Reviews


Spokes – Everyone I Ever Met

Sunday, February 13th, 2011 by Eric Loose

It doesn’t take long to figure out that Everyone I Ever Met is orchestrated in a different vein than Spokes’ rookie EP, People Like People Like You. Risks have been taken, and mind you, these aren’t “risks” like we normally think of them. People Like People Like You was a fairly conventional post-rock EP, but this description belies its beauty. Poor Spokes watched from outside the lines as less-worthy post-rockers enjoyed oodles more fame than they. With soaring violins and condensed song lengths, Spokes crafted a mellifluous Shortcut to Enjoying Post-Rock. Somehow the Englishmen crammed the magic of every spellbinding post-rock record you’ve heard into a delightfully accessible package. Three years later, Spokes sound bent on transforming this winning formula, and unexpectedly it pays off. (more…)



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Bright Eyes – The People’s Key

Monday, February 7th, 2011 by Eric Loose

This could very well be Bright Eyes’ swan song. Hinting at the dying days of his Bright Eyes project last year in Rolling Stone, indie darling Conor Oberst sounded like he was ready to say goodbye to the band that garnered him fame as the poster-boy for skinny, bedroom-dwelling high school males everywhere, the 00’s answer to 80’s punk and 90’s emo. The kid is talented too, no denying that. Besides eliciting comparisons to the oh-so-comparable likes of Dylan, Oberst could weave his own warbly lines of genius. Whether they be drug-infused, lovelorn, or downright depressed, Bright Eyes’ lyrics tore at heartstrings with ease. Arriving at his most recent effort with the band’s impending mortality in question, we’re left with one, main query: should this be the finish line for Bright Eyes, is this how we want it all to end? (more…)



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Mogwai – Hardcore WIll Never Die, But You Will

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 by Eric Loose

Grandfathers of post-rock, Mogwai, have had a tumultuous career of highs and lows. Pattern is, Mogwai will either floor on first listen (Young Team, Happy Songs For Happy People) or alternatively leave much to be desired (Zidane, The Hawk Is Howling). The pioneers’ most recent work displays Mogwai both drenched and layers and effects while dabbling in more minimalist pieces also, as Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will spans an impressive array of emotions aesthetics. This sensation is compounded when compared to the tepidness of their recent output. Mogwai’s ferocity on Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will is evident at once, and the album lives up to its intriguing name. Immersive and intense, Mogwai’s seventh LP sets the bar high in early 2011. (more…)



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Cee Lo Green – The Lady Killer

Thursday, November 11th, 2010 by Amanda Nolan

Cee Lo Green, more famously known for his work as one half of Gnarls Barkley, is back with his third studio album, The Lady Killer, which dropped November 9. Ever since the first single from the album, “F*ck You” (or more appropriately titled “Forget You”), was dropped, the music industry was abuzz about Cee Lo, with good reason. The Lady Killer proves to be an album worth giving a listen. Cee Lo transcends the R&B label, with a sound that strikes as being more alternative. This isn’t Gnarls Barkley, and you won’t find anything similar to “Crazy” on the album’s fourteen tracks; however, that does not matter because The Lady Killer offers that great Cee Lo sound.

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Rock Show 2010

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 by The Professor

Paul McCartney inaugurates the hall in Pittsburgh

by Radio RockonTour host Timothy Tilghman

James Paul McCartney inaugurated the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh as its premiere concert act on Wednesday, August 18, 2010. Scoring under face value tickets outside on the walk was nearly next to impossible but as luck would have it, Macca was running behind schedule and a $20 print-out ticket surfaced shortly before curtain call.

McCartney fans were queued up in long lines outside all of the entrances encircling the new venue that stretched onwards along the surrounding sidewalks in the unrelenting afternoon sun. Patron expectations were cresting high and fan anticipation was creating a decisive buzz of apprehension as spectators waited impatiently to enter the building.

Sir JPM enjoys an exceedingly rare position among popular live performers and his remaining career peers. Paul can safely bank on being a virtual sellout wherever he appears. His envious Beatles pedigree guarantees him an eager audience willing to hurl their expendable capital at buying pricey venue tickets whenever he heads out on tour.

The evening began with an exciting Wings medley comprising “Venus And Mars”, “Rock Show” and “Jet” that energized the audience with an unavoidable adrenaline rush. McCartney observed, “Good evening Pittsburgh. I’m getting a feeling we’re going to have a ball”. Then, Paul paused to soak in his view of the clamoring crowd before him from center stage. After five decades of appearing before live audiences, McCartney is the consummate performer.

“So, welcome to this new building here. We are the first people to play here before the first audience”, was McCartney’s christening comment on the hall’s opening night. Only two tracks from his highly acclaimed 2008 Fireman disk Electric Arguments made the setlist. The gyrating rhythm of “Highway” bounced along in concert and Paul’s soaring chorus on “Sing The Changes” transformed the uplifting gospel rocker.

Paul strapped on an electric guitar for “Let Me Roll It”, an intense 1973 Wings rocker from Band On The Run that was originally intended as a musical send-up of his estranged partner John Lennon. The ensuing climax transitioned into an instrumental jam of “Foxey Lady” with McCartney soloing fiercely.

Macca shared an incredible story from the first Sunday in June 1967, when the Jimi Hendrix Experience performed Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in its entirety at an intimate London club the first weekend of its commercial release. Paul was in the audience totally blown away by the fact that Hendrix had learned the album note for note. Rumors implicate Eric Clapton may have tuned Jimi’s guitar on the sidelines during that debut London appearance.

Brandishing a ukulele, McCartney played his unique version of Harrison’s Abbey Road classic “Something” as a lovely tribute to George. “I’ve Got A Feeling”, “A Day In The Life” segueing into “Give Peace A Chance”, and “Day Tripper” were tunes that Paul sang in performance, which John Lennon either wrote or helped compose from the Beatles sensational songbook.

By the end of the concert, the performance pieces morphed into an avalanche of one monster hit after another heading into two rounds of encore appearances with a total of seven major Beatles favorites as Paul switched from piano to bass guitar to acoustic guitar and electric guitar.  Before exiting the stage, Paul took a moment to sign the shoulder of Ivela in the front row, which prompted a retort from Paul, “You are the end of the show”.

Several lost Wings classics were unearthed for the 2010 Up And Coming Tour that have not been featured live since the documented Wings Over America tour in 1976. “Letting Go” and “Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five” were exceedingly welcome additions to Macca’s hit-heavy setlist. Paul even dusted off a few choice Beatles gems for inclusion on this tour. “I’m Looking Through You”, “Two Of Us”, and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” were each outstanding selections to perform live before an audience.

McCartney has been touring with his present entourage just shy of a decade now. Guitarist Rusty Anderson, drummer Abe Laboriel, guitarist Brian Ray, and keyboardist Wix Wickens have jammed as Paul’s trusted back-up band at dates scattered all over the globe. This current touring unit has released several live albums and live DVDs archiving ecstatic audience applause for a living legend.

Paul continues to record new material as the most prolific composer of his exceptionally talented generation. The Cute Beatle is advancing in age, but thankfully shows no outward signs of slowing down whatsoever. Certainly his loyal audience is thrilled to enjoy experiencing both his Beatles and Wings classics live along with his heartfelt musical tributes to his late wife Linda and fellow Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison.

Paul McCartney, Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA, August 18, 2010 setlist: Venus And Mars > Rock Show > Jet * All My Loving * Letting Go * Got To Get You Into My Life * Highway * Let Me Roll It > Foxy Lady * The Long And Winding Road * Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five * Let ‘Em In * My Love * I’m Looking Through You * Two Of Us * Blackbird * Here Today * Dance Tonight * Mrs. Vandebilt * Eleanor Rigby * Something * Sing The Changes * Band On The Run * Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da * Back In The USSR * I’ve Got A Feeling * Paperback Writer * A Day In The Life > Give Peace A Chance * Let It Be * Live And Let Die * Hey Jude * 1st Encore: Day Tripper * Lady Madonna * Get Back * 2nd Encore: Yesterday * Helter Skelter * Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Reprise > The End



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Fitz and The Tantrums

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010 by Ryan Nisley

For some bands, it takes a lifetime to build this success, but few performers deliver an unrestrained blast of soul-clapping, get-down-on-the-floor, moneymaker shakers like Fitz and the Tantrums. Fitz and the Tantrums have resurrected a sound that’s been dormant for decades: the blues of a 1970’s love affair. It all started with a neglected vintage organ, and since then they’ve been keepin’ it real like it’s 1969. The organ became a driving force for the front man, Fitz, and helped him to find his voice. When his ex-girlfriend called him about the old organ, he knew exactly what to write about. It inspired him to compose the breakup song, “Pickin’ Up the Pieces,” which is also the title of the album.

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Lollapalooza 2010

Monday, August 16th, 2010 by Taylor DeBoer

With 240,000 people, 130 bands, on 110 acres of the beautiful Grant Park, Lollapalooza saw its 19th year as a festival as an overwhelming success for the Austin based promoters C3. Perry Ferrell’s traveling festival is a distant afterthought. Instead we’ve become accustomed to the three-day event and are finally getting used to it as a mainstay Chicago event every August.

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Arcade Fire: “The Suburbs”

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 by Taylor DeBoer

Arcade Fire WLOYIf Funeral was the personal homage to life, love, and loss and Neon Bible was a straight shot at the gut of political immoral corruption, than Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs is merely a simple acknowledgment of the two concepts along with the reluctant but powerful realization that “we can’t run from our upbringing” especially when two story brick houses and shopping malls stand in our way. And as Win Butler and company convey on their third album, each new generation is engulfed in a more brutal “suburban war.” With so much indie cred on the line, Arcade Fire delivers once again with their longest most expansive album yet. (more…)



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Interpol & Twin Tigers Concert

Thursday, August 5th, 2010 by Ryan Nisley

I was first introduced to Interpol in 2004 when I heard their album, Antics. I became fond of the band after listening to the album, but I admit I lost faith in them after Our Love to Admire (2007) received less praise than Antics. However, I think I need to revisit the album, now that I found a new appreciation for Interpol. I had always heard great things about Interpol’s live show, but it was difficult to ignore all the hype and avoid preconceived notions. I expected a great show and that is exactly what I got. Their sound filled the venue, reinforced by a brilliant light show. What impressed me was the balance between the vocals and instrument sound levels. The lyrics were clearly distinguishable over the rest of the band, not to mention that Paul Bank’s voice was perfect.

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This All Starr Band Goes to Eleven

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010 by The Professor

Ringo Starr celebrates turning Seventy years young on tour

Radio RockonTour host Timothy Tilghman

The first All Starr Band Tour launched in 1989. Ringo Starr began employing a successful formula building his touring entourage comprised of noteworthy musicians who recorded their own popular releases. Ringo has claimed an enduring career of getting by with a little help from his friends to conduct his All Starr Band tours. Showcasing rotating musicians solidified a winning combination for his loyal audiences.

The Eleventh All Starr Band features Spinal Tap drummer Gregg Bissonette, guitarist Rick Derringer, Mr. Mister bassist Richard Page, Romantics guitarist Wally Palmer, keyboardist Edgar Winter, and keyboardist Gary Wright. Derringer, Page and Palmer are the newest members joining the 2010 touring team.

The All Starr Band played before a packed house in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Saturday, July 3, 2010. The diverse backgrounds of the individual musicians jamming together presents a wealth of chart topping material for classic rock fans to enjoy live on stage.

Each individual All Starr Band musician (excluding Bissonette) took a turn at the microphone to sing a memorable moment that scored high on the American hit parade. Winter led the crowd on a raucous “Free Ride”. Page sang the soaring single “Kyrie”. Palmer belted out the kinetic “What I Like About You”.

Derringer doubled as a pied piper lifting audience spirits with “Rock And Roll, Hoochie Koo”. Wright was alright on his melodic “My Love Is Alive”. Among the many songs sung by Ringo, he performed “The Other Side Of Liverpool” and “Peace Dream” both from his latest album Y NOT. The surprise of the evening came at the end of the concert when Ringo segued into John Lennon’s 1969 anthem “Give Peace A Chance”.

The only glitch in Ringo’s infrequent touring schedule is that after 21 years of hitting the road during the summertime season, he is still only singing the same handful of songs from his tenure as a Fab. With the exception of “What Goes On” and “Oh My My” introduced on recent tours but neither of which appeared in the 2010 setlist, the only new tunes are those from the current album he is promoting on tour.

Ringo Starr has proven he is a capable composer after undertaking a solo career in 1971. Either Ringo does not have the fortitude to take chances with his audience and perform more of his own original numbers or he is slavishly repeating Beatles oldies to placate a baby-boomer demography incapable of tolerating Ringo to venture beyond his musical past as a former Fab into uncharted musical territory.

The All Starr band cast is a functioning musical family. Performers introduce each other providing harmonious backing vocals as a welcome bonus. The staging was visually exquisite and the sound was audibly perfect. Singers share stories about how their songs originated onto record. Plus, the in-between song banter reveals how the musicians interact among one another.

Who can deny the guilty pleasure of attending an All Starr Band concert? After cleaning up his act in the latter 1980s, Ringo Starr has been touring on an irregular basis during the last two decades. It’s a blessing that veteran British Invasion artists are still willing to mount extensive tours to entertain their committed fans.

Richard Starkey, M.B.E., is just about to turn Seventy years old on July 7, 2010. Ritchie has a birthday concert pegged for a party in NYC and rumors are circulating that Sir James Paul McCartney is going to join his fellow former Beatle on stage. Paul & Ringo previously hooked up on stage together in NYC on April 4, 2009.

Ringo Starr & All Starr Band, Atlantic City, New Jersey, July 3, 2010 setlist: It Don’t Come Easy * Honey Don’t * Choose Love * Hang On Sloopy – Rick Derringer * Free Ride – Edgar Winter * Talking In Your Sleep – Wally Palmer * I Wanna Be Your Man * Dream Weaver – Gary Wright * Kyrie – Richard Page * The Other Side Of Liverpool * Yellow Submarine * Frankenstein – Edgar Winter * Peace Dream * Back Off Boogaloo * What I Like About You – Wally Palmer * Rock And Roll, Hoochie Koo – Rick Derringer * Boys * My Love Is Alive – Gary Wright * Broken Wings – Richard Page * Photograph * Act Naturally * With A Little Help From My Friends > Give Peace a Chance



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