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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Check out this blog for some cracking melodic rock/AOR reviews

LOU REED will be touring Europe in July and August performing his classic album ‘Berlin’.

Tigertailz have signed to Sanctuary. The band are to release new album 'Thrill Pistol' in the late summer.

Ian Hunter releases a new solo album on May 14th called 'Shrunken Heads'.

Trivium guitarist Corey Beaulieu and Y&T frontman Dave Meniketti are to guest on the next album from Lizzy Borden.

On June 12th an album of John Lennon covers called Instant Karma: The Campaign to Save Darfur will hit the shops. www.instantkarma.org an Amnesty International project, is compiling the album to raise funds and awareness about the urgent catastrophe in Darfur, Sudan.
The original line up of REM, Michael Stipe Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill Berry, have recorded Lennon’s classic 1975 hit #9 Dream and the track is available now as digital download. Green Day, Christina Aguilera, Snow Patrol, the Postal Service, Corinne Bailey Rae, Jack Johnson and Regina Spektor are all set to feature on the album, although the tracks are to be confirmed.

Fountains Of Wayne issue their fifth studio album, Traffic And Weather, on May 7th.

FastLane Records are currently finishing up tracks for the Rick Springfield tribute 'Working Class Dogs' , but have a few slots open due to expanding the track listings, if your in a band and would like more information, please reply here. The Rick Springfield tribute my space site is www.myspace.com/rickspringfieldtribute
Also currently underway on the Cheap Trick tribute called 'Tricked Out' and are taking submissions. Anyone interested please reply here. The Cheap Trick tribute my space site is www.myspace.com/cheaptricktribute

PRESS RELEASES

From www.billboard.com –
Eminent American rock combos R.E.M. and Van Halen, punk poet Patti Smith, pioneering hip-hop outfit Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and influential girl group the Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night (March 12) during a ceremony at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. For the first time, the event was broadcast live on VH1 Classic.

Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder inducted R.E.M., admitting he listened to its seminal debut, "Murmur," more than 1,200 times in the summer of 1984 after seeing the group live. As Pearl Jam began its ascent to superstardom, he said R.E.M. "took us all under their wings. They became like big brothers." R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe then paid tribute to his fellow nominees, saying, "The honor of being here is heightened four times over by the other artists here tonight."

The group performed live with former drummer Bill Berry, who retired from R.E.M in 1997. First up was "Begin the Begin," followed by "Gardening at Night" (which Stipe dedicated to late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain) and "Man on the Moon," with Vedder chipping in on vocals during the verses.

Van Halen, whose planned summer reunion tour with David Lee Roth derailed in recent weeks, was represented only by Roth's replacement, Sammy Hagar, and original bassist Michael Anthony, who was unceremoniously booted from the band in the past year. Roth reportedly refused to attend the ceremony after squabbling with Rock Hall organizers about what songs he would perform, and neither of the Van Halen brothers were on hand (Eddie Van Halen entered rehab for undisclosed reasons last week).

Instead, Velvet Revolver performed a medley of "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" and "Best of Both Worlds," while Hagar and Anthony jammed on "Why Can't This Be Love" with the house band. "I can't tell you how much I wish everyone was here tonight," Hagar said. "[But] I think Eddie's going to come out the other side a better person, and maybe we'll get our buddy back. You couldn't have kept me from here with a shotgun." Added Anthony, "I'd like to say god bless you to Edward Van Halen. He's home getting some help. I love you, man."


Jay-Z read from his Blackberry while inducting the Furious Five, who took the stage for the first time in more than a decade for an amusingly disjointed medley featuring snippets of "Superrappin'," "Freedom," "White Lines" and "The Message." Flash also put on a scratching display from his turntable perch.

Making a rare public appearance ahead of a reunion by his band Rage Against The Machine, Zack De La Rocha ushered Smith into the Rock Hall. "Expanding rock's boundaries, Patti smith the poet revealed truth regardless of the political and social consequences," he said. Smith promptly tore into a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter," followed by the Bruce Springsteen-penned hit "Because the Night" and "Rock'n'Roll Ni**er," which she said was her late mother's "favorite song to vacuum to."

Keith Richards inducted the Ronettes, recalling hearing them warm up for a show in England in 1964. "They touched my heart right there and then, and they touch it still," he said. "We waited so long," Ronnie Spector proclaimed at the podium, never mentioning her ex-husband, producer Phil Spector, who reared the group to superstardom. "I mean, we really waited long!" The group went on to play a medley of "Baby I Love You," "Walking in the Rain" and "Be My Baby," although without Estelle Bennett, who did not perform for health reasons.

Bandleader Paul Shaffer read a note from Spector, who is awaiting a murder trial in California, which said, "I wish them all the happiness and good fortune the world has to offer."

Rock Hall co-founder Ahmet Ertegun, who passed away late last year, was saluted by Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner, who dedicated the evening to his memory. "I think how lucky we've been to have had such a man," he said. After remarks by Stephen Stills, Ertegun protege Aretha Franklin, decked out in pearls and giant rings on both hands, boomed through "Don't Play That Song" and "I Never Loved a Man" in fine voice.

The evening ended with R.E.M. backing Smith on the Stooges' classic "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and the entire evening's cast taking the stage for Smith's "People Have the Power." Attendees were treated to the unlikely site of Hagar and Vedder sharing a microphone while Stephen Stills and Richards soloed.

GIG NEWS

THE POLICE have added an extra 3 UK shows to their comeback tour following the previous dates selling out in less than one hour. 120,000 tickets were snapped up for the four original dates in Birmingham, London, Manchester and Cardiff when they went on sale last Friday. However, Sting and Co will play an extra night at Birmingham’s NIA on September 5, London’s Twickenham Stadium on September 9 and Manchester’s MEN Arena on September 26.

TAZ TAYLOR BAND with GRAHAM BONNET
22/23 Jun 2007 20:00 Rock Cafe 2000 Stourbridge Stourbridge
25 Jun 2007 20:00 Limelight Crewe
26 Jun 2007 20:00 Riffs Blackpool
28 Jun 2007 20:00 The Boardwalk Sheffield
29 Jun 2007 20:00 The Dolls House ABBERTILLERY, GWENT, Wales
30 Jun 2007 20:00 The Royal Standard Walthamstow, London
1 Jul 2007 20:00 The Brook Southampton
3 Jul 2007 20:00 The Waterfront Norwich
5 Jul 2007 20:00 The Diamond Sutton, Ashfield, Notts
6 Jul 2007 20:00 The Twist Colchester
7 Jul 2007 20:00 The RIGA Music Club Southend
8 Jul 2007 20:00 The Stables Milton-Keynes

REVIEWS

DANTE FOX ‘Under The Seven Skies’ Frontiers (2007) www.frontiers.it

Although the band first started out in 1989 this is only their third studio release. Formed around vocalist Sue Willetts and guitarist Tim Manford, they have current TNT vocalist Tony Mills helping out on backing vocals.
The whole album is well played and produced melodic hard rock with a neat twist in the nine minute epic title track which is like two songs within one. This track really takes the band onto a new level and shows they have talent in abundance. Vocally Sue Willetts is very reminiscent of Heart’s Ann Wilson, just listen to ‘The Last Goodbye’ or ‘Hold Out Your Hand’ (the latter a lovely mid-tempo number) for proof. Roman Wieckowski adds some nest piano/keys to ‘Love Tried To Find You’, a song that if it was on a Heart album would gain lots of airplay I am sure. The album does dip slightly in the middle which for me needed another rocker in there, although they finish on a high note with the aforementioned title track.
Classy female fronted melodic hard rock, of which sadly there is little around nowadays. Fans of Heart should certainly give this album a listen.

****
Jason Ritchie

ALAN MORSE ‘’Four O’Clock and Hysteria’ Inside Out (2007) www.insideout.de

Spock’s Beard’s guitarist Alan Morse marks his solo debut with an all instrumental album. It features not only his Spock’s Beard band mates but his brother and former band member Neal Morse. It covers many musical styles but with a strong emphasis on funk and jazz fusion. Highlights? The 70s’ feel on ‘Drive In Shuffle’ and ‘The Rite Of Left’ which is a widdle fest! ‘Spanish Steppes’ sounds as the title suggests, a gentle acoustic guitar number which puts you in mind of Spain in the summertime.
One for die hard fans that is for certain but not sure it will have much appeal outside other than lovers of guitar instrumental albums. The playing is exemplary and at least Alan Morse lays down a good tune rather than try and do the ‘see how fast/technical I can play’ roué of many guitar albums.

***
Jason Ritchie

Neverland “Schizophrenia” Escape (Cat No ESM147).

Swiss band Neverland are about to release the album “Schizophrenia”, 9 tracks of progressive power-metal that brings to mind such bands as Helloween and Dream Theatre. The songs are powerful, melodic and modern edged, whilst the musicianship is everything that you would expect it to be.
Highlights include the keyboard led “Mysteria”, the slow building “Anguish”
and “Neverland”.

Tracks to burn? “Mysteria”, “Neverland”, “Take My Advise” and “Anguish”.
Why Buy? A band to watch, within their genre.

Nikk Gunns 3 out of 5.

Good Charlotte “Fast Future Generation “ DVD. Columbia UK

This is not just a concert film. This in depth documentary of Good Charlottes 12 day Japanese tour of 2005 shows the bands unique relationship with their Japanese fans and director Martin Scott Jarrett gets a candid insight into the bands tour as well as life within the band.
Interviews, the band filming TV appearances during the tour and actual concert footage are cut with a closer look at the boys artistic interests outside of the band, talking about making the next album and their outstanding appearance at Live8. The band comes across as down to earth, hardworking and has a deep admiration for their fans.
This is possibly one of the best tour documentaries around at the moment and is well worth a watch.

Nikk Gunns 4 out of 5.

Good Charlotte “Keep Your Hands Off My Girl” CD Single. Epic Records.

Good Charlottes “Keep Your Hand Off My Girl” combines the bands trademark sound with dance like beats to produce a record that you can’t stop playing.
There is a very 1980’s feel to this track and I would be surprised if this record didn’t reach the top of the singles chart.
Taken from the bands forthcoming “Good Morning Revival” album, this track is a good indicator of what to expect from the new CD.

Nikk Gunns 4 out of 5.

Marys Creek “Some Kind Of Hate” SPV (Cat No SPV-CD 64692)

The best way to some up Marys Creeks new album, “Some Kind Of Hate”, is to say classic rock with modern production. Like a heavier Whitesnake the songs are heavy, melodic and highly listenable, There is not a weak track on this
12 track CD, the guitar work is exactly what you want it to be and if I had to pick my favourite tracks here it would be difficult- however, I’ll go with “I Don’t Believe” (this should be a single), “New Religion”, “She” and “State of Mind”.
Hopefully the band will tour to promote the album as this is one band that I would like to see over in the UK this summer.
Tracks to burn? All 12!!
Why Buy? A good modern classic rock album.

Nikk Gunns 4 out of 5

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