Tales From Wisconsin Is One Of Teenage Bottlerocket’s Best Records Yet

Courtesy:  Rise Records

Courtesy: Rise Records

Teenage Bottlerocket is one of the best punk rock bands that audiences have never heard. For almost fifteen years, this Laramie, Wyoming-based band has been making its own brand of punk rock and building its audience base. All the while, it has remained just under the mainstream radar. This is actually a good thing. That is because it has kept the band from becoming just another cookie cutter pop punk rock band a la Sum 41, Blink 182, Newfound Glory, etc. Remaining just under that mainstream radar has allowed the band to continue crafting its own brand of music more akin to its counterparts in The Lillingtons, Bowling For Soup, and others of that ilk, all the while building its legions of fans around the world. The band’s latest album Tales From Wisconsin is proof of that. It is a fourteen track, thirty-five minute record that is just as certain to have listeners singing along happily just as much as any of the band’s previous releases. This has already been proven thanks to the album’s lead single, the light-hearted ‘Nothing Else Matters (When I’m With You),’ and its follow-up ‘They Call Me Steve.’ Both songs clearly show that nearly fifteen years after it first formed and roughly thirteen years after the release of its debut album Another Way, Teenage Bottlerocket has not lost a single step. The album’s gentle, acoustic closer ‘First Time’ shows this just as much. What’s more, it shows a certain growth from the members of Teenage Bottlerocket. Sure, the comparison to Dropkick Murphys and Green Day are inescapable here. But considering TBR’s body of work up to this point, it shows a turning point for the band and just as with the album’s first two singles shows yet again why this album is one more success from what is one of the punk realm’s best kept secrets.

TBR’s new album Tales From Wisconsin comes some thirteen years after the release of its debut record Another Way. One would think that considering how long TBR has been making music together, it would have broken through into the mainstream a long time ago when MTV and VH1 were still airing music videos and when they, along with the nation’s mainstream radio stations, were thirsting for the next big name in punk rock. Interestingly enough that never happened. Yet considering what those outlets did to the reputation of punk rock, maybe it’s a good thing that TBR never did break through. It allowed TBR to continue making its own music rather than give in to some A&R rep and other label exec along the way. Because it has manage to avoid those trappings, the band has manage to craft an album in Tales From Wisconsin–its sixth full-length studio effort–that is just as enjoyable as any of its previous recordings. That is evident early on in the record courtesy of its lead single ‘Nothing Else Matters (When I’m With You).’ This fully tongue-in-cheek song pays homage to veteran hard rock/metal act Metallica all while presenting a story of a man who has met a woman who is just as much a fan of the band as him. The song’s standard, melodic punk sound will itself have audiences on their feet, dancing in time as Brandon Carlisle keeps time alongside brother Ray Carlisle and fellow guitarist Kody Templeman. The song’s lyrical side is just as apt to put a smile on audiences faces as Templeman makes reference after reference to Metallica’s body of work throughout the song, singing, “That guy was such a d*******/When we were sticking up for Jason Newstead/That’s when you said you loved …And Justice For All/I didn’t make up with the creeps that night/they were looking for a fight/I was totally right on/The frayed ends of sanity/The shortest straw has been pulled for me/I’ll probably fade to black someday/Unless you hit the lights and escape with me.” The references to Metallica’s extensive catalogue don’t stop here. There is also a reference to ‘The Unforgiven’ and ‘Nothing Else Matters.’ The song’s very title is itself a reference to ‘Nothing Else Matters.’ Such playful use of references coupled with the standard theme of a love found make this one of the most original compositions of its kind to be churned out by a musical act in any genre. Such originality makes clear why this song was chosen as the lead single for TFW. It also makes clear by itself what makes TFW one more wonderful release from one of the rock world’s best kept secrets. Audiences can check out the song’s lyric video online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdRrN4xQ8zk.

‘Nothing Else Matters (When I’m With You) is one of the most original compositions about a relationship that has ever been crafted by any act in any of the music world’s many genres. The playful references to Metallica’s biggest hits as the basis for the song’s story coupled with the song’s catchy hooks and chorus makes it obvious why the song was chosen as TFW’s lead single. It also stands as just one clear example of why TBR remains today one of the best kept secrets in both the world of punk and rock in general. The song’s follow-up ‘They Call Me Steve’ shows just as clearly how much TBR has to offer on its latest release. The song’s musical side boasts even more infectious hooks and choruses throughout its two-minute, twenty-one second run time. Looking at the song from a lyrical standpoint, it is just as intriguing as Templeman sings, “I knocked down a tree with my bare hands/And I’ve been to all four corners of this land/I killed a giant spider with an iron sword/And I ran ten miles being chased by a zombie horde/They call me Steve/I’ll do anything you want me to/They call me Steve/I’ll dig a hole to Hell and back for you.” If not for the song’s companion video, which can be viewed online now, the song alone would definitely have had audiences talking. The song’s companion video is a Minecraft themed creation that perfectly complements the song’s lyrical content. It’s a love story in a video game world. The video can be viewed online via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqLAkjRyiJU. In viewing the video, audiences will agree that it perfectly illustrates the story presented in the song and in turn makes the song even more enjoyable than it is on its own musical merits. The combination of the song’s musical and lyrical sides, and its companion video makes clear once again why TBR remains one of the best names in the punk realm and one of rock’s best kept secrets. Alongside ‘Nothing Else Matters (Without You),’ it shows even more clearly whyTFW is such an enjoyable record.

‘Nothing Else Matters (Without You)’ and ‘They Call Me Steve’ are both clear examples of what makes TFW such an enjoyable record both for fans that are new to the band’s material and to those that are more familiar with the band’s body of work. As much enjoyment as those songs offer audiences, there is one more song on this record that stands out even more than them as one of the album’s highest of points. That song is the album’s string-laden acoustic closer ‘First Time.’ Both musically and lyrically it presents the band’s much more rarely exhibited softer side. The comparison to Green Day and Dropkick Murphys among others is inescapable here because of that combination of music and lyrics. But being one of those truly rare times that the band has gotten to display its softer side, it makes this moment something special. It shows the band a little more willing to grow and show a more mature side from the band in comparison to what audiences have become accustomed to hearing. There is almost a certain desperation in Templeman’s voice as he sings I’m falling apart with a broken heart for the first time/I’m starting to doubt what this feeling’s about/For the first time/I stare at the wall/I’m beginning to fall…For the first time/spinning out of control/With nowhere left to go.” It’s not the standard oh, woe is me sort of delivery musically or lyrically that audiences have become all too familiar with from so many punk and emo bands. It has its own identity. Because of that, it proves yet again what makes TFW just as enjoyable as TBR’s previous records and why this veteran punk rock band remains today one of the best kept secrets of the rock world in whole. Together with ‘Nothing Else Matters (When I’m With You)’ and ‘They Call Me Steve,’ all three songs together exhibit why this record is just as enjoyable for first time listeners and for those that are more familiar with the band’s body of work. That is not to discount the other dozen tracks that make up this record, either. Each of those tracks not noted here makes its own argument in favor of TFW, too. The whole of those tracks and those more fully noted here show clearly why every punk rock fan should hear this record regardless of their familiarity with TBR.

TBR is currently out on tour in support of its new album. It will wrap up the U.S. leg of its tour this Sunday, April 19th in Denver, Colorado before taking a few days off to recharge and prep for the European leg of its tour. That leg kicks off next Thursday, April 24th in Lindau, Germany. Fans will be able to pick up TFW at either of those shows or any of its upcoming shows, too. Fans that can’t make it to the band’s shows can also pick up TFWin stores and online. Fans can check out TBR’s latest tour dates and get more information on TFW, and where they can purchase it online now at:

Website: http://www.teenagebottlerocket.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/teenbottlerock

Instagram: http://instagram.com/teenagebottlerocket

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.

Green Day Announces New Live Date At Cleveland’s House Of Blues

Courtesy:  BBGun Press

Courtesy: BBGun Press

Green Day is going to make things *ahem* hot in Cleveland later this month.

Green Day announced today that it will perform live at the House of Blues in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday, April 16th. Members of the band’s Idiot Nation fan club can purchase tickets tomorrow, April 2nd, before they go on sale for the general public. Tickets go on sale for fan club members tomorrow morning at 10am ET and will remain on sale until they are all sold. Tickets for the general public will go on sale this Friday, April 3rd at 10am ET.

More information on this newly announced concert is available online along with all of the latest news from the band at:

Website: http://www.greenday.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/greenday

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.

Microcosm Publishing Releases New Introspective On The Life And Death Of Lookout Records

Courtesy:  Microcosm Publishing

Courtesy: Microcosm Publishing

Lookout Records is known to many music industry insiders and fans alike as being one of the most important and influential record labels in the rock world. The company, which focuses mainly on the world of punk rock, was founded almost thirty years ago by Lawrence Livermore as a means to support his band The Lookouts. Thus the name Lookout Records. During the course of the label’s life, it became home to some of the biggest names in the punk world. It’s the label that gave Green Day its first chance. It was also home at one point to fellow punk stalwarts Operation Ivy and Crimpshrine just to name a couple more. For all of its successes early on, there were also a lot of bad business decisions that would go on to lead to the label’s demise. Now thanks to music journalist Kevin Prested, audiences finally get a glimpse into how those decisions led to Lookout’s downfall and the early decisions that led the label to be one of the biggest in the world of punk in his new book Punk USA: The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records.

Punk USA: The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records is available now in paperback from Microcosm Publishing. It is available in stores and online for MSRP of $14.95. It can be ordered online direct from Microcosm Publishing via the company’s online store at http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/5160/?utm_source=PUNK+USA+-+The+Rise+and+Fall+of+Lookout+Records+%28birthplace+of+Green+Day%29&utm_campaign=Lookout+Records&utm_medium=email. More information on this and other titles from Microcosm Publishing is available online at:

Website: https://www.microcosmpublishing.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/microcosmpublishing

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Roy Orbison To Receive New Award

Photo Credit: Janet Macoska

Photo from “The Last Concert” Credit: Janet Macoska

Legendary musician Roy Orbison is gone but definitely not forgotten.  The legendary musician will posthumously receive an award from the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum.  Orbison will be awarded the Iconic Riff Award.  The award, which is being awarded for the first time, is being awarded to Orbison for his hit 1964 song, ‘Oh, Pretty Woman.’  The song would go on to become a number one single after its original release.

Heads of the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum said the reason that Orbison was chosen as the first recipient of the award because of the riff that opens ‘Oh, Pretty Woman.’  The song itself has been covered by countless artists. It rose to its biggest fame thanks to rock band Van Halen’s cover of the song.  It was also the inspiration for the hit 1990 rom-com, Pretty Woman, starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.  The song itself can even be heard in the movie’s soundtrack.

Along with its numerous covers and use in movies, ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’ the song is also included a new live concert recording from Legacy Recordings titled Black & White Night.  The DVD recording was released this week.  It was recorded in September of 1987 and includes the likes of: Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Jackson Brown, JD Souther, and Tom Waits joining the star for his hit song.

Roy Orbison is one of the music industry’s most well-known and respected names.  He started his career in 1956.  He was signed to the famed Sun Records at the time.  The label also boasted the likes of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash on its roster.  It wouldn’t be until he signed a deal and recorded for Monument Records in the early to mid-1960s that his career truly took off.  The release of ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’ marked the peak of his career at the time.  The song, which Orbison co-wrote with Bill Dees, would go on to sell seven million copies and spend three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.  It also peaked at number one on the British charts for three weeks.  This was an unprecedented feat for any American recording artist at the time.  That is because The Beatles were dominating both countries’ charts at the time.

A new collection of Orbison’s hits titled The Monument Boxset will be released November 26th.  The collection is a vinyl only package that includes three of the most well-known and beloved albums that Orbison recorded during his time with Monument Records.  Those records are: Lonely and Blue, Crying, and In Dreams, which was also just recently re-issued on CD.  The new box set also includes a fourth album that had not existed until now.  The album will be centered on ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’ and will be comprised of five tracks.  The album’s songs were chosen by Orbison’s own sons, Alex, Roy Kelton, and Wesley Orbison.  Orbison’s suns have maintained their father’s legacy, running Roy’s Boys LLC, which is responsible for managing their father’s likeness, image, and musical releases.

Roy’s Boys LLC and Legacy Recordings are set to release one more live Roy Orbison concert before the year ends.  The Last Concert25th Anniversary Edition chronicles what would be Orbison’s final concert before his death in 1988.  The concert was recorded on December 4th, 1988.  That was only two days before he would suffer a fatal heart attack.  The fact that he would pass away only two days later is only part of what makes the upcoming concert so important.  Orbison commonly closed his shows with a performance of ‘Running Scared.’  But recording engineers ran out of tape that night before Orbison performed the song.  The result of that shortage is that ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’ would end up being the final number from his final ever concert.  More information on all upcoming Roy Orbison releases is available online at http://www.royorbison.com and http://www.facebook.com/royorbison.  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.

Green Day Back On The Road

Courtesy:  BB Gun press

Courtesy: BB Gun press

Pop punk trio Green Day kicks off a new tour tonight.  The tour kicks off at the Allsate Arena in Rosemont, IL.  The tour is in support of the band’s recently released trilogy of albums, Uno!, Dos!, and Tre!  It will take the band through a total of approximately thirty-six dates, most of which will be dates in Europe.  After tonight’s show, the band moves on to Moline IL tomorrow at the i Wireless Center and then on to the CONSOL Energy Center this Sunday in Pittsburgh, PA.

The European leg of the tour kicks off May 24th at the Blue Cross Arena in Milan, Italy.  The European leg of the band’s tour will take it from Italy to Serbia, to Austria and throughout the U.K., Russia, France and many more countries.  The current slate of dates has Green Day wrapping its tour at the Bilbao BKK Live Festival on May 13th in Bilbao, Spain.  To get a full listing of tour dates and all the latest news from the band, fans can “Like” Green Day on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GreenDay.  Fans can also keep up with all the latest from the band on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenday.

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.

Green Day Announce New Tour Dates

Courtesy:  BB Gun press

Courtesy: BB Gun press

Pop punk band Green Day has announced two new concert dates to its current tour lineup.  The band—Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals/guitar), Tre Cool (drums) and Mike Dirnt (bass)—added performances on Tuesday, April 16th and Thursday April 18th.  The band will perform at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California on April 16th.  Tickets for this show will be available this Friday at noon local time.  Fan club members will get first access to pre-sale tickets, which go on sale today at 3pm EST/12pm PST.  For more information on this pre-sale and more, fans can go online to http://www.idiotclub.com.  The second of the new pair of performance dates will be at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California.  Tickets for this show will be available next Friday, February 22nd at 10am local time.       

The dates are just two more in an already very busy schedule for the trio.  The band will kick off its tour on Thursday, March 28th and will tour across the country through April 18th before heading overseas for the European leg of its tour.  The tour is in support of the band’s recently released trilogy, Uno!, Dos!, and Tre!  Also recently announced is the upcoming debut of the band’s documentary, Cuatro!, at the 20th annual SXSW Film Conference and Festival.  The documentary follows the band as it brings its trilogy from concept to store shelves.  It also includes some very special performances recorded along the way.  The 20th annual SXSW Film Conference and Festival runs from March 8th – 16th in Austin, TX.

Also debuting at the annual event is the Doug Hamilton directed, Broadway Idiot.  The film follows Billie Joe Armstrong as he ventures into the world of Broadway and turns the band’s album, American Idiot into the massive stage success that it is today. 

For more information on all of this and to get the latest news from the band, go online to http://www.greenday.com, http://www.facebook.com/GreenDay, http://twitter.com/greenday, and http://www.youtube.com/greenday.

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

Green Day Announces Make-Up Tour Dates

Courtesy:  BB Gun press

Courtesy: BB Gun press

Green Day is hitting the road again.  The band has announced that it will officially be making up its previously cancelled dates later this Spring.  The band thanked its fans for sticking with it through its recent events after making the new tour announcement.  “We want to thank everyone for hanging in there with us for the last few months”, the band collectively said.  “We are very excited to hit the road and see all of you again, though we regret having to cancel more shows.” 


Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong also took time to address the events of recent months.  He noted in a press release, “Dear friends…I just want to thank you all for the love and support you’ve shown for the past few months.  Believe me, it hasn’t gone unnoticed and I’m eternally grateful to have such an amazing set of friends and family.  I’m getting better every day.  So now without further ado, the show must go on.  We can’t wait to get on the road and live out loud!  Our passion has only grown stronger.” 


The band has announced that its new tour will start March 28th at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL and will run through April 12th.  More tour dates are expected to come in early 2013.  Fans can keep up with those upcoming additional dates and all the latest news from the band online at http://www.greenday.com, http://www.facebook.com/GreenDay, http://twitter.com/greenday and on its official YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/greenday.  Tickets purchased for the previously postponed shows will be honored at the new dates.  Anyone with questions and concerns regarding tickets should contact individuals at point of purchase.  Additionally, refunds are available for those who bought tickets to shows that have been cancelled. 


To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.