Blacktop Mojo’s New LP Is Set To “Burn” Up The Mainstream Rock Radio Realm

Courtesy: High Road Publicity

Courtesy: High Road Publicity

This time next week, Blacktop Mojo and its fans will be only a week away from the release of the band’s latest full-length studio recording Burn The Ships.  For those unfamiliar with the Palestine, TX-based band, it is a good fit for anyone that is a fan of Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, Theory of a Deadman, Zakk Wylde and all of his various projects.  From start to finish, this record is set to *ahem* burn up the mainstream rock radio realm with its infectious, guitar-driven arrangements and equally interesting lyrical content.  The record’s hard rocking second song ‘End Of Days’ is just one of the songs included in this record that supports that statement.  It will be discussed shortly.  The much more reserved, yet heavy in its own right ‘Prodigal’ supports that statement in its own right.  The band’s own take on Aerosmith’s timeless classic ‘Dream On’ even serves to support that statement, too.  Between these songs and the album’s other ten songs, the whole of this record shows Blacktop Mojo to have great potential.  They show in whole that given the right support from mainstream rock radio, Blacktop Mojo could be one of the realm’s next big names.  They also show this album to be one of the year’s top new hard rock records as well as one of the year’s top new independent albums.

Blacktop Mojo’s new album Burn The Ships, its sophomore release, is one of this critic’s choices for the year’s top new hard rock records and new independent albums.  That is thanks to its mainstream accessibility, even being an independent act. Independent here, should be clarified, to mean not signed to a major label.  It does not necessarily mean independent in the unsigned sense.  From start to finish, it proves to be an album that is primed to “burn” up the mainstream radio realm.  ‘End of Days,’ the record’s second song is a strong example of what makes this album such a “hot” (yes, that awful pun was intended, too) new effort from Blacktop Mojo.  That is due in part to the song’s arrangement.  The hard-hitting, guitar-driven composition instantly conjures thoughts of Theory of a Deadman’s heavier works.  That is only one part of what makes the song so interesting. The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note here as the song’s musical arrangement. Front man Matt James sings in the song’s lead verse, “Has it all been an empty gesture/Has it all been a waste of time/World’s spinning into certain disaster/We never figured out the meaning of life/Don’t wait/To say/What’s on your mind/Don’t take/It with you/Leave it behind.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “There’s a fire in the sky/There’s chaos in the air tonight/Stay with me…sit back and watch the end of days.”  Taking this all into consideration, one can’t help but interpret the song, lyrically, as a statement of the world’s current state of affairs.  The song’s second verse proves that just as much as James clearly sings about the events of September 11, 2011.  It should be noted here, too, that his statements in the second verse are not meant to do anything but add to the statement of the direction this world—not just America—is taking.  When such content is set against the driving energy in the song’s musical arrangement, the pairing of the two elements makes this song stand out clearly among BTS’ other songs.  They join to prove the song to be a clear example of what makes this record such a worthwhile new effort from Blacktop Mojo.  It is just one of the songs included in this record that exhibits what makes the record so impressive overall.  ‘Prodigal’ serves just as much to show what makes BTS stand out in this year’s field of new rock and hard rock records.

‘End of Days’ is a clear example of what makes Blacktop Mojo’s new record Burn The Ships an impressive new effort.  That is due to the combination of the song’s driving, guitar-centered musical arrangement and its thought-provoking lyrical theme.  The combination of the two elements makes it just one example of what makes the song (and album) stand out.  It is just one of the songs that so clearly shows where this record gets its *ahem* fire (yes, that awful pun was intended, too).  ‘Prodigal,’ with its far more reserved, yet still heavy arrangement and lyrical theme, stands on its own merits.  The song is a deeply contemplative work that harkens back to similar works from both Theory of a Deadman and Black Stone Cherry.  This is especially true in examining the song’s musical arrangement.  The song’s lyrical theme seems, at least to this critic, as a coming-of-age story of sorts.  That interpretation was made through James singing in the song’s lead verse, “Don’t call me/The prodigal son/Cause I ain’t comin’ back/I’ll make it/On my own/Let me walk my own path/And don’t worry/About me/I’ve got everything I need/I’m gonna see the world/through my own eyes/Climb the mountain, see the sky/Across the stars on the other side.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “One of these days I won’t be around/I’ll rip my roots up from the ground/With wings of feathers…I’ll fly toward the sun/’Till they melt from my back.”  James continues on in similar fashion in the song’s second half, singing from the vantage point of a figure striking out on his or her own.  It is not one of those standard “oh woe is me” sort of songs, either.  But the mixed emotion of a person wanting and needing to grow and be one’s own person is there.  It is especially illustrated through the song’s musical arrangement.  When that emotionally powerful arrangement is coupled with the song’s deeply moving lyrical theme, the two elements together make this song heavy without being heavy.  That heavy without heavy presentation makes the song stand out from its counterparts just as much as ‘End of Days.’  It also serves to show even more why this record stands out in this year’s field of new rock and hard rock entries.  It shows the band’s ability to entertain audiences while not just sticking to one style of song.  It is just one more song that shows the band’s breadth of talent and influences.  The band’s take on Aerosmith’s timeless classic ‘Dream One’ is one more of the album’s inclusions that shows what makes this record stand out.

‘End of Days’ and ‘Prodigal’ are both prime examples of what makes Blacktop Mojo’s new record Burn The Ships stand out as one of this year’s top new hard rock records and one of its best new independent albums.  They show the band’s range in terms of its talent and influence—one song is heavy both musically and lyrically while the other is heavy musically without being heavy, and is also heavy lyrically.  While both songs show in their own ways what makes this album stand out, they are only two out of so many songs that show how much the band and album have to offer.  The band’s cover of Aerosmith’s timeless classic ‘Dream One’ is just one more of the songs included in this record that serves to show how much the band and album offer listeners.  The arrangement presented by the band here is one of the most powerful renditions that any band has presented to date.  It boasts the same moving vibe evident in the original rock ballad, but also infuses its own hard rock edge into the song here to add even more to the song’s impact.  That harder edge even gives the song’s lyrical theme its own new identity.  That in turn makes the song all the more powerful of a composition, showing once more just how much this new record from Blacktop Mojo has to offer audiences.  Between this cover of a true classic, the other songs noted here and the album’s other 10 tracks, this album in whole proves to be one that hard rock fans everywhere should hear at least once.  In doing do, those fans will agree that this record is indeed set to “burn” up the mainstream rock radio realm given the right support.  They will also agree that this record is an easy pick for one of this year’s top new hard rock records as well as one of the year’s top new independent recordings.

Blacktop Mojo’s latest full-length studio effort Burn The Ships is an easy pick for any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock records and one of the year’s top new independent albums.  That is exhibited both through the record’s musical arrangements—which conjure thoughts of Fuel, Alter Bridge, Theory of a Deadman, Zakk Wylde and Black Stone Cherry just to name a handful of more well-known acts—and the record’s lyrical themes.  From start to finish, both elements will keep listeners engaged in every song.  That includes the band’s cover of Aerosmith’s ‘Dream On.’  After taking in the 13 songs that make up the record’s body, listeners will agree, once more, that Burn The Ships is an easy pick for any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock records and the year’s top new independent albums.  They will also agree in taking in this album that given the right support, Blacktop Mojo is primed to be one of mainstream rock radio’s next big names.  Burn The Ships will be available March 10 in stores and online.  More information on Burn The Ships is available online now along with all of Blacktop Mojo’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.blacktopmojo.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/blacktopmojo

 

 

 

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The Rock Carnival Returns This Summer

Courtesy:  Stan Levinstone Presents/Game Loud

Courtesy: Stan Levinstone Presents/Game Loud

The Rock Carnival is officially returning.

The Rock Carnival, the Northeast’s only classic carnival + Rock ‘N Roll experience returns this year for its second year.  And headlining this year’s festival is none other than one of the great legends of rock, Alice Cooper.  The second annual Rock Carnival will be held Friday, September 30th – Sunday, October 2nd.  It is produced by Stan Levinstone Presents and Game Loud.  It will take place at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood New Jersey.  It is the home of the Lakewood Blue Claws minor league baseball team.  The team is a minor league affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.  This year marks the first time that it will take place at FirstEnergy Park.  General Admission tickets for single day and weekend access are available now along with Reserved Seat Weekend passes VIP packages, and Skybox Meet and Greets.  The General admission passes and Reserved Seat Weekend Passes can be purchased online here now.  The VIP and Skybox packages are available here.

While Alice Cooper will headline this year’s festival he will not be the only big name on the bill.  Also on this year’s bill are the likes of: Kyng, Overkill, Texas Hippie Coalition, Jackyl, Ace Frehley, Clutch, Blue Oyster Cult, Zakk Sabbath, Monster Magnet, Fuel and many others. Twisted Sister will also be on hand for the festival in its final tri-state appearance.  The performance is part of the band’s official farewell tour.  Performances will take place across a number of stages including two side-by-side main stages.

Along with the major acts scheduled to perform, a special “Classic” Friday night celebration has been added to this year’s festivities.  The celebration will feature performances by a number of cover bands including: Voyage (Journey tribute band), Almost Queen (Queen tribute band), and Zakk Zabbath.  Zac Sabbath’s lineup features Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society Ozzy Osbourne) on vocals and guitar, Blasko (Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie) on bass, and Joey Castillo (Queens of the Stone Age) on drums.

More information on the second annual Rock Carnival will be announced in the weeks to come.  Audiences can keep up with all of those updates online now at:

 

 

Website: http://therockcarnival.com

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheRockCarnival

 

 

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Another Lost Year Added To Shiprocked 2017 Lineup

Courtesy: O'Donnell Media Group

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Another Lost Year is getting Shiprocked!

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based band has been announced as the latest addition to the 2017 edition of the annual Shiprocked cruise.  The cruise will feature a number of today’s top rock acts including but not limited to: Breaking Benjamin, Papa Roach, Alter Bridge, Sevendust, Pop Evil, and The Stowaways.  The floating music festival will be held aboard the Carnival Victory.  The liner will sail out of Miami Florida on January 16th, 2017, and make its way to Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos before returning to port on January 20th, 2017.  Also featured in the 2017 Shiprocked cruise will be: Avatar, Crobot, 12 Stones, and many others.  A very limited number of rooms is still available for the 2017 Shiprocked cruise.  VIP packages are sold out.  Pricing information for the available rooms is noted via the official Shiprocked website.

Before the band takes to the high seas it will also perform live at the 2016 Laconia Fest Motorcycle Music Festival.  The Laconia Fest is part of what is billed as the “oldest motorcycle rally on the planet.”  The nine-day festival takes place at Weirs Drive-In Theatre in Laconia, New Hampshire from Saturday, June 11th to Sunday, June 19th.  The debut installment of the Laconia Fest will feature performances from some of the top acts from rock’s past, present, and future.  They include but are not limited to: Steven Tyler, Lita Ford, Ted Nugent, Warrant, LA Guns, Dope, Everybody Panic!, Sevendust, Buckcherry, Fuel, Saving Abel, and many more.  General Admission tickets and VIP passes are available for a number of the festival’s performances.  General admission tickets include: Admission to the Festival village, the FMX Stunt Show, Main stage & EMP Group Label Group – Stage 2 Views, and more.  VIP Pit passes include: Exclusive, best-position access to stage-front from the Pit viewing area, 2 complimentary tokens, and access to cash bar and other amenities.  VIP Tower passes are also available.  They include: Exclusive access to an elevated 15-foot platform with premium stage view, private bar with beer and other drinks, prepared box meal, luxury accommodations, and other optional extras.  Those extras come at an added cost.  Wheel chair access will also be available for the festival.  Tickets and VIP passes allow for “all-day” access to the Laconia Fest and all related events and attractions.  Tickets are sold on a per-day basis and re-entry is allowed per day.  More information on ticketing, VIP passes, performance lineups, and more is available on the festival’s official website.

The band’s performance at the Laconia Fest is just one of a number of dates that is on ALY’s current live schedule.  The band will be live today in Chesterfield, Michigan before heading to Janesville, Wisconsin for a performance there this Sunday, May 15th.  Performances in Pinehurst, NC and Charlotte, NC on June 2nd and 4rth are also included in that schedule, which is noted below.

 

Another Lost Year Tour Dates:
5/12/2016 Chesterfield MI @ Diesel w/ P.O.D.
5/15/2016 Janesville WI @ Back Bar w/ DEVOUR THE DAY
5/18/2016 Belvidere IL @ Apollo Theatre w/ P.O.D.
5/20/2016 Janesville WI @ Back Bar w/ ROMANTIC REBEL – JJO Presents
5/29/2016 Algona IA @ Afterlife Lounge
6/2/2016 Pinehurst NC @ Private Acoustic
6/4/2016 Charlotte NC @ Rabbit Hole w/ SCOTT BARTLETT of SAVING ABEL
6/9/2016 Hagerstown MD @ Municipal Stadium – Hagerstown Suns Baseball Game After Party

6/10/2016 Battle Creek MI @ The Music Factory w/ SHAMANS HARVEST
6/11/2016 laCrosse WI @ Pearl Street Brewery w/ DRUGS DELANEY
6/12/2016 Ft Atkinson WI @ Hyjinx w/ DRUGS DELANEY
6/15/2016 Laconia NH @ Laconia Fest w/ STEVEN TYLER
6/16/2016 Laconia NH @ Laconia Fest w/ BRET MICHAELS
6/17/2016 Cranston RI @ 1150 Oak Bar w/ EVERYBODY PANIC
6/18/2016 Cranston RI @ 1150 Oak Bar
6/19/2016 Hampton Beach NH @ Wally’s
7/2/2016 Battle Creek MI @ Private Party
7/3/2016 Pekin IL @ Twisted Spoke w/ DRUGS DELANEY
7/15/2016 Kankakee IL @ Kankakee BBQ Fest w/ VINCE NEIL
7/16/2016 Clarksville TN @ z97.5 Festival
7/16/2016 Grayson KY @ HeadCase Festival
8/6/2016 Hagerstown MD @ Private Party
8/12/2016 Algona IA @ Algona Fairgrounds w/ SMILE EMPTY SOUL

 

Another Lost Year will release its new album Alien Architect Friday, Jun e10th via EMP Label Group and Mirage M’Hal Records.  The band recently premiered the video for the album’s lead single ‘Wolves’ online.  It can be viewed via YouTube and Vevo.  More information on Alien Architect is available online now along with more information on the band’s upcoming live dates at:

 

Website: http://www.whoisALY.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Official_ALY

 

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.

Lineup Change Announced For 2014 Carolina Rebellion Festival

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

The organizers of the Carolina Rebellion Festival have announced a change to the weekend of the annual concert festival. It has been announced that Motorhead will no longer be on the lineup for this year’s festival.

Organizers released the following statement regarding the lineup change: “Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have learned that Motorhead will be unable to perform at Monster Energy’s Carolina Rebellion in Concord, NC May 3rd. We are working hard to find a replacement artist, so stay tuned to http://www.CarolinaRebellion.com for further updates.”

The Carolina Rebellion Festival is the mid-Atlantic region’s biggest annual rock festival. It will return to Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC May 3rd and 4th, 2014. The current band lineup for this year’s edition of the Carolina Rebellion Festival is listed below.

Saturday, May 3
Avenged Sevenfold, Rob Zombie, Seether, Volbeat, Black Label Society, Killswitch Engage, Black Stone Cherry, Fozzy, Adelitas Way, Thousand Foot Krutch, KYNG, Nothing More, Devour The Day and Truckfighters

Sunday, May 4
Kid Rock, Five Finger Death Punch, 311, Staind, A Day To Remember, Alter Bridge, Theory of a Deadman, Fuel, Hellyeah, Of Mice & Men, Trivium, Redlight King, Twelve Foot Ninja and Gemini Syndrome

Bands announced for the festival will perform on one of three separate stages throughout the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Those stages are the: Carolina Stage, Rebellion Stage, and Jagermeister Stage.

Tickets for the 2014 edition of the Carolina Rebellion Festival are on sale now. This includes Camping, Hotel, VIP Packages, and Weekend 4-packs and upgrades. All camping and hotel packages include access to the Friday Night Campground Party. Active military members can purchase tickets once again at a discount. More information for all ticketing, including military discounts, is available online at http://www.CarolinaRebellion.com.

The Carolina Rebellion Festival was created in partnership by AEG Live and Danny Wimmer Presents. It is sponsored by Monster Energy, Jagermeister, Ernie Ball, Jack Daniels, Bud Light, F.Y.E. and Pabst Blue Ribbon. More information on the Carolina Rebellion Festival is available online at http://www.CarolinaRebellion.com and http://www.facebook.com/carolinarebellion. 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.

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.

Details Released For Annual Carolina Rebellion Festival

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

The weather is cold across much of the country.  But don’t tell organizers of the annual Summer concert festival series.  Details for the annual Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion Festival have been made official.  This year’s Carolina Rebellion Festival—the third of four events that comprise “The 2014 World’s Loudest Month–will be held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday and Sunday, May 3rd and 4th.  Avenged Sevenfold and Kid Rock will share headlining duties at this year’s festival.  They will be joined by Rob Zombie, Five Rob ZomFinger Death Punch, 311, Motorhead, Staind, Seether, Volbeat and more.  Avenged Sevenfold (also known by its fans as AX7) also performed at last year’s inaugural Carolina Rebellion Festival, which sold out.  The current performance schedule for this year’s festival is listed below.

Saturday, May 3

Avenged Sevenfold, Rob Zombie, Motörhead, Seether, Volbeat, Black Label Society, Killswitch Engage, Black Stone Cherry, Fozzy, Adelitas Way, Thousand Foot Krutch, KYNG, Nothing More, Devour The Day and Truckfighters

Sunday, May 4

Kid Rock, Five Finger Death Punch, 311, Staind, A Day To Remember, Alter Bridge, Theory of a Deadman, Fuel, Hellyeah, Of Mice & Men, Trivium, Redlight King, Twelve Foot Ninja and Gemini Syndrome

Bands announced for the festival will perform on one of three separate stages throughout the Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Those stages are the: Carolina Stage, Rebellion Stage, and Jagermeister Stage.

Tickets for the 2014 edition of the Carolina Rebellion Festival go on sale this Friday, January 31st at 10am ET.  This includes Camping, Hotel, VIP Packages, and Weekend 4-packs and upgrades.  All camping and hotel packages include access to the Friday Night Campground Party. Active military members can purchase tickets once again at a discount.  More information for all ticketing, including military discounts, is available online at http://www.CarolinaRebellion.com.

The Carolina Rebellion Festival was created in partnership by AEG Live and Danny Wimmer Presents.  It is sponsored by Monster Energy, Jagermeister, Ernie Ball, Jack Daniels, Bud Light, F.Y.E. and Pabst Blue Ribbon.  More information on the Carolina Rebellion Festival is available online at http://www.CarolinaRebellion.com and http://www.facebook.com/carolinarebellion.  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.

ROTR Organizers Announce Early Details For 2014 Festival

Rock on the Range 2014 Logo

Courtesy: MSO PR

The 2013 edition of the annual Rock on the Range festival was one of the biggest that organizers of the annual event have ever experienced.  2013 saw the annual event completely sell out.  Seeing the success that the festival had in 2013, festival organizers have announced that the festival will now expand to three full days this year. The festival, which will run from May 16th – May 18th this year, will be headlined by three very big name acts.  Those acts are Guns N’ Roses, Avenged Sevenfold, and Kid Rock.

While the trio of aforementioned bands will headline the once again expanded festival (last year saw the festival expand to three nights) are big names in themselves, they won’t be the only bands to perform at this year’s show.  Also scheduled to perform this year are: Seether, Five Finger Death Punch, Slayer, Staind, Motorhead, Chevelle, Alter Bridge, Mastodon, Black Label Society and Killswitch Engage among many others.  The complete lineup of bands scheduled to perform at this year’s ROTR Festival is listed below.

2014 ROCK ON THE RANGE BAND LINEUP

Guns N’ Roses, Avenged Sevenfold, Kid Rock, Five Finger Death Punch, Slayer, Staind, Motorhead, Seether, Chevelle, Alter Bridge, Mastodon, Black Label Society, Killswitch Engage, Bring Me The Horizon, Theory of a Deadman, Down, Black Stone Cherry, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, Pop Evil, Of Mice & Men, Adelitas Way, Trivium, Gojira, Suicidal Tendencies, The Pretty Reckless, We Came as Romans, Fuel, Redlight King, Miss May I, Reignwolf, Thousand Foot Krutch, Texas Hippie Coalition, Rev Theory, Skindred, Kyng, Fozzy, Heaven’s Basement, Butcher Babies, Nothing More, Exodus, King 810, Devour the Day, We As Human, We Are Harlot, Kvelertak, Jim Breuer Band, One OK Rock, Twelve Foot Ninja, Avatar, WERM, Monster Truck, Wilson, Crobot and Truckfighters with comedians Jim Breuer, Jim Florentine and more.

Audiences will note that along with the lineup up some of the biggest names in the rock world, this year’s festival also boasts the return of the ROTR Comedy Tent.  Jim Breuer, Jim Florentine, and a number of up-and-coming comedians will perform at the ROTR Comedy Tent.

Weekend passes including Field General Admission, Stadium General Admission, hotel and VIP packages and a stadium four-pack go on sale Friday, January 24th at 10am ET.  More ticket information is available online at http://www.RockOnTheRange.com.  Additional information and updates on this year’s festival is available online at http://www.facebook.com/rockontherange and http://twitter.com/rockontherange.  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.

Pop Evil Releases New Single, Video

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

The men of Pop Evil have released a new single from the band’s new album, Onyx.  And along with the new song, a video for the song has made its debut, too.  ‘Deal with the Devil’ is the band’s sing single.  This high energy song tackles the subject of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.  And the video pulls no punches in taking on the issue, either.  Keeping this in mind, viewer discretion is advised at least in the opening moments of video that accompanies the song.  That is because it shows a young woman cooking heroin and what is meant to look like shooting up.

The new video can be viewed via Clear Channel’s iHeart Radio platform at http://news.iheart.com/player/?mid=23600651.  ‘Deal with the Devil’ is the second in a trilogy of works from the band’s new album.  It was directed by Johan Carlen.  The videos in question work in reverse of a standard trilogy, with the first of the videos marking the end of the sequence.  This new video is the middle of the trilogy, while the next video—while the last of the trilogy—would show the story’s beginning.

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

Onyx is the third full length studio release from Pop Evil.  The album was released earlier this year, and is the highest selling record that the band has released in its first week of release to date.  The album’s first single, ‘Trenches’ went straight to #1 on the Active Rock and Mainstream Rock Charts and stayed in that position for three weeks straight.  The band is currently touring in support of its new album.  It will be at the Rock Jam on Friday, August 23rd in Grand Junction, Colorado alongside the likes of Sevendust, Fuel, and Three Days Grace.  Next up for the band is a stop in Farmington, New Mexico this Sunday.  The latest schedule of Pop Evil’s tour dates is available online at http://www.facebook.com/popevil and http://popevil.com/home.  Fans can also keep up with the band via Twitter at http://twitter.com/popevil, and on Instagram at http://instagram.com/popevilmusic.

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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ShipRocked, Sixx Sense partner for cruise giveaway

Not able to get to next weekend’s Carolina Rebellion Festival at Rockingham Speedway?  Well a couple of the bands that’ll be there will also be on this year’s Shiprocked music festival cruise.

The organizers of the annual ShipRocked music festival cruise has partnered with Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx’s radio show, Sixx Sense, to give the cruise of a life time to two lucky people.  The contest runs from April 30th to May 16th.  Fans of Sixx Sense can enter the giveaway online at http://www.sixxsense.com/pages/contests/sixxshiprocked

This year marks the cruise’s fourth straight year.  Along for this year’s cruise will be: Five Finger Death Punch, Godsmack, P.O.D., Sevendust, Filter, Fuel, Blackstone Cherry, Lit, Queensryche frontman Geoff Tate, Gilby Clarke (ex-G N’ R), and In This Moment.  The cruise will run from November 27th through December 1st. 

The cruise departs from Fort Lauderdale, FL.  It lasts four days and nights.  Cruise winners will receive: Free passage for two onbard the cruise, One (1) Oceanview Stateroom for two for the duration of the cruise, Two (2) roundtrip coach airfares to Ft. Lauderdale, One (1) night standard hotel room in Ft. Lauderdale, Free entry to all ShipRocked concerts, meet and greets, artist hosted events and other activities, and complimentary food and non-alcoholic beverages, including 24-7 room service.

More information on this year’s ShipRocked cruise is available online at http://www.GetShipRocked.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GetShipRocked, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ShipRocked.