Chris Isaak,Bumbershoot, *A New Place Soon & More

October 3, 2010 at 1:33 PM (Music, Concerts, Uncategorized)

Sorry that is has been awhile since I have blogged anything; like with my reading, I will read book after book then I won’t read for awhile. I haven’t finished my novel yet either. I’ve said I will finish it, but I haven’t. Sigh. I really need to get on myself and get the novel done.  It’s a great scary, thrilling story and I believe others will love it.  I admit that when I do finish that I am scared of the process of getting it edited and published.

In other news, it looks like me and the man will be getting a house!  It’s perfect!  We fell in love with it!  Hopefully we will be getting good news about it this week.  The landlords liked us (thought we were a cute couple).  We need a new place because living in this current tiny place  can take it’s toll from time to time.  It will be good for the both of us and our relationship.  Also by getting this house we are growing our relationship and looking towards the future.

I finally got a job!  It doesn’t pay much or has any benefits… But, it’s a job and I will finally have a constant paycheck coming in.  I’m constantly busy and always learning something new there.  I do admit I get frustrated due to how I’m getting trained, but I guess that is par for the course.

It’s been stressful for me for the past few months wondering if I will get a job, get out of this place and into somewhere new, lack of money and kicking myself for not having the will to finish my novel.  But, everything seems to be coming together.  I hope good things will continue and I really hope that I will finish my novel and find some way to get it published and out there.  I also hope to get more interviews on here in the near future.

Also, we went to quite a few concerts in the past 2 months.  I finally got to see Chris Isaak!  I’ve loved him since I was 9 years-old and when I saw that he was coming to Portland I couldn’t pass it up!  I met the drummer, Kenny and the lead guitarist Herschel!  We even got front row!!!  Kenny threw me both drum sticks after the show!

Carl won tickets to the Bumbershoot Music Festival in Seattle!  They included Main Stage Access and private sessions to bands!  Our Private Sessions were Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes AND Courtney Love.

She is a train wreck…  So, this is what I could understand from what she was saying:

-Her guitarist has been living with her for 5 years and he puts up with her-James McAvoy will be playing Kurt in the biopic; she didn’t come out and say it, but she said his last name and something about when she saw him scratching his balls at an awards show, she knew it had to be him

-She does talk to her daughter sometimes and is pissed because she just found out that she went and met Dave Grohl

-She hasn’t had plastic surgery in 5 years

-She lives off of Hole money

– When her and Kurt were together they really didn’t have much money as everyone thought; about $175 thousand in the bank and that most of the money that they got went into their daughter’s trust

‎- She is still fighting about Kurt’s ashes- She was going to go shopping afterwards at her fav store (forgot the name) and back in the day that was the only place that would take checks so her and Kurt would always go there because for a period they were broke

-The song “Honey” on her new album is about Kurt

-Her and Kurt used to throw Skittles at Pearl Jam back in the day.  She said her and Eddie has made up


We went two days and we saw: Nekko Case, The Decemberists, Bob Dylan, Rise Against, Hole and Weezer. I had to admit that Weezer was my favorite show of the weekend and I got to touch Rivers Como! I also got to touch Courtney Love and hang out with her guitarist. I even got into the pit for a few songs of Rise Against for a few songs before I had to get out. We had a great view for all of the concerts. We were in the front off to the side. Enjoy the rest of the pics!
Bob Dylan:

Rise Against:

Hole: (they kind of sucked: 5 covers and the same song at the beginning and the end and she did a bad cover of “Jeremy” in the private session and at the concert)

Weezer:


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Joel Kosche is “Always Dreaming”

May 20, 2010 at 3:08 PM (Music, Concerts)

If you have been looking for a true story of someone who followed their dream and became a lead guitarist of one of the best, longest lasting rock groups then look no further!

Collective Soul is my favorite bands.  Their music is everlasting and true to my soul.  The songs speak to me and guide me through the hard times, and help me express my emotions to the ones I love and gives me inspiration to write.  Their dedication to their fans is sincere.  They care what we have to say and strive to make us happy; a lot of bands don’t do that.

Joel Kosche was a guitar tech in 1996 when the Collective Soul offered him the role of lead guitarist. This was one of the best things that Collective Soul has done.  Joel brings tremendous talent to Collective Soul. Joel knows his craft; his energy, skill and drive keeps bringing Collective Soul upward. Watching Joel play brings me to awe; his intensity is present and you can tell he loves what he does.  I’ve met him in person and I can tell you he is one of the nicest guys.

Joel founded the band Rhapsody and later in 1994,with other members of Rhapsody created the band Jovial Storm.  Years later, Joel fronted the band Steep in which he sang lead vocals. He also sang on “I Don’t Need Anymore Friends” on Collective Soul’s 2007’s album Afterwords proving to be a great singer and we the fans, wanted more of his voice.

He answered us in his debut album, “Fight Years” that will be released on June 15th.  The single, “Always Dreaming”  which will be available to download on June 1st.

You can listen to samples of the song on Amazon:

Fight Years Sample

His melodic voice along with the rockin’ guitar riffs keep me wanting to hear more.  We won’t be disappointed.

Please say hello and follow Joel on Twitter:

http://www.twitter.com/JoelKosche

Visit his website to learn more about Joel and listen to his single, “Always Dreaming”

http://www.joelkosche.com

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Something to *Fight For- An Interview With Kelly Burdge of NoMara

November 4, 2009 at 4:45 PM (Interviews, Music, Concerts) (, , , , )


kellynomara (1)

NoMara: The band name derives from the Buddhist Lord of misfortune, sin, destruction, and death, Mara. Mara is the ruler of desire and death, the two evils that chain man to the wheel of ceaseless rebirth. Mara reviles man, blinds him, guides him toward sensuous desires; once man is in his bondage, Mara is free to destroy him”. Mara can be defined as the evil in all of us. In relationships, especially with people close to us, many of our actions including words can be used like darts to hurt and inflict pain. Over time, those words and actions wear and tear down others to the point that we lose them from our lives. NoMara means our partner is not Mara and should not be abused as if they are the evil one. The answers to our individual issues lie within us, not others. She is not Mara, she is not your fight!

I have the pleasure to know Kelly Burdge; the lead singer of NoMara and to be introduced to his music- his band.  I was inspired by his story and his music. The words to his songs are something we can all relate to; his passion to drive on through and make his dreams a reality should tell us that we can do anything we set our minds to.  This Ohio based rock band has been working hard to get their music to us and Kelly has kindly given me an interview to share in depth about his fervor and dedication to his life long dream.



Your band just emerged in 2008. What drove you want to start a band?

You know, who doesn’t want to start a band?  I can remember growing up and listening to KISS Alive and thinking to myself, “Wow, this is something special…which reminds me…I should be eligible for some kind of benefit for being in the Kiss Army all these years.”  At any rate, I chose a different path which included sports, college, 9-5 and so on.  I always kept music close to my heart and frequently attended tons of shows whenever possible to see the bands that gave me that spark inside.  To me, it all comes down to the connection between myself and the band at the live show.  I can listen to CD’s all day long, but until I see them live and “feel it” in the flesh, it does not become burned into my soul.  It really wasn’t until the past few years I honestly gave any serious thought to becoming a musician.  In fact, it all started a couple years ago when one of my favorite bands, Fuel, announced online they would be seeking a new lead singer and would be holding auditions.  I thought to myself, “Self….could this be a sign?” Well not having the courage to submit an audition tape, I did reach out to a long time friend and one of the world’s most amazing rock drummers, Troy Luckketta from Tesla.  I told Troy I wanted to do a song together and I didn’t think he took me too seriously but nonetheless, he was very supportive.  Troy suggested finding a few local guys and start jamming. Well, where else to find a couple local musicians but at your neighborhood coffee shop? We jammed one day in my apartment and the addiction kicked in.  Over the course of the next few months, I literally began writing tons of songs, mostly in the form of short stories without the music.  Looking back, anyone who has ever known me always knew that being a front man in a rock band was my true dream and fantasy in life. Music has been the one thing in my life that has always been there, never failed me, and has always done what it set it out to do, heal and sooth.

How did you start the process? Who co-writes the songs with you?

Process is a good description. Starting and maintaining a band is certainly a process, not an event.  Not really any band experience, I kind of assumed finding a group of musicians to give up their lives and go on tour with me would be easy.  Come to find out, the music business is a bit more complex.  Typically, a band gets together as friends or colleagues from a local scene and writes music together. My situation was a little different than that; I wrote all my music with already established musicians in a studio.  A good friend of mine named Phil Taylor (Future Leaders of the World) had recently teamed up with ex-Evanescence band member John Lecompt on a new project called “Machina” that was based out of Little Rock.  I contacted Phil telling him about all these songs I had been working on and he suggested I come work with him and John to see what we could come up with.  The next thing I knew, I was down in John’s studio and before I knew it we had 12 really good songs and POOF! I was a front man!  So, the next step was to find a band.  In September of 2008, I spent a weekend with Troy and let him hear the final product for the first time.  He was very surprised and proud at how far this dream had come in a very short period of time.  We immediately began the process of putting a band together.  For most of 2008, the band was based out of the San Francisco Bay Area.  We toured a bit with a great band called Pop Evil, but the chemistry was just not there with that line-up, so I had to make a few changes.  Currently, the band is based back in Ohio but still has nationwide roots with our lead guitar player coming from San Francisco (Nicky Now) and our bass player (Matthew Paul) coming from Atlanta.  Our other guitar player (Steve Prater) and drummer (Andy Perkins) are Ohio boys from Kenton.  I am extremely pleased with this line-up and truly feel they are connected with the music; each bringing their own energy and vibe into the songs giving them life.

You told me that you didn’t know you could sing for the longest time; what happened to make you realize you can?

I am still very much a student of singing and learn more about it every single day.  If you could hear the first time I stepped into the studio box to sing you would laugh your butt off. Again, I had never been in a band, had a lesson, or been on a stage other than one or two times doing karaoke.  In fact, the first time I ever stepped foot on a stage was opening for Tesla at a sold out show in California; I think I fooled them.

What kept me going was I could hear in my head how it needed to be sung.  I would also imagine how singers like Brent from Shinedown or Jacoby from Papa Roach might sing the song.  I would take all that in and let it out with my own flavor and style.  I have been taking lessons and asking lots of questions when in the company of talented local and national artists on how to keep getting better.  My vocal coach Stephanie is amazing; she really helped me gain the confidence I needed. I also do my best to keep my voice healthy by not drinking alcohol or smoking.  Water is also key.

Your lyrics are drawn from relationships and the hardships from them; what emotions and memories do you draw from to pen the lyrics?

Well, if there is one thing we can all relate to it’s the pains and joys of being in a relationship. For me, my life struggles have always been about accepting my place in the world and being content day to day.  For some reason I have always felt like I was missing something and just not complete.  Having children certainly filled most of that void but having that true connection with a partner has seemed to always flee over time in my past.  I frequently ponder and wonder why this happens and I still do not know.  The current songs of NoMara do stem from a particular point and instance of time in my life not too long ago.  The record actually tells a story from beginning to end.  The first track is called “Last Call” and is about the end of a relationship.  It’s about that last call, last text, or email…when we finally realize this relationship is over.  The remaining tracks are about the period of time after a break-up detailing the thoughts and process we go through in getting back on our feet.  Relationships are great practice for personal growth.

Which song is the closest to you heart and that you are the most proud of?

Without question Fight Song means the most to me.  All I ever wanted was someone who wants to be with me as much as I want to be with them.  That song is going through some changes right now and I think the updated official version will be even better. We are playing the new version live on this upcoming tour and do see it being released on radio soon if things continue to progress for us. Personally, I don’t think the world needs another love song. I think we what need is a fight song that will keep us together so we never ever fall apart.

What obstacles have you pushed through (and currently) to make this dream your reality?

I think the biggest obstacle has been maneuvering around in today’s music business. Everything is so different than bands experienced prior to 2002.  The biggest challenge is getting your music out to the people.  Yes, there are more tools today than ever before with social networking and online music stores but there is also a tremendous amount of bands out there saturating the consumer.  Getting yours into their ears is a challenge.  I have always been a firm believer that the cream comes to the top and if the music is good enough it will eventually be heard and embraced.  As a band, we need to stay focused and healthy while on the road.  All of us are committed to doing whatever it takes to get the music to the people.  Hopefully, the people will respond by becoming NoMara fans and coming to our shows.

How are you defying yourself as a band?  How are you making yourselves stand out from the rest?

I think our band is in a position to accomplish some great things.  All of the guys are seasoned musicians that have been down the road before and have experienced what works and what does not when it comes to “surviving out there”.  We just had this conversation tonight at practice as we processed our shows from the past weekend.  We all want NoMara to be a class act from the minute we enter a town to the time we leave.  We don’t subscribe to the stereotypical “up all night- sleep all day” rock and roll lifestyle.  Don’t get me wrong, we have our fun on the road but we do our best to keep things balanced and in perspective.

What would/does “success” mean to you?

Well for years I viewed success by the how much money I had, but over the past few years’ success has been defined as living life chasing dreams.  In my old job,I was surrounded by people counting the days to retirement.  I never subscribed in my heart to that mentality and did not want my children watching me live my life doing something I was not passionate about.  Everything I do today or become involved with has to have a purpose.  It must have something to do with making the world a better place.  Aside from this rock and roll life, I am a licensed substance abuse counselor.  I recently co-authored a book that uses the languages of sports to reduce high risk behaviors in youth and young adults.  I would like to eventually get the book out and be able to visit local high schools during the day while out on the road rocking and rolling during the nightshift.

Who and/or what is your inspiration/muse?

My children are my inspiration.  Without question they are the best thing that ever happened to me.  It’s difficult being away from them while on the road but we manage to stay in touch daily via cell phones and this trip out we are going to try some web cams.  They both rock!

You are going on tour soon; how are you preparing for it?

The band finally arrived in Ohio a couple weeks ago.  We immediately began daily rehearsals and played a few regional shows.  Nowadays the band has to play the part of management, marketing department, promotions, booking agent, etc.  If we are not rehearsing, we are talking to venues, reaching out to new fans online, or sleeping.  The tour kicks off Friday at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus. We then head down to Nashville and into the northern U.S. for a few weeks.

NoMara will be playing at Columbus, Ohio’s Newport Music Hall November 6th!  To check out other tour dates, please go to their Myspace music page:

http://www.myspace.com/nomaramusic

Follow NoMara on Twitter!  They follow back!

http://twitter.com/NoMaraMusic

To buy tickets for their shows:

http://www.nomaratickets.com/

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Paying It Forward By “Healing”: An Interview With Musician Josh Charles

October 5, 2009 at 5:05 PM (Interviews, Music, Concerts) (, , , )

Josh Charles

Josh Charles is a remarkable man and musician.  He is an inspiration to others; more should pay it forward for the greater good.  Josh is giving back to the community of New Orleans.  Download the single “Healing Time” on iTunes or Amazon and 100% of the proceeds  go to The Preservation Resource Center (PRC) of New Orleans to help rebuild, restore, and preserve the architectural history and historic neighborhoods that support the local culture and character of New Orleans.  As stated in an article in the Huffington Post by 2morrowknight, Josh stated that ” I’m trying to do my part to give back to the city of New Orleans which has given me so much as an artist.”

Read more at: Huffington Post

Josh began playing at an early age.  He began playing piano at the age of 8  and he started playing guitar at 13.  He was classically trained and spent summers at band camp.  His piano playing can be linked back to blend of New Orleans music and gospel styles.  You feel at peace when you listen to him play; a part of you can go back in time and feel his soulful music enter your heart  and you can’t help but move along with the notes.

Josh Charles is also teaching a master class at Steinway Music Hall in NYC on the how to play New Orleans /Boogie Woogie Piano even if you’re never played. It is Saturday, October 10th from 3-5 PM; all beginners are welcome.  If interested, please contact him: masterclass@joshcharlesmusic



You are on Twitter; have you found that spreading your music and message has been helped by it?

I am thankful that I found Twitter. I was just telling Gavin DeGraw last night that I find Twitter to be my favorite way to communicate with fans. It’s amazing, in real-time you can share personal thoughts, pics,vids,music and I really enjoy interacting with people. When I’m on tour, I meet people from Twitter and I’m so appreciative for their support. Twitter is also how I stay connected to everyone. There is so much great content on Twitter and I feel so lucky to have so many great tweeps who help me out – I must name some here: @buzzedition,@alyssa_milano @collective_soul ,@jason_pollock @_stevewoods @kevin_desoto @kim @lorimoreno @krystynchong  –the list goes on and on but I feel very lucky to be considered worthwhile among tweeps.  In short, I love TWITTER..

You have said you are a “wandering nomad” and you feel a kinship to New Orleans.  Do you see yourself moving back there soon?

At some point, I would love to move to New Orleans for Take 2. I love the city with all my heart and soul.

You started playing in blues clubs when you were a teenager.  Do you have any crazy stories from playing in clubs at such a young age?

My first job was at a blues joint in KC. It was on a 100 year old beat up piano with jagged keys and missing notes- I would bleed from the sharp edges and playing so hard. I had no microphone and it was a 4 hour a night rowdy blues and boogie woogie gig.

What makes you want to get up every day?  What inspires you?

I love being able to share my music with the world. Knowing that it’s helping make a difference in people’s lives is a very powerful thought. I take it very seriously and work very hard on my craft.

You recently met Smokey Robinson; please tell us of that experience.  How does it feel to meet other remarkable musicians?

One of the nicest, most gracious and caring guys on this planet. He fills the room with joy and it’s an honor. I”ve been so fortunate to meet amazing people and musicians. Just recently, I shared an afternoon with Allen Toussaint playing piano and singing songs and it was a highlight of my musical life. I mean it’s Allen Toussaint!

If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?

Wow just one?  I’d love to have spent a day with Ray Charles 🙂

“Healing Time” is eligible for Grammy’s in the following categories: Best New Artist, Song of the Year and Record of the Year.  That is incredible; how does it make you feel to be recognized in that way?

It’s an honor! Healing Time has tremendous potential to make a difference in people’s lives and help rebuild New Orleans. I can’t stress enough how important it is for people to download the song and pay it forward.

To learn more about Josh Charles and his cause, please visit his web page:

http://joshcharlesmusic.com/home/

Follow Josh Charles on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/joshcharles

Become a fan on his Facebook Page:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=18473958150

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“Bad Things” With Jace Everett

October 2, 2009 at 1:17 AM (Interviews, Music, Concerts) (, , , , )

Jace

Photo Courtesy of jaceeverett.com

You have heard Jace Everett’s voice.  HBO’s huge success, True Blood, has his song “Bad Things” as the opening title theme.  It’s his sexy, sultry voice that you can’t help sing along with or tap your foot to when you sit down to watch it on Sunday nights.

Jace is just more than one song of a hit TV show. His talent is evident.  His deep, sweltering, expressive music turns you on, grabs you and doesn’t let go.  When you listen, you can relate and take the stroll with him along his emotional memories.

Jace, when did you realize you made it in the music business?  What was your defining moment?

Have I made it? I’ve been making my living with music for over 10 years. In a sense that’s “making it”. But this business is really about tenacity. You go up and down like a see-saw for years only to find when you look back that the only thing that’s amazing is that you’re still doing it! My defining moment is every day I get up and do it again.

When did you 1st start singing and realize it is what you wanted to do with your life? How did you prove to others that you will be successful?

I started singing in public when I was 12. I always knew this was what I wanted. I don’t really worry about proving things to other people. It’s enough to prove it to myself.

Which singers do you emulate?

All of them! Big influences on my actual singing are Bono, Tom Waits, Tom Petty, Joe Cocker, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. Different songs call for different kinds of singing. Those are the guys I rip off most often though!

Your song, “Bad Things” is the open title song for the show True Blood; how did that come about?  Did you have any idea how big this show was going to be and how has the success of it impacted your music and life?

Alan Ball discovered the song on iTunes and thought it was a good fit. Turns out he was right. The show has been a huge shot in the arm for me.

I have listened to your new album, Red Revelations and it is filled with dark, bluesy, arousing goodness.  What was your focus for this album?

I wanted to synthesize all my different influences into a fresh sound. Outlaw country, rock and roll, blues, torch songs, the whole shebang.

How would you personally categorize your music?  More Rockabilly than country? More like blues than rock?  All of them?

Yeah, I leave that up to the marketing guys. My music is just that; my music.

You like whiskey like I do, what is your favorite kind?

Jamesons Irish

What do you do to unwind from a crazy day?

See above!

What is your “Bad Thing” or habit?

Too many to list.

I would love to see you do a duet with Chris Isaak; perhaps go on his show, The Chris Isaak Hour because you remind me so much of him.  Could that be a possibility?

Chris is a far better singer than I am. Beautiful falsetto. Very Orbison. A lot of folks assume the “Bad Things” was a take-off on “Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing”, but it wasn’t. I’m certainly a fan of his and there’s obviously some rockabilly in my music, but Chris does a really unique and great thing that’s quite different from me. I’d be delighted to work with him. Never know.

Can we expect a nationwide tour soon?  I would love to see you in Columbus, Ohio.

We’ll see how sales go. It takes money to make it, but I’m on the West coast a lot this year as well as some UK shows. 2010 should be busy.

Please, give me one crazy story from a show.

I remember playing a small club back in the 1990’s when the power went out. Turns out the manager of another act had pulled the plug in the middle of my set! I was young and full of rage. I picked up a monitor and threw  it across the stage at the guy. The power returned pretty quickly.

How do you prepare for a show?

Quietly with about 15 minutes of silence in a room by myself.

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned in your career?

Never surrender, never quit, and don’t believe everything you hear; the bad or the good.

You have been nominated for Spike TV’s Scream Song of the Year; how does that make you feel?

Amused.

To vote for him, please go here:

http://www.spike.com/event/scream2009/page/vote/category/33121


To know even more about Jace; to see where he will be playing and to buy his album RED REVELATIONS, visit his website:

http://jaceeverett.com/

Follow him on Twitter!

http://twitter.com/jaceeverett

Myspace:

http://www.myspace.com/jaceeverett


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Breaking Through Walls; The Essence Of Being Unstoppable – An Interview With Musician Roni Bryant

September 26, 2009 at 2:33 PM (Interviews, Music, Concerts) (, , )

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Out Of This World U2 Concert- Kickoff in Chicago- 360 Tour

September 18, 2009 at 7:01 PM (Music, Concerts, Uncategorized)

Growing up, I would always hear a U2 song. Whether I turned on MTV, (when it was good) the radio, or sat in my parent’s den to listen to music; U2 was always around and even now, their music is prominent in my life. So, when my friend Brad gave me the opportunity to see them live opening night in Chicago (360 Tour- September 12th, 2009), I couldn’t pass it up! Even if you like them or not, you have to admit that U2 is the best and biggest band out there; they have given us hit after hit for over 20 years.

We (Brad, his sister Allison and me) began our road trip to Chicago on Saturday.  We had the tunes going and it was a pretty smooth 4 hour ride.  (The rest of the trip will be posted later) We got to the hotel, rested for a minute, Brad’s cousin Derek showed up, we changed and headed out for the U2 concert which was at Soldier Field. We were staying in a suburb, so the hotel shuttled us to the Forest Park Terminal to ride the Blue Line, which is a part of the CTA. A worker there was kind enough to help us out and told us where to go to get a weekend train pass and let us on for free!  When we got on, we found out that we had to take a shuttle from one of the stops to another train because of construction. I admit, we were kind of confused, but made our way. We walked around for awhile, found a CVS to get our passes, then walked on down to Soldier Field.  Now, I knew we were going to be a bit of walking that day, and for some reason, I thought we would be directly taken to Soldier Field… No.  I could not tell you what street we were on to start with, but we walked a lot of blocks and it took awhile to get to our most anticipated destination of the night.

We got there pretty much after the doors opened and I was determined to get close to the front as I possibly could!  The others didn’t think it was possible…  As soon as we walked in, we saw this:

U2 Concert- Soldier Field- Chicago1 Sept 12 2009 102U2 Concert- Soldier Field- Chicago1 Sept 12 2009 103

It is called the “Spaceship”.  I was in awe of it.  It was the most spectacular thing I have ever seen in a concert in my entire life. I saw the pit, and I decided to go for it.  I walked around the side, told the others to come with me and I went right to the front! It is hard to describe the set up, so you can see it here: http://360.u2.com/ Yes, we got up to the front even though people have waited for 11 hours to do so.  We were on the left part of the stage where Adam would be playing.

U2 Concert- Soldier Field- Chicago1 Sept 12 2009 128U2 Concert- Soldier Field- Chicago1 Sept 12 2009 130

First up was Snow Patrol and and I was pleasantly surprised! They had a lot of energy and sounded very good live! The stadium wasn’t filled up yet at this point,but a lot of us were singing along with the songs.

U2 Concert- Soldier Field- Chicago1 Sept 12 2009 111

After Snow Patrol was done they told us that the U2 concert would be nothing like we’ve seen before, you could feel the anticipation. The whole place started filling in and right before they came on, it was packed.

U2 Concert- Soldier Field- Chicago1 Sept 12 2009 133

The excitement in the air was exhilarating.  Finally, after 20 years of listening to them, I get to see U2 live! They came on stage and the whole venue went crazy! I couldn’t believe it; I was here opening night of their 360 Tour in Chicago! U2 did not disappoint!

U2 Concert- Soldier Field- Chicago1 Sept 12 2009 145

They were so full of life, love and energy.  They went walking on these moveable bridges on their specially built stage so they could be closer to their fans.

U2 Concert- Soldier Field- Chicago1 Sept 12 2009 154

We were directly in front of Adam who had a smile on his face the whole time.

U2 Concert- Soldier Field- Chicago1 Sept 12 2009 144

The “spaceship” had a honeycomb structure that moved up and down and it was also a screen:

U2 Concert- Soldier Field- Chicago1 Sept 12 2009 053U2 Concert- Soldier Field- Chicago1 Sept 12 2009 172

There was so much to look at during the concert.  My eyes were always moving and I was singing along. They were walking all around and it was quite fun to figure out where they were at.  They played a lot of their old hits and they played a few from their new album.  “Get On Your Boots” was a lot of fun, so was “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight”.  Of course, I couldn’t wait until they played “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and when they did, I must admit it brought tears to my eyes because it is one of my favorites.

One of the most fun parts was when Bono put on this jacket and swung around on his microphone:

U2 Concert- Soldier Field- Chicago1 Sept 12 2009 180U2 Concert- Soldier Field- Chicago1 Sept 12 2009 181

The concert lasted almost 3 hours and I didn’t want it to end.  U2 put on the best show I have ever seen.  They are Rock Gods and they always will be. They rocked my face off!  I highly suggest seeing this tour.  You will not be disappointed and will walk away with no regrets, only higher admiration for U2.

Of course, I was just a little tired after the concert.  Ha-ha

tired from standing us after the u2 concert

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Musical Encounters of a Third Kind*; An Intimate & Heartfelt Interview With Steven Shanks

August 6, 2009 at 2:54 AM (Interviews, Music, Concerts)

Steve Shanks

If you ever have the pleasure to meet Steven Shanks, a local aspiring musician here in Columbus Ohio, you will find he is an old soul, a very gifted musician who just wants to be heard. His lyrics grab your soul and melts your heart. When you listen, you can relate to his sentiment and you find yourself  feeling the same way or a memory comes flooding back. The strum of his guitar is a heart beat to our inspiration and every note creates a surge of emotion.

Steve loves comics, his crazy dog,  his girlfriend and wants to be a superhero. He has a heart of gold who is misunderstood most of the time.

When did you realize you wanted to be a musician?  How did you get started?

In 6th grade, me and a friend went and saw Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Later that year, I received a cheap Casio keyboard for Christmas and got excited about it and it went from there. The passion started there but I really didn’t start to play until I was in my twenties.

What has been your inspiration for your lyrics to date?

It started with heartbreak; you can only sing so much about it, loving someone who will never love me back. Over time, it became about telling the story.

With that being said, now that you have found love, do you feel that your songwriting style will change?

Yes, it has a little bit, but there are always crazy experiences and unfortunate circumstances. It is hard to get approval for “happy” songs. To be honest, I don’t think that anyone wants to hear how happy you are.

You play acoustically, but do you ever see yourself playing with a band again?

NO (Steve laughs after this big no) because I have played with bands before and feel that creativity is stifled and I can’t find anyone that I would like to play with. I don’t like to play with others. (More laughter)

What are your musical influences?

A long time it used to be U2 and there are also ties that go into Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure; the idea that I can play music and change the world, but that seems absurd right now. Damien Rice is a big influence; I’ve drawn a lot of comparisons to him. Also other influences are Pete Yorn, Travis, The Jayhawks and The Frames. Le Miserables the musical has been important. The specific song in Les Miserables called “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” has a definite story being told and told passionately. I think that song changed my delivery of my lyrics. Why do it (make & play music) if you are not passionate about it?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Musically, I don’t see anything changing for me; there has been amazing let downs because it doesn’t feel like it’s going to go anywhere. I had my chance to talk to people in the industry. I’ve played out a lot locally and out of state but I just don’t feel like anyone is interested or listening honestly. Is it because of only one guy with his guitar; how exciting can that be?

What are you working on now? Will we be expecting some sort of EP?

I am constantly learning more about my craft and polishing old songs, but I’m not playing out. Something is always being written, but I’m not working on much at this time.

No, every recording effort I have gone into has fallen through every single damn time; I just record on my own in my bedroom.  It’s hard to have someone pay attention. I’ve had people cry in the middle of my sets; let’s just say I increase the bars sales because I depress the shit out of people.

How have you been promoting yourself?

You have helped- thanks Misty! (And then he mentions my tan and toe ring; typical Steve, ha!) I have a Myspace Music page.

I do want to mention that my friend T.J. and I are setting a quest for Comic Con Website- stay tuned for that!

How do you handle and deal with the frustration of trying to get your music out there?

There is a dream that every musician has; you can quit your job, tour, play, write and if you are not careful, it can be about the money. If things repeatedly fail, there is major frustration. Essentially, each band is like a small business; they invest time, money and their lives. You live very transparently by putting your heart out there in a song and when nothing comes of it, there is a massive amount of discouragement. The best thing you can do is take time off and get away and remember why you did it because you love it.

Where can we see you play?  Do you have a schedule that you can give us?

There is no schedule. I have played open mic nights mostly at the Treehouse; no one is booking me yet.

You are an inspiration Steve; you have never given up on your dream, do you have any advice for other musicians?

Do it because you love it. If you do it for any other reason, whether if it’s money or fame, etc, you will find yourself disappointed. If you do it because it is something you enjoy, you won’t have a problem.

Is there anything else you want to share?

I get carried away on a project and forget about time (Being abducted my little aliens in my mind*) and upon my eventual return to reality, I have no clue how much time has passed.

I won’t stop a creative spirit stride; I just keep going. Most of my relationships have failed due to my creative addiction.Thank God for my girlfriend to be very understanding!

If I had a super power, the world would make sense to me. I would end up being more like Hal Jordan (The Green Lantern)



He just wants to sing for you.

Please visit Steve’s music page here:

http://www.myspace.com/timidblue

Follow him on Twitter!

http://twitter.com/timidblue


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The Wallflowers Concert Newport Music Hall, 7.30.09

August 1, 2009 at 2:49 PM (Music, Concerts)

Wallflowers picMy senior year in high school was a pivotal point in my life.  I was figuring out what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go and was chasing my latest crush.  I was excited and scared about the next point in  my life.  I was working at Kmart at the time and floating through my classes because it was my last year.  I spent a lot of time listening to music, especially in my car while I took expeditions of country cruises on the back roads.  That year I discovered The Wallflowers.  “6th Avenue Heartache” came on the radio and I immediately turned it up and I couldn’t get enough of it!  I ran out and bought Bringing Down the Horse and played the cd over and over again.  This Grammy Award album brought us songs like:  “One Headlight”, “The Difference” and “Three Marlena’s”.   They also did a hit cover of  David Bowie’s “Heroes” for the Godzilla soundtrack that was a smash hit.

The Wallflowers now consists of front-man Jakob Dylan, the son of Bob Dylan, Stuart Mathis, guitarist, Fred Eltringham, drummer, Greg Richling, bassist and Rami Jaffee, keyboardist.  The Wallflowers  are from Los Angeles, California and were formed in 1989 and having originally gone as The Apples the ensemble has gone through numerous personnel changes with Dylan the only constant.  The band started in 1989 in Los Angeles’s clubs. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1992 on the Virgin Records label. Although praised by critics, it only sold 40,000 copies initially, but has sold an estimated 1,000,000 to date.

I never saw The Wallflowers before and didn’t want to miss the opportunity this time around.  Because I wanted to be in the front row, I sat outside for almost four hours to get that chance!  I met many cool fans while waiting, even met a woman who is actually from Boston who is following the band from city to city. AndI  got hit on by passer-bys and a few homeless men asked me for money.  My friends finally joined me and I couldn’t wait for them to understand why I waited that long to be in the front row.  Being in the front row gives you the best view, the best sound and the best experience.  As we were waiting, the bass player Greg came out and talked to me for a bit and asked me the closest, best place to eat.  I immediately could tell he was a nice, fun guy and my anxiousness began to brew more.

Finally, it was time to go in.  I ran/walked up to the front and had a couple of drinks of Jack and Coke and my buzz ensued.  I was AT the stage, I could rest my arms on top of it!  If you do not know of the Newport Music Hall.  It is  “America’s Longest Continually Running Rock Club”.  Newport Music Hall was formerly known as the State Theater and, in the 1970s, as the Agora Ballroom. The hall seats around 1200 and most of the original decor is intact. It is one of the many music venues on High Street in Columbus.  They have not done much renovations and it has that quaint old feel that brings much character to a concert.

Serena RyderThe opening act was Serena Ryder.  I didn’t know what to expect.  From my experience, I really haven’t been satisfied with opening acts.  Serena was by herself with just her guitars and as soon as she sang, I was taken aback.  She blew me away.  Her voice was soulful and powerful.  I could feel the love she had for her music and her lyrics were very important to her.  She sang songs like, “A Little Bit of Red”, “Sing, Sing” which she used her feet as drums as she stomped on the stage, and “Melancholy Blue”.  The crowed loved her and she was amazed about our enthusiasm.

Serena Ryder is s a Juno Award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter and guitarist who grew up in Millbrook, Ontario.  Ranging musically between folk, roots, country, and adult contemporary, Ryder possesses a three-octave range. She attended the Integrated Arts Program at Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational Institute in Peterborough as well as Crestwood Secondary School. As a teenager, she performed solo as well as with many bands from the Peterborough area, including Christian band Thousand Foot Krutch and Jive recording artist Three Days Grace.

Now, it was time for The Wallflowers.  I could feel the excitement and I couldn’t wait.  I really didn’t know what to expect.  Sometimes a band you love is not as good live.  All my expectations went out the window when they came onstage.

Wallflowers2

The Wallflowers are incredible.  Jakob Dylan’s gritty, fervent voice accompanied with his brilliant band did not disappoint. They played some newer songs;  “The Beautiful Side of Somewhere”, “God Says Nothing Back”, and of course their older songs” “6th Avenue Heartache”, “One Headlight” and “The Difference” which the whole crowd sang along with.  Jakob interacted with his fans, talking and pointed to us and was astounded by our enthusiasm and love. When they played “Three Marlena’s” he invited two lucky fans to come onstage to sing and dance with him.  Another girl ran on the stage and the security crew were going to make her get off of it, but Jakob waved them away and hugged her.  I was memorized by this concert, their music, Jakob Dylan’s voice and energy.  I closed my eyes a few times and let the notes take me away.  This by far, is one of the best concerts I have ever been to.

Wallflowers1

I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to meet the band, so me and my friend Tim walked to the back and waited for them to come out..  As we were waiting and as the drizzle of rain touched my skin I talked to a few of the fans and the roadies and the one did some pantomimes for me!  One by one, the band members came out and I got their autographs, talked to them for a bit and got my pictures taken with them.  Jakob finally came out, came straight to me, said he loves Columbus, signed my ticket and took a picture.  I was in heaven.  A band that I have adored since I was in high school is right here in front of me.  I will never forget this night; great friends, great fans, beautiful music and the notes still ringing in my head.

Me and Jakob Dylan

Jakob Dylan may be Bob Dylan’s son; grew up in a very large shadow, but paved his own way with his own sound and his own ideas and became one of the biggest bands in our generation.

Thank you Jakob Dylan and The Wallfowers for a  memorable night.        autographs

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Interview With the Harber & Miller Band

July 30, 2009 at 2:58 PM (Interviews, Music, Concerts) (, , , )

Harber and Miller Band

I have a special treat for you today!  I interviewed the wonderful, talented Christian Harber of the Harber & Miller Band.

From their Myspace music page they are defined as:

“The quintessential southern rock band, but somehow never losing that small town identity that has branded them rock’s west Texas badboys. They’ve reigned as a genuine force of nature, boasting rock n’ roll’s concept of road warriors and show performances with songs like “My Release” and “Yesterday’s Fool”. Unleashing their songs at the beginning of 2005, the band seemed to capture a steadfast refusal to be just another southern rock band and will release a new EP winter 2009. 


The Harber and Miller Band defies genre sound and transforms southern rock and alternative rock with powerful, soulful vocals. The composition echoes the work of Lynard Skynard, The Black Crowes or even hints of artists like surround the style of Government Mule.”

The band members:

Christian Harber
Vocals & Guitar

David Miller
Vocals & Bass

Wes Korner
Drums

Juan Carlos
Lead Guitar


How did you guys get together and form The Harber and Miller Band?  When was it formed?

David Miller and I, Christian Harber, met at church sometime early 2005, few years before we actually started singing together.  One night I was playing “Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi on the acoustic and David started singing harmonies with me.  I was immediately surprised and said;” wow, we sing really well together”.  We recorded our first CD less than a year later.

How long did it take for people to notice your great sound? (i.e., record deal)

We’re not really sure some people have gotten it yet…hahaha!  But our music is liked by the Gen Y and Baby boomer generation.  Our sound really defies genre.  We combine a plethora of styles from country down to alternative rock.  Our sound mixes our music preferences with a Southern Rock/Blues/Americana result.

What is your inspiration for your lyrics? How do you write them?

I (Christian Harber), I’m the songwriter and as cliché as it may sound, I’ve seen a lot and been through a lot in my life.  I realize that people struggle with different demons and different situations, much like me.  I think most of the songs I’ve written are about those battles.

Why are you branded the “Bad Boys”? Any good stories you can share?

Bad boys? I thought it was Baptist, LOL…just kidding.  We may be branded that but there’s nothing on the record that stands for it.  We certainly don’t follow too many rules but a lot of people say that we really know how to live.

What band do you most identify with?

Individually we all have way different flavors but together I think we can say that we…..have absolutely no idea!  What we do get is that we definitely defy specific genre but that our fans really enjoy the music we make.

What do you like to do in your spare time?  What hobbies do you most enjoy?

We’re Texas boys! BBQ and anything that gets us away from work and close to water or snow!  Just about anything; reading, movies, hiking, boating, tubing and having a killer time with friends and family.

Your new EP is coming out this winter; what should we expect?

We think this EP will finally showcase what our band is all about.  We’ve managed to pique the interest of serious music professionals, which we intend to, collaborate with in the studio.  This EP will definitely leave a deep mark in our music career with all the intention to not disappoint our fans.

So, when will you be coming to Columbus, Ohio so I can see you live and party with you?

That, my dear Misty, depends on just how well we continue our march towards our goals.  As soon as our EP is out, we have some marketing strategies that can possibly include supporting our EP in your area.  We would love for you to get to know us and enjoy a HMB night out with us “Bad Boys”. Thanks for interview, is our pleasure.

Please listen to their soulful, compelling music here: http://www.myspace.com/harberandmillerband

Follow them on Twitter!  http://twitter.com/HandMBand

I hope you fall in love with their music like I did.

Thank you guys for giving me this interview!  I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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