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Alexxis Steele - Publisher/Editor in chief Guido Colacci - Assistant Editor Mick Reynolds- Proofreader/Copy Editor Keith Boisvert- Design/Layout


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Steel Notes Magazine

is a monthly magazine featuring what is happening in the art, music, entertainment, and fashion industry. Copyright is reserved. Re posting is whole or in part on other sites and publication without permission is prohibited. All right to photos belong to their respective owners.

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Too many times, I keep hearing complaints about what is being made for children as far as sexual connotation. Too many times, I keep hearing the same excuse:”well, it’s everywhere” - do you mean like in children’s movies? People like to complain,.. why not complain to the right people? Email studios and tell them what exactly you don’t like about their movies. You may think you’re just one person but, if they start getting too many of these complaints from too many people well, stories start to spread! Eventually, the government will hear about this and take some type of action. What inspired me to write this was an ad I just saw for the new Angry Birds movie. The ad ended with a pig like character jumping on a trampoline and then it’s backside getting pressed up against the camera. What frame of mind does this put a child’s mind into? What frame of mind allows such an ad to be released? What frame of mind allows such and ad to be made? What frame of mind do other countries think we’re in? And then we sit back and wonder why other countries have such a low opinion of Americans,.. Well, what do you expect them to think? First we make it and then, we say nothing about it. Say something, send emails - and, try not to take the kids to see these stupid films and explain to them why you don’t think these films are appropriate.

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Interview With Lisa Y. Wu, AfterShock Comics Written By Brandon C. Jones BJ: What is AfterShock Comics? LW: Amazing, of course! But officially, AfterShock Comics is a comic book company that truly “combines the creative edge of an independent comic book publisher with the strengths and experience of a traditional powerhouse.” We launched our first title December 2015 and currently have ten titles from major creative forces in the industry, including Brian Azzarello, Garth Ennis, Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Marguerite Bennett, Paul Jenkins, Justin Jordan, David Hine, and Adam Glass. We want our brand to be synonymous in the minds of our readers with great quality and independent spirit; and with editor-in-chief Mike Marts and publisher Joe Pruett at the helm, we are making this goal a reality.

BJ: What do you do for After Shock Comics? LW: I am the Social Media Coordinator. I provide relevant and up-to-date content on multiple platforms that engage and connect with the social media world about our wide range of comics. I am currently running AfterShock Comics Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and AfterShock will also soon be expanding our presence to

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YouTube and a number of additional social media sites. So, stayed tuned! That said, the part of my job that gives me the most pride is knowing that AfterShock Comics believes in me so much that they trust me to be the social media world’s direct link to everything AfterShock. So when someone messages or comments AfterShock Comics, that person is getting little ol’ me, which leads into the most exciting part of my job—the opportunity to meet the creators, fans, retailers, and reviewers who I interact with via social media on a daily basis in person at signings, conventions, and meetings.

BJ: Who are some of the people you’ve gotten to meet? LW: So far I have been honored to meet so many talented creators, there are just too many to name, but they include Brian Azzarello, Garth Ennis, Mark Waid, Marguerite Bennett, Brian Stelfreeze, and Paul Jenkins, all of whom are part of the AfterShock family. Recently, I was also introduced to Greg Capullo, Frank Cho, and Ron Marz, which was very exciting.


Sometimes, I am amazed at where my life has taken me. I never would have thought that I would be part of the comic book industry and be surrounded by such talent, who have either written or drawn some of my favorite characters in comics. Lastly, long before I worked in the industry, I was a fan myself, and meeting my fellow readers is still the best part of this job.

BJ: What have been your most memorable experiences working with AfterShock? LW: Listening to Joe Pruett and Garth Ennis tell stories – they have experienced so much, from both a creative and an industry perspective, and they have quite a bit to teach the rest of us. BJ: Can you give the readers a heads up on what to expect next from AfterShock? LW: April was a big month for AfterShock Comics, as we are launching our Second ShockWave of Comics.

April 6th, Rough Riders by Adam Glass, which tells the story of America’s first steampunk superheroes, pulled straight from the pages of history - Teddy Roosevelt, Annie Oakley, Houdini, Jack Johnson, Thomas Edison, and Monk Eastman. Fans of history and sci-fi alike will definitely want to add this to their ‘pull’ list. Then, on April 13th, JACKPOT! by Ray Fawkes hit the stands, telling the story of the greatest con artists in the world teaming up to steal the gods’ ultimate source of power. Lastly, we have a new horror series based on a creepy urban legend called B.E.K. - Black Eyed Kids by Joe Pruett, which came out on 4/20. We also recently announced a new series scheduled for June 1st, called The Revisionist by Frank Barbiere, which tells the intense story of a dangerous time-traveling assassin. Check us out at: http://aftershockcomics.com

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Interview With Guitarist Rick Bozart Written By Brandon C. Jones BJ: When & why did you start playing music? RB: Music became a fascination to me at a very young age. Not even sure how old I was in the piano picture, but I’m sure I was still fresh on the scene of life. I began participating in music in elementary school, and by fifth grade was ready for violin. I played that for one year. In fact that christmas I asked for an acoustic guitar. That year was when I knew music was my thing. So, I would have to say 11.

BJ: Can you tell us the story of losing everything and how music changed it all?

BJ: What’s your songwriting process?

RB: Well, let me begin by saying never ever say that won’t be me!

RB: I dont force it.

Before all of this happened I used to be that guy.

Let it flow out of you.

I was driving home from work May 14, 2014 at about 6 PM.

Willie Nelson said it the best, “The key to a hit song is 3 chords and the truth.”

BJ: How would you describe your music? RB: Modern Acoustic Blues, one man band style. I have written heavier songs as being raised in the 80’s and 90’s.

I came to the stoplight at Northampton Blvd. And stopped at least a car away from the lady in front of me. I turned to look at the phone which was on the seat and was rear ended by a guy coming off the interstate doing about 40 - 45 mph no brakes.

It destroyed my pickup truck to the point I couldn’t But, I don’t get the same raw feel as I do unplugged. drive it and the damages were more than the truck was worth so they totaled the truck.

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Not to mention on top of all of that I was pretty injured. my head hit twice and a tool also hit me in the head. I began physical therapy 3 days a week about 2 or so weeks after the wreck. The hospital just pumped me full of pills that made me unaware of what day it was. After not being able to continue to run my lawn care business, I was also unable to pay any kind of rent and therefore had to vacate where I was living. I remembered that there were places at the beach here that served the homeless. I came out to the oceanfront with nothing but my guitar, 2 book bags of clothes, and my dog in search of a way to some how make it. I had no idea what I was gonna do but it wasn’t gonna be starve! I have always been that guy who can come up with a fix at the drop of a hat.

I didn’t even have a hat to drop. With not many options and very little funding left from the truck check, I began to rationalize pawning my guitar because I was running low on dog food. “What have I done to us Peanut?” The dog would just give me that look. Then one night after playing the boardwalk and making no cash at all I decided the next morning I was gonna pawn the guitar.

As I walked to the spot that I would hide to sleep I ran into another street musician, who we can just call CJ. He saw me walking with the guitar and asked me to sit down and play a tune. My fingers were screaming from playing 8 to 10 hours a day already for a few weeks now but I said sure. I sat down and threw out an original.

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It’s called Castles Made of Jade. They loved it. Then I explained I was out there playing my face off and starving so I was gonna pawn the guitar in the morning to go buy dog food. CJ said, “Woah, hold the press.� He asked where on the boardwalk I was playing and at what times. When I told him he then understood why I was not making anything hardly at all. I was at the wrong end of the beach playing for the wrong kind of crowd. He told me to go down to the pier and sit on either side on a bench and play and the blessings will happen. He also gave me a list of places that i could go to get meals, clothes, hygiene stuff, that sort of thing.

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So, with all of that in mind when I woke up the next morning and went to breakfast it was my first true awakening of just how bad the homeless problem in America is. Just seeing one or two on the corner asking for money is nothing. Have you even had breakfast with 125 + people who have no place to go or hide? That morning where I was in my life kicked in 150%. Played my guitar for the next week or so and began to see money start to come in. He was right! I only had 1 original and about 4 or 5 covers that I could remember. I played those songs till my fingers wanted to fall off. Then, I ran into another man on the streets by the name of Mr. G or as we all call him the preacher man.


Mr G. told me, “Boy, You sound good , but your doin’ it all wrong.” So, I asked him what he meant by all wrong. He said “After 9PM ya gotta take it to the street. Pack up and follow me.” He took me to 21st St and Atlantic Ave. And said this is where ya wanna be after 9. Till the bars close its nothing but people. So I said ok if you say so Mr G. And I unpacked and grabbed a piece of sidewalk and began what I always did everyday. Mind you I never asked a soul for any money ever or anything but permission to play in front of their establishment. That night in 2 hours or so I made $150. I couldn’t believe it! I was doing everything so right before, but in all the wrong places. That would be the night I realised music was gonna save my life.

and I am so very thankful that they didn’t because it snowed like 12 times that winter and there was 6 inches of frozen snow on the sand where I would have been sleeping. Upon moving in and getting settled I wrote a song about homelessness because I have always wanted to express and make changes through music. I learned about a man named Leroy Bailey while I was on the streets. He was a volunteer who through prayer and many conversations with God has decided he is going to walk around america to raise money to build homeless shelters for vets and the homeless in general. What he is doing physically is what I want to do through music. I wrote a song about him called Houseless Hollywood which is on Soundcloud under that name. My other single Castles Made of Jade is on CD, Baby for sale.

BJ: Where do you see yourself in five years?

I played that street corner every night for about 5 months.

RB: My will to make it is very strong and I don’t think I used up all that might when on the streets so shoot I’m gonna put my dream out there.

I have been called every name under the sun by every race and religion.

In the next 5 years i will have won a Grammy for Best Song in a film or production.

Let me tell ya its a cruel world out there for a guy who is just trying to get one foot back up on the step.

Who knows maybe this story of my life could be made into a documentary kinda sorta-ish!

There were good nights and bad nights out there.

Check out Rick’s music at: http://www.cdbaby.com/ Artist/RickBozart

I just took the bad ones as learning and practicing times. Another thing that saved me is I had no desire to shoot dope or stay drunk all day. Made it easy to save money. As the summer and eventually fall came to an end, I received a message from a long time family friend that they had a room for rent that was empty. They would not let me try to survive the winter

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Review of Diana Ross at Bethlehem Sands Event Center April 13th,2016 by JR Peterson Diana Ross lived up to her reputation as a superstar in an hour long, sixteen song set of solo hits, Supremes hits and a couple of excellent cover songs. She entered to “I’m Coming Out”in an elegant red dress and her aura was immediately felt as the packed Bethlehem Sands Event Center came to their feet, crowding the aisles,singing and dancing along with Ms. Ross. The songs flowed effortlessly as she sang a cover of The Spiral Staircase hit ‘More Today Than Yesterday’. Backed by her tight band which consisted of Piano,Guitar,Bass,Saxophone,drums, percussionist and three background vocalists the show was flawless. She then performed three Supremes numbers.... ‘My World is Empty Without You’, ‘You Can’t Hurry love’, and ‘Love Child’. After a quick costume change Diana reentered in a black sequined outfit and a beautiful yellow full length feathered shawl/cape. Her one other costume change was to an amazing silver sequined outfit with a lacy white wrap that screamed ‘Diva’.

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NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of STEEL NOTES MAGAZINE

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” - Albert Einstein

Why we must BOYCOTT THE VOTE By Guido Colacci

We should not accept the status quo, the illusion, the fraud, the fantasy and mantra induced self deception and brainwashing any longer... Stop participating in the election process, Boycott All Voting… the only way real change is going to take place is if we let them (the people in charge who run things) understand that we finally “get it” … The problem is that people are not angry enough or tired enough or have had enough because they placate us with the crumbs they throw us, the red herring issues, the social rights issue that keep us divided and fighting as if those things are the key to surviving. Then they traumatize and terrify us with horrific acts of american sponsored global acts of mayhem, death and destruction that leave us in a state of shock and terror and all the while more of our rights are continuously chipped away. America is is not angry enough yet, america does not have the stomach yet, too many are just comfortable enough, and the rest are too wrapped up in just surviving every day, and then there are those that continue to blindly believe and swallow all that we have been taught and brainwashed with by the government since before we learned to speak, the bought off and government sponsored media which is just a mouthpiece for what the government regime wants. This country, this “democracy” or

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“republic” it doesn’t matter which name you call it because it translates to the same thing, a country owned and run by very powerful, very rich people. It is not run by the puppets they that work for them that are installed as “figure heads” the politicians they make us think we the people voted into office. The Federal Reserve, Corporate Owners and CEOs, Bankers, the IRS, Private Financial Institutions, Wall Street and the corporate military industrial complex and the rest of the 1% of the “chosen” , the same people on the Forbes 500 list of the most wealthy. Franklin Roosevelt said straight up, “Presidents are selected, not elected.”! I say, we boycott voting and the election process completely… we are too smart to keep getting duped. Your vote means nothing, its there to give you a false sense of reality that you somehow have a say in the matter. It may be that the most valuable payoff of voting is simply being seen at the polling place by your friends or co-workers and getting a sticker. Mull this fact around, recent Gallop Polls found only 11% of people have a positive view of the Senate and Congress, yet those same people have a 90% rate of being re-elected. Something is very wrong here.


Imagine, if no one showed up to vote on Election Day. If no one watched the debates, no one participated in the primary process, and each speaking event by the candidates, only a handful of people showed up. You would be saying out loud in unison “the emperor has no clothes.” The people in charge would be terrified. I think heads would be exploding all over Washington and the world. They would know the gig is up, they’re onto us, they refuse to participate in the illusion, they see the game, that the election is a fixed system with a fixed agenda… Seriously, do you think those who run this place would allow their wealth and power to be taken away by a vote? Just think about that and you’ll see how absurd the notion is that voting changes anything. And perhaps once the citizens see the government’s unpleasant reaction which would definitely include making it a law that people must vote, then the public might realize they have no freedom of choice and people will get off their asses with their complacent attitudes and take to the streets and demand change. And I’m talking real change, by any means necessary. It is certainly not going to happenthrough voting… I say “Enough is enough”…. “this is not class or

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economic, or social warfare any longer, they have declared genocide.”! Now if you do choose to do this, you will be met with great resistance and anger. You’ll be reminded of every soldier who died so that you have the rights you now enjoy, including the right to vote. You must honor their sacrifice by exercising that right or else they died in vain. Then they will tell you, you owe it to your children, always the children, but their future depends on your vote for a better world. It’s your duty, if you don’t vote, you can’t complain and use it or lose it. As a last ditch effort, they will agree reluctantly that we are not a “perfect exceptional “ country but we are still better off that all the other countries. They will tell you that this country and government affords us all many freedoms and opportunities and choices. Celebrate these precious liberties by exercising your right to vote.

boycott led by Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers and of course the boycott that led to the creation of our own country, the boycott of the East India Tea Company.

Don’t let people “guilt” you into voting, telling you, you’re not being a good American if you don’t vote! People say they vote to make a political statement, to have a say in things. Counter their words with well thought out statements, such as, choosing not to exercise the right to vote is as democratic and patriotic a choice as voting. Abstaining is as powerful a democratic statement as any vote could be and it is making a valid political statement about the whole system, not just one candidate. Throughout history a boycott has always worked, whether it was The Montgomery Bus boycott, the boycott of South Africa and Apartheid, the Delano Grape Strike/

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Friday 22 April 2016. Olivia Newton-John Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, NJ photo’s by Bob Klein

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“In the Name Of Freedom” Part 1 Interview with Richie Onori By Alexxis Steele Alexxis: Richie has a great new program he created called “In The Name Of Freedom Rock Opera” I have listened to the tracks, and I must say that they are really awesome! Richie: I appreciate it, thank you! Alexxis: Richie, you are primarily a drummer, as a founding member of Sweet, and also a songwriter and guitarist as well, right? Richie: Yes, I am known for my drumming, but I got started playing guitar, then writing, composing, and arranging. 2003 was the first time I actually did a concert in a group with me playing guitar and fronting the band. Alexxis: Ok, so you have been doing it a while. Richie: Yes, off and on, touring with Sweet, and other touring projects, but mainly as the drummer for Sweet. I am one of the five owners of the band here in the US & abroad. So between all of that I have been working on the music for the rock opera. It is a very lengthy thing to do. Alexxis: What inspired you to create this rock opera you have been doing? Richie: Well actually, it is one of those things where if you believe in some kind of spiritual situation, that is what happened to me in the past, and I was inspired by something extraordinary in my life, that is what had really driven me to do what I am doing. Alexxis: You also have a co-producer that works with you on this project called Claudio Pesavento, tell me about your collaboration with him, and how that came about?

I really needed somebody to help with the orchestration, and all the interludes that are involved with this type of project. We started working together and it was like magic. He has been the perfect collaborator for this type of thing, and it has really been phenomenal experience working with him. Claudio is very talented. Alexxis: Awesome: Besides Claudio, who else are you working with? Did you write all of the tracks on this or were there other people involved in the writing process?

Richie: I wrote all of the music. I had one producer, who did collaborate on a few of the tracks. Now Claudio has come up with some of these interludes and various things. He has come up with some very nice writings himself. Interludes are different than actual pieces, but still bottom line is the orchestration is really phenomenal. Alexxis: I see you have quite an impressive list of people that contributed to this project! Who else contributed to it? Richie: Robbie Wykoff was he first one I contacted, along with Joe Retta and Jamie Hunting. I did a cd called In The Name Of Freedom with a woman named Jeannie Cunningham that has done quite a lot of theater, and she said- Richie , you really need to bring this to the stage with your message. The name says it all with everything that is going on in the world right now, and here I have been working on this for 20 years.. Part two to be continued..

Richie: Well Claudio, I was in a group with him- Heaven & Earth many years ago, then he reappeared last year, and started collaborating, but

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ARTIST OF THE MONTH AMY MARTINEZ BY THE GYPSY POET “This lovely lady caught my attention thanks to the wonderful John Loretto! Her inspiration started with lighting the lives of children! Now, her art is lighting the lives of the world! Welcome Amy Martinez!!! “ 1) Hello, there Amy! Talk to me! You got some seriously lovely designs you bring to the table! What inspired you to do this kind of thing?

A.M: Hello there SophiaFirst, I’d just like to say how much I appreciate this opportunity and for the fact that you like my designs. I have been doing the m for quite sometime now, so an recognition for that is special to me. What got me inspired me about the Butterfly, and creating ‘Butterflies by Amy’ is that it’s the only one of its kind in creation that begins as one thing and grows into another.


What do you love best about it?

A.M. I love that it needs its time alone, in its little cocoon, all alone. Sometimes like people in life, it’s confined in an uncomfortable place. Where it needs to stretch and grow. Getting stronger, changing, removed from others, but when it comes out. He’s finally ready and strong enough to break out and fly.

3) What have others told you about marketing your designs?

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A.M: I’ve been told that I need to sell them any way I can. That they’re (all my cards, those that are not just Butterflies, Flowers, and my Animal Drawings) very beautiful, unique, and that there’s a happy, elegant appeal to them. And like any artist, actor, dancer, etc. Our craft cannot be realized until it’s seen. So visualization is very important, but mindful to not be vein or arrogant.

4) What do you want people to take away from enjoying your works?

A.M: When they get out,they may be different or not perfect, but they are still beautiful too. So that’s what really got me thinking about what I wanted any of my work to bring to people. Some sort of seed, one that each person feels when looking at or receiving one. I want to bring something bright into the lives of others.

5) How did you get into this kind of designing? What inspires you?

A.M: The drive really began with children. In the beginning of drawing Butterflies, they were not real looking. They were more flamboyant and, what my mother called “child-like”. I have hundreds of these early cards, and I then got the idea of what I am to do with them. Before I really try to SELL them, I want to GIVE them, to children in the hospital.


them, and; hopefully, enjoys them. (i.e. I’ve included samples of my Animal Drawings, Flower Boxes, Butterfly Sticks, etc.) Well, I would love to see my work sold in any stores all across America, even the world. But, I’ll crawl before I run. ;) I just want people to receive what they want or what they’re feeling when getting something I’ve made. Just as far as they can fly.

7) Is there a person or mentor who got you into this type of work?

These little bright, colorful, happy little cards. Ones that they can put in their rooms, maybe write down something they plan to do when they get out of the hospital. Just something bright that they can look at while they’re in a place that they don’t want to be, changing themselves. But, most importantly, I want to point out to them that since they are handmade, not by a machine. They’re not perfect, maybe one wing is bigger or an antenna is longer. But, that doesn’t mean that they’re not still beautiful. Just as the kids are. They inspired me to give. Then I just began to evolve more and more, and I thought of new ideas. So, I knew that if I just kept my ideas honest, original, and from a place that wants to bring something bright into the lives of others.

6) Who do you want to get this marketed to?

A.M: Like I said, as an artist, my work must be seen to be realized. Any cards of Butterflies, Flowers, Fancy Designs, Special Animal Scetches, and/or anything personal someone requests done. They really hold no true “value” until someone else sees

A.M: Obviously, the children in the hospital. They were a bright example of something that has to be in a place to “change”, “recover”, get “stronger”. As well as myself. I took a few years to just take some time to discover who I REALLY AM. What I truly have in me and what I really believe in. And in that time alone, I changed, and got stronger. Even outside “help”.I was in my own little caccoon and I, alone, had to “break myself out”. No matter how well intentioned or nicely someone would want to draw me out. It wouldn’t have been the right time, my “wings” wouldn’t have been strong enough to fly.

8) What do you hope to achieve with your art?

A.M: In my eyes, meaning I would be dependent on someone or something else, and like opening a Butterfly’s caccoon too soon. Their wings don’t have the strength they need to be able to fly, and they won’t make it. I’m not saying it’s about not letting someone help you. It’s about knowing when the right time is for you to break out, know who you are, spread your wings and fly! That’s why I want my work to plant a seed in everyone it touches, in their own way, for their own reasons, and in their right time. That’s also the message or meaning I want my work to “bring to the world”.

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9) Did you see this as a need to bring to the art world?

A.M: That’s life’s about knowing who you are. There are times when we are alone, or go through significant change. But it’s something that we can use to bake us better, stronger, and more beautiful. It’s not about getting help, or having those around you, in all times of need/want. It’s about knowing WHEN the time is right, to “Break Free”, to BE AND KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

10) How do you come up with these designs?

A.M: The idea of the Butterfly just came to me when I saw a picture of one on the cover of this little book my mother had botten. Then, they just kept evolving. And as the years past, I did too. So, I began drawing ...well, just about anything. Primarily animals, other little crafts that came to mind. Like, my Butterfly Sticks, which is basically one of my Butterflies on a long narrow stick. That you can put in a boqucet of flowers, potted plants, things like that. Also, I started making Butterfly Bookmarks by Amy, that can go in corresponding cards.

11) Who has been your best supporter for this?

A.M: My parents and fiance have been my biggest supporters and backers. My father, because he’s a brilliant artist, who gave me this natural talent. I’ve never taken an art class. My mother, who is BRUTALLY HONEST and says everything I make is HERS. So...I guess she’ll have to share. Lol. But, strange as it sounds, ever since I began this work, drawing Butterflies, I LITERALLY, have seen at least one, EVERY SINGLE DAY. From the 1st day I started to this. Be it, in nature, on t.v. I even saw the tattoo of one late at night on the back of this girl’s neck, late one night at the store. I thought, “Ah, all day and haven’t seen one.” Then the girl in front of me

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in line at the supermarket, swung her hair up into a bun...and BANG. Big old Butterfly tat on the back of her neck. So, I humbly see them and just take each one in as a little gift.

12) What do you want to achieve in 2016 with your art?

A.M: Oh, I would, first just love to brighten the days for those ids in the hospital. That’s actually, the first task I have to complete, before anything else. I hope to find some help in that, but I will do that 1st. Then, I would just be delighted to see Butterflies by Amy on store shelves, in catalouges, even maybe make it on Oprah’s Favorite Things. Lol. Along with the other work I do that involves more than just the Butterflies. Especsially, when someone asks me to do a piece that’s personal to them, like a memorial, or a piece of work for their home. Just anything I can produce that brings to people whatever they see in it.


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13) What have been your best comments about your art?

A.M: That the pieces I’ve made for anybody that were personal, when they have told me that “It was the most beautiful card, drawing, crafted box, they’d ever seen.” And each one said that they would never, ever get rid of them. Probably, one Christmas morning, a family member called me up crying at like 7 in the morning. She said it was the best gift she’d ever been given. That was actually the 1st time I ever took a chance and really drew something of personal meaning for someone. And for her to be so moved, still to this day, was one of the greatest feelings a creator could ever have!

14) Is there someone you’d love to help you market your work? Or is this something only you want to do yourself?

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A.M: Oh, I definitely would LOVE to get help in marketing my work and getting it out there. It has to be “seen”. And there’s only one of me, and I would just love for my work to touch as many people as it can. In doing that, I’ll need help. Help in giving. And, most assuredly, giving back my help.

15) What drives you to create these?

A.M: That only each person can have. I’m driven to do my work and get it out there because, I want each person who gets it. To experience their own individual feeling or emotion, from looking at it. No two people might experience the same emotion or feeling. And being able to do that, would just be amazing!

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The Artist Formerly Known as Prince April 21, 2016 exactly at 10:07am, is when the bad news was announced. The setting was at Paisley Park in an elevator; Prince was to be found unresponsive. Paramedics tried to revive him by doing CPR only to fail. According to CNN he had been battling the flu since a week before. Just two nights before his death, he had performed for the last time in Atlanta. Fans on Twitter, as well as on Facebook, all said he seemed to have looked fine for having the flu, that nobody would’ve predicted it to be his last show. As always rumors like to fly, doubting the cause to be the flu. Like many celebrity deaths, people like to believe drugs were involved. TMZ sent out a report stating, “An emergency landing had to be made Friday night while flying Prince home from a concert. ‘Supposedly battling the flu,’ he was rushed to the hospital because he had OD’d on Percocet and ingested too much.” An autopsy was done and there were no signs of trauma or self harm to be labeled as a suicide. The body was given back to the family a few days later where they hosted a private ceremony and cremated the remains. Tests are still being done to prove further details as to whether it was simply the flu or a drug reaction. He was a singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. This man of many talents we all know and love is the one and only, Prince Rodgers Nelson. Born June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota; his parents, John L. Nelson and Mattie Della Shaw. Both of his parents were Jazz musicians, giving Prince promising talent since he was born. He will be remembered by many of his hit songs including: Purple Rain, Little Red Corvette, 1999, and I Want To Be Your Lover to name a few, as well as his movie, Purple Rain. Even though he’s gone, there’s one thing he’d want us to remember: “Life is just a party, And parties weren’t meant to last.”

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APRIL 15, 2016


(REVIEW BY ALEXXIS STEELE AND MICK REYNOLDS, PHOTOS BY BOB KLEIN) At the beginning of her show we see an empty stage with a single spotlight, a shadow in the background, and a voice reciting over the public address system. A taped monologue, both poetic and philosophical, Jewel told us of her life, loss and struggles to get to who she is today. When it was over a petite and beautiful young woman, with straight sandy blonde hair, dressed in a white and black ¾ length sundress and short black boots appeared and began singing acapella (Without accompaniment), an amazing performance of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” that sent chills through your spine.




We were captured by a voice that filled the room with resonance and clarity that you will find irresistible

Jewel did not disappoint her fans, and performed her top hits, plus her newer material to the near capacity crowd.

With a voice like an angel, she mesmerized the audience with just an acoustic guitar, and an array of wonderful vocal surprises.

We were transfixed by her incredible vocal modulations on her hit song- “Foolish Games”


Needless to say, her staunch followers were on their feet, acknowledging a truly great artist and performer, who gave us two and a half hours of true greatness; something we all hunger to discover.





Her set list for the evening included: SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW




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JD AND THE STRAIGHT SHOT REVIEW BY ALEXXIS STEELE AND MICK REYNOLDS PHOTOS BY BOB KLEIN (SANDS EVENT CENTER BETHLEHEM, PA. APRIL 15, 2016) J D & The Straight shot hit the stage at the Sands Event center on April 15th, 2016 with that down home sitting on the front porch Americana sound , performing to a near capacity crowd. Opening up for Jewel’s “Picking Up The Pieces Tour”, they hit the road in support of their new, all-acoustic 6th album “Ballyhoo!”, which was released on January 15th. Jim Dolan, AKA JD vocalist/guitarist, with smooth and well travelled vocals, brought his distinct bluegrass style to the forefront, backed by guitarist Marc Copely, bassist- Bryan House, and violin /fiddle player Erin Slaver. Great acoustic presentations demand skill and precision and these musicians performed it with bewildering dexterity and unity, backing up JD. We were particularly impressed by the band’s dueling instrumental solo between guitarist Marc Copely, and violin player Erin Slaver, that immediately invoked the rich applause of an appreciative audience. The band’s 9 song set list was comprised of: 1.Empty- Great slide guitar and harmonies that made you want to tap your feet in unison to the music. 2. Violet’s Song- Great soundtrack song for movie , Osage County. 3. Glide-Great harmonies reminiscent of Crosby, Stills, and Nash. 4. Perdition- Great guitar work and harmonies takes you away with the song. 5. Nature’s Way- Great harmonies and rendition of this sing –a-long cover song. 6. Don’t Waste My Time-Beautiful acoustic guitar picking, and violin work. 7. Better Find A Church- Finger snapping, hand clapping song with great duet vocals between JD & Erin 8. Ballyhoo- The album’s title track tells a story about a carnival show with Freaks with JD’s vocals resonating and Erin’s violin riffs put on the final touch. 9. Let it Roll-Great instrument dueling between JD & violinist Erin with standup bass solo.

JD is in the business of hearing other bands perform at his venue, Madison Square Garden, but he gets to be on the other side of the fence with his band. He worked hard to get where he is, and earned his spot, so for him it is not about the money, but wanting to perform music that makes other people happy. ‘KUDOS’ TO JD AND HIS BAND- THE STRAIGHT SHOT MUSICIANS FOR A JOB WELL DONE! THEIR ACOUSTIC COMPETENCE WAS A FINE MUSICAL EXPERIENCE AND I ENCOURAGE OUR READERS TO GIVE A LISTEN, PICK UP A COPY OF HIS NEW CD BALLYHOO, AND GET OUT TO SEE HIM LIVE!

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photo by Drama D


photo by Drama D

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photo by Drama D



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photo by Harold Jr Peterson


photo by William Muffley Jr.

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photo by William Muffley Jr.


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photo by William Muffley Jr.

photo by William Muffley Jr.

photo by William Muffley Jr. JR PETERSON AND CHERIE CURRIE

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photo by William Muffley Jr.

photo by William Muffley Jr.

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photo by William Muffley Jr.


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photo by William Muffley Jr. photo by William Muffley Jr.

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photo by Drama D




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hoto by William Muffley Jr.

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Hej from Sweden, America! I’m the Grouch and I do music reviews. Now, you might wonder why I’m called the Grouch - I’ll give you a hint it isn’t because I am known for my diplomacy or subtle commentary. The other day Bongo Boy asked me to give a listen to some of their records and jot down my thoughts. Seeing as I have a soft spot in my old Grouchy heart for Blues and Blues based rock, I thought the album to start with would be Backroom Blues Volume One.

The album starts off with Miss Stacy by Plainfield Slim & The Groundhawgs: First of all, if you have even an ounce of soul you will feel the groove on this track. I mean the name of the band alone ought to peak your interest.

SO what is it that Plainfield Slim and his band of Groundhawgs do? The answer is simple; they blow the roof off. The guitars sound killer as they go into what sounds like a Texas influenced jam - then comes a wicked voice. I get a big goofy smile on my face everytime I hear that vocal snarl. The voice combined with the slide guitar and the harp in the background just scream bad ass rock and roll. I swear I even hear what could be a nod to Cab Calloway - although Plainfield Slim isn’t singing Heidi-Heidi-Heidi-Ho.

From here the album moves on Sugar Rush by Blind

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Lemon Pledge. This song is for the harp lovers. As an armature blues harp player, I respect this man’s ability. Well done, well done indeed.

Next up is a track by the Paula Boggs Band, Paula referes to their stuff as “soulgrass”, which is just a really cool word and reminds me of a band I used to be in - the guitar player insisted on calling our stuff “cow punk”, but I digress. So what it is that Paula does? She sings WELL in front of a band that just oozes cool and makes one very impressive amount of noise. Simply put if you want to hear the electric blues done right, you have to check out this band.


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Man, I hope these guys come to Sweden!

Big Bone Daddy follows up with another rocking track that compels the listener to feel the vibe. What can I say about this track other than the band is rock solid, the singer has a prototypical voice for bad ass blues and the guitar player can do some magic with his axe. Although the style is vastly different, I get the same feeling listening to this man that I got when I first heard Jeff Beck. The riffs are subtle yet incredibly powerful. Well done, Sir, well done.

Next on, what is clearly a great album, is Vin Matteo. His track Inside My Head is one of my favorite tracks on the album. Now, to be honest, aside from the chorus, I cannot really tell what he is singing - and I couldn’t care less. He could be singing nonsense and it would still sound great. Vin’s voice fits the genre well and his guitar rocks. What more can you ask for?

Track six is another offering from Big Bone Daddy. Dad doesn’t disappoint. You really have to listen to these guys. They come off like some laid back old souls who can just rip it up the and grin sardonically while mesmerizing the crowd. Did I mention that their guitar player rocks?

KickBend, a bunch of guys from near Chicago bring their track Gone. What can be said about these guys? They do what they do and they do it well. Coming out of Chicago, I would not expect any thing else from them. It is obvious that these guys were paying attention, because they know how to play.

York’s Finest. I enjoyed the slowed down tempo and the keyboard work combined with the slide guitar is emotion filled.

Vin Matteo is back with Rat Race. Man, I dig this guy. Again, I really don’t know what he is singing aside from frequent invocations of the words Rat Race - Dude, do you talk that way as well, or is it just your singing voice? In any case, it sounds great when backed by your guitar. Keep it up!

The album concludes with the Roadhouse Sons doing a track by the same name. I can see why Bongo Boy put this track last. It has everything an archetypical blues song needs. The music follows the blues formula to a T - the singer has a good voice and the guitar player has some lightening. When those qualities, given the importance of the Roadhouse in the blues mythos, are combined with the fact that the chorus is: We are the Roadhouse sons. We are the chosen ones, there is really no better way to end a blues album.

So, what is the bottom line? If you dig blues and blues based rock you will enjoy this album. It is definitely worthy of inclusion in any serious collector’s stash. Now if Bongo Boy would organize a Backroom Blues tour, then I would be really excited, until then I guess I’ll just have to dig the album. - The Grouch | Sweden Email theheadgaijin@grouchygaijin.com

Album available at https://bongoboyrecords.com/ backroom-blues/

Kimon and The Prophets contributes to the album with a somewhat subdued blues number called New

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I’m back and this time we are going to take a listen to an album called Out of the Garage. There must be something in the water over there in New Jersey, because Bongo Boy has a knack for finding really good songs and putting them on an album with a particular theme. I like to think of it as a playlist for those who know what vinyl is. (No, I do not simply mean a substance consisting of, or containing the monovalent group of atoms, CH 2). I mean records!

So what do we find on this album? The name implies that it may be some sort of Neo-hippie homage to flowers and drum circles, but wait it also says that this music is out of the garage...hmmmm this sounds interesting.

Well, what a pleasant surprise this album turned out to be. This is basically a collection of really good Punk/Punk-Pop tracks. Now, when I say Punk, I don’t mean mindless noise, I mean basic three chord Rock and Roll played with ATTITUDE.

Attitude is something this album has an abundance of.

Track 1 Like Nothing That You’ve Seen by Mark Lindsay is WICKED. I was stunned to read that Mark Lindsay was the singer in Paul Revere & The Raiders. I mean, if I remember correctly they campaigned for Nixon and had songs about Leave It to Beaver stuff...Oh well, we all make mistakes

when we are younger. (At one time I had a mullet.) The point is, this song is great! Mark’s voice is good So it was with a hope, but no expectation that I - really good. Combine his voice with the guitar riffs cued-up these tracks. I was hoping for more garage - the lead that begins 10 seconds into the song really and fewer hippies. (OK, Hendrix did some really cool makes me smile. All I can think is “Damn, this guy is stuff, but most of that peace and love nonsense just cool!” This song is an infectious groove that sets the pace for the rest of the album - and the two string makes me want to go do something else...)

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enough. What they have that a lot of more polished bands lack, is PUNK ROCK SOUL and that makes this Grouch smile. Listen to this track. Tell me, honestly, that you don’t feel it too. Of course you feel it, the idea that these guys are making some cool noise - and that you could do that too. Rock and Roll for the masses, here it is and it’s in your face.

Out Of The Garage Volume One 1. Like Nothing That You’ve Seen - Mark Lindsay - 3.27 2. You Gotta Work - The WeeGees - 3.07 3. Nothing To Brag About - Rage Of Angels 3.23 solo that starts at the 2 minute 10 second mark is just smoking hot.

4. Take It Or Leave It - The Accelerators 2.59 5. Half A Mile Away - Rage Of Angels 3.46 6. Spin - KickBend 2.42

Track 2, called You Gotta Work, by The WeeGees is a three minute rampage of sound dominated by some red hot horns. The horn section makes this song! I am reminded of the Geils band’s horn section, the Uptown Horns. Very nice guys.

Track 3 is Nothing To Brag About by the Rage Of Angels. This is one of two songs on the album that remind me of the Go-Gos. (No, I don’t mean the Belinda Carlisle solo years. I mean the stuff they did with Jane Wiedlin, when they were a rock and roll band that just happened to be comprised exclusively of women.) I hear the same new wave west coast groove in this track. Of course it also helps that their singer has a really good voice and the guitar player knows how to step up and take a solo.

Track 4 Take It Or Leave It, by The Accelerators is just a classic old Punk jam! Is the music technically difficult? No. It the singer fantastic? No. What it is, folks, is bad ass ROCK AND ROLL. Look, the guy can sing, well enough. The band is tight,

7. Broken Records - The Catholic Girls 3.34 8. I Can’t Let Go - The Chords UK 3.03 9. Hey Little School Girl - Zombie Garden Club 2.59 10. Sweet Sunshine - The Satisfactors 3.38

The Rage of Angels are back for track 5, Half A Mile Away. Listen to this song! Man, I love that raunchy guitar. OK, it’s 2016 – does anyone still think women can’t rock? Well, if you think so you have not heard The Rage of Angles. Man, this chick makes that guitar screen. I dig it.

Track 6 is called Spin and comes from a group called KickBend. I find myself wondering if these guys are out of Detroit. They sound a lot like a local band I dug back in the 1980s. The music is loud, the guitar rocks and the drummer seems to be having a really good time. This song is a gigging band’s dream - it can be extended indefinitely and lends itself to a concert ending. Good job guys. Track 7 Broken Record by The Catholic Girls is my

this band started in Toronto, you could have fooled me. This track has British Invasion written all over it. The snarl is just right! You have to check this out.

favorite track on the album. The majority, based on the video of this song that I saw I do not think all, of the members are female. Here is the bottom line: I love this woman’s voice - it just screams attitude (think the Gore Gore Girls) and the guitar is outrageous. The song reminds me both of Billy Idol and the Go-Gos. All in all this is an exceptional jam.

Track 8 is titled I Can’t Let Go by the Chords UK. Good song – played well - with the right amount of energy. I’m a pretty big Mott fan, so that might influence my feelings about this track, but I dig it and I think you will too.

Track 10 is Sweet Sunshine by the Satisfactors. I first heard about the Satisfactors a few years ago. I dig what they do! This is a band made up of a bunch of guys who are bursting with in-your-face soul. The singer sings well. The rhythm section is rock solid and the guitars are on fire. I dare anyone to listen to this track and not be in a better mood by the end of the song. A long time ago, when the Walkman first came out, I had a friend who would say “Here, have a little Alice. You’ll feel better.” Then he would give you the headphones and Billion Dollar Babies would blast through your brain. Well, here, have a little Satisfactors. You’ll feel better.

So folks, what is the bottom line? All in all this is an outstanding album! Long live the Garage!

Official Website https://bongoboyrecords.com/ out-of-the-garage-a-compilation-series-for-60s-rock/ Record Label Website https://bongoboyrecords.com/

Track 9, Hey Little School Girl by the ZOMBIE GARDEN CLUB is old school rock and roll. This is the stuff that made middle class parents nervous back in the day. Based on what I’ve read it seems

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Contact: info@bongoboyrecords.com


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This month I want to share with you my first interview to a friend, a blues man: Greg Izor. He is working over his third album after the great “I was wrong” and “Close to Home with the BoxKickers. I met him first time in Italy last summer and loved his music immediately. Coming from Usa here are my questions going through his life in music… So first of all I would to know when you got the idea to cross the Ocean to spread your music here. What push you to choose Europe to play and how were you able to land here? Easy? Hard?

Max Prandi out of the blue one day, inviting to come to Italy for a tour in March 2012. We had a blast and that has formed another long lasting friendship- I love being in Italy with Max and Marco and Marco and Marco and Marco. Great musicians!!! Also, along the way I was connected to the Gumbo Blues Band in Canarias- that has been fun, working with a different style of players in a very special place.

A couple things that are really important to noteThese guys are all great players- we continue to play Many musicians I know had been playing in Europe and work together because they play my music very for a long time before I came, but I always figured well. I like the musical interaction and they step up that it would happen when the time was right. I to my demands of being responsive at all times, and never pushed hard to get there, I just figured the op- never playing the same way twice. I have enjoyed portunity would present itself . The first time I went growing together with all of these musicians. Also, to Europe was with Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets, fronting the band, in March 2011. While I was there I met a nice family that brought me back to Norway for a family party in September of that year and that led to working with Kai Fjellberg and the Blues Express. The first time I came to Europe to do my own music was through a couple of guys that have become very close friends- Emilio Arsuaga and Alvaro Bouso. They came to visit Austin in 2010, and I happened to be playing and Emilio and I got talking about harp stuff, and I invited them to sit in the following night. We hit it off, and a little while later they asked if I would come to Spain and tour with their band. I said “I’ll be there tomorrow!” We did our first tour together in July of 2011. Their band, King Bee, was a natural fit for me and we had a blast. Madrid has become home-base for me in Europe, and I spend a lot of time with those guys- they have given me so much culturally and musically, and are really great friends. It also led to another great friendship and musical relationship with Alvaro Toledo in Roma. As far as coming to Italy, I receved an email from

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head before I play. The other thing I don’t like is when the sound technicians are not prepared. You cut short rest and relaxation to get to soundcheck on time, and the sound techinicians are late, or the equipment doesn’t work. The only other thing is that because I’m traveling all the time, I like to eat salad for lunch so I don’t get too fat, and sometimes people can’t accept that you only want vegetables for lunch! What can’t you wait to do again in Europe, the first thing come in your mind? I meet a lot of great harp players everywhere I go and I get to play with and listen to new harmonica influences.

Where have you been in these years and what did you find that really like in each countries you played in? Was what you found what you expected or was different? Oh man- the thing I love most about being in these places is the cultural exchange! When traveling in Europe with American bands, the itinerary tends to be airport-van-hotel-van-gig-van-hotel: you rarely get time to fully appreciate where you are. Travelling with native bands means we have more time in each place, and we eat the best food and wine, and these guys teach me a lot about what is indigenous to each place. I eat and drink like a king!!! And I learn a lot more of the language. I also have a lot more time to visit museums and walk around towns. I love art and get exposed to a lot of it , especially sculpture. Where have I been? Italy, Spain, Norway, Sweden, The Canary Islands, Greece, Istanbul, Switzerland. What did and do you like the most and not? Which connection did you find with Usa if there are? The thing I like most is hanging out and learning my way around a town. I love feeling at home in Madrid, Milano, Bodo, and on Gran Canaria. I love walking around towns and discovering things. And eating. What I like least is that some places want you to be at the club hours before the gig for soundcheck, and they aren’t prepared, so you can’t really relax before the gig. I like to soundcheck, then go to the hotel and get a shower and clear my

Hang out, play, eat, drink, see some art! I’m a sensory hedonist, so all these things go together!

What is for you a tour? Is just a way to play or is also a way to discover, to live, to feel something new ? Everywhere I go, on tour or not, I’m trying to take in and learn as much as I possibly can. I feed off new information. So, being on tour is a great way to discover new things! How is the difference between the blues scene there and here? Not only in music side but also if you find differences in people, int he way they listen, react, talk, move etc etc… I don’t find much difference, the USA is a big place so it’s hard to compare- but the players are the same everywhere, regarless of style, we all love good music. When you say “Blues” what do you mean? What is “Blues” for a bluesman. I don t think is just “music” but is something deeper, so for you? This is a very difficult question- blues is a certain feeling, not necessarily a structure. There are a lot of great bands calling themselves blues, but they are playing Funk or Rock or something, and it doesn’t feel like blues. But at the same time there are a lot of Blues bands playing Funk and Rock and it DOES feel like blues. I think it has to do with Timing, Phrasing and Tone. I always heard the words “you need to feel to the blues”… and I heard once Muddy Waters says that if you don’t live the poverty, to have nothing to survive you can t feel the blues…is this? What do

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we need to feel the blues? Which sensations and emotions are the blues? What move and moved you to play the blues? As a rocker I thought too that the real ones were more close to have an hard lifein their early years from where, the real pain, could transform those feeling in great music… so from a certain moment of history when everybody got more and were safe the power of rock falled down cause it had lost his anger his passion is pure side, its truth and with no more to say cause we were all “fat”. the great bands disappear and everything became more business. Is it the same for the blues? I don’t know. Blues music is something that either comes from inside you, or it doesn’t . “Blues”has definitely become a business, one that I don’t pursue, it’s more important to me to create something fresh and intense to keep myself interested. Many successful bands of ALL genres are out there playing manufactured music, with a manufactured style, giving an audience something safe and palatable. I think a lot of musicians create a plan to be successful in business, and their idea of success in extrinsic- how much the crowd likes it, how big a venue they are playing, what festivals etc... and that is not my main priority. Mine is to express myself musically to the best of my ability. As far as poverty, when I was growing up, we didn’t have much, but I didn’t know any different. It wasn’t until I was older that we had a little more to live on, but I wasn’t aware that we were poor when I was younger. But- none of the people I grew up with that way are playing blues. And having lived in the south for so long, I know lots of people of every race and background, and it doesn’t seem to influence ability one way or another. I will say that people in the south play differently than the north, but I think it just has to do with what you hear. Equal parts environment and natural predisposition. The blues, you and women. Like for for rock which relation , if there is, you can find between blues and women? Your experience as a bluesmen with them? Any stories? Many blues song sang about this argument so we can’t avoid a question on “blues” in that way about love passion or sex. Well, I thnk it’s important to be discrete. I can’t tell those stories here! I don’t tend to write autobi-

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graphically, but I do believe in only writing the truth, so I don’t use “imaginary” stories and “act” them out. I only write songs about things that happen to me or I see happen around me. How live as a musician affect your “normale” life or relations? I know many of us that have to deal with the fact of the many shows and travel so a lot of time awaya from home. About you? Well, I work everyday, and play gigs about 6 nights a week. So, I’m not at home too much. Not even enough to have a dog, but maybe I’ll get a cat one day. Then in the summers I head to europe for 6-10 weeks, so I’m gone a lot. Music is also related to party to share and to alchool. Which relation do you have with it? I like it! How business and money struggle with decision in the life of a musician? Which relations you got between economic side of your band project and the music you want to do? I don’t see financial success as a mark of how well I’m doing as a musician. The only thing I use to measure how well I’m doing is whether or not I’m happy with my playing and if I’m creating something new. I love playing festivals, clubs, theaters, houses, anywhere- but my goal is to play better and different each night, and that is intrinsic. It doesn’t matter to me how much the crowd cheers if I’m not happy with my playing. I would love to have someone who can handle the business side for me, I don’t really care for that at all. Did you had any relation with other type of music? If yes which one and experienced playing that too? Coming from rock and metal do you listen to it or what do you think? Absolutely- I grew up playing Jazz. My first instrument was trumpet. Later on I got into folk music and then blues and country. Only from there did I get to Rock. When I was growing up I was around french canadian music and early rock and roll and r&B, so all that stuff is inside me. I love good music, and that has fueled an interest in Hawaiian music, Flamenco, Classical, Ska, Reggae, and also Harmonica band music like the Harmonicats and the Mulcays. I listen to all of this stuff all the time.


I don’t have a TV, so there is music playing in my house all the time. If you come over you never know what you might hear! Also- when I write or play, I try to stay away from any cliches- I prefer to express what emotions I have inside me when I play a certain type of music, rather than mimic a style. Great Harp player‌where it come from? Why this true love for all that is Harp? Like for Blues, what do you mean playing Harp on stage or at least for you in general? what do you feel when you play it? I love the harmonica. It was a natural instrument for me and I love that it goes both ways- inhaling and exhaling- and the tone is so varied. I love listening to all kinds of harp players, and I always learn new things when I hear someone play. I like it in all genres and at all skill levels. Check out Charlie Organaire, or Hugo Diaz, or Jerry Murad, or Charlie McCoy , or BIG WALTER!!!!! They are all breathtaking in their own way. You re a teacher and have to face daily problem in life at school. Do this help you as a bluesman, inspire you? (In bad and positive way?) Does blues can help people or young generations? Every experience in life influences me as a musician, consciously or unconsciously. I definitely interact with the world differently due to my perspective based on working with my students. It has broadened my experience and way of viewing the world in many many ways. My students come from a really rough background, but they all work well with me, and I enjoy working with them as they learn to negoitate with the world. Ok, next trip in Europe? What is your plan? In Italy? Yes! I love coming to italy- there are so many special places- the coast, the Piemonte, Milano, Malcesine, Mantova (where I get to hear the great Marco Pandolfi!), Modena, Roma, and I hope to one day get to Elba, Sardinia, and Sicily. Big and small, I love them all!

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Alessia Bastianelli - ITALY Alessia Bastianelli

The Charm of Mistakes

Two nights ago I dreamt I met a friend whom I hadn’t seen for years. The next morning I got a call. It was him! At the moment I thought I had some supernatural power or that some other mysterious stuff was happening. Then I thought, “Calm down, it’s just coincidence.”

Everybody, at least once, experiences a similar situation: events that seem related or could be interpreted as such, but in reality are just a coincidence. In this case, the misinterpretation is due to the proximity in time between the two events. In fact every time we dream or think of a person whom we have not seen for a long and then nothing happens—and this happens most of the time—we tend to forget it. On the contrary, when, for example, you think of your grandma and she calls you the same evening, you tend to think, “Everything happens for a reason.”

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This misinterpretation of the two events is just one of the mistakes that our brain makes. It is hard to say but every day my brain make mistakes, like yours, or rather, it is not as efficient as we would like it to be. We usually like to think of ourselves as rational people who make decisions based on logic. In reality we do not always think using logic; on the contrary, we are often irrational creatures and we behave in an incoherent way. Unfortunately or fortunately, we are often unaware of the many ways that our thinking is irrational and biased. Unfortunately, because this drives us to make mistakes—and nobody wants to make mistakes. Fortunately, because if our brains work in this way, it is due to evolution, so there must be a good reason.

In 2002, Kahneman and Tversky won the Nobel Prize for their work on the psychology of judgment


and decision-making. They demonstrated that mistakes are numerous and systematic and that our brain is not as entirely rational and scientific as we want to believe.

To develop into the thinking and “rational” beings we are today, our brains evolved with certain handy shortcuts. These help us to identify threats and make quick judgments. Even nowadays, where we don’t face such immediate threats to our survival, these tendencies are still at work. In psychology they are known as cognitive biases and they constantly shape the way we experience the world and ourselves.

The bias I experienced is one of the most common mistakes: I interpreted two random events—the dream and the call—as linked together. This error is called apophenia, and it can be described as the tendency to find patterns in random information. In psychology, besides this term, other similar or related concepts have been proposed (e.g., synchronicity, patternicity). Although there are some minor differences between these terms, all describe the idea that there are hidden connections between the human mind and the outside world and that two or more events that happen at the same time

must be connected in some way. This human tendency is universal, frequent and very pervasive in our life. While this cognitive bias can lead us into thought errors, in general it has given us an evolutionary advantage since it allowed us to take make sense of information even when certain connections or patterns were not immediately perceivable. This inclination appears in a number of different ways, from spotting coincidences to finding hidden meaning in numbers or text. This tendency often leads people to formulate theories that are, at least, imaginative, but you cannot deny the attraction and the appeal that it produces in our imaginary. Just think of the many movies, TV series or books in which the hero has to decode a hidden massage from events or texts to solve a mystery or save the world. The Da Vinci Code, The Number 23, Knowing, The Bible Code, Lost, Touch, and Alias are only some examples in which mysticism, magical thinking and mystery are at the base of their success. These stories have fascinated us and kept us glued to the screen or pages of a book. In some cases they are so absurd that even in gullible people rational objections arise. But this doesn’t change the fact that we often want to believe certain stories of hidden connections among events, even if we know that they cannot be true. There is no evidence that they are true, since they are not scientifically testable an therefore lack proof of their validity. Anyway, I still remember during a concert of Kyuss, a flock of birds over our heads began to draw incredible figures in constant motion. It seemed to me they were dancing to the music of Kyuss. Rationally, I knew that those two events were not related but I still like to think of…….

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Poetry by Lower East Side Bilingual Poet Yvonne Sotomayor POEM #1

No hay nada que pueda cambiar


Dulces recuerdos hinchados

Our sweet memories are tinged with vinegar

Con la corpulencia de tus mentiras

There’s nothing i can do

Dulces recuerdos golpeados

Sweet memories tinged with tears

Pero nadie es el más sabio

Nothing i can say

Dulces recuerdos siempre empujan y se tiran

Our sweet memories are stained with jellied bile

Arrancando las fibras de mi corazón

there’s nothing i can change

Dulces recuerdos contados con verdades a medias

Sweet memories bloated

Permanecer siempre demasiado breve

With the corpulence of your lies Sweet memories bludgeoned


But no one is the wiser


Sweet memories always pushed and pulled

Regret the hurt and pain

Ripping at my heartstrings

I could come no other way

Sweet memories told with half-truths

Misguided by believing falsehoods

Remain always all too brief

Told by the so-called inner circle Have faith and trust


Take that leap with me

Nuestros dulces recuerdos están teñidos con vinagre

Is all misunderstood and temporal

No hay nada que pueda hacer Dulces recuerdos teñidos con lágrimas Nada que pueda decir Nuestros dulces recuerdos están manchadas con bilis gelatinosos

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Hey you want too much I say the words and have to keep them too?! Where’s the loyalty? Just an old-fashioned notion? Where’s the permanency of being who you are


Too fleeting and transient nowadays

Then leave- letting emotions crash

Quite the fall from disillusionment

Upper limits abound in you

A promise and a vow

Repressing all that’s good

Not necessarily to have and hold

Softness crushed yet again

So you let me slip away

You inspire angst and loneliness

Lamento el daño y el dolor

Bringing out the frightened furor Of rejected warmth and kindness


Instead filled with desolation and dryness

No podría venir de otra manera

Old habits conspire to paint

Mal guiada por creer en falsedades

A horrid picture of what could be

Contadas por el llamado círculo íntimo

I will try and fight the natural way

Ten fe y confianza

And seek love’s truth

Toma ese salto conmigo

And need your loyal company

Es todo mal entendida y temporal

Down this intimidating path

Hey tu pides demasiado Yo digo las palabras y tengo que cumplirlas también ?! ¿Dónde está la lealtad? Sólo una noción pasada de moda? ¿Dónde está la permanencia de ser quien eres Demasiado efímero y transitorio en la actualidad Una buena caída de la desilusión Una promesa y un voto No necesariamente para tener y mantener Así que me dejaste ir

POEM #3 CONIUNCTIO INTERRUPTED Truncated feelings expressed Dilute the mood created At once you grow near and ardent

UNION INTERRUMPIDA Sentimientos trancados y expresados Diluyen el estado de ánimo creado A la vez eres cercano y ardiente A la continuación, dejas que las emociones caigan Límites a lo superior abundan en ti Reprimiendo todo lo que es bueno Suavidad aplastada de nuevo Tu inspiras la angustia y la soledad Sacando el furor miedozo De la calidez y amabilidad rechazada En su lugar llenando de desolación y sequedad Los viejos hábitos conspiran para pintar Una imagen horrible de lo que podría ser Voy a tratar de luchar contra la forma natural

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Y buscar la verdad del amor

the wreckage left

Y necesito tu compañía leal

hope’s alive with open arms

Por este camino intimidante

scarred through wars of lovers past remnants


fading through the blindness of our souls


I tremble, loathe, love and hold

Jagged edges of my heart

You as this with me always…..

Blood-red simplicity prevails in form I cringe and crash the bottomless pit


In darkness rays pierce the night

Filos escarpados de mi corazon

Shiny noir pools refract the hate

Sangre roja sencillez prevalece en forma

Replenished and returned sharply

Me choco y encogo en el pozo eterno

Forward movement propels distance

En la oscuridad rayos cortan la noche

Vast expanse takes the dusk

Piscinas brillosas negras refractan el odio

Cool soulless banished flesh

Rellenas y deveueltas agudamente

Remains alive through emptiness

Moviemiento adelante propulsa distancia

Insists itself though truth dispels

Imenso espacio toma el anochecer

Seething wanton single creature

Carne fria desalmada y expulsada

Flings the wrath and mighty fire

Queda viva a traves del vacio

Received and given brutish scent

Insiste en si misma aunque la verdad disipa

Piles on the words of yesterdays gone

Bestia hirviiente, descontrolado y solo

Tonight, the morrow, are not the thoughts

Lanza la rabia y el poderoso fuego

The whiskeyed hubris of it all

Recibido y dado apeste bruto

Clenching pearls and knotted tripe

Amontona palabras de los ayeres desaparecidos

Screams within a tearful eye

Esta noche, manana, no son los pensamientos

Flared nostrils and a broken chest

La arrogancia alcolica es todo

Tense the muscles’ fingertips

Perlas apretadas y tripa nudosa

Soften in daylight lips unfurl

Gritos dentro del ojo lagrimoso

Waves of tension still retain

Fosa nasal acampanada y un pecho quebrado

Breaking through still unclear

Tensan los musculos de los dedos

Love’s touch amiss

Suaviza el amanecer labios desdoblan

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Olas de tension todavia retienen

I see you now

Rompiendo atraves lo poco claro

Gentle kind and sweet

El toque amoroso faltando

The roman of my dreams

Las ruinas qedan

Piercing cuts through me

Esperanza vive con brazos abiertos

Bleeding heartache and love

Cicatrizada por guerras

Arms and legs abound

De los restos de amantes pasados

Twisting juncture at the core

Desvaneciendo por la seguera de nuestras almas

Meeting always

Yo tiemblo, odio, amo, y aguanto

Dusty trails behind

A ti conmigo siempe…..

Smiles and tongues at the ready Give and take the rocking beat


A lullaby of two opposed


But always won

Love-locked and clenched Beyond my heart’s desire Ensnared in the rapture


Unwinding trail

Amor bloqueado y apretado

True are the colors

Mas alla del deseo de mi Corazon

In despair’s eye

Atrapado en el gozo

Entranced and loving

Camino desenrollando

I am held within you

Colores verdaderos

Each a separate corner

En el ojo del desespero

Retreating and waiting

Cautivada y amorosa

Recoiling and flying across

Estoy dentro de ti

Bursting at the seams

Cada uno en su esquina

What now seems forever

Retrocediendo y esperando

Is but a moment in time

Reculandonos y disparando p’al otro lado

Darkness wanders the sky

Reventando la costuras

Thinking thoughts unsaid

Lo que ahora parece siempre

Where are we going?

Es solo un momento temporal

A vision in green

La oscuridsd vaga por el cielo

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Pensando pensamientos no mencionados A donde vamos? Una aparicion en verde Te veo ahora Tierno, benevolo, y amable El romano de mis suenos Cortes penetrantes me traspasan Angustia sangrante y amor Piernas y brazos abundan Coyuntura revuelta en el nucleo Encontrandonos siempre Sendero polvoroso detras Sonrisas y lenguas listas Toman y dan el ritmo rockero El arrulo de los dos opuestos Pero siempre unidos

THEIR DESCENT Un-pitied ugliness Who will rescue you? Unglamorous and wide The secret life held within A condition we all know But hardly ever see Empathy unattainable For such a distant star Ready to implode In all it’s beauty and pus We never knew you But will forever revere your name In your cold loneliness

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Did you know?

Ha rugido a los simples mortales

Could you ever know the pain

Traqueteando por nuestras vidas

The world would say they feel?

Tu eres la grandeza-tu nos dijiste

The effect of the Milky Way

Te ayudamos a surgir

Has roared upon mere mortals

Hasta que no podiamos alcanzarte

Chugging away our lives

Y tu tampoco pudiste

You are the grandness-you told us so

Descansen gigantes genios

We helped you soar

Descansen magníficos maestros

Until we couldn’t reach you anymore

Descansen tristes, demonios narcotizados

And neither could you Rest you genius giants Rest you magnificent masters Rest you sad, drugged demons SUS CAIDAS Fealdad sin lástima ¿Quién te rescatará ? Poco atractiva y amplia La vida secreta aguantada por dentro Una condición que todos conocemos Pero casi nunca se ve Empatía inalcanzable Para una estrella tan distante Listo para implosionar En toda su belleza y pus Nunca te conocimos Pero venerarémos tu nombre para siempre En tu soledad fría ¿Sabías? Podrías alguna vez saber el dolor El mundo diría que siente? El efecto de la Vía Láctea

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N O I T C N U J S ’ Y N


Greetings my friends. Today is a sad day in the music world. I was going to write an article this month about a friend of mine, his name is Chris Dietrich but with this breaking, sombering news, I am sure Chris won’t mind if I share this month with one of the greatest pop artist of all time. Chris, you should feel honored that I am doing this. I know you will.

favorite Prince song. I know that may not be his best but that song has somewhat of a sentimental meaning to me. I won’t elaborate.

Rest in Peace Prince.

I am sure you all know by now before you read any further. You have seen it in all of the headlines. You have heard it on all of the radio stations. You may have gotten a frantic phone call or text message from your friends or relatives. Prince has died. I was shocked when I heard the news. One of my daughters texted me and told me. I didn’t think my kids even knew who Prince was but evidently they do.

I loved Prince. I grew up listening to his and other fabulous 80’s music. There never is and never will be music like the 80’s again. The 80’s music was the bomb and still is in my book. I keep my XM radio tuned to the 80’s all the time. The day Prince died, they dedicated the whole day of playing Prince’s music. I drove around all day with nowhere to go just so I could listen to Prince. I haven’t felt this sad since Elvis Presley died.

I lost count this year so far on the number of Artist’s and performers that have been called home. I don’t even want to know. For the last few days, I have been whistling Raspberry Beret over and over. That is my all time

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Well folks, time to move on to this month’s article. I introduce to you my good friend, Chris Dietrich. Chris hails from Oxford, Maine. Chris grew up in the Syracuse, New York area. Chris Dietrich, aka “Pushabomb”, is a proud transgender (F-M) musician that is still in highschool at Liverpool High School and will be graduating this year. Chris hopes to make his move to L.A shortly after graduating and start his new life with his special at heart girlfriend, Kristin. Kristin shows her love by standing


by Chris’s ever struggles and obstacles and they overcame them together. That is real love.

Chris and Kristin are looking to start a new life in L.A soon after Chris graduates and is hoping to Start the Band he has always dreamed of. Chris play’s mean covers of just about anything. His favorite’s are, Choking on a lifesaver and Somewhere in Neverland by All Time Low. Chris can play drums like no other and does a fabulous cover of Boyfriend, by Justin Bieber. I won’t fail to mention that Bieber himself has encourged Chris a time or two. Justin himself has encourged Chris to be who he is meant to be and never give up. I know that for a fact but I won’t elaborate. If you must know, Justin is a friend of mine ok, so now ya know.

I asked Chris how he came up with, “Pushabomb”, once Chris was taking one of those fancy facebook quiz and was asked, “What is your rapper name?” Chris’s cousin saw the results and kept calling him, “Pushabomb” and so it sticks.

Chris’s family also supports him 100 percent even though it took a while for his mom and aunt to come around because they are, “Old School” Chris says, but eventually came around and accepted Chris for who he is.

look at a person for their heart and look into their eyes when having a decent conversation. It would be plain wrong not to like someone just for their preferences.

Hey, You like me, I like you back. You love me, I love you right back. You respect me and the feeling is mutual. You disrespect me and I’ll kick your ass! (Not you Chris, I am talking to the readers here)

WWJD? Last time I read the bible, Jesus loves everyone just the same and that is good enough for me.

Chris, I cannot wait until you get out there in the real world and kick some ass. Send me a copy of your first CD and I want it autographed. Better yet, invite me to your first show.

Rock on Chris! Or would that be.....Rap on? Whatever it may be, just show the world you are ready to make great music. They are going to be shell shocked when you do.

Chris’s dad already knew but never questioned him, just gave him unconditional love.

Way to go dad.

Chris also has the loving support of many friends. Jetta and Brandon are among his best friends. LGBT Community, Aydian Dowling, Ty Turner and Kegan also support Chris.

I myself do not judge anyone because I just don’t have it in me. Everyone I know has that special friend or relative that is one of LGBT. It’s high time everyone is accepted for whom they are. I

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The Robby Krieger Band by Dawn Belotti The year was 1965. The city was Los Angeles. Four musicians met resulting in the formation of a new band. This band was The Doors, which soon became one of the most successful musical collaborations in history. Fast forward to 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Robby Krieger, guitarist and one of the principal songwriters of The Doors, took to the stage at The City Winery in New York City with his current band. For many who were not able to experience the counterculture music revolution of the 1960s first hand, this was the closest they would come to having a taste of what The Doors symbolized. For others it was a chance to glimpse into their past and experience again the music that created a phenomenon. Robby Krieger, vocalist Waylon Krieger, legendary bassist Phil Chen, drummer Ty Dennis, and keyboardist Nathan Wilmarth, traveled through the Doors catalog enticing both traditional and new Doors fans with an array of psychedelic, blues and rock tunes that had the crowd singing along with the familiar lyrics. Waylon Krieger, Robby Krieger’s son, channeled the late Jim Morrison with his hauntingly familiar vocals and esoteric showmanship. From the opening notes of Break On Through, a song which made its first appearance on the Doors self- titled debut album, it was clear that this band was not a novelty act. The seventy-year-old Krieger did not miss a note and played with the fervor of a man half his age. This is the reason Krieger has remained a legend and continues to enthrall fans spanning decades with his unique rhythms. Covering such favorites as People Are Strange, LA Woman, Lover Her Madly and Riders On The Storm, Krieger continued to deliver to a captivated audience. Bassist Phil Chen, one of the most successful session musicians has worked with artists ranging from Donovan to Jeff Beck. His presence on stage, his infectious smile and strong bass contribution added additional enhancement to the monumental evening. A tribute to Chen’s past was honored by an encore rendition of Jeff Beck’s Freeway Jam, a well-known instrumental piece featured on Beck’s “Blow By Blow ”, an album which included Chen. The evening would not have been complete without the final encore performance of Light My Fire. Without doubt the most well-known Doors number and a perfect climax to what already was an evening of endless musical splendor. Before the performance choice was completed, it took a few turns bringing in excerpts from The Beatles Eleanor Rigby as well as My Favorite Things best known from “The Sound Of Music.” While The Doors music initially provided a soundtrack for a decade of war protests, the summer of love and the sexual revolution, it still remains timeless. Although Jim Morrison has long since left us, Robby Krieger and the artists he chose to accompany him continue to keep their music alive with first class performances each night. Whether one is a Doors fan or just able to acknowledge and enjoy stellar musicians who love their trade, The Robby Krieger band will never disappoint.

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DAZED: The Film COMING 2016....Based on the ramblings of Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) during my time with him. All they want is love; but with damage done, they choose a needle instead. From author Nikki Palomino The DAZED Novel Series, Coming Cobain Junk, The Underground Diaries, Blackbird New Haven Publishing Ltd UK and a collaboration with the biggest pot smuggler in US history, the True Crime book “The Gentleman Smuggler” by Steven M. Kalish and Nikki Palomino Available:http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_12… https://www.facebook.com/dazed.novel.series/timeline https://www.facebook.com/DAZEDGrungeRockerAuthor https://www.facebook.com/groups/dazedraioshow/ https://www.facebook.com/dazedradio https://www.facebook.com/groups/506370846059672/ Starring: Matt Mercer,Carlos Ramzey Ramirez, Bergandi Phoenix, steelnotesmagazine.com 110 | Steel Notes Magazine

Palmer Davis, Ruben Pla, Dave Johansen, cameos Ginger Coyote, Johnny Ray, Avina Richard, Ashley Evans, Alfred Jiminez and more... Genre: Based on DAZED Novel Series by Nikki Palomino from the ramblings of 3 junkie musicians, most notably Kurt Cobain and why those most disposable should matter. Directed By: Director,Cinematographer Jason Herring with CBS’ Mike& Molly, formerly Will&Grace American TV. Editor, Director Cinematographer Ezra Spurrier TV and Film FIlm Assistant & Publicist Ashley Evans Music: Brian Kroll “Don’t Play Dead” Release Date: 2016 http://www.nikkipalomino.com/

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COMING SOON...THE LAST GENTLEMAN SMUGGLER- NON FICTION CRIME BOOK BY NIKKI PALOMINO & STEVEN M. KALISH “I seemed to have lost every battle with my father, and it was beginning to wear thin. In the end, we found a place to connect over a plant.” What makes the pot smuggler Steven Kalish dodge death? An artist of unrelenting passion, taking risks others only dream of. Cunning, inventive, and always what the hunter wants, smugglers of the past are champions of the world... From a fifteen-year reign as one of the largest pot smugglers in US history comes the non-fiction crime book “The Last Gentleman

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Smuggler” by Steven M. Kalish and Nikki Palomino... “You’ve had the Cocaine Cowboys, George Jung, Barry Seal, the Hippie Mafia, and the Biggest Pot Dealer in New York City’s History, now you’ve got Skip, the fulcrum between Panama, Colombia, the US War On Drugs, Rock ‘n Roll and Beautiful Women.”

COLICCHIO’S CORNER Victor Colicchio Hi readers, Some of you might remember an article I wrote a few months back concerning the former mecca of music stores on West 48 th Street in Manhattan. Gone is the vibe of the musicians who graced the now forgotten street. Photos of musicians such as The Beatles, Stones, Hendrix, Dion, and every inductee into the Rock N’Roll Hall of Fame have autographed their photos that were displayed on the walls of Manny’s Music. 48 th Street not only boasts a long history with Manny’s Music, but every store on the block was a music store. Only one store still lives. Rudy’s Music, but at a new location on Spring Street. I received a call from a friend of mine who knew of my devotion to music. Kevin James Dalton. Kevin invited me to a show at the Cutting Room. The show was titled REMEMBERING 48 th STREET, and held at The Cutting Room. I accepted Kevin’s invitation without hesitation. It was a night to remember. Jackie “The Jokeman” Martling (of Howard Stern fame) emceed the show. Benny Harrison was the musical director. I first met Benny during postproduction of my film POTLUCK. I was introduced to Benny by Kevin Dalton, who suggested that Benny come aboard as musical director for the film. The three of us got together since the release of the film. ( Jackie Martling appeared in the film). Benny Harrison is one of the most talented musicians living in New York City. His vocals, piano, and guitar work is on par with the best of of the Rock N’ Roll Hall of famers. Mr. Harrison called about his friends to join in his tribute to “music Alley”. His guests included: Gene Cornish, of The Young Rascals, Carmine Appice (Drummer for Rod Stewart, & The Vanilla Fudge), Gary US Bonds, whose songs, “New Orleans & Quarter to Three” hit number one on the billboard charts, and Billy Joel’s drummer Liberty DeVitto.

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May Pang (John Lennon’s former girlfriend) and Robin Borden (my current girlfriend) were both in attendance. REMEMBERING 48Tth STREET was truly an unforgettable event….Thanks Kevin Now to mention another one of my past articles : Dion. I recently caught Dion at The Tropicana in Atlantic City. I reviewed the show for Steele Notes. My girlfriend Robin informed me that Dion would be performing at the newly renovated KINGS THEATRE in Brooklyn with Ronnie Spector as his opening act. The show was perfect. I will forgo my review. As everyone knows that I am A Dion fan, but I will review Kings Theatre in a word. SPECTACULAR! The Kings Theatre , formerly Loew’s Kings Theatre, is a movie palace -type theater in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn , New York City . Opened in 1929 and closed in 1977, the theater sat empty for decades until a complete renovation was initiated in 2010. The theater reopened to the public on January 23, 2015. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 22, 2012. The lavish theater, located at 1027 Flatbush Avenue near Beverly Road, was designed in the Rapp Brothers’ signature French-influenced baroque style. The unusually spacious theatre boasts superb sight-lines, with the majority of it’s seats located on the main floor. Instead of a large balcony, the Kings has only a small mezzanine, allowing the entire elegant design to be viewed from anywhere in the auditorium. It has a sweeping staircase in the lobby that leads to the mezzanine. Till next time Vic


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interviewz Paul Anthony

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MBW: Pardon my abruptness, Mr. Anthony ... you remind me of a wonderful old millionaire buddy of mine ... I think it would be fitting that we should start on the delicate subject of your wealth ... Not particularly in the usual, boring, material sense ... but rather in the sense of your glowing aura ... fresh with confidence ... and the manner in which you effortlessly slide into the groove ... Tell us what you would say could have contributed to such a free and open minded disposition ???

PA: I honestly love life and the multitude of differences between each of us. We all have a unique approach to music and life which enables us all to grow by understanding the way others act and react within a certain set of parameters. With that in mind, I can always learn something through musical and social interaction....and I love it.

MBW: When did you decide you wanted to play guitar ??? Ladies and Gentlemen and Children of All Ages ... My name is Marlowe B. West and I am your Ring Leader ... On my quest of bringing you ... ~{ all my beautiful friendz, fanz and readerz }~ ... a continuing succession of non-stop fun and excitement from New York City, I am joyful to say that I have been extremely successful in uncovering an endless treasure of brand new, live wire talent.

Today I am putting the ‘Takez Manhattan’ Spotlight on a brilliant young guitarist who was thoughtfully brought to my attention by my great new robust drummer friend, Mick Oakleaf ... ~{ thankz zillionzzz, Mick }~ ... It gives me much pleasure to introduce you to a man of wealth and taste ... Paul Anthony.

PA: When I was young, I played violin and trombone. The summer before high school, my mother gave me a choice for my birthday gift, a cd player (they had just come out) or an electric guitar...I choose the guitar and never looked back.

MBW: Are there any people you care to tell us about who may have inspired you ???

PA: I find myself inspired by muscians who are

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unique and fluid with their style....so many artists in NY and New Orleans that I have seen have this I have been playing bass with Eve Blackwater, an quality and are completely unknown, yet they extremely talented and passionate songwriter and inspire me always. Artists who inspire me would be vocalist. Bowie, Sting, Tom Waits, Jack White, U2, and Muse to name a few. I truly do find most of my inspiration Most recently, I have had the honor of backing up from local songwriters though. the great and talented Marlowe B. West on guitar!!!

I have noticed how proficient you are in music ... have you studied ???

Otherwise, I run a monthly songwriter night at Lovecraft Bar in the LES called the Lower East Side Songwriter’s Guild and have taken up a new night in NJ starting in May that will be similar to the Guild but have an open mic element to it.



Thank you for the compliment...I do my best at what I can and what is enjoyable to me. I did spend a good amount of time studying jazz and classical guitar as well as minoring in voice. I do spend a lot of time nowadays practicing and working on projects that are new to me. It feels like the best way to learn and be a better musician and songwriter.

Now it’s my turn to say “Thank you for the compliment, Paul” ... It was certainly my pleasure having you accompany me on the Rew & Who Show ... Rew Starr’s show is so inspirational and Rew herself is a very under-rated individual in comparison to the tremendous help and assistance she provides for innumerable striving and even starving artistes mainly in New York, but they tend to find her from all over ... Is there any particular direction or goal you have in mind at this time ???


MBW: It appears you are involved in a multitude of projects and constantly active in the ever thriving New York music scene ... Tell us about the different types of shows you’ve been doing ???

PA: I feel very honored to be a part of the ever thriving, never fading NYC scene. There is such a wonderful amount of talent out here. My main focus is the Paul Anthony Project, a high energy americana rock outfit centered around my songwriting and Mick Oakleaf’s drumming style with Tom Fitzpatrick’s fluid style of bass and backing vocals. We play a host of venues in NY and a few in Jersey.

I also write and perform for Lauren O’Brien, who presents a musical cabaret style innundated with amazing poetry, comedy, and love. She is a monster talent.

PA: I am a songwriter...whatever I try to do...that’s what I come back to so I am focusing on writing for other people in their styles but with something slightly different that will accent their own style.

MBW: What are some of your favorite musical memories along the way ???

PA: I have been to New Orleans a number of times and find the level of musicianship to be unsurpassed. I had a night at Scallywags a few weeks ago in the city ( I have a Saturday night residency there ) where Tom and I were jamming out “St. James Infirmary” with Susumo Ideno on sax and as we

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played the sound of the sax blended perfectly with the rhythm of the guitar and bass and for the first time in my life it sounded like the bands I have seen in NOLA ( New Orleans, Louisiana)...It was a most beautiful moment for me. There are so many tremendous experiences as a musician that I wouldn’t know where to start. Making my cd in Oklahoma for Tate Music Group was amazing....having a bit of a break down in the process of making my first cd, After Dark, was also a strangely beautiful moment. I would venture to say that I have loved and lived in as many of these times as I can and hold on to them as a treasure trove of experiences.

MBW: Where have you performed ???

PA: In NY, The Bitter End, The Red Lion, Choga, Sidewalk Cafe, The Delancy, Fontana’s, Lovecraft, Scallywags’, Paddy Reilly’s, Local 269, CBGB’s, and a bunch more...I mainly play in the city.

In Jersey, we normally play the Clash Bar and have done gigs at the Loop Lounge and Dingbatz...I do a good amount of coffee houses out that way.

MBW: What is on your upcoming agenda musically ???

PA: Play play play!!!! Write write write!!!

MBW: Personally, I have always loved the recording

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studio scene ... Do you have any recording stories ???

PA: I adore the recording studio!!! So much happens behind the scenes to make a project come together. When Tommy and I went to Ok to make “Behind Closed Doors”, we had four days to make the whole thing then fly back home. It started off well enough and we got the whole thing done in time. The last day, we were slated to leave around 4pm and were in the studio around 10am to finish up. I had 8 solos to play and I hadn’t written any of them. Those are some of my favorite guitar solos to date...raw, honest, un-perfectly perfect!

MBW: I like that ... okay now ... Let’s talk about New York ... How would you describe a perfect day and night for you in New York ???

PA: Today is fitting that bill. I had a great three hour rehearsal at noon...stopped for a bite to eat at one of my favorite sushi joints... talked with a promoter about a festival thing I have going on on April 30th....got the flyer from the design guy...worked out rehearsal for Eve Blackwater...practiced a bit and now I am finishing up this interview. I have made it a goal to do something for my project every day whether big or small, it must be something. Today is a good day.

MBW: Any amazing eating places to turn me onto ???


MBW: PA: New Orleans if you haven’t been is absolutely amazing for food. They take the most pride in their food that I have ever seen!!!

A perfect gig ???


In NY, I do like Blue Ribbon and Veselka...oh the borscht at Veselka!!!!

They are all perfect. I feel fortunate to have gigs and be able to live music as much as I can. I never want any of them to go by without being recognized as a beautiful privilege.



Oh Yeah ... I’ve been to Veselka ... wow ... with Anne Husick, Emma Zakarevicicus and Gass Wild ... Angello Olivierri even showed up with his lovely girl Gina Healy ... How about favorite nightspots ???

Appreciation is tops as far as I am concerned as well ... How do you feel about making a living out of music ???

PA: Paddy Reilly’s and The Red Lion always have great music playing....Sidewalk Cafe is very solid also for great music. There is a quiet bar off 10th St in the village called the 10th St Bar. They have the most talented trap players “authentic Irish music” I’ve ever seen. The whole joint quiets down when the singers start up, as there is no amplification at all. It’s absolutely beautiful.

PA: I feel like it would be the perfect life. To create and be sustained by the creation thereby giving way to more creation. It seems like a dream. That is what I am ultimately working towards.

MBW: Songwriting ???

PA: Like I said, It’s pretty much all I do. I taught myself to play by writing pieces that I didnt have the skill for yet. They became my practice pieces and ultimately my songs. Because of that, I always write when I pick up the guitar. Almost always the music comes first and then I write lyrics that seem to explain the mood.

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MBW: Who would you say has or had the perfect musical career ???

PA: I think bands like the Cure and Concrete Blonde have had wonderful careers that were terribly successful yet not completely overwhelming...again... Bowie had the ultimate career of transformation art and music. I see Trent Reznor in the same light.

MBW: What kinds of music do you like to play the most ???

PA: photo by JR Rost

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I love good songs, any good song and anything that swings!!!

MBW: Think about it ... Is there anything we haven’t covered here that you wish to discuss ... now that you have the attention of the whole wide world ???

PA: Sort of...I think songwriters and muscians have a responsibility to write responsibly in regards to their target audience. Say whatever you like, of course, but a lot of pop targets a young audience and then innundates them with adult ideas that may be too much for them. If your target audience is an adult furry commmuntity, fair be it!! Say what needs to be said, but when your demographic is fresh to the world, i think we should be responsible in our concepts.

MBW: Verry considerate observation, Paul ... You’re a rather refined young lad ... Do you have a website ... or ... How can you be reached ???

PA: My website is www.paulanthonysong.com Everything is there. :)

MBW: ... and now for my favorite question ... If I could grant you three wishes ... what would they be ???

Oh, now I see! You are actually a genie. I will choose wisely.

1. Humans must stop all of this violence. 2. I want the government to be honest about alien contact. 3. One more concert from Mr Bowie.

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Bandleader -It’s More Work Than I Thought -Getting Players by Daniel Diefenderfer -- Bandleader for Dutch’s Basement Blues Band So I decided to form my own band. Musicians were always telling me “Let me know if you put a band together”, “I’ll play with you anytime man”, stuff like that. Well that all changes when it actually comes down to getting a commitment from them. Then it’s “I don’t want to play bars only big events and festivals” “I can’t play in your band I have other commitments” and “I don’t want to play with so & so” So getting personnel turned out to be more work than I thought. It sounds elementary but the best way to get musicians to play in your band is to line up some gigs first. If you have the work they will suddenly be available to play. Getting gigs is a whole blog topic in itself I will cover later but if you can get one other player to work on some duo material with you that is a great way to start. I’m a harmonica/vocals front man so all I needed to get was a guitarist and they are plentiful. Finding someone who is compatible to work with narrows the field but shouldn’t be too hard to do if you have been playing and networking awhile. Duo gigs are easier to get and give you the opportunity to develop a set list of material to build the band with. Performing as a duo will help you find other compatible musicians who like your genre and style too.

many will agree to this. Most will just say “sure call me if I’m available I’ll play.” You will get stuck for backups and you will be glad you have at least three contacts to call. When you do call be honest but tactful. Don’t say “You gotta’ help me I don’t have anyone left to call. ”Letting a musician know that they are the last person on your list is not advisable. Just tell them you can offer them a fill-in gig and ask if they can play the date. Explain that your band will keep the material basic to work with a fill-in and not throw in surprise orchestration. Sometimes when a band member can’t make a rehearsal it is a real benefit if you can get a fill-in to practice with you and learn your material. Some musicians will do this for the potential fill-n work and it avoids a crippled rehearsal too. All this is more work than you thought but that is the whole topic of this series. Next: A place to practice.

Maybe you are fortunate and you are able to line up a full band of musicians, or you added musicians you met through performing as a duo. Oh boy, now you have the band you wanted. Now is the time to line up backups. That’s right you haven’t even got your band started but you better line up as many backups as you can. Have a backup contact for each type of musician in your band. Then line up a substitute backup for that person. Try to have three contacts that you can call when you need a substitute, and you will, it’s when not if. Stuff happens and now is the time to prepare for it. Be honest with other musicians and explain that you have put together a band but ask them if you can contact them in the event you need a backup. Remember the best way to get musicians to play in your band is to already have the gig so

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Music Article The Fleshtones – 40 Years Together As A Band, Forever My Very Favourite Band By Dana Saravia – Life-long rock & roller, current music critic and Girl From Baltimore It’s hard to know where to start writing something about a band who have worked so hard, in spite of sometimes next to impossible odds, to create not only some of the best music put on record, but also continue to put on the very best and most unpredictable and energetic live shows I’ve ever seen. Though I’ve been very heavily into rock & roll throughout my life and count The Beatles, The

Who and The Ramones among my 5 favorite bands of all time, none of those bands have made music that has been a part of my life & listening habits or reached my soul nearly as much as The Fleshtones have. They have been together 40 years this year and since they’ve been a tremendous part of my life for over 35 of them, I wanted to celebrate them with the readers this month. For anyone who might be unfamiliar with how Keith Streng (guitar and vocals), Peter Zaremba (lead vocals), Bill Milhizer (drums) and Ken Fox (bass and vocals) formed The Fleshtones, I have to recommend that you read Joe Bonomo’s excellent 2007 book “Sweat: The Story Of The Fleshtones, America’s Garage Band.” The book covers their long, fascinating story from formation through various hardships, and details their determination to continue to create and perform their signature blend of garage rock known as Super Rock. I’ve been a Fleshtones fan from the first time I heard them—flipping through radio stations in the middle of the night back in late 1980, when their song “The Girl From Baltimore” caught my attention. I was immediately hooked and called

photo by Jerry Saravia

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photo by Jesse Bates around local record stores until I found a copy of their EP “Up Front,” which I played repeatedly from the minute I got it home. From that time on, I anxiously awaited each of the band’s latest singles and albums, usually getting each one the same day the store got them in stock. Each record became a very important part of my life and has remained so with each passing year. I can put on any one of their albums, from their first full-length LP 1982’s “Roman Gods” to their latest LP 2014’s “Wheel Of Talent,” and have so many memories flood back immediately, along with the continuing promise of creating new ones. Each of The Fleshtones albums have gotten me through some extremely difficult times, giving me hope, understanding and the promise of better days ahead. They’ve also soundtracked many a celebration as well and continue to make my good times fantastic. My record collection would not be nearly the same without The Fleshtones,

as well as their various side projects including Full Time Men, Love Delegation and The Master Plan. They’ve created not only a sizable section of my albums, they’ve made the most important ones to me, including my very favorite album of all time by anyone ever, 1998’s “More Than Skin Deep.” As much of an impact The Fleshtones have on my musical life, they continue to be at least as important a part of my life, period and not only because of their music. Peter, Keith, Bill and Ken as individuals continue to inspire me. They have each stayed true to themselves as people, as well as true to their vision as musicians, and each of them has overcome obstacles and heartache with style and smarts intact. They’ve truly lead by example on how to keep going and keep giving it all without ever giving up, no matter the difficulties and the bad times. I know I wouldn’t be the person I am without their continued presence in my life and I’m incredibly

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photo by Jerry Saravia

thankful for that. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. The Fleshtones have brought so much joy and many wonderful experiences into my life. Their live shows are not merely concerts, they are full on audience participation events where you might see Peter dressed up as his alter ego, Count Zaremba, Keith and Ken playing on tabletops, Keith jumping off chairs, never missing a note while Bill holds it down

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on drums. Simply put, it’s like no other show on the planet. (Seriously, go to one ASAP—it’s something best experienced in person, it’s next to impossible to do those concerts justice in mere words.) I’ve made many very dear and truly great friends, many of whom I’m proud to call family, all over the world because of The Fleshtones and their music. They have brought an incredible amount joy and fun to all of us fans for so many years and continue to make all our lives so much brighter every day.


Though I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to adequately thank The Fleshtones for all they’ve done over the years or express how grateful I am that they keep contributing so much to music and the lives of their fans, I promise to always work hard at trying. Writing this to remind or introduce music lovers to the band is one way I can help them celebrate 40 years together. I’m also hoping to see them make an appearance as musical guests on Conan O’Brien’s TBS talk show this year. In spite of 40 years of playing some of the very best music ever made, the Fleshtones have yet to make an appearance on late night TV and Conan’s show would be a perfect fit. I can’t think of any other band that gives more to their music and their fans and they deserve all the praise and recognition they get. If you are already a fan, I hope to see you at a show as The Fleshtones take to the road yet again to play their latest single “End Of My Neighborhood”, promote their upcoming album, which will be out in July on Yep Roc Records, and celebrate their 40th year together. If you haven’t heard The Fleshtones, I

definitely recommend checking out and liking their FB page, buying an album or two and heading to a live show ASAP—I promise you’ll have a great time and become a fan too. Once again, I have to thank Peter, Keith, Bill and Ken for continuing to be the best band ever in the world and four of the best people on the planet, too. Though I’ll never truly be able to put into words how much The Fleshtones mean to me, I tried my best here. Can’t wait to see them again and I hope it’s sooner rather than later.

***The Fleshtones have recorded many singles, EPs and LPs over the years and have appeared on several compilation albums as well. Much of their earlier work is available on LP, CD or as downloads via Amazon and iTunes and their newer and current work is available on LP, CD and as downloads via their current label, Yep Roc Records. Copies of “Sweat: The Story Of The Fleshtones, America’s Garage Band” are available through inquiry at the Sweat FB page and via Amazon or local book stores.***

The Fleshtones (Official) FB page: https://www. facebook.com/The-Fleshtones-Official-177240861436 “Sweat: The Story Of The Fleshtones, America’s Garage Band” FB page: https://www.facebook.com/ Sweat-The-Story-of-The-Fleshtones-Americas-GarageBand-114016448682198

We Want The Fleshtones As Conan’s Musical Guests FB page: https://www.facebook.com/ SuperRockOnConan2015

Yep Roc Records Website: http://www.yeproc.com/

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TV Review Drug-addled Historical Revisionism of the Music Industry By Jerry Saravia (Pseudo Film Critic) The Martin Scorsese-directed pilot for HBO’s new series, “Vinyl,” is proof that sometimes great directors lose their way. After only seeing a few episodes of this trashy, extremely vulgar and seedily overbearing series, I’ve concluded that a series about the music industry in the 1970’s can only work as a documentary, not as a fictionally excessive assault on the senses. There have already been docos on this decade with regards to the emerging talents of punk rock in New York City yet the temptation for showing Sylvain Sylvain diving into a crowd at NY’s Mercer Street House must have been strong for executive producers Scorsese and Mick Jagger. Sometimes temptation trumps sense.

In the sole Scorsese-directed pilot, the coked-up sensation over watching the New York Dolls takes on a life of its own. Hopped-up, drug-relapsing record label owner of the fictional American Century, Richard Finestra (Bobby Cannavale), feels rock and roll for the first time in eons while watching New York Dolls perform “Stranded in the Jungle.” We also feel his vivid excitement. Scorsese can set up verisimilitude in his sleep, from watching the crowd cheering to passed-out spectators dragged out of the theater to seeing the Dolls in slow-motion, it is entrancing and doubly exciting. Finestra is also an exciting character to watch, at first, a man willing to sell his label to German Polygram because he has lost his enthusiasm for music. After getting a Bo Diddley Stratocaster for his birthday, the musical inspiration slowly settles back in.

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We get flashbacks to a Finestra who saw music as the heart and soul of the industry yet it also had its drawbacks – financial obligations like making records of mainstream dreck were necessary before finding a singer’s groove. An even bigger drawback was making deals with the mob that leads to one singer’s refusal to kowtow to their demands – a violent end to his singing voice can make the most jaded viewer literally feel it in their throat. Yet the music scene is often left hanging, and this is just the terminally overlong pilot. Too much time is devoted to Andrew Dice Clay’s unrecognizable DJ Buck Rogers, another rampant drug and alcohol abuser – gosh, one was enough for this pilot. Not enough time is devoted to Finestra’s associates such as Ray Romano’s Zak (talk about casting against type), a far less active drug user who certainly has no interest in music anymore except making financial deals. And there is some precious time devoted to the discovery of a fictional punk rock band, the Nasty Bits, headed by James Jagger (yes, Mick’s son) as the rebellious singer who doesn’t give a damn which becomes his stage persona.

The pilot is entertaining yet draining, often brilliantly filmed and acted yet lacking the nerve to actually be about the seeds of a revolutionary time in music. Scorsese, by way of writer Terence Winter (“Boardwalk Empire”) and ten-thousand other executive producers, are more interested in


Bobby Cannavale as Richard Finestra in “Vinyl” the past influences such as showing the ghosts of Bo Diddley performing or Chubby Checker, as if that music mattered more than the modern stylings of the New York Dolls. Of course, the hyperactive pilot is only the introduction yet even in the second episode, the focus is again on the legends such as Jerry Lee Lewis. Perhaps that is indicative of Finestra’s own obsession with the past yet when you show Buddy Holly performing on a street corner after a horrific Coney Island car accident, you have lost me. When Finestra is at endless showings of “Enter the Dragon,” I wanted to scream “HISTORICAL INACCURACY!” sorry to his wife (Olivia Wilde, a waste of a decent because in 1973, a deleted scene actress), then does the whole thing again. It is a later restored to DVD never made it into the initial constant cycle of a drug user on a self-destructive theatrical release of Bruce Lee’s last film. As for Sylvain Sylvain diving into the crowd, the collapse of phase. Scorsese can depict that interior madness better than anyone and serves it up with unbridled the Mercer Street House while the New York Dolls performed and the depiction of a Robert Plant from rawness in the pilot. Yet each succeeding episode Led Zeppelin who may as well have been the singer does the same thing, with variations on a theme, and it is hard to invest time in a sour, self-obsessed of a hair metal band, well, I am no 1970’s music exantihero like Finestra who listens to no one. The pert but they all ring false. This is a surprise considering the formidable talents of Scorsese and Jagger music scene evaporates and the viewer is left in the cold. “Vinyl” becomes a bore, like its boorish main yet, to be fair, all this is told from a most unreliable narrator, Mr. Finestra who echoes his revisionism in character. voice-over: “My story is clouded by lost brain cells, self-aggrandizement Juno Temple as Jamie Vine in “Vinyl” and a little bull****.”

“Vinyl” does have the intoxicating presence of Juno Temple as the secretary with aspirations of finding local talent for the label – she is the one who sees potential with the Nasty Bits. But even after the startling presence of Temple, we are back to the usual shenanigans. Finestra snorts coke, yells at and assaults his own associates, says he is

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Film Review Movies can induce a revolution By Jerry Saravia (Pseudo Film Critic)

of the Communist regime that led to the execution of Ceaușescu, and her voice ironically became the voice of the people. When the latest video party was held in someone’s apartment, it became a moment of awe and wonder, a glimpse and a chance to see the outside world, the Western values that were shielded from Romanian eyes. A country kept in ignorance began to see the glimmer of hope. Throughout the documentary, we get interviews with various Romanians who watched “Top Gun,” “9 ½ Weeks,” “Rocky” (one man emulated the

Imagine living in a Communist country where TV broadcasts only on two channels, 2 hours a day, and it is all propaganda. Okay, so in the United States, we have hundreds of channels and fed a lot of propaganda from two political parties yet it is a far cry from the Romania of the past. Further imagine banned VHS movies making their way into the underground with a Romanian State TV employee serving as the translator. That is the story of “Chuck Norris vs. Communism,” a thrilling, quietly stimulating one-hour documentary that focuses on how art, good or bad, can transcend a whole country. During the 1980’s, Irina Nistor, a film translator for Romanian State TV who reluctantly worked with the censorship committee, was hired by the mysterious Mr. Teodor Zamfir to dub illegally obtained VHS movies and sell them in the underground to families who had no access to anything except government-controlled television (Romania’s dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu was a frequent sight on the tube). Nistor’s voice dubbed nearly 3,000 films by 1989, the end

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Italian Stallion’s egg yolk prep prior to running through the city), “Last Tango in Paris” (a woman felt she was struck by lightning when she saw it), and several Chuck Norris flicks especially “Missing in Action.” The Romanian citizens felt that TV was propaganda and, with the influx of these films, they were fed propaganda that was not Ceaușescu’s. An outsider’s view of a world was being shut out thanks to the ruling dictatorship; a dictatorship that sensed that Western influences could lead to a revolution, a change in the country’s political system. The Romanian government couldn’t have been more right. Directed with care and sensitivity by debuting director Ilinca Calugareanu and instilling an exciting level of espionage through riveting reenactments of Nistor’s secretive recordings, “Chuck Norris vs. Communism” is a most unusual historical documentary that reminds us of the power of images. Movies don’t always change things but, in this case, they changed a whole regime. The implication is that the state secret police were also instrumental in implementing change because they were bribed to see these films for free. A change was coming.

“Ana Maria Moldovan as Irina Nistor in Chuck Norris vs. Communism”

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Music Review The Above “There Is A Reason” EP By Dana Saravia – Life-long rock & roller, current music critic and Girl From Baltimore

The Above are from Brooklyn NY, though their well-crafted, British Invasion inspired pop sound might at first have you thinking otherwise. The band’s latest EP “There Is A Reason” finds them continuing to write and perform songs featuring smart lyrics and intricate musicianship, bringing a 60’s mod influenced groove to an energy and style that’s all their own.

Wanna Take Her Home” is a faster paced love song with a frenzied, danceable groove that features crisp, excellent drumming. “Just Can’t Forget About That Girl” has a stylized, slower baroque pop sound. With its fabulous harmonies and layered instrumentation, this haunting song is a memorable way to close out this EP.

Each new release from The Above showcases the band’s artistry and talent, as well as giving their ever sharpening songwriting skills a chance to shine. They are always a pleasure to hear and this 6 song EP is a welcome addition to their catalogue, as well as to my record collection. The Above are a band very much recommended for listeners who appreciate both smart songwriting and classic pop and rock sounds and this EP shows the band at their best.

The EP kicks off with “Holding Back”, a sunny pop number with a soaring chorus and great guitar work and harmonies throughout. An excellent opener, a song that’s great from the start and is even more fun to hear with each additional listen. The title track has a Revolver era Beatles feel, featuring an intricate and beautiful arrangement that backs thoughtful lyrics with depth and a psychedelic influence. “Say Your Cool” has a sophisticated sound in both words and music, creating a song that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Left Banke album. “You Look Unwell” mixes a country undercurrent and standout guitar work with witty lyrics on this snappy number with a Kinks flavour. “I

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photo byChristophe Lopez-Huici

***Available on vinyl and digital download from Hidden Volume Records***

Web Site: https://www.theabovebrooklyn.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/ THE-ABOVE-242890100359 Twitter: https://twitter.com/theaboveNYC Hidden Volume Records: https://hiddenvolume.com

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Music Review Various Artists, “Bongo Boy Records Compilations, Volume Eight”

Starting off Bongo Boy Records latest album, 8th in their general Compilations series, is a track from Steve Ryan titled “Movin’ On (ElectroSoul Mix)”. A pop disco number featuring vocals over an 80s style, Casio sounding synth backing track, this song could best be described as retro influenced EDM. Web Site: https://www.steveryan.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/steveryanband Twitter: https://twitter.com/steveryanonline

By Dana Saravia – Life-long rock & roller, current music critic and Girl From Baltimore

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France’s Yona Pax provides the fourth song, “Parfois J’Ai Envie De Crier”. Featuring strong vocals and a good melody, the emotion of this song comes across in Yona’s delivery, even if the listener doesn’t understand the French lyrics. This number is well chosen to build Yona’s international audience. Web Site: https://www.yonapax.fr FB: https://www.facebook.com/yona.pax Twitter: https://twitter.com/yonapax

13 year old Valerie West brings us the second track with her song “My Dreams”. A piano piece quietly begins this song which then picks up an EDM backing over Valerie’s vocals. The lyrics about wanting to break away from other’s expectations to live out one’s own dreams are relatable whether the listener is young or grown. Web Site: https://valerie-west.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/valerie.pawid.west

The fifth track on this compilation is “Stay Strong” from 13 year old singer/songwriter Madison Charnigo. Madison writes with a down to Earth viewpoint and maturity that belies her years. The music is organic folk pop and features some lovely piano playing. A quiet song with a slower tempo, the positive message heard here is encouraging for listeners of all ages. Web Site: https://www.madisoncharnigo.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/ Madison-Charnigo-293385264152415 Twitter: https://twitter.com/11MadisonMusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/valeriewest_

On Planet Zu’s “My Kind Of Party” is the third song. A strong backbeat begins this energetic EDM club hip hop dance number that’s infused with a shot of island dubstep. This unique blend helps the band stand out and could make this song a modern dance club hit. Web Site: https://www.onplanetzu.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/OnPlanetZu Twitter: https://twitter.com/onplanetzu

NY’s Conceptz is next with the song “Multiply”. The sparse instrumentation of this hip hop track not only helps this song stand out, it allows the well-crafted lyrics to be front and center. The strong lyrical flow sweeps the listener up in the song as the backing music accents the storytelling and doesn’t try to compete or overpower it. A memorable and original track. Web Site: http://ConceptzMusic.net FB: https://www.facebook.com/DaRealConceptz Twitter: https://twitter.com/DaRealConceptz

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Web Site: https://www.reverbnation.com/eyez Sweden’s Deborah Henrikkson follows with her song “Calling”. Gentle piano begins this atmospheric, slower tempo song. The dreamy lyrics and Celtic flavour of this new age folk track provide an ethereal world music vibe.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/ Eyez-223178541034399 Twitter: https://twitter.com/Eye39z

Web Site: https://www.deborahhenrikkson.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/deborahhenrikkson Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeborahHenrikks

France’s Yona Pax returns with her second song on this compilation, “Wheya”. This is a sweeping, layered pop song with an original sound. There’s a very cinematic feel to this number, it’s easy to picture this as an epic movie theme. Well done song that stands out from the crowd.

The 11th and final song heard here is Allie Carroll’s “Knight In Shining Armour”. This pop tune features verses with a slower pace and a folkish vibe mixed with blasts of rock energy in the chorus, creating a dynamic not often heard in this genre. This sweet, girly pop song is modern without being autotuned to death, which is refreshing and helps this song and artist leave an impression. Web Site: https://alliecarrollmusic.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/AllieCarrollMusic

Web Site: https://www.yonapax.fr

There are artists of all genres from places all over the world heard on Bongo Boy Records FB: https://www.facebook.com/yona.pax Compilations Volume Eight. As with many general Twitter: https://twitter.com/yonapax compilation albums, some tracks will be more appealing than others, depending on each listeners taste. Bongo Boy Records Compilations Volume Eight does a great job of bringing together a variety of independent artists working in various genres Mags’ song “Knock (Remix)” is next. A bubbly synth from all over the world, providing each listener an pop tune, it has a fun youthful feel. Though the opportunity to encounter artists they might not backing track can be distractingly overbusy at times, otherwise hear. it doesn’t bury the bouncy joy of the vocals. Web Site: https://www.magsthesinger.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/magsthesinger Twitter: https://twitter.com/MagsTheSinger

****Available as a digital download via KKBOX and Other Asian Outlets online**** For more information, please visit https://bongoboyrecords.com/volumeeight

Eye’z “Levitating (Remix)” is the 10th song of the compilation. Jazzy piano backs slinky, bluesy vocals on this mid-tempo number. The sparse instrumentation adds to the dramatic effect of this slow burner, allowing the joyful range of emotions take center stage on this grown and sexy track.

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Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show


Episode 1078 “Music Is On”

From The Hauge, The Netherlands, Voglare begins this episode with the video for their new song “Torque It Up”. EDM beats back distorted auto-tuned vocals on this club number. The video features the band’s female vocalist in futuristic costume, while the military look of the 2 other members, as well as the stark, mechanical setting, perfectly fit this song’s sound.

Synopsis by: Dana Saravia – Lifelong rock & roller, current music critic and Girl From Baltimore

For a complete broadcast schedule, please visit http://www.bongoboytv.com

Video Director: Tomi Olujic Web Site: https://www.reverbnation.com/voglare The Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show is proud to present the latest episode in their Rock N’ Roll TV Show series, “Music Is On”, featuring 7 talented independent artists in 1 special ½ hour TV show. This latest Bongo Boy TV produced episode premiered Tuesday, 29th March 2016 in Portland, OR on Channel 29 at 10:30 pm with rotation repeated for 2 weeks on all channels in the Bongo Boy TV National

FB: https://www.facebook.com/VOGLARE Twitter: https://twitter.com/Voglare

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As Bongo Boy TV’s 5th season celebration continues, a favourite from Season 2 returns – from the NJ shore, now making her home in AZ, Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Linda Chorney featuring Richard Blackwell with the song “Do It When You Can”. There’s a strong throwback flavour recalling the vocal groups of the 40s and 50’s with this sweet Americana influenced number. Mixing the lovely vocal harmonies and classic influences with a modern pop sensibility, this is a charming love song describing a couple growing old together. The video features clips of Linda and Richard recording vocals in the studio intercut with footage that resembles home movies, which all works together to fit the natural vibe of the song.

Web Site: https://www.lindachorney.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/LindaChorneyMusic Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaChorney

In continuing celebration of Bongo Boy TV’s 5th season, from Season 2, Manchester UK’s Franco and the Dreadnaught with the video for “Last Man Standing”. Acoustic guitar and rough edged vocals start off this mid-tempo song, which was also featured on Bongo Boy Records Compilations Vol 1, about remaining strong through difficult circumstances. The straightforward nature of this song is further enhanced with the black and white video of Franco singing and playing.

Web Site: https://www.francoandthedreadnaught.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/FrancoDreadnaught Twitter: https://twitter.com/FrancoDnaught

Continuing Bongo Boy TV’s 5th season celebration is an encore of this Season 3 clip, Russia’s Mumiy Troll and the video for their song “Swimming With The Sharks”. An 80s inspired synth pop sound is paired

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with an angular, easily danceable beat on this fun, upbeat song. The video of the band performing is shot mostly in B&W, with a few pops of them against a red background and fits the sound and vibe of this number perfectly.

Web Site: https://www.mumiytroll.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/mumiytroll Twitter: https://twitter.com/mumiytroll

As Bongo Boy TV’s 5th season celebration continues, a Season 4 video returns – Marina Del Ray CA’s Veronika with the video for her song “CameRA”. Strong EDM beats back this club track carried along with a smart Lady Gaga inspired feel. With lyrics that touch on the desire for insta-fame in this modern culture, this song offers a bit more thought that the usual EDM track. The video is striking, using dark images of modern culture from surveillance cameras to footage of modern world turmoil, from religion, political upheaval and social unrest.

Video Director: Yavoeniv Timikhin Web Site: https://www.veronika.us FB: https://www.facebook.com/VERONIKAWORLD

The Bongo Boy TV 5th season celebration continues with an encore from Season 4, Bongo Boy Records recording artists Inches From Sin and their video “Raised In The Hills”. Old fashioned bluegrass fiddle opens this Americana song that finds the band taking pride in their down home roots. Good melody and strong vocal harmonies are highlights of this faster paced blend song that blends country and folk rock. The video features the band performing in a beautiful outdoor setting, the perfect visual accompaniment for this straightforward no-frills number.


Web Site: https://www.inchesfromsin.com


FB: https://www.facebook.com/inchesfromsin Twitter: https://twitter.com/FromInches

Bongo Boy TV is Real Television on 54 channels across the USA offered in 2 regions – New York City and National.

This episode celebrating Bongo Boy TV’s 5th season concludes with another encore from Season 4, New Yorker Jann Klose with the video for his song “Make It Better”, which also appears on Bongo Boy Records Compilations Volume 3. Rich, full instrumentation backs a strong melody on this upbeat adult pop tune. The positive lyrics speak of tolerance and coming together to promote harmony and acceptance in our world. The video features Jann performing in various spots around the city, intercut with shots of all kinds of people, subtly enhancing the message of the song.

Bongo Boy TV is also available via GO INDIE TV RokuChannel for free on demand.

Web Site: http://www.bongoboytv.com

Email: submit@bongoboytv.com

Web Site: https://jannklose.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/jann.klose Twitter: https://twitter.com/JannKloseBand

This episode has been brought to you by Bongo Boy Records in celebration of Bongo Boy TV’s 5th season celebration of indie music and in part by True Tea Magazine, Steel Notes Magazine, iSpin Radio, Gypsy Poet Radio, Who Is The Singer? and Bongo Boy TV.

The Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show is produced by Grammy members Gar Francis and Monique Grimme and is fully funded by sponsorships from all the indie musicians and their affiliations in each episode and Bongo Boy Records. Bongo Boy TV produces and distributes the Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show, which puts the spotlight on independent artists and their music videos worldwide.

All TV episodes are available on their online channel:

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Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show Episode 1079 “Notorious Anytime” Synopsis by: Dana Saravia—Lifelong rock & roller, current music critic and Girl From Baltimore

The Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show is proud to present the latest episode in their Rock N’ Roll TV Show series, “Notorious Anytime”, featuring 7 talented independent artists in 1 special ½ hour TV show. This latest Bongo Boy TV produced episode premiered the week of 18th April in Portland, OR on Channel 29 at 10:30 pm with rotation repeated for 2

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weeks on all channels in the Bongo Boy TV National Region. For a complete broadcast schedule, please visit http://www.bongoboytv.com

Allison Weiss from Los Angeles, CA begins this episode with the video for her song “Who We Are”. This upbeat song has an upbeat, classic pop sound. The lyrics are encouraging, celebrating being young and free and finding your true self. The video shows a young lady in school who rises to her own challenges and breaks stereotype expectations, providing a positive storyline that goes well with the song.

Video Director: Trevor Bowman Web Site: https://www.allisonw.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/allisonweissmusic Twitter: https://twitter.com/allisonweiss


Next up is Chicago, IL’s Suzanne Grzanna with her latest “The Cat’s Meow”. The art deco style of the video’s title card helps set the scene for the classic, classy throwback jazz number that follows. Featuring strong piano playing and Suzanne’s slinky vocals, this number has a refreshingly unique sound with a late night jazz club feel. The B&W, Roaring 20’s style video further enhances the vibe of this song.

Video Director: Chris Landowski Web Site: https://saxdiva.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/suzanne.grzanna Twitter: https://twitter.com/SuzanneGrzanna

Boston, MA’s My Silent Bravery follow with the video for their song “Ride With Me”. Blending acoustic alternative rock with poppy hip hop elements, this song has a radio friendly pop sound. A mid-tempo backing rhythm makes this song easy to dance to and is smartly paired with a video of the group having fun and lip synching in front of colourful disco lights in motion.

Video Director: Murt Web Site: https://www.reverbnation.com/cozymoe FB: https://www.facebook.com/ Cozy-Moe-253249848018910/app/2405167945 Twitter: https://twitter.com/cozymoe

The Chords UK from London, UK are next with the video for their song “I Can’t Let Go”. A searing, high energy piece of tuneful mod punk from one of the 70s scene’s originators, this song marks a welcome return for the Chords UK. Melodic and hard hitting garage rock combines with defiant, empowering lyrics on this memorable song. The video shows the band performing and allows the powerful music to take center stage.

Video Director: Jonathan Sequeira Web Site: https://popemusic.co.uk FB: https://www.facebook.com/TheChordsUK Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChrisPope99

Video Director: Vassili Shields Web Site: https://mysilentbravery.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/mysilentbravery Twitter: https://twitter.com/mysilentbravery

Philadelphia, PA’s Cozy Moe brings us his latest featuring Mr. Lou “Da Way I Feel”. A mix of rap and modern r&b combine to create this melodic, mid-tempo love song. The video intercuts B&W studio performance scenes of Moe with colour shots of Moe with his lady. Mr. Lou’s rap in the middle of the song, as well as Moe’s spoken word part near the end provide additional narrative and grit to this sweet and catchy number.

Next up, Oakland, CA’s Waheed Ahmad with the video for his song “Hi Beams”. A strong backbeat and on point rhymes are the centerpiece of this rap number with its timely message about breaking free from society’s and the media’s messages of conformity to think for yourself. Thoughtful and intelligent lyrics like “You create your own landscape/You bask in your own heaven or hell” provide food for deeper thought. The colourful and at times nearly psychedelic video makes good use of street scenes interspersed with Waheed performing as select words and phrases from the lyrics are highlighted from time to time on screen.

Video Director: W.A.

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/ahmadwaheed337 FB: https://www.facebook.com/waheedresistance

Los Angeles, CA’s Trapdoor Social closes out this episode with the video for their song “Second Chance”. EDM pop backs lyrics that describe hoping for a second chance at life and a deeper connection to feelings. The video features nightmarish scenes of electronic overload that illustrate the feel of the song well.

Video Director: Jessie Johnson Web Site: https://www.trapdoorsocial.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/TrapdoorSocial Twitter: https://twitter.com/TrapdoorSocial

This episode has been brought to you by all artists featured and True Tea Magazine, Bongo Boy Records “Backroom Blues Vol. 2”, Steel Notes Magazine and Gypsy Poet Radio and Bongo Boy TV. The Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show is produced by Grammy members Gar Francis and Monique Grimme and is fully funded by sponsorships from all the indie musicians and their affiliations in each episode and Bongo Boy Records. Bongo Boy TV produces and distributes the Bongo Boy Rock N’ Roll TV Show, which puts the spotlight on independent artists and their music videos worldwide. All TV episodes are available on their online channel: http://vimeo.com/bongoboy Bongo Boy TV is Real Television on 54 channels across the USA offered in 2 regions – New York City and National. Bongo Boy TV is also available via GO INDIE TV RokuChannel for free on demand. Web Site: http://bongoboytv.com Email: submit@bongoboytv.com

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Ace Frehley still has what it takes on “Origins” Ace Frehley “Origins Vol. 1” (Entertainment One) The twice (and future?) Kiss guitarist has put his other-worldly spin on classic rock anthems he grew up on, including legendary tracks from Creem (“White Room;”) Steppenwolf (“Magic Carpet Ride;”) the Rolling Stones (“Street Fighting Man;”) and Jimi Hendrix (“Spanish Castle Magic.”) The results? Mostly magical. One might dare to put this CD right up there with his Solo album, and proves that Ace is sober , and amazing when it comes to his playing and tributes. The idea was just to let Ace rip on songs he’s loved since he was a little alien on Planet Jendell. But the result might just indicate he’s ready for a third incarnation as The Spaceman in whatever time Kiss has left. With 2014’s “Space Invader,” Frehley showed he can still write quirky, compelling rock songs, and this album shows his playing chops and classic rock sensibilities remain in fine form.

lead singer Paul Stanley on a cover of Free’s “Fire And Water,” marking their first collaboration since 1998’s “Psycho Circus.” Stanley and Gene Simmons need to sit down, listen to this album closely, and consider the possibilities. Put him in, coach; he’s ready to play. This CD is a gem. If you like the original songs, enjoy the new takes. If you are just a fan of great rock, then go ahead, give this a spin. With the covers and Re- Recorded KISS songs plus the new collaboration with Paul Stanley, this is Highly Recommended. Keeping in mind I am a huge fan of The Spaceman and his work, this is obviously Highly Recommended, and gets Four out of Five Stars.

He out-guitars Jimmy Page on Led Zeppelin’s “Bring it On Home,” which is no small feat. He trades licks with Slash on Thin Lizzy’s “Emerald,” and exchanges vocals and guitars with Lita Ford on the Troggs’ “Wild Thing” (which still doesn’t sound the same without Sam Kinison screaming it). Frehley re-does three classic Kiss songs with extended solos, including two of his greatest, “Parasite” and “Cold Gin,” along with “Rock And Roll Hell” from 1982’s “Creatures of the Night,” which his initial replacement Vinnie Vincent played on. And if Kiss conspiracy theorists need any more to fuel to rumor mill, Frehley teams up with Kiss

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An Interview with Matt Thompson, The Hardest Working Drummer in Metal Matt Thompson has a large plate. He records and tours with not one, but two bands beloved by fans.. King Diamond, and Shaolin Death Squad. He also plays multiple instruments, does session work, and runs his own recording studio. He also teaches, and is a Father. Yes, Matt Thompson is a busy man...who still finds the time to connect to his fans via social media, and his website, Mattthompsondrums.com. These are a few quick questions with the man himself, kind enough to answer a few questions for The Metal Zone.

Matt, Thanks for taking the time to be interviewed for The Metal Zone.

Scott: You’ve been a Rock Star, you have been a Teacher, Studio Musician, you are in two well-regarded bands, King Diamond, and Shaolin Death Squad. You are also a Father. Is it easy for you to “Switch Hats” and move from recording to touring, teaching to being in both bands, and still have a family life?

Matt: I don’t know if I’d call it “easy”, but I wouldn’t call it hard either. It’s important for modern

musicians to be versatile, putting your eggs in one basket is something I wouldn’t recommend in any field! The hardest part now is certainly leaving the family for weeks at a time.

Scott: The basics, What was your first instrument and were you a natural from the get go? How old were you?

Matt: I guess banging on things was my first instrument, if that counts. There was always a piano in the house. My first lessons were on snare drum when I was 9. I don’t know if I was exactly a natural, but most of the material did come pretty easy.

Scott: When did you decide to make music your full time career? Did you ever have alternative interests, career wise?

Matt: When I was 12, my dad, through his engineering connections, was able to get us all access passes to the Rush Signals tour in 1982. It was my first real rock concert and I was already a Rush freak by then. After the show, I stood behind the drum kit and decided right there and then that I was going to be a drummer. My fallback plan for a short time was Marine Biology.

Scott: You have and continue to teach. You have taught at Hall Music Productions.. And have taught drums, guitar, piano and vocals.... Even with a packed schedule, you are still teaching! What do you get from the teaching, and how do you approach teaching different styles?

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Matt: I still teach at Hall, in fact I’m there now in between students. From teaching I get to go over the fundamentals again and again. I treat it like mantras being recited, keeping me grounded. Also getting to be there first to show kids music that they wouldn’t otherwise hear. Also money. As far as teaching styles go...I’ve found that there isn’t one style that will suit everybody, particularly at the younger ages. You kind of have to be a bit of a psychiatrist, kind of find out how far you can push, what their strengths and weaknesses are, etc.

Scott: You’ve spent 16 years with King Diamond. Great run!! Are you a heavy metal fan by nature, or is it just a different form of expression?

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What are your favorite types of music? What musicians or styles influenced you, specifically your drumming?

Matt: Thanks! Yes. I’ve always loved heavy music, and decided I was a metal head in 1982. I love all styles though, I majored in jazz in college, I’ll play anything and everything.

Scott: You spent 2015 performing King’s “Abigail” live. Since you were not the original drummer for that album, how have you made it your own? Did you enjoy it?

Matt: There are many things that Mikkey Dee did


that are as vital to the song in my opinion as say, a David Gilmore melody. They just have to be there. I know that the type of people who would miss those things in King’s music take such things very seriously, and I try to also. I think that it comes out sounding like me anyway, no two drummers play the same beat exactly alike. And, yes, I enjoy it very much. King’s music is awesomely fun to play, and it works so well live.

Scott: Late last year, you released Shaolin Death Squad’s EP “As You Become Us”...what are you most proud of with the EP? What are some future plans? Any touring?

Matt: I think what I’m most proud of is Androo, the White Swan. He wrote the music, the lyrics, engineered and produced it, all by himself. I’m just the drummer, man. I’m proud to be the cat he chooses to play his music, because I love his writing. We all have a say, I can play whatever I want, and there are songs that we have all written here and there along the way, but he is the main man of the Shaolin universe.

Scott: Of King’s work, what are some of your favorites to play?

bought for me by my dad. My 2nd kit, which was the 1st kit I bought with my own money, was a 9-piece white Tama Imperialstar. That was my kit until around 1995. When I went on my first tour with King Diamond I was given the option of using a Tama kit for the tour (it was a Rockstar Custom). It felt natural to go with Tama, so I’ve been playing them since 1986!

Scott: What is it about drumming that you really enjoy the most? Your playing is both heavy and highly nuanced. Is that from a mixture of drumming influences? Are you happy with your personal style and have you heard your influence in other drummers?

Matt: That’s a tough question! I can’t pick one thing. Drumming is something that has always been my mission in life, and I love it! I guess I would have to say that playing heavy and nuanced at the same time is something I’ve always loved in my favorite players. Virtuosity for those who care to listen to it but pocket for those who just want to bounce. As far as being happy with my style, I’m completely content, completely frustrated, or something in-between. It depends on what mood I’m in.

Had you been familiar with Mercyful Fate and King before joining?

Scott: You have a studio in Texas. Will you continue to be recording and teaching ?

Matt: I love all the songs for many different reasons. This one might have a challenging part, this one might have a part where the crowd goes crazy. That kind of thing. I love where there is space for me to stand up, wind up and kill all my enemies gathered on the floor toms.

Matt: As much as I am able, of course!

Scott: You use Tama drums, and Vic Firth drum sticks. What was your first kit? Why do you prefer Tama?

Scott: What hobbies do you you have that might surprise fans?

Matt: I don’t really have any real “hobbies” as such, I like some video games, outdoors, other stuff, but really when I have any free time I’m practicing or playing something.

Matt: My first kit was a 4-piece Slingerland that was

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Scott: What’s next for you, both with King Diamond, and Shaolin Death Squad...and personally? Any instruments you have been meaning to learn, or projects that you may have put aside and look forward to revisiting?

Matt: Next up with King Diamond is 8 shows in Europe, performing the entire Abigail album plus a bunch of other songs, just like we did in the U.S. Shaolin Death Squad just finished playing 3 shows, it was great to play with them again. We have about 3 cds worth of new music to learn and record. I have a new guitar that makes me want to learn more shredding. I also would like to start making videos for my original music called Battle School Launchy, I have hours and hours of it.

Scott: How do you feel about the resurgence of vinyl? Do you have a preference ?

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Matt: I don’t really have any strong feelings about it...I still have a pretty big vinyl collection. I really do want to start collecting vintage gear and rebuilding a proper “hi-fi” like I grew up with. I just have to match up those lotto numbers.

Scott: What advice would you give a student, or a young musician seeking the path to both a successful career and a path to being a great artist?

Matt: Learn everything you can, practice as much as you can, play with everybody you can, but also seek balance and learn how to be a good person that someone would enjoy being on a bus with. Also learn business and entertainment law, video editing, sound engineering (DAWs, sequencing, programming), social media marketing, accounting, and tax law.


NonHuman Era: An Interview with The Next Greatest Progressive Metal Band

Jf were the last to join. We auditioned countless Singers/Bass players but nothing clicked like it did with the these great guys musically and personally.

NonHuman Era is an absolutely mind blowing band based in Canada. The sound they produce is something that has to be heard. They are humble, as you can read, but behind the humility is a wall of must-hear talent.

in which the music was already written down. I must admit, it was a little hard for me as I barely had any say or input, so when it came down to performing the songs my heart and soul was simply not in the groove and I was not feeling the music. When it comes down to writing and arranging, I try to dedicate myself 100% because I simply love the process of creating music. At that point I knew I needed a change and therefore began writing on my own and developing a style that I felt would translate what I was envisioning.

This band is the future of music. Two very talented musicians, Rick Dessi (Drums) and Carlo Zappavigna, Lead guitar, sat down for a few words about the band and their phenomenal debut.

Scott: To start off, How did you guys meet? How long before you knew you were a perfect fit?

Carlo: Rick and I are cousins and have been collaborating for a fairly long time. I, being younger than Rick , , always wanted to play in a band with him. It took quite a while for Rick to agree to begin working together as I need to better myself as a musician. Rick was a little cocky in that regard! Hahaha! Ultimately it proved to be an incentive for me to work harder and we eventually listened to each other’s musical ideas at it grew from there. The rest of the guys came in later. Marek was next and we were ecstatic to have him join. Pierre and

Rick: Carlo is right, I was a little cocky at the time but only because I wanted him to become a better player haha! I guess timing is everything. I was involved in several bands prior to NonHuman Era

Scott: Did you all have the same influences, or what were some of the bigger influences on everybody’s style?

Carlo: We would have to say that at the core we are all Prog and Thrash Metal fans. Influences derive from many bands such as Dream Theater, Pantera, Evergrey, Rush, Metallica to name a few. We are also fans of Classical music all the way through Blues and Soul.

Rick: Obviously Prog Metal & Metal is a big part of all our influences. That being said, we are all very open minded musicians and pretty much listen to

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everything. I believe if you just listen to one style of music you will simply limit yourself from being a better musician and wind up stuck in a box. It’s very important when writing to constantly challenge yourself and think outside the box.

Scott: You have a familiar, great sound, but also unique. Did you just come up with that, or when did the core sound of all of the music, the style, and the lyrics come into being?

the lyrics to take us. As for Style, it only got better once everyone added their touch to the project.

Rick: When Carlo and I got together we already had a strong idea and vision on how we wanted the music to sound. We wanted all the elements from being aggressive, heavy, melodic, atmospheric and epic all in one. Yes pretty brave of us haha! Between both of us and having diverse influences we’ve developed the sound we were trying to achieve. The goal was to stand out from all the other metal bands and be unique in our own way.


Carlo: Between Rick and myself we knew we were on to something after a few jams and brainstorms. There were elements of Prog, Classical and straight up Thrash Metal from the start which was very interesting. Lyrically I began writing lyrics after NonHuman Era’s line up was officially complete. Once I knew everyone more intimately and the music was much more mature I knew where I wanted

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The album flows from one song to the next with a seeming awareness of what will come next. It feels like all of the songs were put in an extremely well thought out order. Who decided on that, was there a group consensus that it certain songs should flow into others?


Carlo: I wish we could say it was a happy accident Hahaha! We actually sat down together and discussed it at length. In the end it was really by listening back that we all agreed and all digged the same flow. There were 4 tracks originally completed for NonHuman Era on a demo back in 2010. Oddly enough the album’s track order has the two first tracks from the demo… the next five songs written after the demo and finally the last two songs from the demo.

Amazingly, and for any labels out there..you are currently unsigned.

Rick: Yes , as Carlo mentioned, we really wanted each song seamlessly flowing into the next which in the end made the album sound even better. The goal was to keep the listener engaged and always on the edge.

Lol, you wouldn’t let that happen, would you? Could a huge name Producer tell guys to change the system and still be allowed near the recording?

Can you talk about how you managed an amazingly recorded album, that sounds better perhaps, than some of the over-produced stuff, did you have most of it planned out, how much changed or took place during the recording, and what benefits do you foresee once signed. Hopefully, the band wouldn’t lose the ‘Signature ‘ sound found on your debut.

Will the band have final say on all final mixes of the future albums?


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Carlo: First and foremost, Thank you for your comments! We are extremely proud when someone refers to the album as amazingly recorded. It was no easy task. There was a lot of time and hard work put in on many different aspects. From the actual recording to the rest of the process. Pierre and Michel (Good friend and go to sound man) worked tirelessly on a mix. The final touch was a mastering by the very talented Jacob Hansen of Hansen studios in Denmark. Between the mix and the master… Magic! We always keep control of our music and our signature cannot be undone HA! It is a Musical Tattoo!

Rick: The key is being persistent and 100% devoted in what you believe in. If not, the dream will just crumble apart. It was a hell of a roller coaster ride and at one point we thought the album was never going to get done or released. Lucky enough with everyone being patient and not forcing matters at the time to just release a product for the hell of releasing was worth the while waiting. At the end of

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the day, we are the writers, composers and authors and we’ll always have a say on final mixes for future albums, if not it just wouldn’t feel right anymore and we wouldn’t want to lose that control. It took us quite some time to develop our signature sound that we have achieved and would simply be unfair to compromise that. Scott: The drum tracks seem incredibly tight and it must have taken forever to get them that precise. What was the secret?

Carlo: Wicked talent Hahaha!

Rick: Thank you! I wish there was a secret lol! I remember the studio I recorded at was only available for 3 days and had to reserve half a day for setting up, so essentially I only had 2 and a half days to record my drums parts. The songs were tracked


Carlo: The recording was quite odd really. In a studio in Montreal we had 2 and half days to record all drums and piano. Then guitars at Pierre’s place, lead parts at our jam space. Vocals were recorded at Pierre’s by Pierre and I. Bass was recorded at Pierre’s by Pierre as well as Marek’s keyboard parts. Here is the kicker… we use no click track / tempo track. It was recorded as a live performance. We played along with Rick and recorded his parts. We then needed to play to Rick’s push and pull time signatures. In the end this gives the music a more organic feel. I must admit it was challenging but wicked cool!

straight through from start to finish with no click track...I know crazy enough lol! If I made a mistake I had to start right back at the beginning of the song and kept challenging myself. It wasn’t easy, especially playing with blisters on your fingers. I need to blame Pierre our singer for that as he wanted it that way. We wanted to get that organic live band feel for the album. At the end of the day it worked out beautifully and wouldn’t change a thing. I find a lot of albums nowadays sound way to mechanical and tend to lose that organic feel.

Scott: Can you each talk about how the recording experience was? What was the highest point, and what would each of you change, if anything? Did the recording of the album give you new appreciation for everybody else’s work, hearing the final mix?

Rick: As I mentioned earlier, it was really intense for me as I had the pressure of recording 9 tracks in the span of only 2 and half days. But at the end, I think it actually made me a better drummer and forced me to challenge myself beyond my comfort zone. The recording definitely gave me a new appreciation for everybody’s work. It was cool to hear parts I never heard in the past while rehearsing with the entire band.

Scott: What equipment do each of you use, for musically minded people? What guitar effects, any other interesting things you tried that just worked?

Carlo: Taken from the album credits because it says it all: Pierre uses and abuses Godin Guitars, Marshall amps and his F%?/!*g voice! Carlo uses and abuses Ibanez, Music Man and Godin Guitars, Dimarzio, Engl Peavey, Morley, TC Electronic, Maxon, Tech 21, Elixir, Ernie Ball, ISP, Digiflex. Rick uses and abuses Tama Starclassic BB drums and Sabian cymbals.

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what would it be?

Carlo: Man, that is crazy. I love all my children Hahaha!! There aren’t words that can fully express what each song means to me personally. They all have their charm and something that makes them unique. Next question Hahaha!

Rick: Damn that’s always a hard question to answer, as you said it’s like picking a favorite child. They all have their own unique tone and sound in which I enjoy playing them all, but if I would have to choose one song that I really enjoy playing live it would probably be Hollow Point.

Scott: How long have each of you been playing? Are any members proficient at more than one instrument?

Jean-Francois uses and abuses Ibanez and Warwick basses, Sansamp, SWR, Elixir strings. Marek uses and abuses Akai Keyboards, Asus laptop and Lexicon sound card.

Scott: Going through the band, can you each name your favorite song...and I know that is impossible, like picking a favorite child, but if you each had to pick one song that you felt really highlighted either your individual performance or the groups together,

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Carlo: I’ve been playing guitar for roughly 20 years now. Much more seriously in the last 9 years. Still try to play my violin but it is kicking my ass! Pierre Sings and plays guitar and bass. Marek I’m sure plays other instruments.

Rick: I actually started playing guitar at the age of 10-12. I took some lessons but for some reason it wasn’t for me. I then started playing drums and initially fell in love with the instrument. I’m a self taught drummer, but sometimes wish I would have taken lessons at a younger age. I also play some keyboards which I enjoy when writing music for NonHuman Era.




What venues do you see as ‘ideal’ for your sound? Do you prefer more intimate theaters, or would stadiums, etc be your end goal?

For a fantasy question, what would the band’s ‘ideal’ gear be, if you could have perhaps the same brands of equipment, but the best of it? What would you add? Does anybody design instruments?

Carlo: Intimate Theaters I guess personally. I’ve never really put much though into it. Obviously some venues have better acoustics than others. Mainly as long as we can hear ourselves and we can enjoy playing we’re cool.

Rick: I would prefer intimate theaters. It’s always fun to feed off the energy of the crowd especially when up close and personal.

Scott: Can you quickly give the readers an idea of the writing process of the band? Is it lyrics, then music, or music and then lyrics? When you hear the riffs, do the lyrics come easy to you guys?

Carlo: Rick and I are the main writers. For this album it was music then I wrote the lyrics. It just felt right because I could play with vocal melodies in my head and write the words to accompany them. I really enjoy writing lyrics and vocal melodies. I have actually come to prefer the writing process of music to any other process.

Rick: I usually have a bunch of guitar riffs or a piano/ keyboard section in which I bring to the table. We gather up ideas and then begin working on either an intro, verse or chorus, depending on the day and creativity level and we simply just jive with it. The music is usually written before incorporating any melodies or lyrics.

Carlo: There is no such thing as too many guitars. I would love to have ‘em all!! I do love Engl and Peavey amps, Ibanez, Godin, Fender guitars. I have always wanted to try out some Bogner gear. *Wink Wink* Bogner Hahaha!

Rick: I’d like to be sponsored by Tama drums lol! It would be nice to have a different colored kit every night. My choice would be Tama Starclassic Bubinga with Meinl cymbals & percussion. I unfortunately do not design any instruments, would be nice though.

Scott: If each one of you could say something brief about what your goal for the next album is, what would the goals be?

Carlo: The goal is to outdo ourselves and just keep this groovy, melodic and heavy balance we have found.

Rick: The goal would definitely be to challenge ourselves as musicians and take our skills to the next level.

Scott: Where and when can fans find you live and touring?

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Carlo: We have a few gigs lined up locally in May and August. We will keep anyone interested posting through our website and social media.

try to continuously write music whether it’s for NonHuman Era or simply for myself. I try not to think and worry too much about achieving major success. If the opportunity would arise I think we would do just fine.

Scott: What would each of you want your fans to know about the album? Are you already writing, what are the plans? Are you worried that the major success of the band will cause any discord , or that the band might not be as comfortable around the the fans, or do you think you can handle the fame, money, and accolades while standing as a team and still doing your best to be accessible?

Carlo: In all honesty, if this album touches people on a personal level and /or inspires someone to pick up an instrument, sing, write. If it helps people find a voice, an outlet to vent frustration etc, I consider it a huge success. In the end it is about the music and the power it has to bring people together, to heal and to make life that much more beautiful. Rick and I have already begun to work on new music separately. We will be collaborating in the near future for sure. I don’t worry about success and discord. It distracts from the creation of music.

Rick: As Carlo mentioned, if we can motivate or trigger someone’s emotions by simply connecting with our music, then I believe we have succeeded. We never stop writing, whenever I have time a

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Scott: What advice do you guys have for younger musicians that want to record a cd, do what you have done? Any words of encouragement or warnings you wish somebody had told you?

Carlo: Do what makes you happy! Fight through the pain and work on your craft. You will be a better person for it. Don’t let negativity in. Be honest through your music. People/fans are way more aware and intelligent than they sometimes get credit for. They know when your music is from the heart and Godammit! Enjoy yourselves!!!! Rock N Roll!!!!

Rick: Just do what makes you happy and what encourages you to be a better musician. Try to shy away from negativity and always surround yourself with positive people. Keep on practicing and perfecting your craft and it will pay off in the end.

Scott: Thank You both!


NonHuman Era-A CD Review In an unusual way to start a review, I will admit to a bias. I was not a fan of “Prog Rock”. It is a great form of music, to be sure...but nothing from the genre had struck a chord with me. Until now. NonHuman Era, hailing from Canada, insists that they are Progressive Rock. I disagree, in a way...this is just pure, adrenaline pumping, fantastic music. To me, while Prog Rock influences can be heard , the band takes the label and perhaps unknowingly, rips it up and creates a whole new sonic spectrum. I’d label it their own, as this cd breaks new ground with nearly every track. It is an aural joy to behold.

The debut CD, which is available on the bands website NonHumanEra.com, is not like most debut albums. The band does not sound like they are “On their way” to one day solidifying a unifying sound, rather...they nailed it. Straight out of the gate. No errors, weak tracks, or misses.

Putting aside labels, this CD is an absolute must to own. It is by turns melodic, raging, driven and at peace. Regardless of your taste in rock or metal, there is something here for you.

The album opens with “A New Breed”, which is a melodic, driving, powerful opener. The highlights are the swooping guitars, and precision hammer

drums held solid by a perfect bass line. The vocals are also a highlight, but the joy is hearing how this band seems to breathe together musically.

Another highlight is “Hollow Point”...a purely shattering song, heavy yet blissful, with a great chorus.

One of my favorites was “Elements of Chaos”, with a beautiful yet sinister opening that shifts to driving machine power, galloping along with absolute confidence and clarity. Not a note wasted, and cathedral clear. The whole group locks together like one gear in perpetual shift, the soaring vocals calling to mind Maiden, Zeppelin, and every other great you can mix in there. Yet... Unique. Always unique.

“Damage Over Time”, proves the CD just keeps getting better. Vocals are a highlight on this, reaching levels of nuance and fever pitch energy that will not leave you easily. Flat out, it is just really powerful.

A quick note is that the songs flow into each other like a sonic river. The tracks feel like a concept album, but the concept appears to be fantastic music by a great band. Planned or not, this is a cd to listen to as a whole.

As stated initially, there are no wasted chances, songs to shrug off, or even one weak effort. What interests me about this fact is as I look through my extensive album collection, at least 95% of the

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truly great albums have one or two weaker tracks. It happens. Apparently, the guys in NonHuman Era didn’t get the memo that it is okay to have one or two mediocre songs when you put out a cd of this quality.

There is NO “Weak Song” , with each song seemingly able to showcase each member of the band’s unique talents but still sounding as one voice consistently.

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The bass lines are not just there to keep the pace. They evolve and contribute, leaving a memorable mark. The vocals seem to get better on each song, with some moments of actual awe at the range and dynamics. The guitar will not be forgotten, as the guitar parts are so varied, richly played, and never a wasted note or phrase. There are no unnecessary guitar moments that would suggest the band is trying to prove anything. Every part is in place for a reason, sounding as if these guys have been playing arenas for twenty years.


A major note comes to the album’s drumming. The only other times I have really noticed drumming would probably be the likes of Neil Peart of RUSH, or Dave Grohl of Nirvana (And current Foo Fighters frontman)...and yes, John Bonham and Keith Moon. Rick Dessi is bound to join these ranks, especially surrounded by band mates with equal talent and focus.

The drums are played like a thunderous glue, always there to compliment the other members, always hard hitting , joyous and highlighting everybody else’s work.

These guys are a perfect fit...for the listener and each other.

The songs “Damage Over Time”, “Awakening” and “Continuum” all surround you with grinding, golden sounds..each would sound fantastic in a stadium.

In the end, if this is what constitutes Prog Rock, I admit I was wrong and will fix my lack of attention. The thing is, this is not about labels. This is just great music. It IS Progressive without you noticing it. It is anthemic, at times as heavy as Slayer, at times bluesy, and daring... It is a highly addictive album, which grabs you and takes you on a musical journey filled with one great experience after another. I’m not labeling it as anything other than “NonHuman Era”, which is what it deserves. It is a mighty feat to blaze new territory and make such a mark on your first outing. This CD is a victory in that regard.

The best part is this is only the beginning.

Buy this CD, enjoy it as I have, and tell others...the musical future is looking damn good in the hands of this band.

To wrap it up, this cd is a ranked by me as a Must Own. Five Stars.

This seems like perhaps fawning praise, but I honestly believe down the road that this work will be mentioned amongst the greatest of albums, debut or otherwise.

My one huge complaint? The cd’s almost unforgivable sin?

It ends.

I didn’t want it to, and neither will you.

Rank: Must Have, Hall of Fame 5 of 5 Stars

This is NonHuman Era. This is the way a cd SHOULD be. This is what a BAND should be. I had almost forgotten, until this wake up call.

A true team effort with the added bonus of lyrics that quite frankly, border poetry at times. While the music is plenty of reason to buy and enjoy this cd, the lyric booklet is a great read unto itself.

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Profile for Steel Notes Magazine

Steel Notes Magazine May 2016  

Steel Notes Magazine May 2016  


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