Jul 30, 2013


Blur is an alternative rock band which formed in Colchester, England in 1989. The band consists of Damon Albarn (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Graham Coxon (guitar, vocals), Alex James (bass) and Dave Rowntree (drums). Blur’s debut album Leisure (1991) incorporated the sounds of Madchester and Shoegazing and spawned their first UK Top 10 single, There’s No Other Way. Following a stylistic change in 1992 (influenced by English guitar groups such as The Kinks, The Beatles, The Animals and XTC) Blur released “Popscene” as a stand alone single, this was a commercial flop, but was widely considered to be a crucial turning point for the band’s style. Following this, Blur released 3 studio albums in a similar style: Modern Life Is Rubbish (1993),Parklife (1994) and The Great Escape (1995). As a result, the band helped to popularise the britpop genre and achieved mass popularity in the UK, aided by a famous chart battle with rival band Oasis dubbed “The Battle of Britpop”.

By the late 1990s, with the release of Blur (1997), the band underwent another reinvention, influenced by the lo-fi style of American indie rock bands such as Pavement; in the process, Blur finally gained mainstream success in the US with the single, “Song 2”. The last album featuring the band’s original lineup, 13 (1999) found Blur experimenting with electronic music and gospel music, as Albarn wrote more personal lyrics. In May 2002, Coxon left Blur during the recording of their seventh album Think Tank (2003). Containing electronic sounds and simpler guitar playing, the album was marked by Albarn’s growing interest in hip-hop and African music.

In December 2008, Blur announced that they would be reforming for the first time since their hiatus in 2003, complete with Graham Coxon, for a UK Tour in 2009. Blur headlined the Oxegen Festival in Ireland, Glastonbury and the T in the Park Festival in the UK, as well as Dates in London, Manchester, Newcastle, Southend and Wolverhampton. The band continues to be sporadically active, releasing the single “Fool’s Day” and the documentary “No Distance Left to Run” in 2010, and performing several concerts in 2012. Two new songs, “Under the Westway” and “The Puritan”, were released in 2012 leading up to a post-Olympics concert which also features New Order, The Specials and Bombay Bicycle Club.

Jul 29, 2013


Sigue Sigue Sputnik is a British Pop-cyberpunk band that achieved moderate fame in the mid- to late 1980s, when the song Love Missile F1-11 hit the pop charts around the world. “Love Missile F1-11“‘s success was due in part to the song’s use in the hit movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Led by former Generation X bassist Tony James, the band created a unique style of new wave music by layering vocals, yelps, guitar riffs, electronic sound effects, and short samples over pulsating synthesizer bass lines.

The themes and imagery in the band’s songs were often influenced by futuristic, dystopian, or post-apocalyptic films such as a clockwork orangethe terminatorBlade Runner, and the Mad Max trilogy. The band’s music and image also mashed together a range of other pop culture influences, including the New York electronica duo SuicideMarc Bolan’s T-Rex, and the swagger and sex appeal of Eddie CochranElvis Presley, and glam rock.

The original line-up also featured Martin DegvilleNeal X (Whitmore), Chris Kavanagh, and Ray Mayhew. Tony James’ friend Mick Jones, a former member of The Clash, gave James advice about starting the band and selecting musicians. While searching for members, in 1983 Tony James tried out Andrew Eldritch from The Sisters of Mercy and, on Mick Jones’ suggestion, auditioned the then-unknown Annie Lennox. As well, Jones gave James a Roland G-707 synth guitar, which at the time was a new and rarely-used device. The futuristic, electronic sounds of the synth guitar helped James to create Sputnik’s new wave-cyberpunk sound.

The band took its name from a Moscow street gang called Sigue Sigue Sputnik, which means “Burn, burn, satellite.” Their outlandish appearance and image, which included towering, multicoloured mohawk hairstyles, wigs, makeup, and multiple piercings, and gender-bending fetish clothing (plastic, rubber, or leather outfits, fishnet stockings, and stiletto heels) garnered a great deal of attention from the media. While these styles have since been used by a number of gothic or glam bands, in the mid-1980s, Sigue Sigue band members’ appearance was unique and startling.

The “packaging” of the band’s appearance and presentation was carefully considered well before the band ever performed in public. Inspired by the Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren’s unorthodox methods of promoting a band, Tony James generated a great deal of hype about Sigue Sigue Sputnik, while wisely not allowing anyone from the music industry a chance to hear the band. James famously showed record executives a short video collage of futuristic and science-fiction movie clips as a “demo tape” of the band. The buzz became a frenzy as several record labels began a bidding war to sign Sigue Sigue Sputnik. James finally settled on EMI, which was rumored to have given the band a £1 million advance.

The group split soon after the release of their second album, Dress For Excess (the initial single from which, Success, was produced by British hitmakers Stock Aitken Waterman). Tony James stated that the band “…couldn’t sustain this pretend bastardized version of Sputnik.” James also blamed the media for the band’s fall from grace. When Sputnik’s first singles were released, the media and James’ promotional efforts worked symbiotically, sharing the mutual benefits of the band’s hype and shock value. Once the initial shock and tabloid outrage over the band’s unusual image and appearance had worn off, media coverage became dismissive, criticizing the band’s focus on image and style.

The band was reformed once in the 1990s (featuring Tomoyasu Hotei on guitar and Christopher Novak singing) releasing Sputnik: The Next Generation and once again in 2001 with Martin Degville and Neal X, which resulted in the release of Piratespace. The reformed Sigue Sigue Sputnik continues to play live, and it has also produced a number of remixes of other artists’ work. In 2004, lead singer Martin Degville left the band to pursue a solo career.

Jul 26, 2013


311 was formed in 1990 in Omaha, Nebraska, United States by singer/guitarist Nick Hexum, singer S.A. Martinez, guitarist Tim Mahoney, drummer Chad Sexton and bassist P-Nut. The band now resides in Los Angeles, California.

311 mix rock, rap, reggae and funk into their own unique sound. After years of consistent touring, 311 have developed a reputation as one of the hardest working, most influential and most entertaining live bands in the U.S.

311 have released ten studio albums, one live album, one greatest hits album and three dvd’s - and have sold over 8.5 million albums in the U.S. Seven of their albums have reached the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top 200 Sales Chart…and 9 of their singles have reached the Top 10 on Billboard’s Alternative Rock Radio Chart (including the #1 singles Down, Love Song & Don’t Tread On Me. Along with Amber, All Mixed Up, Come Original, Creatures For Awhile, Hey You, and Sunset in July).

311’s newest album, Universal Pulse, released in Summer 2011, was produced by Bob Rock, mixed by Chad Sexton and debuted at #7 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart.

The band’s celebratory live shows & incessant touring schedule have earned them a massive grassroots following nationwide. Since its inception in 2004, 311’s annual summer headlining amphitheatre run, Unity Tour, has become one of the largest modern rock concerts of the summer. Support acts on previous Unity Tours have included Sublime with Rome, The Offspring, Snoop Dogg, The Roots, Papa Roach, The Wailers, O.A.R., Matisyahu, and Ziggy Marley. Unity Tour 2012 will feature support from Slightly Stoopid. 

Jul 24, 2013


Black Label Society is a heavy metal band formed by former Ozzy Osbourne/Pride & Glory guitar player Zakk Wylde in Los Angeles, California in 1998. They have released ten albums to date, eight of which are studio albums. The band, aside from Wylde consists of bassist John “JD” Deservio, drummer Mike Froedge, and fellow guitarist Nick “The Evil Twin” Catanese.

The band is not to be confused with Zakk Wylde’s solo project (sometimes known as Book of Shadows after its only album) or with Pride & Glory, Wylde’s southern rock band.

In 1992, Ozzy retired after the No More Tears tour, which led Zakk to form his own solo band Pride & Glory, blending potent bluesy southern rock with heavy metal. In 1994 Ozzy decided to come out of retirement, and the numerous recording sessions for Ozzmosis took place. Around this time, Zakk was also offered the open guitar slot in Guns N’ Roses and had a hard time deciding whether to tour with Ozzy or join Guns N’ Roses. Neither project panned out. This gave Wylde the opportunity to record his own acoustic solo album, “Book of Shadows.” After limited commercial success with Book Of Shadows, in 1998, Zakk and drummer Phil Ondich formed Black Label Society and recorded their debut album “Sonic Brew.” Nick Catanese had been Zakk’s touring rhythm guitarist since the Book Of Shadows tour (Zakk records all guitars on his albums). Craig Nunenmacher has been drumming for the band since 1919 Eternal (2001) following Phil’s departure. Previous bass players include current Metallica bassist Rob Trujillo, former Megadeth 4-stringer James Lomenzo, and current Alice in Chains bassist Mike Inez, who also played with Zakk on the No More Tears, Ozzy tour.

The band had their song “Fire It Up” featured as a bonus song in the PlayStation 2 game Guitar Hero. Zakk Wylde has an avatar in the video game “Guitar Hero: World Tour”, and the song “Stillborn” also appears.


Ultramen is a Brazilian samba rock and hip hop band formed in 1998 in the city of Porto Alegre. 

Current Formation
* Tonho Crocco - vocals
* Pedro Porto - bass
* Julio Porto - eletric guitar
* Zé Darcy - drums
* Leonardo Boff - keyboards
* Marcito - percussion
* Malásia - percussion
* Anderson - scratches


Jul 22, 2013


Richard P. “Richie” Havens (born January 21, 1941; died April 22, 2013) was an American folk singer and guitarist. He is best remembered for his intense, rhythmic guitar style (often in open tunings), soulful covers of pop and folk songs, and his opening performance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival.

Born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, Havens moved to Greenwich Village in 1961 in time to get in on the folk boom then taking place. Havens had a distinctive style as a folksinger, appearing in such clubs as the Cafe Wha? His guitar set to an open tuning, he would strum while barring chords with his thumb, using it essentially as percussion while singing rhythmically in a gruff voice for a mesmerizing effect. Havens was signed to Douglas Records in 1965 and recorded two albums that gained him a local following. In 1967, the Verve division of MGM Records formed a folk section (Verve Forecast) and signed Havens and other folk-based performers. The result was Havens’s third album, Mixed Bag. It wasn’t until 1968 and the Something Else Again album, however, that Havens began to hit the charts — actually, Havens’s fourth, third, and second albums charted that year, in that order. In 1969 came the double album Richard P. Havens 1983. Havens’ career benefited enormously from his appearance at the Woodstock festival in 1969 and his subsequent featured role in the movie and album made from the concert in 1970. His first album after that exposure, Alarm Clock, made the Top 30 and produced a Top 20 single in “Here Comes the Sun.” These recordings were Havens’s commercial high-water mark, but by this time he had become an international touring success. By the end of the ’70s, he had abandoned recording and turned entirely to live work.

Havens came back to records with a flurry of releases in 1987: a new album, Simple Things; an album of Bob Dylan and Beatles covers; and a compilation. In 1991, Havens signed his first major-label deal in 15 years when he moved to Sony Music and released Now.

On April 22, 2013, Havens died of a heart attack at home in Jersey City, New Jersey. He was 72.

* A Richie Havens Record (1965)
* Electric Havens (1966)
* Mixed Bag (February 1967)
* Something Else Again (1968)
* Richard P. Havens, 1983 (1969)
* Stonehenge (1970)
* Alarm Clock (1971)
* The Great Blind Degree (1971)
* Richie Havens On Stage (1972)
* Portfolio (1973)
* Mixed Bag II (January 1975)
* The End of the Beginning (1976)
* Mirage (1977)
* Connections (1980)
* Common Ground (1983)
* Simple Things (1987)
* Sings Beatles and Dylan (1987)
* Live at the Cellar Door (1990)
* Now (1991)
* Cuts to the Chase (1994)
* Time (1999)
* Wishing Well (April 2002)
* Grace of the Sun (2004)

Guest appearances

* Please Don’t Touch by Steve Hackett (1978)
* Starlight Express Music and Songs from (1987)
* OVO by Peter Gabriel (2000) (Soundtrack to the Millennium Dome Show)
* “Freedom” on The Best of The Jammy’s Volume One w/ The Mutaytor
* “The Long Road” (Duet with Cliff Eberhardt) on Cliff’s 1990 album “The Long Road”)

Jul 21, 2013


King Crimson were a progressive rock group from London, England, United Kingdom formed in 1968 by guitarist Robert Fripp and drummer Michael Giles. Though originally an all-British musical group, later members have included a number of Americans, most notably Adrian Belew, and Tony Levin. The name “King Crimson” was coined by Peter Sinfield as a synonym for Beelzebub, prince of demons.

King Crimson’s debut album was In the Court of the Crimson King. The first major success of the new genre of progressive rock, many bands that would come to dominate ‘prog’ in the 1970s first sought to emulate In the Court of the Crimson King, including GenesisThe Alan Parsons Project, and later Rush.

The line-up of King Crimson has at times changed drastically from album to album. Original lead singer and bassist Greg Lake left the group - as did lyricist Peter Sinfield - and went on to fame with Emerson, Lake & Palmer in 1970, replaced by Gordon Haskell, Boz Burrell, and, briefly, Jon Anderson of Yes. Also from Yes came drummer Bill Bruford, who joined King Crimson in 1972 and became one of the more enduring members. For the next three years, Bruford and Fripp were joined by future Asia frontman John Wetton. With comparatively few additional musicians, these mid-1970s albums and performances showed a more raw and stylistically focused - though still improvisational - King Crimson. In 1974 the band split temporarily.

In 1981, bassist Tony Levin and guitarist/singer Adrian Belew joined Fripp and Bruford in a band initially called Discipline. Changing the name back to King Crimson, the four released a trio of studio albums which preserved the classic heavy and improvisational sound, but also embraced 1980s musical influences and technologies.

In 1984 the band split up again, then re-formed in 1994 with former Mr. Mister drummer Pat Mastelotto joining forces with and later replacing Bruford. This lineup included bassist Trey Gunn- playing warr guitar and chapman stick - forming a “double trio” of two guitarists, two bassists and two drummers. In between KC commitments, various combinations of the members convened in different “ProjeKcts”: ProjeKct OneProjeKct TwoProjeKct ThreeProjeKct Four, and ProjeKct X, with Robert Fripp describing them as “fraKctals” of the band with the purpose of “research and development”.

2000-2003 saw a new incarnation of King Crimson, without Bruford and Levin, which culminated in the album The Power to Believe and a concert tour. Trey Gunn left the group afterwards, but Fripp and Belew announced that they would meet in 2007 and think about future KC music. Tony Levin agreed to replace Gunn on bass/stick.

A new King Crimson line-up was announced in late 2007 and scheduled for rehearsals in 2008, consisting of Fripp, Belew, Mastelotto, Levin, and Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree. In August 2008 the band set out on a brief four-city tour in preparation for King Crimson’s fortieth anniversary in 2009. A short time thereafter, on 20th August 2008, DGMLive (a web medium for Fripp to release live recordings) issued a download-only release of the August 7th, 2008 concert in Chicago. The show reveals a drum-centred direction but the set list, consistent with the rest of the tour, contains no new material or extended improvisation. However, many of the pieces from the back catalogue receive new arrangements, most notably the renditions of “Neurotica,” “Sleepless”, and “Level Five”, all of which are given percussion-heavy overhauls, presumably to highlight the return to the dual-drummer format. More recordings from the New York shows are scheduled for download soon as well. There has been talk of more King Crimson shows in 2009, but nothing definite has arisen yet.

In 2008, Steven Wilson began remixing the studio catalogue into 5.1 Surround Sound for possible future release.

Despite its many changes, King Crimson has retained a consistent sound and atmosphere, largely as a result of Fripp’s signature guitar work. Though they have not had a commercial success since their first album, the band has one of the most devoted followings of any musical group. Their live albums outnumber studio albums by a wide margin (some of them being “official” bootlegs), and there are more than enough ex-members to fully staff the ‘classic’ KC revival group known as 21st Century Schizoid Band.

On 5 December 2010, Fripp wrote a diary entry on his DGM website outlining his current stage of involvement in the music industry. The diary entry suggested that the King Crimson “switch” had been set to “off” and detailed a number of reasons why he was not currently interested in performing or writing with the band. In spite of this, activity related to the band continues. A separate band based around Jakko Jakszyk and King Crimson alumni Robert Fripp and Mel Collins (who played last with King Crimson on Red) was announced in 2011 as being called “A King Crimson ProjeKct”. Fripp has also referred to it as “P7”. An album A Scarcity of Miracles features these three musicians, along with other Crimson alumni Tony Levin and Gavin Harrison.

In an interview with Financial Times published on 3 August 2012, Fripp announced that he was retiring from the music industry, leaving the future of King Crimson uncertain.

Jul 20, 2013


Godsmack is a hard rock/alternative metal band from Lawrence, Massachusetts, United States which formed in 1995. They are often mis-categorized as post-grunge or nu metal. The band comprises founder, frontman and songwriter Sully Erna, guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist Robbie Merrill, and drummer Shannon Larkin. Since its formation, Godsmack has released five studio albums, one EP, four DVDs, and one greatest hits collection.

The band has had three consecutive #1 albums (Faceless,IV,The Oracle) on the Billboard 200. Godsmack’s fifth studio album, titled The Oracle was released on May 3, 2010. The band has also parked a ratified 18 top ten rock radio hits, including 15 songs in the Top Five, more than bands such as Linkin Park and Metallica. Godsmack are one of the most popular metal acts of the last decade in the United States, selling over 19 million records worldwide.

Since its inception, Godsmack has toured on Ozzfest on more than one occasion, and have toured with many other large tours and festivals, including supporting its albums with its own arena tours. In the summer of 2009, Godsmack toured as support to Mötley Crüe’s Crüe Fest 2 tour.

In February 1995, Sully Erna decided to start a new band as the lead singer after playing the drums for more than 23 years, including over two years in the now-defunct band Strip Mind. His new band The Scam formed with Erna on vocals, Robbie Merrill on bass, local guitarist and friend Lee Richards on guitar, and Tommy Stewart on drums. The Scam quickly changed its name to Godsmack, after recording one demo. The newly formed band started playing small bars in their hometown of Boston, Mass… Locally popular songs such as “Keep Away” and “Whatever” soon brought them to the top of the hit charts in the Boston/New England area.

The band’s name, according to Merrill in the Smack This! DVD, was taken from the Alice in Chains’ song “God Smack”. However, Erna stated in a 1999 interview that “I was making fun of somebody who had a cold sore on his lip and the next day I had one myself and somebody said, ‘It’s a godsmack.’ The name stuck. We were aware of the Alice in Chains song but didn’t really think much about it. It’s a cool song and the name had meaning for us”.

In 1996, Tony Rombola and Joe D’Arco joined Godsmack as the guitarist and drummer, after Richards left after finding out he had a six-year-old child and Stewart left due to personal differences. In the same year the band entered the studio for the first time, recording its first CD titled “All Wound Up”. The CD was recorded in just three days for $2,600.

For the next two years, the band played throughout the Boston area. Eventually Godsmack’s CD landed in the hands of Rocko, the night-time DJ for Boston radio station WAAF (FM). The radio station put “Keep Away” into heavy rotation and the song rose to the number one spot at the station very quickly. Newbury Comics, a New England record store chain, agreed to sell the CD on consignment. Shortly after the success of “Keep Away”, Godsmack went back into the studio and recorded a single titled “Whatever”, which became the new local favorite on WAAF (FM).

In an interview Sully Erna stated, “we had been selling maybe 50 copies a month at the time WAAF picked up the album. All of a sudden we started moving over records a week. It was insane. Even crazier, I was doing all this from my bedroom. After years of grinding away, things finally started taking off.”

Alice in Chains is believed to be the primary influence to Godsmack. Many believe Godsmack obtained their name from the Alice in Chains song “God Smack” off the album Dirt. In an interview with MTV upon the death of Alice in Chains lead singer Layne Staley, Godsmack frontman Sully Erna stated that Staley “was single-handedly the guy that got me to start singing.” Erna went on to later confirm that indeed “God Smack” is the inspiration for the bands name and the reason their sound sounds similar to that of Alice in Chains Other bands cited by Godsmack members as their primary influences typically include AerosmithLed ZeppelinRushBlack Sabbath, ² and White Zombie. More recently, Godsmack have attempted to distance themselves from the Alice in Chains comparison with Erna stating in an interview with Matt Ashare, “I’ve just never really heard that in our music.” In that same interview, Erna offers an alternative explanation to the origin of their band name by stating, “It happened at rehearsal when our drummer came in with a big cold sore on his lip. I was making fun of him all day because we had a photo shoot coming up. And then the next day when I came in, I had a big cold sore on my lip. So my guitar player said, See, God just smacked you for making fun of him.” Nevertheless, the comparison to Alice in Chains is well documented. Sully Erna’s style of singing mirrors that of Layne Staley’s while the overall sound of the band’s first two albums sound incredibly similar to the sound of Dirt. The logo of Godsmack is similar to the sun logo of Alice in Chains. Godsmack also released an album titled “Faceless” which is similar in name to Alice in Chain’s first album Facelift. The band even transcended from their heavy sound to a more mellow acoustic sound on their album “The Other Side” in the same manner Alice in Chains did in “Jar of Flies”.

In 2002, Godsmack received a Grammy nomination in “Best Rock Instrumental Performance” for the song “Vampires” from the album Awake. In 2004, they opened for Metallica, while headlining with Dropbox in the summer. They did acoustic shows for their newly released album The Other Side in the fall of 2004, while still opening for Metallica. In September 2004, Godsmack issued a live DVD titled “Changes” which the band recorded earlier that year. That same month, the group also released “Batalla de los Tambores”, a live cut available only via online services such as Apple’s iTunes Music Store, Real and Napster. They released their latest album ‘The Oracle’ on May 3rd, 2010.
Some songs from the album “Faceless” are also in the video game soundtrack for “Prince of Persia: Warrior Within”.

Current members

* Sully Erna - Vocals, Lyrics, Guitar and Percussion.
* Robbie Merrill - Bass and Backing Vocals
* Tony Rombola - Guitars and Backing Vocals
* Shannon Larkin - Drums/Percussion

Jul 18, 2013


Live is an American alternative rock band. Characterized by an earnest approach to anthemic rock and a spiritual zen reminiscent of Joshua Tree-era U2, Live climbed from modest modern rock success to the mainstream spotlight worldwide on the strength of their 1994 breakthrough album, the 6 million-selling Throwing Copper.

Hailing from York, Pennsylvania, USA, the group comprises Ed Kowalczyk (lead vocals & guitar), Chad Taylor (lead guitar), Patrick Dahlheimer (bass) and Chad Gracey (drums). Since approximately 1999, Live has toured with Ed’s younger brother, Adam Kowalczyk as a rhythm guitarist, and, previously, British keyboardist Michael “Railo” Railton.

Kowalczyk, Taylor, Dahlheimer, and Gracey first came together for a middle-school talent show in the Pennsylvania blue-collar town of York. The group remained together throughout high school, going through a handful of band names and new-wave covers before settling on the moniker Public Affection and recording a self-released cassette of originals, The Death of a Dictionary, in 1989. Frequent trips into New York to play at CBGB helped net the band a deal with Radioactive Records in 1991. With the new name Live, the band entered the studio with former Talking Heads keyboardist Jerry Harrison that year and began recording the EP Four Songs. The single “Operation spirit (the tyranny of tradition)” went to #9 on the Modern Rock chart, and paved the way for the band’s Harrison-produced, full-length debut, 1991’s Mental Jewelry (#73). The album lyrics, penned by Kowalczyk, were heavily inspired by Indian guru Jiddu Krishnamurti.

Fueled by heavy touring (including billing at Woodstock ‘94 and Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD tour) and a string of hit singles (“I Alone”, “All Over You” and the #1 Modern Rock hits “Selling the drama” and “Lightning crashes”), their next album, Throwing Copper, went to #1 in 1994. It is their best-selling, and often most highly regarded by fans and critics, album to date. The band was even asked to perform on Saturday Night Live where they performed their hits “I Alone” and “Selling the Drama” and to this day, they are the only band to receive a standing ovation at the party after the broadcast.[citation needed]

The momentum continued long enough to help 1997’s Secret Samadhi (coproduced by the band and Jay Healey) debut at #1. Deriving its name from a state of Hindu meditation, the album spawned four Modern Rock hit singles, but failed to match its predecessor’s success, with sales topping off at 2 million. The band performed “lakini’s juice” and “Heropsychodreamer” from this album on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

Harrison came back on board as coproducer for 1999’s The Distance to Here, which debuted at #4 and featured the minor US hit single “The Dolphin’s Cry.”

In September 2001, the more experimental V (originally scheduled to be titled “Ecstatic Fanatic”) was issued to mixed reviews, preceded by “Simple creed” as the first single. However, with the events of 9/11—which occurred a week before V ‘s release—the melancholic “Overcome” began receiving significant airplay, superseding “Simple Creed” and becoming V’s selling point. Unfortunately, Live’s commercial stock—compounded by their petering radio airplay—had fallen further since The Distance to Here, with V merely reaching #22 at home, failing to reach gold status.

Birds of Pray appeared in May 2003, bolstered by the unexpected success of “Heaven”, Live’s first US Hot 100-placing since “The Dolphin’s Cry.” Reaching #28, Birds of Pray ultimately outsold V, although it too received mixed reviews and failed to reach gold status.

In November 2004, Live released Awake: The Best of Live, a career-spanning compilation that included “We deal in dreams”, a previously unreleased song from the Throwing Copper sessions, and a cover of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line”, as well as Birds of Pray’s “Run Away”, re-imagined with Shelby Lynne on co-lead vocals.

In 2005, Live signed with Sony BMG Music Entertainment’s Epic label, and released a new album entitled Songs From Black Mountain in June 2006, preceded by “The river” as lead single. Thus far, while the album has achieved international success, it has proven Live’s lowest-seller yet domestically, only reaching #52 in the US before quickly disappearing from the charts.

While Live remain only moderately popular in terms of record sales in the United States, much of their current sales come from places in Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Ed Kowalczyk has said that “Holland is the center of the Live universe” [citation needed].

The group made news in January 2006 as three band members (Chad Taylor, Patrick Dahlheimer and touring rhythm guitar Adam Kowalczyk) and two members of the band’s road crew were on a United Airlines flight when smoke filled the cabin, requiring the pilot to make an emergency landing.

On season 5 of American Idol, finalist Chris Daughtry was accused of performing Live’s rendition of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line” and calling it his own. This angered some Live fans, but one week later Daughtry acknowledged it was not his own rendition, even saying Live was one of his favorite bands. In May 2006, Live appeared on The Howard Stern Show and addressed this issue.

On May 24, 2006, the band and Chris Daughtry performed “Mystery” on the season finale of American Idol, and on June 7, a new version of “Mystery” was released on the Friends of Live website featuring Chris Daughtry on guest vocals.

The members of Live announced in June 2009 that the band would be taking a two-year hiatus as they work on other projects. On November 30, 2009, guitarist Chad Taylor confirmed that the hiatus of the band was most likely a permanent rift. See the Wikipedia page for more. During the first European tour of the new band of Taylor, Gracey and Dahlheimer (The Gracious Few), Taylor commented both on stage and in post-show discussions that he believes Live may still come back together, though he also stated that the chances of Kowalczyk joining them in this effort may be very small. In an exclusive blogpost[1] on website The Comet, Taylor confirmed that the remaining members of the band would be working on new material for Live in Nashville early July 2011.

The band returned from their nearly three-year hiatus on March 12, 2012, with Chris Shinn, formerly of Unified Theory, as their new lead singer. The new line-up performed before an invited audience at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center in York. The band performed as a six-piece with The Gracious Few’s Sean Hennesy on guitar and Alexander Lefever on keyboards.

Jul 15, 2013


The Damned are a punk rock group originally from Croydon, England, a suburb of London, who were formed in 1976. Despite being one of the definitive early punk bands they were also one of the most ambitious; with their later albums moving away from the breakneck garage sound of their debut and taking in elements from goth and psychedelia to prog and metal.

They are notable for being the first of the British punk bands to release a single, put out an album, and tour the United States. Their debut album, Damned Damned Damned, was released six months before The Sex Pistols’ debut, Never Mind The Bollocks.

The Damned have dissolved and reformed many times, with singer Dave Vanian remaining the sole constant. They have incorporated many styles in their music, most notably garage rock, psychedelic music, the British theatrical rock of Screaming Lord Sutch and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, and New Romantic. 

In addition to serving as inspiration for many of the young bands who created hardcore punk in the US, The Damned are also generally regarded as one of the founders of goth music.

Original members Dave Vanian (David Lett), Captain Sensible (Raymond Burns), and Rat Scabies(Chris Millar) were all members of the semi-legendary Masters of the Backside which included future Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde.

Original guitarist Brian James (Brian Robertson) was a member of the early punk band London SS, a unit that never played live, but whose members later found fame in bands including The Clash and Generation XRat Scabies was also tried as the drummer for London SS, but was rejected.

Maintaining the goth connection, between 1996 and 2004 the bass guitarist of the Damned was one-time The Sisters of Mercy / The Sisterhood / Gun Club member Patricia Morrison. Morrison married Dave Vanian in 1996 but left the band after the birth of their daughter Emily. She originally joined the band after bassist Paul Grey was injured during a concert.


Damned, Damned, Damned – February 25, 1977 (# 36)
Music For Pleasure – November 18, 1977
Machine Gun Etiquette – November 2, 1979 (# 31)
The Black Album – October 20, 1980 (# 29)
Strawberries – October 1, 1982 (# 15)
Phantasmagoria – July 15, 1985 (# 11)
Anything – December 5, 1986 (# 40)
Not of This Earth – November 11, 1995 (Retitled I’m Alright Jack & The Beanstalk in the UK, Germany and Sweden)
Grave Disorder – August 21, 2001
So, Who’s Paranoid? – October 28, 2008

As Naz Nomad and the Nightmares

Give Daddy the Knife Cindy - 1984

Jul 13, 2013


Alice in Chains are a rock band which formed in 1987 in Seattle, Washington, United States. Drawing equally from the heavy riffing of metal and the gloomy strains of grunge, the band developed a bleak, nihilistic sound that balanced grinding metallic riffs with subtly textured acoustic numbers. They were hard enough for metal fans, yet their dark subject matter and punky attack placed them among the front ranks of the Seattle-based grunge bands. While this dichotomy helped the group soar to multi-platinum status with their second album, 1992’s Dirt, it also divided them. Guitarist / vocalist Jerry Cantrell always leaned toward the mainstream, while vocalist Layne Staley was fascinated with the seamy underground. Such tension drove the band toward stardom in their early years, but following Dirt, Alice in Chains suffered from near-crippling internal tensions that kept the band off the road for the remainder of the ’90s. 

Formed in 1987 by Staley, guitarist Jerry Cantrell, bassist Mike Starr, and drummer Sean Kinney, the band was first named “Alice N’ Chains”, and later changed to “Alice in Chains”. Combining the unique voice and intense delivery of Staley with the evocative songwriting and vocal harmonies of Cantrell, Alice in Chains created an immediately identifiable sound that also proved to be quite versatile as their repertoire grew to include both driving, angry rock songs and mellow acoustic compositions. The unique vocal harmonies of Staley and Cantrell included overlapping passages, and dual lead vocals. Alyssa Burrows said the band’s distinctive sound “came from Staley’s vocal style and his lyrics dealing with personal struggles and addiction”. Staley’s songs were often considered “dark”, with themes such as drug abuse, depression, and suicide, while Cantrell’s lyrics dealt more with personal relationships.

Although Alice in Chains has been labeled grunge, alternative rock, and hard rock, Jerry Cantrell identifies the band as primarily heavy metal. He told Guitar World in 1996; “We’re a lot of different things… I don’t quite know what the mixture is, but there’s definitely metal, blues, rock and roll, maybe a touch of punk. The metal part will never leave, and I never want it to”. Alice in Chains has cited musical influences such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Metallica.

Jerry Cantrell’s guitar style combines what Stephen Erlewine of All Music Guide called “pummeling riffs and expansive guitar textures” to create “slow, brooding minor-key grinds”. While down-tuned distorted guitars mixed with Staley’s distinctive “snarl-to-a-scream” vocals appealed to heavy metal fans, the band also had “a sense of melody that was undeniable,” which introduced Alice in Chains to a much wider pop audience outside of the heavy metal underground.

The band found commercial and artistic success in the early 90’s, primarily through the release of Dirt which also highlighted Staley’s increasingly apparent addiction to heroin. The band appeared on the successful lollapalooza tour in 1993 and released the Jar of Flies EP in 1994, but often found its attempts to follow up success in the studio or on the road to be hampered by Staley’s erratic, drug-fuelled behaviour. Former Ozzy Osbourne bassist Mike Inez came to replace Starr and the band would eventually record a third studio LP as well as a performance of MTV Unplugged. Ultimately, however, Alice in Chains would fail to maintain a consistent career in the post-grunge music world and limped into hiatus when Cantrell turned his attention to solo projects (which often included contributions from Kinney and Inez). Staley finally succumbed to his affliction when he overdosed in April 2002.

Although Alice in Chains never officially disbanded, Staley became a recluse, rarely leaving his Seattle condominium following the death of his fiancée in 1996, due to bacterial endocarditis. “Drugs worked for me for years”, Staley told Rolling Stone in 1996, “and now they’re turning against me, now I’m walking through hell”. In 1998, Staley reunited with Alice in Chains to record two new songs, “Get Born Again” and “Died”. Originally written for Cantrell’s solo album, the songs were released in the fall of 1999 on box set, Music Bank. The set contains 48 songs, including rarities, demos, and previous album tracks. The band also released a 15-track compilation titled Nothing Safe: Best of the Box, serving as a sampler for Music Bank, as well as the band’s first greatest hits compilation. The band’s last official releases include a live album, simply titled Live, released on December 5, 2000, and a second greatest hits compilation, titledGreatest Hits in 2001.

After a decade battling drug addiction, Layne Staley was found dead in his condominium on April 19, 2002. An autopsy revealed Staley died from a mixture of heroin and cocaine 14 days previously. In his last interview, which was given months before his death, Staley admitted, “I know I’m near death, I did crack and heroin for years. I never wanted to end my life this way”. Cantrell, shaken by the death of his friend and band mate, dedicated his 2002 solo album,Degradation Trip, to Staley.

Jerry Cantrell, Mike Inez and Sean Kinney reformed and played shows in late 2005 and early 2006 with a variety of guest vocalists, including Billy CorganPat LachmanWes ScantlinMaynard James KeenanAnn Wilson and Phil Anselmo. For their European and U.S. tours of mid-late 2006,William Duvall (Comes With the Fall) performed lead vocals.
Vocalist for Comes With the Fall, William DuVall, joined Alice in Chains as lead singer during the band’s reunion concerts. Velvet Revolver and ex-Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan also joined the band for the reunion tour, playing rhythm guitar on selected songs. Before the tour, Kinney mentioned in an interview that he would be interested in writing new material, but not as Alice in Chains. However, AliceinChains.com reported that the band has begun writing new material, with DuVall on lead vocals. In September 2009 the band released their first studio album since 1995. The album is called ‘Black Gives Way to Blue’ and is a surprisingly good album and is received worldwide with good critisism. During the last months of 2009 they tour Europe and almost everywhere the shows are sold out. 

Alice in Chains has sold more than twenty million albums in the United States (and an estimated 40 million worldwide), released two number-one albums and 19 top 40 singles, and has received six Grammy nominations. The band was ranked number 34 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Alice in Chains has had a large impact on many bands, such as Godsmack, who, according to Jon Wiederhorn of MTV, “have sonically followed Alice in Chains’ lead while adding their own distinctive edge”. Godsmack singer Sully Erna has also cited Layne Staley as his primary influence. Staind has covered Alice in Chains’ song “Nutshell” live, which appears on the compilation The Singles: 1996-2006, and also wrote a song entitled “Layne”, in Staley’s dedication, on the album 14 Shades of Grey. Other bands that have been inspired by Alice in Chains include Taproot, Puddle of Mudd, Smile Empty Soul, Creed, Nickelback, Cold and Tantric. Metallica, who originally influenced Alice in Chains, in turn said they always wanted to tour with the band, citing Alice in Chains as a major influence on the vocal melodies for Metallica’s eighth studio album St. Anger.

Photos of Alice in Chains can be found at their official site, www.AliceInChains.com. Photos of Jerry Cantrell can be found at his official site, www.JerryCantrell.com.


Mike Starr – bass, backing vocals (1987-1993) (deceased)
Layne Staley – lead vocals (1987–2002) (deceased)
Jerry Cantrell – lead guitar, vocals (1987–2002, 2005–present) 
Sean Kinney – drums, percussion (1987–2002, 2005–present) 
Mike Inez – bass, backing vocals (1993–2002, 2005–present) 
William DuVall – lead vocals, rhythm guitar (2007-present)
Scott Olson – acoustic guitar (1996) (Unplugged performance)
Patrick Lachman – lead vocals (2005–2006)
Duff McKagan – rhythm guitar (Reunion tour)

Jul 10, 2013


T. Rex were a British rock band, formed in London in 1967 by singer/songwriter and guitarist Marc Bolan. The band began as a psychedelic folk-rock combo called Tyrannosaurus Rex, a name that was later shortened to T. Rex. In the 1970s, the band had success with glam rock hits like “Jeepster”, “Get It On”, “Ride a White Swan”, “20th Century Boy”, “Children of the Revolution”, “Hot Love”, “Telegram Sam”, and “Metal Guru”. After their success in the early and mid-1970s, the band broke up after Bolan was killed in a 1977 car accident.

T.Rex was a primary force in glam rock, thanks to the creative direction of guitarist/vocalist Marc Bolan (born Mark Feld). Bolan created a deliberately trashy form of rock and roll that was proud of its own disposability, which stood in contrast to the low-key whimsical poetry of the earlier duo. T.Rex’s music borrowed the underlying sexuality of early rock & roll, adding dirty, simple grooves and fat distorted guitars, as well as an overarching folky/hippie spirituality that always came through the clearest on ballads. While most of his peers concentrated on making cohesive albums, Bolan kept the idea of a three-minute pop single alive in the early 1970s. In Britain, he became a superstar, sparking a period of “T.Rextacy” among the pop audience with a series of Top Ten hits, including four number one singles. Over in America, the group only had one major hit — the Top Ten “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” — before disappearing from the charts in 1973. T.Rex’s popularity in the U.K. didn’t begin to waver until 1975, and they retained a devoted following until Marc Bolan’s death in 1977. Over the next three decades, Bolan has emerged as a cult figure and the music of T.Rex has proved quite influential on hard rockpunknew wave, and alternative rock.

Following a career as a teenage model, Marc Bolan began performing music professionally in 1965, releasing his first single, “The Wizard,” on Decca Records. Bolan joined the psychedelic folk-rock combo John’s Children in 1967, appearing on three unsuccessful singles before the group disbanded later that year. Following the breakup, he formed the folk duo Tyrannosaurus Rex with percussionist Steve Peregrine Took. The duo landed a record deal with a subsidiary of EMI in February 1968, recording their debut album with producer Tony Visconti. “Debora,” the group’s first single, peaked at number 34 in May of that year, and their debut album, “My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair…But Now They’re Content to Wear Stars on Their Brow”, reached number 15 shortly afterward. The duo released their second album, “Prophets, Seers & Sages, the Angels of the Ages”, in November of 1968.

By this time, Tyrannosaurus Rex was building a sizable underground following, which helped Bolan’s book of poetry, The Warlock of Love, enter the British best-seller charts. In the summer of 1969, the duo released their third album, “Unicorn”, as well as the single “King of the Rumbling Spires,” the first Tyrannosaurus Rex song to feature an electric guitar. Following an unsuccessful American tour that fall, Took left or as is often stated by people close to the band, was sacked. He was replaced by Mickey Finn,previously linked to the band Haphash and the coloured coat.(There are a few more artists using the name Mickey Finn,though that is where the connection ends)! The new duo’s first single did not chart, yet their first album, 1970’s “A Beard of Stars”, reached number 21.

The turning point in Bolan’s career came in October of 1970, when he shortened the group’s name to T.Rex and released “Ride a White Swan,” a fuzz-drenched single driven by a rolling backbeat. “Ride a White Swan” became a major hit in the U.K., climbing all the way to number two. The band’s next album, T.Rex, peaked at number 13 and stayed on the charts for six months. Encouraged by the results, Bolan expanded T.Rex to a full band, adding bassist Steve Currie and drummer Bill Legend (born Bill Fifield). The new lineup recorded “Hot Love,” which spent six weeks at number one in early 1971. That summer, T.Rex released “Get It On” (retitled “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” in the U.S.), which became their second straight U.K. number one; the single would go on to be their biggest international hit, reaching number ten in the U.S. in 1972. “Electric Warrior”, the first album recorded by the full band, was released in the fall of 1971; it was number one for six weeks in Britain and cracked America’s Top 40.

By now, “T.Rextacy” was in full swing in England, as the band had captured the imaginations of both teenagers and the media with its sequined, heavily made-up appearance; the image of Marc Bolan in a top hat, feather boa, and platform shoes, performing “Get It On” on the BBC became as famous as his music. At the beginning of 1972, T.Rex signed with EMI, setting up a distribution deal for Bolan’s own T.Rex Wax Co. record label. “Telegram Sam,” the group’s first EMI single, became their third number one single.

“Metal Guru” also hit number one, spending four weeks at the top of the chart. The Slider, released in the summer of 1972, shot to number one upon its release, allegedly selling 100,000 copies in four days; the album was also T.Rex’s most successful American release, reaching number 17. Appearing in the spring of 1973, Tanx was another Top Five hit for T.Rex; the singles “20th Century Boy” and “The Groover” soon followed it to the upper ranks of the charts. However, those singles would prove to be the band’s last two Top Ten hits. In the summer of 1973, rhythm guitarist Jack Green joined the band, as did three backup vocalists, including the American soul singer Gloria Jones; Jones would soon become Bolan’s girlfriend. At the beginning of 1974, drummer Bill Legend left the group and was replaced by Davy Lutton, as Jones became the group’s keyboardist.

In early 1974, the single “Teenage Dream” was the first record to be released under the name Marc Bolan and T.Rex. The following album, Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow, was the last Bolan recorded with Tony Visconti. Throughout the year, T.Rex’s popularity rapidly declined — by the time “Zip Gun Boogie” was released in November, it could only reach number 41. Finn and Green left the group at the end of the year, while keyboardist Dino Dines joined. The decline of T.Rex’s popularity was confirmed when 1975’s Bolan’s “Zip Gun” failed to chart. Bolan took the rest of the year off, returning in the spring of 1976 with “Futuristic Dragon”, which peaked at number 50. Released in the summer of 1976, “I Love to Boogie,” a disco-flavored three-chord thumper, became Bolan’s last Top 20 hit.

Bolan released “Dandy in the Underworld” in the spring of 1977; it was a modest hit, peaking at number 26. While “The Soul of My Suit” reached number 42 on the charts, T.Rex’s next two singles failed to chart. Sensing it was time for a change of direction, Bolan began expanding his horizons in August. In addition to contributing a weekly column for Record Mirror, he hosted his own variety television show, Marc. Featuring guest appearances by artists like David Bowie and Generation X, Marc helped restore Bolan’s hip image. Signing with RCA Records, the guitarist formed a new band with bassist Herbie Flowers and drummer Tony Newman, yet he never was able to record with the group. While driving home from a London club with Bolan, Gloria Jones lost control of her car, smashing into a tree. Marc Bolan, riding in the passenger’s seat of the car, was killed instantly.

While T.Rex’s music was intended to be disposable, it has proven surprisingly influential over the years. Hard rock and heavy metal bands borrowed the group’s image, as well as the pounding insistence of their guitars. Punk bands may have discarded the high heels, feather boas, and top hats, yet they adhered to the simple three-chord structures and pop aesthetics that made the band popular, as they still are today 30 years after Marc’s death.