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Book Review: Metallica: The Complete Illustrated History

December 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Music News, Reviews

51jYMToMZ1L._SX258_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_Metallica: The Complete Illustrated History
Martin Popoff
Reviewed by: Roger Scales

What’s so cool about this book right from the first grab is its size:  “9 ½ x 11 ¼” with thick stock pages and full color (many rare unseen) photos covering the band’s entire history from its earliest stages formed in Los Angeles in 1981 right up to 2013.  Its 192 pages of pure history, stories and reviews of each Metallica release right up to 2011’s “Lulu”.   

The reviews of each record are covered by some of the top rock journalists in the business. Mick Wall, Andre Earles, Gary Graff and others give their takes on each release from the hits to the misfires and nothing is held back.  But after all this is an illustrated history so the text is almost secondary to the photos themselves which make the book worth its price alone.

Each era of the band is covered right from Mustaine to Burton right on down to Newsted and Trujillo.  Plenty for every Metallica fan to enjoy with no real emphasis on one particular era but rather a chronological look of how Metallica became the biggest metal band in the world and continues to be to this day. As with the Rush book I reviewed a few months back, what makes this history standout from the rest is the sick collection of memorabilia on display throughout the pages of this book. T-shirts, gig posters, flyers, rare albums, backstage passes, concert tickets, patches and more flood the pages and make even the diehard fan stand up and take notice.

What I admire about Popoff and his unique style is that he uses his own interviews conducted over the years and does not rely on quotes from other writers.  There are other Metallica books out there with longer more in-depth coverage of the band but none combine the amount of quality rare photos of the band live and in the studio with band collectibles combined with a list of the entire Metallica canon-every album, single, ep and video.  At over 300 images, countless hours must have been spent selecting images that nobody had seen in years if ever at all. 

This book will definitely make a great holiday treat for that metal fan in your life, a grab or secret Santa at work or better yet spoil yourself and pick one up as a stocking stuffer.  Just make sure that your rock stocking has some extra stuffing because this book is heavy and not just the physical product but a history one of the great metal bands of all time makes it a heavy metal history for the ages.     

Buy now  

DVD Review: Aerosmith / Rock For The Rising Sun

December 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Music News, DVD Reviews

Rock For The Rising Sun
Reviewed by: Roger Scales

Being a big fan of Aerosmith for as many years as I have, it surprised me how few live DVDs the band has released over the years.  Yes, Live Texxas Jam ’78 is excellent but I only own a VHS copy.  Why not release it on Blu-Ray at this point?  Clean it up and add some bonus features?  There must be a plethora of vintage shows from the early days and on through the late 70’s, early 80’s and into the 90’s that must exist. Read more

CD Review: Sucker Punch! / AdrianGale

December 16, 2013 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

999196_193118714193779_1736169713_nSucker Punch!

 Reviewed by: Roger Scales

After the release of Crunch back in 2004 I was hooked on AdrianGale heavily.  That album was so good it made me an instant member of Kivel Kamp and I have not looked back since.  When I think of tracks like “Tougher Than It Looks” and “When In Rome” I realized how much potential this band had and knew that if given another opportunity as a unit that more classic melodic rock was just a matter of time.  (Yes the band did briefly exist as “Crunch” but that came and went to so fast back in 2007 I nearly forgot.)  Well that time took nine long years but Sucker Punch! was not only worth the wait but far exceeded what I thought the band was capable of creating.  Considering I already had Vic and the boys high on my rock pedestal that is saying something!  This album is full of powerhouse production, quality songwriting, the return of Eddie Campbell in place of Scott Millar who performed on “Crunch” and of course Jamie Rowe who is still at the top of his game offering his passion and stellar vocal range throughout the record. Read more

The 2013 Boston Music Awards In Review

webTrending at the 2013 Boston Music Awards:

Hating on the BMAs
Local booker Richard Bouchard gave a tongue-in-cheek welcome to Sunday night’s BMAs, declaring it “the least-complained about event of the year!”  With enormous bands like Aerosmith, Dropkick Murphys, and Amanda Palmer nominated alongside the Boston little guys, voting almost posed an ethical dilemma – do you vote for Walmart or the Mom & Pop shop?  Why are these artists even in the same category?  When they announced the nominees and ran through the artists up for awards, nobody cheered for Aerosmith but folks went bananas for Bad Rabbits.  Amanda Palmer’s name even warranted a “Boooooooo” that echoed throughout multiple floors at the Liberty Hotel.  Eddie Japan frontman David Santos said at the beginning of his set that they were up against Aerosmith and the Dropkick Murphys for Best Live Artist, “so if you voted 6 million times we might have a shot.”  Happily, it seems the voting community was ultimately more interested in the little guy, too – Eddie Japan went home with the win.

Supporting Boston Music
Certainly if a band like Bad Rabbits can trounce Amanda Palmer/Dropkick Murphys and Eddie Japan can dethrone Aerosmith, it was a relieving gauge of where Boston stands with its musical priorities.  The evening’s best example of Boston Pride existed with the Tuesday Night Recording Club, a blog whose mission is to get local bands together to cover predominantly rock records.  It includes Brian Charles, producer extraordinaire, Aaron Perrino, lead singer of the Sheila Divine, Annie Hoffman, bassist for the Field Effect, and local musicians Davina Yannetty & Kenji Ross on Keys/Vocals and Drums, respectively.  For the BMAs, though, this band busted out all of the local stops, covering songs by numerous bands with Boston roots, and featured some big-name locals on individual songs – they opened with a Sheila Divine cover of “Hum,” but followed with songs by The Cars, Dinosaur Jr., The Pixies, Bobby Brown, and more, featuring guest leads by Doug Orey from the Field Effect, Chris Keene from Mean Creek, Sidewalk Driver’s Tad McKitterick dressed like a Pimp-style Santa Claus during “My Prerogative,” BMA producer Jake Brennan even guest-led for a stint, and they closed with Buffalo Tom’s Bill Janovitz and Fuzzy’s Chris Toppin for a Scruffy the Cat cover, honoring the recently deceased Charlie Chesterman (the posthumous winner of the evening’s “Unsung Heroes” award).  Ultimately, the evening was truly a success for the locals, and TNRC’s set was the highlight of the night.

Besides the Tuesday Night Record Club, nothing like funky solo guitar virtuoso Shun Ng busting out covers of MJ and Stevie Wonder.  I’ll get to My Dick in a minute.

Backup Singers/Pinup-girl Hair/Matching Outfits
Or some combination therein, regardless of musical genre.  New personal goal: own one part of an identical dress set.  Happy to take those bowtie dresses off your hands, TNRC ladies…

Orchestra and Band instruments
Between Big D & The Kids Table, Moe Pope & Quills, Barrence Whitfield, and 11-piece Women of the World, I counted 1 Trombone, 2 Saxophones, 2 Violins, and a Flute.  Women of the World also rocked a Euphonium, which may not be an orchestra/band instrument, but dammit, I’m counting that shit anyways.

About a third of the night’s acts featured some sort of live DJ as a part of their act – props to Soulelujah who closed the night spinning actual vinyl.

Getting off the stage and into the crowd
Because the stage just couldn’t hold the awesome.  Or maybe because they got confused about what constituted the stage.

Terrible Lighting
But seriously – why was the lighting so bad?  Nearly all of the acts in the Esplanade Room were playing in a weird shadow that made it feel like you were in some sort of bizarre attic lair.  Pro tip: a better lighting rig, and for god’s sake an air conditioner, would do wonders for this room.

Awkward Artist/Stage Match-ups
The labyrinth that is The Liberty Hotel makes it a little difficult to get up to the Esplanade room, so if they moved some of the bigger tickets to the downstairs it would’ve been less difficult to barrel through the Function Room.  Considering Bearstronaut and Bad Rabbits are big enough to have played Boston Calling and won awards this year, Bearstronaut was beyond packed in the tiny Esplanade Room while Barrence Whitfield’s set looked a little lonely on the second floor, and it was impossible to permeate the Bad Rabbits dance party to get around from My Dick to Potty Mouth and Coyote Kolb.  Also – My Dick, despite being rather silly, should’ve definitely been in the Liberty Ballroom – everybody wanted a piece of My Dick, and its audience was massive.

My Dick
A band who does glorified karaoke by replacing every other word of famous songs with “my dick” never stops being funny.  For the curious, their set included such classics as “My Dick” instead of “My Girl,” “Dancing in My Dick” instead of “Dancing in the Dark,” “Everybody Have Dick Tonight” instead of “Everybody Have Fun Tonight,” “Dicks of Gold” instead of “Fields of Gold” (personally I’d hoped for Fields of Dick instead, but they did at least sing about Dicks of Barley), my favorite – “Fast Dick” instead of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” (best line: My dick in a market as a checkout girl), and for our International friends, “Mi Pinga” instead of “La Bamba.”  I’m really glad I got to see My Dick in the spotlight, since My Dick was quite the spectacle.  It’s pretty easy to laugh at My Dick, and maybe My Dick’s performance was just mediocre, but I could’ve easily spent even more time with My Dick.  Honestly?  The whole room was pretty amped about My Dick too, chanting for My Dick to keep going, which in turn made My Dick go at it even harder, even though by the end My Dick was pretty hot and sweaty.  All in all, My Dick had a blast, and so did everyone who got to experience My Dick in action.  My Dick definitely gained a few fans after its performance, and I’m excited to spread the gospel of My Dick to the Boston music community.

Music Drives Us
Arguably the biggest winner from the night was for Music Drives Us, a local music non-profit that supplies grants for music programs for those in need.  All proceeds from the event go toward the Music Drives Us Foundation, and while I have yet to see how much was raised for this year, last year they donated a walloping $65,000 to the charity.  For all of the complaining people do about this event, ultimately the BMAs are fueling the local music scene with their charity work, and are helping the scene stay alive for generations to come.  Now quit whining and go vote for Eddie Japan again – it’ll take a bit to reach 6 million votes by 2014.

Boston Music Awards 2013 Winners:
New Artist of the Year: Speedy Ortiz
Song of the Year: Field Effect “Ogunquit Me”
Live Artist of the Year: Eddie Japan
Video of the Year: Karmin “Acapella”
Male Vocalist of the Year: Ward Hayden
Female Vocalist of the Year: Amy Renee Heidemann
Americana Artist of the Year: Girls Guns & Glory
Blues Artist of the Year: Barrett Anderson
Electronic Artist of the Year: Bearstronaut
DJ Artist of the Year: Frank White
Folk Artist of the Year: Aofie O’Donovan
International Artist of the Year: Los Rumberos de Boston
Jazz Artist of the Year: Lake Street Dive
Unsung Hero Award: Charlie Chesterman
Metal/Hardcore Artist of the Year: Converge
Gospel/Inspirational Artist of the Year: Kendall Ranseur
Pop/R&B Artist of the Year: Bad Rabbits
Singer/Songwriter of the Year: Lori McKenna
Producer of the Year: Clinton Sparks
Hip/Hop Artist of the Year: Moe Pope & Rain
Best Music Blog: Vanyaland
Best Live Music Venue: The Sinclair
Best Dance Night: Soulelujah
Best Live Ongoing Residency: Session Americana @ Lizard Lounge
Best Boston Artist Who Doesn’t Live in Boston: Lady Lamb the Beekeeper
Album/EP of the Year: Kingsley Flood: Battles
Rock Artist of the Year: Deer Tick
Artist of the Year: Bad Rabbits

Concert Review: Lucius at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA

December 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Concert Reviews, Daily Music News

December 5, 2013
The Sinclair
Cambridge, MA

Reviewed by: Dorise Gruber


With blue lights blazing on a slick-suited trio of men, one armed with a partial standing drum kit, one with guitar and pedal board, and one with both, they start with a few echoing minor chords and crisp marching snare before the Lucius ladies traipse onto stage.  Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe don identical blonde-banged-bobs, Cleopatra eye makeup, twin plaid schoolgirl rompers, and mirrored dance moves.  Not actually related, they look like new-age indie fembots, presuming new-age fembots come equipped with more clothes, more class, more talent, and fewer bionic nipple barrel guns. Read more

DVD Review: The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert: The Definitive Edition

December 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Music News

Queen-The-Freddie-Mercury-Tribute-ConcertThe Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert: The Definitive Edition
Eagle Rock Entertainment
Reviewed by: Roger Scales

The original version of this concert released on DVD back in 2002 was a huge disappointment.  Not only was the concert picture and sound not enhanced but the show is missing almost the entire first half of performances from Metallica, Extreme, Def Leppard, Bob Geldof and Guns N Roses.  Maybe the biggest crime amongst the bunch is the Extreme medley of classic Queen songs.  This was THE highlight of the entire show and when you NOW watch the audience reaction I know they thought so too.  Read more

Against Me! Unveil 2014 Winter Headlining Tour Dates

December 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Music News, Tour Dates & News

Against Me! have revealed details of their upcoming U.S. headlining tour kicking off at the end of December and running through January.

The band will tour in advance of their upcoming release Transgender Dysphoria Blues due out January 21.

Support on the entire run will be provided by The Sidekicks and The Shondes, dates are listed below and and more information on tickets can be found on Against Me!’s official website.


Against Me! Tour Dates:
31 – Pittsburgh, PA – Altar Bar
2 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection
3 – Newport, KY – The Historic Southgate House
4 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
5 – Buffalo, NY – The Town Ballroom
7 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
8 – New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place
9 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade
10 – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony
11 – Lancaster, PA – Chameleon
12 – Virginia Beach, VA – The Jewish Mother
14 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
15 – Columbia, SC – New Brookland Tavern
16 – Greenville, SC – The Handlebar
17 – Birmingham, AL – WorkPlay Theatre
18 – Memphis, TN – The New Daisy Theatre
19 – Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge
21 – Athens, GA – 40 Watt Club
22 – Jacksonville Beach, FL – Freebird Live
24 – St. Petersburg, FL – State Theatre
25 – Orlando, FL – The Beacham Theater
26 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room

Concert Gallery: Joe Bonamassa at ACL Live in Austin, TX

December 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Latest Photo Galleries

Joe Bonamassa
November 30, 2013
ACL Live – Austin, TX
Photos By: Phil DeSimone

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Concert Gallery: Gojira at the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, CT

December 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Latest Photo Galleries

November 26, 2013
Oakdale Theatre – Wallingford, CT
Photos by:  Diana Guay

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Concert Gallery: Slayer at the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, CT

December 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Latest Photo Galleries

November 26, 2013
Oakdale Theatre – Wallingford, CT
Photos by:  Diana Guay

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