‘Bad Reputation’ Is A “Good” New Tribute To A Rock Legend

Courtesy: Magnolia Pictures

Joan Jett is one of the most important figures in the modern history of rock music.  From her days with The Runaways to her time with The Blackhearts, she has blazed a trail for countless musicians while also making remaining active in a variety of causes.  Now thanks to Magnolia Pictures, Jett is getting the recognition that she has deserved for such a long time in the form of the new rock doc Bad Reputation.  Released on DVD on Jan.1 via Magnolia Pictures, the 93-minute doc takes audiences through the life and ongoing career of the famed rocker, who proves in this program to be anything but the typical rock star.  That story forms a strong foundation for the documentary, and will be discussed shortly.  The bonus material included with the documentary gives audiences at least a little bit more to appreciate about the presentation.  The documentary’s average price point rounds out its most important elements.  Each item is key in its own way to the whole of Bad Reputation.  All things considered, they make Bad Reputation a very good documentary.

Magnolia Pictures’ new profile of Joan Jett, Bad Reputation, is a fitting tribute to the trailblazing musician/performer.  That is proven in part through the story at the center of the documentary.  The story is told in part from Jett herself and those closest to her, such as former and current band members, fellow celebrities and friends.  Listening to Jett talk, audiences will appreciate her grounded nature.  She does not have any sense of self-indulgence or ego.  Rather, there is a certain sense of humility about her as she talks about The Runaways’ acceptance overseas, The Blackhearts’ place in the music industry and her own personal views on items, such as animal rights and feminism. Jett said of The Runaways’ acceptance in Japan, “I thought it was exhilarating.  They loved their music stars over there.”  The tone in her voice as she made those statements truly exhibits that humility.  Comments from the likes of Iggy Pop, Jett’s sister Ann Larkin and Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong prove even more, that said humility is real.  Larkin notes in one segment that Jett’s rebellion was not against her parents, but against society.  In fact, Jett herself recalls warmly, how supportive her parents were of her from an early age, adding that they were the ones who gave Jett her first guitar and told her that she could do anything that they wanted to do in life.  Pop notes that the era in which Jett’s star was rising, “A lot of women wanted to rock.  The problem was that they were always in a sidecar role.  Joan Jett was nobody’s sidecar.”  Armstrong adds to Pop’s statements, noting that Jett’s work as being “kick-ass songs.”  This emphasizes that determination from Jett to be noticed in what was then (and still is today) a very male-dominated industry.  Between the comments from Jett’s contemporaries, her family and friends, and those from Jett herself, the story that is presented proves to be one that will keep audiences fully engaged throughout the course of the program from start to end.  Keeping that in mind, the story at the center of Bad Reputation is a very good story, and gives audiences more than enough reason to watch.  Of course it is just one of the items that makes the recently released DVD worth viewing.  The bonus material included with the DVD gives audiences a little more to appreciate.

The bonus material featured with Bad Reputation is a pair of performances from Jett and company.  One is a performance of her hit singles ‘Bad Reputation’ and ‘Fresh Start’ at the premiere of Bad Reputation in a semi-acoustic setting.  The other features Jett and company performing the same two songs on the group’s tour bus and at a live soundcheck.  In essence audiences get a light glimpse of the same songs in different settings through that bonus material.  There is also an extended piece of backstage footage of Jett and company at the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.  That was the ceremony at which Jett was inducted into the famed institution.  Some of the footage was included as part of the story at the center of Bad Reputation.  Getting to see the footage in more depth creates even more appreciation for the overall presentation that is Bad Reputation.  Given, it is not much when it comes to bonus material.  There is no getting around this.  However, considering all of the live material and “home movies” that are used to help tell the central story of Bad Reputation, this additional material proves to be entertaining, if not invaluable.  To that end, the bonus material, while bare at its best, is still a positive in its own right to the whole of the doc.  When it is considered along with the central story and all that said story offers audiences, the pairing of the two still gives audiences plenty of entertainment and engagement.  The documentary’s average price point makes that entertainment and engagement money well-spent.

The average price point of Bad Reputation is $15.88.  That price was determined using prices listed at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million.  Considering that the most expensive of the listed prices is $19.98 (at Walmart.com) and the least expensive is $13.99 (Best Buy and Amazon), that average price is actually a relatively solid mid-point.  Add in the overall depth and breadth of Bad Reputation’s story, and audiences will agree that a price of less than $20 for this deep story is not a bad price at all.  Rather, they will agree that it is money well-spent on a documentary that generation of audiences will appreciate.  When all of this is considered together, audiences will agree, again, that Bad Reputation is a doc whose reputation is in fact quite good.

Magnolia Pictures’ new Joan Jett profile Bad Reputation is a very good presentation on the famed musician/performer’s life and career.  It is a work that rock and roll aficionados across the board will appreciate.  That is due in large part to the doc’s central story, which presents Jett as quite the humble, down to earth figure, completely unlike so many rock stars past and present.  The bonus material included with the DVD adds a little bit more for audiences to appreciate.  The disc’s average price point of less than $20 gives audiences even more reason to give this documentary a chance.  Each item is important in its own right to the whole of Bad Reputation.  All things considered, they give this program its own very good reputation.  More information on Bad Reputation is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.badreputationfilm.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/badrepfilm

 

 

 

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Friedman To Appear On VH1’s That Metal Show This Weekend

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Veteran guitarist Marty Friedman will appear on VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show this weekend.

Friedman will appear on That Metal Show Saturday, March 1st at 11pm ET.  Friedman will join Mike Jones (Foreigner), Leslie West (Mountain), and Lita Ford (The Runaways) on this week’s edition of That Metal Show.  Friedman jokingly noted in an interview that while the main purpose of his appearance was to promote his upcoming album Inferno, he also even more excited about being on the show because he got to talk to one of his own favorite guitarists of all time.  “Of course I talked about my upcoming album, ‘Inferno,’” he said.  “But there was another guitarist on the show, and I just had to ask him what I wanted to know ever since I was a kid — just what the hell was he thinking when he laid down one of the most unorthodox (and cool) solos ever. Hope they don`t edit that part out!” Tune in tomorrow night to find out!”

Inferno is scheduled to be released via Prosthetic Records May 27th in North America and May 26th in the UK and Europe, May 23rd in G/A/S and via Universal Records in Japan May 21st.  It will be his first record of original material in four years and the first in over ten years that will be released simultaneously around the world.  The album was recorded in Los Angeles with engineer Chris Rakestraw (Danzig, Children of Bodom) and mixed by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Amon Amarth).  It will also include a number of A-list guest appearances from the likes of: Rodrigo y Gabriela, Alexi Laiho (Children of Bodom), Keshav Dhar (Skyharbor), and David Davidson (Revocation) among others.  The album’s track listing is included below.

“Inferno” Track Listing:

1. Inferno
2. Resin
3. Wicked Panacea (feat. Rodrigo y Gabriela)
4. Steroidhead (feat. Keshav Dhar) (STREAM)
5. I Can’t Relax (feat. Danko Jones)
6. Meat Hook (feat. Jørgen Munkeby)
7. Hyper Doom
8. Sociopaths (feat. David Davidson)
9. Lycanthrope (feat. Alexi Laiho & Danko Jones)
10. Undertow
11. Horrors (co-written by Jason Becker)
12. Inferno -reprise-

 Friedman will tour in support of his new album beginning May 1st in Tampere, Finland.  He will serve as support act for Gus G. who is also set to release his new album this Spring.  Friedman’s current tour itinerary is listed below.

EUROPEAN TOUR DATES 
5/1       Tampere, FL – Klubi #
5/2       Helsinki, FL – Nosturi #
5/3       Stockholm, SW – Stockholm Rocks Festival #
5/5       Gothenburg, SW- Tradgarn #
5/6       Malmo, SW – KB #
5/9       Krakow, PL – Lizard King #
5/10      Warsaw, PL – Progreja #
5/12      Munich,DE – Backstage #
5/14      Hannover, DE – Musixzentrum #
5/15      Essen, DE – Turock #
5/16      Zoetermeer, NL – De Boerderij #
5/17      Hasselt, BE – Muziekodroom #
5/18      Uden, NL – De Pul #
5/20      Savigny Le Temple, FR – L’impriente #
5/21      London, UK – O2 Academy Islington #
5/22      Nuneaton, UK – Queens Hall #
# with Gus G

Tickets for Friedman’s upcoming tour dates, and all of the latest on his upcoming album and more is available via Friedman’s official website, http://www.martyfriedman.com.  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.

Ford Is As Ferocious As Ever On Her New Live Recording

Courtesy:  SPV/Steamhammer Records

Courtesy: SPV/Steamhammer Records

Lita Ford’s new live recording, The Bitch Is Back, is a good introduction to the veteran rocker’s music.  Ford, who started her career decades ago as a member of the famed Runaways, proves with this latest live release that she still has plenty left to offer her audiences.  From the show’s set list to the audio mix to her general presence, there is much to like about this new live recording.  All things considered, Ford should have titled this recording, The Bitch Is Here instead of its given title.  Regardless, it proves in the end to be one of the year’s top live CDs.

The set list chosen for Ford’s 2013 show at California’s famed Canyon Club is the first part of what makes The Bitch Is Back so enjoyable for audiences.  Most of the songs chosen for this show come from her 2012 album, Livin’ Like a Runaway.  However, there are some older tracks included in the set list presented on this recording.  One of the best of the songs included in this recording is ‘Can’t Catch Me.’ She explains to the audience in attendance that the song was spawned after a chance meeting at the Rainbow Room.  Who would have ever thought that Lita Ford and Lemmy Kilmister would collaborate?  Regardless, the result is a fun, high octane piece that bears all the trademarks of classic Motorhead.  It’s little tidbits such as this that Ford shares through her set that makes this recording even more fun.  But that will be discussed later.  Ford’s collaboration with Lemmy Kilmister is just one of the high points that fans will take away from The Bitch is Back.  She also includes ‘Hate’, which is just one of the songs that she pulled from Livin’ Like a Runaway.  The song’s lyrical side is a powerful social commentary about society’s seemingly growing obsession with violence and hate.  It’s not such a stretch.  One need just look at the content of today’s TV shows and movies and one will agree that Ford is right on the mark here.  Her driving guitar riffs expertly compliment the song’s lyrics, making it one more high point of the show.  There is so much more that could be discussed concerning the show’s set list.  Allegedly, there were even a number of songs from the show not included in this recording.  If that is indeed the case, then maybe fans will get the remainder of those songs in a future live release.  To that extent, one could argue that by not including all of the songs from her show, Ford has left fans wanting more in the best possible way.  Again, that just makes this recording all the more worth hearing.

The set list included in this recording is the center of what makes it so enjoyable.  However, it isn’t the only part of what makes it so enjoyable.  The recording and mastering work done by Bill Gall and Fernando Cavasos respectively makes the record all the more worth the listen.  Indoor venues always present their own set of challenges when recording live performances.  This is the case regardless of whether one is recording a pop star, rock band, rapper, or some other act.  So it goes without saying that Gall and Cavasos did an impressive job in making sure that Ford’s fans were presented with the best product possible.

The final audio mix presented in The Bitch is Back works in tandem with the recording’s set list to make it a record that is a good introduction to first time fans.  The final product is just as good for those fans that are more knowledgeable of Ford’s body of work.   For everything already noted, there is still one more piece to this recording that can’t be ignored.  That piece is Ford’s own performance.  As with the set list, so much could be noted.  There just isn’t enough space or time for it all.  While this recording is only the concert’s audio portion, one can tell simply by listening, that even after so many decades, Ford has not lost a single bit of steam.  As a matter of fact, the level of energy that she exhibits throughout the performance echoes the energy and stage presence of her fellow veteran rockers in their heyday.  That stage presence is the final proverbial nail for this recording.  Alongside the expert audio mix and equally impressive set list, it makes this record that much more of a must hear for any Lita Ford fan old and new alike.  It is available now in stores and online.  After fans pick up her new live release, they can also make plans to see her live once she hits the road again in the new year.  She is currently taking some much needed rest and relaxation in order to get recharged before hitting the road again.  She is currently slated to kick off 2014 with a live performance on January 9th at the world famous Whiskey A Go Go in West Hollywood, California.  That show will be followed by performances in Nevada and more dates in California.  Fans can get the latest tour updates, news and more from Lita Ford online at http://www.facebook.com/litaofficial and http://www.LitaFordOnline.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Laura Wilde’s debut record is rock done right

Courtesy:  Vice Grip Music Group

Courtesy: Vice Grip Music Group

Laura Wilde, meet the world.  World, meet Laura Wilde.  This Aussie rocker looks like Britney Spears, but sings like Joan Jett and Lita Ford.  She is everything that Avril Lavigne wishes she could be.  Lots of rock acts have come from the land down under.  But not since AC/DC has there been such a hard hitting act.  Wilde comes right at audiences on her debut album, “Sold My Soul.”  The album’s opener, ‘All Alone’ comes at audiences with all the power and energy of fellow female rockers, The Donnas, The Runaways, and so many other female rock acts.  It’s a great high energy, fist pumping, arena anthem that is perfect for any rock radio station.  She sings on the album’s opener, “I think you’re sexy/and I like your face/But much more, I like the chase.”  It comes across as a very confident, “I am woman hear me roar” type of song filled with enough energy to get audiences both male and female moving.

Wilde follows up ‘All Alone’ with an equally adrenaline fueled song in ‘Sold My Soul.’  She writes of the rigors of touring all over the world, and not looking back after kissing her mother goodbye as she heads off.  It’s not one of those Bon Jovi or Kid Rock style emotional pieces.  Instead, it takes the classic road warrior theme, and takes that proverbial bull by the horns, almost embracing it in a way.  The softest that Wilde gets on her debut is the song, ‘For You.’  She definitely wears her emotions on her sleeve in this song.  But it isn’t what one might expect.  This piece isn’t the standard “oh woe is me, I’ve had my heart broken” sort of song.  She lays into the object of her anger throughout the song, eventually leading into a string of profanities aimed at said individual at the end of the song.  She shows that she’s not going to go the route of so many standard break up songs.  And that sort of mentality is just what will keep Laura Wilde one of the leading names in the next generation of mainstream rock.

Laura Wilde’s debut album was released nationwide just three months ago.  Since that time, this artist who started her career years ago at the age of sixteen has taken some huge steps.  She has been tapped to join legendary rocker Ted Nugent on his Summer tour.  The pair are out on tour now.  They will be performing at the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood, California next Saturday, May 26th.  After next Saturday’s show, Wilde will take some time off before hitting the road again in June.  From there, she’ll be touring the rest of the Summer.  North Carolinians will get to see both Wilde and Nugent on their tour this Summer, as they’ll be making a stop in Durham, North Carolina Thursday, August 9th at the famed Durham Performing Arts Center.  Audiences can go to http://www.dpacnc.com to get information about tickets and more for the show.  Regardless of which date fans attend, audiences can get a taste of what to expect from Laura Wild right now.  The video for her single, ‘Sold My Soul’ is up on Youtube now.  It can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6z2GrhZxDU. Fans can also get all the latest on Laura online at http://www.laurawilde.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/laurawildemusic, on Twitter at http://twitter.com/laurawilde, and on her official Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/laurawildemusic.

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