Wednesday, October 28, 2009

CD Review: The Greening Goes "Electric"

New band, The Greening, are introducing their more mature song-writing skills on a brand-new EP, "(She's So) Electric". While the band prepares their new album for early next year, some new songs have been posted on their myspace page to give fans a direction of the band's latest album.

The Greening's new EP entitled "(She's So) Electric" is full of hook driven lyrics with a modern flair to their sound. The hardest rocker on the EP is the title song, which has a sound similar to David Bowie's Tin Machine. The rest of the EP flows with mix of acoustic guitars and keyboards. "Sunday Afternoon" has a chorus that is repeated to the point of no end. It isn't the strongest song lyrically, but the sound is pleasantly enjoyable. "Belong With Me" has some vocal harmonizing similar to the Beach Boys experimental era with a sound that flashes back to the late 60's/early 70's. "Today, Tomorrow" has a mellow vibe that showcases another side of the band's sound.

Please visit the band's myspace page, www.myspace.com/thegreening, for more information about this new EP and their upcoming album.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bon Jovi Coming Back To Connecticut

After a short venture into the world of country music, Bon Jovi will be releasing their "return to rock" album, "The Circle" on November 10. The band will also pay a visit to the Mohegan Sun Arena on March 26 & 27, 2010. Fan club members will get the first crack at tickets for these upcoming shows before the public gets their chance. No date has been announced as to when these tickets will go on sale.

Bon Jovi will also be the first band to perform at the brand-new Meadowlands Arena in May 2010. Last month saw Bruce Springsteen close the old Meadowlands Arena with one of his final performances of his world tour. The band's current single "We Weren't Born To Follow" entered the singles charts at #90 and is the fastest rising single in the band's history. Also, this past weekend the Bon Jovi documentary "When We Were Beautiful" premiered on Showtime. The documentary will be included in the Special Edition CD/DVD versions of the band's new album.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CD Review: Karl Denson Expands His Tiny Universe On His New Album

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe released their new album in September entitled "Brother's Keeper". The album features an all-star cast that includes Meshell Ndegeocello, Mark Ford (Black Crowes), The Dap Kings, members of Lenny Kravitz's band and more. His new album features songs that try to cross racial and cultural boundaries as well as generational lines. Denson has also recently worked with Lenny Kravitz, The Allman Brothers Band and Michael Franti of Spearhead.

Brother's Keeper starts off with "Shake It Out". The song has a rhythm that sounds like a cross between the Allman Brothers Band and Ray Charles. "Where It Counts" has a funk-style beat that outperforms Denson's lyrics. Only the chorus gets fleshed out by the backup singers. Karl Denson's vocals seem very subdued without the cause for passion. The marching style drumbeat of "The Drums Of War" gets highlighted by the horn section. Karl Denson's lyrics of "Brother's Keeper (Part 1 & 2)" preach without forcing their opinions on you. Meshell Ndegeochello gives the songs life with her bass grooves. "Mighty Rebel" has a sound straight from the 70s funk era with a little raggae vibe. Karl Denson's passion shows through on the R&B flovored "Monica". The funk returns on "Expressions" and "Empty Soul" before closing the album with the R&B "Take It Down" and the modern Jazz-funked "Just Got Paid".

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe is currently on tour and will return to the east coast at the end of month. For tour dates and song samples, visit karldenson.us.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

CD Review: Old Canes Feeling "Feral Harmonic"

Old Canes is the brainchild of The Appleseed Cast frontman, Chris Crisci from Lawrence, KS. The indie folk sophomore album, "Feral Harmonic" will be released on October 20 on the Saddle Creek label. Their current US tour will make a stop in Connecticut at The Space in Hamden on Wednesday, October 21 to promote their new album.

The music on "Feral Harmonic" jumps right out of the speakers, but the vocals took a back seat in the album's mix. The steady pace of "Little Bird Courage" moves along swiftly with it's marching band drums, but the vocals become just another instrument. The momentum continues right into "The Last Collapse" which features a heavy playing of cymbals. "Trust" finally features some recognizable lyrics that go along nicely with an acoustic guitar. The acoustic guitar returns in "Next Flood" to smooth the edginess of the drum assault . The playfulness of "Sweet" is a nice touch, but once again the lyrics become unrecognizable. The gentleness of "Under" and "Southern Radio" are welcome additions to the drum heavy songs, "I Will Be The Sun" and "Stuck". "Flower Faces" is the most radio-friendly, mainstream song on the album, so enjoy it.

If drums are your thing, then Old Canes new album is for you. But with some much instrumentation going on, it's easy to get lost on the album's collage of sound. For more information on the band, please visit www.oldcanes.net.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

CD Review: Silversun Pickups Return With "Swoon"

Silversun Pickups make it perfectly clear on their new album "Swoon" that "there's no secrets this year". The band does not hold back on it's dark lyrics or their agressive bass driven sound. Currently on tour, the band will be performing October 20 at the Webster Theatre in Hartford along with Cage The Elephant and An Horse.

The band's sound in the first two songs "There's No Secrets This Year" and "The Royal We" run along the same vein as the Smashing Pumpkins. "Growing Old Is Getting Old" and "Draining" reverts to the band's earlier sound, as lead singer Brian Aubert described as when the band was "too shy to turn up the volume". Not to worry, The band's volume rises on the songs "Panic Switch" with its fuzz guitar sound and "Sort Of" with it's rolling drum beats. The band's current single "Substitution" is a steady rocker that never overpowers the lyrics with a blast of sound.

Silversun Pickups have been nominated for MtvU's "Woodie of the Year" award which is given to the artist that has made the biggest "splash" in the college music scene in the past year. They will also be featured on current TV's six-part show "Embedded". The album has reached #7 on the Billboard Charts and has received positive reviews from critics. The songs "Panic Switch" and "It's Nice To Know You Work Alone" are downloadable tracks for the Guitar Hero: World Tour video game. Visit the band's website, silversunpickups.com, for tour information, news, videos and more.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Space Getting Filled With Great Music

What began as a rehearsal hall and then an open mic night has now turned into the must stop Connecticut location of independent artists. The Space in Hamden is Connecticut’s premier all ages music and arts venue. Check out some of these bands making their way east.

Australian band Youth Group began their 2009 US tour on Tuesday, October 13 in support of the band's new album "The Night Is Ours". This album was recorded in a 1920's hall located at a Sydney Australian harbor. The band's modern rock sound can be compared to early R.E.M. or Simple Minds. Youth Group will visit Connecticut on Thursday, October 15 at The Space in Hamden. For tour information, song samples and more, visit www.youthgroup.com.au.

Look for the Chicago band, Oh My God, to make an appearance at The Space on Monday October 19. Their sound is a mix between Barenaked Ladies and Coldplay. Look for the band’s new release this fall entitled “The Night Undoes the Work of the Day”. Visit www.ohmygodmusic.com for music samples, tour news, information and more.

Coming to The Space on October 21 is the indie folk group Old Canes. Musical chameleon Chris Crisci spent the last three years perfecting the sound on this new album “Feral Harmonic”. Go to www.myspace.com/oldcanes for more information and check back later this week to read my review of their new album.

Copesetic, from New Jersey, bring their “back to basics” sound to The Space on Friday, October 23. The band is touring behind its self-released EP “The Keys”. The simpleness of the acoustic guitar and drumming plays perfectly to the harmonizing vocals. For more information on Copesetic, please visit www.copeseticband.com.

Halloween night will bring us the music of The Dear Hunter. The band's new album, "Act III: Life and Death" has received critical acclaim (JP's Music Review) since its release and their live shows are just amazing.

With most tickets going for only $8 to $12, it’s a good way to check out some great music for a cheap price. Go to www.thespace.tk for a complete list of upcoming shows, directions and anything else The Space has to offer.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

CD Review: Katie Kerkhover Gives Us Attitude

Katie Kerkhover has a statement to express on her new album “Blister” and it’s that girls can rock just as hard as the guys. Her brand of punk rock with attitude and sex appeal is just what’s needed in music today.

The album starts off with Katie seeking revenge in "Over Me". The song pulsates with buzz-saw guitars, pounding drums and "screw you" attitude. This album is full of attitude; "Something Real" starts off as a ballad fairy-tale imagery before being blasted with an all-out rock assault. Katie stresses her point on the album's lead single "Can't Handle Me". She dares the audience to try and grasp her punk rock sound and her "don't care" attitude. Her self-evaluating "Habit" has a constant chorus that gets forced in you head. "Make You Fall" is another great rocker with its chord changes and energy driven lyrics. Katie's "I don't need you" attitude comes firing back in "Without You". The punk rock songs work so well together that the ballad of "Gone Again" seems out place. Her cover of Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" is the perfect song to end the album with that sort of energy and attitude.

Katie Kerkhover was awarded the 2009 Buzz Award for Best Female Vocalist. There are videos and song samples up on her myspace page (www.myspace.com/katiekerkhover). Do yourself a favor and check her out.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Just A Friendly Record Show Reminider

This Sunday, October 11, is the New Haven Record Riot at the New Haven Annex YMA. If you've been to the Cromwell Record Riot, then you know what to expect. If haven't been to one of the Record Riots before, then it's about time you've started. This is one of the last record shows of year, so do yourself a favor and head down the Annex YMA located at 554 Woodward Ave. in New Haven this Sunday. Doors will be open from 9:30-3:00 and admission is only $3. Go check out the tons of items for sale, everything from collector's vinyl to promo CDs,concert shirts, DVDs and more. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter on upcoming Record Riot shows.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

CD Review: Daniel Johnston "Is And Always Was" A Star

Singer/Songwriter Daniel Johnston has received praise from his peers including Beck, Tom Waits and the late Kurt Cobain for his song-writing. His songs are constructed in such a way that is unlike other musicians of his era. His first studio album in seven year will be released on October 6 and is entitled "Is And Always Was". Daniel Johnston has been recording songs since the early 80s as a side project to his first love, cartooning. As a diagnosed manic depressive, many of his songs come from the dark side of his heart.

Daniel's new album collects 11 of his current masterpieces. As his voice strains to hold a note, the poetry of his lyrics becomes the main focus of his songs. The album does carry a folk-rock vibe. The acoustic side to his songs are displayed in "Mind Movies" and "Tears". The songs provide the listener with simple lyrical storytelling. Daniel Johnston does make a move toward mainstream music with the catchy chorus of "Fake Record of Rock and Roll" and "Without You". The song "Queenie the Doggie" is a fun sing-along about his four-legged friend. "High Horse" is a plead for all those who think they're better to just give others a chance.

Daniel sends out his truthful pleas on "I Had Lost My Mind" and "Freedom". He backs-up his lyrics with electric guitars and steady drum beats that move the songs along briskly. Daniel experiments on title song "Is And Always Was". His singing on this song sounds like a cross between Neil Young and Syd Barrett. The album finishes with his 6-minute epic piece "Light of Day". All of Daniel's emotions pour out into this closing story.

While fame has brought his name and songs out into the spotlight, his song-writing has not swayed from what made him original. Daniel Johnston will be performing in Washington D.C., New York and Boston before heading out west and then over to Europe in November. Go to Daniel's website (www.hihowareyou.com) for more tour information as well as to purchase his new album.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Concert Review: KISS Tour “Alive 35” Hits Mohegan Sun

Legendary rockers KISS are on the verge of a major comeback. They have a brand-new album arriving October 6 (exclusively to Wal-Mart stores) entitled “Sonic Boom”. They have also been nominated for induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and their current tour, “Alive 35”, has been selling out arenas everywhere. The Mohegan Sun arena got a little taste of “Kissteria” Saturday night when KISS paid a visit to this Connecticut venue.

A KISS concert cannot be considered just a show, but instead it is more like an event. Members of the KISS Army have waited years to see their idols and on this night, KISS did not disappoint their fans. Explosions, fireworks, fire, blood, flying; you name it, it was part of KISS’ concert. Right from the beginning of the night’s opening song, “King of the Night Time World”, explosions and fireworks rocked the arena walls. The band looked full of energy considering this was their third show in three days. The tour’s main focus has been the celebration of 35 years since the release of KISS’ monumental live album, “Alive!” and KISS brought some special songs along with them. Songs like “I Stole Your Love”, “Modern Day Delilah” and “I Love It Loud” were well-received by fans. “I Love It Loud” began with Gene Simmons’ signature blood spitting routine before he was hoisted to the top of the lights to perform this 1983 hit. Each member of the band received their spotlight solo. Guitarist Tommy Thayer performed his solo during “She” on a smoke-filled stage, playing behind his head and shooting out the lights with his guitar. Eric Singer’s drum solo during “100,000 Years” pushed the song past the ten minute mark. But, it was Paul Stanley who masterfully controlled the audience, whether it was to sing the intro to “Black Diamond” or “stand up for what you believe in” during the confetti shower of “Rock And Roll All Nite”.

Arm in arm, KISS returned for their encore to thank the audience and their legion of fans for such a wonderful night and then proceeded to dive into a five-song encore that started with “Shout It Out Loud”. “Love Gun” found Paul Stanley flying over the audience on a cable to perform the song on a mini-stage at the back of the arena. However, it was the 4th of July style fireworks display at the conclusion of “Detroit Rock City” which left fans in awe of another memorable KISS experience.

Buckcherry began the evening with a 40 minute set that included the Rock Band song “Rescue Me” and their breakthrough hit “Crazy Bitch”. Buckcherry also performed a great cover of Deep Purple’s “Highway Star”.

Setlist:
King of the Night Time World
Deuce
Got To Choose
Modern Day Delilah
Hotter Than Hell
I Stole Your Love
Com’n and Love Me
Parasite
She
Watchin’ You
100,000 Years
I Love It Loud
Black Diamond
Rock and Roll All Nite
Shout It Out Loud
Lick It Up
Let Me Go, Rock ‘n’ Roll
Love Gun
Detroit Rock City