Everclear, Sponge, The Raskins To Perform At Latest Masquerade Rock Music Festival Date

Courtesy: Chipster PR

Everclear and Sponge will perform together live on stage later this month.

The bands will share the stage Jan. 17 at the Masquerade Rock Music Festival.  The festival will take place in Wantagh, NY.  The Raskins will join the bill as a special guest for the event.  That Metal Show co-host Don Jamieson will serve as the event’s emcee.

A trailer for the forthcoming show is streaming online here.  The concert is sponsored by Mulcahy’s Pub & Concert Hall and WBAB 102.3 FM.

Everclear front man Art Alexakis said in a recent interview, he is looking forward to taking part in the concert.

“We’re excited to get back in front of our New York fans for Masquerade Music Fest,” he said.  “It’s going to be a great show with a killer lineup.

Sponge front man Vinnie Dombroski shared Alexakis’ sentiments in a brief statement.

“Sponge is excited to be part of a great lineup,” he said.

The Raskins front man Logan Raskin said he was highly anticipating the concert.

“It’s an honor for my brother and I to have The Raskins playing with some of our favorite bands,” he said.  “Listening to these bands for many years as fans and having the opportunity to share the same stage with them at the Masquerade Rock Music Fest is a dream come true.”

This year is the second time that Jamieson has served as emcee for the festival.  He said he was looking forward to taking part in the event again.

“I’m really excited to host my second Masquerade Music Fest,” he said.  “As a comic and a rock fan, these nights are a total blast.  Come rock out with us on Strong Island!”

The Masquerade Rock Music Fest most recently took place Dec. 1 at The Space Theatre in Westbury, Long Island.  The Raskins took part in that event, too along with Sponge.  They were joined by Puddle of Mudd and Fuel.

Other Masquerade Rock Music Festival dates are planned nationwide and around the world.  Information on those concerts is posted online at:

Website: http://masqueradefestival.com

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


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2015 Saw A Number Of Great Rock Records Released

2015 has been a great year for the rock community. That is because so many standout albums have been released this year. This includes new rock albums both in the underground and the mainstream. There have been so many outstanding rock albums released so far this year that there was just not enough room for all of them on just one list (that is unless one were to make a list of the year’s top 100 new rock albums). Keeping that in mind, it couldn’t have been easy for any critic to develop a year-ender for the year’s best new rock records. It definitely wasn’t easy for this critic. This critic’s list of the year’s best new rock records presents albums from some relatively well-known bands and some that might not be so widely-known. Regardless of how well-known said acts (and albums) are, it can be said that each wholly deserves its spot on this list thanks to musical and lyrical content that is more apt to keep listeners engaged from beginning to end than any other band or album. Enough rambling. Without any further ado here is the list of those bands and their respective albums. This is the Phil’s Picks ‘ 2015 Top 10 New Rock Albums. As with every other list, the main body of the list is made up of the year’s Top 10 Best new records. The bottom five receive honorable mention for a total of fifteen albums.



  13. POP EVIL – UP 


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Nonpoint Signs New Deal With Metal Blade Records

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Officials with Metal Blade Records announced today the addition of Florida-based hard rock band Nonpoint to its artist roster. The deal between Nonpoint and Metal Blade will see Metal Blade release Nonpoint’s upcoming eighth full-length album internationally. Front man Elias Soriano spoke with reporters on the announcement, expressing his happiness over the new deal. “This is a dream situation for us,” he said. “We’ve always needed a team behind us outside of the U.S. It’s a great feeling knowing you now have the best team possible.”

Drummer Robb Rivera echoed Soriano’s sentiments in his comments. “We are excited to get not only THE worldwide label of labels to release our album outside of the US, but to be part of a family now that has pretty much set the bar for metal releases for 30 plus years,” he said. “Needless to say , extremely excited to be able to get our music to the fans outside of the US through the team that helped launch Metallica.”

Nonpoint’s next album is currently slated to drop this Fall. Metal Blade Records rep Brian Slagel hinted at what fans can expect from the new album, stating, “The bit of new material I heard sounds great!” He was just as pleased with the announcement of the new deal between Nonpoint and Metal Blade Records. He said of the announcement, “All of us at Metal Blade are happy to welcome Nonpoint to the Metal Blade family. We are excited to work with them.”

Nonpoint will perform live at the Central Florida Fairgrounds at the WJRR Earthday Birthday festival. Also slated for the festival are: Alter Bridge, Everclear, All That Remains, Cypress Hill, Alien Ant Farm, Pepper, Fuel, Filter, Saving Abel, Saigon Kick, Lacuna Coil, Tantric, and many other bands. Nonpoint is also scheduled to perform at Rock The Yard in Kernersville, North Carolina on June 22nd alongside Another Lost Year. More information on the band’s current tour schedule, its upcoming eighth full-length studio release and more is available online now at http://www.nonpoint.com, http://www.facebook.com/nonpointworld, and http://twitter.com/nonpoint. 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.

Something Unto Nothing Is Something Indeed

Courtesy:  Robo Records

Courtesy: Robo Records

The debut album from rock supergroup Something Unto Nothing is perhaps the first great rock record of 2013.  The band—Sass Jordan (Canadian Idol), Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, Billy Idol, Foreigner, Ozzy Osbourne), Michael Devin (Whitesnake, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, Kenny Wayne Shepherd), and Tommy Stewart (Godsmack, Lo Pro, Everclear, Fuel) have come together for a record that’s a solid, no-nonsense rock record.  The project was originally started by Jordan and band mate Brian Tichy.  Tichy notes in an interview about the album, “I had played drums on Sass’ Rats record.”  He added, “I knew she was one of the best rock singers out there.  So after many years, we reconnected and tried a bit of writing together.”

Fans of the stoner rock genre will especially enjoy this album as it opens with a sound similar to the likes of Fireball Ministry, Nebula, and others of that ilk.  Jordan even noted in an interview of how the album came to develop its sound.  “As we continued the songwriting path from the quintessential rock tunes, ‘Burned’ to ‘Mobile Again’ to ‘Nomad’ and on…The whole thing started to take shape in the form of a 70’s odyssey, a time travel trajectory”, she said.  That couldn’t be truer.  The album’s opener, ‘Burned’ will take audiences back to rock’s heyday thanks to the combination of Sass’ vocals and the band’s musical backing.  Sass sounds like some wild hybrid of Janis Joplin and fellow veteran vocalist, Geddy Lee (Rush).  Stewart expertly keeps a solid 4/4 beat for the band all while tossing in some nice little flourishes throughout.  And Tichy’s guitar work is just as solid here.  Just as Stewart’s drumming proves the K.I.S.S. formula true, so does Tichy’s guitar work.  There’s nothing overdone about what he does here.  But it’s that simplicity and solid playing that makes this the right choice for a first impression on this record.

The band follows up the success of ‘Burned’ with an equally simple yet rocking song in ‘Crazy Head.’  There’s no question what this song is about, lyrically speaking.  It’s a song about a relationship issue.  Given, that’s the most common lyrical topic of any song.  But it’s the way the topic is tackled both lyrically and musically that makes it such an interesting piece.  Jordan sings in the song, “You, You, you/You’re crazy/Don’t you call me baby/You, you , you/You’re crazy/You got a crazy head.”  It’s amazing what a few words can do.  But that chorus is enough to explain everything that’s needed to understand this song.  This is not just some “oh-woe-is-me” style song.  This is coming from the standpoint of a strong empowered individual.  It’s someone who isn’t going to take any junk from anyone.  Add in the music’s fiery exuberance, and that becomes increasingly clear.  Yet again, Brian Tichy shines on this song, adding a solo that would make any guitar purist proud.

The band continues much in the same style in the album’s very next song, ‘Nomad.’  This is one of those songs that will instantly have the horns in the air and the hair flying as heads bang.  It’s sure to become a fan favorite both from the record and both as the band hits the road to perform the songs from this album live.  And for those worrying about whether or not this first trio of songs is all that the band has to offer on its debut, those fears are instantly silenced as the band launches in the Red Hot Chili Peppers style funk-rock of ‘Did Me No Good.’  Together, Tichy and bassist Michael Devin make for a sound that would make RHCP guitarist and bassist Josh Klinghoffer and Flea happy.  The band barely lets up from here with the southern rock styling of the album’s next two tracks, ‘Mobile Again’ and ‘I’m The One.’  ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd fans will appreciate ‘Mobile Again’ with its classic southern rock sound.  The same applies with ‘I’m The One.’  There’s more than enough rock to make any rock purist happy.  For those who want something a little softer, Something Unto Nothing offers that, too as it only slows down a few times.  That slowing is just enough to let listeners catch their breath before the band launches into its next aural assault.  The last of the slower songs is the album’s closer, ‘Goodbye.’  On the surface, it would appear that this is a breakup song as Jordan sings, “I don’t want to leave you/But I’ve got to say/Goodbye.”  And given the song’s tone, it would appear even more that this is a song about a breakup.  But on a deeper level, it could also be interpreted as Jordan and company saying goodbye for now.  It’s as if she and her band mates are collectively saying, “We’ve had a blast entertaining you, and we don’t want to have to leave, but we have to say goodbye.”  On that level, it’s a fitting end to what is without a doubt one of the first great rock records of 2013.

The band currently wrapped a series of dates in support of its new album.  In order to find out when the band will next be hitting the road, fans can check out the band online at http://www.somethingunto.com, http://www.facebook.com/pages/SUN-Something-Unto-Nothing/177605938956922, https://www.twitter.com/teamsassjordan, and http://www.reverbnation.com/sunsomethinguntonothing.

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Everclear Goes Back To its Old Days On new LP

Courtesy: Entertainment One

Everclear is perhaps one of the few remaining major acts that started out in the 90’s that is still around today, save for perhaps Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and a handful of others.  In the course of its career, frontman Art Alexakis has released albums that fans have loved.  And he has released material of which fans haven’t been so keen.  The band’s newest release, (its eighth) “Invisible Stars” is one of the prior.  “Invisible Stars” takes fans back to the earliest days of Everclear. 

The album’s opener, ‘Tiger in a Burning Tree’ sounds like it could have come right from the band’s 1995 breakout record, “Sparkle and Fade.”  Alexakis sings about three different subjects in the song, each one feeling “like a tiger in a burning tree” or trapped.  He sings as the song closes, “close your reyes and take a big deep breath…then you can tell me what it feels like to be a tiger in a burning tree.”  For a song that doesn’t even break the two-minute mark, it manages to get in a lot, lyrically, that will get audiences’ attention.

‘Tiger in a Burning Tree’ is a somewhat deep song, lyrically.  It isn’t the only song that will get listeners thinking.  Alexakis also delves into race relations on the album.  ‘Jackie Robinson’ tells the story of an African American man named Luther Jackson Greene.  He tells listeners of how Luther recalled his memories of growing up in the civil rights era.  He told of getting to see jackie Robins play baseball, and of a whie woman he was romantically linked to being killed just because people didn’t like them being together.  Luther also tells Art in the song about working with Martin Luther King, Jr. and seeing Barack Obama being elected.  Even through all of the adversity, the music backing the lyrics shows how happy Luther was recalling everything from the past, and where things are now.  It makes for one of the album’s best songs.

The album’s closer, ‘Promenade’ is another of the album’s standout tracks.  Alexakis sings as the song ends, “Remember when it felt like we were walking with God.”  He sings about people recalling good times in their lives.  It was like they were walking with God.  This happy closer is a direct opposite to how the album opened, mood wise.  It’s almost like by the time listeners reach this song, they hear a preson whose view on life and general attitude has changed.  It makes for a wonderful closer and another great song from another great Everclear album.

Everclear is currently touring in support of “Invisible Angels.”  The band will be in Rochester, New York tonight.  Fans can get a full tour lineup and all the latest news from the band online at http://www.facebook.com/everclear, http://www.everclearonline.com,  http://www.myspace.com/everclear, and http://twitter.com/everclearband.

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