon, SK @ O’Brian’s Event Centre
8/21: Winnipeg, MB @ The Garrick Centre
8/23: Edmonton, AB @ The Ranch Roadhouse
8/25: Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
8/26: Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
8/27: Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Concert House
8/28: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
8/30: San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
9/1: Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
9/2: Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee
9/3: Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre

 

More information on the latest dates on Zakk Wylde’s “Book Of Shadows II Tour” is available online now along with all of Zakk Wylde’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.zakkwylde.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ZakkWyldeBLS

 

 

 

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Former Faith No More Front Man Releasing New Album

Courtesy: O'Donnell Media Group

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Former Faith No More front man Chuck Mosley will release his new solo album this summer.

Demos For Sale, the new album from Chuck Mosley (And The VUA) will be released on CD on Friday, July 8th and on limited edition vinyl LP formats on Friday, July 22nd.  The album will be released by EMP Label Group/eOne in North America and via EMP/SPV in Europe.  Its release comes through a partnership between the labels and THC : Music.  It can be pre-ordered online now here.

Demos For Sale is a compilation of demos and early mixes from the band’s 2009 album Will Rap Over Hard Rock For Food.  Mosley discussed the albums’ comparison in a recent interview.  He shared his thoughts that the final product apparently was not what he had originally hoped for, thus leading to the upcoming release of Demos For Sale.  “While it was a great record for what it was, and a lot of people love it, Will Rap Over Hard Rock turned into a monster that I let get completely out of control with overdubs, over-production, my live tracks getting redone by God knows who..,” he said.  “Demos for Sale, is a choice version of the LP, before it mutated into Will Rap Over Hard Rock for Food, a little closer to how we wanted it to be – live, dirty and punk rock.. warts and all.”

Mosley will tour in support of his new record beginning next Thursday, May 19th in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  The tour currently runs through July 22nd in Northampton, MA.  Rob Roy–of Dead By Wednesday–and Opus will serve as support acts for the tour.  Mosley’s current tour schedule is noted below.

 

CHUCK MOSLEY – REINTRODUCE YOURSELF TOUR Dates:
5/19/2016 Eau Claire, WI – The Plus
5/20/2016 Madison, WI – The Red Zone

5/21/2016 West Chicago, IL – Cairo Ale House
6/10/2016 Dubuque, IA – The Venue
6/11/2016 Colorado Springs, CO – Sunshine Studios
6/12/2016 Denver, CO SoCo Nightlife – CITY HALL
6/15/2016 Spokane, WA – The Pin
6/16/2016 Everett, WA – Tony Vs Garage
6/18/2016 Portland, OR – Hawthorn Lounge

6/19/2016 Seattle, WA – Fun House

6/24/2016 South Bend, IN – Smiths Downtown
7/12/2016 Kutztown, PA – YOUNG ONES RECORDS
7/13/2016 Philadelphia, PA – Hard Rock Café
7/14/2016 Harrisburg, PA – Federal Taphouse
7/15/2016 Clifton, NJ – Dingbatz
7/16/2016 Long Branch, NJ – Brighton Bar
7/21/2016 Manchester NH – Shaskeen Pub
7/22/2016 Northampton MA – Bishops Lounge*

*= with special guests Opus and Rob Roy of Dead By Wednesday

 

More information on Demos For Sale is available online now along with all of Mosley’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.mosleyvua.com

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

 

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TesseracT Joining Gojira For Upcoming North American Tour

Courtesy: Roadrunner Records/eOne

Courtesy: Roadrunner Records/eOne

TesseracT is returning to the U.S. this fall.

The U.K.-based progressive metal band has announced that it will serve as support for Gojira on its upcoming U.S. tour.  The tour is in support of Gojira’s upcoming album Magma, due out Friday June 17th via Roadrunner Records.  As TesseracT front man Dan Tomkins noted in a recent interview, the tour will be the band’s last in support of Polaris, its latest full-length studio recording.  Polaris was released September 18th, 2015.  He also discussed touring with Gojira, noting, “We are thrilled to announce that we will be back in the U.S. and Canada throughout September and October.”  He went on to say, “This will be the final tour of the ‘Polaris’ cycle and we couldn’t think of a better way to do it! This will be our first support tour in a long time and we are very excited to be touring with such a groundbreaking and unique band; it will be an honour to share the stage with them. Gojira have a great and loyal fanbase and we look forward to presenting our live show to them and of course for our own dedicated fans and friends. We will again be running our VIP meet and greets, which are always so much fun, so we hope to shake hands and chat with even more new faces this time around!”

This fall’s upcoming North American tour will mark the first time since last year’s run with The Contortionist, Erra, and Skyharbor.  Tickets for the band’s upcoming live dates go on sale this Friday, May 6th.  They can be purchased online here at each venue’s ticket office.  Special bundle packs can be purchased online here.  Full album streams of Polaris are currently available online now via YouTube at the band’s official website.  Audiences can also view the video for the song ‘Survival’ online via Kscope’s official YouTube channel now.

More information on TesseracT’s upcoming tour is available now online along with the band’s latest news, links to purchase Polaris and more at:

 

Website: http://www.tesseractband.uk.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tesseractband

 

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Zakk Wylde Debuts ‘Sleeping Dogs’ Video

Courtesy:  eOne

Courtesy: eOne

Zakk Wylde releases his new album Book of Shadows II this week.  Ahead of its release, the veteran rocker debuted the video for one of the album’s songs last week.

Zakk Wylde premiered the video for the song ‘Sleeping Dogs’ last week.  The video can be viewed online now via Wylde’s official Vevo channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dtxOKXo9aI.

 

Courtesy: eOne

Courtesy: eOne

 

The video follows Wylde as he walks through a rather bleak looking forest setting.  Within the forest is an interesting group of figures.  It was helmed by long time Black Label Society collaborator Justin Reich.  Of Wylde discussed Reich’s involvement in the video in a recent interview, noting Reich’s talents behind the lens.  “Black Label Brethren O’ Doom Father Justin Reich Did Another Amazing job Directing the video,” he said.  He jokingly added of Reich’s vision, “I asked Father Justin to capture the sights, sounds, smell and feel of the first day my parents dropped me off at kindergarten. Watching the video made me realize why I’m so fond of reading and vegetables.”

While he doesn’t appear in the visualized take on the song Slipknot/Stone Sour front man Corey Taylor does make an appearance on the LP version of the song.  Wylde also shared his thoughts on Taylor’s involvement in the song noting, “Having Father Corey Taylor’s brilliant Voice sing on ‘Sleeping Dogs’ fulfilled my vision of the two of us as the modern day Simon & Garfunkel.”  Not one to ever be entirely serious he added of his relationship with Taylor, “We may not be as legendary, talented or as handsome as those two, but we’ve eaten at some of the same restaurants as them.”

Zakk WYlde Revolver Mag CoverAlong with the debut of his new video Wylde is also on the cover of the new issues of Revolver magazine and Guitar World magazine.  He appears alongside fellow guitar legend Buddy Guy in the new issue of Guitar World.  Each can be purchased online via Revolver’s official online store and that of Guitar World.

 

Courtesy:  Guitar World Magazine

Courtesy: Guitar World Magazine

 

 

More information on Book of Shadows II is available online now along with all of Zakk Wylde’s new tour updates, news, and more at:

 

Website: http://www.zakkwylde.com

 

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

 

Twitter: http://twitter.comzakkwyldeBLS

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Audiences Of All Ages Will “Believe” In Panton’s New Album Re-Issue

Courtesy: eOne

Courtesy: eOne

Diana Panton is one of the most respected and accomplished performers in the jazz community today. One look at the singer’s bio shows that. She has released six critically acclaimed full-length albums, been nominated for two JUNO awards, won two Silver Disc Awards in Japan, 7 HMAS and has been tapped to play some of the world’s top jazz festivals among so much more. Needless to say the Hamilton, Ontario, Canada-based vocalist has done and earned quite a bit in her career so far. And last year she added yet another proverbial feather in her cap when she released her first-ever children’s album I Believe in Little Things. The album, originally released on September 25th, 2015 in Canada, will be re-issued this spring (March 18th to be exact) in the United States via eOne Records. The fourteen-song collection earned its own acclaim overseas in its initial release. And it would be no surprise for it to earn even more accolades upon its release domestically. That is especially the case considering that while it is being marketed as a children’s album it really isn’t just an album for children. That is because its featured songs are in fact songs lifted from movies, not just children’s standards. The catch is that the songs and the movies from which they were lifted are all family friendly. Yet young audiences today likely are far more unfamiliar with the songs or said movies than their parents. Considering that, it becomes just as enjoyable for adults as it is for younger viewers. It will generate a sense of nostalgia in older listeners and serves as a starting point for younger listeners to learn about the beloved songs and movies from which they were lifted. Keeping all of this in mind, it is safe to say that while most American audiences likely don’t know Diana Panton’s name or body of work, her new album could very well be the album that makes her more of a household name here in the states.

I Believe in Little Things, Diana Panton’s first-ever children’s album, is an interesting collection of songs. That is because considering its featured compositions it doesn’t necessarily come across as being solely for younger audiences. The compositions in question are songs lifted from a handful of classic family friendly movies. Those movies include but are not limited to: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), The Muppet Movie (1970), and Pinocchio (1940) just to name a few. Also featured in this album are songs from Alice in Wonderland (1951), and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). There are even songs lifted from the beloved children’s series Sesame Street and Jim Henson’s other family favorite series The Muppet Show. So not only does Panton touch on timeless movies but on timeless television series, too. On the surface this doesn’t seem like much. But on a deeper level the link between the songs, movies, and TV series serves as a starting point in a history lesson that will hopefully get younger listeners into said classics versus what is begin offered to them today. What’s more the songs themselves also serve as a starting point in a lesson about the importance of jazz in young listeners’ musical upbringing. Older audiences could start with the featured songs and go back in time from there, exhibiting some of the jazz tunes that have made (and continue to make) jazz such a great and important genre. It would have been nice to have had the movies and TV series listed in the album’s companion booklet. If anything can be said negative of the album’s overall presentation that is it. Even with that having been noted it isn’t so overwhelming that it overly detracts from the album’s presentation. Keeping that in mind, each element noted here is important in its own right in terms of exhibiting what makes I Believe in Little Things an impressive new recording from Diana Panton. Collectively they show clearly why this recording is an offering that could help establish her in the American musical community. They are, together, just one way in which this is shown. Her approach to each of the album’s featured songs is just as important as the songs and the movies and TV series from which they were lifted.

The songs featured in I Believe in Little Things are in their own right hugely important to the compilation’s overall presentation. That is because they serve as a starting point in a discussion on the histories of both jazz and music in film for younger listeners. The movies from which they were lifted are by connection just as important to the album’s presentation as the songs. That is because they serve as a starting point in a discussion for audiences of all ages about film and television history. While both noted elements play their own integral role in the overall presentation of Panton’s new album they are both by themselves and collectively just a couple of important portions of the album’s presentation. Panton’s approach to the songs is just as important to the album’s presentation as the songs and their links to their associated movies. Listeners will note that her approach to the songs is very soft and gentle. The best comparison that can be made is to the vocal style of Norah Jones and Diana Krall. Panton sticks to this vocal style from beginning to end of the nearly fifty-five minute record (its total run time—or TRT—is fifty-four minutes and forty-seven minutes as noted on the back of the album’s case). The thing is that even though she sticks to that one vocal style and her band mates maintain the same sort of gentle, relaxed musical approach it never gets old at any point. There are artists and acts out there whose albums get real old real fast because they don’t deviate at any point. But for some reason that isn’t the case with Panton and her band mates here. That being the case it’s one more important element in the overall presentation of I Believe in Little Things. It still isn’t the last notable element in the album’s presentation either. While it might not seem like much to note, the album’s track listing is just as pivotal to its presentation as its other noted elements.

The songs that are featured in Diana Panton’s new children’s album and the approach taken to each song both in regards to her own approach and that of her band mates are both equally important to the album’s overall presentation. Even as important as they are to the album’s presentation they still are not the album’s only important elements. The track listing included with the album is just as important as the album’s content. Here is the reason why: The track listing is printed clearly on the rear exterior of the album’s packaging. Each song is listed clearly with its respective run time. On the bottom right after the final song is the album’s TRT. Having the specific run times with the songs and the album’s TRT can be very helpful for parents with younger children. The specific run times can help parents and educators determine which songs will best potentially hold those young listeners’ attention since every child’s attention span is different from the other. They aren’t left to guess the lengths of the different songs. Any parent and/or educator out there will agree just how stressful it can be to keep young minds engaged in any manner. In regards to the album’s TRT, parents and educators can use it to help time nap time for children regardless of setting. To that extent the display of the album’s track listing and run time on both levels proves to be just as important to the album’s presentation as its featured songs and the approach taken by all involved. And together with the noted elements they come together to make I Believe in Little Things an album in which listeners of all ages will believe.

I Believe in Little Things is an album in which listeners of all ages will believe after hearing its collection of classic movie and TV themes. That is thanks in large part to the songs and the movies and TV shows to which they are connected. The songs and their related movies and TV series are more than just entertainment for audiences. They serve just as much as a starting point for lessons and discussions on music history and that of television and movies. To that extent it serves as an album that older audiences will appreciate just as much as younger audiences. They are also a way to get younger audiences interested in the golden era of music, movies, and television. The stylistic approach taken to the album both from Panton and her band mates is just as important to note of the album’s presentation. Even with the group’s approach staying largely the same from beginning to end it keeps audiences fully engaged. That is a testament to the group’s work. That is especially the case when their work is compared to such an approach taken by other acts with their respective albums. The album’s track listing both in regards to its song listing and run times (both separate and overall) rounds out the album’s presentation. The run times help parents and educators determine which songs will best keep young minds engaged when considering their attention spans. The overall run time listing can help parents and educators alike in terms of using the album for little ones’ nap times. Any parent and/or educator will agree that this is extremely important. Keeping that in mind, it is just as important to the album as any of the album’s content. All things considered I Believe in Little Things proves in the end to be an album in which listeners of all ages will believe. It will be released domestically Friday, March 18th in stores and online.

Diana Panton is currently performing live in support of I Believe in Little Things. She will be live at University Club in Toronto, Ontario on February 26th. She also has a handful of dates currently scheduled for March, May, and August. Her current schedule of live dates is noted below.

 

Diana Panton Performance Highlights – February – August 2016

Feb. 14 – McMichael Art Gallery, Kleinburg, Ontario

Feb. 26 – University Club, Toronto, Ontario

March 3 & 5 – MMM Live Lab, Hamilton, Ontario

May 28 – Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, Ontario

Aug. 1 – 12 – Tour in Asia

Aug. 16 – 21 – Woody Point Festival, Gros Morne, Newfoundland

 

More information on her current tour is available online now along with more information on I Believe in Little Things and all of Panton’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.dianapanton.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pantonda5

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Soul Asylum’s Latest LP Could Mark A Positive Change In The Band’s Fortunes

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

The story of alt-rock band Soul Asylum is one of the modern music industry’s most interesting stories to date. This Minneapolis, Minnesota-based band has seen its share of highs and lows throughout the course of its now nearly thirty-five year life. Early on in its life the band struggled to make a name for itself. Even with ten albums under its collective belt (two of which went platinum–and one of which went platinum three times over–) thousands of albums sold around the world, and a number of hit singles, the band has never managed to achieve superstar status. Yet it has still maintained a solid fan base around the world and continued to make quality music. The band’s latest album Change of Fortune (its eleventh full-length studio recording) could very well mark the start in a change in the band’s fortunes. That is because this twelve-song record, which is currently slated for release on Friday, March 16th, presents plenty of songs that will appeal to audiences of all ages thanks to the mix of the album’s musical and lyrical content. The album’s opener ‘Supersonic’ proves that. The song’s catchy guitar riffs and driving beat couple with its interesting lyrical content to make for a song that will instantly grab listeners’ ears and have them singing and dancing along. ‘Dealing’ comes later in the album’s run. Its full-on alt-rock groove and insightful lyrical content makes it another good example of what makes this album a potential change of fortune for the band. The album’s title track, which the band saves for much later in the album, is one more good example of what makes this record so surprisingly enjoyable. Its musical content presents an infectious semi-bluesy groove that is sure to impress audiences. Its lyrical content is just as impressive. The combination of both elements makes this song one more piece that is sure to help make this album the start of a change of fortune for the band. And it most assuredly can be said that it isn’t the only remaining song featured in this record that could be cited in this argument either. ‘Cool,’ the album’s closer could just as easily be cited as could ‘Can’t Help It’ and ‘Ladies Man.’ Whether for those songs or the compositions more directly noted here, it can be said of the album in whole that it is an impressive return for Soul Asylum and a return that any Soul Asylum fan should hear at least once.

Soul Asylum’s latest full-length studio recording (it’s eleventh) Change of Fortune could very well be the beginning of a change for the band’s fortunes. That is saying quite a bit considering the band’s history. This twelve-song, thirty-nine minute record presents more than its share of solid offerings for audiences beginning right off the top with its opener ‘Supersonic.’ ‘Supersonic’ is a good start to this record with its catchy guitar riffs and driving backbeat. Both lines couple with Winston Roye’s bass line and Dave Pirner’s vocals to transport listeners right back to the 90s. The song’s lyrical content is just as poppy for lack of better wording. Pirner sings here, “Call me at the office/Call me sad but true/It calms me when you call me/It keeps me in my room/Supersonic/Just how you want it/Gin and tonic she’s always on it/Supersonic, she’s always on the way/Automatic autumn/Left it sound and safe/We are moving onward/Wasting away. Considering such content, one would think that this song wouldn’t be as upbeat as it is in terms of its musical content. But in fact the opposite is the case. Pirner seems to be coming across here as talking about someone that seems to have a certain amount of emotional control over another. That is just this critic’s interpretation. It is hardly gospel. The line in which Pirner sings, “We are moving onward/Wasting away” would seem to contradict that interpretation. That aside, the fact that Pirner could get audiences thinking an discussing so easily says plenty of these lines. The discussions and thoughts don’t end with those lines, either. Pirner goes on later to sing about meeting at a station and telling someone where to go.It is definitely an interesting line in itself. And together with the rest of the song’s lyrical content, the song in whole is sure to keep listeners talking and singing along. The discussions brought on by the song’s lyrical content come together with the discussions on the song’s blatantly 90s sound to show exactly why this song was such a wise choice to open Soul Asylum’s new album and why the song was an equally wise addition to the album in whole. It is just one wise addition to this album, too. ‘Dealing’ is another good addition to this record.

‘Supersonic,’ with its mix of 90s-influenced musical content and discussion-invoking lyrical content proves in the end to be a wise opener for Soul Asylum’s latest full-length studio recording. It proves to be just as wise of an addition to the album in whole. As with the album’s opener the main reason for this is the song’s musical content. The song’s musical content boasts a full-on 90s alt-rock groove that is sure to get audiences moving. It might come across as an odd comparison to some, but in this critic’s own view, the groove in question actually conjures thoughts of King’s X. Audiences that are familiar with King’s X will likely agree when they hear this song for themselves. In regards to the song’s lyrical content, it is just as interesting. The song comes across as a social commentary of sorts as Pirner sings, “Everybody knows/Anything goes/We were only trying to have a good time/Livin’ while you learn/You’ll get your turn/We were only living with the one line/When you point the finger/Do you often find it pointed back at you/When you look at the mirror/Do you wonder who is looking back at you?” He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus “This is what we’re dealing/This is what we’re dealing with.” As if that isn’t enough proof of that interpretation, Pirner sings in the song’s second verse, “Every move you make/Is like a slitherin’ snake/Winding up the coil/Wastin’ your time/I don’t know what you heard/This is absurd/Trying to set yourself up for the last time.” Pirner comes across, in considering both verses, and the song’s short, simple chorus, as making a statement about someone that is not the best type of person by any means. It’s as if he is commenting on those people who act one way in a situation but in reality are rather quick to blame others anytime something bad happens and who refuse to accept responsibility for anything. Again, that is just this critic’s own take on this song. So it is not meant to be taken as the only interpretation. It is just the starting point for discussions on the song’s lyrical content. Regardless of wrong or right, Pirner has once again presented a song in its lyrical content alone that proves to be another good addition to Soul Asylum’s new album. And together with ‘Supersonic’ both songs together strengthen this album in whole even more. Of course the two songs together are not the album’s only songs nor are they the only good additions to this record. The album’s title track, which comes late in the album’s run, is just as impressive of an addition to the album as those songs.

Both ‘Supersonic’ and ‘Dealing’ are prime examples of what makes Change of Fortune a solid return for Soul Asylum and a record that any of the band’s fans should hear at least once. As impressive as both songs are in the overall picture of the album, they are not the only good examples of what makes this record worth hearing. The album’s title track, which serves as the album’s penultimate composition, is another piece that proves the album’s worth. Its musical content is a good starting point in the discussion as to why. ‘Change of Fortune’s’ musical makeup presents a semi-bluesy groove a la Lenny Kravitz that will have listeners moving just as easily as any of the album’s other songs, including those already noted here. The song’s lyrical content adds a whole other element to the song that when coupled with that infectious groove makes the song in whole a piece that is one of the album’s most standout moments. What makes the song’s lyrical content so notable is the ways that it can be interpreted. There is some material that makes it come across as a song centered on a couple’s meeting and relationship issues. At another point it seems to have something of a social commentary turn once again. Yet the song’s chorus segments seem to hint otherwise. Considering this it is sure to have audiences listening perhaps closer than at any other point in this record. Together with ‘Supersonic’ and ‘Dealing,’ all three songs are equally certain to have audiences listening and talking. And they are hardly the only pieces from this album that could be cited as examples of what makes this record worth hearing, too. Every one of the songs not noted here will each have listeners talking just as much. All things considered, the fact that Change of Fortune could have listeners so closely engaged shows that it could very well be the turning point in the band’s fortunes in its decades-long history.

Soul Asylum’s eleventh full-length studio recording is a welcome new return for the veteran alt-rock band. Fans old and new alike will agree with that sentiment when they hear this record for themselves. That is thanks to the mix of the album’s classic 90s sound in its musical content and the equally interesting lyrical content in each of the album’s songs. The combination of both elements together over the course of the album’s twelve songs and thirty-nine minutes will keep listeners completely engaged from beginning to end. That is evident not just in the songs noted here but in every one of the album’s songs. Regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Soul Asylum’s body of work, every listener will agree to all of this in hearing this record. In doing so, they will also agree that this record is not just a welcome return for the band but a record that every Soul Asylum fan should hear at least once. It will be available Friday, March 18th in stores and online. More information on Change of Fortune is available online now along with all of Soul Asylum’s latest news and tour updates at:

Website: http://pledgemusic.com/projects/soulasylum

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

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Grown-Ups Got Plenty Of Alternatives To Theaters’ Offerings In 2015

This year’s big screen offerings brought big numbers for theaters. The problem is that the majority of those big numbers were the result of Hollywood’s (and audiences’) seemingly insatiable appetite for prequels, sequels, and remakes. It’s a sad statement when one really sits down and thinks about it. And thankfully more audiences are coming to their senses about it each year and staying home instead, taking in the variety of alternatives being offered on television and online. Given, far too many of those alternatives were (and still are) serials, dramas, and some mixture thereof. But for all of the serials and dramas out there, they were just a drop in the bucket in terms of just how much was offered to audiences this year in the way of home entertainment. Shout! Factory released two more volumes of episodes from the cult classic series Mystery Science Theater 3000 this year. It also released the final two seasons of the classic sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter, the complete series run of The Saint, and much more. PBS has released all three current seasons of its hit reality/cooking show A Chef’s Life, and partnered once again with itv to release the third season of Mr. Selfridge. Timeless Media Group even gave audiences a good scare this year with the release of A Haunting: Season Seven. And for all of the conspiracy theorists out there, Lionsgate and History channel offered up the seventh season of Ancient Aliens. These are just some of the alternatives offered to audiences this year from the home entertainment realm. And they are all on the Phil’s Picks list of 2015’s Best New Box Sets for Grown-Ups. That is in comparison to box sets for the whole family. That is a whole other list. That list will be presented tomorrow. In explaining the choices for the list of this year’s top new box sets for grown-ups, the overall packaging of each set was taken into consideration alongside each set’s bonus materials (or lack thereof) and the writing that went into each presentation. The combination of each element in each set went into coming up with this list. Not every set had bonus material such as with Welcome Back, Kotter’s third and fourth season. But the writing behind each season made each season entertaining enough that they each stand quite well on their own merits. The bonus material featured in both volumes of MST3K played a big role in their presentations deserving them their own spots as did the bonus material in Time Life’s new Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts box set and that of Hell on Wheels’ fourth season. That should hopefully give at least some background on why each title was listed where it was listed. Keeping that in mind every title listed here is fully deserving of its spot on this list. So enough rambling. Without any further ado, I offer for your reading pleasure dear readers, the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Box Sets for Grownups. As always, the Top 10 make up the main body of the list while the bottom five each receive special mention as they deserve to be on the list just as much. Here you go!

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 TOP 10 NEW BOX SETS FOR GROWN-UPS

  1. A CHEF’S LIFE: SEASON 1

 

  1. A CHEF’S LIFE: SEASON 2

 

  1. A CHEF’S LIFE: SEASON 3

 

  1. WELCOME BACK, KOTTER: SEASON 3

 

  1. WELCOME BACK, KOTTER: SEASON 4

 

  1. MR. SELFRIDGE: SEASON 3

 

  1. THE DEAN MARTIN CELEBRITY ROASTS: STINGERS AND ZINGERS

 

  1. HELL ON WHEELS: SEASON 4

 

  1. MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: VOLUME XXXIII

 

  1. MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: VOLUME XXXIV

 

  1. THE SAINT: THE COMPLETE SERIES

 

  1. BROADCHURCH: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

 

  1. HALT AND CATCH FIRE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

 

  1. A HAUNTING: SEASON 7

 

  1. ANCIENT ALIENS: SEASON 7

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.